Saturday, April 28, 2012


Last night Olivia and I were in the van on the way to her girl scout meeting.  She looked a little startled, then pulled her TracFone from her pocket and answered it.  I guess it was on vibrate and it was ringing.  Anyhow, the conversation on her end went something like this:

"Hello?  Um... well... Oh, I'm really sorry.  The phone was in my pocket and I guess some buttons must have gotten pushed by accident.  I didn't mean to call you."

Hanging up the phone, she turns to me and says, "That was 911!  I guess I called them by accident!"


She's never going to live it down.

She butt-dialed 911.

Ladle Rat Rotton Hut

Wants pawn term dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner ladle cordage honor itch offer lodge, dock, florist. Disk ladle gull orphan worry putty ladle rat cluck wetter ladle rat hut, an fur disk raisin pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. 

This morning I started thinking about this story my mom used to read to us from time to time.  When I got home, I looked it up on Google and found out that it's written in what is called "Anguish Languish".  And what's more this man, Howard L. Chace, published a whole book of them in 1956.  There are websites dedicated to this "Languish", and this one has the complete text of the original book.

It will bring you hours of entertainment, folks!

(And crazy stink-eye looks from your kids...)

Here's another sample that I really enjoyed:

Marry hatter ladle limb
Itch fleas worse widest snore.
And ever-wear debt Marry win
Door limb worse shorter gore.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Talented Kids

I uploaded some pictures from my camera today, and realized that I have some very, very talented kids.  For example:

Kelsey made this out of Play-Doh.  Not sure what it is, but... it's creative.

Maddox has hit the shoe-fettish stage, and is pretty good at getting them on. Matching shoes and clothing are both optional.

 Kelsey can lay on a bed of nails.

And so can Olivia.

Maddox can open the window blinds... with his mouth.

And he's getting pretty good at playing Hide and Seek, too.
(Actually, this is where I found him around midnight one night after he started sleeping in the toddler bed.  Note: the railing is back up on the crib.)

Kelsey has started helping Mom with the cake-decorating.  She came up with the "Happy Birthday" in paw stickers idea all by herself.  (By the way, she turned eight recently!)
 Connor has turned into quite the crocheter - see how fast he can go!

But don't overlook his talent for accessorizing.  He's a pro!

What  a lucky mommy I am.  With all these skills, the kids should be able to keep me and Ben comfortable in our old age.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Rest of the Story

Well, the end of Project 31 has come and gone.  It was a busy weekend with Kelsey's birthday party, her baptism, and my in-laws coming for a visit.  Somehow things have just seemed really busy since then, and I haven't gotten much blogging done really.

So to answer the big question... how did I do??

My last week of Project 31 was one of the most stressful for me in recent memory.  On Friday, my fridge died.  I discovered it on the way out the door to a dentist appointment for some mouth pain I had been experiencing off and on for several weeks.  Since my trip to California, it had been "on" almost constantly.  At the dentist appointment, I was told that I had a filling that had cracked and chipped, and I now needed a root canal.  That would cost around $1,500 to $1,800.  I'll admit it.  I cried when he told me.  (Embarrassing, right?)  And when I left the dentist's office I was still in as much pain as I had been when I got there - more really, since he'd been messing with my teeth and gums.  But no treatment had actually been given because we'd run out of time.  The rest of that evening was a blur of Girl Scout activities and finally collapsing into bed when I got home.

I didn't want to get out of bed on Saturday.  That's the first time I can ever remember feeling that way.  I was so discouraged.  But Ben had to work and there were kids to take care of, so I didn't have a choice.  I cried some more.  I realized that part of my frustration and emotional distress was the pain that I was still experiencing with no immediate relief in sight.  And we needed to buy a refrigerator with very limited financial resources.  I spent most of the day scouring the internet and running around checking out used fridges from Craigslist.  No dice.

