Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Name That Blog Contest

This family is getting a new home. So this blog needs a new name. And you are just the person to name it.

Here are the rules:
the name must embrace our new island home.
the name must not embarrass me or my mom.
the name should be catchy, but not too cheezy (a little cheese is okay)
5 word max (or close)
Enter as many times as you like.

The lucky winner will recieve this amazing prize:
one plastic authentic Hawaiian (made in China) lei, one small paper umbrella, one baggie of actual Hawaiian sand.

This can all be yours if your suggestion becomes the name of this blog. Please leave your ideas in the comment secion.

*** because of the move logistics it may be a while before I get another chance to blog. My goal is to blog one more time from a neighbor's house before we go.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I am sneaking in a blog post at the library while the girls are at their last piano lesson. I feel like I am in the middle of a Disney Channel teen show. There is a middle school one block from the library, which turns the youth section into a big acterschool day-care program for big kids. They are loud and rude and use bad words. The poor librarians are always barking out things like: walk, walk in the library, find a place to sit down, careful, etc.

Our computer is all boxed up, along with the rest of our household goods. Tomorrow everything will be stowed in big wooden crates in preparation for their voyage across the sea.

The movers have been great - very clean and professional. One of the packers is an older woman named Joyce who reminds me of my Grandma Faye a couple of years ago. She just bustles along, and has steadily packed up the entire living room, kitchen, and upstairs bedrooms.

With her putting in a full day's work, I have felt a bit guilty just sitting around like a lump. So today I baked chocolate chip cookies, vacuumed the couches and the rugs, wiped down all the dining room chairs, and cleaned the blinds in the kitchen area.

Last week I was feeling such stress about getting everything all sorted out, but now I am calm and cool. We have our bags packed, a guide book to the islands, and our plane tickets to Hawaii. But, it all still seems a little fuzzy.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

We Believe in Being Honest

Will Rogers said - Live so that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.

Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving. - President Faust

Here is where I have honesty problems: I hate to be embarrassed and prefer to make up a story then get busted. I also have a tendancy to not speak up when I should. Luckily I have little kids to keep me in line. Not too long ago we were at WalWart and after filling our cart, then unloading each item onto the conveyer belt while keeping the gum out of John's hands and hair, we paid for our loot and headed to the car.

At the car I buckled Emily and John in their seats (not a small task) and unloaded the groceries when I noticed a pack of stickers stuck to the seat of the cart. I knew that I had not paid for the stickers but I did not want to go back into that black hole of a store. Emily also saw that the stickers were not in a shiney white bag and asked if we had paid for them. I cannot sneak anything past that girl. So I unbuckled the kids, loaded them back in the cart and got back in line (giving in to the begging for gum this time) and paid for the stickers. I'm glad I did, but I remember thinking it wouldn't have really mattered to the store if I had just taken them. Maybe it wouldn't have hurt WaWa's bottom line, but who knows, it could have led me down the slippery slope to armed robbery and hard time.

Another time I was shopping at Sam's Club (that guy may as well just direct deposit nathan's check right into their register.) It was late, Nathan was deployed, and I had all the kids. Looking back, this was when John was a baby, and taking all the kids to the store would give me palpatations (I'm usually better now.) As I checked out I clicked the button for cash-back. But I left the story without the mullah. I didn't notice until I had the kids in bed, and by then it was too late to do anything, and Nathan was too far away to ask for help. (I should mention that this was the 2nd time this had happened in a few months and I was sooooooo embarrassed about it)

In the morning I was trying to decide if it was worth it to take my crumpled reciept into the store and ask for cash (would they think I was running a cash-back-scam and blacklist me?) when the phone rang. It was an accountant from Sams' who found a problem with a register - it had $40 too much at the end of the night, and she had noticed that I had asked for that amount, and did I recieve it. I told her that I didn't get the money, but hadn't know what to do. She was very nice, and honest, and made me feel like I wasn't too big of a dork. I just had to go in and pick up the money, no questions asked.

There is honesty and decency in the world.

Chosing to be honest when no one is looking is the best.

I hope I don't get the shakey voice during my talk tomorrow.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Today I am thankful for packers. And tape. And cardboard.

