Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fun, Over

Fun - A source of enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure.
December 28, 2009

Yeah, it's pretty much Mario Kart 24/7 at our house. We are all developing large thumbs and are getting locked into the above positions. Thank goodness for the banana chairs from my parents - who knows how hunched over we would be without them.

Over - Having come or been brought to a conclusion.
December 30, 2009

It's over. When Christmas is done, I am SO in a mood to just get it cleaned up and put away. If it was up to me, I would put Christmas up on November 1 and take it down on the evening of December 25. When it's over, it's over and it's time to move on. So we got it all cleaned up this evening and carried downstairs. I need Lane to put it back in the storage space under the stairs, and he was asleep while we were putting it all away - convenient, huh? No, that's rude. He was up all day shoveling and chauffeuring me around in the snow, so he had to go to sleep sometime so he could go to work tonight. So it was just the kids and I who got it all boxed up, and now we leave it for Lane to put away and to carry down the artificial tree and to dispose of the real tree. Then it's back to the regularly-scheduled January need to sort and organize and de-clutter everything in the house. Which lasts about 3 days. Then I get distracted by something shiny and all my good intentions are forgotten until next January. Which is a waste of a perfectly good month. January has no redeeming qualities - NONE, I assure you - so what better time to focus on things like organizing and de-cluttering? And for the larger question - how do I end up with so much junk? I like to blame it on the kids.

Only one more picture to take. 364 photographs in the bag. I never thought last January 1 that it would be so hard to come up with a photograph every day for a whole year. And for almost all of those 365 days, the picture was true to that day. I cheated once in a while, and took 2 pictures in a day to make up for a day skipped, but mostly it was every day. Whew! That's not a project I'm likely to take on again in the foreseeable future. But it was a good experience for anyone out there who wants to take it on.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Dinosaur - One that is hopelessly outmoded or unwieldy.
December 28, 2009
My computer is dying. It's true. She is old, almost 6 I think, and she has fought the good fight. We are trying to make her last days as comfortable as possible. Everyone is under strict orders to speak only kind words to her, and to stroke her gently 3 times each day. I no longer dare power her down for fear she will not power back up, and I'm not yet prepared to say goodbye - which means that everything is not yet succesfully backed up. She has served our family well, but is surely so virus-ridden and memory-deprived that watching her suffer is painful for us all. Sob. She is feeling some better this evening, as I am not asking too much of her. No multi-tasking tonight. No running of multiple programs. And in her gratitude, she is chugging along at as fast a pace as her 504 MB of RAM will allow. Good girl. Just a little longer, please. I still need to back up some information and find the ever evasive Free Computer Store. And all the CDs needed to reload all my programs on the New Computer. Don't give up just yet. I like to procrastinate mundane chores, like loading software. And shopping for computers. Just keep working. It's so little to ask.

Inherit, Journal

Inherit - obtain from someone after their death.
December 26, 2009

This is something else that I got from my Grandma Whaley's house after she died. It used to sit on the end table in her living room, right next to her couch. She also had a larger ceramic tree, part of the same set, that had Christmas lights on the ends of the branches and it lit up. I don't know what happened to that. I'm too sentimental for my own good sometimes, which is why I have this little set. I guess no one else wanted it and since I always remember it from Grandma's house, I just couldn't let it go to the DI. Grandma wouldn't like that. Sometimes I catch Addie playing with it, just like I used to.

Journal - A personal record of occurances, experiences, and reflections kept on a regular basis; a diary.
December 27, 2009

For some years now I have been working on typing Lane's Grandma Funk's journal. I can only manage to do 2 years every year. I finished 1993 today, so I still have some years to go. I'm not sure how long she kept a journal prior to her death 2 years ago. She wrote faithfully every day, sometimes not much more than "I went to church," but she did write pretty much every single day. In my Full Blown Christmas Panic stage, I turned it over to Taylor and asked her to just type as much as she could. She doesn't type as fast as I do, nor is she as accustomed to reading "old lady cursive," which led to quite a bit of entertainment tonight when I was proofreading it. My favorite was at one entry, where Taylor had skipped a line and typed "Bret came over and cut down my tree, so Brent came over and shot him." It's funny that skipping a line still made the entry make sense, but that's, of course, not what happened. Bret had come over to cut down a tree, and some raccoons had been discovered, so Brent came over and shot THEM, the raccoons, not Bret. But we laughed about it for a long time this evening. Another favorite was when Taylor typed that someone had prepared a dinner and invited Grandma and 10 other people. Instead of typing "It was a lovely dinner," Taylor typed "It was a lonely dinner." And there were a few more instances like that which kept us laughing.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Collection, Cozy, Happy, Vast

Collection - A number of things assembled together.
December 22, 2009

When Taylor was a baby, I started collecting Christmas books. Over the years our collection has gotten quite large. I started out with just the Scholastic books because they are affordable, but with the aforementioned Polar Express, I decided to step it up a notch. We got a lovely hardbound copy of the Christmas Oranges as a gift one year, and then that was followed by other nice copies of bookes in subsequent years. Even the older kids enjoy getting the books out every year, but it was Addie who read each book to her dolls. Every day she would read a bunch of them, and some of her favorites I think she read every single day, holding the pictures up like her teacher does at school.

