Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday 03.02.09

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


What a week!! It absolutely flew by and I am in utter disbelief that March is already upon us. Here's a short list of a few things I did NOT do in the tornado of a week that just ushered in the end of February.

*I did NOT continue to play dumb when the boys went searching high and low for the Valentine's Day candy they just *knew* they left "right there on the counter." If you put something somewhere, it wouldn't disappear, would it?

*I did NOT let Micah blame Cade for taking a few of his dollar bills, when it was actually "someone-who-shall-remain-nameless" who really needed to feed his/her Sonic vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper addiction and didn't want to mess with using a debit card to pay for an $0.80 drink (Sonic Happy Hour is half-price drinks everyday from 2:00-4:00! Not that I would know anything about that...)

*I did NOT even consider blowing my low-cal eating plan for another week, after falling off the wagon for several, ahem, days already. I have WAY more willpower than that! Beyond considering, I did NOT actually blow it. Out of the water blow it. Back to square one blow it. NO WAY.

*I did NOT loan my "girly" deoderant to my husband over the weekend when he discovered he forgot to pack his own on our trip to west Texas. And, if this had happened, I most certainly would NOT laugh hysterically at the thought of him smelling like Dove rather than Right Guard. That would be just plain mean. So I didn't do it.

Take me home, country roads (back to the city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty)

As our little family was advancing into Dante's sixth circle of Hades west Texas today, Micah pondered, "Are we in the city or the country?" Blankly, the best I could come up with was, "Neither. We're in west Texas." Boondock territory.

If you've never been to west Texas (NOT to be confused with West, Texas), I'm not sure I can adequately describe the "landscape." It's not what the average person might picture when they hear the word, "country." Which usually conjures the image of a pastoral expanse with rolling hills and wildflowers. In west Texas the highways are dotted with stumpy bushes, cacti bunches, and dirt. It's a very brown region, at least this time of year.

And there's always the roadkill. Lots and lots of roadkill.

In order to pass the time and save our sanity, Jason and I decided to play a little roadkill game. I'll share the details here, but I fully expect this game to be copyrighted before the end of the week, so don't even try to take credit for it when you play sometime.

The rules are simple:
*If you see roadkill and shout the word, "Roadkill!" before your opponent does: +1 pt.

*If you correctly identify the type of animal it is: +1 pt.

*If you mistakenly identify trash bags, pieces of shredded tire, or anything besides roadkill as roadkill, get some glasses (or in my case better glasses): -1 pt.

Jason beat me 11 to 7. He was much more proficient at identifying dead animals than I was. I'm a city girl at heart, anyway.

One of the most curious observations I noticed was that the "wester" we got in TX, the less and less roadkill we saw, which speaks volumes to me. Apparently even the critters don't head to west Texas. We could all stand to learn a lesson from our animal friends.

**Minor disclaimer b/c I know I have family reading this: To my family- your home is lovely and we had great fun seeing all of you!! Even though I'm just not in love with the middle of nowhere, this is in no way a slight against you. You are all wonderful people and I'm glad to be a part of your family!!**

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

World Wide Web Wednesday 2.25.09

I'm SO BAD about trying to do regular posts. SO bad. And today? I forgot it was Wednesday. This morning I thought to myself that I needed to remember some of the cool internet stuff I've come across this week for "Wednesday's" post, not realizing that "Wednesday" is, um, TODAY. But I'm going to build a bridge and get over it. And move on...

Think you know you're US geography? Think again.

Quiznos is giving away 1,000,000 subs. But hurry- they're already up to 572,435. If all my readers sign up, that'll put them all the way up to 572, 440. I got mine yesterday! Although the cashier looked at my coupon for about 12 minutes before she ever accepted it. You'd think employees would have more knowledge of their chain's promotions, but that may be asking just a tad too much of them...

2 of my new favorite blogs: Bakerella and 22words

How to give up Facebook for Lent (not that I, personally, will be doing this though.) And a funnier one.

**Adding one more: During the month of February, you can download the audio version of Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It for FREE! An incredibly important issue that many believers, myself included, are not knowledgeable about, whether by choice (apathy) or by naivete (stuff like that doesn't still happen, right?). Please listen and share with others.

