Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Spelling Bee.

Want to hear something sad? My daughter told me last year she deliberately "flubbed" the spelling of her words so she would be out in the class spelling bee. Because it's not "cool" to be in the Bee.


Well, my son, who is smart, and frankly doesn't care what people think of him, beat the entire 7th grade a few weeks back and will be in the school Bee today. So Good luck, Thing Two!

And now, the Running Around will continue...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Happy Birthday, Thing Three!

Thing Three, my sweet ray of sunshine, is eleven today! He was the baby for seven years, until Thing Four came along, but he's always been a ray of sunshine in our family. Love ya, buddy!

Today is pretty tightly packed. Lots and lots to do! I just hope I can fit it all in. I hope everyone has a lovely Monday!

Friday, December 02, 2011


I have a sinus infection. Apparently you can get those from allergies. Who would have known? My allergies are so bad this time around, I am finally seeing an allergist. I can't handle the constant pain and pressure and stuffed-up-ness. And I know that's not a word.

Misery. I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm a Horrible Blogger

I have been a TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD blogger as of late. Both in reading and writing. I have a lot to catch up on. I could blame the Holidays, but there are a lot of people who like to blog and do it religiously. I guess I've changed a little--not that I want to do away with the blog, but I honestly have come to a point where I feel like I don't have anything new to say.

I queried 8 agents with my newest story, and got 8 rejections back. And things pretty much shut down in the publishing world from December 1st until after the New Year. So, maybe I'm just a little "down" about writing right now. It happens. Writing, for me, until I decide I want it as a full time job, will be cyclical. I'll have times when I'll be on fire, and times when I don't ever want to write again.

Things are going pretty well right now, just very busy. It's the first Christmas in our new house, and I'm figuring out tree placement, etc., but I'm excited about having the holiday decorations up. They make the house so cozy and inviting--and FESTIVE!

Time to make breakfast for Thing Four, but I will certainly try to be better at blogging. Please don't hate me if I miss a day here or there. It's not because I don't love you.


Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am thankful for so many things. I hope everyone has a wonderful day of yummy food and giving thanks!

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's the Middle of November? Huh?

Had an amazing weekend. Friday Hubby took the day off and we had fun hanging out with the kids and frankly, being a little lazy. Saturday was a little hairy in the morning, Thing Three had a soccer game, Thing One had a church meeting and Thing Two had a Merit Badge Clinic, and I had to run to the mall and knock out some Christmas shopping because it was extra associate discount, so...yeah...dividing and conquering and things got tricky.
But later that afternoon we went out to the farm of some friends and spent the day riding 4-wheelers and shooting skeet (I had to get a crash course on how to shoot a 20-gage shotgun, but I hit one on my very first try, I was impressed with myself!) and then we had a bonfire and the yummiest barbeque. Then later that night the BYU Cougars beat Idaho. Perfect day. Total blast.

Sunday was relaxing. After church, we all took naps. Pure heaven. Sundays are the best days for those. But now my house is a sty and I get to run errands and grocery shop and clean up said house. Gotta love Mondays! And yes, I am getting my Christmas trees up in a few days. WOO!

I can't believe it's the middle of November! Time is passing freakishly fast!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


So much so, my brain is too crowded. And my son is sick AGAIN, so not sure what's going on there.

But in better news, I finally found a GREAT recipe for Ratatouille!

Oh, and the PB&J hand sanitizer from B&Body works is FOUL.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Morning Chaos.

Thing Two, who is twelve, is NOT a morning person. His brothers are up around 6am, and he lies in bed until I drag him out by his heels/pour ice water on him/shout into his ear with an air horn. The kid doesn't like to get up in the mornings. Which is actually fine. Because three boys doinking around in the mornings is NOT good for the nerves.

Thing Two lately has decided he wants to get up and shower and get completely ready for the day 100% (thanks to an Epiphany last week or my frustration coming to a head, not sure which) so he has decided he will wake up at 6am along with his younger brother.

Yeah. Not liking that so much. They roughhouse. They run through the house. They do stunts. They yell. I like my mornings peaceful. Is it bad I told Thing Two this morning he could stop waking up and stay sleeping in until 7am--because the house is too chaotic?

I guess we'll figure it out, but this is NOT working.

I need to see an allergist and get shots, or something. I have a constant headache right between my eyes lately. I don't know if it's all the moldy leaves or what, but I am miserable! And I can only wear my contacts for a few hours at a time, because my eyes turn red. MISERABLE. I'm usually lazy about getting my own self to a doctor, but this time, I need to just go. Momma's been crabby lately!

And now they're fighting over who used the milk last. Because neither of them want to put it away. Seriously? My kids are turkeys!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 07, 2011


Do you ever have such crazy weekends you're actually GLAD it's Monday? Don't know if that makes sense, but sometimes, it's how it works at my house. We run around like crazy on weekends, and when all is said and done, I'm actually GLAD for a little peace and quiet when the kids are all in school and I actually am alone in the house for the 3 1/2 hours I get per day. ;-) Except I usually spend those hours cleaning or running around, so it's not like I truly enjoy them or anything. Ha ha. But I will say the pace is less...frenetic.

Hubby is in NYC all this week, so I want to get a chunk of my sequel written--at night of course. I got the Halloween stuff down and packed away, but I left my Fall stuff up, because it's Thanksgiving soon of course, but I just realized--in two weeks I will be PUTTING UP CHRISTMAS TREES!! Wow. I just shivered. You have no idea how exciting Christmastime is for this momma. LOVE Christmas.

And now it's time to crack the whip over my 12-year old son--who would forget to do EVERYTHING if I didn't remind him. *sigh*

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 04, 2011

It's Friday Already?

Rainy day today. I don't mind. I love this kind of weather. It's not super cold, either. Thing Four doesn't have pre-school on Fridays, so I promised him I'd take him jumping on the inflatables at Sports Connection. And we have a "free Happy Meal" card he's been BEGGING me to redeem, so that will be lunch. At least he prefers Apple Dippers over fries. ;-)

I'm going to get some more cleaning done today, and catch up on Vampire Diaries and get some words in. My daughter is going to Raleigh with Hubby tomorrow to meet some famous sisters--I'll tell you who on Monday! She's very excited.

Right now, I owe Thing Four two games of Pumpkin Phonics. Happy Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I seriously ran around all day yesterday. My poor house. It's VERY dusty. And cluttery. I loathe clutter. It makes me cranky. You know what they say--the state of your house is reflective of your state of mind!

In other news, I want to lock my daughter in her room and take away all her makeup and pretty clothes until she's ready to go off to college. Now that she's 14 all these boys are coming out of the woodwork--is it supposed to be this way? MAJOR STRESS!!!

Today is Laundry day. It's the only day this week I am literally not going from one place to the next. So, I am planting myself at my desk and getting some writing in in between loads and folding.

Thrilling, I know. But tonight my 10-year old gets his Webelos badge! Next month it's his Arrow of Light and he'll be 11. Time is FLYING!!!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


It's been a very busy but good last few days. The kids had a blast with all their Halloween-related activities, and now, yes, we have candy coming out of our ears. I might have to hide it all and ration it out, because OH. MY. GOSH. When you have a huge neighborhood like ours, and four kids go all over, you can imagine the amount of candy you are going to get. Plus we had a church Trunk-or-Treat Friday night, so they scored quite a bit of candy from that.

As far as last night, don't worry, I re-filled my huge cauldron three times, so I gave out as much as I got. ;-) It's all in good fun!

We're doing lots of Fall things, lately. Caramel apples, cider and doughnuts, fires, soon we'll be raking leaves. We pretty much only have toothpick trees in our front yard, and the woods on our property are self-sustaining so we don't really rake leaves in them, so no leaf pile to jump into this year! :-(

I am trying to get a hold on things. It's been so busy lately, the blog has suffered, my housekeeping has suffered, and I need to budget my time a little better. I'm still working on my sequel, but I'm not NaNoing this year. I've done it once, and I felt very accomplished, but moving on.

It was in the 30's this morning, I love Fall weather! We don't get a lot of snow in the South, but you can bet it will be welcome if we do! I just hope everyone on the East coast has their power back!

Now I'm off to a church meeting. But I thought I'd squeeze a post in. I'm sure y'all are thrilled. :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Thing One!!!

