Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fiction Friday

Ok, so I'm posting this a little early {because it's only Thursday night}, but I need to move past my whole pitty party post. I almost didn't participate in this after I told Jane that I would. But, I couldn't let her down. Basically the idea here is to get creative and write a fictitious story. Her idea was to use yourself as the main character though. I didn't quite go that route. Maybe next week.
A little disclaimer here! I am not a writer. My creativity was thrown in the garbage yesterday {which is why I almost bagged this whole thing}. kind. Here we go.
It was a warm spring afternoon. The sun was shining brightly and there was not a cloud to be seen in the sky. School was out for the day and all the neighborhood children were running freely throughout the small cul de sac. All the children except for one small stubborn girl. She was five, though, if you asked her, she was 5 ½. Isabella was a tomboy with blonde pig tails and a freckle face. You weren’t allowed to call her that though. She preferred just Bella. It was WAY better than Isabella! You couldn’t help but love her. Unless you were her brother, that is. Christian was one year older than his little sister. Though they truly loved each other, Isabella was a pest. She just wouldn’t leave him alone!
To Christian, ALL girls were just plain gross. They had cooties, and he didn’t want to catch any! So, this warm sunny afternoon, Christian and his friend Sam ran off to play leaving her behind. She never understood why she wasn’t allowed to play with them. They built cool forts and played army men. All she wanted was to be a part of it.
Now, don’t forget this is a stubborn little girl. She wasn’t going to just sit there and take it! She’d show them! But how? What could she do that would get them to really pay attention to her? She was cool too! She sat and thought about it for hours on the curb in front of her house.
“I could tell mom, but she’d just say I was tattling on him and he REALLY wouldn’t let me play with him after that. What about spying on them? I could sneak up to their fort and spy on them! That’s not really playing WITH them though. It’s not fair!” She went on like this until the sun started to go down and her mom called them in for dinner.
Bella gave her brother the silent treatment all night to punish him. Unfortunately, he didn’t even notice which made her even madder. She would get him! Then he would see.
As she was getting dressed for kindergarten the next morning, a little light bulb went off in her head. Yes! She knew what she would do! She had to be careful to make sure it would work. And then, when Christian came home from school, she would show him! She was strong and brave just like boys were!
When she got home from school at noon she hurried and got ready for her surprise. She couldn’t wait. She watched the clock impatiently, wishing time would go faster. She knew today would be the day she’d be able to play in their fort. Finally, three o’clock came and she heard her brother walk in the door. He did the same thing every day when he got home from school. He’d grab a snack and run outside to play with Sam in their fort. Bella waited for him to leave and watched through the front window at Christian entering the fort. Sam was already there. This was HER moment.
She ran outside and headed straight for the fort. Christian and Sam never saw her coming. They looked up when they heard Bella shouting, “WONDER WOMAN!” She was almost to their fort. They couldn’t believe their eyes. Bella was wearing only her Wonder Woman Underoos and her white tennis shoes. Now, to Bella, she had truly become Wonder Woman in her sassy tank top and panties. To the boys, she simply looked crazy. They jumped up and ran off to Sam’s house screaming. Bella chased them the entire way there.
“Ha! I showed you!” She screamed.
The boys stared at her from inside the doorway in disbelief. “You’re in your underwear! That’s so gross!”
Bella didn’t care. She turned around and walked to HER new fort VICTORIOUS. She had won. If they wanted their fort back, she was part of the deal. She got to play too. It was only fair after all.
Based on a true story. :0)

Mediocrity is the new black

I had an awesome day yesterday. Got a lot of stuff done, which is always rewarding for me. Even though Kenzee wouldn't take a nap, I wouldn't let it bother me. Got to go send off a friend who is having her baby in Utah, and heading out this weekend for there. I won't see her again until after baby comes. We had fun chatting. I came home excited for things to come.

And then I came home. I ran online to check on something I had been anxiously waiting on for about 5 days now. As the screen popped up, I saw that my wait was over. But, then I was really nervous and didn't want to look. So, I said a silent prayer, hoping for the best, and scrolled down the screen. I wish I wouldn't have looked. I wasn't so happy anymore. I was angry at first. I ranted and raved to the hubby about it, and though he tried to make me feel better, I wasn't wanting to be told it was going to be ok. I wanted to be angry. I was going to tell this lady off and let her know how wrong she was. Ok, so I wasn't...but I thought about it for a long time. And then I started thinking of how I could convince her about how wrong she was. Yeah...can't do that either. There's nothing I can really do without making things worse. I hate that. I don't like feeling defeated. But that's how I feel right now. DEFEATED. Thankfully, I'm a bit of a fighter, so I'm not backing down. But I lost that round. And it really {that's a naughty word in my house}
So, I'm in a bad mood today. I can't help it. I'm not angry anymore, just really sad. I hate that you can work so hard for something, and mediocrity is all that is wanted. Going above and beyond is frowned upon apparently. I feel like I've been deflated. Do I cut myself short and be mediocre? I don't know...
Thankfully, I went over to my friend, Katie's, blog and she had some really awesome quotes posted today. Thanks so much! It helped me to remember a few things. I'm still not a happy girl, but it made me stop and think.
"Life is like riding a bike, in order to maintain your balance you must continue to move forward."
I'll get over this....eventually....but I don't know where to go from here. If mediocrity is ok, and creativity is not; but I'm a creative person, and hate mediocrity...what to do? Be bland, I guess. That's what I've resigned myself to. Bland is just so much harder for me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

