Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Where Has the Time Gone?

It really feels like it was JUST the beginning of 2010, and here we are staring down 2011. Time seems to fly the older I get.
Christmas was wonderful for us. The boys were spoiled rotten. And after we'd opened up the gifts Christmas morning, and they were playing with their goodies, Jake came over and said, "More?" Steve and I said, "No, you've opened it all...." Then Steve realized we'd forgotten a few gifts...some BIG ones. (Not the ones in these pictures....these pictures are of their Santa presents.)
We were able to see both Steve's parents and mine. We enjoyed our family time, and talked a lot.
With My family we played Just Dance....we ALL had a blast!
It just seems like it went by SO fast.
This new year, I have new hopes. I'm frustrated with my boys (but that could be Christmas break talking here...) and I hope to master The Total Transformation and exercise at least once a week.
Happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Dance

You remember my post about that party we went to? The one where we played Just Dance? Well, now we OWN both games. *giggle* We're so excited about it, and so are the boys. Yesterday, as soon as they could, they played it with their dad. Let's just say it was SUPER cute to see Jake try (and totally NOT use the controller) and feel a slight bounce to the apartment.
Oh, what fun!
Merry Christmas all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Partying Continues....

This time it was an adult only party. Steve and I had a blast. We did a white elephant gift exchange, and Steve's first gift (since you could steal from others, and we didn't end up with the first gifts) was a digital keychain with pictures on it from this website. It was disgustingly hilarious.
Then after we had talked, exchanged gifts and ate we played Just Dance 2. I LOVED this game. I was laughing SO hard when Steve was dancing to "Hey Ya." He can really wiggle that booty!
I wished we could have stayed longer, but we didn't want to drive Grandma and Grandpa too crazy watching the two little boys.
It was so much fun! (By the way, I did NOT take these pictures, since I'm in them...They are from my friend, Mattsmom. She did a GREAT job with the pictures!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let the Partying Begin...

'Tis the season, right?
Saturday we had our Ward Christmas party/live nativity. It was a breakfast (different from our usual dinners in the past, but I know I enjoyed it!) and then they had horse-rides that took us around the park to the live nativity.
The people involved in the nativity bore simple testimony of Jesus' birth and how we need to come to Him. It was quite powerful. I loved it! (Poor cold people, at least they had fires and hot cocoa...)
It was fantastic!! And my boys were happy to be with their shepherd-daddy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Elf Family

Thanks to a friend, I'm sharing this. (The boys and I played with it over and over last week, giggling away....) Enjoy!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree....

A few years ago we bought a full, pre-lit tree. The only thing we don't *love* about it is that the lights are all white, but it's still pretty, and we like it.
When I was out doing errands with my mom last week, Steve and Cameron hauled up the tree and the decorations. (I was SO glad I wasn't here for that...*giggle*) Then when we were decorating, I got tired and decided to leave off my usual gold garland. It's a pain to wind around the tree, and it doesn't even match anymore. Instead we decided to cover it as much as we could with extra candy canes.
The boys put the ornaments on it the next day....Jake's all clumped at the bottom, Cam's all clumped at the top. Steve and I HAD to get into the decorating with them, just so the middle would be covered too.
Seeing my tree is bringing back all kinds of memories for me. My dad's mom would have a beautiful, full Christmas tree, COVERED in different flavored candy canes. We would go to visit her and she'd offer us a candy cane. It was one of the highlights of Christmas pasts for me. I miss my grandma, very much. She was such a fun, amazing woman. It's been 11 years since she died, this will be our 12th Christmas without her. I'm sad that my boys never got to meet her and share in her candy cane tree, or any of the other things she was amazing at.
My little tree is a small way of bringing back her memory into my home. Love you, Grandma Mabel!

Monday, December 06, 2010

He Sees You When You're Sleeping....He Knows When You're Awake....

