Friday, October 31, 2008

Confessions of a tweenage Drama Fairy

Happy Halloween everyone! October 31st is Nevada day, which means its the birthday for Nevada to become a state. So Happy Birthday to Nevada! Which then means that no school today. Hence all the school festivities took place yesterday.Diana dressed up as a drama fairy this year. Actually she was not so much a drama fairy, but there was much drama over the costume and so I kind of thought up that name for the outfit.

First the sleeves were too itchy and so we had to go to Wal Mart at 9:00 pm the night before to get some material that I could then sew into it to make it less itchy.

Next the bodice was too big and hanging down too low, so an alteration had to made.

Finally she decided that the outside tulle skirt bothered her, and so I had to cut that part off of the costume. I think it would have been easier to just have started from scratch.

I kind of felt like I was on project runway and she was Tim Gunn telling me to "Just make it work."

Here is the close up of the glittery hair, because how can you possibly be a drama fairy without glittery hair? Of course we could not find the glitter spray that we bought at Wal Mart at 9:00 pm the night before because why would it be that easy. We looked high and low and finally thought we might need to make an emergency run to Wal Mart, AGAIN. What do you know when we got in the car, there was the darn spray. Apparently it never made it into the house. Crisis averted and hair was sprayed.

How cute is this shot? Diana is in an all girl class this year, and well 27 girls hyped up for a Halloween parade, not exactly quiet.
Here is the obligatory parade shot. Oh and did I mention that this costume originally had wings, but they did not want to stand up, so Diana decided not to wear them in the morning, and then I forgot them for the parade. More drama. Sheesh. Still I think she is adorable. Did I mention she is my favorite drama fairy ever?
And after the parade was the ensuing pandemonium and stuffing of faces with sugar. Here is where Diana passed out the goodie bags that she had put together. One of the things we got were bendy pumpkin straws. These would be so fun to use to drink scary drinks. Unbeknownst to me they also make a high pitched whistle when you blow through them. Who knew? Not me. For the next 40 mins there were piercing whistles that I am sure made every dog in the neighborhood come running. Finally the teacher had to order that all straws/whistles of death be put into the backpacks. I of course played dumb and said "What horrible,thoughtless mother would send those to school anyway?" Now my name if not literally then figuratively, has been cursed in 27 homes. I do feel pretty bad about inflicting deafness onto so many families, but at the same time I am doing my best evil laugh mawahahahah.

So now today is a day of rest and relaxation. At least it would have been if Diana had not had two friends sleep over last night. I am off to take them to celebrate at In-N-Out.
Happy haunting tonight everyone!








Typo to raise the dead.

Two men were walking home after a Halloween party and decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery just for laughs. Right in the middle of the cemetery, they were startled by a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Trembling with fear, they found an old man with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones. "Holy cow, Mister," one of them said, after catching his breath, "You scared us half to death! We thought you were a ghost! What are you doing working here so late at night?" "Those fools!" the old man grumbled. "They misspelled my name!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When the Lord closes a door, he opens a window.


Because yesterday I shared the heart wrenching details about Camille, I thought today for a change of pace I could share the amazing story of how we came to actually have a little girl in our family.
Once we were in Las Vegas, I went to LDS Family Services, because I figured hey they had gotten me into this mess, maybe they could help me. I don't know when I have been more wrong. Basically they said, yea sorry about that, and good luck with the wishing you were dead thing, but you only qualify for a special needs adoption and we rarely if ever have any special needs babies so there is little hope that we can help you. Have a nice day.

With that lovely advice, I decided that perhaps our family would be just fine with the two sons we had been blessed with. I did not get my paperwork updated. I sat at home and grieved.

In July of 1999, while I was preparing to go to girls camp, we received a phone call from my husband's cousin. She knew of a birth mother who was expecting a girl and wanted a family for her baby. We said that we would be interested and we hurried to update our paper work so that our file would be complete for Nevada requirements. I left my husband in charge of gathering the final references, and I went to girls camp and waited to hear for news of the baby. This would have been a designated confidential adoption.

When I got home from camp, my husband told me that the birth mother had delivered a baby boy and decided to keep her baby. Once again I felt the disappointment of having an adoption fall through. I resigned myself to the fact that we had been blessed with two beautiful sons and that perhaps our family was finished.


Because we had all of the paper work done, we decided to take it to the agency and place our names on the list of waiting couples, without the expectation of anything ever happening.

I dropped the paper work off on a Tuesday. As I was visiting with our case worker, he mentioned in passing that they had a baby girl born the last week diagnosed with Down syndrome. The agency was not sure what they were going to do with this baby, because the original adoptive couple, decided they did not want her when they heard of her medical situation.

I said "Oh that is interesting". He said to think about it because it was a special needs adoption, and call him back if we were interested. I told my husband about it, but our initial reaction was that we were not interested.

The rest of the day I just could not get that baby off my mind. Later that day I contacted my aunt to discuss what it is like to raise a child with Down syndrome as she had two down syndrome children. She reassured me that it was a wonderful opportunity.

No matter how I tried, I could not shake the feeling that this baby belonged in our family, no matter what her health condition was. The next morning, I told the worker that we would like to be considered for placement of this baby.

She called back a little while later and said "How would you like to meet the baby tomorrow, and then you can take her home." My first reaction was to drop the phone and pass out because this was just 24 hours after I had dropped off the papers.


As you can well imagine the next 24 hours were full of craziness to prepare everything. My husband got all the baby stuff down from the attic so I could wash the clothes, bassinet, and car seat.

I ran to the store and stood in the baby aisle trying to remember just what it is that babies need. It had been five and a half years since we had a baby in the house. It was all so surreal.

We didn't tell anyone not even our family. I felt as if we did tell, maybe the spell would be broken and we wouldn't really get a baby after all. During these 24 hours, I kept wondering if we could really handle the challenge of a baby with Down Syndrome. Each time these thoughts came to my mind the Spirit would whisper a calm reassuring message that I should not worry, everything would be just fine.