Happy Ash Wednesday, everyone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who is Murphy and why is he bugging us?

Shortly before I found out I was pregnant with Micah, which, coincidentally enough, was shortly after we got married, Jason and I decided we needed a new car. I was driving a sporty red 2-door that was considerably unfriendly to Jason's head. He would hit his head on the side of the car every time he got in. It was a long way down to the seat and he was never able to judge that distance appropriately. Maybe from all the hitting.

But the sporty 2-door was also decidedly NOT family oriented. Who wants to wrestle a 50 lb. infant carrier seat complete with child into the back seat of a sports car? I didn't think so.

So we went off in search of a new car. A 4-door. Because we thoought, in our complete lack of experience, that a 4-door, by it's very nature, would be more conducive to family-hauling. How young and foolish we were! I could write a book about all the things we thought we knew in the pre-kid era. But I digress...

We found ourselves at a Ford dealership getting what we thought was a good deal on a 2002 Ford Focus. Green! With leather interior! And a sun roof! Or is it moon roof? Whichever one opens and closes. Low interest! Woo-hoo!! Our car problems were solved.

We should have known the car was cursed when, on the drive home FROM the car dealership, I hit a dog. The first and only animal I have ever hit with my vehicle. And I still get teary thinking about it. Maybe the dog owner cursed it. I have no idea.

I just know that we stopped calling it a FO-cus a long time ago, and instead refer to it as a name to foul for print (on my blog, anyway). But let's say that it rhymes with DUCK-us. That car has been a complete piece of crap.

First of all, it has been plagued with instances where it simply won't start. Just won't start, but for no reason. We take it to the mechanic, and there's no explanation. Usually the mechanic can't even replicate the problem.

The 2 back windows came off the track a couple of years ago and won't stay up. After a lengthy and unsuccessful relationship with duct tape, we finally had a friend rig them so that they no longer fall down, but they aren't on track either.

The radio had to be replaced because the volume knob, no matter which way you turned it, might turn the radio up or down. Or it might just go back and forth- up, down, up, down. Whatever the heck it pleased.

We learned recently that the fuel pumps on Ford Focuses are notorious for going out. We also found out, the HARD way, I might add, that the ignition switch breaking is a common problem. A few weeks ago, I couldn't get my key to turn in the ignition. The mechanic at the Ford dealership told me to "hit it a little" so then every time I tried to start the car, I had to jam the palm of my hand against the key before turning the dadgum thing.

In the meantime, we've decided to try and sell this car. Yes, we have lots of complaints about it, but we're not being dishonest AND we have it listed at a VERY fair price. AND it WILL get someone from point A to point B. At least 70% of the time.

Well, finally, last Friday afternoon, no amount of jamming, banging, or hitting would cause the key to turn in the ignition. I had to call J. and we had to have a guy tow the Duck-us to the dealership (not for the first time).

We are quickly becoming great friends with Tow Truck Guy, as we have free towing on our insurance and apparently he contracts with them. At this rate, he'll probably be invited for Christmas dinner. And Tow Truck Guy said that EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of this type of car that he's towed has had THIS.EXACT.PROBLEM. Ford is SO getting a letter from me.

Long story even longer, J. goes to drive it away from the dealership service area yesterday, ignition "fixed," and it DIES before he can even get down the street 100 feet! Possibly a fuel pump problem. Possibly a phantom problem with no explanation. Possibly God laughing at us. "Not so fast, Sturgfam!" he's saying. Maybe that dang Murphy and his law. But Murph needs to walk on. Nothing to see here, Murphy. Take your bidness elsewhere.

All we want to do is get rid of that stinkin' hunk of junk and buy a newerish truck for J. We have some savings, we have some tax money, and once we sell the car, we'll be able to get something pretty decent. But until then, we're a 1-vehicle family and that makes for some interesting schedule gymnastics as we try to get everyone where they need to be a pick everyone up at the right time.

We actually have a guy who exports cars to Mexico and wants to buy it as soon as we get it back. Another one of God's funny little jokes. We get to purchase a used vehicle. And my good-for-nothing car gets an all-expenses paid vacay to Mexico.