Thing One is 14 years old today. Freaky. I honestly don't know where the time has gone. Next year she'll be driving. In three years we'll be looking at filling out college applications. WHOA. Can I just interject here and TELL TIME TO STOP GOING BY SO DANG FAST???


Nothing much to report, just busy and plugging along. Although I foolishly waited to get most of her birthday presents so I am running around today to get some. Whew!

I fact, I'd better get going again! Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rounds Three and Four.

Now my other two kids are sick. It's been fun. I am going to spend this weekend sanitizing EVERYTHING, because hopefully this virus will have run it's course!

Had a busy but good weekend. It's cold outside! Gotta love it. I just hope Thing One gets better before Wednesday, or she'll be in-bed-sick for her birthday! NOT FUN!!

Hope everyone has a happy Monday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mommy? Mommy! Mommy! Mom! Mom! Moooooooommmmmm!!!!!!

We're getting better. Things Three and Four still are home from school with "crud" as I call it, but I am feeling much better.

Although I will say, the last few days have been mostly like this:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I stole this from my brother's Facebook page. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I've been sick. Now Thing Four has a high fever and a barking cough. I slept in his room with him last night, because I had to give him medicine every four hours. Can I just say he grinds his teeth? Ugh. It was like listening to someone chew on ice. Two of his siblings did that when they were young, too. But they outgrew it.

I'm pretty spaced out and tired. I finished implementing the comments from one Beta reader, and now I'm ready to print up the other set. Then I will give the MS one more pass, and I'll be ready for submission. And it will be December, and no one will be answering emails or reading queries until mid January. Boo. Such is the way of things.  Moving always puts a crimp in my life! We are DONE moving for a long time. Seriously.

I'm excited--it's only going to be in the 60's the next week--colder weather at last! It's going to be 85 today. That's just...strange to me. Still. Maybe after a few years living in NC I will be in a coat, shivering to 70 degrees just like everyone else. ;-)

We're sticking close to home today, so I'm editing and cleaning. SO exciting, I know.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Life is So Thrilling.

On the menu for today: Laundry. About 10 loads. And Bathrooms. Five of 'em. Well, okay, four. My daughter has been cleaning her own. But still, can I say how excited I am for today?

We are in the second day straight of rain. I am enjoying it. We need it. Not only that, but there's something comfy about rainy days. Although I do miss the sun. I would like it to peek out tomorrow if that's ok. ;-)

I have a head cold, so I'm chugging the Emergen-C and hoping for the best. I am NOT a good sick person. And for some reason, Thing Four kept waking up in the night last night, so I'm a tired sick person. Not a good combo. Off to the Laundry Room I go!

Happy Wednesday! Oh, and I am SOOOO excited about this movie! But I have to wait until MAY??? Boo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yesterday was a lazy day. The kids were off from school, and the only time we left the house was for haircuts and grocery shopping. (The latter of which, I will never do again with all my children at the same time. I probably brought home 50% more crap than I normally do. UGH.)

But the yucky part about yesterday, was for eight hours straight, they were JACKHAMMERING next door! Apparently the porch for the house next door was put in wrong, and they had to tear it all out. I ended up with a horrible headache for hours. Thing Four walked around with his fingers in his ears for half the day. Not fun.

Today it's rainy and cool, and I am loving it. One of my beta readers finished my novel, and her comments were awesome. Now I need to implement them. Exciting!! And tidy my house. Which I'm not as excited to do.

Better get to it!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Ten Random Friday Facts ( and Laments?)

1) I'd really like to have my kitchen stay clean for more than 10 minutes.

2) I seriously could go to jail for murdering people who pull out in front of me and drive under the speed limit.

3) I really really REALLY am starting to hate Rap.

4) I don't understand why, when I have fruit and veggies in the fridge, and healthy snacks in the snack bin, my kids go for the ONE unhealthy snack in the house. And when it's gone, they complain we don't have any "snacks."

5) I wish it was easy to lose weight by working out only ONCE a week.

6) I really wish I didn't like Lays Kettle-cooked Salt and Vinegar chips.

7) Orange-red makes me crazy. Blue-red soothes me.

8) I wish I could rewind to circa 2001-2003 when agents literally responded to queries within days, sometimes even on the same day!

9) I really am not a huge fan of William Shakespeare (GASP!)

10) I don't get the hype about Bagel Bites.

And there you go. I'll put out ten more every Friday. For anyone who actually cares. ;-)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

In the Right Place at the Right Time!

I had the CRAZIEST thing happen yesterday. I was in the parking lot at Walmart, loading bags into the back of my car, and I notice a truck backing up, behind me. I immediately notice something wrong: There's no one in the truck! And it was picking up speed as it rolled out. It was headed right for this white car, and I knew if it hit, it wouldn't leave a tiny dent, like a shopping cart. There was a guy, paused in the lane, waiting for the truck to back out, thinking it was occupied, and I yelled over at him "There's no one in that truck!" and he immediately ran forward and braced himself against the truck as it rolled back, and he couldn't stop it, and I ran forward and grabbed on as well, and we STOPPED IT. About a half inch (and I'm not kidding) away from hitting the white car. It never even touched it. Talk about a miracle! He asked me if the driver side door was unlocked, and it was, so we pushed the car back into it's parking spot, I had one hand on the wheel, guiding it in, and once we got it put back, I pushed the parking brake down with my foot and closed the door.

I gave him a high five and we both agreed it was lucky we were there. Crazy, huh? I'm sure the driver of the white car, whoever they are, would have freaked out, had they known how close they came to having the back of their car dented in!

I'm sure the Walmart security camera people were watching us wondering what the heck we were doing! ;-)

I mowed the weeds yesterday. When they put our sod in our yard, it was during a crazy hot week and it baked to death. About 3/4ths of our lawn hasn't come back, despite our best efforts at fertilizing and watering. So, thank heaven we got it in writing with the builder that they would replace any sod that "didn't come back." They're doing it next week. Whew.

Time to get the kids off to school! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 03, 2011


October sneaked up on me, that's for sure! I guess it's time to break out the hay bales and fake pumpkins and change my Scentsy to Sticky Cinnamon Bun. This weekend was AWESOME as far as weather--it was in the 60's for the high and never got any higher. And this week doesn't break out of the 70's.  LOVE it!!!

I finished my novel, finished the edits, and it's off to the Beta readers. I feel a slight void in my life, because I'm not living in the world of the characters any more. It's kind of weird. Oh well. That's a topic for the writing blog. But I do have a sense of accomplishment, because it's the first novel I've written by the seat of my pants. It seriously just "poured" out of me. ;-) I'll hear soon enough if my readers think it's any good.

Thing Three had his soccer game on Saturday, and they won 12-1. The other team got one at the end (Thing Three told me this later-- because the coach told them to let the other team score, in the spirit of sportsmanship). I'm glad he did that. Then we went to lunch and went home to watch Conference, and Hubby flew out to L.A. Sunday morning. The kids and I watched more Conference and stayed in our PJs most of the day. It was FABULOUS.

Now it's Monday. I can tell because Thing One and Thing Two are arguing over who emptied the garbage cans on the second floor last time. *JOY* Guess I'd better intervene.

Hope everyone has a good one!

Friday, September 30, 2011

My Second Home.

I love my car. I have a big white Sequoia, and frankly, it's a good thing I love it, because I live in it. I'm always driving on errands, driving kids to school and activities, driving them to games and sports practices, drive drive drive. And sometimes I wait wait wait in carpool. I realize I spend probably half my day in my car. And I fill up the tank twice a week. (OUCH.)

So, in my attempt to be frugal, I told my middle-schoolers they must take the bus home after school. They started last week. I mean, the school is literally down the road from our subdivision, so I don't see the big problem there. And there aren't any bullies on the bus, because the one bully was complained about by the parents and he now sits up front by the bus driver. ;-)

Do you know how much time out of my car that little decision cut out? One whole hour! Because if I left at 3:00 to go sit in the carpool, the kids were out at 3:45, and we were home by four. MAJOR DIFFERENCE. I now have one whole hour to do other things! Woo!!!

I feel liberated. But my favorite part is yet to come--in late November I put a Christmas wreath on my car and my kids get all embarrassed--LOVE IT. Here's my wreath last year:
 (Hey, it could be worse, at least I don't do the Rudolph nose and Antlers!)

