Thursday, December 31, 2009

20 things in 2009

Things I learned or accomplished in 2009:

1. Lost twenty-five pounds and went from a size twelve to a size six.

2. Discovered I like running

3. Discovered I have I own an inhaler

4. Discovered I have tonsilitis...and that I'm officially a geek

5. Ran my first 5k

6. Ran an unofficial 10k

7. Participated in Trek-walked 38 miles in the middle of Wyoming and lived out of a five-gallon bucket

8. Learned about the role of food in my life and the lives of Americans, became aware of the impact our food choices make on our health and the environment

9. Bottled forty quarts of grape juice all by myself

10. Jarred a ton of apricot jam

11. Made home-made wheat dinner rolls

12. Played Hortense, a French maid in The Boy Friend

13. Played Belle in Beauty and the Beast opposite my Beastly husband

14. Really learned to appreciate others' differences and became less judgmental

15. Learned to appreciate more the value of good friends

16. Learned to be still while the world around me spins

17. Acquired my first personal computer

18. Acquired my first two kitties since moving out of my parents' house back in 1998

19. Crocheted twenty-four dishcloths in two weeks for family gifts...and they're symmetrical

20. Learned that I can do anything I set my mind to

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ariaism: where there's smoke....

Today, a few minutes after Shelby preheated the oven to start dinner, I walked in to discover a bit of smoke billowing from behind the oven door. When we opened it, we discovered that a dish towel had fallen in and was totally on fire. Shelby bravely grabbed it and threw it into the sink, dousing the flames with our tap water. As we caught our breath, Aria came up the stairs and threw open the door.

A: "Are you guys makin' s'mores?!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Skylerism: sick

Skyler has had a yucky cough for about 5 days now.

S: *cough cough cough cough, cough cough cough cough* "I cough in two sets of four."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My discovery

I've come to the conclusion that Aria cannot walk. She is entirely capable of running, jumping, hopping, leaping, and sliding from one location to the next, but, as I have not seen her walk in several years, I'm pretty sure it is no longer in her repertoire. I don't think they make special parking places for people like Aria, so there are no "perks"; but I assure you, it is a disability. She injures herself several times a day, and mundane tasks, such as bringing a plate from the table to the sink, are next to impossible. I can only hope that one day she finds a support group of others like her, to buoy her up through the hard times. In the mean time, we just give her all the love we can, and keep our insurance card handy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who needs weights?

My two year old is heavy. Like, I'm always surprised when I change his pants that there aren't bricks glued to his thighs heavy. Like, baby elephant heavy. Like ,"Are you twins in one body?" heavy. Hauling that kid around is no small task. My favorite is when he refuses to walk and I have my hands full, so I'm forced to rearrange my parcels, grab him by the wrist and literally drag him to our next destination. Who knows? Maybe he's too heavy for his own little legs to carry and it's a coping mechanism. It's weird, because he's not even fat, he's just solid. I have no idea where he stores all his weight! Are his bones made of lead? Are his bum cheeks filled with water? Maybe he has iron lungs? Not a clue. One thing's for sure though, at least I don't have to worry about my own long as he's doing it, I'm not gaining an ounce.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ariaism: baby it's cold outside

Tonight I was getting bundled up to go hayriding/caroling with the youth.

A: "Mom, can I come with you?"

M: "Nope, sorry babe."

A: "Why not?"

M: "It is freaking cold out there, love. Way too cold. I'm not even sure why I'm going! As it is, I'm going to freeze my butt off."

A: "Wait- You're coming home with no bum?"

M: "Possibly."

What we do to fulfill our callings....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ariaism: law and order

Aria was having a naughty spell. We were at the end of an extremely long day, full to the hilt with disobedience. She was in time out (again), when, exasperated, I asked her what she thought her punishment should be if she chose to disobey me one more time (I would like to note that what follows has not, nor ever will happen at my house. I have no idea where she got this). She looked up at me...

A: "I don't know...maybe sleep without blankets?"

M: "Sweetie, no. I'd never make you sleep without blankets. I was thinking maybe-"

A: "Sleep outside in the snow?"

M: "Oh my gosh."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some things about me

It takes me at least a half hour after I "wake up" to be actually awake. Before then, I shrink from the light like a strange hermit and frequently bump into walls, close my fingers in drawers,etc.

I believe that I would have been an amazing gymnast,horseback rider, figure skater, etc had I only had the training since youth.

My favorite color is yellow...even though it is the color of pee, it still makes me happy.

I love to bake. Not cook, bake. I like to cook only if it's like baking.

I hate to have chalk or clay on my hands. It seriously freaks me out and I can't do anything or even think until I get it off.

I will eat chocolate at anytime of day or night...and day and night.

I know you were all just dying to know these tidbits of info. Weren't you?! Weren't you?! Yeah! Yes, you were!! Yeah!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hi friends!

Hi friends! One of these days I will write a whole blog entry about what it was like to do Beauty and the Beast, but for now, I have decided just to return to writing about the everyday things that happen, thoughts and impressions I have, and, of course, the ridiculous things my kids say.

Today, I am writing about bread. I LOVE bread! Lately, I have found excuses to pop into Great Harvest to buy a loaf of indulgence, but also, in confession, for the immediate gratification of receiving a thick slice of free bread. I love to enter the store and pretend like I have no idea they are about to offer it to me, then feign delight at the gesture. "Who, me? Why, yes, thank you! What an unexpected surprise! I WOULD love a hearty slice of bread. How kind of you!" (I also quite deliberately push the thought that they must inflate the prices of the loaves to accommodate such an offer very deeply to the back of my brain).

I have been introduced to several new kinds of bread thanks to this little place. Today, I bought a loaf of tomato herb...scrumptious! It is like sitting down to a fine italian restaurant where they serve thick, crusty pieces of herb-y bread which you dip in oil and balsamic vinegar, except it is not at all so crusty and there is no dipping involved.

My free "bread" today was, in fact, not a bread at all. It was a pumpkin cream cake roll, which they, I think, are required to call a bread to fit the theme of the store. It was the yummy, flavorful pumpkin cake rolled together with that splendid cream cheese filling. Ahhhh! It was a beautiful escape. I closed my eyes and pretended I was snowed in at a luxurious ski resort. "No, Miss, the roads are impassible, I am afraid, but I can offer you this pumpkin cream cheese cake roll while you wait by our over-sized fireplace. Would you like hot cocoa with that?"

I especially love baking my own bread, but on days that I visit Great Harvest, I am often sent spinning into a bread coma and no longer have the drive to bake my own that day. Why? Bread begs you to slow down. It says to your soul, "You are going too fast, soul. Enjoy the peace while you can." So, I suppose maybe I should not go Great Harvest too often, lest I deny my own family that beautiful escape.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Xanderism: nativity

X: "Mama, (pointing to our carved wooden nativity set), who are these friends?"

M: "That's our nativity set! It's all about when Jesus was born. Here's Mary and Joseph, Jesus's mommy and daddy; and these are shepherds and here are the wise men."

X: (holding up a sheep) "And here's a yak!"

M: "What?!"

X: "A yak! And dis is Mary's yak!"

Bet you didn't know.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Xanderism: sad day

After taking Aria to afternoon kindergarten the other day, Xander and I stopped in to say hi to Daddy in his classroom, as we occasionally do. He has such a fun time saying hello to the students and playing with the toys. He was, however, particularly distraught over leaving and commenced a meltdown, complete with screaming and dragging all the way out of the school.