I am thankful for leftover rolls.

I am thankful for a blue sky and bubbles and sidewalk chalk.

I am thankful for good friends who are willing to loan us a car, feed us, and take our junk. (I wonder if they will mind if I blog over there next week?)

I need a nap.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Weight Loss Wednesday

I'm not a weight loss expert, and I am wondering why I am writing this today. Maybe just to remind myself what to do. Tomorrow is the big day. There is so much tradition in Thanksgiving, and it can be the start of a dangerous eating season for me. Here is how I am planning to make the most of my day tomorrow -

First I plan to get up early and run - I may even try a little 5K Turkey Trot. Then I will eat my usual breakfast, and I will avoid morning snacking. It helps that we are joining friends for lunch, so most of the food will not be passing through my hands on the way to the table. And the leftovers will not be in my refridgerator.

I will not make 7 layer chip dip, and I will not dip carrots in ranch dressing. But when it is time for the Thanksgiving Feast, I will enjoy it. I will not be on a "diet". I will eat what looks good until I am full. And maybe even beyond full. Then I will have a piece of pie. With whipped cream.

The danger for me is after the meal. The cold turkey on a roll with cranberry sauce. Followed by just a bit of stuffing. Which leads me to a tiny slice of pie. The sweetness of the pie will lead me to a salty snack of crackers with cheese, which will then require me to eat a bit of sweet potatoes. So my plan is to avoid the after dinner snacking by taking a nap and then packing my bags for Hawaii.

I will be brave. I will say "No Thank You!" and "I can't - I'm full!" and "That was delish, one slice was enough for me!"

I will also remember the waste/waist principle. Either you will waste some food or it will end up on your waist. Don't be afraid of wasting - there is no clean plate club.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I am steaming mad. Arg!

I just got off the phone with a punk named Marino at Qwest, our phone carrier, and was told that I am not authorized to disconnect our service because my name is not on the account. That really makes me mad. For one thing, I am the one who switched us over from a local company to Qwest. Really. I am the one who called this spring and made a change to our service. How can I not be on the account? They are happy enough each month to accept a check with MY signature.

What if Nathan was deployed to an undisclosed location right now and I wanted to change to a different phone company? Would I have to fax in my power of attorney to get a little respect? I am an invisible housewife. I need a life. I think I am going to have to get a job. Or a credit card in my name.

Stink. Chickens. Fudge.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Boring Stuff

A woman saved her 5 children from an apartment fire, including 4 week old twins. I thought this was a great story of courage and bravery. And I hope I would be as level headed in an emergency. But I especially liked how her son discribed her:

"She was never really that brave before,” 10-year-old Umar Naseer said about his mother. “Before she was always worried about stuff like nutrition and all this boring stuff. Now she was saving our lives.”

I love that kid.

My computer time is up, and I need to get on with all that boring stuff!


I have been getting up before the sun and wearing earmuffs and mittens to keep me from getting frostbite (actually, this week was warmer than I expected.) And so far I have run 31 of my 75 miles. I still have 44 miles to go. I think I can. I think I can.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Book Club

This month's book was Persuasion by Jane Austen. It is a book that I read long ago in our little apartment in Modesto. Reading it again really made me nostalgic for that magical time of new marriage, and new baby.

I love that this book is mostly about every day life. The little things that make a life. There were a couple little scenes that stood out to me.

The first is when Anne is staying at her sister Mary's house, helping take care of Mary's little boy who was hurt in a fall. One day Anne had knelt by the couch taking care of him, when his 2 year old brother came in and "he began to fasten himself upon her, in such a way that, busy as she was about Charles, she could not shake him off. She spoke to him - ordered, intreated, and insisted in vain." Capt. Wentworth and Mary's cousin-in-law were also in the room with Anne. The cousin was no help, and I'm sure Anne was embarrassed and feeling awkward. But then Capt. Wentworth removes the little guy from around her neck. It left Anne speachless. Such a sweet little picture.

Last Sunday I was putting some things away in my church bag when John came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my neck. He threw me off balance and it made me think of Anne.