Now THAT is embarrassing! ;-)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Knight Only by Michelle Miles!

I'm happy to announce that my dear friend, Michelle Miles, has a book coming out today! That book is One Knight Only by Ellora's Cave. You can buy it here.

Here’s the blurb:
A snarky Faery princess, a Scottish knight with a gambling problem, and a murderous earl all add up to one thing: Trouble. Maggie’s medieval education never prepared her for life in the Middle Ages!
Do-gooder Maggie Chase throws her thesis out the window when she wakes up in the arms of a hot Scottish knight. When she realizes she’s somehow ended up back in time, she embraces the persona of Lady Margaret. But she may be in over her head when she realizes she has to keep the sexy knight alive during a jousting tournament in order to get back to her own time.
Sir Finian “Finn” McCullough is a gambling man and owes a very large debt to an evil earl who is after his family estate. When the beautiful and outgoing Maggie arrives in his bed, he can’t remember tupping her the night before and thinks she’s a spy for one of his neighboring clans. He intends to find her kinsman and return her safely but he can’t resist her charms, her smart mouth or her sex appeal. Instead he keeps her close, taking her with him to an important jousting tournament—one he has to win or lose his castle forever.

Michelle was gracious enough to answer some questions for me:

1) What was your inspiration for OKO?

My inspiration came from my love of the Middle Ages and knights in shining armor. Initially this was a straight historical which I started in 2005. I stopped working on it for three years and then picked it back up again, rewrote the beginning, added some paranormal elements. It worked better. Then I stopped again and didn’t pick it up until late 2010, finishing it early this year. I’m glad I did. It was a fun story to write.

2) Talk about your research process for the story--fun or drudgery?

Fun – I enjoyed reading about jousting and learning how to do it (the story is set during a jousting tournament in the mid 1300s). My go-to book was Life in the Middle Ages and a costume book that showed what clothes looked like throughout the centuries. I also read up on how they talked, what they ate at banquet, etc. It was a lot of fun,

3) Where do you find inspiration for your writing?

In the least expected places. The book I just finished was inspired in a roundabout way by the HBO show Game of Thrones. I also got an idea for a story from Scooby-Doo (which has yet to be written).

4) Who was the most fun to write in the story (Your favorite character)?

This is a hard question because I loved them all so much. They were all a lot of fun to write. When I finished editing the book and turned it in, I actually missed them. I guess if I had to choose, I’d pick Elyne, my faery princess full of snark. :)

5) Any advice for beginning writers?

No matter how many rejections you get, never give up. Learn the craft and the industry, write what you love and be the best storyteller you can be. 

Congratulations Michelle! 

A Native Texan, Michelle loves hockey, football, baseball, drinking coffee, cross-stitching, and shopping for shoes and Coach handbags. You can read her daily antics at her blog, Ye Olde Inkwell. Michelle is also a regular contributor to Pop Culture Divas  and Plotting Princesses.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wait, WHAT??

Okay, I had someone comment to me yesterday--"Beautiful Fall weather we're having, eh?" I just sort of looked at him and said an enthusiastic "sure!"

It was just under 90 degrees.

I guess, living in the Midwest for so long, "beautiful Fall weather" (to me, anyway) is about sixty degrees, sunny and crisp. NOT FERSHLUGGING EIGHTY NINE DEGREES. That is "summer" weather, and frankly, my air conditioning bill is scaring me. Could we have another drop in temperature, soon, please? ;-)

I love having a 4-year old. Really. He comes up with the funniest ideas. I have a saying that I always mutter. "I've lost my mind. I really have." Well, the other day, I was sitting in the car,  looking for my cell phone (it had fallen behind my seat I discovered later) and I uttered "I've lost my mind!"

Thing Four was in the back, strapped to his carseat, and he said (in a very annoyed voice I might add) "Mom, you need to stick your mind in your purse!" I turned around a looked at him. "Why?"

"Because then you won't lose it all the time!"

I adore him to death. I need to write all this stuff down!

It looks like I may get my wish, weatherwise. The high for Saturday and Sunday is in the 60's. HOORAY!!

Now that is beautiful Fall weather!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Monday (La La, La La La La)

Got the Monday song stuck in my head. Had a good weekend. Had a near miss when we woke up Saturday morning at 8:30, only to discover Thing Three's soccer game was a FIFTY FIVE  minute drive away! Can you say UGH? And his game was at 10:15, and his coach likes them to be there 30 min early. SO, we had to shove breakfast down his throat and literally throw on clothes and take him. Oh, and it was POURING the whole soccer game, until the bitter end. But the sun came out, they won 4-0, and the drive home wasn't so bad, except for the part where I was seriously threatening to fall asleep and had to stop at a gas station for a diet coke.

Sunday I taught my class--I have the best primary class ever. I teach the 9/10 year-olds, and they are the BEST kids. All twelve of them! (Well, only ten regularly attend, but our classes are lively!) Then after church I came home and baked twelve dozen cookies for Hubby's work, because I'm nice that way. (He asked me to--very nicely!) Then we watched the Packers and vegged. It was a relaxing Sunday.

Busy day already so far. Thing Three missed his bus so I drove him to school. (It's a good thing the school is actually IN our subdivision!) Then drove the older kids to middle school, got Thing Four ready for preschool and got him dropped off, and I just finished a 3-mile walk/jog. It's 80 degrees outside, and it will be in the mid 80's all week. I think I'm ready for the 70's. That would be nice. ;-)

WHEW. I have dishes and laundry calling my name (as well as some chocolate chip cookies but I'm ignoring those) and four new chapters that need editing. So I guess I'd better get on them. Before the afternoon craziness commences!

Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I (Heart) Rainy Days.

There's something about rainy days. They're perfect for curling up by the window with a good book, or playing games with your kids (to reconnect, since usually they are running around outside with their friends!) Having lamps on during the day is just...cozy. Rain is soothing. Cleansing. We've had rain the past few days, and I'm rather enjoying it! Although it puts a damper (literally) on soccer practices and games, since sopping we fields means CANCELLED games...

This week has been crazy busy, I won't lie. But a good busy. I still can't believe we're approaching the end of September. I swear, a DAY ago I was lamenting the end of August!! Yikes!

My kids are settling into school. A few hiccups and bumps along the way, but now we're getting a routine. And Thing Four loves preschool. LOVES it. And I'm not going to lie, I certainly enjoy the three hours of peace and quiet I get as a result! ;-)

I've been working on a new novel, which is the main reason, coupled with the craziness, that this blog has been a little "sporadic" as of late. I promise to try and be better. Only because after a few days I get phone calls from relatives wondering if I'm in the hospital. Heh Heh.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! It's Friday!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Need Ten More of Me.

Yes, Mom, I am alive. Just busy being torn in five different directions. At some point, my left arm will reconnect to my torso, at which point I will be able to blog again. Cheers!

Hope everyone is healthy and happy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Break, Finally!

Today the high is 61. SIXTY ONE measly degrees! Yesterday was 95, with 97% humidity. You can imagine why I'd welcome a cool day. Which is kind of funny, because everyone was shivering in their jeans and sweatshirts today, and it really isn't that cold. ;-) I think anything below 50 is getting chilly. Anything above, well...I guess all those years in Wisconsin made me hardier or something.

Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same. I love it! But then all next week we're back up to the mid 80's. BLEAH.

The kids have a "banked" day today. Which is only a half day. I guess after the crazy ice storm last year, where kids were out of school an entire week, made the school officials think. As long as we are here a half day, it's counted as a full day. So we have one half day a month, and call it a "banked" day, so if we get another awful ice storm like last year, we won't have to make the days up like we did last year. I think it's smart. And the kids LOVE half days. Everyone wins. I think.

Thing Two has a scout hike this weekend. I guess I'd better switch out his warm weather sleeping bag to a cold weather one--just in case.

I am just realizing what a BORING post this is! I guess since I still have a head cold, humor isn't part of my repertoire. So, I guess I'll attach something that made me laugh. My favorite Superbowl commercial of all time. Enjoy. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Despite feeling like a cement truck dumped it's contents into my skull, I went for a run this morning on my favorite nature trail after I dropped Thing Four off at preschool.

