Sunday, July 27, 2008

I feel like I could sum up the week with one word: no.
We have some new extra friendly little neighbors ranging in age from 4-8 who like to come over often. Their requests are as varied as the times they come over and I find myself sounding like the same broken record...Here is a typical day.
knock, knock, me or the girls answer the door...
"Can we play?"
Sorry we can't play we have to get out of our P.J.s and get dressed...(maybe you should too.)
and so it continues throughout the day...
Sorry we can't play we have to do school.
"Can we do it with you?"
Sorry, we can't play we're having lunch.
"Can we have some too?"
Sorry, we can't play we're going to the library.
"We can come with you?"
Sorry we can't play we have to have dinner.
Can we eat with you?
Can we have some of those cookies?
Sorry we can't play we are getting ready for bed.
"Can we have a sleepover?"
Is that the only word I know is NO?
NO!! I say Yes plenty of times during the day when it is okay to play and I let them in. However, even then we get the same scenario...
Can I have a popsicle? Is it snacktime? Can I feed baby Cannon some crackers? and of course the answer is guessed it, Heck NO.

I will say these kids have the skills needed for success in life: confidence, persistence, and the ability to make requests. I gotta hand it to 'em for that.

Also, I should add that last year when I was sick and pregnant I sent my kids out knocking on doors in the neighborhood hoping someone would let them come over to play. I had some very compassionate friends that helped me out a ton!!

Anyway--kids are funny. When Kate found out about the holiday last week she said, "What do you do on Pioneer Day...go for long walks?" We did celebrate a little that day---but not by walking. Pa did some fiddling and we read a story about the pioneers crossing the plains. Adrie said, "We didn't walk across the plains. We DRIVED across the plains."

Brynn gave the family night lesson tonight. She found some magazine pictures of a boy doing various activities and she made up her own doctrine that went like this: "When Jesus was a little boy he liked playing with puppies, and coloring dinosaur pictures, and going to the robot museum.

UPDATE: neighbor mom came and talked to me about her little escapees. They now have to have a note/permission slip from their mom in order to be able to come over and play. aah...routine is setting in.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Practically Perfect Pet

My sister drove up from AZ to get her daughter settled into life as a freshman at the Y. On the way they stopped to visit us and spend the night. I love it when my fashion-forward nieces come to visit so I can learn the latest trends in hair-styling. Okay, what I did this morning was actually more like spying. I hung around the bathroom watching as my neice teased her hair this way, then that way, and pretty soon she was looking like a runway model. I wonder if I can duplicate that look on myself tomorrow....
Anyway, this blog is not about hair trends--it is about dogs. Our guests brought with them a litter...yes an actual brood of the cutest little bitty playful puppies you have ever seen--well contained in a laundry basket with towels. They are called "Yorkies" and on the trip up they are going to give them to a "dealer" we'll say, who will sell them for some good money.

Here it is folks--the perfect pet. They are a special breed that is extra intelligent. That means they won't jump on your leg and mistake you for one of their own kind. They are very friendly and cuddly--great for kids. In fact they didn't even mind all the neighbor kids coming over to swarm them, pass them around, and love them up. They enjoyed it and showed it with lots of licking and nuzzling! Also--this is key--they do not shed. Who knew a dog could be hypoallergenic? So you can't use the excuse--"sorry kids, no dog for us, I am allergic to pets." Also, they don't bark--they can,of course, they just choose not to. They don't feel like it. They just feel like being friendly and cuddly and quiet and fun and perfect all the time. Pretty soon they'll be bred not to eat or poop.

Who wouldn't want one of these little guys?

Well, fork over the $. They are $750 for the males and $1100 for females. And, because they are such social creatures it's a good idea to buy a couple of them so they can entertain each other.

These little puppies have paid for 2 missionaries, and they are sending another one to college.

What an investment...start yours today.

Note: wait until your last baby is at least 2 years old. Babies and puppies need lots of love and you wouldn't want either of them coming up short. You might end up with babies chewing up your favorite shoes.

BONUS: Kate and Adrie almost overcame their extreme dogaphobia with these. They actually touched them.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Well, it's only fair that I tell a little something about my brothers after the sisters post. Besides, you've only heard half the fun. My 3 brothers are all older than me, they live on opposite sides of the country and I only really see them once/year for family reunions. I know they all embrace the philosophy PLAY HARD. That must be a reaction from growing up WORKING HARD in the family orchard (ha, I never had to be a part of that) and paper routes, (or that) but I do have some good memories of how they spoiled me growing up....well maybe some of them.Allen is about 18 yrs. my senior. He is like a Renaissance man who can do a little of anything: play the piano, run a successful business, fix a leaky faucet, ski a black diamond. He lives the religion of recreation so I wasn't surprised when my mom told me recently that he rented a Harley and drove through the West. He has a great wife and family.
He's always been very generous to the family. He WAS Santa growing up. He bought me my first bike--a yellow banana seat. He sent me a pair of Girbaud's --which you just had to have in Jr. High if you wanted to fit in.

