Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Birthday??

So, yesterday was my birthday. It started out just like any other day. But quickly became memorable in a few expected and unexpected ways...


1. Hubby participated in the musical play "Into the Woods". He played the Wolf and Cinderella's Prince. I have pictures and a review that I will post later. After our extended family vacates my home.

2. My Mom & Dad called to wish me Happy Birthday.

3. I received no presents. I told Hubby and kids that I didn't want gifts anymore. I'd rather have service. So I have been promised foot rubs, books read aloud, and songs sung sweetly. (My parents did send me a card & $$ last week. I used it to pay a Scout to paint my girls' bedroom. That was a great present.)

4. My Mom, Dad, sister V, Grandma C., Aunt K and Aunt K (they're twins, hence the similar names) came to visit me and attend the play with me. Grandma C. hasn't been anywhere outside her county for many years due to Grandpa C. And I was her first visit. I feel so special. :)


1. Two of my sisters called to wish me Happy Birthday. And even sang to me.

2. My Visiting Teacher remembered my birthday!! And, as if that wasn't enough, she brought me a card and some cookies. I haven't had a V.T. remember my birthday with treats (or at all) in quite a while. It's always an afterthought the next time they see me.

3. Farrah Fawcett died. She was 62. Her death is attributed to cancer.

4. Michael Jackson died. He was 50. His death is currently attributed to cardiac arrest, but an autopsy has been ordered so his family and the police will know exactly what happened.

Anyhoo, most of the day felt pretty regular. But it will definitely not be a day that I forget.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Updates...Summer, Pigeons, Baseball, Costumes & Dad

Happy Summer!

Summer is my favorite time of year. I love the sun and the warmth. I love that the days get longer. I feel so much more productive in the summer. The sunshine completely energizes me. Living in Arizona, we have been enjoying summer for several weeks already. However, today is the official start of summer...the Summer Solstice. What a wonderful day!

Persistent Pigeons

I am currently dealing with the most persistent pigeon couple. Before I begin that story, I have a little background information to share. You know that I have been battling pigeons since I moved this little Southwest town. I have successfully booted two pigeon couples and kept countless others at bay using the fire-hose nozzle on my garden hose. Things began to go downhill two months ago.
What happened? What was the catalyst??? I believe that my house has been cursed by the spirits of two dead pigeons. Dead pigeons that died at my house. The first dead pigeon was discovered two months ago by BabyCakes in the front bushes of our house. All that was left of the pigeon was one wing attached to a backbone and about thirty feathers littering the ground. I fortunately got to BabyCakes before he could pick up the carcass. I figure a feral cat must have gotten to the bird. No big deal right. Nothing worthy of a curse. No, the curse came when I rejoiced in the death of the pigeon. When I shouted "Hooray" and did a little dance around the pigeon carcass. *sigh* I should know better than to rejoice in the death of such a vile creature.
I played a greater role in the second pigeon's death. That pigeon entered our lives a week after the carcass was discovered. It was in the morning, after the girls had left for school, that I heard Dash barking madly in the backyard. I ignored Dash, thinking that he was just having an intense conversation with the neighbor's dog. After a few minutes, BabyCakes decided he needed to join in the dog conversation and let himself out into the backyard. Dash was still barking away, but then I heard BabyCakes start shouting and Dash start growling. Uh-oh. I figured they were fighting over a toy again. They are very intense about which toys belong to whom and are not above a fight to obtain "their" toy. Unfortunately, they are both at an age when they assume any and every toy is theirs and theirs alone. So we have many fights and tug of wars.
As I hurried out back to break up the fight, I was surprised to see BabyCakes hunched over a live pigeon with Dash barking madly from the side. It was pretty funny to see. BabyCakes was talking to the pigeon and kept trying to touch it. When his finger got close, the pigeon would scurry away. Now, pigeons are super-slow walkers so seeing one try to "hurry" away from my baby was hilarious. Then I remembered how fast BabyCakes could walk and how filthy pigeons are, so I hurried over to break up the situation. I tried shooing the bird away, but it wouldn't budge. That's nothing new. Pigeons are super lazy about flying. So then I grabbed a stick (yes, a stick) and poked at it. When I jabbed it (yes, I jabbed it), the pigeon flapped its wings, lifted maybe five inches from the ground, then flopped back down again. I wasn't sure if it was too fat to fly or hurt. I didn't care which, I just wanted the thing out of my yard and needed to accomplish the task quickly and without touching the filthy thing. I was just going to chase it out my back fence, but Hubby had padlocked our gates and had the only key with him. So that option was out. On to option two. After much corralling, I trapped the flightless pigeon in a cardboard box, then threw the box over my fence.
I let the thing loose in my front yard and washed my hands of it. I knew an injured bird wouldn't last long in my neighborhood. There are plenty of cats waiting for a pigeon feast. I knew it and I walked away. No Good Samaritan was I. And now the spirit of that pigeon and his carcassed friend are cursing me with the Persistent Pigeon Couple...
This couple took root on my front porch post a week later and have been there since. They built a nest, laid an egg, and I blasted them out with my fire-nozzle. They snuck back in, built a second nest and I didn't notice. I've been busy. When I did notice, Hubby and I blasted the nest out with my fire-nozzle. There were two baby birds in the nest. Hubby took care of them. A week later, they had built a third nest and laid another egg. I blasted it out with my fire-nozzle. By this time I am convinced that the female pigeon is the Fertile Myrtle of all pigeons. During this entire time, I haven't relied solely on my fire-nozzle. I have been chasing them away daily. The Pigeon Couple would fly away and sit on the roof across the street from me. Watching and waiting for me to go inside. They built a fourth nest, laid an egg, and I blasted it out with my fire-nozzle. They built a fifth nest, laid an egg, and I blasted it out with my fire-nozzle. They are currently building their sixth nest. The kids think I should put up a net like our neighbors did. But I will not give in. I could put an end to it easily, if I had good aim. Those pigeons, when not at my house, sit across the street watching and waiting. They're always there. Watching and waiting. It would be so easy to pick them off. And then I would be free. If only I had good aim. Oh yeah! I would also need it to be legal to shoot in a populated area. *sigh*