As frustrating as that Saturday was, I realized something very important.  It was after my kids had gone to bed and Ben was at a church meeting, so I was alone in my house.  I started scouring my cupboards and pantry looking for a snack.  I knew I couldn't bake anything sweet, and I don't generally keep junk food in my house.  However, I did find a can of Lays Stax chips that I had gotten on sale recently.  What do you think I ate?  Chips!  And though I didn't eat the whole can or anything like that, I realized that even when you take sugar out of the equation, I am still a very emotional eater.  And when I'm stressed, I turn into a compulsive eater, because I ate other things, too, even though I wasn't hungry: dried apple slices, cereal, etc.

So to fast-forward my miserable weekend a little... It was finally Monday.  Monday night I had my first real deviation from my Project 31 plan.  I had purchased a fridge from Dent and Ding Appliances to be delivered on Tuesday.  My boys were having some leftover ice cream, and I was feeding Maddox his to keep down the mess.  And I ate some of his ice cream.  Not more than 1/4 cup total, but still.  I deviated.  And then I went to a church planning meeting at a friend's house later that night, and someone had brought some high-quality frozen yogurt.  I had some of that, too.

I also ended up stopping the Project early.  Kelsey's party had been moved up to Friday night instead of Saturday, and so I had already decided that it was going to end on the day of Kelsey's party since I was making her cake and frosting.  You can't do that without getting into the frosting, right?  However, I decided on Thursday to stop that day instead.  That was my other failure to stick to plan.  (I guess I should call it Project 29 now, right??)

Despite my less-than-stellar ending of this Project, I am SO GLAD I did it.  The following week was one of desserts and falling back into my poor snacking habits.  And physically, I felt terrible.  I didn't gain a lot of weight back (only about a pound), but I was sleepy every afternoon again felt just as bad as I had before I started the Project.

And now for The Rest of the Story (<-- insert Paul Harvey voice here)

I have decided that I'm going back to that way of life, with a few exceptions.  First, I am not going exclusively dessert-free.  I am allowing myself to prepare a dessert once a week.  I have also decided that there has to be some sort of nutritional value to whatever I eat, which will make it easier for me to be selective when I am at a function and they are serving desserts.  Sure, I can have something - if it's worth it.  For example, I was at a Cub Scout Pack Meeting last night, and ended up sitting next to the dessert table because I came in late.  During the meeting, all I could smell were homemade brownies.  It was brutal, I tell you.  However, the dessert choices were: homemade brownies and sugar cookies, some chocolate molds, and store-bought cookies and cupcakes.  After the meeting was over, I looked at the table and realized there was nothing there that I hadn't had before, packed with nutrition, or would miss terribly if I didn't eat.  So, I didn't have any.

I am beginning to re-learn an important truth:

When we live by a set a standards or principles, we are not limiting our freedom.  We are granting ourselves the freedom to LIVE without being a slave to our passions, appetites and desires.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our California Adventure / Family & Sacramento

Whew!  I didn't expect it to take me this long to get to the next installment of our trip.  By way of explanation, our refrigerator died this past Friday afternoon, and we had our church's General Conference this past Saturday and Sunday, so things have been more than a little hectic around here.

So... where was I??  Oh yes.  We had just left Sequoia National Park and were on our way to the Sacramento area to see family.

We got to my cousin Ann's house around dinner time.  She had planned a family get-together for dinner that evening.  I haven't seen my Uncle Tom in well over 20 years, nor my cousins since I was too young to remember.  However, two of my cousins and I have been in frequent contact for the past few years (thanks to cell phones and Facebook!) and I was really looking forward to seeing them and my uncle and aunt.

I know this is a fuzzy picture, but it's the best one I have of this group. Maybe I should have used my flash...
From left to right - Robert and Ann, Kampol and Eugenia.  Kampol and Ann are my cousins, and the others are their spouses.

From left to right: Kampol, Ann, Tom, and Kanya

 Kampol and Eugenia
(They've been married a year and a half, but I think they still count as newlyweds, can't you tell?)

On Thursday, Ann took us on a tour of downtown Sacramento.  We started off our day of excitement with a trip on the "Light Rail" (i.e. commuter train).  First we got to validate our passes.  You know you are a tourist when you find that exciting.

Then we waited for the train.

While we waited, we admired my mother's new hair-do...

...and Ann's beautiful smile.

Once we got on the train, the girls were full of excitement.

Though it was hard to tell by looking at them.