It was gorgeous. Green, tranquil, perfect. On my last leg a doe walked right across my path about twenty yards ahead of me, and when she entered the trees she stopped and looked back at me. She didn't seem skittish, just curious. She was a young doe, I could tell she'd been a fawn recently. She was so pretty. I greeted her in what I call my "puppy" voice, and she just stared at me as I smiled at her and broke into a jog on the path.

Gotta love mornings like that.

Hubby is traveling, and my kids are over their colds, but I am in the middle of mine. I want to give a big kiss to whoever invented Advil Cold Liquid gels, because they are AWESOME. Nothing else works for me.

I am nearly finished dejunking the third floor. (The place I shoved all my moving boxes I didn't want to deal with.) I've been writing here and there, but honestly, if we are going to have people over and have them watch movies upstairs, I need to make THAT a priority. Next week, I want to get in 2K a day. (Words, not kilometers!) ;-)

Tomorrow is supposed to be cold. The high is in the mid 60's. The HIGH. Woo! I'm breaking out the Postum. Okay, it's not really Postum, it's actually a not-so-potent substitute called Pero, but I will call it Postum because that's what I've called it my whole life. I just wish Nestle or someone would buy the darn recipe from Kraft and start manufacturing it again. I miss it.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kids Are Funny, Part VIII

Thing Four, who is four years old, never fails to crack me up. My daughter was sick yesterday, so she stayed home from school. (More on that later.) Anyway, while I was running errands, I went ahead and left him home with her. I came home afterwards, and he was watching TV downstairs, and I went and sat next to him and started chatting with him, and I realized two things: A) He was wearing inside-out shorts, and B) they weren't the shorts he was wearing when I left.

When I asked him about it, he got all embarrassed, and admitted he'd had an "accident" upstairs and hadn't quite made it to the toilet. Apparently he hurriedly put the wet underwear and shorts in his dirty clothes basket, ran to his room and got clean underwear and shorts out of his drawers, and put them on.

The funny part is, I wouldn't have even noticed, if he hadn't put the shorts on inside out, on accident. But I'm glad he did, because I never like finding surprise wet stuff in the dirty laundry. ;-)

Cracked me up, though. He sure was efficient in his "cover up" attempt! And he almost got away with it!

Hubby left for Alabama today. They're touring stores. He wont' be back until the weekend. Thing Two has another Scout Camping trip on Friday and Saturday, and Thing Three's first soccer game is on Saturday. My weekends through October are CRAZY, I'm realizing. Because either Hubby is traveling, or we've got games and campouts. I guess you can camp year round here pretty much, because it's the South and it doesn't deep freeze like Wisconsin did. They don't even blow out their sprinkler systems, here. It's actually kind of nice to not have to worry about that!

So, yesterday I had to take Thing One to the Dr. with a blocked salivary gland. Turns out she had scar tissue that had formed from a previous blockage/infection two years ago, and they had to cut it open and fish out this huge calcified rock-like thing from her gland. NICE. She was a trooper about it, but she is also suffering from a sore throat/fever, so it wasn't super fun for her. But at least she can "salivate" again! (And yes, she would die of embarrassment if she knew I'd said that. Heh heh.) But that's what moms are for. Our teenagers give us a hard time, and we give them payback in the form of embarrassing them. Good Times.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let The Germs Begin...

Now that School is back in, I've been bracing myself for the inevitable: Acute Viral Rhinopharyngitis, also known as the Common Cold. My kids are healthy as horses during the Summer, and as soon as they return to the Communal Germ Associations known as school, the colds begin.

It hit Things One and Three yesterday. Thing Two has been feeling yucky all along, he just doesn't whine like the other siblings do. So, apparently my three older kids all have colds, but since two of them don't have FEVERS, off to school they go. I've been monitoring Thing Four. He was grumpy yesterday at preschool (apparently he hauled off and hit a mean kid in the face with his lunchbox), which frankly isn't like him, so who knows what today will hold.

Me? I'm feeling fine. I'm downing Emergen-C like there's no tomorrow, because moms Don't Get Sick. ;-) We moms have to take care of all the sickies.

Hope everyone has a great, germ-free day!

Monday, September 12, 2011


The BYU vs Texas game was a disappointment--they were winning until the second half. And to lose by ONE point!! But Texas outplayed them in the second half, pure and simple. Hubby had a great time with his brothers, though, and hanging out with Jimmer Fredette! Jimmer was there to see the game and sign basketballs at an earlier function and Hubby was able to hang out with him for a little while. Yes, you can color me pea green with envy. ;-) I think my 10-year old was wayyy more jealous than me! Jimmer is his hero.
But now we can add this fabulous basketball to our signed Jimmer Jersey we have in the game room:
Notice how I've had the game room painted in BYU colors? Oh, and yes, that would be a football signed by Ty Detmer to the left of the Jersey. We are very lucky in who we know. ;-)

Hubby flew home safely on Sept. 11th, and we were glad to have him home. We explained to our kids about the tragedies of Sept. 11th (our oldest was three on that day so our kids don't remember) because we want them to understand how important it is to remember and be thoughtful of this day.

We had a good weekend otherwise, busy but good. I made some super yummy green salsa enchiladas, and we watched Serena get her rear-end kicked in tennis. :-( Oh well. I'm cheering for Djokovic tonight, he is ON FIRE!!!! Go Novak!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Fall's A Comin'...

I love love LOVE Fall. Favorite season ever. Probably because it's the prettiest, the shortest, and I love the clothes I can wear. Well, generally. Maybe not in the South. ;-) But I put my Fall wreath on the front door, and it looks awesome! I'll wait until the last week of September to deck the rest of the house out in Halloween stuff. Fun fun fun!

Hubby is off to Texas this weekend for the BYU game, I won't lie, I'm really nervous he's flying home on 9/11. (And his brother is flying INTO New York!) It just makes me nervous. But this trip has been planned for months, no changing it now!

I was looking at pictures of the smoke above the Austin skyline. I feel so bad for the people who have lost their homes and lands from the fires. Hopefully they can contain it soon.

So, it' just me and the kiddos this weekend! We'll probably go to the pool one last time, mow the lawn, do all the regular stuff we normally do. I'll just be glad Sunday night when Hubby is back home, safe.

I hope everyone has a good, restful weekend. My thoughts are with the families affected by 9/11. I will never forget.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Ah The Irony...

Now that I have my 4-year old in preschool four hours a day, you would THINK I have more time on my hands! Well, I don't. I was lamenting to a friend it seems now that I have those hours during the day, I spend them running around trying to get done what I normally wouldn't want to drag a 4-year old with me to.

If that makes sense. So, yes, I've been crazy busy! But it's a good busy.

It's been chilly in the mornings--it was 57 this morning, and my kids are wearing sweatshirts to school. Granted, it gets to the mid 80's during the day, but the mornings are nice. Fall is coming! I am going to break out my Fall wreath next week.

Thing Four is LOVING preschool. He's having the BEST time ever. But man, they sure wear him out! He gets 30-45 minutes of playground time, and I have to say, he passes out after his nightly bath now. I get him in those jammies and we do one story and he's OUT. Which is good. Because I know he's learning, having fun, and gaining social skills. :-)

It's Thursday! I am tempted to make my crockpot chili recipe, but I think it needs to be about ten degrees colder for that one!

Hope everyone has a great day.

Friday, September 02, 2011

I need to get to Belk today. Their clearance is like a bazillion percent off, plus our associate discount PLUS the coupon, so all the clearance clothes will be like, 90% off or something crazy like that. I need to stock up on shirts and shorts for my boys in a size larger, because I have a feeling, with the way they're growing, they will both be in different sizes by Spring.

I'm resisting the urge to put a Fall wreath on the door. I want to wait until the last week of September. I know every time this time of year comes around I say this, but I LOVE the months of October through December. My absolute favorite times of the year are those last three months of it. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. So festive, the weather is (more or less) not sweltering, and everything is fun.

Thing Four had his preschool open house yesterday. Like a complete idiot I had put into my phone that the open house was TODAY (still not sure how/why I did that) and by a stroke of Providence, I ran into one of the moms at Target yesterday, whose daughter is in my son's class. They had just come from the open house. I dropped everything and Thing Four and I ran out of Target immediately, and drove straight to the school and caught the tail end of Open House, thank heaven. I would have been so embarrassed to miss it and show up on the wrong day. We got lucky.

