Something to be thankful for:

I’m thankful I’m not Violet’s kitty. The amount of fun she is having with him is usually inversely proportionate to the amount of fun he is having. She likes to carry him around and make him walk on his tiptoes, she frequently turns around the cat toy so that instead of bouncing a mouse on a string off of him, she is smacking him with a plastic rod, she turns her sippy-cup up-side-down and shakes water on him till he hides under the bed, she yells at him all the time for no reason, and she frequently throws things at him and they aren’t always soft. I don’t think he really cares though. Is that normal?

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It takes two to tango…

For those of you who feel sorry for me based on the last post…you should probably know that AJ changes an inordinate amount of diapers. In the long run I get off pretty well, even with having to carry and have a baby. Not that I dislike changing diapers, I just really…okay, I dislike them. Also, he does more carrying of Violet and Violet related stuff, and usually ends up being the person Violet must have read that book, or play that game. All in all…who am I kidding–I’m still the one who has a baby here. Kids, it doesn’t matter what they tell you–childbirth is nothing short of barbaric. Men, Mother’s Day is coming up and you better not forget it.

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A Shamless Plug for Which I Will Not Get Paid

Here’s where I buy the majority of my food staples: Azure Standard

I know, saying I buy “food staples” makes me sound like I live out on a prairie somewhere and lazy afternoons in the summer you’ll find me rocking on the front porch with a shotgun over my knee.  Not that that wouldn’t be kind of cool…except for the prairie part. I seriously need mountains around. Flat grasslands make me feel lonely even if there are plenty of people around. I think it’s the sky. It looks desolate and bored when there’s nothing to cover it except the horizon, and anything floating across its blue expanse would look lost and alone out there in the blue gauzyness. If it was a thoughtful sort of day and I happened to be lying on my back looking up at the sky and saw a lone bird flying across, I think the back of my throat might start to ache just a little.

I digressed. I think pregnancy is making me go off on rabbit trails every time I start typing, although I’m not sure if I can really blame pregnancy for anything else than I already do. After all, I already blame it for walking funny, looking funny, and feeling funny, although I guess thinking funny wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing now, would it? See? I just did it again–I digressed. I actually had to go back and add to yesterday’s post after I published it because I realized that I had published it without remembering to finish a sentence. That’s how bad this is. Here’s why: I have six days till my due date and I am so ready to start sleeping on my stomach again. So ready.

Anyway, Azure Standard. Here’s an example of what I mean by staples. Currently in my pantry I have:

15 pounds of lentils,

10 pounds brown rice (short grain)

10 pounds of brown rice (basmati)

25 pounds of black beans

25 pounds of pinto beans (thats where refried beans come from, Kids)

10 pounds of great northern beans

25 pounds of rolled quick oats

25 pounds of unbleached wheat flour

Since these are all dry goods, they keep just fine in my pantry in the bags they come in. Maybe if you didn’t eat them often enough they would go bad–the flour would eventually be rancid–but I use wheat flour instead of white for the majority of my baking, we eat oatmeal for breakfast 4-5 times a week, and we have meals with beans and rice 4-5 times a week. Did you know that combining beans and rice in the same meal allows the amino acids to combine into a complete protein? I bet I just sounded really nerdy, sorry. Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that having a lot of non-animal protein in your diet is a great way to lose weight and stay healthy. Azure Standard ships free with a $50 minimum order to a drop point somewhere in your neighborhood. You should at least go and check it out–they sell everything from diapers and makeup to apples and frozen foods. Plus, buying in bulk is way cheaper.

Azure Standard people, if you’re reading this–can I get a discount off my next order?

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this is really weird

for some reason some of my posts are getting censored by someone…wordpress maybe? In reading through some old ones I noticed that some of them have words that are ***** out. I can’t fix them either. This is really strange.

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Dagnabit!

Today I wish for the fleas of a thousand camels to infest the armpits of anyone who sends out computer viruses. You know its going to be a good one when your windows security center starts giving you messages in broken English…and then attempts to open a porn site.

It’s ok though. I can live without a computer. Luckily Violet and I visit my parents house often enough for her to harass her Auntie Showny, and for me to get online. So far, we haven’t had to go to the library for internet, which, as my brother-in-law says, is not unlike wearing someone else’s underwear. Not that I would know….*cough, cough*

By the way, have any of you tried the upside-down-tomato planter thing yet? I just planted a Sweet Million cherry tomato plant in one the other day, and I’m seriously hoping this is my ticket to getting tomatoes this summer. In the past, I’ve had the embarrassing habit of letting my plants get dried out and then dousing them with water in a last-ditch effort to revive them, which (as you may already know) results in thick-skinned blah tomatoes. Don’t judge me for my haphazard gardening history though, in my defense my patio is usually about 20 degrees hotter than anywhere else, so everything out there just bakes in the summertime.