After the Oscars...

Awards are still being presented. To me!!

My lovely new blog friend Jen gave me the Lemonade Award for having such a refreshing blog!

So sweet (no pun intended)!

All I have to do is pass it on to others. So I choose:

Librarian or Teacher- LOVE her "This Week at Work" feature! HI-larious!

Holly at Iheartbowheads and

My IRL friend Penny because she such a great photographer!

And I totally want to get back to everyone who has commented on my blog recently, but with all my Monday-tasking (which is mainly just managing to get out of bed Monday morning), Bachelor-watching, child-caring, car-issue-handling, and actual WORK-doing that have been filling my time since the week started, my energy is zapped and I just haven't had much blog time. I didn't even get to post a Not Me Monday yesterday. Or did I? No I really did NOT. I'm so confused...

Anyway, hopefully things will even out soon. If it's ever possible for life to even out. What would that look like? If you know, leave me a comment!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Keeping the Sabbath

When Jason was on staff at a church full time, Sundays were anything EXCEPT a day of rest. It was more like running a marathon, only the people on the sidelines were a lot more critical and oppressive. They'd point out our poor running form instead of offering us a cup of water.

By the time we got home from lunch each Sunday, we only had a few minutes to catch our breath before the scheduled committee meetings, discipleship groups, and general Sunday evening activities. If there was a post-church fellowship, we might not even darken our home's doorstep until 9:00 or later since, as a staff member, you're expected to be at EVERY.THING. It was an exhausting schedule and, while some may consider it noble, I'm not convinced it was how the Lord intended the Sabbath day to be.

Fast forward a few years and you would find us attending a new church that intentionally kept the weekly schedule "lean." There were NO Sunday night services. Amen and Hallelujah! We could almost feel the heavens part and see the rays of light shining from the windows of the church building at the good news!

Our Sunday nights evolved into an incredible time of fellowship as we opened our home to many other families. We'd all get together each Sunday evening, enjoy dinner together and just hang out. It seemed to be altogether closer to what real church should be.

But even after experiencing significantly different church approaches to Sunday evenings, I'm personally still trying to figure out exactly HOW to "remember the Sabbath." As a full time mom and a full time working gal, there is so much to accomplish when I'm home and so I (unfortunately) end up trying to accomplish much of it on the weekends. Of course, there's usually too much to finish in the finite number of hours Saturday and Sunday afford anyway.

I had a conversation with a friend recently and she mentioned that, due to the number of tasks she has to complete on Sunday evening in order to prepare for Monday, she and her husband keep the Sabbath in the ancient Jewish tradition- from sun down on Saturday to sun down on Sunday, leaving a few hours Sunday evening to get everything in order to start the week.

Last Sunday, in passing, J. asked me what my plans were for Sunday afternoon. When I responded with a list a mile long, he gently reminded me that I deserve a day of rest also.

All of that combined got me to thinking that I don't do a great job at keeping the Sabbath and enjoying a day of rest. I never have really taken that commandment very seriously. So I've decided to take my friend's suggestion and start remembering the Sabbath from Saturday evening to Sunday evening. What I don't get done before the sun goes down on Saturday night will just have to wait until Sunday night. And I'll still have plenty of time Sunday night to get clothes laid out, straighten the house, and otherwise prepare for a busy Monday morning.

I certainly don't want to be legalistic about it. If there's some little chore that needs to be done and I feel that I've rested well, I'll take care of it during that time. And I'm definitely not talking about sitting around on my rear ignoring all responsibility (that lack of action is reserved for vacation! haha.) But generally, I DO want to rest and even when the chores are overwhelming and under-done, I think that glorifying the Lord by keeping his Sabbath is more important that keeping a great house. Amen!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Tale of Two Lists

What I WANT To Do This Weekend:

*sort outgrown clothes and list the moneymakers to bring in some extra cash
*read the manual for my DSLR so I can possibly learn to take halfway decent photos with the thing
*make brownies and eat the entire pan (PMS much?)
*blog hop and comment
*search for Wenda
*make some tutus and maybe come up with an etsy shop name (any suggestions??)
*do crafty things (I have a few Easter projects in mind)
*catch up on about 34 hours of DVR'd TV shows