Cozy - Snug, comfortable, and warm.
December 23, 2009

A couple of fleece blankets I finished just in time.

Happy - Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.
December 24, 2009

Everyone is happy on Christmas Eve. Even those who try to act like they are getting to cool for silly traditions. She likes it all, no matter what she says. No really, she doesn't complain much, but does like to act like she doesn't get as excited as the other 2. Well guess what? She does.

Vast - of very great size or amount.
December 25, 2009

I wanted to use shrapnel, or carnage, to reflect the heap of paper, ribbons, boxes, gifts, etc. that was left after the gift-opening, but both of those definitions referred to blood, war, and massacre. Not excatly Christmas-y thoughts. Everyone seemed to be happy with their Christmas goods.

We spent a perfect Christmas at home. Our kids didn't get up until 7:30. We had intentions to go out and doing the normal visiting, but it just never happened. We stayed home and welcomed a few visitors, played the fun board games Santa brought and my sister's family in Wisconsin sent, had way too much fun with our new Mario Kart (where has that been hiding all my life??? FUN!!!). At the end of the day, I thought I should feel bad about our lack of socialness, but in the end, yeah, I really don't. We had so much fun at home just playing around and laughing all day long. We don't do that nearly enough. Please come and play Mario Kart with us. It's the funnest game EVER!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flaming, Wintry, Evergreen, Gathering

Fiery - Of, containing, or composed of fire.
December 18, 2009

After going to my cousin's wedding reception with Calvin & Angie, we stopped for something to eat. The wedding reception was in Springville so we were free to go to those restaurants in the part of the county we just never get to because it's "too far." We ended up at a restaurant on University Parkway in Orem, that I don't really know the name of, so I call it Soduku Samarai. It's one of those places where they cook your food right in front of you and throw shrimp at you to catch in your mouth. Not me, of course. People who EAT shrimp and can catch. I don't do either. I'm a dropper. But I digress. I've been there a bunch of times, but seriously, I don't know the name. It's good and I recommend it, or I would . . . if I knew the name.

Wintry - Belonging to or characteristic of winter; cold.
December 19, 2009

Evergreen - A tree, shrub or plant having foliage that persists and remains green throughout the year.
December 20, 2009
I love my Christmas tree. There is something very soothing about Christmas lights and the smell of evergreen. If only they could make an artificial tree smell like a real one. We'll go back to artificial trees next year, but I have enjoyed the evergreen smell this year.

Gathering - A group of persons gathered together in one place.
December 21, 2009
It was the Walker family Christmas party tonight. There was lots of good food, and lots of people. Everyone who should have been there was there, except Marissa, and I'm not sure where she was. Probably off on a date or something. We played that White Elephant game that is played at lots of parties, and there were some exceptionally good gifts this year. There was a truly heinous tie that my neice brought, I think Calvin ended up with it. That tie will go through a lot of white elephant parties. It was truly awful. Everyone had a good time and went away overly stuffed and full of smiles. My sister in Wisconsin gave us a GORGEOUS cutting board, made by the Amish and constructed of many different kinds of wood, both domestic and exotic. It is more like a work of art than something to use. I wish there was a way to hang it on the wall. Seriously. I would hang it on the wall. We got the game chairs I asked for from my parents. I had worked really hard to get my cruise scrapbook done so I could take that to the party for everyone to look at . . . Yep. I left it at home. Every year we are supposed to write memories on an assigned topic for the family history book. I just did LAST YEAR's about a week ago. So not wanting to be so delinquent again, I got mine done early, photocopied 5 times, all ready to take to the party. . . Yep. I left it at home. I had even thought earlier in the day, "Self, if you don't put those copies in the pile of stuff to take, you're going to forget them." Then my other Self, the overly confident, naughty Self, said "No, you won't forget them. The are right there on the bed, in plain sight. You won't forget." That Other Self if bad. Why do I keep listening to her?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sparkly, Iridescent

Sparkly - Giving off tiny flashes of light, glittery.
December 16, 2009

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care . . . With hopes that Lane won't burn them up again this year. So far, so good. I cross stitched stockings for us, but since I did them as people arrived in the family, none of them matched. I got a hankerin' for matching stockings so I got these last year (also satisfying my need for all things sparkly). If you remember, Lane promptly burned up 2 (or was it 3?) of them and I had to hurridly replace them. He has been very careful this year every time he has started a fire to make sure the stockings were safely out of the way.

Iridescent - Producing a display of lustrous, rainbowlike colors.
December 17, 2009

Ok, it didn't come out so well on the photograph, but I love these ornaments. The are clear glass, but iridescent, so they look like bubbles on the tree. We lost 2 the year Addie pulled the tree over, but I still have four of them.