So, you know what I decided? Back in January of this year, I did a bunch of Convictions posts where I sat on my soapbox and talked your ear off about different issues that I feel strongly about. And by “issues” I don’t mean animal rights…but if you read my blog on any sort of a regular basis, you already know how I feel about that. I say, Save a Cow, Eat a Vegetarian.

(speaking of funny, there’s a new car-fixing place that just opened in my town. Outside the building there’s huge handpainted banner reading Free Ispections! No one loves typos as much as I do. That being said, yes–I know “car-fixing place” isn’t the most technical term, and no, you may not look through my blogs for typos. I actually rarely proof anything I write because I’m lazy and you probably don’t catch most of them)

I just totally tangented on you. Sorry, Anyway, since January, I’ve had so many more Convictions posts I wanted to write. I have a lot to say about a lot of stuff, so I think I just might keep on writing them as long as I come up with new ones. Right now you can read any of my Convictions posts by just searching for “convictions” in the search thing on the right-hand side of this page, but I think I’ll probably make a new tab for them eventually so they’ll be all by themselves just like the “recipes” tab.

This is getting long. Are you still there?

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hiatus

until sunday. see you then. in the meantime: be good, spend your extra time not on the internet, and get all those last minute projects done. oh wait, that was for me. As for the rest of you, I really like swedish fish, sherbert, and goldfish crackers, just so you know.

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Guest Blogger!

Actually, she’s not a guest blogger–I just stole my little sister’s homework assignment and now I intend to post it on the internet for the whole world to read. She’ll thank me someday.

04/26/10 Edit: I forgot to add, she’s 12, or as she would have me say, “Almost 13.”

The first warm day of spring was hot and very humid. Flies swarmed around my sticky lemonade cup wanting to get a taste. Sweat trickled down my face; the heat seemed out of place–it was only March. I got up to finish my work: fresh cut grass smells so good–that may be the reason the clouds are dancing high up in the heavens. Birds soar over my head singing beautiful songs of praise to the God of love.

This is His story. Every day, every song, every tear is a part of his story. The flowers are starting to wake up, everything starts to grow, butterflies start to dance. As I sit there mulling over life and every little detail, I smile. I get up again and stretch and start climbing a tree. Flowers bloom everywhere, rabbits hop around playfully, puppies roll around biting each other. All that love and joy makes me smile.

At about noon, all the little creatures hid away–it was too hot. The thermometer read 104 degrees. “Wow!” I thought as I went inside. As I lay flat on my stomach I was thinking about life but soon I drifted off to sleep. I dreamed about the King of kings sitting on His throne telling all the creatures to wake up from their sleep for it was spring. He cares about every little thing.

The sun was blazing down when I woke up. I looked at my clock–4pm. I got up and went to the kitchen to get some water. After that I sat down on the couch to watch the news. The depressing headlines flashed across the screen–people dying, people lying. I decided to take a walk, and as I walked I felt total peace.

After the walk, I decided to lay in the yard. As I lay there a little rabbit came up to me–the curious little creature made me smile.

Life itself makes me smile.

How cute is that? This writing assignment is actually part of a game my family likes to play. Homeschoolers are weird like that–turning school stuff into games. Here’s how this one works: everyone sits in a circle around the table. One by one, each person in the circle gets to make up the first sentence or phrase of each paragraph. Thus, my brother said ” The first warm day of spring was hot and very humid” and then everyone wrote a paragraph with that as the starting sentence. After everyone was finished, the next brother in line said, “This is his story.” That’s how it works. Not unlike telling a roundabout story.

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and time races on…

Yesterday when I checked the mail, I cried. I stood in my kitchen biting my lip, blinking furiously, and remembering–everything. My fingernails methodically undid the flap on the envelope, and slowly I pulled out a wedding invitation. My little brother’s wedding invitation. On his 25th birthday no less.  I held the invitation and read every word, and with every word read a new memory came flooding into my mind–snapshots of the last 25 years. I remembered the day he was born, chasing our first chickens across the yard, playing in the creek in Utah, the way his red hair curled when he was small, getting in fights that ended in a punishment of slowdancing in the livingroom, and that time he taught me how to ride a bike because I was more scared than he was. I remembered learning how to drive together, and long talks about who we had crushes on that day.

He’s a man now; no longer the playmate of my childhood or my teenage confidant, and I know there will be many more memories to make together. His fiance is a perfect match to him and together they are beginning their story this June. Someday, they’ll look back at that same wedding invitation and relive years of memories; tears, fears faced, love learned, and adventures followed. They’ll stand in their kitchen and finger the worn papers as they remember–everything.