I also like the Christmas scene at the Musgrove's home. The children are home from school and the home is full of noise and action. "Anne, judging from her own temperament, would have deemed such a domestic hurricane a bad restorative of the nerves,...but Mrs. Musgrove (said) that after all she had been through, nothing was so likely to do her good as a little quiet cheefulness at home."

Domestic Hurricane. Hmmmm. Sounds familiar...

One last thought: Capt. Wentworth found that his friends thought he was engaged to Louisa. And though he did not love her, he realized that she might think they were engaged, too. He later told Anne "I was hers in honour if she wished it." He had gone on a couple of walks with Louisa, and that was enough for them to be considered an "item". Isn't that crazy? When I had just finished reading the book, I caught a bit of a TV show. The guy on the show was trying to get back together with the girl, and she said something along the lines of "it's not like you owe me anything, we just slept together once, it's not a relationship or anything." Where is that honor today?

I had fun hosting our book club, and it was a relief that there were two other girls there besides Amanda and me. Good conversation, and good eats. I'm going to miss Amanda and her book talk.

Next up for our book club is Little Women. I think I will pack it in my carry on. Books are still ok, right?

Friday, November 17, 2006

1 down 2 to go and a ?

Our first shipment of stuff headed off today. This is a quick shipment of items that we can use to get us through until our big shipment of crap, er, I mean furniture and clothes and all the other stuff comes. I have had a really hard time knowing what to send. The base there allows you to check out necessities (beds, chairs, kitchen items, etc) until your household goods arrive, so what else do I really need?

I sent the kids' bikes, Nathan's scuba stuff, some toys and books, towels, kitchen items, and clothes. It took all of three boxes. I have a feeling we are under our 500 pound limit. The movers arrived at a quarter to 8 (while I was putting Emily's hair up in a ponytail) and finished up by 8am. Speedy!

Next up:
Book Club Meeting
then Luau
then Nathan comes home from Vegas
then Thanksgiving
then Talk in Church
then Packers #2 (big shipment)
then Hannah has a "rockin'" party
then Packers #3 (long term storage)
then we clean
then we mooch off of some friends
then off we go

I have a little question. On December 2nd, the day after all of our storage stuff is gone, our Squadron is having their annual Winter Formal. This year's event will be held at Mt Rushmore - they will light up the 4 big guys for us and it will be just beautiful. I love this kind of thing. The guys get to wear their Mess Dress Uniforms, the girls get all fancied up, and there is all kinds of protocol for what to wear and who sits by who and all that stuff. But Nathan does not really love this kind of thing. He says it's up to me if we go, but I know he really means: please don't make me do this.

So, should I make him get all duded up and take me out on the town? Or should I be practical and remember that we will be tired and grouchy and should just stay home? He'll be a good sport about it if I make him go, but it will also create a few problems for me: what do I wear, hair appointment, fingernail trama, etc.

Here is a picture from the last one we went to, 2 years ago. (scary arm) That dress is too big this year and I felt like it was not quite formal enough (Is it possible to find a fancy scmancy dress with sleeves if you don't live in Utah?) And doesn't Nathan look cute? He would get to add some ribbons to his manly chest this year.

So what do you think? I think I have to RSVP today.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Weight Loss Wednesday

I like the idea of a daily theme, but I have been a little too lazy to figure out a weekly schedule for my blog. So today is Weight Loss Wednesday, and maybe in a week I will do another Weight Loss Wednesday or maybe not.

I always like Wednesday, because every letter in my name is in Wednesday. I still spell it by thinking to myself "Wed-nes-day". I could make each Wednesday Wendy's Day and write all about myself, but it is always Wendy's Day around here, so I'll try weightloss (is it one word or two?) for today.

I really like the kind of people who get pregnant and just gain enough weight to get a bit of a bump, and then are back into their old jeans in a few weeks. I also hate those kind of people - that is so unfair. I am not that kind of girl. I am the kind of pregnant girl who gains a bit too much weight, and since I'm short, the weight settles all over - my arms, my face, my hiney, even my feet. Then I lose some weight, but never all of it. When I start to wear real clothes again, something strange happens and I start to gain more weight. The pattern continues again with getting pregnant, getting sick, losing 10 pounds, gaining 40# and so on.

