Sunday, March 30, 2008

Look at that little bum in the air! (And don't worry, those are old stains...although the whole sleeping position makes you think otherwise!)



If my girls made a "top five" for their favorite things to do, this one would be on it. They love making beds. Everywhere. All the time.

Sunday morning, before church



Sunday, after church!
My little girl is not so little anymore!!!
Autumn has been wiggling a loose tooth all day today
and yesterday and it came out this afternoon.
She was so excited. She can't wait to add a tooth to the "Tooth Club Door" at school.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

This morning I played hostess for a Mary Kay party. It was really fun! We played with color and I got some cleanser that I've been desperately needing.

And then partly because I had make-up, cleansers, and moisturizers on the brain and also partly because Eric was out performing, this is how I spent my time after the girls were tucked in.

  • Bubble Spa Foot Bath (Eric bought this for my two Christmases ago. It's wonderful.)
  • Shaved -- I love shaving cream. (Are we allowed to call it shaving cream when it's for the girls? I guess I should say shaving gel?)
  • Painted my toenails (with a new color, so fun!)
  • and Watched uber girlie movies!

And oh, see the chocolate box? I made those as "party favors". Aren't they cute? I had forgotten how much fun origami can be!


Monday, March 24, 2008

Today Heidi found a caterpillar. I let her keep it and these are some of the things I overheard while Heidi & Autumn were playing with the caterpillar.

H: I have a pet now. I need to give it a name.
A: How about Shenny?
H: No. I need to pick the name.
A: Okay. Remember how we named it Shenny at the playground?
H: Oh. Yeah. Its name is Shenny.
A: Shenny. Like Jenny but with a "sh". Isn't that pretty?

A: Don't squeeze it.
H: It will get resurrected.

I was very impressed when before going to bed, Heidi decided to let Shenny go. She wanted to let her go because Shenny was scared of people. Now she wants to look for a bug that won't be scared of people. She even cried while getting into bed because she missed Shenny already.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Facts

I got this in an email today and thought it was pretty interesting! I've been wondering about Easter being so early this year, but hadn't taken the time to look it up. So, if you've been wondering too...here ya go!

Easter is early this year. Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar. Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare.

Here’s the interesting info. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier! Here are the facts:

· The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you’re 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).

· The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was a day earlier, was March 22, 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!

Cool, huh?!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Today I decided to keep all the books I'm reading in one place. They are now on the counter between our kitchen and dining room and
I'm really liking it because it's a visual reminder of my choices. :)

It's really helpful because I get drawn into my fiction reads so easily that sometimes I forget about the other things I'm reading at a slower pace.
(Obviously, some of these are more for reference and I'm not necessarily reading them word-for-word.)



(100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Story Stretchers, Anno's Math Games, The History of Joseph Smith, Selected Poems of Ogden Nash, Games with Books, Monkey Business [a biography of the Marx Brothers], The Three R's, Homeschooling from Scratch, Games for Reading, Games for Learning, Home Learning Year by Year, Collected Poems of Robert Service, The Plug-In Drug, and The Fires of Heaven)



And THIS is a cookbook holder that my mom gave me for Christmas.
I use it to read books while doing dishes.
(And yes! Those are CLEAN dishes in the background! Yipee!)

Homeschooling

For anyone interested, HERE is the link for our homeschooling blog. It's in the early stages right now since we won't start homeschooling until the fall. But I'm posting and adding pages about things I've been finding that I'll be using. So - enjoy!

Oh, and I have to add that I love, love, love the picture I've used for the header. Eric took this last spring in downtown Provo.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This was on TV Friday night and I about DIED laughing! Enjoy!!!

Note to Self

Note to Self:
Camera phones are fun but they are not substitutes for a good camera.
I have to remember to get new batteries for my camera...



(in Autumn's shoes)


Remember my recent obsession with Turkey (or Ham) Cobb Salad with Avocado? I only ate it as a "bowl" salad once in the past two weeks. Since then I've had it as a wrap, oh, probably seven times. Crazy. But so yummy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hey guys, just a little note about comments. I love comments. Please keep commenting! What I do NOT love is comment spam. In the past week I've received 2 comments from random people simply saying something like "Warning, click here". Um, yeah. Right. I deleted the comments and did not click the links. But it's still annoying. So to hopefully avoid this, I am adding word verification to the comments. It's simple. You've all most likely seen it on others' blogs. I knew it was supposed to help with spam but I didn't know why until I read this:

What this does is to prevent automated systems from adding comments to your blog, since it takes a human being to read the word and pass this step. If you've ever received a comment that looked like an advertisement or a random link to an unrelated site, then you've encountered comment spam. A lot of this is done automatically by software which can't pass the word verification, so enabling this option is a good way to prevent many such unwanted comments.