I finally buckled his tushy into the seat and we began driving home. I let him cry it out...yup, still going...still going...ok wait-...nope, still going. Finally he seemed to taper off a little, letting it drag out with those recognizable post-meltdown sniffs which come about every 4 seconds apart.

M:"Are you still crying, buddy?"

X: "(sniff sniff) ...No. (sniff) I not. (pauses in self-reflection, sniff sniff) I smelling."

M: "Smelling?"

X: "Yes. (sniff sniff) I smelling da flowers(sniff). See?! (snifffffffff)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Skylerism: Thanksgiving

My family put on an amazing Thanksgiving dinner this year. Mom and Janna made mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, yams, squash, stuffing,rolls, and like nine amazing pies including an apple caramel pie(yum!); and my brother Tim made a completely awe-inspiring turducken! Seriously, the turducken was amazing-it had three different stuffings and it took him 2 whole days to make. It was SO delicious!! I made nothing at the request of family members who've had my cooking before. My brother Steve was also in town, as well as Janna's husband Shawn, whom we haven't seen in months as he's been traveling for work.
After filling ourselves senseless, we all sat around the table, satiated and unable to move. Skyler got up to put his dishes away, and pausing mid-way to the kitchen,tilted his head to the side and commented rather sentimentally:

S: "A better meal, I've never had. This is a Thanksgiving to remember. Thanksgiving two-thousand nine."

and continued on his way.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ariaism: smart

Aria's sounding out words in a book, I'm doing dishes.

M: "Wow, Aria! You're doing great at reading. You're so smart. I know you'll go to college one day and be able to learn even more!"

A: (beaming) "I'm as smart as a college-er?"

Xanderism: hiccups

X: "Hc-up! Hc-up!

D: "Hey, Xander buddy! Are you okay?"

X: "Hc-up! Hc-up! Oh no, Daddy! I have the make-ups!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ariaism: shopping

Aria, with her grandparents at KOHL's:

A: "I'm easy to shop for because I want everything."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Skylerism: kitty love

The kids are eating a very healthy lunch of mac n' cheese, with a redeeming home-jarred grape juice beverage.

S: "Mom, I shouldn't kiss Jonny on the lips." (Jonny is our cat).

M: "That's true. Did Daddy tell you that?"

S: "No, I figured it out for myself."

M: "Really? How?"

S: "Well, there's germs on his, he doesn't like grape juice."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Skylerism: Patronus

S: "Mom, you can't cast a patronus. Dad can and so can I, but not you."

M: "What? Why not?"

S: "Well, in order to cast a patronus you need to not only focus on casting the patronus, but you also need to think of a really happy memory, like maybe the day you were born or something like that."

M: "I think I can do that. If both you and Daddy can do it, then why can't I?"

S: "Well, you know how--, well, you're always saying you can only do one thing at a time."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ariaism: sore

Aria, showing me the sore in her mouth :"Mom, look? See it? Oww!! It hurts, see? See my cranker?"

Friday, November 6, 2009

My ride home today.

S: "I have great news! Something really great happened today. I made friends with my enemy!"
(His enemy is a cute little girl who's never done anything wrong to him as far as I know but he's talked about her the whole year-even writing a story about a monster who eats her).

M: "Really?! Skyler, that's fantastic! How did you do it? What happened?"

S: "Well, I was doing a cool science experiment during recess and she wanted to join me, so I let her."

M: "Cool, buddy! What kind of experiment was it?"

S: "Well, it's probably against school rules, but I gathered some leaves and I used my magnifying paper to try to start a small fire, but we couldn't. I got really close though, I think. They got really hot and I was hoping to burn holes through them. Don't worry though, I also put some small rocks around the leaves so the fire wouldn't spread. Anyway, she thought it was cool, so I let her watch. I also let her look at the prisms through the magnifying paper and she thought they were pretty."

M: "Wow, buddy! That was a pretty clever experiment and, though I'm generally not in favor of starting fires at school, I'm proud of you for being safe about it by surrounding the leaves with rocks and also for making friends with your enemy."

S: "Yeah, it's probably the first time in the history of the world that someone made friends with their enemy by participating with them in a simple activity."

M: "Huh. Well-. Well, maybe, Sky!"

S: "Anyway, all I can think about is food. I'm really hungry."

M: "You're hungry?"

S: "I'm starving! You know, I did make a new friend today and that takes A LOT of energy! You know, I can also feel my heart beating really fast."

A: "You know what? I think that means you fell in love with your enemy!"

S: "Huh, But maybe I have a crush. She is a little bit cute, I think."

A: "What's a crush?"

S: "It's a piece of fatuous love. You know, if you're infatuated with someone. But I don't want to be famous for knowing the word fatuous even though I'm so young."

A: "You're going to be famous?"

S: "Well, I could be if people know that I know what fatuous means. You know, I just don't want the stress of being famous; people always following you around in crowds taking pictures and wanting to know what your doing all the time."

A: "Yeah, you DON'T want to go around feeling famous."

S: "Harry Potter knows how I feel."

Xanderism: Candy

Xander and I had a sweet moment the day after Halloween. We both sat snuggling on my bed with his bag of candy in between us, sampling a few different sugary snacks. Whoppers, Milky Ways.
Xander pulled out a box of DOTS.

X: "What's deese?"

M: "D-O-T-S. DOTS!"

X: (Chewing a red one). "Mmm, yum! Yummy! Dat's good!"

M: "Ooh, yeah. Those are good! What do they taste like?"

X: "...Dots."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Xanderism: crazy Sunday

It was a crazy Sunday. Xander would not go to Nursery and would not hold still nor be quiet during sacrament meeting. After our final meeting, I chased him (reverently) through the chapel until, thanks to a trick move, I finally caught up with him. I grabbed him by the wrist, slung him, screaming and crying, up over my shoulder, and walked (in my high heels, with heavy church bag, stuffed with toys, snacks, and probably bricks) to our car which was parked quite a distance away. With a final heave, I slung/wrestled him into his car seat and against much resistance, managed to buckle his heiny in.

Suddenly, Xander stopped screaming, turned and looked at me.

X: "PHEW!!"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Skylerism:Mom, did you know?

The other day I was putting a screw into the wall. Skyler, passing through, stopped, looked, then commented.

S: "Mom, did you know that a screw is a series of spiraling inclined planes that can hold materials together more securely than nails?"

M: "Well--------ummm, no. Not in those terms, no."

S: "Well, it's true."

Then off he went.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ariaism: Jokes

A: "Knock knock."

M: "Who's there?"

A: "Orange."

M: "Orange who?"

A:" Orange ate the American flag."

M: (silence).

A: "Mom, how come I can never get a grown-up to laugh?"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I might blog

Hi! I've been thinking about blogging. I have a lot to say (as most of you know). My camera and I have both been on the fritz (whatever the heck THAT is), but soon, I shall return to my former blogging glory. Oh yes, I shall return!! Sigh.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Skylerism: Normal, everyday life

Today I was doing dishes when Skyler came through the kitchen, sitting in his teal, plastic laundry bin and pulling himself across the floor with his arms.

S: "I'm not going very fast because friction slows down moving objects."

Little-known fact: Aria

When Aria cleans her room, she blasts "Hard-Knock Life" from ANNIE on her CD player.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Skylerism: computer

Skyler, coming up the stairs: "Daaa-ad! Daaa-ad!!"