I am in full-blown Christmas panic. I got 3 pairs of jammies sewn, and MOST of the other projects. I gave up on the Christmas cross-stitch. It will have to be a gift next year. I realized I just couldn't get it done. I still have 2 more jammies to make, plus one more secret other thing. I have only wrapped about 5 gifts. I did help the kids tonight get their gifts for each other finished. Their gifts for each other cannot come from the store, so it makes it more of a challenge, but it makes it fun too, unless I am the Full Blown Christmas Panic stage. Luckily, everything was pretty easy, and Taylor can do hers without any help now. Why don't I just buy gifts like everyone else? What is wrong with me? I have problems. Lane even offered to help with the wrapping, but since he doesn't do it the right way (meaning, MY WAY) I just can't let him do it. Can you say control freak? I think I need an intervention!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Stinky - To be highly offensive or abhorrent.
December 15, 2009

Oh. My. Gosh. After piano lessons and running a few errands, we came home to do our Daily Advent Chain activity (Wii Outdoor Adventures), which required the removal of shoes. I'm not sure what died in Jack's shoes/socks, but something did and it stunk up the house BAD. Having never been a little boy, I'm not entirely sure what goes on with him. His socks are in such a state of grayness, that not even strong bleach can bring them back to white. He can wear holes in even expensive, thick socks, in no time at all. The fronts of all his shirts look terrible because he uses his shirt as a napkin (especially across the belly area). There should be a "Little Boy" class for all us mothers who are constantly bewildered and befudled by these strange little creatures who win our hearts, but destroy everything else in sight. The Boy is constantly hungry, extremely clumsy, unable to recognize a messy room, is not bothered by an unmade bed, willing to wear underwear that is too small rather than discuss getting larger underwear with his mother, and, above all, totally ADORABLE!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Creche - a representation of Christ's nativity in the stable at Bethlehem.
December 14, 2009

I love nativities. I have a few, this one is the one we got in Ensenada, Mexico. There's nothing really special about it, except that I got it in Mexico. I like the coppery brown color of it, it's a nice change from the typical white, and I have 3 of those. One of them is a very large set, including a BIG camel, that I got when my Grandma Whaley died. Why no one wanted it is beyond me. It's made of ceramic, and glazed all white. I don't know if my Grandma made it or if someone made it as a gift for her. I tried to use that one for my picture today, but it is so large I had a hard time getting it all in the picture without having to stand so far back that nothing was identifiable.

I baked chicken and rolls for dinner today. I was so excited to find out that I can do rolls easily in 3 hours. I hadn't done rolls since I started working until 2, but now that I know it can be done, we are back to having fresh rolls again with dinner. We had missed that.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fool, Proposal, Fraud, Torn, Finale

Fool - One who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding.
December 9, 2009

"First, she learned that marriage with Rhett was a far different matter from marriage with either Charles or Frank. They had respected her and been afraid of her temper. They had begged for favors and if it pleased her, she had bestowed them. Rhett did not fear her and, she often thought, did not respect her very much either. What he wanted to do, he did, and if she did not like it, he laughed at her. She did not love him but he was most undoubtedly an exciting person to live with."
--Margaret Mitchell, author
Hallmark 2005
Proposal - An offer of marriage
December 10, 2009

"No, my dear, I'm not in love with you, no more than you are with me, and if I were, you would be the last person I'd ever tell. God help the man who ever really loves you. You'd break his heart, my darling, cruel, destructive litte cat who is so careless and confident she doesn't even trouble to sheathe her claws."
-- Rhett Butler
Hallmark 2006

Fraud - A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.
December 11, 2009

"Being what he was, Rhett would naturally want to torment and insult her as much as possible to pay her back for past slights and for her recent attempted trickery. Well, she could stand it. She could stand anything. Tara was worth it all. For a brief moment it was mid-summer and the afternoon skies were blue and she lay drowsily in the thick clover of Tara's lawn, looking up at the billowing cloud castles, the fragrance of white blossoms in her nose and the pleasant busy humming of the bees in her ears. Afternoon and hush and the far-off sound of the wagons coming in from the spiraling red fields. Worth it all, worth more."
-- Margaret Mitchell
Hallmark 2007

Torn - Divided or undecided, as in preference
December 12, 2009

"Her heart sank with bitter disappointment. So this was something beautiful, something spectacular! And then anger flared. This moment was her moment with Ashley, hers alone. And yet, though Melanie was absent, her pale shadow lay between them. How could he bring up her name in their moment of farewell? How could he ask such a thing of her?"
-- Margaret Mitchell, author
Hallmark 2009

Finale - The concluding part of any performance or presentation
December 13, 2009

"All I know is that you do not love me and you are going away! Oh, my darling, if you go, what shall I do?"
"My dear, I don't give a damn."
-- Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler & Rhett Butler
Hallmark 2009
I am behind because 1) I have reached that point in December when I realize, once again, that I have taken on too much and am extremely stressed that I won't be able to get it all done, and 2) my computer has been behaving badly and is tempermental about uploading pictures. I'm sure many readers (beginning with Lane) will be relieved that I have reached the end of my Scarletts. Of course, now I have lost my safety net and I'll have to actually come up with enough ideas to get me through the end of the month. Whew! It's hard to believe that I have (almost) completed this year-long project.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Disconcerted, Regret