Happy Birthday Coloray!

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Mix Tape

Remember when people made mix tapes? Anyway, here’s a mix tape from today:

1. I’m pretty sure Lola is officially gone. She kept coming every few days for a while and I would put a dish of food out when she stopped by (yes, I can feel pity) but after we put our laminate flooring in, there was no way I was letting her take a pee in the corner. If a piece of laminate gets messed up, you have to cut it out and glue in your replacement–this sounds about as much fun to me as getting a root canal. Anyway, yay.

2. Violet+extreme sports=someday way sooner than I want it to be. She possesses some great qualities for that sort of thing: no fear of heights, a love of speed, and a desire to push boundaries. AJ just taught her to go down the big slide in the park on her belly face first as if she wasn’t going fast enough to begin with. I got her a pair of crocs the other day, and the soles are grippy enough that now she can climb the climbing wall while AJ spots her. See?

This girl is going to give me gray hair before my time.

3. Quote of the day: 

“As I am illuminated, I begin to reflect.” –Pastor Tim Poetzl

This quote was said in the context of reflecting the light and life of our Savior and I was struck by the simplicity of its cause-and-effect. It reminds me of the need to allow myself to be illuminated in order to reflect. Do I hide in the shade drinking sweet tea, or am I allowing all my imperfections to come into the light of Jesus Christ? I’m not perfect–if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, then you already know this, and sometimes I need reminding that perfection is not a prerequisite for reflecting Jesus.

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Ice Cream (from day before yesterday)

Ok, so I realize this is the third post about the events of one day, but I love posting fun pictures and it takes too long to put them all in one post. First, as you can tell from the “Tulips” post, Violet was a little grumpy. As soon as we left the fields she was fast asleep in her car seat. However, the other baby realllly wanted ice cream from a little roadside stand called Snowgoose Produce that advertises immodest ice cream cones. They aren’t kidding. They’re so big that if you don’t split one you feel like you have to cover it with the other hand so no one can see how much ice cream you think you need–hence the “immodest”. That being said–I could totally handle one of those babies all by myself someday when I’m not on a diet. Wait…

Anyway, here’s a story in pictures.

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Kudos to me!

Seeing the way Violet is with her daddy after he gets home from work is the best part of my day. Women fall in love for many reasons–chocolate, backrubs, character, chocolate, chemistry, chocolate, etc. I fell in love for all those reasons and many more–one of which was knowing that AJ was the kind of man I wanted my children to have as a father. I’m reminded of this every time I see the two of them together after a separation. Their routine is pretty much the same; a good long hug with lots of squeezes and pats on the back from Violet followed by some kisses and some more hugging. I done good.

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value

it isn’t a box you check on a form

it isn’t what your parents say

it isn’t a pat answer

it isn’t option b

it isn’t what you do on Easter

it isn’t for “someday”

it isn’t only for when times get rough

it isn’t sentimental

it isn’t cute and nice

after all, He’s not a tame Lion…but He’s good.

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read this after you read yesterday’s post

One thing I forgot to talk about in the last post:

The music that ice cream trucks play is probably the creepiest part. It sounds demented. How demented? This demented: you walk over to the van to buy some ice cream, and as you peer into the passenger window to ask a question you notice a baby doll buckled in the passenger seat. It’s missing an eye and most of its hair. Startled, you take a step back and that’s when it happens–the doll turns to look at you. That demented.

Okay, so maybe this hasn’t actually happened that I know of, but the music is creepy enough that I wouldn’t be surprised.

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Reasons I know I don’t live in small-town-1950’s-americana

Because the ice-cream trucks around here are just plain creepy. How creepy?

  • instead of a cute white little cart-truck-thing, it’s a mid-nineties minivan.
  • instead of a pleasant, clean-shaven man with a jolly demeanor, it’s a scruffy older guy who is missing some of his front teeth.
  • instead of tin music-box strains heralding summer, it’s a cassette tape that’s been stretched out and is now blasting from some blown-out speakers.
  • instead of an ice cream cone, it’s a tiny frozen treat that costs as much a whole box of the same thing from the store down the street.
  • and the van is dirty,
  • and the man hasn’t showered in a week,
  • and you’re pretty sure he’s actually there to case the neighborhood,
  • and he smokes,
  • and his fingernails are probably dirty,
  • and I bet there’s some health code violation going on in the back with the whole freezer-in-the-back-of-an-old-mini-van-deal.
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and frightened Miss Muffet away…

A sweet little ladybug

gave Violet a fright

when it flew to her nose

and there did alight.

