Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: February 2008 (page 2 of 3)

Guten Morgan

Warning–this is another post about my silly dreams. So, if disjointed dream stories annoy you, click away now.

That said, I’ve been having the most vivid “right before I wake up” dreams lately. I mean I’ve always been a dreamer, but for the past few days I’ve been waking up with very specific dream memories. Last night I dreamed I went to get my haircut. Not just any haircut, however, this was a combination hair salon/ car detail place run by some Greek immigrants. So, I dropped off my van on the outside, told them I wanted the wash and vacuum option, then went inside to get my hair cut. Brilliant idea, isn’t it? I’ve also thought that the Orthodontist should team up with an oil change place so that you could get your child’s teeth adjusted while getting your oil changed! Isn’t that brilliant? Anyway, back to my dream…In my dream, these people, even though they were Greek, were speaking German. I guess that’s from my experience with many immigrants from all over who once they lived in Germany, they had to learn German–more or less. So, since these dream people were speaking German, I was also speaking German. They complemented me on my German, in fact. “Hast du in Deutschland gewohnst?” they asked.
“Ja, aber es ist 16 Jahre vor!” I replied.
“Ach, so! Dein Deutsch is noch gut.” They said.
“Vielen Dank!” I said. (And if you are a German speaker, you are probably cringing right now, as my German REALLY isn’t good anymore, and I appologize for putting you through such a painful experience.)

Now, it’s been a good 16 years since I have exercised my brain in speaking German, and it’s a wonder my brain didn’t explode. But in my dream, I was conjugating those verbs, using ‘Sie’ and ‘du’ appropriately, and coming up with words I haven’t thought about or used in quite some time.

Which makes me wonder–does my brain still have all that German knowledge all stored up, just waiting to use? I hope so.

Another item of business–My administrator switched my blog to a new server (or something like that), and a friend of mine emailed me yesterday asking me where my blog was…she couldn’t find me! I sent her a link and then she was able to get her, but I’m wondering if any of you faithful readers (I know there are at least three of you) had difficulty getting here. Are the links still working? Is anybody out there even reading this? Sometimes I wonder.

Compassion

This week I’ve been following the stories of some of my favorite bloggers who have gone to Uganda with a group of Christian bloggers sponsored by Compassion.

“For the first time, Compassion is bringing 15 Christian bloggers to see the ministry’s work firsthand. The bloggers depart for Uganda on Feb. 10 and arrive back in the United States on Feb. 18. Read their blogs and get an insider’s view of Compassion as the bloggers send live updates.”

As I’ve read their accounts of seeing these children and the conditions they live in, it’s tugged at my heart. It’s amazing that these kids have so little, but can still be happy. I was especially touched by Shannon’s account of when she met the child that she has been sponsoring. Or this story of how a stuffed panda made a woman break down and cry–even before she met the child she was sponsoring.

And when I contrast the stories of these kids–that have literally nothing–with my kids who have everything, I feel guilty. Guilty that we have so much. I’ve spent most of the day and part of yesterday cleaning out my son’s closet. I’ve taken 5 full garbage bags to the trash. Bags of broken pencils, crumpled papers, lego pieces, toys that don’t get played with, socks with holes in them, candy wrappers (some with candy still in them) and so much “stuff” I can’t recall what it even was. I’ve organized his clothes and his books and his games and tried hard to not just throw everything away, but to keep the things that I think will be important to him. And I’ve filled a box with clothes that are too small, including a pair of shoes that I think he wore twice, before they got lost in the mess that was his closet. I’ll donate those and hope that someone else’s boy gets some good use out of them.

Do I give my kids too much “stuff”? Yes, I’m afraid I do. Do I have too much “stuff” myself? Yes, I really do. Maybe what we need in our family is to sponsor a child. Maybe that would help us give more of ourselves and think less of ourselves. And maybe you’ll consider it, too.

