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Archive for August, 2007

I remember wondering if my parents were brave or just crazy when they told us we would be going on a two week vacation in an RV rental. I was 15 at the time, a bossy mother hen to 4 younger siblings.
We weren’t always friends, the five of us. The two youngest, Everett and Lynn fought every single day. They seemed to love it, doing things to irk one another, picking fights for no apparent reason. LeGrand was quick to choose a side and join in the commotion. The fights always ended in yelling, or tears. I was bossy perhaps, but didn’t like to fight. Dad’s temper was enough incentive for me on that subject, but somehow not enough for them. So I adopted the roll of peacemaker (more like enforcer of the peace with threats to get dad if it didn’t stop).
Try as I might to be the peacemaker, I could never seem to fully avoid fighting with my 11 year old sister, Lee. She was so very different from me – dramatic, whiny and picky. And yet she was also so similar – thoughtful, tenacious and stubborn. In a battle of wills over, oh who knows what now, neither of us would back down. And so we usually ended up in a scuffle, scratched and covered in slap marks, crying. I truly hate that I fought physically with my sister.
Knowing all of this, you can now understand my surprise that my parents wanted us to drive and live in a 200 square foot home for 2 whole weeks. I certainly didn’t want to be in such close quarters with my bickering family for that long. Why on earth would they want that?
They sat us down one evening and discussed the itinerary. We would drive Northeast into Wyoming, visiting Devils Tower. Then we would make our way into South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. Then we would travel west into the three corners area of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to visit Yellowstone National Park and from there back home. Those were the major stops, part of a neat little loop they had planned. They had charted out all the KOA’s we would camp at along the way.
The close quarters RV issue began to take a backseat to the exciting sights and KOA swimming pools. Maybe I would even meet a cute boy or two at one of the campgrounds.
The day of our departure arrived. We left, much later than scheduled of course, dad threatening to leave us all behind if we didn’t hurry out the door. Our first adventure came just seconds into the trip when dad started to back the RV out. That RV was the longest vehicle my dad had ever driven, and a full 5 minutes were spent backing up, turning the wheels slightly, pulling forward, backing up, repeat. So as not to plow over the sidewalk and into the neighbors garden across the street. After a few choice words from dad, and LeGrand whining that the trip was already ruined, we were off.
We saw what we set out to see, though not without incident of course. There was plenty of bickering and many more choice words and threats of turning around from dad, but more than that, I remember realizing we all had one thing in common. We all appreciated the magnificence of the earth and the beauties thereon. We each stared in awe at Old Faithful, belching and spewing hot liquid into the air. We gasped at the size of the Buffalo we saw grazing near the country road and speculated on what they must be thinking as they saw our giant noise making machine go by. We marvelled at the naturally made tunnels we drove through in the South Dakota mountains. We walked the trail around Devil’s Tower, amazed and curious about how such a formation came to be, especially in the middle of that flat area.
I will never forget the sights we saw, but more importantly, I will never forget how I felt knowing my family understood and shared my joy and awe.

*Names have been changed

This post was written as part of the Group Writing Project over at Baby Lune. Visit her blog on Sept. 1, for links to other participants of this project.

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It’s BlogDay 2007

So in honor of National Blog Day I am posting links to five bloggers I think you should go and visit. It is terribly hard to choose just five, since I think all of the blogs I read are great, so I have chosen five who are not currently on my blogroll, that I will be adding shortly. After you’re done checking these five out visit the ones on my blogroll for more great reads!

Twist & Skewer – The author of this site, Janice, is mom to two teenage boys, who writes a little about them and also about her adventures being back in school studying nursing. She is a bit of everything – funny, sarcastic and above all, real.

Are We There Yet – Christine is a busy mom of four. The line that attracted me to her site, “I try to take one day at a time, but several days attack me at once.”

Mom of 3 Girls – Deb puts it very well herself, “I am 36, married for 7 years to my hubby, Ron, and we have 3 beautiful daughters, ages 6, 4 and 1. Oh yes, and 2 cats as well. I work full-time out of the house, so between work, daycare, school and life – things can get crazy and hectic!

Thrifty Mommy – The title of their blog says it all. I visit Karen and Kelly and always come away with great ideas!

Sorta Crunchy – Megan says it best, “Sorta crunchy as in sorta granola, sorta hippie, and always in her barefeet. One member of a body of Believers. Natural living enthusiast. Coach’s wife. Mama to two year old D. Temporary home to Little Sister. User of copious exclamation points and gratuitous ellipses. Under a shady tree in the Texas Hill Country.”
*Note, Megan should be giving birth to Little Sister any day now so she may not be posting for a bit, but go on over and wish her luck!