American Idol Recap

All right ladies {especially Honey Bunch} here is my thoughts on last night. I'm only doing this recap for the guys show because poor Honey Bunch misses it every week. And I'm a giver. Give, give, give...that's me. IF there are others that sadly must miss one of the episodes of the week..give me a holler and I'll try to be accomodating. :0) I never miss. If I'm gone, I'll come home and watch it commercial free from my DVR. :0) It's life or death. :0) we go.

Australia man started off the night and was sad to hear his voice cracking when he tried to hit some of the high notes. Sniff. It's ok cute boy. You'll do better next week. I still love you.

His interview was just adorable. They each had to tell America something that people may not know about them. His was that he hated doing the interviews. That he felt silly and embarrased by all of the attention. I now love this man too. He is adorable. And his eyes....just dreamy. He sang with his guitar again and did such a good job. The judges suggested singing without his guitar next week and it makes me worried that he won't do as well. He uses it as his "shield". He talked about it in a previous episode. I hope he does ok. He'll be sticking around for next week so, we'll see.

Ok...even though this guy looks like he should be on Dawsons Creek or 90210...I'm having a hard time with him. He sang a Queen song last night and it just wasn't right. Yes, he can sing high to hit the notes, but it's a rock song for heavens sake! This guy can't rock. It sounded like a song from a musical. Not impressed.

Robbie sang Hot Blooded. A classic! To me he sounded almost like the original, but without an edge. My hubby said he was boring. The judges didn't like him, but I don't think he's going out just yet. Too many others sucked. :0)

He's annoying. That's all I have to say about that.

He wasn't bad, but I wasn't wowwed. It was just ok. He has a really good voice, but he was trying a little too hard for my tastes. When these guys start at the top of the stairs and sing while they walk down them, I'm instantly turned off. Just sing the flipping song!

I still don't like this guy. He really just needs to go. His voice isn't horrible, but his hair still bothers me, and he doesn't have anything "special". No ooompf. You know?

He did better this week. In singing and in dress. I didn't even have to shield my eyes. :0) He has a really nice R&B voice, but there is something about him that just annoys me. Maybe I'm still vibing off his little tantrum last week. I don't know. We'll see.

He did pretty good. And I hate saying that because I'm not a huge fan. He rocked it out with his guitar too.

This kid finished of the show. It was amazing. He sang 'Imagine' by John Lennon and blew me away. He totally revised the song. Jaysen didn't even know what song he was singing till I clued him in. He was shocked. Randy said it was the best performance they've ever had in the history of the show. It was that good. This kid can sing. And he's already got screaming little girl fans. He'll be in this for a LONG time. I'm not disappointed. He's a cutie patootie.

So there you have it. Week 2 of this. The girls sing tonight. Hopefully they do better than last week. I wasn't impressed with most of them. There were only about 3 that I even liked. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm going to have to DVR it because we won't be home. But, I'll get it watched. :0)
And I know that I chose my losers last week and only one of them actually got booted, but I'm going to do it again. These are who I want to go....
Danny. Not because he's horribly bad, he just truly annoys me.
Jason Y. He's not good enough to stick around compared to the rest.
We'll see if I've picked it right!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Shnooky Kins...

I don't know what it is, but I use nicknames for so many people. I have for as long as I can remember.

In high school, my best friend was Queen Erin and I was Empress Ashlee. Don't was high school. :0) Oh! And my high school choir teacher was nickname Gibby. His name was Mr. Gibson.

Growing up, my family had nicknames too. My older sister was Smelly {Melanie}, my older brother was Cammy Wammy {Cameron}, and my little sister was Pistol {Crystal}. Very creative I know. I was little when they were chosen and they just stuck. I still call my older sister Smelly. She calls me Smash. :0) In high school, as I was taking Spanish class, I started calling my mom Madre instead of just mom.

Growing up my college friends got nicknames of their own. Penny{Jenn} was my best friend. We were roommies, so she totally deserved a special nickname. She called me Shlee.

Even now, though, I have nicknames for people. My friend Rachelle is just Chelle now, as is my other friend Michelle. It's just easier. My sister in law is Holly Wally Bolly. Why not? My FRIEND Holly is just Holly Bolly. My hubby is babe...obviously...

Landon's had so many nicknames I don't even know if I can remember them all...Let's see....piggy {when he was a baby...he ate a lot!}, stinky bum baby {that's just a duh!}, stud, bud, sugar booger {Jimmy Nuetron}, Stinky Pete {Toy Story 2}, baby, sweetheart....I could go on and on...

Mackenzee has always just been my princess. Maybe that's why she acts like such a diva. Hmmmm...but lately I've started calling her monkey because she climbs all over the place. She just can't sit still. It's very fitting.