M: "Hey, Buddy, what can I help you with? Dad's out working on the car."

S: "Um, you can't help me. You don't know how. I need Dad."

M: "Well, try me. What do you need help with?"

S, exasperated: "Ugh! Mom, you can't fix computer keys, can you? I need Dad."

M: "I don't know, MAYBE I can! We won't know unless you let me try, right?"

S: "Okay Mom, I'll give you ONE chance, but if you don't fix it on this chance, I'm going to get Dad. He can have as many chances as he needs."

M: "Well, thank you for your faith in me and for letting me have once chance."

I totally freaking fixed that computer key.

Skyler sitting happily at the computer as it loads up.

M, whispering in his ear: "Skyler. Skyler. Who totally fixed the computer key all by herself? Who did it? Who did it?"

S, a huge dimpled sheepish grin spreading across his face: "You did it, Mom (chuckles). You're the best Mom ever!"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


You know that famous phrase, "Dance like no one is watching?" I eat chocolate like no one is watching...and pretty much whenever no one is watching.

You know your child is different when....

This morning at about 4:00am I was awakened to the sound of my little 5-yr old Aria belting "Tomorrow" from ANNIE the musical. She was lying on the floor so her head could be closer to her CD player...which apparently was very important AT 4:00 IN THE MORNING!!! Well, what can I say? She's a Ferrin!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Seventh Birthday, Skyler!!

On Friday, my Skyler turned seven! Can you believe it?! He used to be teeny and now he's such a big boy. He makes me so happy, I can hardly stand it. Skyler is so smart and funny and kind-hearted. Thank you, Heavenly Father for sending me such an amazing boy. I love you, Skyler!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Skylerism: big word

Listening to Beauty and the Beast cast album in the car, Skyler and Aria laughing at "Nobody spits like Gaston."

M: "Skip, do you know what 'expectorating' means?"

S: "No."

M: "Well, 'expectorating' is a big fancy word that means spitting!"

S: "Oh! Thank you, Mom! Thank you for teaching me that new big word! I love big words! Now, the big word-master is back in POWER!!!"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ariaism: m&m

Aria, randomly, yet frankly over dinner:

A: "The inside of an m&m counts as dairy."

Family: "Huh?!"

A: "Milk chocolate."

That's my girl.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Xanderism: ketchup

X: "I want ketchup!"

D: "Xander, say 'please' about the ketchup."

X: "Please about the ketchup."

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"What's...that....small pitter pat? One. Two! Two kitty cats."

I totally have two kitty cats. Not one month ago, I had NO kitty cats. Not unless you count the one in my dreams.

Friday, July 31, 2009

When future scientists learn to ride bikes:

Yesterday, I began teaching Skyler and Aria how to ride their bikes without training wheels. I began by teaching them how to fall properly (what? It's what they do in skiiing!), then we worked on simply maintaining balance in a stationary position on the bike.

Aria caught on quickly (she exhibits a strong aptitude for physical challenges), holding herself completely still while I only occasionally spotted her if she began to tip. Skyler struggled a bit more (he exhibits a strong aptitude for academic challenges...not so much physical), requiring more or less constant support. I anticipated that it would be more difficult for him, just as I anticipate school being more of a challenge for Aria.

I was, however, really impressed with his attitude as he was genuinely trying to figure it out using his personal strengths. He must have recalled one of our previous conversations about his body's sense of balance:

M:"Skyler, I'm SO proud of you! You're really trying and doing great!"

S:"I don't know, Mom. I think there must be a problem with the fluid in my middle ear."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I turned 29 and lived (so far) to tell about it!

I turned 29 today. I mostly feel the same. I'm only genuinely surprised that I don't look older than I do. I'm not saying I have skin like a seventeen year-old, I'm just saying that I thought that at twenty-nine, I'd look a lot uglier. But, I'm good, you know? I'm doin' pretty good! My skin's pretty good, my body's pretty good, my hair's pretty good (no greys!) and my mental health is pretty good. Plus, my life is way freaking better than just pretty good, so, you know...huge bonus there. So, yeah. Happy Birthday to me! I'm going to celebrate by eating whatever I want and, in the process, slightly damage my pretty good body. I only live once:)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Little known fact

Aria sleeps on her back with her mouth wide open.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My favorite deal of the week

Macey's has 2-pound containers of blueberries for $4.99! These get insanely expensive as the weather gets colder and we go through TONS of blueberries, so we'll be stocking up and freezing for muffins, pancakes, and yogurt-toppers. Blueberries are one of the healthiest berries out there, so shop away friends! This deal ends when the store closes Tuesday night.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ariaism: sucks

Aria, having just been tucked in after a long day.

A: "Mama, I know who sucks."

M: "What?!"

A: "I know who sucks."

M: "I know who what?!"

A: "Sucks! I know who sucks."

M: "Sweetie, that's not a very nice word to say. It's not the worst word ever, but it's not a very pleasant word, so if we can find a different word to use, then that would be better. It's okay. You're not in trouble. Now, I want to know what you were thinking so, go ahead. Tell me who sucks."

A: "Satan. Satan sucks."

M: "Yes, sweetie, you are absolutely right. Satan DOES suck."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Xanderism: Sacrament

Shelby here.

Last Sunday I took the opportunity to teach Xander about why we partake of the Sacrament. I told him that it helps up remember how much Jesus loves us, and that when we take it, we are making a promise to Heavenly Father that we will do our best to be good boys.

Xander took his piece of bread, put it in his mouth, turned to me and said, "Needs butter."

Monday, July 20, 2009

My favorite deal of the week

Back by popular demand:

My favorite deal of the week is at Macey's. They are having a killer sale on cereal right now. Kellogg's cereal is 4/$5 (less if you have a coupon) and right there near the cereal they have coupons for milk: Buy any 2 boxes of Kellogg's cereal and get $2.00 off a gallon of milk. Well, milk was 3/$5.00. So they basically paid me to get milk. I spent $4.32 for four boxes of cereal and two gallons of milk. I freakin' rock...and so can you!! The deal only lasts one more day though, so go to Macey's ASAP!! ;)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Skylerism: sensible

M:"Skyler, do you know what I love about you? I love that you're so sensible"

S:"Yeah. Like my sense of taste. Sometimes if I see something far away that I want to taste, I can stay where I am, simply stick out my tongue like this and without damaging it or even getting it wet, I can taste it."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I shouldn't have been in the west wing

I found out this week that I've been cast as Belle in Terrace Plaza Playhouse's production of Beauty and the Beast playing opposite my handsome husband Shelby as the Beast! I'm so excited! We start rehearsal in August and the Show opens in October. Now my life really is a fairytale!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Doing shows makes me happy

I love to do shows. Maybe it's because I love the regular socializing. Maybe it's because I love to let go of reality a little and pretend that I'm someone and somewhere else. Maybe it's because I, as my mom warned Shelby before we were married, need, "a lot of reassurance." Yeah, that's probably it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

French Maid-not like THAT!!

More good news! I've been cast in The Boy Friend playing in August this summer in Clearfield as Hortense, a French maid. I'm really excited!! Rehearsals start Tuesday:)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hit the trail!