The very next day, we went to Child Haven to meet our potential daughter. The plan was that we could meet her and leave her there while we went out to lunch and discussed our decision. The minute they placed her in our arms, we knew she was meant for us. There was no discussion. It would have taken dynamite to pry that child away from me. We loved and adored her immediately. Those of you who have met her in real life know of her personality and love for everyone she meets. This outpouring of love was present from the day I met her. It is a gift she came to earth with and in her short 9 years she has blessed many people, especially small children with her love and caring.

The case worker was trying to obtain more of her medical information and found out that a test for Down syndrome was never done. The doctor had said at the delivery the he thought the baby looked like she had Down syndrome, and based on this statement, the original adoptive couple decided not to take her. How anyone could have held her and walked away is beyond my ability to comprehend.



Two weeks later when we took her to our pediatrician, it was decided that she did not have down syndrome. Heavenly Father found a way to send this beautiful little girl to our family. It was my very own miracle. Truly it was a blessing from heaven.



We lost Camille because her birth mom had the free agency to make the choices necessary to keep her. But the fact that we picked up Diana nine months later tells me that Heavenly Father made a plan to give me the little girl I always wanted.


After the trial of your faith comes the blessings. Something like that. I will be forever grateful for the fact that I followed a prompting that seemed illogical. This daughter of mine is one of my best friends. She has blessed my life in so many ways. One might say that I saved her from an unwanted beginning, but truly she saved me from the bottomless sea of grief and loss. Although she can never completely replace Camille, life is so much better with her than it was before.

Ten year anniversary of a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day.

Today is the 10 year anniversary of the day we lost Camille.

Three months and ten years ago we welcomed a little 3 yr old foster girl into our home. We did so with the understanding that we would eventually adopt her.

Her brief history was that she was born weighing 3 pounds 15 ounces and addicted to speed which her birth mother had abused during the whole pregnancy. Camille was placed in a medically fragile foster family who nursed her through her drug withdrawls and back to a healthy 9 month old baby. A judge in all his wisdom gave this little girl back to her birth parents. These parents proceeded to neglect her for the next two years. They did things like make a cage out of her crib with chicken wire so that their little girl would be contained while they were in their drugged out stupors.
They also let her have soda in her bottle which rotted out her front teeth. She was rarely bathed and minimally cared for during this time. Finally CPS stepped in again and removed her, placing her back in the same original foster family. By then, that family had two other very seriously sick children and Camille was doing remarkably well. She was too healthy for this family.

She then went to stay with a friend of the birth family as a foster child. The problem was that the foster mom had a sixteen year old son and no husband. CPS did not want Camille in that situation, but they did not have another choice.

This is when they approached LDS family services to see if they had a family who would take this little girl. We happened to be on their list of families waiting for a special needs adoption.

When they first approached us, I was thrilled beyond measure to think of having a little girl. She was just 18 months younger than Jared and would fit in with us perfectly.

We met her and took her to the beach for the afternoon. That meeting went very well and we decided that we would take her.

She came to stay with us on August 6th. Marion started working in Las Vegas just two weeks later. We were living in Southern California at the time. He would leave each Sunday night and come home on Friday night. It was only a three hour drive.

In the mean time I was trying to keep a perfectly clean, immaculate house so it would sell and adjust to having another child. I was thrilled at a the opportunity, but it was incredibly hard at the same time.

She and Jared were either best buds getting into mischief or fighting with each other. It was incredibly stressful. She and Jared did things like draw on walls or spill fingernail polish when I wasn't looking. All just normal kid stuff but extremely exasperating when you are trying to make a house sell, that just didn't seem to want to sell.
Still it was so fun to have a little girl. Finally I could browse in the girl sections of stores. Some one wanted me to curl their hair and wear frilly things. It was all I had hoped it would be.


Finally we gave up on selling the house and thanks to a loan from my parents, went ahead and found a house in Vegas. We were set to move in the month of October. The move in date was October 31st. Finally we would be a family again.

We knew we were moving to Vegas when Camille came to live with us. We were very upfront with the county about it. They said that it would not be a problem as long as we would bring her back for her visits with her parents, which were suppose to be terminated soon.
But the week before we were set to move, the court ordered a hearing to determine if we could take her out of the state.

We went to court on October 28th only to hear the judge say that the birth parents were making progress on their plan. This meant that she would most likely be returned to them eventually and we could not take her from the state.

Twenty four hours after the hearing, the foster mother who had her before us came and picked her up. It was a crazy surreal day of packing and crying. She came to us with two boxes of stuff and left with four. At least mercifully, Camille loved her other foster mother and was glad to go with her. I don't know how I would have survived someone ripping her from me kicking and screaming.

Instead it was just me doing the kicking and screaming, at least on the inside.

Once she was gone, we continued the packing for the move two days later. It is the strangest thing when horrible things happen and then you just have to go on living. I had to take the cable box back to the cable company and I had a great cry all the way there and all the way back while I was alone. That night we went out to eat and there was Camille's car seat still in the car. It felt like someone had stabbed me in the heart with a butcher knife as we removed the seat we no longer needed.

The next day I attended a preschool Halloween party at Jared's preschool. As I watched all the little girl princesses in the parade, tears flowed unwillingly down my cheeks for the lost little girl who I would never be able to watch in a Halloween parade.

That night we attended our ward trunk or treat. I cried through most of that as well. It was comforting to have others in my ward be as outraged and sad as I was about the injustice of the situation.

That night I cried myself to sleep. I cried until no more tears would come and then I just lay there grieving like I never had before in my 33 years of life.

The next morning, October 31, 1998, we moved to Las Vegas. I think I associate and blame Las Vegas in some way for the loss of the little girl I always wanted. As I drove into town I was nearly sideswiped by a huge truck. I was numb. There was so much to do, and all I wanted to do was lie in a corner and die.

That night I took the boys to the trunk or treat in our new ward. It was ridiculous to be around so many people having such a good time and none of them knowing that my world had ended.

In the next months I tried to cope with my loss. But each time I saw a little girl, or a Teletubby, or Barney, it felt like the butcher knife to the heart once again. You never knew when some memory would take your breath away. The little girl across the street with the same roller skates. The time Jared wanted to play a computer game and there was Camille's name in the log in page.

It is impossible to erase someone completely from ones life and so little reminders would pop up occasionally. Each time I would suffer again and relive the pain of losing her.