My neices and nephews can't escape it either...there's Welby, Banana, Austy Posty {he won't let me call him that anymore though}, Greta Sketta, Lina Mae, Nae Nae, Gage Man, and Lyssa Lou. Not everyone has one. Not because some are more important than others, it's just happened that they end up with a nickname.

I don't know why I use nicknames so much. Though they are all used as a term of endearment or playfulness towards the nicknamed, it doesn't signify anything really special. I have friends now that I don't have nicknames for and family that don't have them either. I love them all just as much as the rest. So, if you don't have a nickname from me...don't feel bad. Honestly, some names are just easier for me to play with. As you can tell I usually go for rhyming in my nicknames. So perhaps it's just that the names I am able to rhyme with that get the special treatment. :0) you guys use nicknames? Or am I just a wierdo? I mean...yes, I am a wierdo, but about this specifically is what I'm asking. :0)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Me? Quirky? Not even.

I been tagged yet again. I'm hoping this means I'm popular. It probably doesn't though. Oh well.

6 quirks about me
The Six Quirks
1) Post the rules on your blog.
2) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
3) Tag at least three people at the end of your post.
4) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
5) Let the fun begin!

Ok, so here we go!

1. Skittles have to be eaten in a certain order. Yellow, Green, Orange, Red, and then Purple. It must be done this way. I save the best for last. It's the same with any fruit flavored candies.
2. Food cannot touch on my plate. Each item has to have it's own little section on the plate and the items cannot touch each other. The flavors will mix and ruin the whole thing. Flavors should not mix. Sweet and savory do not belong together. {think syrup and eggs} I would rather go for seconds to prevent touching.
3. I'm not this way anymore, but for years I hated having people hear me play the piano. Jaysen didn't hear me play the piano until we had been married for over a year. I played when he was gone. Then I was called to be the Ward Choir Pianist and it was all over. Everybody heard me play. Now it's not so much of an issue, but it was for a long time.
4. I refuse to make a left hand turn on Blue Lakes Blvd. {busy street in town} I would rather make four right hand turns. I have numerous times. I got into a car accident by making a left hand turn out of the Fred Meyer parking lot when Landon was 2 1/2 and since siree. No left hand turns for me. When Jaysen does it, I freak out. I try to be quiet about it though. Not everyone is disturbed like me. :0)
5. I chew on the inside of my cheek. I have since I was about 14 or 15. I don't know why I started doing it. Out of nervousness I'm sure. I've tried to make myself stop, because I hate it, but I unconsciously do it. I won't even realize it. Sigh. Oh well.
6. I honestly can't think of anything else that I haven't already posted about. I know I'm a really quirky person, so there's probably tons of things you guys laugh at me about, but it's all quite normal to me! :0) You can refer to my previous posts about this for further reference of my quirkiness here, here and especially here.

{Afterthought here....I don't know if this is a quirk or just a bother for me...but all you "lurkers" that don't leave me comments....kind of annoying. Are you peeping toms? You like to look and lurk and then run away? You know who you are! I had 39 people look at this blog yesterday and about 6 comments. Quite the difference there. And some of my family members are SOOOO guilty of this. Only Crystal gets a free pass. Even if you don't have something to say, just say hi and that you dropped by. I love new friends. Ok...I'm done with that FOR NOW! I hope you've all learned your lesson!}

I guess I'm supposed to tag people now...I feel like I've already tagged everyone....
But, I'll tag:
1. Christie
2. Katie
3. Jane

And anyone else that feels like revealing their own dark little quirky secrets...go for it. It will make the rest of us feel better. :0)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Man vs. Woman

Let me just tell you a little about the last several days.....

On Thursday afternoon my hubby left for a 3 day golf getaway with his friends. They went to Mesquite, NV/St. George, UT where it is warm. At least warmer than it is here.

So, while Jaysen was getting ready for day #1 {Friday} of golfing {which he complained about because it was only 40 degrees and kind of blustery}

I was dealing with the newly fallen layer of snow and 20 degree weather. The layer was thin, but that just meant that it turned to ice. Mackenzee didn't take a nap. Contractor tells me to call him if the basement floods with water, but he's pretty sure it won't. Mackenzee runs away in Target and I can't find her {but I hear her giggling up and down the aisles in the dog food section}, I find her after 5 minutes of attempting not to yell and scream at the top of my lungs that "SHE BETTER GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW OR I'M GOING TO......" causing the other shoppers to think I've gone mad.

And while Jaysen was staring out at the blue skies and lush green grass to start on day #2.....

I had to get up at 7:00 am on a Saturday morning. Skies are still gray though thankfully no snow. Landon begs to go to the store to blow his allowance on Pokemon cards. I cringe, remembering what it was like the day before, but remember that I have to take back the package of underpants we got the day before that were too big for Kenzee {yes, underpants. not panties...that's a whole other story}. I tell Landon if he gets his chores done, I'll humor him and we can go get those cards.

And while Jaysen was getting ready to tee off in his short sleeved shirt....

I was bundling up the children to go off to Target for the third time this week. This would not be a browsing visit. Not with both of them. I have to bribe them with cookies to stay in that GINORMOUS cart with the two seats in the front {my son is large, but if he doesn't sit, Kenzee won't either and I wasn't having a replay of the day before}. I have to push the GINORMOUS cart around with an extra 60 pounds in it. :0) I found TWO gray hairs that were not previously there {I swear!}. Hyperventilated {I'm exaggerating now}.

