Monday, February 28, 2011


     I am willing to bet that if people were asked their favorite day of the week, Monday would be dead last.  I know, I know, it's back to work day for adults and that doesn't make them happy.  It's also back to school day for the kids and I know that doesn't make them happy.  I love Mondays, though.
      I know what you're thinking, you think I only like Monday's because the kids are back in school, right?  No that's not it. It's a definite plus, but no.
      It's also the day my hubby goes back to work and he usually puts money in the bank for me. Whoo Whoo!
      But that's not it either.
      I love Mondays because it's the clean slate day.  The start over day.  It's the first day of the best week ever. I'm sure of it.  Their is no limit to what I can accomplish this week and Monday is the beginning of all of this weeks successes.  Sometimes I have big goals to accomplish during the week and sometimes just a few small ones.  This week for instance, I plan on cleaning and organizing my pantry and my food storage room down stairs. For those of you not familiar with a food storage room let me explain.  It's in my basement. It's big and I store extra food in it. How cool is that?!  My bathrooms are also on my hit list.  And the fridges, two of them anyway.  And last but not least planning the meals for the next two weeks so I can stop living at Walmart.  When the checkers know the intimate details of your life, it's time to cut back.  That reminds me, grandpa's meds are ready.  Okay, so back to Walmart I go.
    The best part about Monday is all the stuff I didn't get done last week, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the fridges, organizing the pantry and the food storage room, they can all go back on the list of things to do. Why? because it's Monday!  Anything is possible on a Monday.
      Don't you just love Mondays? Let's here it for Mondays. (Crickets cherping) Am I really the only one????
      Sound off everyone. What's your favorite day of the week? If you can't comment here leave it on my facebook page.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I Love Amazon

    For many years my daughters have bemoaned the fact that I don't like going to the mall, any mall.  I would rather go just about anywhere else.  The mall is always hit and miss. If you go there looking for something specific, chances are you won't find it and if you go just to window shop you'll find tons of stuff, but not have the money to pay for it.  I had to go there at Christmas time to get various gift cards and it wasn't a fun time.  It was hot and crowed and I resent having to stand in line for twenty minutes so I can give them money that I don't want to spend anyway.  It was Christmas time, shouldn't a popular shop have more than two registers open. Geeesh!
     I know, I sound like a scrooge but that's okay.  I found a cure for all that frustration.  Amazon.  I can stay at home and shop.  I can even do it in my jammies if I want to.  I can shop at midnight or at sunup.  I can snack as I browse.  I can even talk on the phone at the same time.  What a world we live in.
    I can get the latest movie and have it sent right to my mail box in a matter of days.  Yesterday I purchased software for my computer to help me organize my recipes that will automatically produce a shopping list of all the ingredients that I will need.  I have great hopes for this program.  Lately shopping has felt like being inside one of these tubes with money blowing all around you and you are trying to snag as much as you can as fast as you can and it's not until your out of the tube that you get to see what you got.  I usually get home and have forgotten the corn tortillas for the tacos and the bacon for the BLT's. Such is my life.
    I got a lap desk from Amazon a while ago that solved the problem of my lap top getting way to hot on my legs.  I hope the software will be just as good.  Did I mention I can shop in my jammies.
    It's good for the environment too. I don't have to drive and I save money on gas. It's good for the economy.  I'm keeping the UPS guy, the postman, and all those Amazon workers working. Not to mention the people manufacturing all the stuff I buy.  I'm not sure how it helps my hubby except it makes me happy. And if I'm happy, he's happy. 
     What was the last thing you bought online, just curious?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Support Your Local Dentist