We were on a walk this afternoon soaking up some sunshine that’s been badly missing for the past few days when Violet started crying pitifully from her stroller. When I peered around the side; there she sat–cross-eyed, crying, and pointing to her nose. I snatched the ladybug off and held it on my palm so we could look at it and decide whether or not to squash it. After many reassurances and kisses, Violet decided that perhaps it wasn’t a mean lady bug after all, so we just poked at it till it flew off.

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sometimes, cooking is overrated

But I usually only think that on days like today when I am all done cooking and the kitchen is a bomb. However, by the time I was done with all my cooking, I had a ton of food to freeze for eating after this baby is born.

Literally, a ton.

3– 13×9 pans of black bean and spinach chicken enchiladas

6–quarts of chili

30–black bean soft tacos with meat and cheese

yes, we like mexican food.

So, while I was slaving away in the kitchen, guess who was relaxing on his lazy butt? This guy:

Cats these days…no sense of personal responsibility…

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Found on Craigslist

“…would like a set of stories about alien abduction written as a true story (and if it happens to be a true story all the better :).”

That’s just a small section of the ad. Someone has apparently decided to write a book of short stories, and the topic? Alien abductions. Also awesome? That the stories don’t have to be real…which begs the question: are aliens real?

Me? I love conspiracy theories. They’re awesome (until you start making foil hats so the aliens can’t mess with your brain). Aliens? Well, I don’t have a professional opinion but privately I think there’s some truth to the movie Men In Black. Go ahead, you can laugh.

You?

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insert creative phrase here

Names are hard. It’s even hard for me to name my blog posts because I have to name them before I write them. It’s the same way with babies–you have to name them before you see what they’ll turn out to be like. Life really is like a box of chocolates that way.

For all you that ask every time I see you–yes, we have some names picked out. No, I will not tell you. Here’s why:

1. I might change my mind

2. I actually don’t want your opinion.

3. I’m afraid hearing your opinion might make me change my mind,

4. and then I would be mad at the both of us.

5. Names are far less criticized after they are already attached to a cute little baby.

6. We still haven’t picked one. or two.

7. I like keeping secrets just to bug you.

It’s daunting. We’re about to pick a name that this little person will go by for the rest of their lives. Don’t even get me started on all the nickname options.

P.S. Parents should have the prerogative to hold a lifetime veto on any disagreeable nicknames. So many of the names I like have nicknames that I very much strongly do not like. I wish I had that much control. No matter what you say, and even what your child says–some nicknames are inevitable. For example, I have a friend whose name rhymes with “Spamuel”*. His family calls him this and he introduces himself as such, but it never seemed to help growing up. He’s an adult now, but as far as I’m aware–he probably still gets called “Spam”**.

* Not his actual name. Name is kept secret to keep his identity confidential.

** Again, not his actual name. Name is kept secret to keep his identity confidential.

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Tradition

Traditions are important to me, and I was reminded of their value again as we celebrated Easter today. I love having a tradition like the Easter weekend, because it helps me to remember, and in remembering–look forward.

On Good Friday, I imagine the pain and desolation that was borne by my Savior as he took all my sins to the cross. I think of what it must have been like to be in the crowd shouting “Crucify Him!” knowing full well that such an act is very well within the scope of my weak humanity. On Saturday I think of the loss and disappointment felt by his followers as they struggled to cope with the meaning of His death, and it reminds me of feelings I have felt at low times in my life when Jesus and His life everlasting have felt as old and cold as a gravestone. On Easter Sunday, I imagine Peter running to the tomb, and Mary questioning the gardener, and a pile of graveclothes never to be used again. I am reminded of all these things, and in remembering, I look forward to their promises for my life.

It’s important to celebrate holidays and their traditions, because without traditions, our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.

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The Day of Reckoning

Here we are again: April First. Otherwise known as the one day a year where people have no reason to get in a tizzy when someone pulls a prank on them. Actually, that’s not really true. A couple years back we posted a friend’s car for sale on craigslist and they retaliated by posting our phone numbers under an ad for free movers. I’m not sure who came up with that idea but I have to admit it was awesome.

AJ and I just finished executing a great prank which unfortunately I can’t tell you about because lots of you read this blog, and also because it’s inappropriate (but only very slightly). Suffice to say, someone has a new bumper sticker.

The only prank AJ and I have ever played on each other was April first of 2003. That was before we were married, because once you get married to someone, pulling a prank on them is not unlike pranking yourself. Long story short–he had a family member call me late at night and inform me he had been in a car accident. When I arrived at the rendezvous point to drive to the hospital with his family, he was waiting there grinning like the cheshire cat. Lucky for him my Dad thought it was funny. Later that same night, my brother and I went to his house and pushed his car down the hill into a nearby barn and covered it with hay.

See, now you understand why we would never pull pranks on each other now. Well, maybe little ones.

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