It is very fortunate that I did have two boys to live for, other wise I would have crawled into that sought after corner and never come out again.

As time went on, I learned to live with the pain. Interestingly enough nine months to the day after we lost Camille, we brought Diana home from the adoption agency. The story of Diana's birth is certainly a miracle. But today is about grieving.
Through the years, the pain has lessened. Never has it left completely. Today Camille is 13 years old. After about 6 months I have never heard anything about her again. I do know that she went to live with her birth mother in a drug rehabilitation clinic. I can only hope that things have worked out for her.

After about 3 years of grieving, a wise counselor said to me that perhaps Heavenly Father needed me to be this little girl's mother for just those 3 months. There was something I gave her or taught during that time, that He needed me to do. It is part of the plan and somehow that was all she needed to be able to face what she would during the rest of her life. This gave me comfort like nothing else ever had. In fact it came terribly close to bringing me peace over the whole thing.
Still, here I am, on the ten year anniversary, reliving the whole horrible event. I can honestly say that I have never been the same. Perhaps that was part of the plan as well. Sometimes we experience things in this life that do change us. I guess the question is do we embrace the change or struggle against it. I think I have spent much of the past ten years struggling.
Perhaps it is time for the embracing to begin.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Don't you hate it when....

Oh my goodness, I am entering another contest. Who'd of thunk it. Shelle over at Blok-thoughts is having a fun weekly contest called Don't you hate it when..... Go check out the entries, because they really are laugh out loud funny.

Here's my story titled "Anybody got a quarter?"

Don't you hate it when you have to take your invalid son to yet another doctor appointment.

We finish up around lunch time. We are both hungry. He wants McDonalds which makes me want to puke. I want Qdoba, just the most fabulous restaurant in the world. Especially the chips and guacamole.

Economic times being what they are, this also plays a role. Thanks to a most wonderful friend who was at a UNLV football game and gathered up a bunch of $5 Qdoba gift certificates, I figured I could get my lunch for free.

With much protest from son, I stopped at Qdoba first because it was closer and I was the one driving the car.

Here I encountered a nice if not so flexible employee. I asked for my chips and guacamole. That was $2.89. Way under $5, so I decided I could lived life large and ordered another side of guacamole. Now the total was $4.11.

Here's where the inflexibility comes in. That was all I wanted, but the guy said that the total had to be over $5 or he could not put the negative $5 coupon in. Good grief. I looked on the menu for something else.

He helpfully recommended a drink. I don't really like to get drinks. I don't even like soft drinks, just water for me. They are a big fat waste of money in my opinion. My kids hate this about me. So, OK in the interest of getting my free food, I will take a drink that I don't even want.

Now the total is $5.27. Great. Now the tricky/exasperating part. I don't have 27 cents. In fact thanks to pilfering kids, I have exactly one penny.

Resourcefully, I hand the guy my debit card. No Go , they can not do a debit transaction for 27 cents. Holy panic, batman.

I say, hold on I will go and look in my car. I search high and low, under floor mats, in crevices, and ash trays. So much fun.

Finally I score two dimes and two pennies, bringing my total to 23 cents.

I go back in and ask the guy, could this just please work. And mercifully he accepts.

And so I leave with my chips, guacamole, and drink.

I guess there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Tale of Horror and Terror

The Crash Test Dummy and Art and Sewl are co-sponsoring a Ghost Story writing contest. And I am going to enter it because I am wild and crazy like that. There are some really great prizes, so you might want to enter as well.

Click on the tombstone for more information.



Some unimaginative types, might not find my story very scary, but anyone who has ever had teenagers involved in extracurricular activities with the last minute demands that come with all that stuff, well it is enough to give the best of us nightmares for weeks. And if your kids are too young, well just wait and I will try not to say "I told you so."

And now for my story. I am so nervous; I have never entered anything before. This is really, really scary. My knees are knocking and my teeth are chattering.



Drumroll please........




If you have a musical, teenage son, chances are he is going to play in the school orchestra.

And if he plays in the orchestra, chances are there will be a fall orchestra concert.

And if there is a fall orchestra concert, chances are your son will sign you up to make zucchini bread for the bake sale/fundraiser before the concert.

And if he signs you up to make zucchini bread, chances are he will tell you about it at 10 pm the night before the concert.

And if you have to make zucchini bread, chances are you will be out of several ingredients, namely zucchini because growing a garden in Vegas, not so easy; so you will have to go to the store.

And if you are going to the grocery store, chances are your son will say, "Hey, can we get stuff to make me look like one of the guys on Miami Vice for my Halloween costume."

And if you go to the thrift store after the grocery store, chances are you will find some pants that need to be hemmed shorter.

And if you are hemming the pants shorter, chances are your son will say "Hey, I can't find the cumber bun and bow tie to my tuxedo that I have to wear to the concert tonight."

And if your son asks for your expertise in finding these things, chances are you will waste 45 minutes in peril of life and limb in his room looking for the tie and cumber bun until you emerge from the ghastly disaster, triumphant.

And if you are doing a victory lap, chances are your son will say "Hey, is that zucchini bread done and can you give me a ride to the school because my car won't start."

And if you give your son a ride to the school, chances are you are going to attend the concert if you don't want to be voted worst mother of the year.

And if you attend the concert, chances are peer pressure will cause you to pay $1 for one slice of the zucchini bread you made earlier that afternoon after you spent $10 on the ingredients to make 4 loaves.

And if you bought the zucchini bread, chances are you will go into the concert where both the choir and the orchestra will perform in alternating numbers and you will watch as they set up the stage with the risers for the choir and then take them down, and set up chairs and music stands for the orchestra and then take those down, repeated until late into the night all the while your brain turns to something resembling oatmeal mush and runs out of your ears onto the floor.


And as the concert goes on and on and on and you stare aimlessly at your grey matter laying on the floor all glittery and slimy, chances are you are going to start to wonder why you ever encouraged your teenage son to be musical.

Because if your teenage son is musical....chances are he is going to play in the school orchestra.