    My family has done everything in their power to ensure that we become really good friends with our dentist.  They eat sweets and then go to bed without brushing.  They live on Mountain Dew so much so that if you open a vein it would be lime green. They chomp on ice, eat lemons, forget to floss and commit assorted other sins against good dental hygiene.  And all the nagging in the world hasn't made a bit of difference.
     Well, now it's time to pay the piper. Unfortunately, I'm the one who's paying.  So far we have had six of us into our new dentist. Some of us more than once.  And I have yet to hear,"Wow, no cavities. Good job."  What I usually hear is, "Oh" and "I can't believe that one doesn't hurt."  Not a good sign.
     I'm going to be spending quite a bit of time in that office.  It's a good thing that it's brand new and the leather couches are very comfy.  And I really like our dentist.  How can you not like someone named Christopher Robins.  With pals like Pooh, and Eeyore and Rabbit, he's got to be a good guy. Sorry, I couldn't resist that one and I'm sure he's never heard that one before.  
    In truth Dr. Robins and his wife are good friends and neighbors of my daughter. When she told me that he had decided to open his own practice I thought we should give him a try.  After all, since we moved from California we haven't found a new dentist. Not that we looked, but I knew we were living on borrowed time.
And since I like to help folks that are just starting new businesses, it was a good fit.
     So far we have had three root canals, five cleanings, and numerous fillings done there.  One of the root canals was for me.  I had never had one before and was a little apprehensive when I woke up one morning last November with an achy tooth and knew I had better get it looked at before it got really bad.
    "She's lying, the filling fell out forever ago and she was too chicken to go to the dentist."
    Shut up, truth fairy! This is my blog.  Anyway, I called Dr. Robins office and they got me in that day. I couldn't believe it.  In Cali. you had better plan your toothaches well in advance or have the pliers handy.
    Dr. Robins was really gentle and nice.  I told him all of my daughter's deep, dark secrets and to thank me he broke out the nitrous oxide. Now, if you have never had nitrous, let me tell you it rocks! I can't wait for my next root canal.  A few deep breaths and I was flying high, for totally legal and legitimate reasons of course.  I could still hear everything, but any sense of time was gone.  And I don't know why, but in my mind I kept thinking, "Nitrous oxide for President."  When I came out of it Dr. Robins told me that three hours had passed.  What a great way to spend the day.
    Yes, I think Dr. Robins and I are going to be seeing a lot of each other.
    Pssst, Dr. Robins, West Point Dental. He's got nitrous. Keep it on the down low so I can still get in on a moments notice.  And while you're there, ask him for the recipe that my daughter got from his wife, that she got from his mother, for the chicken and swiss cheese cassarole. It is delicious.  

How Do You Do It?

     When people hear that I have ten kids. I can usually count on getting several standard responses.  1. Are they all yours?  Variation:  All by the same father? or Did you actually give birth to them or is it a yours, mine and ours thing?  2. Did you have multiple births?  Variation:  One at a time?! On purpose?!  and 3. How do you do it?
The last one is usually always asked by women with a deer in the headlights look on their faces.  And I can see that they're thinking, "I'm so glad I'm not her!"
    I'm glad I'm not her either. Wait, I am her.  How do I do it?  When I sit back and really think about it, all I can say is, I don't know.  I have a friend that also had many children really quickly and she refers to those years of up all night, clean, bath, diaper, cook, console, rejoice, teach and do it all again the next day, as the lost years, because she was too tired to remember them. 
   I remember when I first got married and started having babies, I wanted to be the perfect mother.  I would bake cookies for my kids when they came home from school and the beds would be made and the house decorated so cute. That vision started to fade in no time.  When number two was born sixteen months after number one, I was still getting up every night with number one.  When number three came along I was trying to potty train number one so I wouldn't have three in diapers.  Thankfully, number two has her father's competitive nature and she decided that if number one was getting out of diapers so was she.  What a glorious day.  Before I knew it however, number four was here.  With number five close behind.  When I came up for air, I realized I had had five children and my oldest wasn't even seven, yet.
    Okay, the gloves were off. The older kids had to start watching the younger ones while I did stuff.  They had to help fold mountains of clothes, and they learned early how to clean the bathrooms, after all I am not the one that peed on the floor. Making beds and picking up toys was always a battle, but they did it.
   My older children became amazingly self sufficient. My daughter even told folks that she could do anything her mom could do except drive a car.  My son could make mac and cheese when he was five and we're talking the old fashioned kind not the microwave stuff.  Unless they were really stuck, they did their own homework or not.  Either way it was their responsibility.
     I knew I was on the right track when my son came home from a friends and said, "Mom, M's mom still makes his bed for him." a look of disbelief on his face.  My son had grasped the concept that their are things you have to do for yourself.
    It wasn't long before the older kids were doing their own laundry.  Yayyyy!
   Now I have to say that some of my kids have taken the ball and run with it.  If it wasn't for my oldest daughter and her get it done attitude neither she nor any of her siblings would have gotten into college or gotten married because she was the one that filled out all the applications and planned the weddings.
   I have one college graduate, with three more in college. Another about to start.
   Even though I am a long way from done, we found a way to make it work for us, at least through the early years.  We're still trying to make it today and we have had to make adjustments. That's how I do it, day by day and sometimes hour by hour.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Husband does the Dishes!