I was able to lose the baby weight and then some after Emily (baby #3) was born. But then I got pregnant with John. I didn't get as sick as I had with the girls, and I gained enough weight that I outweighed Nathan at the end of the pregnancy. My doctor would say during each visit: "It looks like you had a healthy weight gain this week." I think he meant I was getting fat.

Since I was able to lose the weight after Emily, I thought I would be able to do it after John was born. Wrong-o. For 2.5 years I tried. I really wanted to lose the weight but I just. couldn't. do. it. And all around me were these cute little moms. All the little girls in the squadron wives group are the kind that barely even wear maternity clothes and then look all hott when the baby is about 2 weeks old (I'm not kidding - at a recent meeting a girl came in a tight sexy black dress carrying her <1 month old, I thought maybe she was the nanny. I was wrong.) And the ladies at church are young and cute with slender legs and cute skirts. I wanted to be like that, but I needed help.

This time last year Nathan was getting ready to deploy and I was feeling fat. I wore a size 12 and I had the "muffin top" effect, where my belly rolled over the waistband of my jeans like the top of a cupcake. Yuck. But I had a plan.

This is a little embarrassing. Please don't make fun of me to my face. Really. This is hard for me. Okay, here's goes:

The day after Nathan deployed (he left the day after Christmas last year, so on Dec. 27th) I walked into my first Weight Watcher's meeting. I felt silly. I mean, only old ladies go to Weight Watchers, right? But I did not turn and run out the door, I paid my money and got weighed. And I just have to say that there is something very motivating about having a stranger weigh you. We don't have a scale, so I didn't have any idea of what I weighed, and I remember thinking it actually wasn't too bad.

146.4 pounds. I am short, just under 5'2" and 146 is a lot for me, over the weight range for WW, but not actually obese. So I read all the stuff, and started counting points and tracking my eating. I lost 5 pounds in the first week. Then 5 more before February. I set my weight goal at 125 pounds and I figured I could get there in just a couple more weeks. I felt great. My clothes fit better. My neck looked better. I was starting to be able to fit into my "real" clothes. Then my weightloss slowed down. By Spring Break I had lost another couple pounds, weighing in at 133.

I went to visit my parents and help my sister shop for a wedding dress. Everyone made a big deal about how great I looked and I felt terrific, but I didn't tell them about Weight Watcher's. I am such a liar. I was just embarrassed - I mean, I should have been able to lose the weight on my own, and I didn't want to admit that I needed help. Sorry Mom. I didn't tell Nathan either.

I worked really hard and lost 5 more pounds before Nathan came home in early May. That was fun! I weighed 127 pounds. I went shopping for cute girl clothes. Nathan was suprised. That's all about that.

I still had 2 pounds to lose before I was at my goal, but I was stuck. With Nathan home I had to start fixing real dinners, and I had to figure out how to eat again. I am a competive eater - if he's still eating, I want to eat. If he's having seconds, I want seconds... I stopped losing, but I was really proud of myself for not gaining 5 pounds - I've done that before.

I didn't gain, but I also didn't lose. I spent the summer going up and down from 125.5 to 128 pounds. I considered changing my goal to 127. But I gave myself one more month. And finally, in September, I made it! Hip Hip Hooray!

I weigh about 125 pounds. I feel comfortable here - I could lose another 20 pounds and still be in my weight range, but I think this is just right for me. I feel way more confident and less frumpy. I wear a size 4 or 6 dress, and I have had a lot fun shopping for my new self. My next purchase will be a swimsuit for Hawaii.

Two weeks ago I became a Weight Watcher's Lifetime Member. Go Me! That means I need to weigh in monthly, and I can go to meetings for free as long as I stay within 2 pounds of my goal. I need the on-going support so I am planning to attend meetings atleast once a month, and I want a bathroom scale for Christmas so that I won't let the weight creap up on me.

So that's my weightloss story for today. Next time I will discuss favorite weightloss sites and tips. Thanks for not laughing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Do I Look Any Different To You?

Beta Blogger seems fine. It wasn't too hard to switch, but I haven't taken the time to get to know any of the extra features yet. Any tips?