Yesterday, Santa sent each of my boys an email about their status on his list.
He told both boys that they've been good, but they can improve. He encouraged Cameron to be nice to his brother, and then he encouraged Jake to listen to his parents.
Santa is such a great guy (and motivator for positive behavior)....but I think some boys in my house have forgotten their message from Santa. Maybe I should email him and let him know what's going on.
Mornings are just hard on us. No one really WANTS to wake up (except, maybe Jacob...but only if it's on HIS terms) and then the grumpies come out.
This morning, for example, Jake woke up happily and took a bath. Baths are his FAVORITE thing in the world. Usually he flops onto his belly and says, "Mom, I fwimming! I FWIMMING!" I've yet to convince him that you can't really swim in a bathtub. Anyway, after Jake's bath, it's Cameron's turn. I called to Cameron, nicely (I promise) and told him that it was his turn. He called back, "I don't WANNA wake up, I don't WANNA go to school!"
I told him that wasn't an option, unless he was sick.
Then he stomped into the bathroom....completely grumpy and upset. He took his bath, forgetting to wash certain areas, but that's nothing new. Then once I was convinced he was done, I found him some clothes in my laundry-pile of a bedroom, and he got out of the tub.
He did not like the pants I found for him.
He did not like the shirt.
He didn't want to get dressed. He had melted down. He was done.
I was done as well. Time to truly implement the Total Transformation program. First step: (for me) calm down. Don't take his tantrum personally...treat this like it's business, because it is.
Second step: (for me.....again) what can I take from his menu, that he really LOVES to do, that I can take away from him, to get him to behave better? How long will his punishment last? What does he have to do to get it back?
"Cameron, you cannot watch TV for 10 minutes until you can talk nicely." (Yeah, that will work, VERY nicely!)
Cameron, screaming at me from his bedroom, tells me that he doesn't like that. That ten minutes is too hard, and too long.
Third step: (yet again, for me) don't take it personally....don't take it personally.....don't take it personally......
Step 3.5: make him WANT to behave well. Maybe 10 minutes is too long? No, not really, and I REALLY need him to be nice to me and Jake. We need to make him REALLY want to be good. Push up the time limit to 30 minutes.
"Cameron, since you don't like 10 minutes, now you owe me 30 minutes. Once you've been nice and kind for 30 minutes, you can watch tv. But now that you have 30 minutes, you will completely miss your favorite morning show."
More wailing comes from the bedroom.
Step four: State the consequences, the required behavior and walk away.
"Cameron, you know that you need to behave for 30 minutes. Once you do that, you can watch tv." Grab the laundry that needs washed, and go downstairs.
You know, it worked!! One peaceful half-hour later, the tv is on, the boys are happily coloring and getting along.
I am beginning to wonder if I have more pull than Santa Claus.....