     My hubby and I had a conversation several years ago in which I stated that men really don't change.  Who they are when you marry them is who your stuck with forever. He disagreed, and because he's a man and has that Y chromosome thing going on (poor guy) it got his competitive juices going and he has been trying to prove me wrong ever since.  Suddenly, the tooth paste was getting put back in the drawer and his deodorant, or B.O. stuff as he calls it was being put back in the medicine cabinet. His bath towel was being put over the shower until it's dry and then hung on its proper hook. What?!
    When these things began happening, I would narrow my eyes and look at him as if he was about to morph into some creature from another world.  For a while their I was leary of turning my back on him. And I had good reason.  Let me explain life before "the talk."   For years, in our bedroom we had one of those awful plastic clothes hampers. It was blue and had a cheap plastic lid that you would lift up and toss in your dirty stuff.  My hubby would come home from a long and sweaty day at work or worse come home from playing basketball, take off those clothes and put them in a wet, stinky pile right on top of this hamper. Why? I don't know. I would ask him and he would look at me and shrug.  After years of this I thought I would out smart him so I took that cheap plastic lid and tossed it.  Now he would be able to get those clothes in the hamper because I had eliminated the job of lifting the lid.  Not on your life.  Those clothes were now tossed on the floor right next to the hamper.  Why? I don't know. Again when I would ask him he would just shrug and look at me as if I had asked him how to solve world hunger.
    I finally solved this dilemma by tossing the whole hamper.  I put a laundry basket on the floor of our closet.  No lid, no fuss, he could just drop is clothes and in they would go.  Yes! Success!
    The point to this walk down memory lane, is that I was the one who changed not him, so when we had "the talk" and he started to show me that an old dog can learn new tricks I was impressed. After all putting the toothpaste away is huge.
     A few weeks ago we were again chatting and I said I felt like I could keep up with everything around the house except for the dishes.  My hubby said, wait for it, "I'll start helping you with the dishes."  What?!  Did I hear that right?  Oh, wait, you mean help as in sitting on the couch and saying "You're doing a great job. Keep it up." Right? But no, he meant it. On the days he's home he has been doing all the dishes. Can you believe it?!!! I can't. It has gotten rid of a six-hundred pound gorilla that has been on my back since I was a kid and had to push a chair to the sink just to reach it. 
     The last three weeks have been wonderful, the sun is shining a little brighter and the air is sweeter.  Not really, I just threw that in for fun.  I thought about telling him that the laundry is really getting me down, but I decided not to press my luck. And I am proud to say, I love a man with dish pan hands.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Home Schooling, Not on Your Life