Disconcerted - To upset the self-possession of; ruffle.
December 7, 2009

"How odd that the touch of his hands did not excite her! Once his very nearness would have set her a-tremble. Now she felt a curious warm friendliness and content. No fever leaped from his hands to hers and in his hands her heart hushed to happy quietness. This puzzled her, made her a little disconcerted. He was still her Ashley, still her bright, shining darling and she loved him better than life. Then why --"
Margaret Mitchell, author
Hallmark 2003

Regret - To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about.
December 8, 2009
"Now Ashley was gone forever. Her Ashley. No, not her Ashley now. Had he ever been hers? . . . All that mattered was Ashley. Now he was gone and she was married to a man she not only did not love but for whom she had an active contempt. Oh, how she regretted it all."
-- Margaret Mitchell, author
Hallmark 2004
So the good news is that we are now at 2004 so there are only 5 left to go.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gaudy, Delusion

Gaudy - Showy in a tasteless or vulgar way.
December 5, 2009

"I tell you I don't want anything tacky or old-fashioned looking. And inside let's have red wall paper and red velvet portieres over all the folding doors, and oh, lot's of expensive walnut furniture and grand thick carpets, and -- oh, Rhett, everyone will be pea green with envy when they see our house."
-- Scarlett O'Hara Butler
Hallmark 2001

Delusion - A mistaken or misleading opinion, idea, belief, etc.
Decmeber 6, 2009

"It's only Ashley you're wanting and you'll not be having him. And if he wanted to marry you, 'twould be with misgivings that I'd say yes. . . I want my girl to be happy and you wouldn't be happy with him."
-- Gerald O'Hara
Hallmark 2002

I'm still plugging away through one Christmas project after another. I'm making good progress, but I'm still crazy enough to think I can fit in "just one more" project in the next 2 1/2 weeks. That "just one more" leads to another "just one more," and so on, and so on . . . I just can't stop myself.
I framed the NOW ENDED project and delivered it to my parents house. The pattern has been burned. It is finally all over and if I weren't too old and fat to do a cartwheel, I would do one.
Our Advent Chain activity for today was to play Play Station as a family. We don't have very many PS2 games that the whole family enjoys together, so we played the ones we do like: ATV racing, Ford Racing and Guitar Hero. I nearly beat Jack at Ford Racing, and Lane did beat him, so that's always fun - showing up the kid who is supposed to be the best in the family. No one beats Taylor at Guitar Hero. I'm pretty pathetic at it, and the game usually cuts me off because I've done so poorly. But the easiest song, Slow Ride, I can kinda handle on the easy setting. I did ok and didn't get cut off. Lane got cut off when he tried Welcome to the Jungle, but then did better on Slow Ride. It's a fun game and I should play it more often. What's a little humiliation as long as we keep it in the family . . . and on the public blog?
In all my years of Sacrament partaking, I have never once (to my knowledge) spilled a tray. Neither water nor bread. NEVER. Nor have I ever been witness to a spilling. Well, that streak is now over. Jack and I mishandled the water pass-off today and the whole, nearly full, tray of water went onto the floor. In the gym. Where it made lots of noise on the wood floor. And echoed. The kids, the deacon/teacher, and I just stared at it on the floor for what seemed like an eternity, and then all at once we all scrambled and started gathering up the scattered cups. The deacon/teacher kept saying "Don't worry, I'll get it," but how could we just sit there and let him gather it all up? It was not a good moment. We finally gathered up all the cups, and deposited them in the tray, and the deacon/teacher went back to get a new tray. Luckily they didn't have to prepare and bless a new tray to replace the spilled one. That would have taken the embarassing moment to a whole other level of humiliation. After the sacrament was over, I sent Jack to get some paper towels to clean up the water. He returns with 1 paper towel. About 12 inches square. Yeah, that's helpful. So I sent him back for more, and on the 2nd try he brought enough to wipe up all the water, which luckily spilled mostly only on the floor and not on the scriptures, hymn books and other stuff that was sitting on the floor. So now none of you can say you don't know anyone stupid enough to spill a Sacrament tray. I'm that stupid.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Done - Having been carried out or accomplished; finished.
December 4, 2009
As a matter of fact, I have used this word before, but having looked through every thesaurus I could find, there just wasn't a synonym that worked as well. The word "done" has a sense of finality to it that is appropriate in this instance that most similar words simply do not convey.
So . . . it is done. There has been blood (needle pricks), there have been tears. The whole thing measures 12.5" x 12.5" (the top and bottom are cut off in the photo) and darn near every single square is stitched. I made the kids shut off the movie we were watching when I finished so we could have a moment of silence at the completion of the NEVER ENDING project. The ceremonial burning of the pattern will follow sometime this weekend, unless some crazy person speaks up and lays claim to this horrific pattern that I never want to see again . . . EVER!!
Today whilst checking the PG Jr. High website, I discovered that they had for sale 9th Grade Hoodies that had all the students names on, etc. What a great Christmas gift! I thought to myself. I ran screaming up to the jr. high, intending to get there before the parking lot became a zoo with all the parents picking kids up. Whew! Made it in time. So I went into the office to place the order, and they asked for my student's name. I told them Taylor Funk, and they looked it up and told me that a hoodie had already been ordered for that student earlier this week. Naturally, I asked "by whom?" The order was paid in cash, so they didn't know who ordered it. "Could Taylor have ordered it?" They asked me. "No," I replied, because as far as I knew, after paying her phone bill she was out of money. They sent me to Mrs. Harris room since she had the original order forms and maybe I could identify the handwriting? School was getting out in about 2 minutes, so I left a message on Taylor's phone that I was at the school and could drive her home if she wanted, meet me at the office. I went on down to Mrs. Harris room, and she found the order form for me, and yes, that was Taylor's writing. GRRRR! Foiled again! So I headed back to the office to meet Taylor, but ran into her in the hall on my way there. She asked why I was there, and I told her the story and called her "Bad Daughter" for messing up my genius plan. I call her "Bad Daughter" whenever she does something that irks me, but this was especially bad since I thought I had come up with such a genius idea, and she never once mentioned to me that she even wanted a hoodie. So when you see Taylor, do me a favor and reinforce my poor parenting techniques and call her "Bad Daughter." I promise, she'll smile for you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Deceit - A misleading falsehood.
December 3, 2009