And finally, while Jaysen took a moment to pause and reflect on his game with his buddies, having to squint because the sun is shining oh so brightly.....

The Wii got shut off at our house for CERTAIN reasons. Landon is now mad at me. The week of no naps for Mackenzee has finally taken it's toll and she screams and throws yet another temper tantrum when Nana and Papa say they can't take her to the grocery store along with Landon. {I wouldn't have let them if they offered. She's quite the helper} The tantrum lasts for the 2 1/2 hours that they are gone.

I really think Jaysen got the upper hand this last weekend. And though I'd love to stomp my feet and say "it's not fair!".....I can't. He's such a good daddy and hubby. He works very hard to support our little family. I mean, he even took a camera with him and took pictures so that I could blog about it on our family blog. It was time for him to go play. :0)

Though I'm glad you had fun, Jaysen....we are SOOOOO glad you are home! We missed you SOOOOO much! Especially me. I had to sleep in our king size bed all alone....all spread out in the middle of the bed......

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bad Hair Day

So, I know I already posted today. After I posted it I went to go and get ready for my day. I got my hair all cute {as possibly able to. There's only so much I can do with it} and put my make up on. I actually put on a blouse instead of my usual t-shirt because of Honey Bunch's blog post the other day. I was pretty impressed with myself.
I got the kids all ready to go and we ran off to Target {again}. I promised them if they were good we would go and get happy meals at {ugh} Burger King. I went to the Pita Pit myself. Yummy! Anyway, as I'm sitting in the drive through I flipped open my visor mirror because my contact was giving me grief and do you know what I found?

Yes! A gray hair! Right in my side swept bangs. I was mortified. I came right home and pulled it out.....and then I searched for more. There was another one right next to it. I yanked it out as well. Here they are for your viewing pleasure. I am mortified. I'm not yet 29 years old and I have gray hair? What the hell! This has truly dampened my spirits for the day. Gray hair means you're getting old. I blame them on my children. Especially the younger one. She gives me so much grief. It's a good thing I love her.

But back to my main point here. Not only did I find two gray hairs {I stopped looking after that...there could be more of them!}, but I pulled them out. Don't two grow back in for every one you pull out? I'm sooo in trouble now. Four more! And now I can't even tease Jaysen about his gray hairs {he's got a lot of them} because I've got them too! I'm honestly really sad about this. I realize I shouldn't be so superficial, but I can't help it. First came the bags under the eyes, and then the wrinkles started to sprout up, and now gray hair! It's just not fair. And since I've got brown hair now...they'll really stand out. Maybe I should go back blonde.....

Basement Update Continued

So, though there's not much to show for the last week of work, a lot was accomplished. Insulation was put in almost throughout the entire basement already. "My" room is now almost completely covered in sheetrock!

Kenzee wanted to post in all of the pictures. :0)

The main focus this week was getting the tub into the bathroom. The stairway wall is now is serious need of some "touch ups" as my hubby and my contractor tried to carry it themselves downstairs. :0) I am so sad I was gone and had to miss this. I bet it was rather comical. It's a one piece. Tub, wall, all together...yeah.

Even after they got it downstairs, Brandon {that's the contractor's name} still had to finish drilling the hole in the ground for the plumbing. The plumbing had been roughed in already, but he had to drill to get to ALL of the piping apparently. Then, after the tub was in place, he had to do a little "sweating" {which he tells me is kind of like welding} to get my spout all ready and in place, and then install the maze of pipes and tubes to get the water to the places it would eventually need to go.Good job Brandon! Actually, this part gave him some grief and took him a day longer than he had planned on, because even though the "rough" work had been done, it hadn't been done well. He had to go get extra parts twice to make it all work. {I'm sure there was some cursing going on down there} BUT! He got it all done! Yay!

And, even though he was supposed to get started on sheetrock this week, next week will be ok. :0) The plumbing stuff is important, so I'll let him slide on this one. {I am giggling. He won't read this, but I know he'd be shaking his head at me on that one} BUT! He did get all the yucky PINK sheetrock torn out of what will eventually be Landon's bedroom.

As he did this, he found out that not only did the people before us do a bad sheetrock job, they framed it wrong. The boards are supposed to form a "T" at the concrete wall, not lay flat against it. Sigh. Luckily, we talked to out electrician and he said he could buy different electrical boxes that aren't as fat and make it work so we wouldn't have to redo all of the framing in there. Sigh. The joys of remodeling.'s coming along. I'm ready for it to be done though. I know we've only got another month tops to have it all done, so I'm trying to be patient. But I'm ready to declutter up here. One more month.....

Friday, February 22, 2008

Picture Tag

Yes, it's another game of tag. Though I chose to participate in this one, because I love browsing through old pictures and reminiscing. :0) My friend Alicia did one on her blog. The rules of this tag are simple. Pick 5 of your favorite pictures and explain why.
Now, when I say "simple", I mean that it's easy to understand the rules. Picking ONLY 5 pictures is a lot harder than it sounds. So, I stuck with my immediate family because there are far too many pictures in my digital collection to choose just 5. I love to take pictures and have captured so many wonderful memories over the last 10 years. How could I pick just 5?
So, with that said, here are 5 of my favorite pictures of my immediate family.