     Let me say right off, that I love my children. I would give them a kidney in the blink of an eye if they needed it. I want my kids to grow up happy, healthy, smart and accomplished.  I want them to be people that others actually like to be around.  I want them to know how to get around in this great big world without messing up to badly.  I think that's what most parents want for their kids.  Their are so many ways to go about it though.
     Home schooling is one of them.  I can't believe how many blogs their are from moms that home school.  I understand that some people think they can do a better job educating their kids than the local public school.  They are probably right. I can see that their would be some serious benefits to being able to control what kids are exposed to.  You could teach them things that they never get to hear about in public schools.  You wouldn't have to deal with endless homework assignments like my sister has had to do.  No more shopping for back to school clothes in August that puts a major dent in the budget. You could sleep in everyday.  Sounds great, doesn't it.
     Their is a dark side though. The biggest one that I can see is you would have to spend all day everyday with your kids. Yikes!  I don't want to do that.  I know that makes me sound like a bad mom. I can live with that.  In my own defense, let me say that raising ten kids isn't an easy thing to do. My youngest started first grade this year and it has taken me thirty years to get to this point.  I deserve a few hours of peace and quiet and I'm not going to let anyone make me feel guilty for claiming it.  I need it, I have been waiting for it and planning it for years.  I actually had a list of things that I wanted to do when the big day arrived; I lost it. But that doesn't matter because most of the stuff was obsolete anyway.  New things have taken their place.  It doesn't even matter what they are, the fact that I have the option of doing anything I want without taking children with me is priceless.  I can think for more than two minutes without hearing "Mom!"  You wouldn't  believe how quiet it is around here after the last school drop off has occurred. I can actually clean the house and it stays clean( at least until they get home).  It gives me time to recharge and to organize my thoughts.  I need that.
     Today is a holiday and all the kids are home.  Perhaps we'll watch a movie or maybe they will go outside and play.  It will go by fast, that is for sure.  It will be nice.  And what makes it even nicer is that I know tomorrow they will all be back in school. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Conversation with My Treadmill

       The other day I mentioned that with my son and his family moving back in we've all had to do a little bit of rearranging, me included.  I just didn't realize how much of a problem our rearranging was going to be for me.  You see, I like things in their place, I'm not talking about back packs and the dirty socks that our puppy Koda likes to collect and pile in two or three places around the house, I'm talking about the big things.  Like my treadmill.  It has lived a quiet, peaceful exsistance down in the deep, dark, cavernous basement where it belongs for a long time, until last week.  Now it is in my bedroom, MY BEDROOM. Talk about an invasion of privacy. It sits there and stares at me. It's the first thing I see in the morning and it's the last thing that I see at night.  I thought about throwing a blanket over it but I don't think I have a blanket that big, the thing is huge!  And to make it worse it taunts me constantly.  Here's what it has been like for me.

TM: Good morning Sunshine. Don't you want to get on me and run today? 
ME: Absolutely not! Be quiet.
TM: You know you do. You know you should.
ME: You make me hot and sweaty!
TM: But it's a good hot and sweaty! I'll get your heart pumping.
ME: Hah!! Like ten kids doesn't do that to me everyday anyways!!
TM: What have you got to lose except your ever widening behind.
ME: I like my behind just the way it is.
TM: Liar, Liar pants on fire.
ME: If you don't hush you're going right back into the basement(cave) where you belong.
TM: That's what you think. I'm going to be here for a long, long time. Maybe forever and every time you walk by me to go the the bathroom, or take a shower, or go to bed I'll be right here to remind you that you should be running on me.