Valentine’s day wrap up

Well, yesterday was a fun day. Valentine’s day, while not a big one in my mind, is one that is still important for the kids. The kids didn’t do elaborate valentines for friends, but they chose from what we had and chose some candy or pencils to tape on there. Megan made her own box, and Natalie used the one that Megan and Cole made last year. But I was in charge of the 6th grade class party for Megan’s class. I thought I had it all planned out, with three moms coming to help, and one brining treats, and one bringing drinks. I planned a game and a craft, and my friend had an activity, as well. But I guess I forgot the most important rule of party planning–follow-up. Because when we got there, it was just the two of us moms. I set up the craft and the game, and had to ask Megan to explain the craft while I started explaining the game. After about 10 minutes, one of the other moms came, and she said she had brought the drinks. I put her in charge of the game, and we continued in our festivity. But when it came time to have our treat, there was no treat. I saw some boxes on the counter that looked like bakery boxes, and I peeked in. Oh, Donuts! I asked the boy whose mom I had called to bring treats if he had brought those.
“No, I brought those,” said Sabrina, “it’s my birthday.”
“Oh, can we use them for our party snack?”
“Sure,” she said.
Whew!
So, the party wasn’t a total disaster, but it seemed very disorganized to me, and I’m the one who planned it!

In the afternoon, there was a knock on the door and it was a delivery guy standing there with flowers! OH! Hooray, My hubby loves me, I thought.
“Um, they aren’t home,” said the guy, “can I leave these with you?”
Oh. They aren’t for me. Oh well, I can enjoy them for the day, I guess. Not that I WANT my husband to send me flowers. If he did, I would probably get on his case for all the money wasted on delivery, when he could just stop by Costco on the way home and pick up more flowers for less money, right? But every woman loves to get flowers, whether she admits it or not. This neighbor sent 3 flower arrangements! One for his wife (with a box of chocolates), and two for his daughters (with little teddy bears attached). Or at least I think it was from the husband. But he also has a son, I hope he didn’t leave him out!

We had a fun dinner of heart shaped meatloaf, stuffed potato skins, grapes and green beans. Everyone got a fun gift from mom and dad, too. Each of us got a new book, and then another little something. I gave Ryan the book, 1000 places to see before you die. book He was checking off the places we’ve already seen. I got a lovely red purse, because we all know a girl can never have too many purses, right?

And yes, I ate some sugar yesterday. I didn’t go crazy, but still I did eat. So did Robin. We started over again today.

Today I got my hair cut in Provo, and experienced a small shock as I drove by Deseret Towers at BYU. Um, where are they? There’s only one tower left. Well, one and a half, I guess. I had heard that they were tearing them down, but—Wow! Where are all those students living, I wonder. And speaking of Provo, do you guys remember that restaurant on University Parkway, and it used to have that old car coming out the front of it? What was that called? Caddies? It was one of our favorite places to go. Now it’s a jewelry store. Go figure.

Share the love

Happy Valentine’s Day, Y’all! It was a crazy night around here, with road closures and white outs all over the place. Luckily my rehearsal in SLC was canceled, and we were able to hide out inside and stay warm. I did worry about Ryan getting home, and again, wished that he had a phone. He called me from a gas station in Lehi to say that he had made it that far, and would take the back roads home. It took him two hours to make the 20 minute commute. But he made it home, thankfully. My friend Lisa had a worse time of it. I talked to her around 9:30, and she was inching towards the point of the mountain on the freeway.

But since it Valentine’s Day, I found a bunch of fun quotes about LOVE. I hope you enjoy them. I want to let my sweetie, Ryan, know how much I love him, and I love my kids. We’ll have our fun celebration at dinner, and you can see what you bought me for Valentine’s day, Ryan. So, enjoy the day, enjoy the class parties, enjoy the snow (ha!) and know that you are loved!

“Sometimes love is stronger than a man’s convictions.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Maybe love is like luck. You have to go all the way to find it.” – Robert Mitchum

“Love stretches your heart and makes you big inside.” – Margaret Walker

“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“Where love is, no room is too small.” – Talmud

“Loves makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” – Zora Neale Hurston

“Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” – Mark Twain

“Love is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.” – Nicholas Sparks

“To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.” – Karen Sunde

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” – Peter Ustinov

“Love is like a violin. The music may stop now and then, but the strings remain forever.” – unknown

“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” – Erich Fromm

“Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Elizabeth Browning

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you’re getting this down.”
– Woody Allen,

Travel is never quiet with four boys in the car

As I was taking John and his three little friends to their basketball class at the Rec Center, today, they were all full of things to say. At the risk of crashing the car, I did manage to write a few things down. And it seemed that everything just HAD to be said with an exclamation point or All caps.