Monday, November 29, 2010

Update on Us, Since I Don't Do much of That Anymore

He just finished the local production of Willy Wonka. He wasn't any particular part, but he was in the background and helped with the scenery and props. He got to pull Augustus Gloop through the pipe. We took the boys to see the play and both boys were excited to see Daddy. Cam even got to see it twice, once with us and once with his school class. Steve loved it, and I think it made him happier. I don't want him to NOT be happy, so I have decided to not fight him on his plays.
He's still working hard for our family. I love him so much.
He's in the DACC class at a new school. Most of his old friends are back, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. His one friend is not always nice, and I worry that he might follow her example. Thankfully, he's still a sweet boy who is always concerned about others.
He's doing fairly well on his Ritalin and since we started giving him a small dose at bedtime, he hasn't had the screaming/fearful problems that he's had in the past.
He's still doing speech therapy and occupational therapy, and seems to be doing well at both.
His new love is Skyping with a friend on a weekly basis. We have missed a few times, but when we do get the opportunity he just laughs and laughs. (Mostly the conversations between the two 10 year old boys consists of farting noises and covering the camera. Such goobers!)
This little boy is VERY busy. His favorite thing to do is push buttons. He tries to push the buttons on the computer, microwave, tv...anything that has buttons and is at his height.
Jake also LOVES playing outside. Lately we've had a few blizzards blow through, and that hasn't stopped his love of being outdoors. Grandma has outfitted both boys with snow pants, waterproof gloves, hats and boots. They love to help shovel the sidewalks, although, Jake puts more ON the sidewalk than was there to begin with. We even got him his own shovel, one that is JUST his size.
Jake is also a little talker. He repeats almost anything he hears, which has led us many times to the bad word discussion. (Not just from hearing those words from the tv...*blush*) He LOVES to say prayers and if given the opportunity will bless "gamma" over and over. Needless to say, Grandma LOVES his prayers.
Jake has also been having some coughing/breathing issues. I've taken him to the doctor's office TWICE to see if there's anything we can do. After discussing it with the doctor, he thinks that Jake might have asthma. It seems to make sense, but we're taking a wait-and-see approach right now. I can control his cough for the most part, except when he's sleeping. Then he coughs so hard he can't breathe or sleep. It's been a rough few weeks, but I think we're coming out of it.
One more fun update on Jake: He's now sleeping in his big-boy bed! I let him try it out one night, and he's LOVED it. We only have problems with him sleeping there when Big Brother Cameron gets grumpy with him and yells and cries. Jake's learned that sleeping on the big-boy bed allows him the opportunity to come to mom and dad's bed in the middle of the night. I always wake up when he comes in, but I'm so tired and lazy that I just bring him into our bed to sleep. Steve wakes up and wonders how Jake got there.
I've been crafty. I've learned a basic stitch in crocheting. I never knew that I would love to crochet like I am, but I do and I've made 4 scarfs in 3 weeks. I want to learn more and more. It's almost a sickness, but a good one.
I've been working on a new parenting program with the boys. It's supposed to be a seven week program, but I hurried through it (because it was a "free program" where you pay them, and once you send back the completed survey you get your money back....I needed my money back, so I hurried) and learned a LOT. The program is the Total Transformation and I'm here to tell you that it WORKS!
One night, the boys were fighting, and my usual response is to yell up the stairs for them to be quiet and go to sleep. This night I was actually listening to one of the lessons and I decided to put it into effect. I called Cameron down to me, since he seemed to be the most distressed, and I asked him what was going on. He then complained that Jake was hitting the metal bars on the bed and keeping him awake. So I asked him what he could do about it. I reminded him that Jake might not stop, what could he do the next time Jake beats on the bars. He said, "Ignore him." I said that his idea was great and to try it. Then I talked to Jake. I told him that it wasn't acceptable to bother his brother. I sent them off to bed. I heard more noise, so I got up and went upstairs. I turned on the light, and told Cameron, "Remember, you were going to ignore him." Then to Jake, "Hitting the bed is not acceptable. Stop it now." Then I turned and walked downstairs. No fighting, no negotiating....nothing. There wasn't another PEEP out of that bedroom for the rest of the night.
I was in shock. Are you telling me that this technique WORKED!? On MY boys!? Oh, my goodness, I must do more.
It's fantastic. It teaches parents how to help their children take accountability for their actions and how to solve their own problems. Seriously, it works and I LOVE it.
Our family is doing well. Steve and I have gotten our Christmas shopping done (for the most part, a few small-ish things left, but really, we've got the boys covered and our other big ones as well!) The boys are excited for Christmas, and I'm debating about putting up the tree right now. I know I will HAVE to put it up eventually, but I'm not in the same hurry I used to be in years past. I've learned that our house needs a successful Christmas by not having presents under the tree until Christmas Eve. So I haven't wrapped the presents or put up the tree. Lack of motivation is to blame, I think.
So there's our family update. It's been a busy last month, and we're excited for December and all the fun things to come.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Do You Feel It?

This time of year, things get a little crazy at my house. My boys are on hyper-overdrive because they know Christmas is coming and they begin begging for all those toys they see in commercials. ("Mama!! I want THAT!" "I'm gonna ask Santa for that for Christmas!" "When can we write our letter to Santa?" "I'm so excited, guess why. 'Cause Christmas is coming!!")
We visit family and friends, trying to squeeze in quality time with those we love and care about. And then we eat....oh, how we LOVE to eat. The food tastes so fantastic we find ourselves stuffed to the gills and wanting MORE.
Thanksgiving for us was wonderful. We had a lot of people come from far away to visit, and we enjoyed our chats and got many laughs. I wish we could see everyone anytime we wanted's THAT fun.
I love the change in the air. The cool nights of fall change to the freezing snows of winter, and the sky takes on a different color. The people seem happier and there's love to be found almost everywhere. What a great time of year!
Oh, and it's official, I can now *legally* listen to my Christmas music. (I've been listening for months, but now it's okay...I won't be shot by the Christmas police!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I Cannot Win