    Well how am I supposed to live like this? Every day it's the same. It just keeps taunting me and making me feel like the lazy, non-exercising person that I am. And I have been happy, just me and my soft, puffy self for so long.  What's a girl to do?  I might have to start sleeping on the couch.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The View Out My Bathroom Window

      When you stop and think about all the things you're grateful for it is amazing how much their is.  Of course I'm thankful for the big things, family, friends, health and all that, but their is one small thing that brightens my day and gets my morning off to a good start, the view out my bathroom window.  I have to shower every morning or I look like...never mind what I look like,let's just say I have to shower every morning.  When I twist the little wand on the blinds it is like a treat just for me. I see a part of my backyard, which we lovingly landscaped two years ago and still haven't recovered from. And just past the expensive playset that my kids and grandkids hardly ever play on, is my neighbors "back forty" as my grandfather used to call the plot of land at the very back of his property where he grew his large garden. In my neighbor's back forty is a horse, a mare. I can see her almost every morning standing in the sun or nose to the ground looking for a missed clump of grass. Sometimes I can see a flock of white geese pecking the ground looking for breakfast.  We often see ducks and geese here in Utah. It is a beautiful thing. Beyond the pastures are the amazing Wasatch Mountains. I never get tired of seeing them. All year around they are a sight to behold.  This morning, however, they are covered with a fresh layer of pure white snow as is the pasture and my backyard, all thanks to the storm that blew through here last night.  It is a spectacular morning. The trees are covered in the white stuff and the sky is the bluest of blues.  How can a day be bad when it starts out like that?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Its What Families Do

     Recently, do to a job loss, my son, his wife and their two children moved back in with us.  Despite the fact that we have a large house and the basement is finished, this took a lot of thought, rearranging and bedroom shifting. My son, his wife and the baby, are in the big bedroom downstairs. My daughter who was in that room is now in the front room with the sofa, piano and a twin bed. Quite the change from the king-size bed she was in. Yes, she took one for the team and did it without a murmur or a complaint, almost. And when I say team I mean a team. My in-laws live with us and have for three-and-a half years.  Out of our ten kids, we still have five at home, though one goes back and forth to USU and is home on weekends for now, my hubby and me. That was nine to start with. A very big family by American standards. We have added four more for a grand total of thirteen people under one roof.  I also have two married daughters, who live with in ten minutes of our home and on any given day they are here with their husbands and their three kids each.  It is not unusual to have twenty-three people here for dinner.  My neighbors ask and joke about all the cars in the driveway. It looks like a used car lot. I know they wonder what we're really up to.  Are we planning some kind of coup?  Nope, just a family doing what families have done since the beginning of time, we're spending time together.  Most of the time we actually like each other.  We've helped each other move, watched kids when new babies were born or someone had to work. We've repaired cars together, borrowed money, lent money, prayed together and cried together. Helping each other is what families do.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Junior High

What is it about junior high that makes me hear the theme song from Jaws?  I feel like every morning I pull up in front of the school and expect my daughter to walk the plank.  And every morning she does.  Right into a huge tank of adolescent great whites.  Mean ones.  As adults we know that having a pimple is not the end of the world, but it is in junior high.  If you don't wear the right clothes or eat lunch with the right kids your doomed to a life of always feeling like you don't fit in, like you don't have the right friends, like you are unworthy of walking the earth with the popular kids.  I remember junior high and I hated it.  I wanted to be the cheerleader, the popular one that all the boys followed around like hungry, mindless zombies, but I wasn't. I was just a normal teenager trying to find my place in the tank.  Looking back on it, junior high made me a better person.  I learned how not to treat people.  I learned that kindness is a good quality to have. Junior high taught me that a person can be pretty on the outside and ugly on the inside. I found the strenghth to stand up for a kid that had emotional problems when the popular boys were picking on him.  I learned that even teachers can be jerks who still want to be popular with the in crowd. That was a hard lesson because I realized that some adults are immature and mean.  As a young teen you expect more from the adults around you.  You need adults that will teach you that everyone is different and we all have infinite worth because of that.  It just doen't happen in junior high. Maybe it happens at home when you are surrounded by people that love you pimples and all. Maybe it happens when you find real friends who will go the distance with you.  Maybe it has to come from our own maturity when we come to like who we are. Maybe its all of that and more.  All I can say is I am so glad junior high is over for me and as for my daughter who swims with the sharks everyday I say "that which does not kill us makes us stronger."