I'm stoked to announce that I've been assigned to hike the trail with the youth on Trek in a few weeks! It was either that or help at the camp with food and tents(which actually would have been really fun too). I'm thrilled at my assignment, and am looking forward to the exercise and the spiritual experience, not to mention the chance to unabashedly wear a bonnet for 4 days straight-I look smokin' hot in a bonnet. See you on the trail!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hi Blog :)

Hi Blog :) I'm sorry to have been so neglectful lately. Things have just been really busy, but I want you to know I've been thinking of you, sweet blog. The way you are formatted, the way you keep everything I've written so safe and well-recorded, the way you keep me connected with people I love. I don't take you for granted blog. You've always been there for me these last 10 months. You are important to me and you'll always be so. I love you.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

25x6 things for which I am grateful

As part of my Trek preparation, I've been asked to write down 25 things for which I am grateful. I was supposed to do this once a month, starting in (gulp) January and going through June. Since, I have a teeny tiny bit of catching up to do, I've decided to do it all at once here and let you in on my list! So, in no particular order:

1.My family (especially my very good-looking and hard-working husband, Shelby) 2.The Gospel 3.The atonement 4.Mint Milanos 5.Oreos 6."Owning" my own house 7.Shelby's stable job 8.Knowing how to make my own bread 9. Helpful friends and neighbors 10.Indoor plumbing 11.A working furnace 12.The availability of different foods 13.Thrift stores 14.Being able to attend BYU 15.Close proximity of temples 16.Growing up in New England 17.On Demand movies on my new couch 18.Pumpkin cookies from the freezer 18.A quiet neighborhood 19.A safe place to run 20.A great school for my children 21.A free country 22.Our military 23.Community theater 24. A good city council working hard to improve my city 25.Lilacs 26.A great city library 27.Our family's good health 28.Still-functioning vehicles 29.A brother in the car business 30.Body pillows 31.Hot chocolate 32.Cold chocolate 33.REALLY generous parents and in-laws 34.Magic Erasers 35.Epidurals 36.Air conditioning 37.Coupons 38.Seat belts 39.Law enforcement 40.Volunteer and Paid Fire Fighters 41.Ben 42.Jerry 43.Blogs 44.Facebook 45.My drivers' license 46.Safe Airplanes 47.Organized athletics 48.The PTA 49.Teachers 50.Living in a country with good and sanitary medical care 51.City parks 52.Calculators 53.Naptime for my kids 54.Naptime for me 55.Lawn mowers 56.Real Southern BBQ 57.Biggest Loser 58.Grey's Anatomy 59.Flat irons 60.Concealor 61.Contact lenses 62.High heels on clearance 63.Democracy 64.Skyler's dimples 65.Aria's recent streak of really good behavior 66.Xander's sense of humor 67.Skyler's common sense 66.Aria's flare for life 67.Xander's smile 68.Bubble baths 69.Shelby's concientious romantic gestures 70.Shelby's smokin' new bod :) 71.Google 72.My 5 senses 73.Two working computers 74.A washer and dryer 75.A dishwasher 76. Pantyhose to mask my legs on days I didn't shave 77.Our tree swing 78.Our porch 79.Oprah 80.Operas 81.Good jokes 82.Recycling 83.Mirrors 84.Feminine Hygeine products 85.Ipods 86.Yogurt 87.Old Christmas specials 88.Occasionally finding money in old purses or pants I haven't worn for a long time 89.Clothes that fit me and are reasonably in style 90.Shelby's willingness to cook and his ability to do it well 91.Chances to serve 92.Family vacations 93.Eating out 94.Deodorant 95.Singing-my own and others' 96.Parents who are still married 97.Lots of family near-by 98.Knowing how to swim 99.Poetry 100.Mueseums 101.Beautiful Art 1o2.Warm Winter clothing 103.Cartoons 104.Great (and free!) babysitting 105.Conditioner 106.Lotion 107.Vermont maple syrup 108.Beautiful and clever music 109.Cell phones 110.Good bras 111.Dentists 112.Vitamins and supplements 113.Containers 114.Midol 115.People who do their callings well 116.Mindless chores 117.New recipes 118.Food Storage 119.My new carpeting 120.Hand sanitizer 121.Chalk holders 122.White boards 123.Toliet paper 124.My mom's spaghetti sauce 125.Shelby's patience 126.Shelby's talent 127.Aria's pretty hair 128.Skyler's intelligence 129.Xander's snuggles 130.My electric stove 131.Hair dryers 132.Flat irons 133.My toaster 134.DVRs 135.Disposable diapers and wipes 136.Spring 136.Fall 137.The Olympics 138.Parades 139.Layton High Theater program 140.People smarter than I am 141.Really good authors 142.People who love and are good at math 143.The Young Women's program 144.Relief Society 145.The Priesthood 146.Corn on the cob with butter and salt 147.Youtube 148.Itunes 149.Global awareness 150.Hot soup with whole wheat toast

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Xanderism: spider

8:00pm. Bedtime. While not actually asleep, the kids are in bed.

X:"Ahhh! Spider! Spider! Ahhhh! SPIDER!!"

S:"Mooooooommm! A spider! Xander sees a SPIDER!! Hurry! Hurry! A SPIDER!!"

I run in and flip on the light.

X, standing up, looking down at the floor, where his recently-tossed binky lies:"Spider!!! (giggles) Binky Spider!"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Skylerism: choose the right

There I was, just lying in bed reading, when an aggravated voice came echoing down the hall:

S: "Gah!! You have to 'choose the right' even when nobody's looking! Oh, no!"

One can only imagine what misdeed led to that realization.

Friday, May 22, 2009

One of my new favorite recipes

Ok, I found the BEST banana bread recipe. I challenge any of you to rival it's yumminy goodness. And it's healthy (mostly) to boot!

Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe and Instructions:

Be sure to use ultra ripe bananas for this. Their skins should be mottled black and they should feel soft to the touch. Using what you would normally consider to be ripe bananas will diminish the bread’s rich flavor.

½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
½ cup (3 ¾ ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (~ 12 ounces) mashed ripe banana (3-4 medium to large bananas)
¼ cup (3 ounces) honey
2 large eggs
2 cups (8 ounces) whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
½ cups (2 ounces) chopped walnuts (or chocolate chips, or whatever)!

Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Beat together the butter, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the banana, honey and eggs, beating until smooth. Add the flour and nuts, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and let it rest at room temperature, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Bake the bread for 50 minutes. Lay a piece of foil gently across the top and bake until a cake tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lessons learned the hard way

When selecting footwear for your toddler on grocery shopping days, NEVER choose the crocs. They can be easily kicked off, several times, in the middle of the inevitable tantrum, requiring 15 separate pick-ups on your way out the door-a hard feat to accomplish with said toddler slung luggage-like over your shoulder. Plan wisely and go for the lace-ups :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Skylerism: nutrition

Shelby was looking at an insert in the newspaper today, all about nutrition for kids. Skyler came over to look at it too. He got excited and said, "Look Dad, carbohydrates! You LOVE those!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ariaism: I'm sorry note

M:"Aria, you need to go apologize to your brother for not letting him finish his video game level. That was a very not-nice thing to do."

A:"I'm sorry, Skyler."

S:"I'm so upset that I don't think 'I'm sorry' is going to work. I think I need an 'I'm sorry' note."

A: (whispering to me) "Mom, what's an 'I'm sorry' note? Is it like this? (singing) "I'm sahhhh-reeeee!"

M:"Something like that."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ariaism: primary lesson

A:"Hey, Mom, guess what?! Do you want to know what our primary lesson was about in church last week?"