*fold and wash laundry (it NEVER.ENDS)
*sweep/mop/vacuum the house
*referee approximately 492 "brotherly" squabbles
*disinfect bathrooms
*fold and wash laundry (it NEVER.ENDS)
*cut kids' fingernails (a LONG overdue project!)
*keep Missy from markering (just made that word up) herself (where does she keep finding them?!?!), playing "Flush the Toys/Empty the Kitchen Cabinets," aggravating the boys, and/or all of the above.
*fold and wash laundry (it NEVER.ENDS)

My life simply teems with awesomeness. That's just how I roll.


Dichotomy for your Day (AKA: Now I've Seen Everything):

J. went to the Sams Club today- gotta dig that place. Where else can you buy a flat screen TV, a queen size mattress, a gallon of shampoo, a 100 lb. bag of flour, and a year's supply of Goldfish?

While J. was there he purchased a product called "Batter Blast."

Ever heard of "Batter Blast?" If not, hold on to your hats, people. You're in for the ride of your life.

"Batter Blast" is pancake/waffle batter in a SPRAY can a la Easy Cheese! Whoa.

Let me break this down for you: some entrepreneur had the brilliant (?) idea to PRESSURIZE batter so that, with the press of the cap, your batter sprays out onto your preheated griddle or waffle iron.

And b/c you can't buy 1 of anything at Sam's (unless the singlet is packaged in something roughly the size of a vat), we're the proud owners of 3 large cans!

Now I don't know about you, but I've always been taught that if your food product comes in a spray can, not only will it be delightfully tasty, it will probably also kill you.

But the best part? "Batter Blast" is 100% USDA ORGANIC! Does this strike anyone else as slightly ironic? Organic batter in a can that has to be "properly" disposed of so as not to become an environmental hazard in a landfill somewhere?

Oh, well. Now that we've got it, betcha can't guess what we're having for breakfast every day for the next 6 months!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And I get to keep my life

As I was watching AI last night, which boiled down to about 13 minutes of my night since I fast forwarded through all the judges superfluous comments and the endless waiting to add SOME DRAMA, I told J. that if Tatiana made the top 12 over Danny, then I might just slit my wrists.

OK, that may sound a tad dramatic, but I really don't think it's any comparison to Tatiana's hysterical displays.

Thankfully, America came through for me and put Danny in the Top 12. So today I live! BUT... if the judges pick her as a wild card spot, I'll retract my suicide pact, but may have to stick hot pokers in my eyes and ears just to gain some relief from her "performances."

In other news, my little rock star Cade is preparing for his future AI audition. Check it out below!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

World Wide Web Wednesday

I've been thinking about doing a weekly post to share some of my favorite links, so no time like the present to start, right?

Real Style Real People is one of my new favorite blogs! I love how she takes a celeb look and breaks it down for us broke folks.

And supposedly a HUGE spoiler for The Bachelor!! **Disclaimer** I haven't watched this for myself YET, but I'm on my way over. It's supposed to be MAJOR! Click/read/watch at your own risk!

ETA: If you can't get to Reality Steve (I think the site has crashed from too many hits!), here are the YouTube clips:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bungee Jumping, Bath Tubs, and Bouffant Hair

Raise you hand if you were TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY FLOORED that Jillian got booted off The Bachelor last night.
You know The Bachelor, where the "contestants" go on completely realistic dates like helicoptering over New Zealand, "acting" on real soap opera sets, and floating on Winston Churchill's old boat. And everyone falls in love with one guy and he falls in love with all the girls. And will eventually propose to one of them, even though he was hopelessly devoted to several of them only days prior. That's the stuff lasting marriages are made of, folks.

I'm not going to recap last night's episode because there are already plenty of hysterical recaps in the bloggy network. If you love The Bachelor AND love to laugh, check out BooMama's recap or head over to Lincee's HI-larious blog (no recap posted yet, but wait for it! Plus you can catch up on the other episodes in the meantime).

However, I was sad to see "Jill" go home. I loved her and her hair. Just how voluminous can one girl's hair be? I need to get my hand's on some Candian shampoo or something b/c that girl's hair had it going on. And those 2 adorable dresses she wore last night? Fantastic!