Tonight should be fun. I am cleaning the house from top to bottom, and we're having company over for homemade chicken alfredo pizzas. They are SOOOO delish:


INGREDIENTS: 1 pound boneless chicken, cut up into pieces, 1 large onion chopped, 1 package sliced mushrooms, 1 jar Alfredo sauce, 1 large loaf French bread, cut horizontally in half, and in pieces, 1 Cup shredded mozzarella. (I usually use more than a cup of mozzarella.)

Cook chicken, onion and mushrooms in skillet over med-hi heat, stir in Alfredo sauce. Place bread slices, cut sides up, on baking tray. Toast in oven on broil setting until crispy on top. Remove from oven, spread with chicken mixture, sprinkle with cheese. Broil in oven until pizzas are hot and cheese begins to brown.

Serve with a green salad!

Of course you can substitute Italian sausage for the chicken, which was what the original recipe called for, but we thought chicken was a healthier alternative. These are SUPER yummy, and super easy. Try them. You'll like them! ;-)

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend! Stay safe, and have fun!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

It's September Already???

I'm officially freaked out by how fast this year is going. The Back-to-school stuff has been cleared away, and now they're filling the seasonal aisles with HALLOWEEN STUFF in the stores. Candy, costumes, creepy knick-knacks (is it me or is stuff getting more macabre and scary every year?). Oh well. Such is the way of retail. By the end of September they'll have the Christmas stuff out, to be sure. All the craft stores already do.

I'm not putting a Fall wreath on my front door JUST yet. I'm savoring the last days of Summer, and rejoicing that it will be in the 80's during the day soon, instead of the upper 90's. :-)

I'm a little disappointed, I have a total dinosaur of a laser printer (an HP Color Laserjet 2600 I love) and now that I've downloaded Lion on my Mac, I can't print duplex printing. As in both sides of the paper. For someone who prints up manuscripts now and then, and wants to save paper, this is a problem. Especially if you have a 300+ manuscript to print up. It would be WAY better to print it on 150 pages, right? I tried and tried to get around this glitch but ended up hooking my HP mini to the printer and printing the story that way. It worked like a charm. Unfortunately I haven't found any updates or software drivers I can install. But I love my printer. Even if it is 100 years old. I've never had a problem with it. Well, until NOW. :-(

Tomorrow is Friday! Monday is Labor Day! No more white shoes and handbags after that! I still can't believe how fast time is flying...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm The Shove Queen.

I was an organizing machine yesterday. Got the boys' room unpacked (FINALLY!) and all their decor up on the walls. Since they're sharing, I made one half a Yankees/Sports theme and the other half was Nautical/Sailing, since that's what my oldest son likes. Complete with his model of the R.M.S. Titanic he built himself.

It looks pretty dang good, if I say so myself! But now, I'm in trouble. Why? Two words: Third Floor. Basically (and this is embarrassing to admit), whenever I opened up a box I didn't want to deal with, I lugged it up to the Third Floor. Tub of junk? Third Floor. Bag of something? Third Floor. Piece of furniture I don't know what to do with? Third Floor.

Now I have a Third floor CRAMMED with crap. It's my own fault. But now I do have everything in one space, and I can get it all organized and feed it down into the parts of the house it goes. Which is even better. But I can tell that Third Floor is going to be a bear. It's going to be my Everest. It is NOT going to be fun. But once it's done, I will rejoice. Because I will be officially unpacked.

Progress, right?

Things are getting into a routine again. Routines of school, homework, housekeeping, soccer practices (no games yet) and my boys are whining up a storm because we don't allow them to play on the computer or iPods or DSi or the Wii during school days. Only Friday after school and Saturday. Yesterday cracked me up. Thing Two came home, did his homework, and promptly flopped down on his bed all despondent because I wouldn't let him play Minecraft on the computer. (This kid can play for HOURS.) I told him to read a book. That didn't go over so well. He went to a friends house, but when he came back, he was bored again. My other son read a book. But finally Thing Two broke out the legos.

Thank heaven for Legos. They never get old.

It's Tuesday Toast day! And Taco Night! I love Tuesdays. Hope everyone has a good one!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Motherhood By The Numbers

So, yesterday was the first day of school. I was thinking to myself, as I dropped my middle-schoolers off at the school, how many more "first days of school" Thing One has left. And after yesterday, that would be FOUR. Wow. Time flies. Then I got to thinking about how many times we do things, as moms or guardians or parental figures.

Take wiping butts. No, really. I have four children. Let's say potty training began roughly at age 3 for each of them. And they weren't able to wipe their own butts to my satisfaction/cleanliness standards until age five. That means, I wiped a butt one, sometimes two times a day, 365 days a year, for two years. Times four kids. That’s roughly TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED TIMES I’VE WIPED SOMEONE’S BUTT.
Here are some more numbers: (Keep in mind I have four kids):
10,500: The number of nose-blows I will have performed over the years 
10,585: The number of dinners I will have cooked for my kids and immediately heard "GROSS Mom! I don't want that for dinner!"
6000+: The number of times I drive all of them to school over the years
10,000+: The number of times I go to their baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer games
6000+: The number of times I have to turn the lights off/TVs off/Flush toilets for them after they've gone to school.
3000+: The number of sleepovers I will have endured. 
3000+: The number of times I will have made chocolate chip pancakes because the kids ALWAYS want chocolate chip pancakes the morning after a sleepover.
I really could go on and on. I think of women who have more kids than me, and I am like WOW. My hat is SOOOOO off to you. Because I think my own numbers with my kids are pretty crazy.
I feel strangely vindicated, having put this information out there. Now I'm wondering how many diaper changes I've performed over the years…anyone have a calculator?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Day of School.

And...they're back. Got Thing Three on to the bus this morning at 6:50, and took the other two to middle school at 8:20. Next week I'll add taking Thing Four to preschool at 9:30. He's so excited. I'm so sad. :-(

My kids are growing up. Before my eyes. I do like that they can mostly take care of themselves, now, but I miss being able to dress them in cute stuff and having them do everything I tell them without A) talking back or B) complaining up a storm or C) falling to the ground with dramatic flair.

I did my normal after-the-kids-are-gone-to-school routine. Go through each room, turn off bathroom, closet, and room lights, flush toilets if needed, and grumble about how my kids can never turn any lights off or flush any toilets.


Now I'm going to tidy up the house, and enjoy these last few days with my four-year old before he heads off to school after Labor Day. Today we're having lunch at the park. I can tell he misses his brothers and sister, but he's also glad to have Mom all to himself again. I like our little dynamic. I'll miss it when he's at school. But I will say, I will get a LOT more writing done. And since I'd sort of like to make a career out of it *wink wink*-- that is a GOOD thing.

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope anyone in the path of Irene is safe. (I know, I am too, but I'm so far inland in NC I don't think I'll get much more than a windy storm.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shoes Shmoes.

My Mom was so cute on the phone yesterday. She was like "Lara, PLEASE blog!" I have to say, I've been so caught up in Back-to school madness it's been a little while!

Tomorrow is the first day of school. Am I excited? Sort of. Am I sad? Sort of. It's always a bittersweet thing, to pack your kids off to school. Because the lazy days of Summer are over, and now it's Homework, Projects, carpools, Fall sports, school volunteering, and my personal favorite: GERMS. We are all so healthy over the summer because we're not picking up germs from a million fingers at school. ;-) But I drive my middle schoolers to school, so at least they're not picking up any BUS germs. Ugh. Those are the worst!

Today we are buying shoes. I know, I've waited to the last minute, but there is a method to my madness. My boys are GROWING. I am not kidding. At alarming rates. Shoes I would have bought them a few weeks ago would possibly be too tight in the toes, now. My oldest son is like a weed. And his feet are growing accordingly. So, we are getting shoes today, and hoping for a few months of wear, before the dreaded "Mom, my shoes are hurting my feet" complaint happens.

It happened last night. I bought Thing Three new soccer cleats in the Spring, and they're already too small for him now. He went to his first practice with "tight toes." Of course it didn't help he informed me of his shoe problems TEN MINUTES before we left for soccer practice. (Major eyeroll here!)

Anyway, school shoes, gym shoes, church shoes, sports shoes, you name it. Four kids times about four pairs of shoes. Shoot me.

Oh well.