Jacob is a button-pusher. I mean this literally as well as figuratively. He is constantly getting into things he shouldn't and making them do things they shouldn't.
While we were camping with my parents over Labor Day weekend, Jake managed to push the buttons in their RV in JUST the right way to over-ride the ENTIRE electrical system. It took 3 grown men a full day to figure out WHAT he did and to fix it.
A while back, I left him watching cartoons while I took a fast shower. Now, for me, a shower is no longer than 5 minutes...this includes shaving of the legs AND a full hair treatment. I take VERY quick showers. In that amount of time, he'd managed to lose our TV remote (which is quite important, we can't turn the blasted thing off without the remote) and play with my phone, calling my youngest brother. I got out of the shower just in time to hear that he'd transferred the call to the upstairs phone and hear it ring ONCE. I looked on my caller-ID and thought that he'd called back the last person who had called me. So I called my mom, only to find out he hadn't called her, and she hadn't called us. When I hung up with my mom, my younger brother called asking if I had called him. I told him apologetically that it was Jake, and I was sorry he'd bothered him at work.
Last week, two days before the time change, my alarm clock (which is FANTASTIC, it's an automatic clock, I don't have to mess with the time long as it's set correctly) changed time. Steve was getting ready for work when we noticed it was an hour slow. How did that happen?? Someone, most likely Jake, messed with the DAY setting on the thing. He set it two days fast.
Knowing all of the things Jake could do, I've taken a few precautions: Our TV has a plastic cover over the buttons, so he can't randomly change channels, turn up the volume unexpectedly, or turn the TV off while we're watching something. I put all remotes and phones up high, where he can't reach. We have a lock on our computer, and turn it on ANY time we're not on it. And I've pushed EVERYTHING back on my kitchen and bathroom counters. I've even taken off the latch on the dishwasher, so he can't make it run.
Again, remembering my little button pusher, I went to take a shower today. I took the phone and remotes and put them up high, and hid the upstairs remote before going into the bathroom. Jacob, my sneaky little boy, came upstairs and played with Steve's clock-radio. He turned the alarm on, the radio on and then pushed his book off of his night stand. When I was getting my hair dry, he found Steve's fancy lotion, like the expensive kind, and SLATHERED everything in sight, the alarm clock, the night stand, the sheet and comforter, his hands and his shirt. Then he came into the bathroom and proudly said, "Mom, I washed my hands!"
Jake is a button pusher, and no matter WHAT precautions I take, no matter HOW safe I THINK I am, he finds something else to get into and more buttons to push....mainly MINE!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Little Miss Homemaker?

Lately, I've been in a bit of a funk. Anything the boys do drives me crazy and I get the feeling that I've lost ALL control of my life and I turn into a screaming machine. I hate it. I'm pretty sure the boys hate it. And I've been trying to fill my life with busy things to keep me from getting depressed and REALLY upset.
Today I've been washing the blankets and sheets for our beds. It's SUCH a pain to haul all the bedding from upstairs to the basement, but it will be worth it to have yummy smelling blankies and sheets tonight. I haven't changed the comforter on my bed for a VERY long time. Now that it's fall/winter time I'm changing it to the darker blanket and the warmer stuff. I hope it will be worth it.
I'm also making HOMEMADE pumpkin pie. Okay, the only thing that ISN'T homemade is the crust, but I actually mashed the pumpkin by myself (this time using PIE pumpkins, so it's not nasty and stringy) and it smells SO heavenly. I can't wait to eat my hard work.
And with the cold weather coming I've learned a new skill. A long time ago, when I was 10 or 11 years old, I was taught a few crafty things in Primary. My sweet Primary teacher wanted us all to have the cutest things that we had created ourselves, and unfortunately for her, I was a bit of an impatient punk. We tried doing counted cross stitches, and I gave up on it before it was done. She sweetly took it and finished it for me. Then she taught us to crochet. I figured I would be FANTASTIC at this since my mom has ALWAYS been a crocheter, but it was NOT that way. I had no patience for crocheting. The only thing I ever retained from my crocheting experience was the hand hold and the chain stitch.
Fast forward to last week. I wanted to make my boys scarves for winter. I knew that I could do it, I have the determination, but I worried that I would give up like I had earlier in life. So, while I was at Cameron's annual genetics appointments last Tuesday, I had my mom show me how to make a simple stitch and a scarf. After several tries (pulling it all out after messing up) I got the hang of it, and had about a foot and a half of scarf for Mr. Jacob.
I took my crocheting with me to all of Cameron's therapy appointments, and began to get faster and faster. Then yesterday, after therapy, I finished a little scarf for my little man. I tied it all off and put strings on the end, and VOILA! I had crocheted AND finished a project!
I would LOVE to show you my craft, but sadly, my camera has decided to rebel against it's camera cord. I can't upload pics to my computer anymore, but I can upload at my mom's house. I just need to get over there sometime.
I'm just feeling SO proud of myself for accomplishing these rather homemaker-y goals! GO ME! :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Doesn't Everyone Have This?