If you haven’t already, be sure to participate in a BlogDay 2007

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I found this recipe recently on Allrecipes.com and thought it would be fun to try. I had never made granola bars before. I wish I had remembered to take pictures. These are super easy to make and much more tasty than the store bought stuff. The kids scarfed them down!

2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a large bowl, combine the cereal and quick oats. Then grease a 9 x 13 inch pan
2. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, honey and corn syrup. Heat till just boiling, then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla, till mixture is smooth
3. Pour peanut butter mixture over the ceral mixture, combining well. Dump out into greased pan and spread evenly. Allow to cool completely and then cut into bars.

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Cowabunga!!

I’ve decided I may have to change Obi-Wan’s screen name. He’s on a new super hero kick. He’s begun stuffing his two toy light sabers down the back of his shirt in Leonardro like fashion and now runs around the house shouting,

“I a enjin tortol!!!”

Translation: I’m a Ninja Turtle

That’s right, my 5 and 4 year old are now into Ninja Turtles. *gasp*
Whose fault is that? Mine, of course!
I simply couldn’t resist. I heard that the original series was on DVD and my fond memories of watching the show after school every day overtook me. I found my hand placing the DVD in my netflix queue. Then I anxiously awaited it’s arrival.
That’s right, me. But once it got here, I decided I couldn’t just watch it by myself. So I let the boys watch the first episode and they were hooked. Just like I had been.
I was amazed to realize that not only had I seen every episode from season 1, I remembered nearly every detail. The campy jokes, the cheesy music, and I laughed and loved it as much as I did as a kid.
Oh, and I have another confession to make. I love the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trilogy too. And when the boys are just a tad bit older I can’t wait to show it to them.

I’ve often seen things I loved as a kid, through these now adult eyes and realized just how cheesy and silly they are, and yet that magic that was created as I saw them through my childhood eyes, forever instills them, as totally cool!

Other shows I loved: Transformers, G. I. Joes, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Ponies, Care Bears, Smurfs. (can you say, too much TV?)

What were your favorite childhood shows and do you like them still?

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Heads or Tails?

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I just found this fun idea over at Skittle’s place and wanted to participate. The topic this week is Hobby’s, or a word that rhymes with Hobby. I am going to talk about a couple of my Hobby’s and show you some pics.

I have MANY hobbies. To list just a few: Genealogy, Scrabooking, cake decorating, sewing, baking, crocheting, writing, and the list could go on. But I decided I would share with you some of my picture worthy hobbies. Two in fact:

#1 – Crochet

My grandma taught me to crochet when I was 12 years old. It was during a week long vacation to their home in Southern California. She taught me in that week what I would need to get me started and I taught myself the rest as the years went on. I love to crochet. It is a big stress reliever. My hubby knows I am very stressed or angry if he comes home to find me crocheting furiously fast. Lol! Here are some of the things I’ve made

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The above was made for a friend’s baby shower

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A newborn winter set made for a friend’s baby shower

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A baby blankie for yet another, baby shower. I like to stick to baby items because they’re cute and because they’re fast. I’m too impatient to see the fruits of my labor

#2 – Cake Decorating

I took a beginning cake decorating class 6 years ago. It was the only class I took, I’ve been teaching myself from then on. It is a lot of work to do a cake and often stressful in the moment, but the end result and happiness on people’s faces is worth it.

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This is my favorite cake I’ve ever made. It was for a 4 year old boy’s birthday. The walkway was made out of crushed graham crackers and oreos. The little Bob the builder figures, ladder and candy box, I made from candy melts. The end result was just so colorful and fun!

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The above is the birthday cake I made for Count Dooku’s 5th birthday. R2 is covered in fondant with hand piped buttons and gizmos. Again, so much fun, and he just loved it!!

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I made this one for my grandparents 50th anniversary. The tiers each have gold trimmed ribbon wrapped around the base and piped “pearls”. It is accented with blue and yellow roses and white gardenias made of royal icing.

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And one more favorite. I made this for a friends baby shower. The bow and polka dots are made of fondant.