Oh, and is there any remedy for getting that lovely red southern mud off my kids' gym shoes? Or are they forever destined to come out of the wash looking pink?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let's Do The Time Warp Again...

I know I've lamented this before, but I feel the need for reiteration. So bear with me. ;-)

I think my parents were SuperParents. Because I survived to adulthood. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. Honestly, I don't know how any of us are alive today. I remember being FIVE years old, and walking across a busy street from our apartment complex, to get candy at the convenience store, ALL BY MYSELF. There was no worry of pedophiles or sex offenders or kidnappers to take me off somewhere. I'm sure they existed, but not in "our" part of the neighborhood. ;-) I remember riding around in cars without a seatbelt (they didn't even have carseats!) and sometimes, I would perch on the console in the front seat between my parents (again, sans seatbelt) and ride that way. Or when we'd go on road trips my siblings and I would lie down with blankets in the back of the car, and sleep that way. And oh my gosh, we didn't die.

And being outside, ah, it was awesome. Playing outside in trees or in makeshift forts was WONDERFUL. We were outside more than we were inside. And we LIKED being outside. During summer, I would leave the house in the morning, and not come back unless A) I was hungry or B) it was dark. No cell phones, no way of "checking in." I'd just be gone. My mom's way of getting a hold of me was standing on the back porch and shouting my name. If I heard her, good, if not, I'd always come home later and she'd tell me what she needed then.

During school time, if it was my birthday, Mom would bring in homemade cupcakes. All the moms did. There were no wheat, gluten, milk or peanut allergies. And I would play on unsafe playgrounds. Remember those tallllll metal ladders and impossibly high narrow metal slides that you could probably die if you fell off of, but we climbed up and slid down about 36947 times without incident?

We wore bell bottoms and home-sewn clothes, and no one cared. We didn't have computers or Internet or Cell phones or video games or caller ID, when the phone rang, you didn't know who it was, you just answered it and found out.

Times were easier, too. People were able to fly the American Flag and say "Merry Christmas" without fearing a lawsuit. And people actually TALKED to each other. They couldn't hide behind texting and email and use them as social crutches. We weren't so horribly afraid of offending everyone and everything. Life was...simpler.

Can we go back? Certainly there are things about my childhood that I shake my head at, but I'd like to be able to simplify, sometimes. Unplug, unwire, and simply be a family without all the extraneous crap. And I still maintain my parents were SuperParents, because I'm not dead or maimed. Despite the odds stacked against me, and the unsafe (by today's standards) way I was raised, I turned out OK.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I had a hard time waking up today. Usually I spring right up when Hubby does (he's not exactly subtle when he gets ready for work) but this morning I was just...dead. He left for work before seven, and I actually went back to bed for a little while. Luckily Thing Three was awake so I put him in charge of playing with Thing Four so I could get some rest.

Maybe I'm just burned out from all this moving stuff. Waking up early and staying up late aren't helping, either, I'm sure.

I'm homebound today--our new refrigerator decided to keep spouting water out of the water dispenser the other day instead of shutting off, so we had the LG guys out to fix it this morning. We need a part ordered. Oh well. We won't die. The tap water here isn't that bad. Maybe because it's a new house. AND I have to stick around home because (drumroll please)...

We get our shutters installed today! Woo hoo!  I'm so dang excited!!!

I need to grab myself a coke, shake off this lethargy, and get going!

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday. I'm just so glad they found that boy scout in Utah. If I was that boy's mother I would have been a complete mess. I love happy endings!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Can You Say, EXCITED???

I get my shutters installed tomorrow. THANK THE HEAVENS ABOVE. We waited, like fools, until we actually closed on the house to order them, and so we've had to wait forever for them, it seems. Throwing blankets over my furniture around 2pm every day so the sun doesn't bleach everything gets REALLY OLD REALLY FAST, can I just say? And since our living room and kitchen and casual eating area are west-facing, we get that awful bright sun in the early evening that is blinding.

Not after tomorrow! Woo!

Okay, I'll calm down now. We had a good weekend. I pretty much hung out with the family and ran around, didn't get any unpacking done. Which is okay, because I have the first floor completely done. (Just don't go look at my second and third floors, ha ha!) BOXES galore. I'm really happy with the way things are turning out, though. Our house is becoming a home. Putting your personality and your things into a house really makes a difference. :-)

Now I'm ready for school to start so my kids will stop messing it up! Ha ha!

I hope everyone has a happy Monday. This is looking to be a crazy week. I hope I get through it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Survived BTS Shopping!

We did it. We survived. It took about four hours, but I got the Back-to-school shopping done for my four kids yesterday at Southpark Mall. Thing Four was not happy, because he's a "Four year old big boy!" and I sure put him in a stroller for the entire ordeal. I had to. Otherwise he would have gotten lost/kidnapped/fallen from the escalators/turned up in South Carolina. The kid doesn't sit very still. I had to take preventative measures. Not to mention how AWESOME those big strollers are--you can stick your handbag, a drink, and about NINE shopping bags in the seat underneath (okay, maybe more like two big ones) and still have your hands free. See my genius in planning it out? Of course by the end my kids were still loaded down with bags and complaining about it, but hey, you want the clothes, you carry the load!

We didn't even buy any jeans, or long-sleeved things. I mean, WHY? It's going to be 90 degrees for at least another month, then it will cool down to 80 degrees the month after that. Besides, the schools keep it about ten degrees inside with the air conditioning and my kids wear sweatshirts over everything all day anyway, so why would I buy them long sleeves? ;-) I figure in December we'll buy some jeans.

Thing One, who is 13, found pretty much everything she needed in the Juniors department at Belk, and she and her friend picked out outfits downstairs at while I loaded up the boys upstairs. It was a little bit crazy in the middle because the boys decided it would be funny to take the stroller and "pop wheelies" in the aisles, much to Thing Four's delight, (he was SHRIEKING with glee) but I was mortified and told them to knock it off. So, instead they decided to start knocking each other. BOYS. Ugh.

We were all ravenous and "over it" afterwards but no one could agree on dinner so I took half of them through the McDonald's drivethrough and the other half went to Taco Bell. (Hey, they're literally across the street from each other!)

Then the kids did a fashion show for me once we got home (well, my daughter did, the boys were more interested in playing Minecraft) and Hubby came home from New York bearing a ton of cupcakes from Crumbs (ohmygoshyumyumyum) and they made a yummy dessert.

Heh heh, I'm waiting until Monday to get school supplies. I have to recuperate! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kids are Messy.


I have to say, the NOT fun thing about having dark wood floors: DUST and KIDS. As in lots of crumbs and pieces of food everywhere after every meal, (my kids ages range from 4 years to 13) and I find I spend a good deal of time SWIFFERING because dark wood floors really show dust.

But back to the kid thing. I mean, seriously? Is it THAT hard to lean over your plate as you eat? Or not spill stuff? Or not "accidentally" spill fifty percent of the remnants on your dinner plate on the floor as you head to the garbage to empty it? Bug. MAJOR BUG.

And what is it with kids wanting to eat food anywhere BUT the kitchen? They want to eat it in the game room. THEIR rooms (I've put the kibosh on that one lately). The theater room. At the computer desk. (Kibosh #2.) I mean, it's ridiculous!

Of course I've stopped doing all the sweeping and vacuuming after each meal. THEY get to take turns doing it. But nothing frustrates me more than having a pristine floor (after fifteen minutes of hard vacumming) and having my four-year old walk across the kitchen, scattering cookie crumbs everywhere.


Kids are messy. I should own stock in paper towels. Because I'm certainly keeping them in business.

The sad part? The teenagers are just as messy as my four-year old.

Shoot me now.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Paper, Paper, Everywhere...

Not a whole lot of time to blog today--my built in bookshelves are in (LOVE LOVE LOVE) but I got ZERO done yesterday because it was Chauffeur The Kids Around day yesterday. Today and tomorrow it's UNPACKING (and Frou-frou-ing) WITH A VENGEANCE.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 08, 2011

One Week.