Baseball Season

Baseball Season is officially over! Closing ceremonies were held last night. Every kid got a trophy. Different sizes for the different divisions. T-Ball (Joe) got a little trophy, Minor-B (Anne) got a medium trophy, and Minor-A (Rose) got a large trophy. The Major kids got very large trophies. It was really cool. We also elected a new Board of Directors for next year. We ended up with the same President and Vice-President, but a different Player Agent, Secretary, and Treasurer. Everyone I voted for won, so I am super-Happy. I am excited for next season. :)


I have two costumes (Steward & Witch's Robe) finished and one left. All I have left to do on the third costume (Snow White) is add trim to the dress and sew the underskirt. It is looking great. I've been quilting so long I had forgotten a few of the basics in seam stressing, but it's all come back to me during this project in spades. My seamstress skills have been greatly enhanced during this endeavor. Hooray! My Young Women Leaders would be so proud that I'm learning and growing and developing skills. ;)

Father's Day

I can't end this post without mentioning the Fathers in my life. I was blessed with a hard-working Dad who always made sure his family was taken care of and knew how to play. I didn't realize how important play was until I started studying child psychology and development. Having fun is an integral part to a healthy mind. How great is that! Thanks Dad for making keeping my mind healthy. :)

I was also blessed with a wonderful Grandpa who always had a word of wisdom for me. Toward the end of his life, he would often repeat himself...not remembering what he had said previously. It bugged some people, but I always took his words and repeated messages to heart. I figured if he had to say it five times to me, it must be pretty important for me to remember and apply in my life. I sure miss that man.

Later in life I was blessed with a great Father-in-law. He obviously did something right because my Hubby has turned out splendidly. When I joined his family, he took me right to heart and has treated me with love and respect always. It's very nice.

Hubby is not my Dad. I am kind of against doing much for him myself for Father's Day. It's the kids' responsibility, with help and encouragement from me, to recognize their Father. (I feel the same about Mother's Day. Hubby isn't supposed to get me anything, just help the kids with their projects. It's worked great in our family and put the focus where it should be...on the kids and their development.) So, going along with that vein of thought, I've asked my kids to say a few words about their Dad.

Joe: "I love my Dad because he helps me have fun and I love when he does fun stuff with me like when he picks me up. That's fun and crazy and I love crazy things."

Anne: "I like all sorts of things about my Dad. I like that he tells stories to me. He's nice, funny, clever, and um...that's it."

Rose: "I like my Dad because he's fun to be around. He's always active. He helps me learn new things. He makes me laugh when I'm sad. I'm glad that he's my Dad."