Monday, November 13, 2006

2 Blick Keys

Hannah has been taking piano lessons with Miss Maria for about two and a half years, and Sydney has been taking lessons for a year. Miss Maria is a strict piano teacher from the Ukraine. She is serious and she is a great teacher, with a bit of an accent (most of her vowels are pronounced as "i" - Nathan attended a lesson with Sydney when Miss Maria was showing Sydney how to play a song on "Two Blick Keys" - whenever I mention Miss Maria to Nathan he copies her in a high voice - "Seednee, two blick keys.") Sorry Miss Maria.

When Hannah first started lessons she loved Miss Maria, but her attitude about piano lessons has been going down hill for about the last 6 months. A bad attitude is more contagious than Chicken Pox, and it has spread to Sydney. Bribery worked this summer, but Armadillo's Ice Cream lost its magic when school started.

Recently Miss Maria called to let me know that Sydney was unwilling to play for her during her lesson time, and she asked if I could come and observe the next week (wick.) When I took violin lessons my mom always had to stay and take notes, but that is not something that Miss Maria has asked me to do. For the last couple of years I have spent the lesson time at the library or running errands or getting ice cream, but I have really enjoyed attending piano lessons for the last few weeks.

Being in the lessons is kind of like spying. I am much more aware of what the girls are supposed to be working on. Many days when they practice they just fly through their songs without concentrating on the bits that need a little extra polishing. But now I know that Hannah needs to work on her posture and that Sydney should be playing a scale every day just so. I'm not sure if the girls think this is a good thing, but I have enjoyed it!

Hannah and Sydney both seem to be enjoying piano lessons more lately, since I started going with them. Hannah is a little less sullen, and Sydney says Miss Maria is nicer when I am there. I think that is a good start. We will miss Miss Maria, but when we move I am hoping to find a piano teacher that Hannah and Sydney can really connect with - I think that will be the difference between them quitting and excelling.

I remember having a violin teacher I hated (she had scary facial hair.) That's pretty much when I stopped playing. I don't want that to happen yet to Hannah.

Those pictures are from the Halloween Recital. The girls played beautifully spookily!


Today's Run 3 miles. 53 miles to go.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday is Special Day

We had a few extra kids here for the day. My 4 + 5 borrowed kids = 9 children! I had one 18 month old, one 3 year old, one 4 year old, two 5 year olds, one 7 year old, two 8 year olds, and one 12 year old. Thank goodness for that 12 year old - I would never have gotten a shower if Hannah hadn't been here to keep an eye on the cutest little 18 month old around.

I was worried that the kids would get bored and make big messes and I didn't want the TV on all day, so I arranged our day like Super Nanny and had a plan. Indoor playtime until 10am, Outside until lunch (or until your toes start to freeze), Quiet Time, Craft time, Outside until dark, Dinner! I think it worked out really well; we had just a few tears (mostly about snow down shirts), but no blood or big arguments or big messes.

I set out different toys in different areas so that every toy wouldn't be crammed into one bedroom creating chaos and war. The biggest hit was the Puppet Show. My sister Mary made the puppet stage for us a few years ago. Thanks Mary! The big kids used it first and made posters to announce their big production, set out chairs for an audience, and collected pennies for tickets. So cute!

It takes a lot of time to get 8 kids bundled up and ready to play in the snow. By the time I started putting mittens on the last one, the first ones out were trying to come back in. Waaa!

We came in for hot cocoa and lunch, then the baby and I both had a nap (a few minutes of shut-eye for me was very refreshing.) But by about 4pm everyone seemed to be heading toward a breakdown, including me. So we cleaned up the painting and playdough and headed back outside. Ah, fresh air! It really clears your head and calms the nerves. Just the thing to get us through 'til dinner.

Pizza Deliver is a true blessing. Otherwise we would have been lucky if we had some broth without any bread.

It was a fun, fun day. Fun and exhausting. Our friends have gone home, my little ones smell like strawberry shampoo, and the lights are out. Good Night!

Friday, November 10, 2006

This place is a dump. My husband has been gone for a week, and we have somehow managed to trash each and every room of our house. How did that happen?