Ann, being the Sacramento native she is, read her newspaper in true commuter style.

We got off the Light Rail near Old Sacramento, and it didn't take long for me to start seeing some beautiful flowers.  If I don't remember anything else about California in general, I will remember that everywhere I went I saw colorful flowers that I've never seen before!

Off we headed to Old Sacramento.

This flower (I believe) is a camellia.  Apparently I am one of the few people who didn't know what a camellia looked like.

Old Sac has a cool train museum, and nearby is this huge clamp-looking thing.

I don't know what it does, but it sure had Olivia concerned.

We saw the "ziggerat" building (background) and the Delta King.  I think Ann told us the Delta King doesn't go up and down the river anymore.  They've converted it into an upscale restaurant.
Here's some of the trains we saw parked on the tracks by the river.  I'm pretty sure these don't run anymore, but they were fun to see.

As we were walking down the sidewalk, a store employee came out and handed us a coupon for a free sample from one of the candy stores.

The girls had a really hard time deciding.

Then we went across the street to the old school house, where Kelsey pretended she was a "school marm". (Check out the hat!)

Finally, the girls got to visit the coolest store of the day.

For some reason, every time I see this picture it makes me want to sing...
"Walk like an Egyptian..."

The girls had a blast trying on these masks.

And Olivia finally bought one to bring home.

From Old Sacramento we headed towards the State Capitol.  By this time, our young tourists were complaining about their feet hurting, so we stopped to rest.  (We really need to work on these kids' stamina!)

Well, Olivia rested.  Kelsey says she "needs" to rest, but then I notice she can't sit still and starts climbing on things.

As we walked through the mall to get to the Capitol, Kelsey saw this statue and insisted I take a picture.

And while looking for the restrooms, we found a giant checkers/chess set instead.  The girls wanted to play, which we did for about 10 minutes or so.  Until they remembered that we really did need to find that restroom.

Since the restrooms were by the food court, we went ahead and stopped for lunch.  Kelsey's fortune seemed inspired: "You could prosper in the field of wacky inventions."
Ain't that the truth.

Finally we got to the State Capitol and it's beautiful grounds.

What child could pass a tree like this and not try to climb on it?

I only got two pictures inside the Capitol itself.  One of was of the dome, of course.  I think the capitol domes are so amazing every time I see one.

The other picture was of Kelsey by the bear statue outside the governor's office.  There were guards outside the door, which made me nervous taking this picture.

Behind the capitol there were more gardens, though the roses we had hoped to see weren't out yet.  We did however, see....

this little fella.  He's a red-eared slider turtle.  We know, because we got to hold one at the zoo once.  Now we will never forget.

After the Capitol we headed to the Light Rail stop to go by Ann's office.  Kelsey was exhausted, apparently.

And so was Olivia.

We hopped on the train to head out to Ann's office.  On the way, Kelsey realized that she had left her sweater at the train stop.  She had taken it off to use as a pillow.  It was a tragedy!  She loves that sweater.  So after stopping at Ann's office complex, we got BACK on the train to see if it was still there.  This picture was taken when I was trying to show Kelsey how many stops we had left to go before we got to the Archives Plaza where we had boarded.

It was a wonderful day in downtown Sacramento!

That evening we went back to Ann's for dinner, and the headed to the park down the street.  Passing (of course), more flowers that I had to take pictures of.

Kelsey loved being able to play with her cousin, Briann.

She's about a year younger than Kelsey, and so adorable.  She and Kelsey seem to have a lot of the same energy levels.

Which is nice, because then they can wear each other out.

At this point in our trip, the girls were tired of me taking their pictures.  Fortunately for me, Briann loves the camera!

(And her mother.)

I think this photo is my favorite from the playground.  Briann really cracks me up.

Friday morning it was time for us to head south back to Riverside.  Ann and Briann joined us at the hotel for breakfast before school.

It was a little bittersweet, but we had such a great visit with them.

When I was going through our pictures from the trip for this blog post, Kelsey came in and saw me working.  Her comment sums up how we all feel.
"I miss my cousin."

Thanks for the great visit, Ann!  Maybe one day we'll get the chance to do it again.  Let's just hope it doesn't take another 20 years...