That's what I'm giving myself. This week only, and I will be DONE with the unpacking. Yesterday was awesome. I gave myself the day off, and did everything I wanted to do, which involved ZERO unpacking. ;-) I even got some writing in. Kept the news off. Because there is so much to be sad about lately in the news. So much death, so much unrest. My heart goes out to the families affected by the horrible helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Now it's back to unpacking for me, but there are a few things happening this week that are exciting. Today I get my built-in bookshelves, which we've been waiting weeks for. Hooray! Next week, I get my shutters in. No more having to throw blankets over my leather sofas so they don't bleach in the sun! Whew! Because my entire living room is windows. And that sun BLEACHES EVERYTHING.

Today we have dentist appointments, built-ins and I might do a school supply run. Or maybe tomorrow. Its not like they will run out of pens and erasers any time soon. I'm getting into Back To School mode, since it's only 2 1/2 weeks away.

Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Friday, August 05, 2011


And no, I'm not talking about Ant problems. (Thank HEAVEN!!!) We have a new house, with ZERO bugs (and we have pest control coming today to ensure it stays that way!) I'm talking about feeling Antsy. I get this way, once in a while. I'm sure you guys do, too.

I'm antsy for this house to be unpacked and done. I'm antsy to be able to get back into a regular routine. I'm antsy about the future and the economy. I'm antsy to get back to regular writing again. I need to dump all these words I've been writing in my head the last several weeks onto paper. Or into the computer. ;-)

I'm antsy for my kids to have a fun rest of the summer, but I'm also antsy for school to start. I'm antsy for things to HAPPEN that won't happen for a little while. (More on that later ;-)) I want to wander through the ruins of Pompeii. I want to parasail and snorkel in Hawaii. I want to visit my family for more than two days. I want the never-ending laundry pile to end, just for once. I'm antsy for the weather to break, and not be in the 100's and high 90's.


Does anyone else ever get like this?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Halloween Costumes When It's Not Halloween...

As you all know (times ten, ha ha) I've recently moved. And I am still in the process of unpacking boxes. Some of which have not been unpacked since our previous move a year ago. Yep. I'm finding all sorts of crapola good stuff. ANYWAY, yesterday I unpacked a box of old Halloween costumes. We had Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear, Iron Man, Link, Mario & Luigi, Harry Potter, The Ghostbusters, Princess Leia and Cleopatra, to name a few.

Thing Four immediately wanted to put on the Spiderman costume and run around the house. I let him. Then he wanted to wear it in the car to run errands. Um, not so much.

Is it bad I didn't let him? I don't care if he runs around the house, but when it's not even remotely close to October, I think it's tacky to let him be Spiderman in public. Do I need to lighten up? I mean, he's FOUR. Then again, if you wear a costume all the time, Halloween time won't be so special, right?

Today he wants to be Buzz Lightyear. UGH.

Got one whole room and half another room done yesterday, today I am determined to get the game room and the boys' room done. Watch me go.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My box of succulent plants. Love them!

I'm pounding this house into shape. It WILL get done. I just have so many things going on, and every box is a new can of worms, so to speak. Hubby says "just do one room at a time, finish it, and move on" but I can't do that. I like to do a little here, a little there, and see progress in more than one place at a time! 

But I'll probably adhere to that philosophy pretty soon. I'm tired of the upstairs looking like a Level 3 Tornado ripped through--because my boys are living out of boxes. BAH.

It's been HOT lately. Today is 101 with a head index of about OHMYGOSH degrees. Nice, huh? I like waking up in the morning to five air quality/ozone alerts from the National Weather Service. Makes my day.

Okay, I'm being snarky. Time for the morning bowl of cereal and then I need to get cracking!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

You Know You're Getting Old When...

Or, out of shape or something. I have to say, during the whole move, I MOVED things. Heavy things. I was a pack mule. I lugged. I tugged. I lifted. I grunted. I strained and shuffled and all that fun stuff you do when you move. I even, with a friend (bless her) moved every single 50+ pound box of books from one house to another, without incident.

Not one problem.

Cut to last night, when I decided to enjoy a jog on the treadmill in the workout room, and I only went 30 minutes. This morning, my back is out. Or at least I tweaked it and the lower right side is VERY sore. Makes sitting uncomfortable.

Ironic, isn't it? I'll have to down the Advil and press on. I have stuff to hang today. I'm getting antsy because my walls are bare and I have to have stuff on them. Now that the first floor is unpacked and placed, it's time for FROU FROU. Plants, pictures, candlesticks, STUFF. Although I am very grateful we got a gorgeous box of succulents from one of Hubby's work colleagues as a housewarming gift, and it is PERFECT for my massive kitchen island. I just hope I don't kill them, because I'm a known plant killer. They are supposed to get a good soaking once a week, so every Tuesday I'm going to "Soak the Succulents." (Ha ha say that five times real fast!)

And now it's time to frou frou. At least for an hour or two. Then I need to go help my 4-year old unpack the rest of his toys. You'd think I would have done that already--he's been bugging me for DAYS...

Monday, August 01, 2011

I'm BACK!! I Moved!!

I know, I said I'd be back on the 25th--I am sorry. I intended to be back then, but since the move I've probably had 947466 people in my house at any given time, hooking up stuff, installing stuff, building, painting, fixing, landscaping, you name it.

We. Are. Done. Except for the built-in wood shelves, which will be installed a week from today, and the shutters for the windows, which (sob! I hate living in a fishbowl!) won't be in for another two weeks, we are done having people all through the house.

I can breathe. The boxes, which were a sea, have now tapered off to a pond, and I'm getting the unpacking done. Hubby has been fantastic. He took a few days off and I swear the man is an unpacking machine. The kids have been fantastic, when I MAKE them help, bwahahaha. I'm giving myself two more weeks, and I want to have things in their places, so I can focus on other things, like getting back to normal, running the house the way it's supposed to be run, writing, etc. And we aren't eating out much anymore, I've made it my goal to start cooking again. I think we lived on Chick Fil A and Salsaritas the entire move, and I'm sick of anything with a drive-thru window, now. I'm all about home-cooked meals again. Finally.

I'm not there, yet, but I'm getting there. But it feels good to blog again. Thanks for all the well wishes and support, and my awesome girlfriends who helped me out so much in the move. You know who you are! XOXO!

Man, it's good to be back.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


The Big Move is happening in 2 weeks, and although I won't be packing up my computer until next week, I still will be running around like a head with my chicken cut off. So, this blog is going on hiatus until July 25th. I know that's a long time. I'm sure all five of my readers are GREATLY disappointed, but sometimes Life happens. (And sometimes I procrastinate until the 2 weeks before something happens and have to runrunrun and not have time to even breathe. ;-) It's my own fault. I may still do Twitter updates occasionally, so if you want to follow them, you can find me on Twitter. (@Larawriter.)

So, stay tuned, and I'll see you all on the 25th of July!! Stay safe, have fun, be good!


Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Birthday, America!!!

Wow! 235 years old today! Young, but AWESOME. I am so glad I live here, and enjoy the freedoms I do. I thank God every day for a free nation, and for the men and women who fight to keep it that way.

HOORAY U.S.A.!!!!!

Friday, July 01, 2011

It's a Waffle Morning.

Hubby has today and Monday off, so we're going to make the most of it. Since we close in two weeks on the house, we are going to have FUN, interloped with "house stuff," which is only "sorta" fun. Although Thing Three put a crimp in our pool plans by applying ZERO sunscreen during his six-hour stint at the pool yesterday, and he's a crispy kid. So, taking the family to the pool or Carowinds is out. No sun until at least Monday for us! :-(

I just got back from a run, and I'm making waffles. Seems a little oxymoronish, doesn't it?

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wow. I Mean WOW.

Six bags. SIX huge hefty-thick construction grade black bags, full of clothes to go to Goodwill. I am amazed. Because I gave about 10 bags of clothes to Goodwill last year before our move, and that was from four years of living in the same house.

It has only been one year since then. I will admit, a lot of the clothing is winter clothing and heavy sweaters that we won't ever wear again, and if we ever have the chance they'll be so old we will want new ones--so all is good.
I guess I'm just amazed (and all you people with growing boys out there will empathize) at how quickly my boys go through clothes! They grow right out of them! Thing Two is growing like a weed. He grew three inches in the last year alone. Thing Three, well, he gets most of Thing Two's hand-me-downs because Thing Two is one of those boys who Doesn't Get His Clothes Dirty. The only problem we run into, is Things Two and Three have drastically different taste in clothing. Thing Two is all about polo shirts and khaki shorts, and Thing Three is all about SPORTS CLOTHES. Everything he has is t-shirts and sport shorts. Let's put it this way: Thing Two is POLO. Thing Three is ADIDAS.