" . . . [Ashley] had never known such gallantry as the gallantry of Scarlett O'Hara going forth to conquer the world in her mother's velvet curtains . . ."
-- Margaret Mitchell, author

Hallmark 2000
Mmm . . . bean with bacon soup and rolls for dinner. Does it get much better on a cold night? It's one of my quickest, throw-together dinners, which is just what I needed today. After work I came home and worked on my sewing projects until time to take Taylor to piano. After piano it was parent teacher conference at her school, so it was late when I finally got dinner going. It was good soup with hot rolls and it was just perfect for a cold night like tonight.
I got one sewing project completely done and another half-way done. The NEVER ENDING project is in it's very final stages. All the real stitching is done, and I only have a little bit (this is a relative term in regards to the size of the whole project) of backstitching/detail work to do. Then it will be done. I've told Lane that instead of just throwing the pattern away, I think we should have a ceremonial burning of it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Believe, Strength

Believe - To accept as true or real.
December 1, 2009

Greg and Tara gave us this book, including the bell, for Christmas a bunch of years ago. We read it over and over during December, and there is frequently an argument among the kids over who gets to hold the bell while we read it. By happy coincidence, reading this book was the first link on our Advent chain. What a great way to kick off our countdown to Christmas. Thanks, Greg & Tara! This book and bell are among our family Christmas treasures.

Strength - The power to resist strain or stress; durability.
December 2, 2009

"This is where you draw your strength . . . from the red earth of Tara." -- Rhett Butler

This comes from a scene that is in the movie, but not the book, so that isn't a direct quote. I thought about getting my DVD out so I could quote it properly, but given that it is 10:30 p.m. and that I lack the willpower to shut off the movie after a single scene, I decided I had better wing it or gamble on being up until 3 a.m. The words may not be quite right, but the gist is there. I thumbed all through the book to find a similar scene from where the movie writers based this, but I couldn't find anything close enough. (Hallmark ornament 1999)

Our Advent chain activity for the day was to color Christmas pictures. I printed a bunch of the internet, but we didn't have time to finish them because Taylor's choir concert was tonight. They always do such a good job, especially considering it is a junior high choir. They sang, among other things, Carol of the Bells and Believe (from Polar Express). Everything they sang was good, but I think they did an especially good job on Carol of the Bells.

For dinner I made a chicken pot pie. Not a Stouffers one. A real, homemade chicken pot pie. Jack made the crust for me, and I used up my leftover chicken and vegetables. I cheated with cream of chicken soup instead of making a sauce, because I wasn't sure I had enough time. It turned out way good and I'll do it again, including making the sauce, and including making a second pot pie. The first one was gone way too fast.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Flirtatious - Full of playful allure
November 30, 2009

"Most of the young ladies were seated with partners on the long benches that faced the tables, but Scarlett, realizing that a girl has only two sides and only one man can sit on each of these sides, had elected to sit apart so she could gather about her as many men as possible."
-- Margaret Mitchell, author

We watched "Elf" for FHE tonight. It is our tradition to watch it for the FHE closest to Christmas, but due to a planning accident, we watched it tonight. That is such a funny show. I worked on the Christmas cards and got them all ready to mail except for some people for whom I still don't have current addresses, and I need to get more stamps. It is nice to have that little job (mostly) out of the way.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ornament, Betrayal

Ornament - Something that decorates or adorns; an embellishment
November 28, 2009