Hamster Wheel Hits Hyper Speed part I

I know my blog is still naked, but I have good excuses, really I do. jk no i don't jared is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cool and gross he farted in my face

I left this post started on the computer and my kind and generous son decided to add something to it. Ha Ha on him, I am going to publish it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Still some good in the world

If you need to read something that will restore or rekindle your hope in human kind, check out this article:

http://deepshadesofblue.com/catching-up-with-kehl-vol-vi-2/

This is an article written by Bryan Kehl, who played defense for BYU last year and is now playing for the New York Giants. I of course, even have his autograph. He has written several articles before this where he talked about just how hard fall camp was and how he even wondered if it was worth it. This is the experience that changed his mind.

Even if you don't like football or BYU, you have to be proud to belong to a church/human race with a fellow disciple of Christ like Bryan Kehl.

Something to DYE for!


What do you think? Do you think I'm punny?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oh, Dear...

my blog is naked. Avert your eyes.

(blushing)

You know that dream where you go to school naked, well it seems to have come true. I am not sure why, but my background is gone. Perhaps I wished it away because I was thinking about changing it. Not really feeling it anymore. But seriously I did not do any purposeful thing to make it go away. Somehow when I put the countdown to freedom/surgery on the side, it made the back ground go away.

Sometime I will get around to fixing it. But I am going with a friend to Costco and then I need to take Jared to have blood work done and a chest x-ray. All pre-op stuff that needs to happen.

So see ya later.

Please come back, I will get my clothes on and be ready for company eventually.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Has the day of miracles ceased? I say Nay!

Last Saturday, I was sweeping under my computer table, and what to my amazement came from the dark corner.....Diana's glasses.

If you are somehow unaware of the turmoil I have dealt with over these darn peepers, well you could read about it here or here.

The fact that they have been missing for well, gee, almost two months, and that I found them while sweeping, I suppose that might make you think that I don't sweep that particular location very much. OK, I confess, I don't. And why I didn't think to look there sooner, I have no idea.

Actually I have a theory that the Bermuda triangle that lives at my house deposited them there. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that said triangle, lifts these glasses up just before I search a room, moving them just ahead of me and my searching.

Perhaps this particular corner is a portal to another world, and they were only just deposited there minutes before I found them. Perhaps some other vision impaired little girl was wearing them for these two months.

I have no doubt that my life expectancy is shorter because of those darn spectacles. Although, time spent searching has dramatically dropped since she got the two new pair from Wal Mart. And now she will have 4 pair of blinkers.

That is 10 EYES altogether. For the love of all that is visible and findable. How wonderful it that? I feel as though I have died and gone to heaven.

It doesn't take much does it?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Roll out the barrel, and we'll have a barrel of rolls

About three weeks ago, I went to work in the kitchen at the temple. I actually love doing this for several reasons.

First of all, there are no interruptions/kids there to bug you. That is heaven on earth for you right there, to start a project and finish it without being interrupted.

Second, it is just plain fun to help make the food that people get to eat. Maybe I missed my calling working in a cafeteria somewhere. I don't know. But I get a big kick out of it.

When I was there, one of my jobs was to roll out the rolls. Remember when I talked about the rolls at the temple cafeteria? Yea, I pretty much adore those rolls. I could pretty much eat them until I want to puke. So that night I was working in the kitchen, the kitchen manager said "Who wants to roll out the rolls?" And I jumped up and down, waving my hand, saying "Ohhh, ooohh ME, pick ME", in my best Horseshack impression. I have done this before, so I knew how fun it is. The rolling out the rolls, not shameless begging. Well, to be honest I have done both before.

So I headed off and proceeded to roll out 12 pans of rolls. Talk about a sense of accomplishment. And then I put them in the warming oven, and then we baked them, and then there were wonderfully, aromatic, soft, warm rolls. And guess what? I got to eat ONE. It was srum-dilly-ish-ious. But that was not really enough, although I was very full, because we also got to eat some of the food.

And that is why I have been making rolls at home, since then. I am totally addicted. And so today when the craving struck and I had two extra hours on my hands, I decided to document my favorite roll recipe for you all.

That way, you too can experience heaven on earth, just like the temple. Because we are suppose to make our homes a temple right. This is how I do it. None of that bringing in the spirit stuff for me, no just yummy, mouth watering, rolls.

This is a recipe I got from my mom, who got it from her friend Naoma Eastley. You know how when you live far, far away from any family and you find friends who can be your family. That is how the Eastleys were for us. They have a lot of kids also, and we almost always spent Thanksgiving with them for years and years. (big wave to Sis. Eastley, if you are reading this) Thanks for sharing this recipe with me.

Rolls
1 and 3/4 c. milk or water, I always use milk
1/2 c. margarine or butter, I like butter best
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. salt
2 eggs
2 T. yeast
Flour, about 4 or 5 cups (bread flour works best)

Microwave the milk for four minutes.

Add to mixer with butter, sugar, salt, eggs.

Mix up until the butter melts.

Check to see that the mixture is only warm to the touch. You don't want it to be too hot, or it will kill the yeast.

Add the yeast, and mix.

(You want to be sure you have good yeast. If you are like me, you might go through spells of baking and not baking. If you can't remember when you bought your yeast, then it is probably time to spring for some new. You don't want to go through all the work to have it not turn out.)

Then start adding the flour.

Because of differences in humidity, this is not an exact science. You want the dough to be fairly stiff, but still soft. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball.

Once this ball is formed, knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
Here is what it will look like in the mixer. Notice the iron, on the counter because that is where I do all my ironing. JK. I actually don't iron, but lately Diana is on one of those plastic bead kicks. You know that stupid craft thing that involves a million little beads that you then iron together. But,this will have to be a topic for another post.

Next, you put the ball of dough in a pam sprayed bowl. I like my That's a Bowl. No I don't sell tupperware, but this bowl is honestly awesome. I always say if I went on survivor I would want to take this as my personal item. Of course they don't let you have personal items anymore and there is no food to speak of. But I'm just saying, I love this bowl. In fact I have two of them, for days like this, when the other bowl was left in the backyard full of popcorn by the trampoline.

After the ball of dough is in the greased lined bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm oven. About 100-120 degrees. If you are the temple or a cafeteria, you have a warming oven, if you are me, you just turn your oven on for a few seconds.
After about 45 minutes the dough will have risen.
Now the fun part begins. Cut off a piece of dough, about like this.
Here is a blurry glob of dough. Sorry about that, I am not the pioneer woman, K, just build a bridge and get over it.