This picture always makes me laugh. When I saw this shirt in the store I couldn't NOT buy it. My son is so obsessed with video games that at one point we told him we threw away the Playstation. This picture was taken 2 years ago when it got really bad. He's so much better now with it, and even Santa thought so. He brought Landon a Wii. So far so good.....keep your fingers crossed.
I love this picture because it's one of the few that I have of me with the two of them. It was taken Mother's Day last year. You know...back when I was still blonde. :0) I wish I had more pics of the three of us, because I LOVE being a mommy, but I'm usually the one behind the camera. Don't worry though...I'll get another one this Mother's Day.
This is one of my MOST favorite pictures of Kenzee. Jaysen and I set up a little photo shoot of Kenzee when she was 5 months old. I have a picture of Landon sitting with his white blanket when he was about 8 months old and it's one of my favorite. Unfortunately that was back before I had a digital camera, so I can't share it with you. BUT, I knew I wanted to do the set up again with Kenzee. Just simple. My baby, surrounded by white. Innocent, pure, beautiful.
Every time I see this picture I get a little weepy. Kenzee was so unhappy as a baby due to her reflux. She just cried all the time. Bedtime was especially hard. She was so tired, but still hurting so falling asleep was hard for her. Jaysen was the only one that could put her to sleep. If he held her just like this and walked up and down the hall, she would eventually fall asleep. If it was me that did the exact same thing, it wouldn't work. It had to be her daddy. Every night.
And finally, this one. I scanned this picture into my computer a couple of years back for a project I was working on. This is my baby Landon. He was 18 months in this picture. Not too many months later was when our world completely changed and he never failed to be there with big hugs and kisses. He was such a good kid. I don't know if I took care of him more, or if it was the other way around. He has such a big piece of my heart because of our "together" years. Our bond is even tighter than just the normal mother/son relationship because of it. I'm a sucker for him...I think he knows it too.
So, there are my five. I won't tag anyone particular, but feel free to post your fav 5 too! I'd love to see them!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just another day in paradise...

I had to go to Target yesterday. Can I just tell you how much I love that store? If it was a person, I would have given it a Valentine. :0) It's been this way for years. Since my oldest was my youngests' age. When we went out to run errands he'd always say, "Are we going to OUR store?" Yes. We go there that much. I've tried to be better recently. And only go once a week. {You know it's become a problem when the people there know you} I don't know if it's better that way or this way. Spend a "little" a couple of times a week, or spend A LOT when you go once a week. I don't know. :0) They always just have the best stuff. And I just LOVE the dollar spot. We always take a little stop off there before we even get into the shopping. The kids love it because they know they'll usually be able to walk away with something.

Anyway...check out some of the "extras" that I got yesterday. I had 5 things on my list. I left with a cartfull.

Look at this super cute sparkly shirt I got for my daughter. All of the Valentine's Day stuff was on sale for 90% off! Seriously! This shirt cost me $.60. That cents! She is absolutely LOVIN' the sparkly heart. She has to show everyone. Including the contractor in the basement. I don't think he knew what to say to her. :0)
This is one of my dollar spot finds. Who does this look like to you? Any guesses? You Sesame Street moms out there know who this is. It's Elmo! It's just a hair scrunchie with his eyes and nose attached to part of it. When you wrap it around and around to get it in the becomes this cute little ball of fluffy fur...just like Elmo. My daughter loves him. How could I pass it up? And for $1.00?

I went into the office supply section to purchase a 3 ring hole punch for my school work binders. We have a the black hole of my garage. I need one NOW! I attempted to go out and find THE box it was in {the stapler is in their too and Jaysen's been needing it for when he brings his work home}, but it was buried. Completely. And the electrician needs the other half of the garage open to get to the electrical box. So, I can't rearrange out there to find it. Now you know.... :0) Anyway....I was thoroughly excited to find the Target Brand had put together a little office set that includes the hole punch AND stapler with paper clips, push pins, binder clips, and staples ALL together in one little kit! For $7.00! Yahoo! I snatched it up, and while I was doing so, daughter dear {who loves colored pens and markers like her mommy} found these pens. A whole rainbow of pens! The black one is currently in use by the previously mentioned daughter. 10 pens for $3! Couldn't pass these adorable things up could I? I'm putting them down as school supplies as well. I'll definitely need those for paper writing. Right? went on like this through the store. I didn't do too horribly. Got a cute little basket full of smelly good things for sister who had baby. Lavendar scent. Relaxation! Love you sissy! Go take a bubble bath! Oh! And Jaysen's got a fun boy golfing trip he leaves on he's definitely going to need snacks for the long 8 hour car ride to St. George right? So, let's see...salt and vinegar potato chips, Sour patch kids, and jerky....check!