She did lose a few respect points with me when she started telling Bachelor Jason, after she didn't receive the rose in THE MOST DRAMATIC ROSE CEREMONY EVER, about the dream she had about him and his son and how it made her so happy. I've had some vivid dreams that made me feel pretty wild, but note to Jillian- don't say it in your outside voice immediately after you've had your heart torn into a million pieces. It just makes you seem a bit desperate and IT WASN'T REAL.

So now, raise your hand again if you think Jill will be the next Bachelorette. Unless Bachelor Jason makes the mistake of his life and chooses wide-eyed fake-smiling-all-the-time Molly instead of adorable, and full-of-spunk Melissa. Then "Mel" might have the honor. But Jill is my prediction and you heard it here first!

If you're discussing The Bachelor today, please leave me a comment with a link. I'd love to chat some more!

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday 2.16.09

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


*I did NOT tell my oldest son he couldn't have butter on his roll at dinnertime just because I didn't want to get up from the table for the 83rd time. I would NEVER be so lazy.

*I did NOT get upset with my husband for not being home on time so I could run an errand before knowing that he was late b/c he was buying my Valentine's Day present. I mean, he was working on a super-secret surprise. No WAY would I get mad about that, even though I didn't know.

*I did NOT consume only a 200 calorie roll with butter and garlic salt for dinner, thereby demonstrating inferior eating habits. I'm the poster woman for nutritious eating. So I would NEVER do something like that.

*I did NOT get so fed up with 2 boys' tattling that I threatened to give them 1 swat every time one of them starts a sentence with the name of the other. And, hypothetically speaking, it did NOT take only 2 swats before the tattling stopped for the evening.

*I did NOT leave Missy buckled in her booster seat for about 10 minutes after she was through eating when we had company on Saturday night just because I wanted a few more minutes of uninterrupted adult conversation. My children's needs always come before mine. Always.

*I did NOT throw away EVERY.SINGLE one of my angels' valentines, and the candy attached to each one, without reading the genuine messages of love and affection they received from their classmates ("You're purrrrr-fect, Valentine" (cats) or "I have a great feeling about you" (Star Wars)). Of course, I read all 65 of them AND recycled them properly. What else?

Feel free to click the button above and add your own, or just read about all the other things perfect parents did NOT do this week!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Kidz is a fantastic website with the mission to "increase awareness and understanding about different health conditions and to help all people cope with challenges and enjoy life!" As an educator who has worked with special needs students for 8 years, this is a pursuit dear to my heart.

They're having a kick-off party this week! It's a wonderful website- go check them out!!

Who says romance is dead?

If I'm being honest, Valentine's Day is just not a huge holiday around our house. If my memory serves me correctly, and that's a BIG "if," we do cards and the usual stuff, but we don't really go all out.

There are more ambitious mothers than I who go all out for their families on Valentine's Day, but we're more the type, at least at this point in our lives, who just say "Happy Valentine's Day!" to one another and move on.

But yesterday, Jason surprised me! He was a little late getting home from work and I got a little upset because I was supposed to meet a lady who wanted to buy some toys from me that I had posted on Craigslist.

Well, he really put me to shame when he walked in the door with this:

It's a programmable crockpot!!

8 years later and we've STILL got it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day Graphics

Hope everyone feels extra loved today!!

To join the blogging Valentine's Day exchange, click my button on the right and add your link to Jen's page.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lessons from Stupidity #1: Marshmallows

Because stupidity, er, rather EXPERIENCE, can be a great teacher, I tend to learn quite a few lessons the hard way. So consider this post a Public Service Announcement. My own little ministration to the bloggy community at large.

If you ever find yourself making Rice Krispy Treats for a particular occasion and your METAL spoon submerges itself beneath the melting marshmallows, which are being liquefied in a saucepan over low heat on your stove, do not, I repeat, DO NOT use your bare hand to retrieve said METAL spoon.

Nearly-melted marshmallows, even over low heat, are roughly the same temperature as molten lava. Not only has the submerged spoon become an efficient conductor of heat, the piping hot marshmallow soup will adhere to your skin, burning it without reprieve.