That was from Blogger's "help" feature. Nifty huh?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fours

4 Jobs I have had:
*Teaching piano lessons

*Convergys (why, why, why do telemarketers even exist? I can't believe I stuck around for even two months)

*Brick Oven (serving and training other servers)

*Ribbonwood Animal Hospital (Receptionist/Sometimes Technician...that translates to, "when the doctor's not looking, your co-worker teaches you how to give shots"...)

4 Movies I watch over and over
*Singin' in the Rain
*Mulan
*Robin Hood (the cartoon)
*Sneakers
(I know, rather eclectic huh?)


4 Places I have lived:
*Erbaut, Belgium
*Heidelberg, Germany

*Panama

*and.....Fort Bragg, North Carolina (just had to add some sense of normality to that list...)


4 TV shows I watch

*The Closer
*LOST
*Pushing Daisies
*Life


4 Places I have been

only four?? okay...
*London, England
*The Statue of Liberty
*Cannon Beach, Oregon
*Paris, France
I know, I know...my list looks suspiciously like Rachel's...now why would that be?? :)

4 People who email me regularly
*Rachel
*my mom
*Eric's mom
*Liz D.


4 Favorite things to eat

*Turkey Cobb Wraps with Avocado
*Fresh Fruit
*Chocolate
*Homemade Yogurt

4 Places I would rather be

*Sleeping
*In my own house (instead of an apartment)
*Sitting at a grand piano (the one I will someday own)
*Getting a pedicure and massage at a day-spa

4 Things I look forward to this year
*Spending the money from my Christmas gift cards! I know, shocking! How have I not taken care of this yet?
*Having someone come visit me this summer? hint hint
*Celebrating Eric's THIRTIETH birthday!
*Homeschooling this fall!

4 People to tag

*Leah
*Liz J.
*Erika
*Leslie

Out Walking

These are along my walking route and always make me smile. Very big.


I find myself thinking about
Tia Dalma
Old Lady Hackmore
and
Madame Zeroni
when I walk by here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pictureless

Hah! I just realized that I haven't posted pictures of the girls for the last TEN posts! Crazy right? I'm working to remedy that. I haven't taken a picture with my camera in forever because the batteries die ten minutes after I stick them in there. When you can't remember how old your rechargeables are, it's time for new ones. And I have pictures, fun pictures, on my phone but it has a TEENY-TINY memory card and the adapter has up and walked away (hopefully not into a 21-month old's belly...just kidding...I seriously doubt that.). So pictures will be coming soon! :o)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hi, my name is Abby, and I'm a TV junkie. (Telaholics Anonymous...) I love my shows. Seriously though, aside from my shows, I don't watch a lot of TV. Eric and I love sitting down after the girls are in bed and watching our favorites together. And I love having a Media Center PC and being able to record without TiVo or DvR and watch things when it's convenient for us!

Right now we've been on the edge of our seats watching Jericho which probably wouldn't have made it back without the strike! So at least we have one thing to thank the writer's strike for. We've also been deep into Lost. I'm so sad that the last of the already shot episodes will be this March 13th and then we have to wait until April 24th for more!!

I'm looking forward to:

Battlestar Galactica - April 4th
The Office - April 10th
Scrubs - April 10th

And then after a busy summer, look who's coming back!

Life - Fall '08
Heroes - Fall '08
Pushing Daisies - Fall '08

And sadly, I have to wait a whole YEAR from the originally scheduled date for the amazing Jack Bauer to return.

24 - Jan '09

If you watch something I don't and want to know when it's coming back, here's where I found all my info for CBS, NBC, Fox, and the CW.

And notice that I am shamelessly slipping in a plug here and there for my new favorite shows that deserve more attention by providing you links! If you don't watch them already -- DO!





So I'm reading Twilight again. :) Amazingly, it's only my second read-thru. When I read books I love, I always want to read them a second time -- but I usually wait a long time to do so. But I was talking to a friend and she mentioned that when New Moon came out, Stephenie Meyer actually asked fans of Twilight to read New Moon twice. She said we'd all be so distracted (and I was) by what was happening that it would be better the second time. So while I'm waiting for a book that's on hold, I picked up Twilight for a re-read and got a big surprise!!

Did any of you realize that Robert Pattinson who is cast for Edward is actually A REALLY GOOD MATCH? I know...you're all saying, "No, no! He's not what I pictured at all." And I'll admit that I said the exact same thing! And I do hope they'll trim his eyebrows....but I discovered I've been picturing a skinny kid with BLACK hair!! Why, why, why? Have you? Am I alone in mis-reading this? Or reading the description and then discarding it for a different one my brain decided to provide?