M:"Wow, really? Yeah, that'd be great, honey! What was it about?"

A:"It was about listening!"

M:"Cool, honey! What did your teachers say about listening?"

A:"Uhm, I don't remember."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ariaism: pets

M: (driving) "Hey, Aria, check out that totally cute dog over there! How cute is he?!!"

A:"He's so cute and happy! Mom, I really wish we had a dog...and also a cat. A dog, AND a cat....AND a lobster."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Xanderism: credit union

We made a trip to the credit union this week to make a deposit. We turned into the driveway and Xander, pointing, exclaimed excitedly from the back seat, "House! House!! Sucker House!!!"

It's in moments like this that I realize that my kids live in a completely different reality than I do.

I don't know why they call it a "green thumb"

I don't know why they call it a "green thumb." I've been pulling dandelions out from the roots all over my yard for the last two days and my thumbs, and fingers for that matter, are totally un-green. They are most definitely dirt-brown...and I'm pretty sure it's permanent. I've scrubbed my hands several times and that pretty brown color is going nowhere fast. It's found a nice home in the cozy nooks of my finger wrinkles.

Ok also, when I close my eyes, I see the outlines of dandelion weeds EVERYWHERE and I want to just YANK them out!! I think this officially makes me crazy(as if any of you needed additional evidence).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Xanderism: What the heck was that?

Xander had a rough time falling asleep tonight. His schedule's been a little nuts since he switched over to the big boy bed. Y'all know what I'm talkin' bout. His exhaustion actually makes it harder for him to fall and stay asleep. So, tonight Shelby,(heaven bless him) dutifully stayed by his bedside while he screamed and cried himself to sleep (45 min). Shelby then went to rehearsal.

An hour later, little X woke up again, screaming something that sounded like, "AaaaahhhhhIIIIIIiiii," over and over....and over....yes, and over again, the translation of which I'm still unsure of. For 45 minutes I tried asking him if he had owies, I sat him up because maybe he was still asleep even though his eyes were open, I held him, I kissed him, I sang all the wrong songs, I offered unwanted binkies and drinks, I even gave him a dose of Tylenol. I offered to leave. I offered to stay. Still, he screamed on.

Finally, I said, "Buddy!! Are you stinky?!" He then very suddenly stopped crying and screaming, looked me straight in the eye and said, "No.", then closed his eyes and fell asleep immediately. Like literally within a second. What. The. Heck. Was. That?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Skylerism: Easter Sunday

Four different primary teachers from our ward have told me this Skylerism all on separate occasions:
Easter Sunday, the primary children had a chance during sharing time to pick a paper egg off the board and tell the group what they think of when they think of Easter. Several kids got up and said things like, "The Easter Bunny!", "Jesus," "Easter egg hunts!". When it was Skyler's turn, he walked up, pulled an egg off the board, turned around to face the group and with a slight tilt of the head and a far off look in his eyes, he said, "Many sweet memories." I totally love that kid.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Skylerism: where did that come from?

I snuggled up to Skyler this afternoon. I miss that little guy while he's at school! So, I leaned in, kissed his cheek, and said, "I just was thinking about how much I love you and how you are one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world."

S:"Thank you, Mom! I was just thinking how much I love YOU and how you are one of MY most favorite people in the whole wide world too! Also, I'm happy to live in a free country, and proud."

Happy Birthday, Aria!!!

Today my little Aria turns 5 yrs old! I know, so hard to believe! Hard to believe that she's really 5 and not 17!! I love this little princess more than words. She teaches me so much and makes me into a better person. Happy birthday, little sweetie pie :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

My official unofficial victory

I totally ran a 10k by myself at the HS track this weekend! I did not die during it and I actually felt pretty dang good afterward. I think I completed it in like one hour and twenty minutes. In my mind, I like to imagine several hundred people finishing it behind me, agonizing over their loss. I celebrated today by eating two slices of extra cheesy homemade pizza, 3 Oreos (the enemy of dieters everywhere), and a Brownie Earthquake from Dairy Queen (thank you, Shelby). It had just been too long, and it was even better than I remembered. Going back to healthy eating tomorrow, with an eye toward an official 10k soon.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ariaism: errands

I told Aria that she couldn't play and had to come with me to run errands.

A: "Momma, you have ONE minute to change your attitude!"

I did it!!! For REAL this time!!!

Guess what?!! I totally ran my first official 5k on Saturday!! The race was to help fund the Best Buddies organization, which supports individuals with intellectual disabilities. I finished in the top 20 (men and women) with my best time ever. 34 minutes!! Yay me!! I totally did it!

My mom and dad came and walked it in 1 hour. Way to go! They were awesome and it was really cool to have them there. Check us out!!! Aren't we cool?!

This is my dad and me right before the race started.

This is me being WICKED FAST!!! Can you see the sweat glistening?

This is us, post-race. We did it!! Also, we match. How cute is THAT?! Yay us! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Skylerism: THAT sick

Skyler's had quite a high fever for the last few days. We just found him curled up on the floor of his room with a blanket and decided to move him to our bed for the afternoon.

D: "Come on, buddy, let's move you to Mom and Dad's room."

S: Groans. "Alright."

M: "Look, sweetie, I've got your pillow and Teddy. He can come with you."

S: "No thanks, I'd like some alone time."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mini Vacation

A few weeks ago, Shelby had a conference in Provo at the Marriott hotel. It was an overnight, and since his roommate would not be staying over, we decided to bring the fam down for a little free vacation time. Now, because Xander refused to sleep in his Graco and because they gave Shelby a room with only one bed because it was "only him," the five of us didn't get much R&R, but we did make some great little memories...including when we got Xander out of the pool and dressed, only to watch him jump right back in, fully clothed. Are you sensing a Xander theme here(see two posts ago)?

Kids on the over-taxed bed :)
Kids doing something they can't do at home. NOT! (Note the unused Graco in the background).
At the Bean Science Museum at BYU. We "bearly" made it!! Har har.
We randomly ran into one of our most favorite people on campus. We LOVE Nique! Totally a highlight ;)Taking our family pic in front of that cute family sculpture at BYU. I totally have always wanted to do this. See how patient Shelby is being? This was not a planned stop on our golf-cart tour :)We had a great time. My favorite memory is Shelby explaining to the kids that when they go to college they can go to study anything they want. Skyler was excited that he could major in just science or computers or engineering. Aria was excited to learn that she could major in doing Grandpa Shows. Xander was just happy for the pizza at the Cougareat. Good times :)

Monday, March 16, 2009


We've been working on finishing the basement, and when I say "we" I mean Shelby, my dad, and Xander. Xander loves to work right beside the big boys, doing everything they do. Even when they're gone, he walks around the house with his drill and level saying, "helper!" Hey, every little bit of help helps :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bath time is NOT over!

A few weeks ago I got Xander out of the bath, toweled him off, lotioned him up, dressed him, and sent him on his way to play. I found him a second later right back where we started. I guess I was wrong. Turns out bath time was not over. Sooo not over. Sooo right back where we started.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Skylerism: sweet talker

Over breakfast this morning:

S: "Momma, I love you so much, you could never love me as much as I love you."
M: "But I do! I love you so much that I carried you inside of me for 10 months. I love you so much that I made you a body to live in. So much that for almost a year all my food and energy went straight toward making you!"

S: "Whoa, you must have eaten like 9 meals a day!"

D: "She did, mostly Oreos and ice cream."

