Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Shoulda, woulda, coulda

A brother I have told me that he will never have a game system in his home because he doesn't want his kids to be freakshows about it like mine are. I too recall saying those exact same words. Here's a list of things I said I'd never do but have caved on:
  • Buying a game system-although it was grandma who bought it, we have updated the games and allowed the playing to happen
  • Letting the kids watch too much tv-somedays, not everyday. Discovery Channel's educational so it's okay, right?
  • Making them sit in a carseat past the required age of 5-I didn't realize how embarassing it was for little kids to have to sit in a booster
  • Saying "Because I said so"-quickest way to end an argument is by exerting the mom-authority
  • Letting the kids figure out their own problems with each other-I always thought I'd make a great mediator, making sure the fair punishment was dealt to the proper perpetrator. Yeah okay.
  • Letting the babies cry it out-I fix what I can, and accept that sometimes babies, just like us, need a good cry
  • Having a messy house-this is one I struggle with, because I really, Really, like a perfectly clean home. Oh for more time in the day, or a maid who worked for M 'n' M's.
  • Cooking a healthy vegetable laden dinner every night-more often than I like to admit we eat cereal, which my kids love. Who knew?
  • Buying cheap kids clothing-how I loved dressing my children in adorable expensive outfits, only to see them ruined a day later from the mud, or ketchup. For that, we shop at Target.
  • Driving a minivan-oh for the coolness of an suv, never thought I'd be a minivan girl. If gas were cheaper or I lived closer to civilization...

I guess what I'm trying to say is that before children came into my life, I had visions of what it would entail, how I'd be the best mom who never lost her patience, who always had cookies in the oven, who was fun and happy, basically the coolest mom in the hood. 4 children and a dose of reality later, I've realized that the mom I've become was not the one I envisioned. Am I okay with that? Sometimes. I'm not giving up, though. Someday, we will have a clean house and a real dinner everyday. Maybe I'll start by hiding the gamesystem.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Chance was so excited that he finally found this picture he drew of his Aunt Beka's friend, Brandon. It was dated November 28, 2004 when Chance was almost 7 years old. I think we meant to send it to Brandon on his mission but somehow lost it. So here you go. I think it looks just like Uncle Brandon, don't you?


Yesterday was my day to take the kids to school, and my friend brought them home. As the kids walk in the door, Chance is mad, Emme's on the verge of tears, and my friend is standing in my doorway. Apparently, Chance and his friend were throwing rocks while they waited for their ride. And apparently they were trying to hit a sign. And apparently Chance hit a car windshield. Now Emme took it upon herself to tell the aide what Chance had done. And the aide told the principal. And I was to get a phone call. Okay, I say, great.
When I ask Chance about it, he's adamant that he didn't mean to hit the car, totally missing the point that throwing rocks at school is against the law, playground law that is. When I ask Emme why she told on him, tears well up and she says "because throwing rocks is wrong, and am I in trouble?" No of course not, throwing rocks is wrong, but come on, is tattling okay?
So today I get my phone call from the principal. Chance is suspended for today, the punishment all delinquent rock-throwers get. I'm not sure how effective getting to come home from school and read books all day is as a punishment, but okay.
When I ask him later about what him and the principal talked about, he explained to me that he told him what happened. At least he's honest, right? When I asked him what the principal said, he told me that the principal called him lucky, because he could've broken the windshield of the car. Chance said back to him in a cheerful voice, "Yeah I was lucky! Because I don't have any money right now and I couldn't have paid for it!" Always an optimist.
By the way, his consequence for getting suspended is picking up rocks in the backyard, so we didn't let him off scott free. How did Mom ever put up with Mike and all the terrible things he did that warrented phone calls from the principal?