Guess what it says in Twilight?

"The last was lanky, less bulky, with untidy, bronze-colored hair. He was more boyish than the others..."

and then another time Bella refers to him asking,
"Which one is the boy with the reddish brown hair?"

I'm astonished that this slipped past me. Anyone else?

Monday, March 10, 2008

I enjoy cooking and I don't even really mind grocery shopping but I hate putting together a menu!

Eric had a brilliant idea that stemmed from the way I organize my cookbook. My cookbook is organized into sections like any typical cookbook until you get to the Main Dishes section. Within that section I have 1) Beef & Pork 2) Chicken or Turkey 3) Italian 4) Mexican & 5) Other. I also have separate Soup & Salad sections that have main dishes in them. In the past when I made my menu, I kept a tally of how many meals I had included from each section (also added a rice section if rice was a main part of the meal, so for something like Hawaiian Haystacks I would write "C & R" for chicken & rice).

So here's Eric's idea which expands on my categories. Since I like to shop for two weeks at a time, he suggested we come up with 14 categories by being more specific with the types of meals. And now that we have 14 categories, I just sit down and pick a meal that fits each category. So simple! And since Eric cooks once a week, I leave two of the categories blank -- just whichever categories I can't think of anything for. And now that I've started doing it, I've noticed that there are some categories that don't have very many choices. It motivates me to learn new recipes that could become family favorites and be added to our cookbook. And it gives me something more specific to search for when I need a new recipe to try.

I think it'd be really easy to tweak these categories to fit what works for you -- but it's a fun idea. Let me know if you use it and what categories you add. I think as time goes by, we may change some of our categories too. We had to get creative with some to come up with 14 so it'd be fun to hear what everyone else thinks of.

I'm listing some examples of foods that fit each category because that always helps me get the creative juices flowing....

Flat Meat: piccatta, kiev, schnitzel, rouladen (rolled meats), stuffed like that...
Fat Meat: steak, roast, whole chicken, whole ham...
Sandwiches: abenbrot, grilled cheese, hoagies, club sandwiches...
Stuffed Pasta: lasagna, stuffed cheese shells, manicotti...
Flat/Other Pasta: spaghetti, anything not stuffed... :-)
Salads: Taco Salad...
Soups/Stews: Split-Pea Soup, Stoup, typical stew, tomato soup, ham & bean soup...
Mexican: empanadas, tacos, tostadas...
Ethnic: gyros, navajo tacos, donner kabobs...
Kids: freezer meals, chicken & fries, corn dogs, hot dogs, things we know the kids will eat in a heartbeat...
Casserole: Poppy Seed Chicken, Broccoli Chicken Casserole, Mac & Cheese?
Breakfast: pancakes, crepes, waffles, german pancakes...
Pizza: this gets its own category because we don't mind having it homemade once every two weeks and we can mix up the toppings all we want to (or not!)
Asian: Teriyaki Chicken, Won Tons, Stir Fry

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A to Z

Alrighty, I've been tagged so here goes:

A: Attached or single:
Attached of course. Coming up on EIGHT years this May!

B: Best Friend: Can I have more than one? Eric and my sister, Rae. I can't imagine what my life would be like without them. (I keep seeing these images of me in a straight-jacket staring off into the distance...)

C: Cake or Pie: Hmm, I'm thinking pies. I'm always in the mood for pumpkin pie and any kind of creme pie but rarely in the mood for apple pie.

D: Day of Choice: Saturdays. No school for Autumn or Eric. Eric makes breakfast and the girls watch Saturday morning cartoons. If I ever get to sleep in, it's on Saturdays.

E: Essential Item: A good book.

F: Favorite Color: Green.

G: Gummi Bears or Worms: Bears. Always bears.

H: Hometown: Haha. What's that? Twenty-seven years and I can still call more places than that "home". But I had to pick, I'd say Heidelberg, Germany. Between meeting some of my dearest friends there and my husband, of all the places I've lived - Germany takes the cake.

I: Indulgence(s): Eating while reading. Seriously. It's a wonder I don't weigh more than I do!

J: January or July: January for hot chocolate, warm blankets, good books, and good movies.

K: Kids: Yep. What would life be without them? I can't believe they're growing up so fast. Am I really allowed to have a SIX year old?

L: Life is incomplete without: chocolate.

M: Marriage Date: May 12, 2000.