It is time for a To Do list: (I love "to do" lists. Nathan thinks they are silly - he likes to add one item to the top of my list: "Make a list". He thinks that is so funny. He will even cross it off for me. Silly boy!)

Make a list
Move along the laundry
Take a nap
Make a mitten matching game for John
Pluck my eyebrows
Wash special-wash laundry
Straighten up the desk
Make a snow angel
Go Running (it snowed last night, I slept in, but the day is not over yet)
Fix dinner - ravioli? grilled chicken? nachos?
Play Hide and Seek

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The leaves are almost gone here, and though we have had a few days of Indian Summer this week, winter is in the air today. Earlier in the fall we raked up a big pile of leaves to jump in, but I never bagged it up, and most of them have just blown away! Autumn in South Dakota!

Yesterday my mom wrote an email about fall leaves and it reminded me of something. On the grounds of their beautiful Hood River home, my parents had several big Horse Chestnut Trees. These were enormous old trees with a huge trunk, big leaves, and odd pokey balls. In her email my mom mentioned that those trees seemed to lose all their leaves over night. She mentioned the time a friend slept over, and the next morning when she headed to her car, it was completely buried in leaves. Reading about those leaves reminded me of something so strange, that I have wondered if I really saw it, or if I just imagined it.

My old room at that home had windows around 3 sides, and some branches of the tree came right up to the house there. In this picture all those windows on the 2nd floor were my room, and you can see the big tree to the left of the house - it's branches over and above the roofline.

I was visiting my parents one fall when Hannah was a baby, and we were staying in my old room. The sun was up, but Hannah was still sleeping, and I knew if I moved she would wake up. I was being held captive in my day-bed by a 10 pound little girl! The only thing to do was cuddle down look out the window.

The big leaves of that chestnut tree had turned yellow, and I started to notice something odd. Leaves were starting to fall off the tree, but they were not being blown off. And they didn't just drop off, they seemed to wiggle off, one at a time.

The leaves of the chestnut tree are like fingers - 5 leaves joined together on one thick stem - here is a picture of the leaves and the chestnut pods:

There was no wind that morning, but every couple seconds one leaf would kind of lift itself up by the stem, and then it would release from the branch and fall down. I watched this happen over and over again, with baby Hannah snoring next to me. It was amazing. Later in the day I noticed that the tree was almost bare and the ground around the tree was covered in leaves.

I have never seen anything like that since then and I have wondered if I was dreaming. But I KNOW it happened, and reading the note from my mom about those trees losing their leaves all on one day makes me think I'm not (too) crazy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Look at Me! I did it!

This may come as a surprise to you, but I am not a computer genius. Seriously. I just spent 5 hours trying to make a CD for Hannah. She has been working on a slideshow for Young Women in Excellence, which is tonight. She has edited pictures, put them in order, chosen transions and music, and typed in captions. She and Nathan were supposed to finish it up together, but for some reason they didn't get it done. Waaaaa.

Last night Hannah finished up the final touches on her slideshow, and at about 10 o'clock, I sent Hannah to bed and told her I would burn the CD. I have never burned a CD. I have never even worked with the photo program she was using. But I jumped right in.

I tried saving. I read Help. I thought I had it, and put a blank CD in and let the computer do its thing. After like an hour of watching election coverage on TV, I took the disk out and put it back in to see if I could open the slideshow. Failure. No slideshow. Just some program files.

So I read Help again. Chose a different format. Inserted another CD. And sat back on the couch with a good book while the computer whirred and flashed. But once again - failure. Nothing. So I asked myself a few questions: What did I do wrong? What happened to the good old days of slide projectors and little square photo thingy's? Why was I trying to do this at 1am?

I went to bed.

This morning I read Help again. And something clicked. I saved the slideshow in a different file. I was able to watch the slideshow on the computer using Real Player. It looked promising. And I noticed that there was a Burn CD option. I read everything instead of randomly trying different buttons. I followed the directions. I clicked GO.

And it worked. I ejected the CD. I put the CD back in, and the slideshow was still there! The music is there - and it ends right on time. The transitions work beautifully. Even the silly video of Hannah is there. Amazing. It brought a little tear to my eye. I may not be a computer genius, but I did it!