BabyCakes: Umm...He's not talking much yet. His love his Dad is apparent in his actions and facial expressions. His face lights up and he runs screaming as soon as Hubby walks in the door to clobber the man. It is a funny thing to watch a two-year old tackle a 6' 5" man.

As for me, I am grateful that I'm married to a man who delights in Fatherhood. Who finds great joy in being with his family, with his kids. A man who is excited to spend time with his family, even when we're crazy and bouncing off the walls. I sure do love that Hubby of mine.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

i is busy.

I haven't posted for a few weeks. I keep meaning to, but I have been super busy. And when I finally do have a break, I want to read about YOUR life not write about mine. I don't think my break would actually count as a break if all I did was re-hash everything going on in my life. But my little sister wants an update. And I love her. A lot. So I will comply with a list of all the things keeping me busy.

1. I has been Painting.
My living room, dining room, and kitchen are now completely painted.
Next on my list are the kids bedrooms. I've already started the girls' room.

2. I is in a turf war with a pigeon couple.
Several weeks ago, Hubby and I knocked down their nest containing one egg. Good job us. The pigeons kept coming back. We kept shooing them away. This went on for a few weeks until I realized they'd probably laid another egg. Hubby and I knocked the second nest down to discover zero eggs, but two little chicks. Hubby is a baby-killer and I is his accomplice. :(

We figured that would be the end of it. But no, within a week the pigeons built another nest and laid another egg. We knocked that one down too. And the pigeon couple keeps coming back.

3. I is supporting my Hubby.
The whole family went to his work's summer BBQ. I am usually wary of events like this because even though they say "family-friendly" or "family oriented" they are usually referring to things teenagers would like, not little ones, and are often held in confined spaces where the voices of my children are echoed and amplified to the tenth degree.
Well, Hubby's work BBQ was completely family friendly. It was held on a football field. They had an alley of games for the little ones to earn prizes. And they had a giant slip and slide manned by a bunch of firefighters. We will definitely be attending next year.

4. I is being a baseball mom.
I am chauffeuring three children to weekly practices and games. I am helping at the concession stand, cooking up hot dogs and hamburgers, handing out candy and Gatorade and chips. And I am now trying to plan end-of-the-season parties for our teams. Funny thing is, I LOVE IT! And my kids are having a great time. If the kids all want to sign up again next year, I will totally do it.

5. I is getting sunburned.
First I got a funky tan line from sitting at the baseball field each Saturday. I've been wearing jeans rolled up to just below my knee, socks that go above my ankle, tennis shoes, and a high-necked t-shirt. I'm sure you can imagine how funny that must look when I actually don a swimsuit. But this past week, I wore a wider-neck t-shirt and got burned. Funny thing is, my sock line is still in place.

6. I is celebrating Popeye's birthday.
The Babycakes turned two. We celebrated with cupcakes and a visit to Chuck E. Cheese's.

7. I is being creeped out by Hubby.
He is rehearsing his lines and movements for Into the Woods. He plays Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf. The director has given Hubby some creep-tastic moves to perform as the wolf. He keeps trying to practice them on me. He is giving me the heeby-jeebies. I sure feel sorry for Little Red. :(

8. I is sewing costumes!
Into the Woods is feeding my sewing addiction. They have provided me with material, patterns, notions, and free reign to produce three costumes. I was very excited. This is the material for the first costume I made, a Steward. It was almost done, but the man I made it for is extra-wide and whoever took his measurements told me he was 50 inches in his chest & 56 inches in his waist. So I gave the guy a few inches extra when I made the costume. Well, somebody measured wrong and I need to add 8 to 10 inches somewhere. But no worries. I has a plan. ;)

9. I is helping the Hubby get in shape.
Yes, I know this book has a picture of a girl on it. But it's not just for girls. it was recommended to Hubby by a male coworker who is ripped to the extreme. Hubby is trying to follow it diligently. He does not want to be a pot-bellied Prince Charming. So far he has lost ten pounds and his tummy is looking firm and toned. His wife is very pleased. :)
Hubby is also growing his hair out for his role. I am liking that very much too. I have never seen him with hair longer than an inch. And I am loving the new length. It's about four or five inches long in some places now. Hubby looks HOT with his longer hair. I am doing my best to convince him to keep the length, but he has informed me that he is shaving it all off as soon as the play is finished. :(

10. I is tending my orchard and grove.
I purchased three citrus trees within weeks of moving to my new home. A couple months ago I added five fruit trees, two citrus, and four hibiscus. The look of the Nursery Worker's face cracked me up when he saw my mini-van. He told me that the 7 trees and 4 plants wouldn't fit in a mini-van. Good thing I have a Safari. I fit everything in plus myself, two kids, and two bags of mulch. And I could still see out my mirrors. Safari's rock. I hope GM will still make them...