S: "Wow, Mom, you're like Jabba the Hut!"

Just what every woman wants to hear.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Deep thoughts

So my kids were watching an old episode of Casper the Friendly Ghost this week. In the episode, Casper travels to Mother Goose Land where he encounters various nursery rhyme characters who all in turn are freaked out by the presence of the ghost.

Anyway, the point is that Casper comes across the old woman who lives in a shoe. It reminded me that as a child I had no idea what this lady's problem was. I remember thinking, "Man, get a grip! Don't you think you're over-reacting just a tad? They're kids for goodness sake!! And I'm sure it's by your own doing that they're there living in your little shoe-house. What do you mean you 'don't know what to do?' I mean, she 'gave them some broth without any bread, then spanked them all soundly and sent them to bed.' What kind of crap parenting is that?" I thought this lady was way off her rocker.

Now, watching this woman on the cartoon as an adult, I realize that I cannot judge her. Some of you may think that 3 children is a lot. Some of you may think that 3 is nothing compared to your 5. But I promise you that there are days when my 3 feel like 30 and I don't know what to do. So what do I do? I feed them the nothing-ist easiest filler food I can reach, punish their butts for some wrong-doing they either did or did not commit, then put them to bed early so I don't kill them. It's only now as an adult that I think that old woman living in the shoe was not only not off her rocker, but she had it allllllll figured out. I salute you, old woman. Your morals are timeless.

I did it!!

On Friday, I mapped out, measured and ran my very own unofficial 5k. I'm not kidding! I did it! And while truthfully, I've been a tad slack-y on my healthful eating, I've never been better at running, so I think it at least evens out, right?

While I was running, I just kept saying to myself, even in the very early stages of my run, "I'm going to be SO excited when I finish! I'm totally going to finish! When I finish, I'm going to call Shelby right away!" I guess my positive thinking really payed off.

I've also been thinking about making myself one of those fancy 5k t-shirts I see people wearing on the weekends. I'm sure they're from official 5ks, but mine was unofficial, so I think I can justify wearing an unofficial 5k t-shirt. Whaddaya think? Maybe just a plain white t with black Sharpie? Yeah. Now I'm talkin' !

My favorite deal this week

Albertsons has tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, and Banquet pot pies all for .33 each. I totally stocked up.

Also, I totally scored some free fresh salmon at Winegars by using their Gator Deal. Smith's has it this week for $3.99/ lb. I cooked it up and I did a WAY better job than last time. I dare anyone to tell me this week that it was "resistable."

Monday, February 23, 2009

What's so great about Annie anyway?

This is Shelby again. I should just get my own blog...

The reason I'm here today is to pay tribute to my favorite person. Annie and I will have been married for 8 years by this time next week. She is extraordinary and wonderful in every way. I could go on and on, but you'd get sick of reading it and ditch her blog. I don't want that.

So instead I will say one thing I just love, love, love about her and invite each of you to do the same. Consider it your anniversary gift to us.

Right from the beginning I could tell that Annie was a girl who was going to keep me guessing. Just when I thought I "got" her, she'd astound me. Some new talent would emerge, some new aspect of her personality, some new piece of knowledge or perspective I had never considered before. She was like a rainbow, an illusion close enough to touch that always kept you looking for its end. She still is. Everyday a new and better woman wakes up and greets me. Amazing!

Now it's your turn. You took the time to check her blog today, so you must care. Why? What's so great about Annie anyway?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stuff I've said "Yes" to

Almost an entire half-gallon of Bryers' black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream. What?! I'm sick!! Gimme a break.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stuff I've said "No" to

Peanut Butter cup ice cream
Impromptu trip to the store for Hostess cupcakes

My favorite deal this week

Ok, my favorite deal this week is at Smith's. They have Kroger cottage cheese on sale for $1.oo. We love cottage cheese in our family so you'd better believe we'll be stocking up :0) They also incidentally have Dole Garden Salads for $1.00 each as well.
Harmons has grapefruits for .33. I LOVE grapefruits!!

Here's how I worked the Winegar's Gator Deal this week: Smith's has Tide 2x Laundry Detergent on sale for $6.49, a dollar cheaper than Winegar's price at $7.49. So, I brought in the Smith's ad along with the detergent from the shelf up to the register and got it for FREE!! I also received many admiring looks from the manager and other store employees who had to give props to my shopping saavy moves ;)

Warning and reminder: Getting this deal requires a bit of guts, as checkers are still somewhat unsure of what to do in this situation and must ask assistance of the manager. The managers get it though, so no worries. It's a fair and square deal. I even measured the trip distance between the Smith's in Clinton and the Winegars here in Clearfield and it's exactly 3 miles. For the record, there is a Macey's only 2 miles from the store, so if you can find the same item for cheaper there, you can also get it for free at Winegars. One deal per customer. You can do it! I have faith in you!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cleanliness is next to...impossible

Shelby again. Sorry to disappoint you Anniephiles out there.

My children are big fans of the second law of thermodynamics, which says that the natural state of the universe is increasing entropy toward equilibrium. In other words, the universe doesn't like things out of balance. Neither do I, but the universe and I differ greatly in our definitions of balance. The universe's version of balance is that the toys that belong in the playroom should be equally distributed over the physical space of the entire house. That's equilibrium. And I HATE it.

Some of you already know that I gave Annie a Valentine's Day gift of inestimable value: I stayed up all night cleaning the house. Man oh man, did I clean. And clean. And then I slept through bishopric meeting the next morning. You can see where my priorities lie.

Skyler and Aria slept at grandma's house that night, but when they went downstairs the next afternoon, the transformation from slovenly to spotless was nearly impossible for their little minds to fathom.

S:"Holy cow! What did you do to the playroom!?"

(As if I had somehow ruined it forever.)

A:"I've never seen it so clean, Daddy. It's feels weird. It's kinda freakin' me out."

It's not their fault. The irrefutable laws of the universe called, and they answered.

I've fought a lot of uphill battles in my life, but defying the laws of physics is a bit much, even for me. Someday the universe and I will have it out over this entropy issue once and for all, and should I win, I know right where I'm putting the trophy. I cleared a spot on the shelf, but now I think it's housing one of Xander's toys.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Skylerism: Trek form

Shelby here.

Annie has decided to join the youth of our ward on the Pioneer Trek this summer. She'll be dressing up like Ma Ingalls and hiking 34 miles across the prairies of Wyoming. First, though, she has to pass a physical. While she was on the phone arranging it, Skyler took the form and started asking questions. I explained to him what some of the acronyms meant, but he soon lost interest.

A few minutes later Annie followed up with him:

A: "Skyler, did Daddy tell you what ADHD means?"
S: "Yeah, but I already forgot."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My favorite deal this week

My favorite deal this week is at Smith's. Friday from 3-11pm, you can get fresh blueberries for $1.00 along with many other special deals only available during those hours. The best I've seen them for in a while is 3/$5.

Also, I discovered that at Winegars in Clearfield, they have a Gator Deal which states that if any store within a 3-mile radius has any item marked lower than the same item at Winegars, they will give you that item for FREE!! I got free cheese last week. The checkers are a tad oblivious to the rule, but it is stated very clearly all over the store and has been up for months, so compare, and shop away!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Over dinner this evening:

S: "Mom, do you think two heads are better than one?"

M:"Well, I suppose that what they say is true. I do think two heads are better than one. Except, not on my body. I'd prefer to have only one."