Because marshmallows are so tasty and your fingers will be burning so badly, your initial instinct will be to lick the delicious stickiness from your fingers in order to gain a bit of relief from the heat. Unfortunately, the harrowing chain of events will continue because your tongue will now be scorched by the same melted goodness that seared your fingers.

It is my opinion that, should your mixing spoon succumb to the undertow of the marshmallows, you should stop and think clearly, choosing any other kitchen utensil to retrieve the spoon- NOT your own delicate appendages. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A most pressing decision of Earth-shattering porportions

As I sit here this evening avoiding household chores and generally wasting time, I have come face to face with a most gripping situation. A situation so dire, my final decision will involve a tremendous amount of resolve and commitment.

Do I continue to invest my time, energy and emotions weekly to American Idol now that the four judges have put TATIANA DEL TORO into the top 36?? Seriously Simon, Randy, Paula, and Kara? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!

Many American Idol sins have been committed in the past, but most can be forgiven. Sanjaya. Amanda Whats-her-name from Season 7. Sanjaya's hair.

But THIS? Cannot be easily overlooked. That girl is certifiable.

But can I NOT watch? It's a quandry. And the verdict is still out.

Emergency Preparedness

You will all be happy to know that J, the angels, and I did NOT blow away in the storm that blew through our town last night. We almost had a limb come through our front window, but, hey, it's a rental!

J and I were about 2/3 of the way through our DVR'd version of AI last night, blissfully oblvious to the mounting storm outside, when gale force winds began blowing through our neighborhood. 80+ mph winds. No joke.

Between the 2 of us, we decided it would be a GREAT idea to pause AI (thank you, DVR!) and find out exactly what kind of weather we should be concerned about. If I'm being honest, there's not much weather that frightens me worse that a tornado. Or even the thought of a tornado. A tornado watch will keep my eyes glued to The Weather Channel until it passes. Hurricanes? After growing up in Houston, I can live with them. Tornadoes? Too unpredictable for this Type-A"ish" personality.

So J. opened the front door- which is EXACTLY what you should ALWAYS do in the midst of gale force winds. Who doesn't need a little extra fresh air gusting through the house like a typhoon?- and the wind just wasn't "right." So we rounded up all the children to cozy up with some blankets and pillows. And nothing else but my cell phone. In the bathroom.

Thankfully, I just cleaned the bathroom the day before b/c the thought of pillows and blankets on the bathroom floor and then back into beds kind of gives me hives just thinking about it.

Cade was about to have a panic attack and kept asking if we were going to have a "twister." Micah, on the other hand, Lord help us if an emergency ever strikes while he's sleeping. Jason was shouting at him loud enough to wake the dead, with no response. J. finally got him lucid enough to stumble into the bathroom where he promptly fell asleep again.

J. kept an eye on the news and after about 10 minutes, gave us the all-clear that the tornadoes were north of us, headed northeast. Whew! Well, for us at least. I sent the kiddos back to bed, and finished up AI. We had to turn it up pretty loud to hear the TV over the hail that set in for awhile. But we were glad the storm passed quickly.

This morning, Cade was still talking about "twisters" and Micah was wondering why we had so many limbs down in our yard. And I learned that it's probably a good idea to keep a small emergency kit with a flashlight or 2 under the bathroom sink.

Monday, February 9, 2009

It happens

Is it ever OK to wipe your child's hand with a Clorox disinfecting wipe (bleach-free)? My answer is a resounding YES.

I know they're meant for sanitizing surfaces and might be a little abrasive to one's delicate skin, but trust me- this was one surface that needed sanitizing. Because sometimes "it" happens. And when "it" happens, desperate times call for very desperate measures. Especially when "it's" on your child's hand. And the only thing you have within arm's reach that will do "it" and justice is a Clorox wipe. All the TP in the world wasn't going to work for us last night.

Don't judge me. I put her in the tub immediately after sanitization. And she didn't appear to be any worse for the wear when she was dressed in her bum-ruffle PJs and told me, "I wan 'nuggle." Your heart would have to be made of ice to resist that! So I held her until she fell asleep, with her pudgy germ-free hands clutching her blankie.