I added another hibiscus a few days later for aesthetic reasons. :) I currently have 5 hibiscus: 1 white, 2 red & 2 hot pink; 5 fruit trees: 1 Anna apple, 1 Dorset apple, 1 plum, 1 apricot & 1 peach; 5 citrus trees: 1 Mexican lime, 1 lemon, 1 ruby red grapefruit, 1 sweet orange & 1 tangerine; plus an Indian Laurel in my front yard along with three giant hedge bushes that produce orange flowers. We also have carrots, strawberries, tomatoes and peppers growing. I love, love, love the outdoors. :)
Oh! When we moved a year ago, we left our lawn mower with a neighbor. So when we arrived here, we got to buy a new mower. Hubby just wanted to get a regular old mower. I insisted we get a self-propelled mower. It turned into a bit of a heated discussion, but I won in the end. The new mower is fabulous and so easy to use. I never mow the lawn. I tried to once, about six years ago as a surprise for Hubby. Yeah. That was stupid. Severe asthma and allergies do not like Bermuda grass. I managed to get the backyard done before collapsing into a wheezing, hacking, sneezing, itchy mess. That's how Hubby found me when he got home. Surprise! It took a round of steroids, albuterol, multiple breathing treatments, a shot in my bum, and a week resting to recover. I vowed to never mow again.
A couple weeks ago, Joe wanted to mow the yard. I helped him get the lawnmower out and started the thing for him. He took off like a rocket. The next week, I tried that mower while Hubby was pulling weeds. It was a snap! And the new mower didn't affect my asthma or allergies at all. Hooray! Except now I am a vow-breaker and a baby-killer accomplice. *sigh*

11. I is registering Joe for Kindergarten!
He is so excited. He can hardly wait to start. The only downside...his first MMR shot was given to him three days before he officially turned one. So it doesn't count according to our State's educational health policy. Meaning Joe had to get an MMR vaccination. Poor little Joe. He cried. A lot. Which is super funny to me because when he was a baby, he never cried while getting shots. Not once in his two years of getting vaccinations. He just always gave the doctor and nurse dirty looks. I guess he's making up for not crying back then. ;)

12. I is being held up in the grocery line.
For a long time. This would not be unusual except that the lady in front of me already had her groceries bagged while my groceries were sitting on the conveyor belt ready and waiting while she and the clerk discussed the Twilight movie! So I got to wait and wait while they gabbed about Twilight. Ugh!

The lady's check finally cleared, but they kept gabbing. Then I coughed, kind of loudly while looking away, trying to be discreet but get the line moving at the same time. Well, I looked in the wrong direction. I looked at the magazines as I coughed and the ladies assumed I was looking at this magazine. *exaserbated sigh*

They then felt the need to include me in their conversation. Yes I have seen the movie and yes I have read the books, but I so did not want to discuss it with them. I just wanted to get my groceries and leave. Fortunately, the first lady's husband finally got sick of waiting and told his wife to get moving. Actually, he said it in Spanish so I'm not sure exactly which words he said, but I understood the tone and whatever he worked!!

13. I is visiting the doctors & dentist.
I think this picture says it all.

14. I is being amazed by Hubby's skills.
Turns out Hubby can sing in his sleep. I just discovered this talent of his last Sunday. His sacrament job is to hold the snoozing Babycakes. Unfortunately, Hubby sometimes falls asleep too. This past Sunday he started falling asleep while singing the rest Hymn. It was hilarious! We were singing "The Spirit of God" and Hubby's voice would fade as his eyes drooped then I would pinch him and he would come back singing full volume for a few seconds then start to fade again. Best part was he always came in with the right words on the right note. My man has skills! Hahaha! And I will never let him live this down.

15. I is screening books.
Rose wanted to read the Lightning Thief series. It was highly recommended by our local bookstore. Since it deals with the Greek gods, I figured I better read it first because those Greek gods were not very moral and got up to all sorts of trouble. We now own all of these books. They were a great read. Very compelling story and I loved how the author wove the Greek gods into the story. Wonderful. Rose just started the fifth book this morning. But I'm not going to let Anne read them yet. She'll need to wait until she's a little bit older.