I went with my mom and Jake to Grandma-Miriam's funeral. I was enjoying the talks and music, but Jake was antsy....and who could blame the little wiggly 2 year old?
I took him out twice. The first time for a diaper change, the second, because he was rolling UNDER the pews kicking the bottoms and annoying the people around him. The second time I took him to a little corner of the church where I made him run. I had him running from one door to the next, making him run to me and under the bench that was THERE...
Pretty soon, I was singing "Ring Around The Rosies." He LOVES this song. At home, he'll sing part of it at the top of his lungs falling down. He'll sing, "Ashes, we all fall down," then lift up his legs and land squarely on his bum. I know if I tried that I would re-break my tail bone.
The first time he fell down, he landed REALLY hard. He rubbed his little back-side and said, "Mom, I cracked my bum!"
Do you think I should tell him that EVERYONE'S bum is cracked?? ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This is from one of my favorite women of all time:
"Be Kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
~Marjorie Hinkley

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Tonight I found out that my great-aunt-step-grandma died. This woman started out as my great-aunt, then after her husband and my great-grandma died, she married my great-grandpa (who had been her brother-in-law.) They were married for about 10 years before my great-grandpa died.
This April she turned 100 years old. She was quite the amazing little lady. She was spry and full of life up until the end. I remember at one family reunion about 10 years ago, they called her to come up on the stage at the church we were at. Instead of going to the stairs, like any other person in her age-group would, she climbed up the front of the stage, jumping up onto the stage. She was 88 years old then. I remember commenting to my mom that I wished I could grow up to be like her.
At her 100th birthday party this year, I went to visit with her and her family. When I went in the house to give her a hug, she said, "Now, you're Dawnyel, right?" How amazing is that? I mean, she wasn't even my grandma, but she KNEW me.
She was cute and truly amazing. She will definitely be missed! Love you, Grandma-Miriam!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Deep Thought

I read this thought and LOVE it!! I must remember it when I'm blindly judging others.

"Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." ~Albert Einstein

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Who Knew?

One of my cousins sent me this email. I was a little shocked by some of the information, but it all made sense, so I knew I HAD to share!

  • Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
  • Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!
  • Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
  • Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  • To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
  • For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
  • Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic. And at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.
  • Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!
  • Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.
  • Cut cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.
  • When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.
  • To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
  • Start putting wet newspaper in your plants, to work the nutrients in your soil. Wet the newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.
  • Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip t o pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.
  • Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.
  • To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.
  • To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
  • Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... And ta DA! ... Static is gone.
  • Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
  • Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!
  • If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include s om ething inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.
  • Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.
  • To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup an d gone forever!
  • Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!
  • Information about Clothes Dryers: The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean.. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material .. I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well .... the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit.You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer r sheets to make your clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box ... well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very longtime (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbru sh (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?! Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd share!
  • Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it .. the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!
  • Fabric softner and dryer sheets also make your clothes take longer to dry, so try drying clothes without these.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm Off....

My sleep schedule is thoroughly messed up. I have been staying up way late every night this week. It's starting to drive me a little crazy.
Then when I don't sleep at night, I end up napping through out the day...that doesn't help.
I really need to get back on a starting tonight, I'm going to go to bed at a fairly decent hour and try NOT to nap after church.
Here's hoping I become *normal* after this.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

What Can You Say After Eleven Years?

My life has changed SO much over the last 11 years. I've grown in ways I didn't even know I could. I've changed shape (a few times). I have become a mother. I've picked up a few bad habits (naughty, potty-mouth...).
But the best things I can say?
I can honestly say that I love Steve more today than I did eleven years ago. I know him so much more than I could ever imagine. I know his quirks and smile at them daily. Just knowing that we have forever to REALLY get to know one another makes me anxious to spend even more time getting to know and love him.
Happy anniversary, honey! I love you SO much!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

If You Don't See Me Again....It's Because I've Gone Crazy....

The next two days are Cameron's days off of school. He's thrilled, I'm dreading it.
Being a referee was not what I thought mothering would entail. Cam will torment Jake to the point where Jake screams this shrill yell that sounds almost like a whistle. Then I turn into evil mama, and begin yelling and screaming for peace. (Yeah, that's NOT gonna happen that way...)
I do have a goal though: Have a good and enjoyable time with my boys and try really, REALLY hard not to yell or swear at them.
This is actually my overall mothering goal, but it doesn't hurt to take it baby-step by teeny tiny baby-step, right?
Wish me luck, unless you see my obituary in the paper next week....then wish my hubby well. ;)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

I'm Too Young

I can't believe it's happened. I'm the mother of a 10 year old. Cameron turned 10 today. His birth and early years have been pretty rough, but he's managed to turn into a pretty good young man.
He's a good example to his younger brother (most days) and he's a good kid who likes to accomplish big things.
We're still working on a lot, but he's a good kid who I know I would not be the same without.
Love you, buddy! Happy birthday!