And now I will deftly demonstrate how to make the dough blob tie the knot. No it is not going to one of the many drive through wedding chapels in Vegas. Just watch.


video

And there you go, a fabulous, fantastic, shape for your roll. Before I learned this method, I used to roll it out and make crescent shaped rolls. I like this method better because it seems faster.


A close up of the knot. You may all bow in adoration at my knot tying skills. Go ahead, I know you want to.

Today this recipe made 24 rolls, but sometimes if I added more flour, it might make a few more.








Next, it is back into the warm oven to raise for 30 minutes.


After 30 minutes, I take them out so I can preheat the oven to 350 degrees, for the last 15 minutes of the rising.


Pop those puppies in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown, and your whole house smells like a bakery.

Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter.


And there you go, heaven on earth.

You can have them with some freezer strawberry jam, but I am a purist and just like them best with only butter.

It does take about 2 hours from start to finish. But really it takes about 15 - 20 minutes to mix it all up. Then you can do other things while it rises. Again, about 15 minutes to roll them all out. Then more free time to blog or read blogs while they rise the second times. And finally put them in the oven. Yes, it is some work, but I think the end product is totally worth it.

Who says man can not live on bread alone? For dinner tonight, I ate 3 of these bad boys and nothing else.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pat gets a mammogram, (no pictures words only)

Yesterday was time for my annual mammogram. I have great insurance and it does not even cost me a co-pay to get a mammo, so why not?

If you have never had a mammogram, let me tell you a bit about the process. First of all do not put any deodorant on that morning. Apparently there are some sort of trace metals in deodorants that will mess up the x-ray somehow.

When you get there, you get to fill out paperwork about your health history and that of your family. I do have a grandmother who had breast caner when she was 80. This is part of why I am glad for the chance to catch something early.

After the paperwork, you are escorted back to the room. There is the breast squeezing machine sitting ominously, waiting for the chance to perform its lifesaving job.

You have to remove your shirt and bra and then place little stickers on your nipples. These stickers have little metal dots on them. I think they must use it as a frame of reference thing. You also get a hospital gown, which you wear with the open side in the front.

Once you give the OK, that you are ready, the technician comes in, and the fun begins.

You stand up next to the machine, and it is adjusted for your height. This is where the awkward part begins. The tech places your breast on the film plate and then pushes a foot petal to lower the top film plate. This is a bit awkward, as I am not used to strange people handling my melons. The goal is to squish your breast as thin as possible. Truthfully, this part is uncomfortable and even a little bit painful. Although not as painful as getting your eyebrows waxed. Once you are in the vise, the technician pushes the button taking the picture.

The process is repeated with the other side.

Then there is one other angle they need to take. It is kind of like the first time your breast is squished vertically and the second time it is squished horizontally. The second shot is a bit more uncomfortable, but it doesn't last long.

And then like that it is over. Probably only takes about 10 minutes.

The tech leaves the room to check on the films, making sure you don't need retakes. During this time you can read a magazine, day dream, or even catch a short nap.

After about 10 minutes, the tech comes back in and says that the films are good enough and you can now get dressed. Peeling the little skicker things off, is rather painful. A tender area to rip a band aid off of, so to speak. Just in case you were wondering.

And just like that, it is all over. Twenty minutes of your time, and your mind can be at ease for a whole year. It seems like a good investment to make.

So it is breast cancer month. Anyone over 40, go out there and get the big squeeze. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Why I feel the need to stalk Donny

Just in case any of you youngins out there have never seen just why Donny and Marie are worth stalking, here is a little walk down memory lane.

Personally, I have very fond memories of watching their show every Friday night. Those were the days when television was still family friendly.

Anyway the fact that this clip was hip and popular, well it tells you just how far down the drain we have gone.

So enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Phase One: Mission to Stalk Donny Osmond

Todoay, I was driving, minding my own business, la la la la , when what did I happen to spy in front of me, this taxi with an advertisement billboard on the back.

Well of course knowing that I have a bbff who is keen on Donny, I realized I needed a closer picture. As luck, or insane need to be prepared for blogging material at all times, would have it, my camera was in my purse. I snapped the picture above while I was driving and talking on the cell phone to two of my sisters. I am nothing if not good at multi-tasking. The speaker phone was used, because I am only human after all. Driving, stalking, snapping pictures, and carrying on a conversation at the same time, I got skills people.

I wasn't sure if that shot turned out, so I pursued my victim in order to get a closer shot. It is difficult to drive close enough for a close up with out rear ending someone. I'm just saying. And I pondered just how I would explain to my husband that I rear ended a taxi with a billboard of Donny and Marie, just so I could have something good to blog about. Do you think he would believe that I was distracted by a flying monkey? Then my mind wandered and I went on to think about the great pictures I could get of the accident, paramedics, policeman, and other victims. Do you think I have taken this blogging thing to a whole new level of crazy? Perhaps.

And then I even turned off of the street I wanted to be on, to follow the taxi until it stopped at a stop light. That is when I was rewarded with this great close up. Can you see someone has defaced the white teeth part of this sign? How rude. Once I had my close up, I veered off to make a U-turn and return to my pathway home. I'm pretty sure I went undetected.


So I think phase two will involve checking out the parking lot of the Flamingo Hotel where the show is performing. Don't worry, I will keep you all updated. Does anyone know how long it takes to post bail for some one arrested for stalking?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

HIP, HIP HOORAY

Due to the fact that I have recently acquired some new readers, I feel some background is in order. You could just go back and read the 61 posts from July, but here is the readers digest version.

My fourteen year old son got a staff infection in his right hip. He went into septic shock from this infection and almost died resulting in 10 days on a ventilator, 18 days in ICU, and 25 days total in the hospital. Since then we have found out the infection pretty much ate away his hip. He is on crutches and has been unable to go to school. Pretty much a bummer to a ninth grade kid who should be starting high school. So this fall has been full of doctor appointments and lots of nursing opportunities involving quality mother/son time together.