We got the tree up today. I should say trees. The green artificial tree we have had since I don't know when refused to stand this year. The stand for it is breaking, the screws are all stripped out, and to top it all off, half of the branches are falling off and won't go back in their little holes properly. So, thanks to the beauty of DVR, we paused the BYU/Utah football game and went on the hunt for a tree. I refuse to pay full price for an artificial tree when I know we can get one much cheaper after Christmas, so we sprung for a real tree. I haven't had a real tree since my teenage days at home with my parents (when sometimes we would go through 2 trees because they would die), so this was kind of a treat. We went to the tree lot in American Fork. The closest my kids have ever come to looking for a Christmas Tree is that scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie ends up saying the Mother of all Bad Words. We found us a good tree for an ok price and brought it home and decorated it up . . . after we finished watching the football game, of course. Turns out the branches of real trees aren't quite as sturdy as the branches of our old artificial tree and unable to support the weight of some of our ornaments, including my collection of Scarletts. That was kind of disappointing. But it is nice to have the smell of fresh tree in the house. Now if I can just remember to keep it watered so it doesn't die . . .

Betrayal - To be false or disloyal to
November 29, 2009
"No modest, matronly dove grays or lilacs tonight." -- Rhett Butler
The aforementioned Scarletts, from the best book/movie EVER. This is 1997, the first year I have. I'm not sure if it is the first year in the collection or not. I'm also not sure why the focus is so poor. Anyway, getting the Scarletts out every Christmas is a big deal. Even Jack shows proper appreciation and respect for my treasures. One of them was beheaded one year when Addie pulled the tree over, and then after that Hallmark got smart and started making them from resin instead of porcelain. There must be more than one child who smashed their mother's treasured ornament and complained to Hallmark or something. However it happened, resin is much better. WARNING: All 13 Scarlett's will be highlighted before this year is over.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Girlish, Indulge, Sew

I'm almost positive I've reused more than a few words on this year-long quest, and I'm not about to look through 330-ish entries to verify. So if you find that I have duplicated, just keep that information to yourself, because I'm far too lazy at this point to correct it.

Girlish - Befitting or characteristic of a young girl.
November 25, 2009

This is that fabric I bought for a buck a yard. On Wednesday I sewed it up and it turned out cute. Shhh . . . it's for Addie for Christmas. It's pink, has pink and white dots, and it's a dress. I think that satisfies most of her requirements. No ruffles, though.

Indulge - To yield to; gratify.
November 26, 2009

Ah, Thanksgiving. The one day each year that it is not only permissable, but encouraged, to overeat and lounge around all day doing nothing, with the top button on your pants undone. I think we should have one such day per month.

For the Big Feast Dessert, I made 2 apple pies and 2 cheesecakes. For years I have made what has come to be affectionately referred to as "The Traditional Thanksgiving Cheesecake Just Like The Pilgrims Ate," and none of my kids said anything about it. Finally, this year Jack said, "Hey, I don't think the Pilgrims had cheesecake at the first Thanksgiving!" I'm glad one of them finally realized that our Traditional Thanksgiving Cheesecake is anything but traditional (well, except in our family), but when the dessert baker (me) doesn't like pumpkin pie, cheesecake is the next logical thing, right?

Sew - To make, repair, or fasten by stitching, as with a needle and thread or sewing machine.
November 27, 2009

My Black Friday, when I can arrange it, is spent in blissful solitude in my basement, sewing away on the too many Christmas projects I have planned. Everything had been planned out so well: I "suggested" to Lane that he take Jack and his dad and go hunting. I "reminded" my mom that my girls like to come and help her put out her Christmas stuff. Since my "suggestions" and "reminders" were all taken up, I was left at home, ALONE, at 9:30 this morning. I hardly knew where to begin. First things first, of course, and I met Calvin at the shop for my morning drink. I'm a much nicer person to be around when I'm properly caffeinated. Then I came home and dug in. Then I realized that I needed more fabric. Since I figured Walmart would be insane, I drove to the real fabric store in American Fork. Somehow, in a huge, real fabric store, I wasn't able to find what I wanted. How crazy is that? So I decided to brave the crowds and go to Walmart. Surprisingly, it wasn't bad. The parking lot wasn't any fuller than usual. I found EXACTLY what I wanted in Walmart's fabric section, and headed for the checkout. You must understand that for some reason, the lines at the Lindon Walmart are always longer than at any other Walmart. It's not due to a large amount of shoppers, but rather some strange policy Walmart has that no matter how slow or busy the store is, there will only be 1 checker open in the non-foods section, and 2 checkers open in the foods section (1 of which is the express lane where there is always someone with an overloaded cart checking out. What's up with that?) I considered checking out in electronics, which is my typical plan, but decided to chance it up front. What do you know? No lines! How was that possible? Anyway, I got checked out and came home and continued on with my Day of Bliss. Then it ended. My mom hasn't got a Christmas Tree yet, so they got done with the decorating early, and she brought the girls home. Dang. It's hard to hide Christmas presents while they are scattered all over the basement floor! Well, I did my best to distract Addie while Taylor just rolled her eyes at me and my mess. Then Taylor announced that she wanted to go hang with friends and needed a ride. So I took her and came back home. I continued with my cutting out of projects that didn't need to be kept secret only to discover I hadn't bought enough fabric. So back to Walmart. This time the check out lines were huge so I checked out at electronics. Back home to continue with the cutting out. Time to go get Taylor. So I only got 2 projects completed of all that I had hoped to do. If I had been left alone like the plan had been, I think I could have finished one more. Well, they are MY kids. I guess I should take care of them now and then.