Monday, October 04, 2010


3:15 pm
Ten years ago...
I was checking into the hospital, per my doctor's instructions. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew big changes were coming.
I settled into the room and got hooked up to an IV, monitors and a blood pressure cuff. An hour into the wait, the nurse gave me a dose of cervadil. I waited.
An hour after the insertion of the medication, my doctor's partner came into the room dragging an ultrasound monitor. We asked him what he was going to do. He responded with, "We're going to check to see if this baby is head-down"
Um, okay, we then asked him what he wanted to do if the head wasn't down....
"We'll send you home."
(Dumb doctor! Honestly, I have HUGE issues with the idiocy of this man.....)
Thankfully, head was down, and we were in for a long night and day.
Ten years ago, I realized, "This is real. I'm actually going to be a mom and have a child..."
Needless to say, I couldn't relax or rest much at all.
Ten years have just flown by.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Must Share...

Saturday I went to the general broadcast of the world-wide Relief Society meeting. It was completely wonderful!
I usually go with my mom to her building, and when we got there, it was dark in the chapel. My mom is blind in one eye, and so her night-vision is horrible. (She doesn't drive at night anymore because she literally cannot see.) I had to grab her hand and lead her to the pew. We sat on the second row, pretty much by ourselves. The opening song was being sung, "Count Your Blessings." I sat and listened for a bit and started thinking about things. The first thought was, "I am truly blessed. I have so much to be grateful for, and now I'm honored to hear from a living prophet and church leaders tonight." I got teary and had to wipe my face.
After the song, the prayer was given, and in it, the woman mentioned that President Monson (the prophet) would be speaking. I was overwhelmed by a peaceful, excited feeling. He was going to be speaking to ME!
The meeting was wonderful, but the highlight WAS President Monson's talk. He made us all laugh and cry. It was wonderful. His topic was about not judging others. I've felt lately that I have been too judgmental. My younger brother, who's been rebelling for quite a while, made some comments a while back that has had me thinking.
My uncle was visiting at my parents' house and he asked my brother, Shad, what he was doing. Shad told him that he was working at Hot Topic. My uncle then asked him what Hot Topic was. Shad told him that it was a music store, and I added, "Yeah, it's where weird people go to buy weird stuff...." Shad then said, "It's where people go to be judged by others...."
I didn't think too much of it until the next day.
That Sunday I was helping my mom make dinner while my other brother was talking about how people had tried to enter the store he works at before it was opened that morning. I joked, "Keep the Sabbath day holy...." To which Shad said, "Judge not, lest thou be judged...."
Was I really that judgmental? I looked at myself and decided that I wasn't being very fair to him, so I needed to change my attitude.
Then when I heard President Monson talking about judging others, I was struck again. He told a story about a husband and wife. The wife would tell her husband every day that their neighbor, who hung her laundry out to dry, didn't know how to clean her clothes. She complained about what a lousy job this neighbor did EVERY day. One day, she looked and said, "Look, she's learned how to clean her clothes. What do you think happened?" Then her husband said, "I woke up early and cleaned our windows." Even though it's funny, and cute, it hit me. I need to stop judging others based on my poor view.
The whole talk was wonderful, and gave me hope that I can change and start to love others the way that Christ does.
I am trying harder to be a better mom to my boys as well. I've realized that I've been extra hard on them, and I need to give them extra love and understanding.
That meeting has helped me to see that I need to be a better woman, one who truly exemplifies Christ in ALL I do.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Jacob is such a little chatter-box. And some of the things he says just CRACKS me up.
First off, he's on a birthday kick. He informs me daily that his birthday is June 6th. Then he tells me that it's soon. He's also been known to say that it's Tuesday. I guess Cameron being excited about his birthday is wearing off on Jake. Even though his birthday is past, he's ready for it again.
Next, he will say something, and even if it's a lie, he's VERY determined and will argue his point. For example, today I went with my parents to a dinner and we quickly buckled in the boys and we were on our way. After 10 seconds, yes, 10 seconds, he began yelling, "WHERE'S MY SISSER!?" I looked at him in shock.
"Jake, you don't have a sister, who are you talking about?"
"Really, you don't have a sister...."
"Are you talking about Cameron?"
*sigh* "Jake, you don't have a sister...please stop."
Who knows WHERE he got the idea that he has a sister from....but apparently she was lost.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm An Auntie Again!!