S:"But Mom, if you had two heads and one got chopped off, then you would still live."

M:"Huh. I'd never thought of it that way."

Stuff I've said "no" to

So, my mom and dad have been eating healthier and exercising too. I was talking with my mom the other day and she said that she wished she got credit for all the sweets and junk food that she said "no" to, not just docked mentally, emotionally, and physically for the ones she said "yes" to. I'd had similar feelings, so I decided to tell the world about the stuff I've said "no" to because, dang it, I deserve some credit. Never mind what I've said "yes" to!!!! I invite all of you out there to feel free to add comments about stuff you've said "no" to as well because, dang it, you all deserve some credit too!!

Here's my list since I started my new eating habits. Stuff I've said "no" to:

ice cream sundaes
Oreo cookies
chocolate chip cookies
peach pie
cake shaped like slippers
brownies with fudge frosting

That's all I can remember for now, but I'm sure I'll add a post here and there about some new stuff I've said "no" to. Comment away, my friends, and be heard!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


After school Friday, Skyler walked in the door, came right towards me, and slid onto my lap for snuggles. The first thing he said?

S:"Mom, I love you SO much that even if we were playing football, I wouldn't tackle you."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mom tip

I promise you all, the very best way to get your children's undivided and rapt attention is by taking a moment to use the bathroom. Simply close and lock the door and I guarantee they won't leave you alone.

Friday, February 6, 2009


For all you Will Rogers' Follies enthusiasts:

Over breakfast this morning.

A:"Mom, are you 'Kiwanis Hall-time?"

Monday, February 2, 2009


I made salmon for the first time ever tonight, and I thought though a tad lemon-y, it was delicious. Not everyone agreed.

S:"Mom, this fish is sooooo resistable."

Sunday, February 1, 2009


We have a rule in our family that no one gets snacks on Sunday until after all of the priesthood holders sit down after passing the sacrament. This rule has been in place since the dawn of Ferrin family time.

During the sacrament today:

S:"Mom, can I have my snacks?"


S:(whispering)"Can I have my snacks?"


S:"Mom, may I please have my snacks?"

M:"Skyler, what do you think?"

S:"I don't know. Can I have my snacks while I think about it?"

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cheater cheater, ice cream eater

Tonight, I am officially purposefully cheating on my diet. There are those of you out there who would say, "You know, Annie, you're only cheating yourself." And to those people I say, "DUH!!!" I've been really really really good on my diet and have gone many moons where I've filled my emotional neediness not with the traditional brownies, cookies, or ice cream, but with the classic work Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte; or a small bowl of healthy cereal.
So, having lost a few pounds and feeling particularly needy tonight, I've sent my husband out for a banana split. If I'm going to cheat, I'm SO going to cheat. Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow. My wii fit and I have a standing date. So don't feel bad, public! Don't think to yourself, "What is she doing, diluting herself this way?" I will spend many more moons, filling my emotional neediness with the memory of this delicious, oh so so delicious treat I am about to indulge in. See? It's actually a weight-loss tactic!! It's allllllll part of the plan :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Little Known Fact

Xander knocks on doors with the back of his fist.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weighty matters

Ok. So, I've decided to try to lose a little weight/get a little healthier. I'm letting you all in on this now only because I am on day #9 and have seemed to be able to stick with it thus far. This is a new record for me by 7 days! In high school I counted Weight Watchers points for two whole days, and on a separate occasion I was faithful to the Atkins' Diet for a stellar day and a half. So, needless to say, I'm on a roll here and feel confident enough to admit it. I'm making no promises, however, about how long this will last, or if it will even make a difference, but I had to record that I even made it this far. I've even exercised for 4 days in a row! I know! Crazy!

It's really been coming for quite some time. It all started a couple of months ago when I could no longer deny the fact that I had developed a definite "muffin top." Hiding it under billowy shirts was no longer working for me.

Also, my friend recently decided to enter a pageant (Hi Jaymie!). I considered the possibility of entering one myself, and am rather embarrassed to say that I nixed the idea pretty quickly because I (it's horrible) was unwilling to give up Oreos. I know, shameful. The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Then, a few weeks ago I was purchasing a dress for a wedding coming up in May (I'm a bridesmaid, or matron) and the lady said that even though I said I was a size 12 over the phone(I'm not ashamed to say it), she said the dresses run small and I may actually be a 16, and would I please come in to be measured? I was really hormonal and started bawling like a baby over the phone. Like heaving boogery sobs. I went in to be measured and I really am a size 12, but I was shaken, I'm not gonna lie. Not that 16 is all that awful, but when you think you're a 12, it's not a number you want to hear.

The same day that I went in to be measured, I picked up my ring from the jeweler's and it was too small to fit my finger. I had a red, sore knuckle for hours. I later found out that they had sized it incorrectly and were off by a whole size. Still, not a great thing to happen that day to my already sensitive emotions.

I'm not even joking, but the final straw was also that very same day, when I came home and Aria pushed on my "muffin top" and asked excitedly if I was expecting a new baby girl. Yeah. When I finally, against her persistent insistance that I was, convinced her that Mommy was just a little chubby, she informed me that only daddies could be a little chubby, not mommies. While I did correct her assumption, I had really had enough.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, I run. I run away from my "muffin top," away from the Oreos which do so easily beset me. I say to my daughter, "No! Mommy is not pregnant and you can see it!" And to dress-makers and ring-sizers everywhere, "I am a 12 or smaller, dang it! And don't give me a ring bigger than a size 6!! This is my creed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration day moment

Today I sat the three kids down to watch history-in-the-making. The presidential inauguration of Barak H. Obama was something I made sure that they would not miss. They all three snuggled under the blankets on my bed and watched as they began the ceremony. When they said the opening prayer, Skyler closed his eyes, bowed his head, and folded his arms. A few minutes into it, I heard this:

A: "Skyler, what are you doing?"

S: "Shhh! I'm participating in the prayer!"

A: "Well, I'm not. It's too long!"

S:"Aria! Don't you want our president to 'have the wisdom to lead us?

Turns out my little guy was listening very closely! After the prayer, he then went on to explain to her that it was a very important day because it was the first time ever that a man with dark skin was elected to be the president of the United States of America and that this was only possible because of a man named Martin Luther King, Jr. who worked very hard so that all people could be equal, no matter what the color of their skin. He even explained a brief history of slavery and segregation and why they were so wrong. I'm proud of my little guy, and was touched by the poignant reminder of why it is so important that we share our nation's history with our children.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I only make easy things

I only make easy things. Well, this used to be true until I started trying to make yeast breads a year ago. But, they never come out very well, so I guess I only make easy things well. One of the easy things I make well are peanut butter balls. I got the recipe from a friend of mine and I now proudly and unabashedly pass it off as my own. Seriously, they are delicious (as evidenced by the fattening ingredients). Several of you have asked me for the recipe, so I've decided to post it here. Now, you all may proudly and unabashedly pass it off as your own! Happy boasting!


*1 cube margarine
*2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
*1 cup peanut butter

*Almond Bark (This is microwaveable chocolate found in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips. It comes in little squares. I microwave them a glass pie dish).

Mix together first 3 ingredients and roll into bite-sized balls. Dip into melted chocolate and let dry on parchment. Enjoy!

Fresh new look

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine at church complimented me on my lip color and asked what color it was.