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Lake

We went camping over Spring Break up to Canyon Lake. It was beautiful, not too hot, not too cold. The kids played in the lake, caught tiny fish, and enjoyed the company of friends who went with us. All in all it was a good time.
It reminded me of the first time I saw Canyon Lake, a lake I didn't even know existed until I was 19 years old. My then boyfriend wanted to take me up to Tortilla Flats for lunch. I hadn't heard of it, but thought it might be interesting to visit an old west town, seeing as I had lived in Arizona my whole life and had never seen one.
I rode on the back of his motorcycle driving down the 60, going so fast I feared for my life. He says he was doing the speed limit, but on the back of a bike with nothing to hang onto but him, it felt like 100.
We took the exit to Apache Junction, the furthest east I had ever been besides my Grandma's house. As we entered the Tonto National Forest, the road started to get steep and curvy. He said this was the best part of the ride, leaning from side to side on his bike going up and down the mountain's edge. At least he wasn't driving fast, I thought. I remember hiding my head in the back of his black leather jacket, not wanting to look at the oncoming traffic that veered so eerily close to us.
We came up to the top of a mountain and that's when I saw it. A lake in the middle of the desert! I asked him later about it, couldn't believe I didn't know about it. There were boaters, fishers, skiiers, tanners. All these people who had discovered this little enclave. I felt like I had been missing out on something fabulous my entire life.
We drove past it to the restaurant. We had lunch, and I remember he left a big tip. He loved this little place, and I figured out a lot about him that day. He liked the old west, motorcycle rides, impressing his lady, and me holding on to him.
He's brought me back to the lake a few times since. And I realized I had been missing out on something fabulous, but it wasn't the lake. It was him.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Decorating on a budget

My most favorite new decoration is my lettering on glass. My friend Susie makes the lettering, you can see her stuff here. I took an old frame and hot glued the glass in. The lettering comes in one piece and was super simple to apply. It says "Search diligently, pray always and be believing and all things shall work together for your good". I think it's our new family motto. I also got the star at Home Goods, which my husband says screams Texas to him.
Most awesome deal! This couch was donated to us by some neighbors and is a very Santa Fe hunter green and teal and red. Which explains the slipcover. I found this at Target for $25, 75% off the original price. It is brown microfiber and comes in two pieces, one for the cushions and one for the couch. Now I don't need new furniture, at least anytime soon. The pillows came from Kirklands at $6.99, the only thing I've ever bought there.
These window treatments are sheers that I bought months ago on clearance at Linens n Things for $9.00 each. I am having a hard time deciding what to do with them. I have three windows in my family room and each one looks like this. All I did was screw in hooks and drape them on. Not sure I like it, but it works for now.
Modge podge is my new favorite crafting technique. I got these letters at Michaels and decoupaged the scrapbook paper on. I love the way they look, but am having a hard time finding a place to put them. For now, they are above my cabinets in the kitchen, leaning against wine glasses.
Oh, for natural lighting in my bathroom like Beka has! I am really liking how this is coming together. The picture I bought at Home Goods and it has a bluish vase and white orchids with deep red in them. The two frames I bought clearanced at Target for $3.50, and say Powder and Room, scrapbooked on blue and deep red paper. All are in black frames. I can't wait to paint the walls khaki and add a black iron wine rack to hold rolled up towels.
This is what I've been up to for the past few days. Not done yet, and I'm still in the mood to add. Can't wait to see the finished product, a completely decorated house. And maybe a finished backyard.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mistaken Identity

A funny thing happened last night.

I was upstairs feeding the babe, and the other kids were downstairs watching the Mythbusters try to fly using a piece of plywood. I admit that I was upstairs watching the same thing, but I digress.
Anyways, I called down to see where everyone was, as the tiniest was taking her sweet time to eat. Everyone is on the couch, Cannon's asleep. Cool, only two to feed ice cream to, I'll be down in a sec to dish it out.
I come down and see a little man missing.
Where's Cannon, I ask.
Um...he was here a second ago.
I start looking for him, checking the front room, bathroom, until I find him in the laundry room, curled up on a pile of clean towels, feet wedged against the garage door.
Hmmm...odd place to get up and go to sleep, but okay. Maybe he was going out to the car to get his blanket.
When I bend down to pick him up I notice that things are wet, the towels imparticularly.
Oh no, he had an accident.
But then I realize that his pants aren't wet. How is that possible?
And then I figure it out.
He had mistaken the laundry room for the bathroom, pulled down his pants, and peed all over my washer and dryer, completely asleep. And then he layed down on top of the clean towels as they soaked up the mess.
How does one mistake a washing machine for a toilet? We laughed about this for a while.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


So we went to a Blue and Gold Banquet a few weeks ago. For all the uninitiated, that's a scouting thing. And not being one to look forward to church food, I ate before we left.
They were serving Hawaiian Haystacks, which I've had before but never like this.
They used a sauce made from dry italian dressing and cream cheese and cream of chicken, which I couldn't have but I had made before so I knew what it tasted like. It's basically Liz's crockpot cream cheese chicken.
But the killer part was the toppings. My favorites were:
  • Red peppers
  • Green onions
  • Coconut
  • Pineapple
  • Slivered Almonds
  • Cheese

All of this over rice. I know this sounds like an awfully simple thing, but I have been craving it ever since. So last night I made it for my family. And it was delicious, even if Em and I were the only ones eating it. It meant leftovers for lunch. Mmmm...