He has a daughter 3 yrs. younger than me and every summer he would send me a plane ticket to join them. I have him to thank for many a fun adventure: skiing at Snowbird, river rafting the Colorado, Salmon fishing in the Puget Sound, hiking to glaciers on Mt. Ranier, Fine Dining atop the Seattle Spaceneedle, High Tea in Victoria, Canada, and sailing through the San Juan Islands.
Robert: Here's a guy you can feel safe with. He was a Navy SEAL for 10 yrs. and a SEAL trainer after that. He is quiet and likes his privacy so he wouldn't be happy with me for mentioning the above. I only got this picture secretly--thanks to the 10x zoom feature on my camera.
Because of his military benefits we have him to thank for those glorious days of family reunions on the beach in Coronado--I think that must be Spanish for heaven on earth.

My favorite memory of him is when I was staying with my sister in VA. He drove up to spend a whole day with ME. He said he would take me anywhere I wanted to go and do anything, (I was about 14) WOW...anything? I chose to see the Holocaust Museum that had just opened in D.C. He didn't complain but I remember him saying that this is just one museum dedicated to one people who have suffered but there are things like that going on all over the world that people don't even know about. One time when my sister was complaining about being poor he retorted, "There are no poor people in America. Poverty is when you sell your children." If he weren't so private I'm sure he would have some stories to tell. He also has a great wife and family.

Dave: No one should have a brother 9 yrs older than them without a buffer in between. Swirlies, wedgies, noogies, I've had them all. If you don't know what any of those are you can count your lucky stars. How about being hung by my underwear over the banister and me screaming "put me down" and so he did and I went klunking down the stairs. Then there is the famous story of the mousetraps. Dave booby-trapped the bathroom with mousetraps then put me in it without any shoes, turned off the light, and shut the door. He loves to tell the story of how I howled for help then gave up and when it was silent, "ka-Ching!" went the first mousetrap.
I had short whispy barely there hair when I was little. One time on the bus a man said, "Hi Dave is this your little brother?" I was humiliated but to make it worse Dave said, "Yes, this is "Jim." and that's how he would introduce me to everyone.

Okay, so he has apologized for all those mean things and I've forgiven him and he's a lot better brother now. He is just newly out there in the world as an official Dr. of Podiatry. He hasn't "settled down" yet--meaning there is no wife with a house and picket fence. He is too busy traveling and having "fun." Several times a year he goes down to Mexico with a group of doctors and provides medical services to the needy. One of these days I would like to come along--if only to offer my meager services of Spanish translation.
So, you can see I was spoiled and persecuted all at the same time thanks to my brothers. Now TAG you're it. Sometime on some post I'd like to see what you'd say about your brothers...or sisters...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A little questionnaire cold cocoa sent my way...

1. What is your favorite day of the week: FRIDAY. All routine goes to the wind we do whatever. I don't cook and it's date night.
2. What is your favorite candybar? Reese's Peanut Butter cups RULE!
3. What is your favorite restaurant? Chinese: Mountain City in SLC but I like anything new and ethnic.
4. Favorite fast food? Local greasy spoons--always have the best fries and malts.
5. What city in UT would you most like to live? American Fork--has all my favorite shopping stops nearby plus a temple, view of mountains, and fairly close to airport.
6. Would you rather get flowers or a pint of ice cream from your hubby? Flowers. I love them.
7. Would you rather be an anchorwoman or an owner of a small shop? Anchorwoman--although I'm afraid I would laugh at inappropriate times or cry at the sad stories or get mad at politicians. Really, I'd just be in it for the hair and makeup artists.
8. Magazine editor or prosecution lawyer in the big city? Neither. Doctor something--think Addison on Grey's Anatomy.
9. Favorite household chore? Laundry. I love my whirlpool duet HE front loaders--they make the job so fun.
10. Least favorite? Everything else. Ironing stinks.
11. Favorite cereal? Waffle Crisp, Fruity Pebbles. Healthy:Basic 4, Nature Valley Crunchy (comes in the green box on the top shelf)
12. Favorite season? SUMMER
13. What is your favorite active activity? Tennis, shopping, traveling, water sports.
14. Favorite leisure activity? being on the beach, browsing a magazine.
15. Do you take vitamins? Liquid Iron and B vitamins from Germany--they're nasty.
16. How many tickets? Symphony tickets? I wish. Traffic tickets? 2 --on the way to the temple even!!
17. What does your retirement bring? Travellllllllllll, mission, good health
18. What talent you want to have? composing music, public speaking.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


My 2 sisters and I were able to get together and spend Father's Day with our Dad. I think he was glad to have us. He doesn't like anyone to fuss over him or spend money on him. So, on these occasions when it comes to present-opening time it makes him feel better if we explain "Oh I just found that in the closet or at D.I." We had to laugh this time when Mom said that and Rayanne was with us because for her, just the opposite is true. When you give Rayanne a gift you say, "This was full price at Nordstroms."