After a long time of waiting, Logan Eric made his debut into the world September 13th at 6:17 pm. He weighed 7 pounds and was 19 inches long.
I've yet to see him in person, but he's freakin' ADORABLE!
Congrats to my little sister and her family.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not All Piano Concerts Are Boring....

Steve and I went to see Jon Schmidt in concert last night. Steve has loved this particular artist for QUITE a while, and I had only ever heard his music when Steve played the CD in the car. Otherwise, I was clueless.
Several months ago, Steve found a video clip of Jon on youtube where he was playing a really cool mixed song. Steve played it for me, and I was HOOKED! I love this song (and can literally listen to it over and over and over and NOT get sick of it!)
Then in April, Steve was looking on Jon's website and found out that Jon was coming to our area for a concert in September. We immediately put it on our calendar (the date the tickets went on sale AND the concert date) making every effort to go and see his performance.
As the days got closer, Steve had talked to a guy he works with and invited them to join us on a double-date. They got excited as well. And thankfully, the husband got us all a good deal on the tickets!
Then came last night.
I have only ever been to ONE other concert (Tim McGraw, 1997, state fair....was FANTASTIC!) but I have to admit, this was NOT what I had expected. Jon was entertaining, especially with his cellist friend, Steve. They teased each other (when Steve introduced Jon, he said, "Welcome our pianist for the evening......Jim Brickman!" *giggle* Then when Jon came out, someone in the audience called out, "WE LOVE YOU, JIM!!" *laughing hysterically*!) There was dancing WHILE playing (Yes, it looked hilarious, but it added to the song as well!) playing upside-down, and backwards playing. He even did a little bit where he pulled a random guy out of the audience to "jam" with him. THAT was cool!
He started out playing some familiar songs, then he called his friend, Steve, out and they played Love Story and Viva La Vida (two separate songs....for legality sake!) and the crowd went wild!
He played his new favorite song to play, "Game Day." My Steve told me that he LOVES this song and wants it. I have to admit, it was amazing and VERY moving.
At the end of the concert, the audience all stood begging, PLEADING for more, and as part of their encore Jon and Steve played "Dumb Song," and then took a vote. By applause we were voting on "Tribute" or "Love Story meets Viva La Vida." The applause was overwhelming. We got to hear Love Story TWICE! The second time they played it, they encouraged us to sing along. SO SO fun and SO SO cool!
The song that actually made me cry was "Renaissance Hymn." He explained ALL the symbolism behind it and it made it so meaningful and just amazing! I want that song now....
If he's ever in your area, I highly recommend getting tickets. You will NOT regret it!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010

VIP Soccer Time Again

After much debate, we have enrolled Cameron in VIP Soccer again this year. He loves it and there are way more kids to play with this time around. Unfortunately there are less helpers to go around, but they've split the kids up well and it's working.
The first night they had practice Jake insisted on going with me. As Cameron took off to join the other kids on the field, Jake toddled after him. He knew that we were there so he could play too. Once I grabbed the younger boy and took him to the bleachers, I had some explaining to do. I told Jake that we were there for Cameron, and that once he got older, he could play soccer too. He whined and moped for a while, then he decided to run. Needless to say, that first night, I didn't get to watch Cameron as much as I would have liked.
The second week, I left Jake with Grandma, and went armed with the camera. This year the team wears green, and Cameron is good old number 21. He's one of the older kids on the team, and he knows mostly what he's doing. He even managed to score a goal in their "game." He was VERY proud.
I'm so happy that people in my community have volunteered to put this program together for special needs kids. It makes them feel special and apart of something bigger than themselves. It's WONDERFUL!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So Much For Peace

It was too good to be true. Jake makes it IMPOSSIBLE to have peace when Cam's in school.
While I was online yesterday, posting about Cameron and his first day of school, Jake found my fingernail polish. The boy painted the wall, my couch, his clothes and his body. I was SO upset! Then he was blatantly disobedient ALL day long.
So far today, he's messed with the computer, tried to stick his wet, sticky straw into the television, thrown toys AND the toy box, and run from me MULTIPLE times. He's going to kill me, isn't he?
Maybe having Cameron around IS helpful after all.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm Free! I'm Free! Uh, I Mean, First Day of School