Yesterday started out just like any other day for the past few weeks. Jared asking for water and breakfast, and me wondering if and when this new life of servitude would ever end.

And then just like that, the phone rang. It was my orthopedic surgeon calling to say that he wanted us to talk to the hip specialist and how about today at 3:40. "HECK YEA!", was my reply. Because I really just wanted some sort of answer as to when the surgery would be. If it was not to be for three years, then at least knowing that might make it easier. Probably not. But knowing is always better than not knowing, in my book. It is just a quirk I have, that I want to be able to plan my life and such.

And so just like that, we were off to see the wonderful wizard of doctors. And with a wave of his magic medical wand he said "I think you need a hip replacement." And after a consultation where he described the process and answered questions, a nurse walked in and said "How about surgery on November 7th." Holy three weeks away Batman! With a new hip, Jared will be off of crutches in about sis to eight weeks. He will be able to put on his shoes and socks BY HIMSELF. Oh mylanta, the possibilities are endless.

And best of all he should be well enough to go back to school next semester. This is the best news of all. Not that I haven't enjoyed our time together, but I haven't enjoyed every minute of it.
Here are some pictures of what they are going to put in his hip. They will cut all of the bad decayed bone away, and replace it with these shiny metal replacements.
I really liked the doctor we talked with. He is younger and so he will be able to take care of Jared for many years to come. They will have a life long friendship. Also he has done a hip replacement on someone who is thirteen, so Jared will not be the youngest.
All in all, it amazes me at how much difference a day can make. I felt like I would go crazy from being in limbo and not knowing what was going to happen. And now we have a plan. A date for the beginning of the ending, if you will.
And so it is a very happy day! Hip, Hip, Hooray! (get it hip, LOL sometimes I crack myself up)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Confessions of the physically unfit....

First off, I think I should give a little bit of my physical fitness background. Unload some baggage if you will.

I have an October birthday and started kindergarten when I was four. Academically I never struggled, but when it came to physical fitness stuff, I never seemed to be on the same level as everyone else. In reality this was only normal since I was much younger than most everyone else.

Because of this I grew up with the misconception that I was not good at sports. I did play church basketball and volleyball, and once I went out for track in ninth grade, but that was as far as it went.

I am too old for the age of soccer and such, not to mention when you are the oldest of 8 children, well somethings just didn't happen. I don't blame you mom, it is just how it was, and never once as a child did I cry myself to sleep because I wasn't on a soccer team. I never knew to miss it. Let's just say that I suffered from the notion that I was not as coordinated and capable as others my age.

When I went to BYU, I participated in intramural sports, due to the encouragement of my DH. And wouldn't you know it, I was not half bad. By this time I think I had managed to catch up to everyone else. One of my favorite things was a women's flag football team that I played on. Aaah, good times. So then I thought of myself as not half bad at sports, much to my surprise.

Still I never went to a gym. I did take some aerobics classes, mostly for the joy of dancing. When you just get exercise in your daily life, that is what I like. While at BYU, I walked everywhere carrying a backpack full of 40 pounds of accounting books. That was my gym and honestly I have never been skinnier.

Then I graduated and joined the workforce as an accountant where you sit at a desk all day long. Add to that all the treats that seem to be around an office. It was a big change. I guess that Fitness for Life class at BYU went in one ear and right out the other.

And then I became a mother. Sleep deprivation doesn't seem to go well with physical fitness. Eventually you get to chase around after children and I suppose that has some fitness value. Still nothing regular in the way of exercising. There was the occasional aerobics class at the church and walks to get me by.

And then in 1996, I came down with the ridiculous disease called Guillam Barre syndrome. Basically it is where the mylan sheaths around your nerve ending melt away for some unknown reason. This leaves your muscles weakened and sometimes paralyzed. I was very fortunate in that I never got so bad that I couldn't walk, see, or even breathe. Which is the worst case scenario. But I did become very weak. I couldn't lift Trent out of bed, he was three at the time. I couldn't even open a bag of potato chips, I had to keep scissors in the kitchen at all times. So any minimal physical abilities I had before this happened went right down the drain.

And truthfully I have never been the same. I have a wackadoodle theory that it took 10 years off my life. I still consider myself a 90 pound weakling, masquerading in a much larger shell of a person. And so this is basically how I have come to be 43 years old and never been inside a gym in my life.

Oh wait, I take that back, there was the time I went to physical therapy after the car accident in 2002, when the drunk driver hit our van forcing it to roll over. Yep that physical therapy was at a gym. But somehow that doesn't seem to count in my memory.

When a month ago, my blood test showed my cholesterol going through the roof, and when I realized that I might die from all the stress of the past little while, well I decided that the time had come to take some drastic measures. And that my friends is what prompted me to join the gym.

I think that is has been almost three weeks since I joined the gym. The first week I only went once. I met with a trainer that first time, and she taught me how to use the weight machines. Then I never managed to get back there that week. Last week I went three times. And I have yet to go this week. One good thing is that Diana loves to go and play in the childcare area. She will probably be the one most responsible for getting me to go. This is good because I think I need a personal nagger to get me there.

That is not to say that I don't find it enjoyable once I am there. So far all I have done is go to the women's gym. What I want to know is why there have to be so many mirrors all over the place. It is really hard to keep the illusion that I am not bulging out all over, when I am faced with visual proof times twenty. Sheesh. Could they not let me alone in my own little world of fantasy? So once I recovered from the shock of what I actually look like, I managed to do a little weight lifting.

And after working out 3 times last week, I gained 5 pounds. Do you think it is the fact that muscle weighs more than fat? Or maybe it is the pan of mint brownies I ate this weekend. No it couldn't be that.

In the good news/bad news department, I found out last week that my cholesterol is not off the charts. In fact it is on the good side of the charts. So that is one less thing for me to lie awake stressing over. But it is also one less incentive to get to the gym. I need to focus on the fact that it is a great stress releaser, because it is. I do have to admit that.

So I must persevere in the face of all those mirrors and skinny, in shape people. I must not compare myself to others. Words of wisdom to live by, I am sure.

I would like to think that just thinking in my mind that I am a person who goes to the gym would be enough, you know "as a man thinketh so is he/her". But I have a feeling that this is one of those times that "faith without works is dead". Dang.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yikes!