“Guys! I saw that guy pick his nose! But he didn’t eat it.”
“Oh–Kohler’s! That’s my favorite store EVER.”
“My sister goes snowboarding.”
“One time we stayed up late and watched tv in my mom’s room.”
“We go to bed right after scriptures.”
“Look! There’s horses!”
“I saw them, too!”
“That car is coming closer. We’re going to crash!”
(I must interject that no, we were not going to crash.)
“Sheep! Sheep! Sheep!”
“See that car? It looks like Optimus Prime, but it’s a truck.”
“Optimus has blue and red.”
“My brother has a transformer and it turns into a GUN.”
“My Arizona Grandma is sonice! She gives me toys and candy.”
My Grandma is so nice, too. She always gives me candy.”
“I know.”
“Do you guys know where Kanosh is? Do you know where Kanosh is? My Grandma lives in Kanosh.”

Then, sadly, we arrived at our destination, and the conversation quickly turned to all things basketball.
Never a dull (or quiet) moment, that’s for sure.

Baaaa

My kids have been a little bit obsessed with a certain song, lately. It started when they found out I was going to be giving away their favorite muppet show video. I didn’t know it was their favorite muppet show video, and I doubt it would have even been their favorite had I not been giving it away. “Why do you have to give everything away, Mom?!” one little complainer whined. “I don’t give everything away,” I replied, “Do I give away your clothes? Your food? This house? I don’t think so.”

But we were watching that video before sending it away (they made sure I sat down and watched it with them, lest I miss out on something important), and we came to a sketch with the song “Sheep May Safely Graze“. When it started, I said, “Oh, we’re playing this song in bells!” And I was excited that I actually recognized it after only one week’s rehearsal on that song. Well, being the muppet show, they took a few creative licenses and the muppet version is quite different from Bach’s original piece, to say the least.

I hope it you laugh as much as we did. Then Cole, our Mr. Gadget Junior, recorded this version onto our whole house MP3 system, so this morning I awoke to the Rama Lama Ding Dong song. And now we can listen to it ALL THE TIME.

Stronger than a cheesecake

I did it! I actually made a cheesecake without any tasting or snitching going on, and then at the ward party, when they brought out cheesecake and chocolate cake, I didn’t take any. I also resisted the chocolates that were on the table. I find it’s easier to stick to my resolutions when in public than in the privacy of my own home, alone, don’t you?

While I understand that not eating cheesecake is really not an earth shattering accomplishment, and doesn’t really do anything to help save the world like some people are doing, for me it’s quite a major accomplishment. I’ve proven to myself that, if needed, I can be stronger than the cheesecake. Maybe I’ll have to list that on my resume as one of my superpowers–“stronger than a cheesecake, able to leap over small children in a single bound….”. Ahem. Maybe not. You are probably still hung up on the “resume” part, weren’t you. Thinking to yourself, “Resume? What the heck would she have a resume for? The PTA?” Any-way. Back to the subject, which was….Cheesecake.

Would you like a good cheesecake recipe? Because this one was pretty easy, gluten free except for the crust (but I have actually made a “graham cracker crust” using gluten-free arrowroot crackers before), and I hear it was delicious. It was lighter and less dense than the kind I’ve made in the past, and it really doesn’t have that much sugar. I was even thinking about just replacing the sugar with Splenda, but didn’t really want to experiment with a cheesecake that I was taking to a church function, and had specifically been given this recipe.

So, here it is: SHIRLINE’S CHEESECAKE

Pre-heat oven to 350

STEP #1
1 package graham crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter

Put graham crackers in a gallon zip lock baggie. Roll till fine, with a rolling pin. Pour graham cracker crumbs into a bowl. Add sugar and soft butter. Mix with fork or pastry cutter till mixed well. Put into 9 or 10″ Spring Form pan. Press evenly in bottom. (Set aside)

STEP #2
Beat 4 egg whites till stiff. Set Aside.

In another bowl, mix:
3 – 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla.

Then fold in the egg whites. Mix well.