So now, bleary-eyed and with an aching back, I head to bed with the comforting knowledge that I have Christmas well under control. I say that now - the real panic will set in around the 15th or so, when I will start crying and say to Lane, "I've taken on too much, HELP!" That's just another tradition of Christmas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Coconut - The edible white flesh of the coconut, often shredded and used in food and confections.
November 20, 2009

There is a free recipe magazine by Kraft that comes in the mail, and this time it had the yummiest looking cake. They call it "Snowball Cake" and I had to try it out. We loved it, I will make it again. The recipe calls for a cream cheese filling, that was ok, but not necessarily needed to make the cake good. Also, the cake is devils food, I think to make a nice contrast with the frosting, but would probably work with any kind of cake. For those who don't generally like frosting because it's too sweet, this is a nice alternative. I had to go and buy a round glass bowl to bake it in because I didn't have one, but I got one at Walmart for about $5.

Snowball Cake
1 pkg. (2 layer size) devils food cake mix
1 pkg. (8 oz) Cream Cheese, softened
1 egg
2 T granulated sugar
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 c cold milk
2 c thawed cool whip
1 c shredded coconut
Heat the oven to 350. Prepare batter in a 2 1/2 quart ovenproof bowl as directed on the package; scrape side of bowl (this will help the cake to not stick after baking). Beat cream cheese, egg and granulated sugar until well blended. Spoon into the center of batter in bowl.
Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in bowl 10 minutes. Loosen cake from bowl with a knife; using potholders if necessary, invert onto wire rack. Remove bowl. Cool cake completely.
Meanwhile, beat dry pudding mix, powdered sugar, and milk in a medium bowl with a whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in cool whip. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Place cake on a plate; frost with pudding mixture. Cover with coconut. Keep refrigerated.

Pile, Grid, Snuggle, Advent, Filament

Ouch! Didn't anyone miss me? I have to confess, I am a little hurt.

Pile - A quantity of objects stacked or thrown together in a heap.
November 19, 2009

I leave my shoes wherever I happen to take them off. Needless to say, I have little piles of shoes everywhere in the house, and yes I do scold my kids for doing the exact same thing. I just don't understand why it is that I can't ever find the shoes I want when I want to wear them? Good thing I have lots of backups. Lane, shut up.

Grid - A network of horizontal and vertical lines superimposed over a map, building plan, etc., for locating points.
November 21, 2009

Since the NEVER ENDING project is making me go blind, I was forced to grid it off for this last section to finish. I must say, it is helping a lot, and I have made a lot of progress. Another week or so and I should have it done. Then I will be throwing the pattern away so that no degree of insanity will ever tempt me to do this one ever again.

Snuggle - To curl up closely or comfortably; nestle.
November 22, 2009

How sweet is that!?! The funniest part is the difference in their expressions. We were watching a movie that clearly Addie was eating up, and Lane . . . well . . . not so much. The movie? Tinkerbell. What a good daddy to snuggle up with his princess and endure the torture of that show.

Advent - The liturgical period preceding Christmas
November 23, 2009

This is a little project I had the kids work on for FHE. First of all, you must understand that I don't consider it Christmas if there isn't a paper chain somewhere in the house. So I cut up the paper and told the kids that I wanted the to write on each of the 24 papers something that we could do as a family on each of those days. Their little faces lit up like Christmas Trees, and they huddled together and started discussing ideas in excited voices. Then I realized the flaw in the plan, and informed them that none of said ideas could cost any money. It was like I had pulled the plug on the Christmas Tree, I never saw such sad faces. I think they thought we were going out to dinner and a movie for each of those 24 days. When all was said and done, they managed to come up with 24 FREE ideas.

Filament - a fine or thinly spun thread, fiber or wire.
November 24, 2009

I just love shiny things! I use pearl blending filament all the time when I cross stitch, whether the pattern calls for it or not, just cuz I like shiny things. The NEVER ENDING project uses these two colors in the sky and the snow, and since I'm so sick of the NEVER ENDING project, the shiny is the only redeeming quality it has.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Hoop - A rigit circular band of metal or wood.
November 18, 2009