We ALL (yes, including Cameron) have been looking forward to today for the past month or so. Cameron was beyond ready to see his friends again, have a set schedule, and learn. I've been ready for peace in my home those few precious hours while he's away. Don't get me wrong, I love Cameron and I love having him around, but there are many days when he and his brother fight SO much that I just want to be done being a mom.
Cameron woke up extra early this morning, excited. I woke up when the alarm went off, tired and excited as well. We didn't have to worry too much about his clothes, because he set them out last night.
We didn't have to worry about him forgetting any school supplies, he'd already dropped them off at the school when we went to the open house on Friday. It was pretty relaxing, until the boys got into another fight (over toy cars, of all things...) and mom did her usual yell of, "Stop! That's enough! Don't HIT! You're NOT in charge!!"
The bus came, and he was off...practically out the door before the bus honked it's horn.
I'm excited for him to learn more, meet new people and become a little more independent...but I'm really excited for the peace and freedom I'll have by only having one needy child at home. :D

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Lately I've been feeling *off.* Nothing too drastic, but I am not liking myself much lately.
Today I stayed home with both boys and I couldn't stop yelling at them. Cameron kept acting like he was in charge, telling Jake AND me what to do. Then when I would correct him and tell him that I was the one in charge, he'd yell at me and then break down crying. Then Jake would get crabby and would start to bite or hit and I'd yell and scream for him to stop. Then HE would cry.
I didn't feel like cleaning up my house, but forced myself to at least vacuum, which caused stress and strife with the boys.
Then when I took a short break in the bathroom (yes, I hide in the bathroom, doesn't everyone?) I heard screaming, hitting, crying and then the door being hit.
I don't like myself when I'm grouchy with the boys. I don't like it when my house is a mess and I just don't know where to start. I don't like feeling helpless when the boys are pushing me to my limits. I don't like being this person I've been lately.
All I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry...but I know I can't.
I need some uplifting thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Boys at the Zoo

We took advantage of a reduced price at the zoo and had QUITE the enjoyable time. Both boys were happy and enjoyed it all...then couldn't stop talking about it.
It's too bad the zoo isn't cheap EVERYDAY! ;)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Say Something! "Something."

Yeah, that's about how I feel. I feel like I need to say something, but I can't think of anything really blog-worthy.
Summer is coming to an end, and Cameron is beyond thrilled. He loves school and the schedule that it gives him. I enjoy school too, but mostly because I don't have constant bickering for about 7 hours out of the day.
My boys are tanned from being outside most of the time, and I'm so jealous. (Does that count as "something?")
Cameron has officially earned his Bear badge for Cub Scouts (and trust me, I'm a little shocked this one happened. I attribute it to his FABULOUS leaders!) He'll be getting it next week at Pack Meeting.
My house is ready for an actual schedule....for pretty much the whole summer I've let it go, and it shows.
Yup, that's it. I wish there was more going on, but sadly, there isn't.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Camping in a Hole

We decided to have our own little camping trip this weekend. Steve's family was going to have a barbecue, and we thought it would be nice to camp while Steve had the time off. Packing was a nightmare. Usually we go camping with my parents, who have a HUGE RV, and this time we had to take it ALL with us in our itty-bitty car. (Have I mentioned on here that the van is out of commission for a while? It's drivable for short distances, but anything longer than a mile away makes me leery.) We used the car-topper, and managed to fit it all snugly in the car. Thank goodness we were only doing ONE night...more than that and we might not have fit it all in.
Steve's brother found us a nice little campground, but it was windy, dusty and FILLED with earwigs. *Shudder* The boys had fun and we saw wildlife. On my way back from the outhouse (in the dark) I saw a deer. It looked at me, did a double take, then ran off. It was cool, but kinda creepy.
Then we had a fun barbecue with the family. It was a lot of fun. Jake and Cameron played with their cousin (who likes to play rough, and they're not used to it...) and I had some good conversations with the family.
We're sad it's over so soon, but glad to be home as well. It was an earwigs. Did I mention those things were EVERYWHERE?! For example, we have a nice tent. On each of the 4 corners there is a little thing that holds up the poles. We took the tent down and had to shake out the corners and had HUNDREDS of earwigs come out. Seriously GROSS!! Then when we were at my brother-in-law's house and pulled out our lawn chairs THEY were covered with earwigs. SO SO SO gross!!
Glad to be home, earwig free. *fingers crossed*