Pour over graham cracker crust. Spread evenly. Bake 350 for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and let set for 5 minutes. While you are waiting the 5 minutes, mix:

2 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix well. When 5 minutes is up, pour the cream cheese mixture over the cheese cake and spread evenly. Put back in the oven and bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Leave cheesecake in pan. Then put foil or plastic wrap over the cheese cake, and put in fridge. It’s best to make this a day ahead. Let cool completely before removing from Spring Form pan.

Yum.

Gonna soak up the sun!

I feel like I’ve been in a depressed fog for weeks, and I’ve been afraid that this was turning into an “I hate winter” blog. The endless snow and cloudy days have been getting me down.

But today there is sun. Hallelujah and Amen!

The sun is shining and it’s brilliantly white outside with the sun reflecting off the snow. It’s a double sunglass day, that’s for sure. Maybe some of the snow will melt from off of my sidewalk and driveway if we’re really lucky. Wishful thinking, I know.

To celebrate the return of the sunshine, I went and got my van washed. Me and all of the other people driving cars in our town. Oh, it wasn’t that bad, really. I only waited about 20 minutes, and I was happy to wait. I also vacuumed it to within an inch of it’s life, got all the crap out of it, and it feels like a vehicle again, instead of a trash can on wheels. Once my car was clean, I drove very carefully trying to avoid all puddles and slush piles, but it still got a little dirty. Oh well, I can handle it. It’s sunny!

It’s like bargain shopping without the shopping!

On Tuesday my good friend Tess and I were talking, and she asked if I was going to go to the Mervyn’s huge clearance sale, where if you buy ONE clearance item, you get TWO free. Oh, no! I couldn’t go because I had signed up to work at the book fair at the elementary school for the whole time that John would be at preschool, and then it was parent teacher conference, and then I had to take the girls to dance, and then I had rehearsal. So, I wouldn’t be able to get to Mervyn’s on Wednesday, and it was only a one day sale.

So, I told her to call me from Mervyn’s, and just buy some things for me, if she didn’t mind.

And shop she did! She called me from the store to ask me a few questions, and I told her to err on the side of “just buy it” and if I didn’t like it I could always return it.

We ended up with:
2 Sweaters for the girls
1 Dress for Natalie or Megan
1 Jacket for John
5 long sleeved shirts for John
3 shirts for Cole
and a partridge in a pear tree! Ok, no pear tree, but we got all that for……
$27.77
Wow! I spent almost that much on just two dresses for the girls earlier this week!

So, Tess did my bargain shopping FOR me! So, it’s just like the bargain shopping, only without the shopping part!
Thanks, Tess!

Home Movies

Monday night for FHE, after learning the 5th article of faith, we watched a “home movie” from my family. My sister, Amy has been tranferring the old videos to DVDs, and she gave me a few of them for my birthday. So we were watching a video of a family vacation to California in 1990. We stayed in a beach house at Newport Beach for a week. What a fun time we had! I was 21, just about to graduate from college and go on a mission. My brother and his wife came, and my two little sisters. They were 14 and 12 at the time. And for some reason they didn’t want to be on camera, and if they were, they never said anything. It’s so weird! I was doing some commentary, and would always wave at my dad when he had the camera. Sometimes I was the videographer, and I would give the play by play and joke around.

At the beach, we played in the water with our boogie boards (the kids laughed at that one) and made fabulous sculptures in the sand with our gardening shovels (my kids were laughing at that one, too. ‘Why are you digging with a garden tool, mom?’ I guess my parents figured we should have stuff to dig with, and not having little kids with sand toys at home, they figured that a trowel would work just as well) and made a castle and a very large and detailed dragon.

At Disneyland, the lines were short (AMAZING!), and the crowds not nearly what they are today. We filmed a few of the rides, even. Still, not a word from my sisters. Did they not talk, or what was the deal? I now HAVE two kids who will be 14 and 12 this very spring (gasp! I cannot possibly be that old!) and they never shut up. I just don’t get it.

As my kids were watching this little movie, they said, “You were fun, mom!” I WAS fun? WAS? I still AM fun, kiddos. My husband put it well when he said, “See how much fun Mom had at Disneyland when she didn’t have to worry about all you kids? Before all you kids SUCKED the life and fun out of her?”

Well, even though the kids have sucked all the energy out of me, they haven’t taken my fun. I STILL am fun.

Aren’t I?

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