You see? It's so bad for me to go in there. But I can't help myself. And, even though I just went yesterday...daughter got ahold of the kid shampoo while she took her bath this morning and now there is shampoo all over the walls in the tub. Sigh. I guess it's "clean" now right? So, now I have to go back to the store for tear free shampoo. I wonder what else I can find?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Idol Update

Because I love "my public" {that would be those of you that actually LEAVE me a comment instead of just looking and leaving...hint hint} I am honoring a request made by dear Sister Honey Bunch. I heart her. :0) So, here you have it. It's time for AMERican Idol Recap. {picture Ryan saying that his really annoying way}

I actually had to have my hubby DVR this because I was gone last night and didn't get home until the last guy sang. SO, I did a quick rewind and got to watch it COMMERCIAL FREE! That's right. And I got to skip past all of Ryan's annoyingness. That made me so happy. So, here you have it...the official "expert" opinions of Ashlee.

The theme for the evening was 60s music.

Chikezie - Let's just start with the bright red suit he chose to wear. I guess it did make me remember him, but wow. He has a great old school soul voice, and tried to use that to his advantage last night. Everybody liked him but Simon. Go figure. Though I think he made a great point. It was old. He needed to spice it up and make it his own to stand out. What I don't like is that he sat there and argued with him about it all. I don't care if you think the judges are right or not, I think the contestants should sit there and take it gracefully. Arguing just makes them look like whiny little children to me. But that's just my opinion.

David - He is such a cute kid. 17 years old. And can he sing! What I like about him, is that he's just so innocent and happy all the time. The crowds, cameras, and judges don't even faze him. He's just happy to be there. Seriuosly...his favorite quote is "You'll never be lonely if you learn to befriend yourself." Yah! Pure, dripping, sweet innocence. Love it! Did I mention he can sing very well too? He had the best performance of the night based on the judges opinions and you know all the teenage girls out there already love him. I'm pretty sure he's sticking around for a while.

Luke - doesn't he look a little bit like Luke Wilson? All you Beverly Hills 90210 people know who I'm talking about. :0)

He was just ok. Simon didn't like him, said he was forgettable. He has a higher pitched voice if I remember correctly. He says one of his musical influences are the BeeGees, so that makes sense. They rocked it out, so maybe he will too.

Michael - Can I just tell you that I am in love with this man? Don't tell my hubby! He is rock star hot! He loves INXS, Queen, oh yeah! He actually sang Bohemian Rhapsody during Hollywood week and rocked it out. Sigh. Did I mention he's got an Australian accent?

He was the last performer last night and ended the show quite nicely. He's got a great voice, great stage prescence, the judges love him as well. He'll be sticking around for a while too.

David - I don't even know what to say about this guy. He didn't sing badly. He was ok. but that's all I really have to say about that.

Garrett - Don't even get me started. They picked him and left Josiah out? Are you freaking kidding me? I hate his hair, he sings like a girl, AND he sang "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do". Yeah. He is NOT good. Period. It doesn't help when he says one of his musical influences is the Backstreet Boys. Wow. Did he really let people know that?

I fear we will have another Sanjaya on our hands with this one. I pray he gets booted on Thursday before too many screaming little girls fall in love with his ugly hair.

Jason - Though he has a great name {tee hee} he was definitely forgettable. I seriously don't remember much about the guy except that I don't like him. I don't know if it's the stupid blonde streak in his hair or what. But I just don't like him.

Jason - another great first name here! Anyway..I'm not super fond of his hair, but I love this man as well. So endearing. He got up there with his guitar and sang his little heart out. With such a great voice too. He mixed up the song he was singing and made it "current" as the judges like to say. His eyes are just....dreamy. So, he sings fabulous, plays the guitar, gorgeous eyes....but bad hair. We can work on the hair! He needs to stay for a long time!

Colton - well, he let it out that he looks like Ellen Degeneres, which he probably should have just kept quiet. Because now every time I look at his picture, that's what I think of. Can't remember what he sang...but I remember Ellen. He didn't do too horribly bad. But his voice isn't up to par compared to some of the others.

Danny - this kid annoys the crap out of me too. The judges love him. They say he has pep and energy and I just think he needs to calm down a little bit. It's not that he has a bad voice, but he's not a SINGER singer. He's more like musical theatre singer. Like High School Musical. He would fit right in with that group of kids. Maybe in HSM 3 Danny and Gabby could hook up and hurt poor what's his name's feelings. :0)

David - I like him. He was very stiff during his performance. Though it seemed to me he was more scared out of his pants and just wanted to get it all over with than truly a "stiff" performer. He had to sing first, so that would scare anybody. :0)

He sings very well, nice looking kid, I think he'll stick around for a bit too. Though I could be surprised about him.

Robbie - I don't know if I was on a potty break, or fell asleep or what, but I don't remember this guy. I know he's a rocker and he has a great voice. But that's all I remember. If you guys watched, clue me in on what you thought of him.

So there you have it! My expert opinion on all 12 guy performers. My picks for who gets booted? Let's see....

Definitely Garrett and Jason Yaeger. Though I have no idea what will actually happen and am usually surprised at the results. If it were up to me I'd boot them first.