It's starting to look bare in the house. It's weird. But it's necessary. We close in exactly two weeks! STRESS!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Boxes Boxes Boxes. And Patience.

My life is...boxes. While everyone leaves for their 4th-of-July vacations, I get to...pack boxes. My kids are packing boxes. If we had a dog, IT would be packing boxes. Alas, we have no dog. More boxes for me.

Thing Four (who just turned 4) is entering the "I Want To Do Everything Myself" phase. Getting dressed. Going to the bathroom (although I still draw the line at letting him wipe himself--um, not ready for that yet). Getting into the car himself. Getting his own drink of water. It's fine and all, but I am a highly impatient person, and waiting three and a half minutes for him to try and get his shorts zipped and snapped is BEYOND ANNOYING. Here is where, in my opinion, the Challenge of Motherhood comes in. Because you have to practice patience. Patience when it takes them ten minutes to get their own shoes on, and they end up getting frustrated anyway and whine and ask you to do it. Patience, when you need to getinthecarandzoomzoomzoom and they want to take the time to c-l-i-m-b up themselves and put themselves in the carseat and b-u-c-k-l-e it themselves and move turtle slow and yadda yadda yadda tear tear tear my hair out.

I'm so glad for moments like this. Because I have no patience, and Someone up there knows I certainly need to have my patience tried, in order to gain some. Because He's smart. Smarter than me.

Back to the boxes.Thing Four wants to pack a box "all by himself."

Give me patience please, because I want some right now now now!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Own Five Pairs of Scissors. Why Can't I Find Even ONE???

I am going to start calling my house the Bermuda Triangle. No, seriously. Because things go missing. Socks are the number one thing. Followed closely by--in fact, it's a tie--between Chip Clips and writing pens. Next comes ponytail elastics. And I know who the culprit is, because I only have one daughter. I think she eats them after she uses them, because I'll buy her a brand new package of 30 or so, and two weeks later she tells me she doesn't have any ponytail elastics.

Then the SCISSORS. Don't get me started on those. I have several pairs. I have Kitchen scissors. (Which, apparently, have been borrowed for everything EXCEPT kitchen stuff!) I have scissors in my desk drawer in my office. I have scissors in my drawer in the bathroom. I have scissors in the master bedroom, to cut all those pesky new clothes tags off.

But I also have the Holy Scissors. As in, they have "MOM'S SCISSORS DO NOT TAKE!" written all over them in black sharpie, and they are only for fabric projects, and they are the holiest of scissors--as in, it's very very VERY bad to swipe them. Swiping them incurs the Wrath Of Mom.

And they're all missing. Every single stinking pair.

Bermuda Triangle strikes again. Or rather, my CHILDREN. Who are very much in trouble. I think sometimes I truly get why my parents had a locked cupboard in the kitchen. At the time, I didn't understand it (or more like I was angry because I couldn't pick the lock!) but now, I get it. I am one step away...I will have a locked cupboard in my kitchen, and inside it I will have scissors, ponytail elastics, BOXES of writing pens, chip clips, iPod wall chargers, mechanical pencils, packs of gum and extra SOCKS. With a big ole' padlock on it. Bwahahahahahahahaaa!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

In Which Lara Becomes Jane.

And I'm finding myself surprisingly calm. Maybe because we're only moving ten minutes away this time. So, I'm calmer about it. Okay, maybe not so much, but only because I have so much CRAP.

Anyway, I decided I was sick of our dining table. It used to be this rich color, and over the years, it has faded in the sun to a not-so-lovely shade of ORANGE. See below:
See? ORANGE. Even the orange chairs. So, I looked at a few do-it-yourself-blogs (my fave was Being Brook but she needs to update! What has happened since the move???) And I decided to paint it. So, I dismantled the table legs and put the table in the garage on a couple of sawhorses. Then I went to the local Benjamin Moore and other assorted stores and bought these lovelies:
I am happy to announce I did ZERO sanding. Because it is messy and gritty and you can't lift your arms the next day and it is SO NOT FUN. So, I tinted the Zinsser primer, and painted a coat on the table and chairs. Can I say it was MAJORLY UNFUN to paint all the individual spindles? I think I will spray next time. Moving on....

Next I used the Benjamin Moore paint in the blue can. I love this stuff. I rolled it on with cheap foam rollers I bought at WalMart--because that's where I heard they were the cheapest, ha ha. I did two coats, and I have to say it looked really good. Although again, painting those #%&*!*!! spindles...

After waiting 24 hours for the coats to dry, I did two coats of the Minwax clear satin Polyurethane. And NOW look at my table and chairs:
A definite improvement, I'd say!

And it holds up really well because of the Polyurethane. Hey, I have three rambunctious boys and a teen-aged daughter--it needs to!

Go me. Just saved myself $2000 for a new table and chairs set. The whole refinish cost me about $250. Not too shabby! I think next time I might SPRAY the chairs, though. Infinitely easier. Live and learn, right? (Yes, Karen, I know you suggested spraying in the first place! You can do the "I-told-you-so" gloating thing!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm on Facebook. Yes, I Know, I Know. You Can All Collectively Roll Your Eyes!!

In the words of my friend Aimee, Hell has Frozen Over. Pigs now Fly.

I am now a member of Facebook! I only did it because, well, I guess you could say I bowed to the pressure. I guess it all boils down to the old adage "Never Say Never." (Yes, I stole that from Justin Bieber.)

Times change. Luddites get High Speed Internet. Lara Joins Facebook. It's a logical conclusion.

Oh, and just for funs, here is a conversation I had with Thing Three as I was driving him to scout camp this morning. (He was reading the labels on the Campbell's soup cans I let him take for the Camp Food Drive):

Thing Three: "Soup sounds kinda good right now, Mom."


Thing Three: "No, I did, I just like soup. But I especially love Clam Chowder. I like those chewy bits in the chowder. What are those?

Me: "Those would be the clams. Clams are chewy."

Thing Three: (Long pause) Those are...clams? I'm eating clams??? (shudders)

Me: "Why do you think they call it 'clam chowder?'"

Thing Three: "I don't know! But now I can't eat it knowing there are CLAMS in it! GROSS!"

Yeah. Kids make zero sense sometimes.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Christmas in June!

That's what it is. Freaking CHRISTMAS. Because I am opening up boxes I never opened up the LAST move (last year), and discovering all sorts of new and wondrous things I never knew I had. And what's sad? 90% of it is stuff I didn't miss and don't need. Off to Goodwill it goes!

My daughter (bless her) is having a rough time. She's just like her mommy. Pack rat-ish, and nostalgic to the core. She wants to save her school papers from the First grade. She wants to keep the banged-up jewelry box she had at age five that she hasn't looked at in three years, but recently dug up.

**Lara throws up hands in frustration**

That's what I get. She is, after all, a mini me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Junk is Having Babies. I Am So Not Kidding.

Those of you who have moved have certainly experienced this--you look at a room and think "Okay, I'm ready to pack this up! Shouldn't take long!" 30 boxes and 2 days later, it's still looks the same, and you are wondering why you have so much junk and why you ever had to save all those cards and school projects and clothes from college.

Seriously. I am experiencing this right now. What I don't understand, is I have been THROWING STUFF AWAY. Lots of it. Yet it either keeps coming back, or what I have is being fruitful and multiplying, because I still have a FERSHLUGGING MOUNTANEOUS TON OF CRAP.

And yes, it felt better to say that! Whew!

Deep breaths, Lara. Deep breaths...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just Call me Taz...

I know I've used this picture before, but this is ME, literally, getting the moving stuff done. The POD is 70% full. I've been meeting with contractors, dejunking, racking up the Goodwill donation receipts, and trying to function in other capacities, which isn't going over so bueno. Thing One is really helping out with her younger brother, and I am VERY grateful for that. Otherwise it would be Sponge Bob and Nick Jr., babysitting him for me. Yes, I will be collecting my Mom Of The Year award after this move...

Everything is going well otherwise! The kids are hanging out at the pool and with friends, Thing Three is in Scout day camp this week, and other than it being REALLY hot and humid outside, things are going well!

Then again, it's only Tuesday...