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100 Things About Me

Here it is, my 100th post! And as is blog tradition, I am posting 100 positively fascinating facts about me. Here goes:

1. Contrary to popular assumption based on my name, I was born in Autumn
2. I was born in Southern California
3. I started kindergarten at age 4
4. My best friend when I was 5 was our 40+ neighbor, Norma
5. We moved to Utah when I was 8
6. I was excited to be in a place where it snows
7. I realized I don’t like snow
8. I dream of living somewhere warm year round again
9. I was LDS/Mormon before moving to Utah
10. I’m still LDS/Mormon
11. At around age 12 I started struggling with…something
12. Twelve years later I found out what it was I had been struggling with
13. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (not the kind people joke about when they have personality quirks). The ugly stuff, that throws you into deep depression and despair
14. I also suffer from depression
15. And anxiety and panic attacks. It all stems from the OCD
16. By the age of 14 I was suicidal
17. At age 14 I met Michelle, a friend who helped save my life
18. At age 14 my parents put me in a private school due to flunking all of my classes
19. It was the best thing they’ve ever done for me, and they sacrificed a lot to pay for it.
20. Also at age 14, I spent a month in Germany as an exchange student
21. I took five years of German, and spoke it so fluently I dreamt in German
22. Now, I could maybe converse in German with a 5 year old
23. As a child and teen I was painfully shy and quiet in public
24. But I’ve always been a very passionate and fiery person
25. I still like to be the observer in group settings
26. I didn’t have a boyfriend till I was 17
27. Said boyfriend was also my first kiss
28. I kissed but one other boy after said boyfriend and I were not together anymore
29. Other boy became my husband
30. I’ve been married for 6 1/2 years now
31. Marriage just keeps getting better
32. Husband is very calm and level headed and balances me out very well
33. We met and married all within a 4 month time span
34. I got married at 19 years of age
35. I had my firstborn, a son at age 20
36. I had my second son at age 21
37. I had my daughter at age 25.
38. I am currently age 25
39. I started taking piano lessons at age 10
40. I had to quit at age 12
41. I taught myself from there and still love to play the piano
42. I am a very motivated person
43. I played High School Basketball. I love nearly all sports, both to play and to watch. Baseball is my other favorite to play.
44. I love to be busy and always learning and teaching myself new things
45. I took one beginning cake decorating course
46. I taught myself from there
47. I decorate cakes through word of mouth
48. Grandma taught me to crochet when I was 12
49. I still love to crochet
50. My favorite thing to make are baby blankets
51. I love to bake and eat sweet treats
52. I was a chocoholic
53. I haven’t had chocolate for over two years now
54. Chocolate began giving me severe headaches
55. This stemmed from a medicine interaction
56. Thyroid medication and an anti-depressant interacted badly, giving me instant panic disorder and making me very sick
57. No one knows why the chocolate thing happened in conjunction with that
58. I was so sick from the interaction I couldn’t eat for 3 days.
59. I lost 15 pounds in those 3 days
60. I found out that in extremely rare cases, thyroid meds and anti-depressants interact toxically
61. I could have put myself in a coma
62. Recovery took 3 months.
63. My mom flew me and the kids home to take care of all of us while I recovered.
64. Hubby had to stay in school, but he came to visit
65. I am now back home
66. I am the oldest of 5 children
67. I have always been a bookworm
68. There was a time, I preferred reading a book to being with family or friends
69. I consider myself a writer
70. I dream of publishing a novel and a book of poetry
71. By the time I was 7 I knew what my career path would be.
72. I would be an architect during the day, and work on being an artist and novelist at night
73. I am a mom
74. I never graduated college
75. I hope to go back after the kids are all in school
76. But I still can’t decide what I want to do
77. I love animals
78. In my life my family has owned 13 gerbils, 2 hamsters, 1 bunny, 2 guinea pigs, 2 finches, 2 dogs, 9 cats, 1 parakeet and 1 Dove
79. Not all at the same time thankfully
80. I don’t currently have any pets. Waiting to get a house first.
81. We live in an apartment
82. I graduated High School at age 17
83. I’ve been doing genealogy since I was 14
84. I’ve done some professional genealogy work for pay
85. Genealogy is one of my greatest passions, next to God and family
86. I love teaching others how to do genealogy
87. This is an open invitation to ask questions if you have any, for free
88. I teach genealogy classes at a yearly workshop
89. My favorite food is a juicy steak with sauteed mushrooms and A1 sauce
90. My favorite dessert is anything with peanut butter in it.
91. I love old things and old ways
92. I try to make whatever I can afford, from scratch
93. Things I like to make from scratch include: Pumpkin Pie (from the pumpkin), baby wipes, baby blankets, jam, syrup, granola bars… I could go on but I better stop
94. I love astronomy
95. I dream of being an astronaut
96. Alas then, that I hate math and small spaces
97. I love the smell of old books
98. I love to play classic Nintendo and SNES
99. I am so not a morning person
100. I’m not thrilled with every experience I’ve had in life, but I wouldn’t change any of it, because I woudn’t be who I am today otherwise.

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The ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom are giving away one brand new HP Photosmart A626 Compact Photo Printer. Get over there and find out how to enter!

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