Don't forget that the girls perform tonight!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kate Nash-Merry Happy

Another weekend of driving, another great song to share with you!
It's such a cute song, I can't help but like it. The singers' name is Kate Nash and she's got quite an accent, but that's part of what makes the song so endearing.
It's a song about a girl that was with a guy that was not so into her, so she learned that it would be "ok" to be on her own. She didn't need him to be ok. I want my daughter to learn things like this BEFORE getting her heart broken. That she is her own person and doesn't need someone else to define who she is. To make her feel worthwhile.
Happy listening.

THIS is AMERican idol

First of all...can I just tell you that Ryan Seacrest is really start to annoy me. The way he says that EVERY time is like someone dragging their nails across a blackboard. It's painful.
Anyway...Tonight is when it starts getting good. They've had the horrible auditions, they've gone to Hollywood, and's down to 24. 12 guys and 12 girls left to battle it out. For the next several weeks Idol will air three night a week. One night for the guys to perform, the next for the girls, and then people start getting eliminated.
My overall favorite was already axed in Hollywood week. I was surprised. I mean, if they let Sanjaya through, surely Josiah was Idol material. Josiah has such musical talent. He sings, plays the piano and guitar...he sang a MIKA song for heaven's sake. Sigh. So, I will be searching this week for my new favorite. There is a lot of talent this year and not just the cookie cutter pop stars that can be mass produced. Some unique voices out there. I'm so excited.
So, get ready people! Get your Idol on! And just plug your ears when Ryan Seacrest comes on.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Baby

Even though I posted about this on my family blog, I wanted to share with EVERYONE the happy news! Meet my niece! Isn't she adorable? My little sister had her baby Saturday night and I couldn't be more thrilled!
Congrats to my sister and her family! We are so happy for you!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I know that today is the "day of love" and most people are posting love stories and what not. But, honestly, I just can't get into it. The holiday that is. I've never been a huge fan of the day. When I was little and in elementary it was dealing with the stress over who got which Valentine. I took all those little cards so literally. I couldn't give the ones that said anything about "love" or "be mine" to the boys. They might think I liked them. I would sit for hours deliberating about those dang things. So, it was rather interesting to watch my eight year old in his 2nd grade class tearing through his Valentines and not even reading them. Nope. Not a one. He looked at who gave him the Spiderman one, or the "gross!" Hello Kitty one. But, he didn't actually even read what it said. Apparently nobody really cares. {All those wasted hours!}
And then as I got older it was the stress over if you HAD a Valentine or not. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't. It was always the same thing when I did......What in the crap do you get a BOY on the day of love? Because the day is so commercialized they tell you that you are supposed to buy chocolate, jewelry, flowers, or stuffed animals right? Boys don't want any of that stuff. {well....maybe the chocolate :0)} I hated worrying about it. And for me it was wierd getting jewelry from boys I had dated for only a month.
The last couple of years of high school and for a couple of years afterwards, I worked in a flower shop. Valentine's Day was CRAZY! Seriously. And, all of you that complain out there about the price of roses on this day...don't blame your florist! The wholesalers jack up the prices for the little shops buying them and that's why they charge you more. Vicious cycle. Anyway...seeing all of this didn't help my feelings about the most romantic day of the year either. Sigh.

I have received some really nice and thoughtful gifts from my hubby on Valentine's Day. And I have put a lot of thought into gifts for him as well. But, this year we fully agreed TOGETHER to just bag the whole thing. He was really nervous when he asked me if it would be ok if we just didn't buy anything for each other this year and so when I jumped at the chance to "skip" V-day he was thoroughly relieved. Now, when I say SKIP, I don't mean to REALLY skip the holiday. Just the gifts. I don't need one from him to know how much he loves me. I see it in his face every day when he gives me a little wink from across the room. The little things we do for each other EVERY DAY, not just on V-DAY make us giddy in love with each other. Like when I make his favorite meal for dinner, or rub his round little belly. :0) {Bet you wanted to know that huh?} The UNpurchased gifts are the best ones.

So, do you see my reasoning? I'm sure you all get it now. I'm not completely bah humbug. We are having heart shaped pizza for dinner tonight. And Jaysen's gift from me will be a big fat juicy slobbery kiss. :0) {I don't really slobber though}

I hope you all have a VERY happy Valentine's Day......however you celebrate it. Hopefully you will be surrounded by those you love and that love you in return!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kisses for you!

Since there is no school on Thursday for us here due to teacher inservices, we are having our class Valentine's parties today. I get to attend and help out in the class for the party and was in charge of treats for the kids. I found this great idea and though it would be fun and fairly simple and inexpensive to do. Though not as time consuming as the reindeer candy bars I made at Christmas, these did take a little time and prep work. Not too bad though.

These are rice krispy treats kisses. Just make your usual krispy treat recipe, but instead of dumping it in a pan like get out a NEW funnel that hasn't ever been used and put some in there. Using LOTS of Pam spray to keep things from getting sticky, fill the funnel with the cereal mxture and then turn it over onto wax paper. Press it firmly down to squish the cereal into the funnel form and then lift off funnel. You should end up with a cone shaped rice krispy treat. I got 6 small kisses per batch of krispy treats. Let the kisses set up and then wrap with foil. Tah dah!