I wonder if I can count those 5 hours toward a YW Value Project.

ps - today's run = 4 miles. yesterday 2. monday 3. 59 miles to go.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Flat Tire

Got a nail in your tire? It is a bad idea to keep driving on a tire with a nail, because eventually it will become a flat tire - either as a slow leak or in a more impressive blow out. I have only had one flat car tire - in the brown van. But my jogging stroller always needs a tire patched. Just today, as I was jogging with John, I noticed that the stoller seemed to be pulling and not rolling as easily as it should. I was not suprised that it had a flat.

I learned just how quickly a tire can go flat one afternoon in 6th grade. My 6th grade class had walked in to Mr. Jackson's 6th grade class to watch a movie. I ended up sitting in the back of Mr.Jackson's classroom, near the brown, fake-wood cupboards that divided the classrooms in our "pod".

A kid in a wheelchair was sitting right in front of me. He was a nice kid. He once had his birthday party at Roller King and I got to go - muy cool. He had a super fancy wheelchair with electric controls and big tires. I doubt I could see the movie very well from the back of the room, but I could see those tires. They were a little dirty, and I thought I would help by picking out some rocks that were caught in the tread.

Then I noticed a rose thorn in the tire. Hmmm. That can't be good, I thought. So I used my fingernails to pull it out. I just wanted to help. I had to push it back and forth to get that thorn to budge. It was stuck quite deep in the rubber of the tire. But I did it.

And as soon as I did, I knew I had made a big mistake. I didn't know what to do. I watched that tire go flat. It happened so fast! And I didn't say a word. When the lights were turned back on, I stood up with the rest of my class and headed back to our classroom. I did not look at the tire, and I put the thorn in my pocket.

The boy in the wheelchair didn't notice the problem until he started to back up and turn around. By then I was nearly to the corner, but I watched him call our teacher over, and I watched our teacher go to the phone to get a janitor to come help. And I remember that the wheelchair boy missed recess. And it was all my fault. But I still didn't say anything.

I think I was cursed that day, for giving a poor handicapped kid a flat tire. I notice that I have bad luck with thorns and my jogging stroller. It always has a flat tire. I have slime in my tires, and I keep the bike pump in the storage pocket, just in case. Each time I use the stroller, it never fails that I have to pump up a tire. I figure that's the least I deserve.

To Mary, Love Wendy

Mary asked for a list of my favorites. I can't tell my McSista no, so I'll answer over here:

Favorite/most helpful parenting book: sleep/naps, toddlers, babies, discipline, whatever.
I really enjoy reading parenting books. I check out a new one almost every time I go to the library. But my favorite is still Children the Challenge. It was presented at a Homemaking meeting back when Hannah was a baby, and I went out and bought it that week. I consult it regularly.

In my library wanderings I recently found the Love and Logic parenting books. They are great! Very practical and real and similar to my fav. Nathan and I have laughed along with their CD's and have made some real changes in our home. I haven't read the one geared toward toddlers yet, Mary, but I am hoping to find it this afternoon.

Best place to get toddler shoes that are affordable but sturdy.
I prefer to buy cheaper shoes, because I have found that they all wear out and get ugly, and I don't want to feel guilty about buying a few pairs. The girls always have so many shoes that they don't really wear out and have been passed down and well worn. Salt-water sandals have held up the best of any, though they are not cheap if you don't have a Fred Meyer around.

John is very picky about his shoes, so he only has 2 pairs, and he won't wear one of them. We decided to check out Payless this fall and found cute shoes for everyone there. (But I did have to wrench the pair of flashing "Cars" shoes out of John's hand so we could leave the store with him crying all the way to the car.) They are holding up just fine.

I also like using the Sears Kidvantage program for returning worn out shoes for a new pair of the same size. This has worked well for Sydney, who is very hard on her tennis shoes.

Favorite shoes you wear (besides tennis shoes).
I have a pair of brown leather sandals that I love. They have about a 2 inch wedge so I feel very tall in them. They look good with a skirt or with jeans. They are comfortable and cute and they hide my weird little toe.