Continuing on my fake quest to become Martha Stewart, I made "homemade" waffles for breakfast this morning. Using Bisquick. Hey, it's a step in the right direction.

To reiterate that I do not have a reputation for my culinary prowess, Micah incredulously asked "You're making HOME.MADE waffles?!?!" With extra emphasis on the "home" and "made" that typing simply can't convey. The waffles he's used to are of the Eggo variety.

I may have to continue preparing HOME.MADE waffles for breakfast because apparently HOME.MADE waffles invoke a spirit of peace and goodwill between 2 brothers who previously could not put on their respective school clothes without arguing. Micah graciously allowed Cade to sit in "his" (Micah's self-proclaimed) seat for breakfast and no one complained that one brother got the "real" (plastic) plate while the other used the last paper plate. I'm willing to bet Martha would never serve on paper or plastic! But Rome wasn't built in a day, either!

I may end up with my name on a line of linens at the discount store

This blog is all about honesty, y'all and I have to be honest- I'm on my way to becoming Martha Stewart! Without all the legal infractions, of course.

It may be a teeny bit of a stretch to claim to be achieving the domestic godessness of Marty (that's what I call her- we're BFFs) because I still don't know how to zest a lemon or fold a fitted sheet properly.

But this weekend? I roasted a chicken in the crockpot and then used the bones to make HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK. After that, since the crockpot and I were getting to be so buddy-buddy and sharing all our deepest secrets with one another, I used my crockpot again to make HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE. And it was DELISH!

But then J. said "Depart foul spirit of Martha Stewart, in the name of Jay-eee-zuhs!" and I was exorcised right then and there. Because after the chicken stock and the applesuce experiment, I caught up on DVR'ed shows and then went to bed, leaving the kitchen in shambles, 5 or 6 (maybe more!) loads of clean laundry unfolded and innumerable other chores unaccomplished.

Domesticity is exhausting.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

At least I (sort of) didn't pick the crummy movie this time

Last night was pretty laid back here in the Sturghouse, so J and I decided to rent a movie AND a Wii game. Par-TAY!

When we got our Wii, we joked that we can't really afford to buy any games for it.

It's funny because it's true.

And now we know that we can't afford to RENT them either! Dang, those things are NOT cheap. Or maybe I am. Either way, that little sucker cost 8 bucks ("Don't say 'bucks.' It's not ladylike." -Michael Scott) AND we have to return it.

After "Micah" played his Wii game (Ratatouille- and I use air quotes b/c I think J. is really the one who played it under the guise of "helping Micah learn") the little angels went to bed and J. and I watched The Happening, which is the latest M. Night Shyamalan flick.

And yes, I realize it came out like years ago or something, but I never claimed to be cinematic connoisseur (I had to look up how to spell that).

I think I've mentioned before that I'm challenged in the area of movie selection. Cinematically challenged? I always pick a total sleeper or otherwise craptastic movie.

But it wasn't completely me this time. See, a few hours earlier, I was sitting in the hoopty mini-van with our 2 youngest angels, rather than dragging all 3 kiddos into the movie store where their 6 little grabby mittens suddenly seem to turn into 6,000, and J. called me to see if I was down with renting The Happening.

Let the record show that, although I wanted to see the movie (red flag alert right there), I warned him that I had heard it was kind of stupid and we might be disappointed. However, we decided to make that determination for ourselves.

And The Happening met our sub-standard expectations. In that it was a sub-standard movie.

**Spoiler alert!! If you think you may fail to heed my warning and rent this show anyhow, don't read further!**

Basically, the plants and trees get all their collective undies in a bundle because of the poor way they are being treated by humankind and start poisoning the air and it makes all who breathe it want to commit suicide. Seriously? The plants are mad? I'm no ecologist, but give me a freakin' break. Seriously.

Clearly sci-fi is NOT my genre.

But my point is that the main actor is Mark Wahlburg AKA Marky Mark (minus the Funky Bunch). About halfway through the movie, J. reminded me of the SNL skit "Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals" starring Andy Samberg as Marky Mark. We found it on the internets pretty quickly and I'll be darned if Marky Mark didn't sound JUST LIKE THAT throughout the whole movie. It might have ruined the rest of the show for me if 1) the movie had actually been any good to start with or 2) it wasn't so stinkin' funny.