N: Number of Siblings: Six. And I am SMACK-DAB in the middle. Three older, three younger. Doesn't get any better than that. :) I love my family!

O: Oranges or Apples: Oranges. For some reason, I have to be in the right mood for apples. Apple pie, apple juice, apples. Orange juice and oranges always taste good.

P: Phobias or Fears: Nope, not really.

Q: Quote(s): A recent favorite from General Conference: "Preparing to walk guiltless before God is one of the primary purposes of mortality and the pursuit of a lifetime; it does not result from sporadic spurts of intense spiritual activity." Elder David A. Bednar

R: Reason To Smile: I went walking today!

S: Season: Fall. I love the smells and the leaves and the cool air.

T: Tag Six: I tag Rae, Lisa, Anna, Mary, Jean, and Jenny. There. Have fun ladies!

U: Unknown Fact about Me: I once spent an hour dancing to "Feliz Navidad" in a leotard twirling a baton. (Okay...so I was six years old...)

V: Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals: Oppressor? I thought Liz made a good point here. I didn't oppress them. I just eat them. Mmm. Meat. Yummy. Yeah, I'm not going vegetarian any time soon.

W: Worst Habit: Me + Book = Not Here! My girls have already learned to take advantage of this...yikes?!

X: X-Rays or Ultrasounds: Okay, ultrasounds are fun - especially if they're pregnancy ultrasounds - but seriously, x-rays are better. It's easier to understand what you're looking at and there's so much to see! I still have an x-ray of a cat I once had. She broke her leg and we had to have a pin put in. The x-ray's really cool too because I'm holding her and my hand is in the x-ray too.

Y: Your Favorite Food: Too hard. I love to eat. A recent favorite: Turkey Cobb Salad (that means eggs & bacon have to be part of it, if you didn't know but for me it has to have avocado as well). I had turkey cobb salad five days in a row last week. Four of them were wraps and made my mouth water for a good old Cougareat L&T wrap. I need to find a store that sells the bigger salad wraps. Flat bread wraps and Mission Salad Wraps just don't cut it (although they worked well enough last week).

Z: Zodiac: Virgo. I think the whole zodiac thing is rather silly, but fun. I just read that many scientists and mathmeticians are virgos. Interesting. My preferences: Math, Science and THEN English and History.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Remember this? I loved Schoolhouse Rock growing up.

I was excited to find a compilation DVD at our library with ALL the Schoolhouse Rock songs on it. Our girls have been having a great time.

At the video store today, Heidi was running around singing, "Lolly, lolly, lolly, get your adverbs here." The video clerk was amazed that she knew the song and said he was just singing "I'm just a bill" this morning! :) (When the bills came in the mail....)

I love how things like Schoolhouse Rock still have a timeless feel to them. My kids are separated by a generation from me and yet they enjoy these just as much as I did.

So why can I only find these at the library or at expensive prices online? And why don't we have more stuff like this??

Ah. The good old days.

EDIT: Guess what? I guess I didn't look very hard because I just found the Schoolhouse Rock 30th Anniversary DVD (which has ALL the songs ever made) on Amazon for $14.99!! Cool!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Whew. We've just come off of an intense week and a half. In a nutshell (and hah! I just realized I really do mean that because these are really the short versions of our last week and a half!):

  • Eric had the flu, and then bronchitis. He's on antibiotics now and was told he can go back to school on Thursday.
  • Our dryer broke! A sister in our ward had one she didn't need so we were able to get one for free!
  • Heidi fell off of her toy kitchen and I was sure we were going to the ER. She sure knows how to scream, but turns out she's okay.
  • I had a super intense migraine while driving home with the new dryer. It was so bad that I had to pull over to get out of the car and throw up! It was gone about an hour after I got home but for that hour, we sure were a sight to see. Eric sacked out on the couch. Me sprawled on the floor. The girls had yogurt, string cheese, and bread for dinner that night. Thank goodness for modern-day medicine to help chase away that migraine!

And I'm sure my brain is reacting to being on overload for all the fun we've been having so I don't know how much of this is really me speaking or my brain in overdrive...but either way...

I'm feeling like an introverted micro-manager. Almost seems like that could be an oxymoron of sorts. I'm withdrawing into myself wanting some peace, quiet, and an uninterrupted book, but at the same time I'm explaining how to make a sandwich or putting toothpaste on my four-year-old and six-year-old's toothbrushes when I'm sure they could manage.

Anyone know of any inspiring/motivating/just-plain-good books on NOT micro-managing your kids? Helping them learn to do things independently? Helping them think more independently? I think about this all the time...but it doesn't always translate into the way I interact with my girls.