Some idiot back in college taught me to cross-stitch. It's pretty much been a passion ever since. In my pre-child years, I had projects all over the apartment so that wherever I might sit down, there was something there to work on. In my post-child years, I pretty much had one project at a time, but sometimes I had to either put the project in the drawer, or, in my utter frustration, create an embroidery hoop shaped divet in the wall. Then I would start a new, less crazy-making project while the other one would sit in the drawer for weeks . . . or months . . . or in a few instances, years. This multi-project business led to a need for many embroidery hoops. I picked up a few here and there, and then discovered that yard sales were an excellent place to purchase such things, so I got a few more. Then my oh-so-helpful Mother hit the embroidery hoop motherlode at a yard sale and bought me more than I could ever use. However, I was grateful because they are in a variety of sizes and sometimes they break or get lost. But as time has gone on and the beginnings of arthritis have begun to set in, I no longer use embroidery hoops. I just wad up the project in my left hand and stitch away with my right. This works better for me now, but I still have a plethera of embroidery hoops. And yet sometimes, that same oh-so-helpful Mother calls me from a yard sale to tell me she has stumbled upon another motherlode of embroidery hoops, and would I like her to pick them up? No, Mom. I'm good. But it's nice to know she is still thinking of me. Especially since most of the projects end up hanging in her house. So if anyone needs an embroidery hoop, I know where you can get one. Or five.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Arrow of Light

We (and I do mean WE) earned all the cub awards. Even his Tiger Cub. Since the church doesn't do Tiger Scouts, we did that together as a Mom & Son kinda thing. He was so excited to start scouts since I was a Den Leader when he was 7, that I did the Tiger Cub just to appease him. He then continued on to earn his Bobcat, Wolf and Bear, 2 gold arrows, 4 silver arrows, and his bead Progress Toward Ranks along the way, and countless Academic/Sport beltloops.

He went on to earn his Compass Point Badge with 2 Compass Points, 10 Webelos Activity Pins, his Conservation Award, his religious knot, and finally his Webelos Badge.

Tonight he capped it all off with the awarding of his Arrow of Light. And if that wasn't enought to make a mother proud, his Arrow of Light ceremony was performed by his uncle (my brother, Calvin), and the Arrow of Light was awarded by his dad. It was a great night for a boy who loves scouting, and for a mother who loves her boy.

Arrow of Light - The highest award available to Cub Scouts.
November 17, 2009
And now with sadness, I say goodbye to my days as a Cub Mom. I'm still involved in Cubs in an official church capacity, and I bet I'll be a Den Mother again someday . . . but my days as a Mom and getting rank advancement pins are over. It makes me sad, but proud of what he has accomplished and that he has developed a love of scouting. He's a good boy, and I'm proud to be his mom.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Creep - To grow or spread along a surface.
November 16, 2009

I inherited this houseplant from my mother-in-law. I have a long history of killing things, but somehow since we moved to this house, I have been unable to kill anything (I can say that because I have actually tried to kill a few plants and failed). I love ivy and this houseplant is now creeping, just as ivy should. I need to get it up on a plant stand or something so it can do it's thing. It's just been sitting on the floor in front of the window since I got it, and apparently it likes it there, but ivy creeping along ugly, vile, 20 year old carpet isn't as pretty as ivy creeping along the legs of a plant stand. I think it's too big to fit the plant stands I have, so I'll have to find something else.

Now, as to the ugly, vile, 20 year old carpet: I am working on it. I had previously saved enough money to get new flooring, but naturally the van needed new tires so my new flooring money went there. I have again managed to save up enough money for the flooring I want, now it's just all about getting it done. Projects like that have a tendency to take on a life of their own. For instance, just tonight I told Lane that since we are getting new flooring, we ought to take the opportunity to scrape off that horrible popcorn stuff that is on the ceiling. Oh, and while we are at it, we might as well paint the walls. You know how it goes. There is almost nothing in the world that Lane hates more than painting, but as I tell him, it won't be so bad if you don't have to be careful about the floor! He hasn't fallen for that excuse yet, but I'm still working on him. In my Happy Place where I am Queen, it would all get done before the Thanksgiving Dinner I am hosting, but I don't think I will make that deadline. But since Lane is off work through the weekend, I bet if I try really, real-l-l-ly hard, I can get him to work on it that weekend. It's either that or put up Christmas decorations, and I think the only thing he hates more than painting, is decorating for Christmas.
P.S. If you need a good laugh, check out the new blog added to my list "Goddess on Training Wheels." It's written by the older sister (whom I've never met) of a friend of mine (who I have met and adore) and is really fun. Check it out sometime.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Obsessive - Motivated by a persistent, overriding idea or impulse, often associated with anxiety and mental illness.
November 15, 2009
Yes, I'm cheating on the picture thing again. Sundays are very hard.
There are only a few episodes of this series left, and one of our family favorites. The show airs on Friday evenings, but we DVR it (HOW did we ever live without DVR???) and watch it on Sunday afternoons after church. It will be a sorely missed part of our Sunday Routine when it goes off the air. We love Monk and constantly get a kick out of all his phobias. Did you know he's afraid of clouds? round things? milk? Did you know he throws away dirty water? Whenever we are somewhere that is especially clean (which leaves our house out), someone always says, "Monk would LOVE this place!" So, you see, "obsessive" works both for Monk himself, who clearly has issues, and for our little family, who is obsessed with Monk. Farewell, dear friend! We will miss all your quirks and compulsions . . . until we find a new show to obsess about.