So tonight, I leave you with "Mark Wahlberg Talk to Animals."

Say hi to your mother for me!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A journey to Mecca... I mean, Ikea

Oh how I have been jonesing for a trip to Ikea since, well, since the last time I walked out of Ikea back in July of '08. Yeah, that was just a few months ago, but when you say a month and then add "of" and the last 2 digits of the year, it sounds like a really long time.

I tried to convince Jason to take me a couple of weekends ago. By "take me" I mean load up all the kids and let's go together because I knew there was no way he was going to let me be gone alone for half a day after he got up at dark:thirty and then slung coffee for a full 8 hours. I'm sure he would have been pleased as punch for me to take all of the little angels with me and go by myself, but there was less than a snowball's chance in hell of that happening.

Turns out, he didn't feel like going that day, with all the early rising and coffee laboring he endured that particular morning. But since he was off last Saturday AND I indulged him by not complaining when he said he wanted to spend most of the morning and a better part of the afternoon fishing with his buddy, he agreed to go that afternoon.

And what an arduous journey it was. "Arduous" is never a word I want to equate with a trip to Ikea again. It's like saying "disgusting birthday cake." Birthday cake should never ever be anything but fluffy, sweet and delicious (and preferably chocolate), just as a trip to Ikea should be fun and carefree, like white fluffy clouds. But arduous...never good.

For starters, Missy, who is pretty much completely potty-trained, Praise Jesus, was having some "difficulties." Let's just say that the first leg of the trip should have been a 30 minute trip south, but it took almost an hour because we had to make 2 pit stops for her to just go in and sit. And sit. And sit.

We finally arrived a bit later than originally intended and to my delight I was able to check the boys into "Smaland" or whatever the Swedish word is for the place where little people can play while their parents shop in relative peace for exactly ONE hour. It only took about half an hour to get them set up and checked in, so I took care of this while J. took Missy to the restroom. Again.

We got about halfway around Ikea, to probably the farthest point one could be from the restroom, when Missy decided, with great urgency, that she needed to go yet again. Lord, help me. I took her, she did some bidness, and then... the horror. I flushed the potty and too promptly squatted down to help Missy with the pulling up of the pants. Except that as the toilet was flushing I had unwittingly put my face even with the bowl and TOILET WATER SPLASHED OUT AND LANDED RIGHT.ON.MY.LIP. Pardon me for saying, but I threw up a little in my mouth. Consider this a PSA: When you are helping your child pull up his/her pants after pottying, be sure you are safely out of the designated toilet splash zone. You are welcome.

We worked our way around the store, but I was quite mistaken that we could actually complete our shopping in under 60 minutes, so I went and removed the boys from "Smaland," while J. kept shopping, only to discover their misbehavior while they had been playing. Sigh. I asked Jason where we went wrong that the boys can't act straight for a mere hour. He assured me that boys are boys and they get into trouble. It's their nature. Double sigh.

As it turns out, we picked up some great finds! A small chandelier to hang over our dining table, an under-the counter rack I jokingly refer to as our new wine cellar, some boxes for organizing our "home office" and a few other odds and ends. We made it home with all our goods and our children in one piece. But next time, I'm really going to rally for going alone.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Showing Off

Last night Jason created this little slideshow and posted it on our (shameless plug alert) family website that he updates about once a year. Or when should be doing homework for seminary, but gets the hankering to dabble in some video production instead. Because we all know THAT'S what's going to get him through seminary. Forget all the book-reading, paper-writing bidness. Clearly, he's all about the priorities.

I'm not complaining about the lack of website updates because I suppose I could figure out how to do it on my own, but I'd probably crash the internets with my astounding technological creativity. I'm doing good to sync my iPhone by myself, so building and maintaining websites is not something I have listed on my 100 Things To Do Before I Die list.

Anyway, it's a cute little slideshow proudly featuring our little angels. Check it out! And leave me some love telling me how oh-so-adorable they are!