Oh, no! Now strangers will come and read my blog. And I suffer from CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) I wasn't ready for this unexpected company. LOOK OVER THERE, while I shove some stuff under the sofa. And is that a FLYING MONKEY(hurriedly sweeping things off counters into drawers).

If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake or at lest compiled a list of posts I think might interest readers. Oh, well. Here I am. What you see is what you get!

Like the sign I have seen says: "It doesn't always look this bad around here, sometimes it is worse."

So pull up a chair and set awhile.

Today I will stalk people in new and unusual ways...

Here's a story of a lovely lady who freaked out a fellow blogger, purely unintentionally, I assure you.

The convoluted, if not boring details:

Last night I was babysitting for some friends. They have two girls age 4 and 1. Diana loves to play with them and again, I am just the adult there to get everyone out of the house in case of fire. Diana even did the diaper duties. Such a good future babysitter and mother.

So once everyone was asleep, I settled into the recliner with my friend's laptop to do a little blog reading.

Much to my dismay, not much activity going on. Come on people, please entertain me. Here I was at some one else's house. No need to feel guilty for not doing the dishes, laundry, or anything else instead of sitting at the computer. I checked The Funny Farm, this is a great funny blog you should all visit if you haven't yet. The Funny Farmer just reviewed another great blog Crash Test Dummy Diaries.

I have been reading this blog for a while now, even before the Funny Farmer's insightful and enticing review. So as I read that she was hoping to have real followers instead of ones that she forced to follow her blog, I thought why not? I proceeded to sign up to follow her blog. The problem was that I was not using my computer, and I did not know how to log into my blogger account so that it would show my lovely football screaming picture. So in the end, I figured I would just leave myself as a follower and add my real picture from my laptop at home at some later date.

Fast forward to tonight, when it was my turn for the laptop and I checked blogs and found this post. Color me flabbergasted. Here is a whole humorous post written about me by someone I don't even know. I have never even commented on her blog before. So when I come out of the closet labeled lurking, I do it big people.

Crash Test Dummy I have to tell you that I feel you are a kindred spirit. I love your blog and Donny Osmond obsession. And strangely your suspicion that I was a scary stalker, too close to home for comfort. If you only knew, I think you would start the restraining order papers now.

Just so you know I am an equal opportunity stalker. I have stalked Jeffrery R. Holland , John Bytheway, and various general presidency members.

But where my stalking skills really shine is in regards to BYU football. There is this great picture of me with Bronco Mendenhall, Lavel Edwards, and Max Hall and Dennis Pitta. Then I even stalk my team on TV. That one made my friends and family a tiny bit concerned about me.

Trust me this is just the tip of the ice burg to my looniness. If I had time to keep linking posts, you could be here all night watching me stalk players from the football team, multiple times.

And this is how I earned my nick names of super stalker and paparazzi pat. Yes I come by them honestly. I have decided to put Elder Uctdorf at the top of my stalking wish list, but don't anyone tell/warn him, OK.

So you may want to rethink this whole public blog idea. And you have your good friend Funny Farmer to thank for all this drama. Way to go Funny Farmer. Way to start a whole TH"ING here in cyber space. You know you still love me. **waving maddly** And I love and admire you also. And you too crash test dummy. So even though our cyber friendship is off to a bit of a strange start, I hope that ten years from now we will look back at it and laugh. Because it is rather hilarious, don't you think?

Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer

1. If every job paid $50,000 a year, and you had no physical or mental limitations, what would you do?

Oh, this is easy, I would be a star on Broadway. I would absolutely die to be in Wicked. It would be hard to choose between playing Glinda because she is so funny or playing Alphaba because well, she is the star of the show and sings many of my favorite songs. Hey, this is fantasy, right? Can I be Glinda for a month, with all of her popularity and then spend a month playing Alphie. That would be a dream come to true to me. And if Wicked wasn't available, my other dream would be to play Marry Poppins. Ever since I first saw the movie, Mary Poppins has been one of my favorite people. I hope some day to see the Broadway production of this play.

2. What is your current church calling? What do you like about it? What have some of your other callings been?

I just got called to teach gospel doctrine. Last Sunday was my first day. For a first lesson it didn't go to badly. There was some great class participation which always makes a lesson, in my opinion. Before that I was Laurel advisor. I wouldn't mind teaching G.D. so much if it didn't mean leaving the girls. I absolutely love YW's and in my new calling interview I struck a deal that I can still go to camp next year. It is strange because for twenty four years, I have split my time between Relief Society and Young Women's. Only a short 8 month stint in primary. I do like RS and it will be good to meet any new people who have moved in the last year.

3. Name a person you regularly encounter (outside your family) who brightens your day.

Do you mean real people or blog friends? Probably a sad commentary on my life that daily I encounter people through their blogs, much more than in person. That said, anyone who comments on my blog brightens my day, without fail.

I hate to name names because I know I would leave someone out. Many friends bless my life regularly as I wrote about just recently.

4. In twenty years, what do you think you will miss most about your life now?

If the trend continues, I expect to be very much missing my mind in twenty years. I hope I am missing my home because I am serving a mission. I'll tell you what I won't miss, and that would be making a mortgage payment, or nursing an invalid child.

5. What’s something you appreciate about your spouse?

The fact that he works so hard to support our family. He often works six days a week, keeping our household afloat. I am very lucky to have such a hard worker for a husband.

6. What is your favorite routine, household chore?

This one is easy also. Laundry. Due to the fact that I went to a laundry mat for the first 6 years I was married, I got into the habit of doing laundry once a week. To this day, I still only do laundry once a week. I get a huge sense of satisfaction when it is all clean and put away. And the fact that I do not have to do it again for a week, a beautiful thing.


7. What’s a book you return to occasionally (besides the scriptures)

Anne of Green Gables. One of my all time favorite books. My grandmother gave me the set of these books when I was about 12. They remind me of her. I love the story of Anne and her determination and achievements despite a rough start in life. And the love story between her and Gilbert, well it doesn't get better than that. Diana's name is from these books. Anne's dark haired friend who is with her through thick and thin.