Back to the Blue and Gold, they had an elder from Samoa, I think, in our area. He got up on stage and did what one could only call a modern version of traditional dance. The music he was dancing to was almost techno-like. It was quite funny, but the best part came after he was done. He got his two companions, two of the whitest boys I've ever seen come out of Idaho, up on stage and they danced with him. It looked like they had practiced beforehad, as the two elders were trying their best to keep up their moves. It was a complete lack of rhthym. And the music was sooo loud, it even got the stake out of their offices to come watch. The whole building was there to see these elders. And the best part was the samoan elder, didn't want to stop. They had to tell him enough after like 15 minutes. I'm not sure if the scouts appreciated it, but the rest of us did.

Can you imagine the memories those two elders will have of their mission? "Well son, on my mission, we took the stage at a rockin' Blue and Gold and shook our moneymakers for the Stake President."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Chicken enchiladas, salad, cherry cobbler

The lesson yesterday was on gaining a testimony in personal revelation. It got me thinking back to a few years ago.
At the time I was feeling very service oriented, and found myself volunteering quite often. One blessing I received from this was the ability to sometimes discern when others were in need. However, I was not always so quick to make those out of the blue calls. I was paralyzed by my own doubt, did that person really need something, or was it just one of my own passing thoughts? What if I call and they don't need anything? How embarassing!
One such day I woke up and felt almost right away that I needed to make two dinners. This was not just a whim, but a very strong impression. I didn't have much in the way of food, so off to the store I went. I wasn't sure who was going to need it, or what they would like, so I bought stuff I wanted to eat, just double. I was amazed, and very proud of myself for listening to and following up on a prompting.
I came home and began preparing midafternoon, hoping to get the phone call that someone needed this food. No phone call came. I went through a short list of close friends that I called, checking to see if they were alright, seeing if they needed dinner. No such luck. I prayed, and a person came into my head.
No, I thought, it can't be her. Yes she did just have a baby, but her mom was there, taking care of her and the baby. Plus she had her husband home. I was sure they didn't need it.
But the feeling didn't leave.
I was hoping that, miraculously, someone at her house would know I had this food, call me and ask me to bring it over. I even picked up the phone a few times, starting to call her, but I always hung up before I finished dialing.
It was soon too late. Dinner time was over and I hadn't taken all of this food anywhere. I ended up giving it to a friend, who didn't really need it, but accepted it nonetheless. And I felt like maybe I had misunderstood my impression, maybe it wasn't the spirit but my own imagination.
A few days later I called the person who had just had the baby. Turns out she had gotten a really bad infection, and her mom and husband had the flu. And the worst day of it all was the day I had made an extra dinner, but didn't take it.
Here I had her dinner, and I had felt too embarassed to even call to check up on her.
I wish I could say that from that day on I never slacked on an impression again, but I don't think I can. I find myself still doubting my ability to receive revelation, still wondering if it's all in my head. But I am getting better.
And I know the next time I make two dinners, I will call. Because I know that the worst thing that can happen is missing out on an opportunity to be the answer to someones prayers.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


This is my all time favorite family picture. There's not much in the way of competition, as we haven't had one taken in years. In fact the last one was before Cannon was born 5 years ago. But even so, this picture captures the essence of my family.
It was a ridiculously cold morning, the first day of the new year. The kids were freezing and I of course, forgot to bring coats. So we sat in the car and waited for our turn. Getting the little ones to smile was a trial. Cannon was done after a couple minutes, his hands in his pockets, looking down, not wanting to smile, shivering. I kept wrapping up Claire in her blanket in between poses, her fingers turning blue. Chance had his fake Grandpa Fuller smile going on, while Emme played up to the crowd.
When I was growing up we used to have a family picture taken every year. Every year we would pile in the car and head out to Sears to be immortalized with bad hair. When I was very little, I remember we would go to Bob's Big Boy afterwards. It was quite a treat, as we hardly ever went out to eat. I don't know how my mom did it, with all those kids to get picture ready. But I understand why. And I wish I had more family pictures.