I wasn't planning on putting the little strips of paper in them but he was sure that no one would know what they were if I didn't. Whatever. :0)

OCD and me....

Yes, just another glimpse into the world of OCD that I live in.

Actually...Sister Sassy requested my menu planning strategies as she says she is struggling in this area. So, I'm accomodating her here. You can just read for enjoyment. :0)

First of all...I'm going to put a big DISCLAIMER here:

I am not a chef. I am not a dietician. My friend Holly is...but I am not. I would never profess that all of my meals are well balanced, though I do attempt to feed my children "healthy" meals for the MOST part. {We have our moments of pizza/chicken nugget madness. :0)} Back to the disclaimer here....I do not cook gourmet meals. On rare occasions I get creative, but for the most part I stick with quick and simple using as few ingredients as possible. usually has to be kid friendly. I DETEST throwing away platefuls of food.

OK! So now that I've gotten that out of the way...we can move on!
Here's what I do.

At the end of every month I begin planning the menus for the next month. Sometimes I do it two weeks at a time, this last month I did it for the entire month of February. Just depends on how much planning time I've got. As I knew mid-February would be hectic for me, I opted for the whole month so I wouldn't have to worry about it.

To begin the planning, I look through my cupboards to get an idea of what I've already got on hand, and then pull out my handy refrigerator calendar. Using this I can quickly determine which nights will need to be super quick, super easy meals. Like the first two Tuesdays of every month I've got piano lessons and PTA meetings. This leaves me 1 1/2 hours to whip something up and have my family sit down together to eat it. {Which is a MUST in my house}
After figuring that's time to figure out what's for dinner.

I admit I've got quite a collection of recipe books. I LOVE finding new, great recipes and trying them out. The ones I find to be share worthy I post on my recipe blog here. I have also found some really yummy ones here at my friend Alicia's family recipe blog. For those of you in need of some really great quick/easy recipes you can find oodles of them online. My favorite sites for these types of recipes are Kraft Foods, Pillsbury {I don't know if you can see them in the pictures, but I've got a couple of the Pillsbury cookbooks because I used so many of these recipes}, and of course...Food Network. I absolutely love Paula Deen. I have four of her cookbooks. She is fabulous!

Anyway...I have a few staple menu items that I rotate throughout EVERY SINGLE MONTH. Family favorites such as tacos {Jaysen's favorite}, spaghetti and meatballs {Landon's favorite}, and pizza for weekends. We cook a lot of Mexican food in this house as Jaysen loves it so much. And a lot of things I grew up on as well. Stuff like Shepherds Pie, Beef Stroganoff, and Tater Tot Casserole. My mom is an amazing cook and so is my grandma. I've learned to make a casserole out of just about anything. Seriously. Throw it all in a pot and there's dinner. :0)

Back to menu planning.

This handy little chart is my Febraury menu list. The first column shows my busy nights. Then, the day of the week, the actual date of the month, and then the menu for each night. I fill in the busy nights first with the quick and easy recipes. Stuff like spaghetti, or broccoli soup, sometimes Hamburger Helper {Jaysen is cringing}, Hamburger Gravy, etc. Weekends usually get the fun meals like pizza. Then I start searching through recipes to fill in the rest of the days. Where I've been doing this for so long, it usually only takes me about an hour to get through all of this. Especially when I print out, clip out, etc. recipes that I've found throughout the month that look yummy and put them on my desk to save for the next menu planning day. If you go to the Kraft Foods website, you can sign up and get a free magazine from them that has oodles of yummy recipes in it.

The main thing to remember once you've got this all filled in is to set out the meat the night before so it has thaw time. It's much safer {bacteria wise} to let meat thaw in the refrigerator.

Some other handy cooking tips I've found:

  1. Buy chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts. My kids can't ever eat an entire breast anyway, and when you are needing to chop and cook for other things it takes a lot less time.
  2. Cream soups, though fattening {I buy the fat free kind} are my best friend. I use them in almost all of my quick easy recipes. Stroganoff, hamburger gravy, shepherds pie, chicken enchiladas.....oh yeah. By mixing the soup with sour cream and onion soup mix you've got an instant "gravy" base on which to build WHATEVER you want. Good stuff.
  3. Crock pots are your friend. I have trouble remembering this one. But there are some really great recipes out there for "Set it and forget it" meals.

Also, while you are getting together your list of recipes you are using, make sure that you make a separate list of all the ingredients you DO NOT have on hand. This you take to the grocery store so that when you are ready to whip up that nights dinner, you've got everything on hand.

There you have it. It probably doesn't sound easy to anyone but me. It's a system I've used for a while now and it works great for me. The key is to find a system that works for you. If you know what you are cooking and you've already got the ingredients on hand, then dinner will be quick and simple and healthy. More importantly, you won't be prone to ordering out. I've been known to just throw up my hands and grab Chili's To Go if I'm caught without a menu planned for the night. I also love making things the kids can help with too. More time to spend with them. Like when we made homemade stuffed crust pizza and Landon got to help stuff the crusts with string cheese. Good times.

I hope this helps you out Sassy. If not, at least you got to see another one of my OCD areas. :0) Happy meal planning!