Favorite book you've read lately.
I recently read Persuasion by Jane Austen for our ward book club, which I am hosting this month (I hope someone comes). Oh, the letter! It has made me think about commitment and honor during courtship and how times have changed. More about that another time. I also enjoyed reading about Afganistan in Sewing Circles of Herat. Eye opening.

Favorite dinner recipe.
Cheezy Potato Soup. We had it last night. Delish.

6 potatoes pealed and diced
1 carrot cut into coins
1 celery stalk, diced
chicken broth (or bullion)
heavy whipping cream
cheese (I use American, but cheddar is good, too)

Boil veggies in broth for about a half hour or until the potatoes start to mush. Pour in a bit of cream, and add in some cheese slices, stirring until melted. Serve with crusty sourdough bread. Yum.

Favorite movie you've seen lately.
We cancelled our movie membership a couple weeks ago, so I feel like I haven't seen anything lately. But I have been going to bed earlier, so that is good. We had a family movie night/slumber party on Friday and watched Ever After. That is a cute one.

Favorite LOST character.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bike Ride Countdown

10 Wheels on our bikes (and one scooter)
9 Mallard Ducks in the river
8 Chicken Nuggets
7 Chain fixes (John needs a new bike and I mean it!)
6 Potty Breaks
5 Leaves racing under the bridge
4 Close calls with dog walkers or bike riders
3 Tunnels
2 Bridges
1 Spectacular Crash
0 Pictures

What a beautiful day. After a week of cold overcast days, today's sunshine called us outside. We loaded up 3 bikes and 1 scooter in our borrowed car and headed off to my favorite city bike trail. This time we started at these big cement fish sculptures, and followed the river over bridges and under train tressles and roads, all the way to the golden arches for lunch.

The hill was steep up to Micky-D's and on the way down, John forgot how to use his breaks. He went down the hill, across the path, over the grass, and crashed in the cat tails. He was fine, and didn't even cry, but the chain fell off his bike (for the 3rd time.) Thank goodness the river was a little farther away at that point in the trail!

We passed and were passed by so many people out enjoying the day: several families, one bicycle built for two, one crazy lay-back bike, lots of runners and bikers and walkers and watchers. I was the only scooter-er out there. I have a feeling my Razor Scooter is not as cool as it once was. Doh!

p.s. 4 miles today (not counting the scootering, although I think my buns-ies are going to be sore) 68 miles to go.

Friday, November 03, 2006

It turns out

I am a liar. The 'burb is just getting loaded up on a big truck and will then drive back across the country to California and ship out from there. Bummer. A float down the Mississippi sounded much more romantic!

You would think we could have driven the darn thing down to Denver, rather than 1000 miles East, just so that it can now go back those same 1000 miles on it's way to the coast. Crazy military rules.

It also turns out that I can pretty much count the miles I ran in the month of October on 2 hands. What happened to my 70 miles a month?

Here are some really good excuses: My most favorite watch died. I used that watch on each run to keep me in line and to help me know how much farther to go. And then it got cold. And school started. And it got dark in the mornings. And my running partner Sam, found a new home.

But: the time changed, so it is light earlier. And I didn't really like to run with Sam because he always had to poop, and then I would have to carry that steaming back of yuck all the way home. And I have good warm hats and stuff because it is cold here 9 months of the year. So no more excuses.

Hawaii is about a month away and I must look like a hottie on the beach. Oh, who am I kidding, running does nothing for the blinding whiteness of my skin. But I will feel better if I am a little less jiggly. And a good tan causes cancer.

So here's the plan:
1 month = 30 days - 4 Sundays = 26 days x 3 miles/day = 78 miles.

My running goal for the next month is 75 miles (that gives me one day off.) Anyone want to race?

(3 miles down, 72 to go)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bon Voyage

My fancy new car is boarding a barge today to take a little trip down the Mighty Mississip' and on to Hawaii. Do you think it will get to travel over the Panama Canal?

I guess we really are moving.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


ah, he, he, my pretty!


Happy Halloween!


Goin' bloggin'
Goin' bloggin'
Won't ya let me post a couple pics?