I love having sisters. We all live far apart but we try to get together at least once a year for some bonding. We are all very different in age, personality, and looks but we have a lot of fun together...when we're not strangling each other's necks.

Rayanne is the oldest. She was engaged when I was born so I was always a little kid to her and forever will be. Rayanne is classy, artistic and beautiful. She enjoys the fine things of life...fine clothes, fine food, fine... ironically she hasn't had such fine taste in men and that has led to some challenges over the years.

She's the one that introduced me to pedicures and brow waxes. She is very fun to be with and loves a good party. One time when I was in High School we went to the mall together and I saw a shirt that I thought was so cute but quickly dismissed it (because it was full price at Nordstroms.) The next day that shirt was hanging in my closet. She is so generous and loves to surprise people like that.

Rayanne remembers everyone's birthday. She has a great sense of humor and creativity and she uses both of them to make fun family scrapbooks. She is up for almost any activity--minus thrift store shopping and Latin dancing--she didn't like being oggled the last time we went--we warned her not to wear that hot pink cocktail dress--she spent the evening in the car. Anyway, she is a fabulous dancer and really ripped up the floor at her daughter's wedding. For her 50th birthday she went skydiving.

Shannon is 15 yrs. older than me . She is the talkative health-nut practical one, event planner. We have her to thank for pulling off my parents big 50th anniversary. She is also beautiful and she knows how to accessorize every outfit. Can you believe she doesn't even have to wear makeup to look like that. She attributes her great skin to her healthy diet of non-preservatives.

Growing up, she was the one that threw her body in front of the scissors when my mom threatened to give me that short boy hair cut that was not cool in elementary school. She was the one that begged my mom to let me get my ears pierced so I wouldn't look like a little boy with my thin whispy hair. She thought I should be named Amanda and that is what she called me as a baby. She liked to stroll through the mall with me and pretend I was hers just to shock the old ladies.

I used to visit her every weekend when she was newly married and in college. How many newlyweds would let their little sisters do that? It seems like I got sick and threw up every time--still not sure why that was??? Anyway, like Rayanne, we would go shopping together and she would also buy me the shirt I admired but unlike Rayanne, she made me WORK for it. I'm not sure it was worth scrubbing her entire bathroom for those stylin' stirrup pants.

Shannon has also had her share of challenges. She is amazing because she always overcomes them and becomes stronger. She is a great mom to her 5 children. She has no fear of standing up for what she believes and she's very spiritual. It is uncanny that every time I have a problem or need to talk the phone rings and it's Shannon. It never ceases to amaze me that she has that connection.
Travel is her drug of choice. All of us seem to have inherited the travel bug from our adventuresome mom.

So, what am I? The baby, the spoiled rotten youngest child that never got punished and got everything I wanted? Maybe so but I think my older sisters could be to blame for that.

I'm glad my girls have each other. They are also very different from each other and they too have lots of fun together... when they're not strangling each other's necks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


This is the canal that runs through town. To the adult eye it may look dirty, mud-sludged, contaminated. Want to swim in it? Ew gross--there are floaties and probably rats and bugs and diseases to be contracted. The local teens, however, say there is a lot of fun to be had in there. So yesterday I joined them. We jumped in with some inner tubes and floated down the canal for a church youth activity.

It was quite a fun float until we got to the part where the canal passed under the freeway. If ever a freeway seemed long and wide... We floated under a dark tunnel with only about a 2 ft. clearance overhead. In the dim light we could see the walls crusted with swallows nests. Above us were faint whispy spiderwebs. My imagination ran wild with thoughts of creepy crawlies dropping down on me. The slighest tickle sent me screaming and if the girls ahead started screaming then I would scream and so it was until we finally came out into full daylight again. Ickkkkkk. . . but spider free.

We ended our voyage at the park. Climbing up the steep embankments, however, was no easy task. We were grabbing onto weeds only to have the current pull us down and rip the weeds out of our hands. How were we going to get out? This is the part of the story where my little girls eyes widened. A man with long black hair, earrings, and tattoos pulled us out of the canal. It was true. Our leader's son had driven us to our drop-off point and then drove to the park where he waited to pick us up. He was the unlikely hero that rescued us. Moral: Guys with tattoos can be very good.

I came home smelling just a little swampy and reeking of inner tubes. I had fun though. I seem to be free of parasites and I have a new appreciation for men with tats.