M:"Oh, thank you! It's actually a combination of things. I've got a lip-liner-"

F:"What kind of lip liner is it?"


F:"What brand?"

M:"Uhm...I don't know. It's really old. Then I have a kind of mauve-ish lipstick-"

F:"Oh! What kind is it?"

M:"Uhm... I don't know. It'll sound weird, but I got this huge box full of make-up for Christmas from Wal-Mart and I think the whole thing was pretty cheap. It's not like a real brand-name. I have no idea what kind it is, but it's actually nice, huh? I really like it. Then I just have a little pink lip gloss on top."

F:"You don't happen to know what kind of lip gloss it is, do you?"

M:"I'm so sorry, no I don't (laughing). It's also really old, like the lip liner. So...I guess, I wear old, cheap make-up, which apparently goes great together! Is that a brand? Look in the aisle for the Old Cheap line of make-up. It's fantastic!"

My friend has asked me twice since then if I've obtained the actual names of my make-up and would I please blog them? So, here they are. Who knows if they're actually sold any more, but if they are, you've got a great old look for less!

Lip liner pencil-N.Y.C. #956C (it's either N.Y.C. or N.X.C., it's kind of worn off, so I took my best guess).

Lipstick-The Color Workshop Lip Stick (It's so cheap that the colors don't even have names, so there's no way for me to tell you which one of the 5 it is. Like I said, they all came together in a big box along with 20 different eye shadow colors and other lip and eye-liners.'s the one that looks mauve-ish).

Lip Gloss-Karma Beauty, Chocolate dream. (You
may actually be able to find this. Maybe. I have no idea where I got it. Happy hunting, all!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009


One of Xander's favorite new words is "sit." He loves to say "sit" every time he sees a chair, proud of the fact that he's added the word to his repertoire. The only problem is that his articulation hasn't caught up with his vocabulary, so every time he says "sit," it sounds like a certain curse word I'm sure you're all familiar with. Imagine my experience this week when I took him to the library-a quiet place with LOTS of chairs. Yeah, we had to leave.


At church today, I was distracting Xander by pointing out letters he could identify in the hymnal. I stopped for a minute, which irritated him. So, he grabbed my index finger with his whole hand and moved it from letter to letter all over the page saying, "Good jaahhb! Good Jaahhb!"


[Warning, in order to get this you must be quite familiar with the musical AIDA].

A: "Mom! I didn't want scrambled eggs, I wanted eggs with yellow sauce (fried eggs)!"

M: "I'm sorry, Aria, but you weren't here when we decided. I called you several times and you never came."

S:"Pleeease, Mom! Let her have eggs with yellow sauce! It's (breaks into singing) 'all [she] asks of yoooouuuuu!"


Kids are arguing.

M:"What's going on here?"

S:"Aria wants to play a game of romance and I'm just not to that kind of love yet!"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ariaism (she's on a roll)

In the bathtub this evening:

A: "Thomas bubbles smell just like Thomas!"

Friday, January 9, 2009


Shelby here, hijacking the blog again...

I was watching a football game last night when Aria came into the room and snuggled in next to me on the bed. After several attempts to lure my attention away from the game and onto her, she finally just asked me a question:

A: "Daddy, what's a 'little diva?'"

I suppressed my laughter long enough to answer her:

D: "Well, um...well...YOU. You are a little diva."

A: "I don't get it."

D: "You see, the word diva usually means an actress or a singer..."

A smile began to creep across her face.

D: "...who is the very best at acting or singing..."

The smile grew very large.

D: "...and because she's the so very good, she thinks that everyone should just give her whatever she wants and always pay attention to her and tell her how wonderful she is all the time."

I expected the smile to turn a little sour. Instead she beamed back at me and exclaimed:

A: "Hey, that IS just like me!"

You have been warned. Beware the little diva.

Monday, January 5, 2009


How you know you're spending too much time doing your calling:

A: I don't want to go to heaven-too boring! There's too many important meetings there!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Aria's pierced ears

Aria's been asking on and off for the last year to get her ears pierced. Each time she asked, I made sure she knew that it was really going to hurt. This tactic proved to be an effective deterrent until recently. This time when she insisted that she could handle it, I knew she was serious (trust me, if you know Aria, you know when she means business). So, when she also agreed to cooperate with the cleanings away we went! She got it done the very next day after Shelby's surgery, pleased with the idea that they would heal together. True to her word, she didn't shed a tear and only winced slightly after the first piercing, then whispered to me, "That kind of hurt a little."
Do you see this picture below? Now look at the first picture. The only difference is that in the second picture she had had her ears pierced only seconds earlier. Look how delighted she is! This girl's one tough cookie :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009


In the last few weeks, Xander decided that 30ish words were no longer enough to satisfy. So, he's gone big-time and has been adding several new words daily to his repertoire. I've decided that now will be the absolute last time I'll be able to record the words he knows because tomorrow, I'm sure, he will acquire several hundred more. So, this post is mostly for me (sorry) and for those of you who know the little tyke. For the record, he also now says two new 3-word sentences. They are, "I love you," and, "I want treat." --you know, the essentials.

So, in no particular order:

Mama, Daddy, Aria(ahiya), Skyler(ahyer), fish(bish/fiff), Carmel-our rat(Marmel), Grandma(Maahma), Grandpa(Bahmpa), Emily(Emmy), Janna(Nanna), Shawn(On), Tim(Dim), Jess(Ess),Jesus, Santa(Anta/Ho ho ho), wuff wuff, meow, cat, puppy, dog, duck, quack quack, Paco(Caco), hi,wait, here it comes(ee ee comes!), ,Ruby(Buby...Iknow),Jake(Eek),wet,bath(bap),I,love,you,want,treat(eat),cracker(cacker),vitamin(ahmin),door,color(uhwo),notebook(ohbook),blanket(kankib),what?, red, blue, yellow(lellow),shoe, boot, pants, shirt, hat, coat, socks, diaper, NO!, yes(yesss/ess), have it, my turn, mine, book, head, ears, nose(beep beep nose), eyes, hand, foot, earring, cookie, breakfast, cereal(a-e-ol), alphabits cereal(E B Eh G's/E Eh P's),drink(ink), milk(unk), juice, apple(bapple), banana(ahnana), cheese, macaroni and cheese(and cheese), eggs, help, down, up, on, off, sky, some, lava, alligator(ahhgator), zebra(eebra), elepant(enephant), cold, hot, ouch, hurt, stuck(used frequently), roar(rarr), show, Max and Ruby(Ax and Buby...I know),Boo-Bah(bee-bah),Clifford(iffod), Nemo(Meemo), AIDA...and most of the original cast album including the choreography of Strongest Suit as well as the tribal chanting during Dance of the Robe, snow, yay, play(pay), more(moi), uh-oh, bubble(bubbos), me, walk with me(ah ih me),train(train/coo coo/choo choo), truck, car, plane(pane), snowman(no-man), dance, chicken, bawk bawk, mmm!, football(fooh-ball), story,binkie(bing' bee),please(pease), thank you, thanks,you're welcome(welcome),ok(oh-Kaaayy),weee!,EIEIO, spoon(meem),Frere Jacques(Re reh jacques), Three blind mice(ee bah mice),another one(nudda one), again(gen),one, two, three, four, seven, eight, more than what he has(two three). He can also correctly identify the following letters: A, D, E, H, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, X, Y. Oh, and when he wants something also(too-ah, too-ah).