16. I is supervising cake making.
Rose made this cake all by herself. It was a chocolate double layer with cherry frosting.
I think she did a pretty good job. I especially like the decorating job.

17. I is teaching preschool.
We learned the 70 phonograms using the Spalding education technique. We executed many science experiments including blowing up various objects, making volcanoes & goop, growing salt crystal gardens, watching yeast rise and bread bake, and mixing chemicals to watch the reactions. It was great!

18. I is in a talent show.
Rose, brave girl that she is, decided to be in her school's talent show. She sang "Every Star is Different" and I accompanied her on piano. Rose did a great job. She has a beautiful voice. Her school held three sessions: two during school and one evening performance. I showed up for each one. Another busy thing here was the dress she is wearing. Rose is at that wonderfully awkward stage where she is too big for the little girl section but too little for the women's section. And since she is not a stick-child, Miss clothing is definitely not an option. We found this beautiful dress thanks to a JC Penny saleswoman who actually knew her inventory. Knew what clothes she had, where they were located and what the best options would be for my daughter's body. Thanks to her we were out of the store in under an hour and the Rose-girl looked beautiful for her talent show.

I wish Hubby would have told me I would be in the shot. I would have sat up straight and sucked in my gut.

19. I is encouraging male bonding.
Hubby took the boys on a Father & Sons outing. They had a blast.

20. I is watching the harvest.
The boys and I have faithfully watched cantelopes grow in a field near our home. We were excited to see the harvest. A medium-sized John Deere tractor pulled this huge trailer and attachment while workers walked behind it picking the melons and tossing them up. I love agriculture.

21. I is dealing with my Ugly Daughter.

That's right I said ugly.

This girl pleaded with me to let her grow out her bangs. I agreed on the condition that she keep her hair out of her eyes. Psh. She completely diregards that condition everyday. Her hair hangs in her face. She refuses to put it in ponytails or headbands. If I try, she cries and says she looks ugly. For example, this picture taken this past Sunday. I put my foot down and and got her hair up and out of her face. As soon as she lookd at herself in the mirror she dissolved into tears, crying over and over that she looked so ugly. Excuse me? I can finally see her face. I think she looks great. She immediately tried to pull it out, but I threatened her with no dessert and a hundred sit-ups, so she left it in. This picture was taken after church. That's why she's smiling. She knows she getting ice cream soon.

22. I is watching movies with my Hubby.
We saw Star Trek in the theater. It was phenomenal. So great. A great cast. A great stroy. Good flow. Good sound effects. Such a satisfying movie to watch. They better be making a sequel or five.

Hubby also convinced me (I don't remember how or why I agreed) to watch some movies he has been wanting to rent. Um. That was not a good idea. He picked some pretty intense shows. First we watched Benjamin Button. That was alright but not my type of show. Then we watched Quantum of Solace. That gave me a headache and freaked me out a bit. And lastly, we watched Taken. That was intense and creepy-sick. Ugh! He wants to rent a few others, but he will have to watch those on his own.

23. I is watching the sun set.
Driving back and forth from ball games has a few perks.
Watching the sun set over fields filled with wheat and alfalfa is a beautiful thing.

24. I is eagerly watching the Airbender fan sites!
There are pictures available now. Hooray! I was so excited when I first saw these. The first picture is Prince Zuko played by Dev Patel. His scar isn't as apparent as I thought it would be, but other than that I think he looks fantastic. I love the facial expression. The scowl is a Zuko trademark and Dev has it nailed. The second picture is Aang played by Noah Ringer. There have been no pictures of Noah available since his name was released. At one point someone tracked down a baby picture, but other than that, no one had any idea what he looked like. And now that we do all I can say is WOW! M. Night nailed the casting. Well, the re-casting. (Thank goodness Dev is in and Jesse McCartney is out. That was just a little weird.) Noah is the perfect picture of Aang. I am so excited to see this movie. The trailer is available in only 20 more days. Hooray!

25. I is visiting teaching.
Umm. Yeah. I totally didn't do my visiting teaching this month. I was so busy with other things that my brain got confused. I thought about calling my ladies a few times then "remembered" that I had already gone visting teaching for May. Well, no. No I didn't. I went in April and then my brain fell out. I am going to need to bake some seriously delicious goodies to make up for my lack of visiting. Sorry ladies! I'll do better next month. I promise. Oh wait. I mean this month. This month. Yeah. I'll do better.