8.Favorite Small Pleasures

Oreo McFlurry, Qdoba chips and guacamole, newborn kittens, heating pads, mp3 players, Pride and Prejudice ( the long version with Colin Firth), Naps, thermal underwear, Murder She Wrote

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shameless begging...

Ok, people I am giving in to peer pressure by adding the feature to my blog by which people can tell me they like to read about my ridiculous life.

Like it says, just humor me and make me think that you follow my blog. Even if you never come here again, just try to give my self esteem a little boost by adding yourself.

You can even count it as service on your celestial kingdom score card.

You will also receive brownie points and a gold star.

I know some blogs actually have real prizes that people actually want, but times are hard, people.

So come on, it won't hurt, you know you want to.

Just click the follow button.

Go ahead.

It will make my day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Last night Diana decided that she wanted to get her hair cut. Apparently it was one of those days when you just can't take your hair anymore. I have been thinking about this for a while, because her long, long hair is sometimes difficult to manage. But still it is such a drastic thing to just chop it all off. Personally I couldn't do it, so I took her to super cuts. It was all over surprisingly fast. It will grow back in about a year, so not to worry if she doesn't like it.

Lovely before shot.
A shot in the chair with the cape.

It really is very long.


And here is the after shot. Good bye all those tangled split ends.

And finally the after shot. It feels so much healthier and how easy will it be to take care of. Hurray!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'd like to buy a vowel.....

Big news around here, Jared got his braces off last week. I didn't post about it earlier because Jared requested that I not share this good news. I have kept it to myself for a week, but that is a long as I can last. This will be the first month in five years that I have not been to the orthodontist. Yipee! Color me ecstatic. What will I do with all my spare time? Oh, yea go to the gym. This is something to celebrate, totally blog worthy. So no one tell Jared that I wrote about it, OK.


Once his braces were off, the next thing was to go to the dentist. It took about an hour and a half to clean his teeth. There was so much cement left on there. And then there were his first x-rays in five years. Well you guessed it, teenage kid + braces for five years = many cavities. Curses.

I think I have talked about my dentist before. His mom was a very good friend of mine in California. When I first moved here and needed to pick a dentist, it seemed like a great choice. And the fact that his office was in my two mile circle, well that sealed the deal. As an added bonus he has a fridge stocked with water in the waiting room and freshly baked otis spunkmeyer cookies on the counter. Let's just say I love to go to the dentist. And now we have a ten year relationship of trust and friendship established. Also he is an awesome dentist, that is a big plus as well.

The bad news is that he is not in my network of providers. My insurance does pay him something, but if his offices charges more, which is always the case, then I just have to pay for the difference. This can be costly at times, but they are always good to let me make payments. This has the added bonus that I can stop by and pay in person and get a cookie. Woohoo!
Somehow sugar and chocolate lessens the blow of my bank account being drained.

And truthfully when I once looked at the list of dentists contracted with my insurance company, no one on the list had any vowels in their last names. This is highly prejudicial of me to be resistant to going to a dentist whose last name I can not pronounce. But there you have it.

So for now I will keep paying quite a lot of money for the water, cookies, trust, and the three vowels in my dentist's last name.

Monday, October 6, 2008

One of the last days of summer.......

What do you get when you take 3 girls, the hose, and a trampoline, too much fun and giggling.







Sunday, October 5, 2008

Foot-a-lishous

Last week, I found a gift card to get a pedicure. I have had it knocking around in my purse for a year. Seeing as how I was in desperate need of pampering, it seemed like just the thing to do. So I got my first pedicure ever in my whole entire life. I know, I know, where have I been, how is this possible? All very good questions, to which the answer is that I really don't care if my nails are painted. It is just not a priority to me, so paying someone else to do it, not really high on my list. Crazy, I know. Now that I have had a pedicure, I did like it, but I still don't think I would spend my own money on such a thing. It was blissfully peaceful to sit in the massage chair. I turned my phone off during the hour it took. When I turned my phone back on, Jared called just minutes later. So good call on turning it off, on my part. And then my sandals were going to mess up the paint job, so they gaveme these stylish shoes to wear home. Nice, huh?

I came across this you tube video. I think it describes a lot of the emotions of infertility, but even more how you can feel when you want something that is not in your control to get. Mostly in this life we are taught that we can set a goal and work hard to attain that goal. Sometimes that is not the case. Sometimes it is our turn to learn about disappointments and changing our dreams to be other dreams.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tag, I'm it.

Sometimes it feels as if I have done all these tagging things before. This one was a little bit differnent and so I thought that I would give it a try.

8 TV shows I like to watch:
Amazing Race
Survivor
BYU Football
Project Runway
Top Design
Top Chef
Monk
Phych

8 Restaurants I like to eat at:
Qdoba
Applebees
IHOP
Cheesecake Factory
Lotus of Siam
Sweet Tomatoes
In'N'Out
Sammy's Woodfried Pizza

8 Things that happened today:
Watched Conference
Went Grocery Shopping
Tried to put away ridiculous amount of food
Made Chicken Enchiladas
Cleaned the Kitchen
Fed and watered Jared
Swept patio
Cleaned the Kitchen again after Diana made brownies and toasted cheese sandwiches

8 things I am looking forward too:
watching conference tomorrow
making Cinnamon rolls while I watch conference
being buried in cache valley
second coming
session with trainer at gym on Monday
BYU football team attending a BCS bowl game
returning to institute


8 things on my wish list
new vacuum cleaner
kids who get along
new hip for Jared
new bedspread
better math teachers at spring valley high school
have all of my scrap books caught up
maid
attend a broadway play in New York City

8 People to tag:
I'm sorry, if you want to do this then knock yourself out, if you don't think it sounds fun, then that's OK also. No pressure.

Ladies who lunch

Diana's school had family picnic day last week. Last year I was unable to attend most of these things. They have one a month. But this year, I was free and so Diana requested that I come and eat with her. It was a bit hot for me to be out side, but oh well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

video

Here is a little video I put together, celebrating ME! Because well, I have so much fun making these for others, I figured why not do one for myself. I think it is pretty humorous to see the times change through my glasses. Today I plan to have a relaxing Birthday and celebrate with some pie on sale at Marie Calendars. It is awesome how they always put the pie on sale every year for my birthday.