The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: May 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

We CAN do it

Our school is doing a new fundraiser for the summer. And, since I’m the fundraiser chairperson this year, even though I’m not in charge of this particular event, you can say I’ve been heavily involved.

We made up #10 cans for each family in our school. We had to close the cans and put the labels on. My friend MaryAnne (who is heading up this campaign) had her son make ALL the slots in ALL the lids.

Then we put all the labels on them.

And loaded them up into cars to transport to the school.

On to distribution. It took a WHOLE lot of preparation and lists to make sure that every family receives one and only one can. At our school, the youngest child is the family rep, so that meant that every Kindergartener and a lot of the first graders get to take the cans home. We went to each classroom with a big box of cans and explained how we want the kids (and parents) to put all their loose change in the can and bring it back when school starts in the fall. I gave my little speech to one of the kindergarten classes right before they left for the day. Shortly after, my the PTA president elect reads a text on her phone and starts to laugh. She reads it out loud for us, “Tell Paige her motivational speech was just a bit TOO good. My kindergartener came home and immediately put her $60 of birthday money into the can.” We were all just busting up. These cans only have the one slot for money to go in. Good luck getting that $60 out of the can.

John got to bring our can home, and it’s now perched proudly in our home, inviting all to dump their spare change from pockets, purses and wallets.

Let’s hope it’s a successful fund raiser. To find out how successful, you’ll have to tune in in September, when we get to open all those cans and count all the money–Hooray.

Hi, Mom!

My Mom and Dad have entered the digital age, and they have a BLOG!! It’s mostly a way to show off their pictures from their wonderful travel adventures, like this one.

Hooray for them!!!

Do me a favor and check it out, would you, please? They would love some happy comments, I am sure. You can find them at

Oh, and just in case I forget, you can catch me on Sunday’s Music and the Spoken Word broadcast. I’ll be the blonde one ringing the bells.

Oh, Scouting. How I love thee.

I have been pretty frustrated with the whole scouting thing, and have shared my opinion liberally with many of my friends. I just don’t know why those people in charge must make it so complicated and confusing, and why there is a complete lack of communication from the ones in charge to the the ones who make things happen–the MOTHERS.

It probably doesn’t help that I’m in the Primary presidency, and we are currently wracking our brains to figure out who would possibly be good cub scout leaders for the little guys. It’s not an easy calling, and there are NOT a lot of people who will do it. Double frustration for scouts.

Why is there not a book titled “Eagle Scouts for dummies”? Maybe there is, let me check. Nope. They do have this book at amazon, though.

Some mom out there needs to write a book explaining to all the other moms out there the steps to follow to help the sons of the world complete in an orderly fashion, all the requirements. So that we won’t be running back and forth trying to get things done, saying, “I thought you DID all those requirements.”


Well, before I pull every single one of my hairs out and work myself into a tirade where the only thing will help me calm down is a plate of mint brownies or other such sugar and fat laden confection, I’ll skip most of the complaining and go right to the good news.

Cole has finally obtained all the signatures needed, and is ready to START his Eagle project.

Can I get a “Hallelujah”?

He will be collecting used eye glasses. We’re hoping for 100 pairs. Then he will clean them, make minor repairs, and have eye doctors tell us what the RX would be, then we’ll package them up nicely and give them to a local charity, who will then send them to Iraq, where they will be distributed to people who don’t have glasses.

So, do you have glasses hanging around collecting dust? Would you like to get rid of them? Here’s your chance. Let me know, and I’ll send the boy over to pick them up. Or you could just bring them to me. Or send them to us.

We WILL get this project completed.
He WILL get those last couple of things finished up and pass off those remaining merit badges.
We WILL figure out the whole paperwork thing and get everything done and turned in.

We have 10 months to do it.
Wish us luck.

April showers bring.. more showers

The rain, it keeps coming. Last night I heard a HUGE long clap of thunder and then it sounded like I was in the shower full strength. I wondered how much water could POSSIBLY fall down on us. Thankful that we are not close to a river or stream (or any body of water, for that matter), I said a little prayer asking for blessing and courage for those who ARE facing flooding. Eventually I went back to sleep.

But this rain, it’s getting me down. Isn’t there a song about that? Oh, yes, Karen Carpenter, rainy days and Mondays get me down, too. I don’t even want to leave the house. Seriously, I want to stay home, bake bread and yummy treats, make soup, eat the yummy treats, and curl up and read a book. I bought some shall/blanket things at Kohl’s the other day that were on 90% off clearance, because, technically it’s spring, and should be getting warmer. But my kids have all embraced them and are wrapping up in them every chance they get. I find them quite cozy, too.

On the other hand, it is spring, and a part of me is itching to get outside and take care of my baby plants in the garden before the gopher gets them. I want to kill every last dandelion and pull out all the weeds that are crowding my gorgeous tulips. But I can’t do any of that if it’s RAINING. So, I hole up inside and read, bake, and watch tv.

It was supposed to be the Fathers and Sons campout this weekend, but for the second year in a row, it was cancelled (or postponed, rather) due to the weather. Hopefully they will reschedule it for another NICE day and Ryan can take the boys then. John was SO looking forward to it. He wanted to pack two days ago. I’m glad I didn’t let him.

The lawn is SO LONG. Cole mowed it last Saturday and it took him HOURS. It filled up all the garbage cans, and then it was filling up the back of the truck. We told him he should really mow at least the front lawn by Tuesday or so. Fat chance. We haven’t had two hours of non rain to dry out the lawn.

Oh, well.

In other news, Cole now has all the signatures needed to begin his Eagle Scout project. Finally. He is going to collect used eyeglasses to send to people in Iraq. After he collects the glasses, he will clean them, do minor repairs, and have eye doctors prescriptionize them for us. So, if you have any old eyeglasses around the house, we would love to take them off your hands.

And we’re hoping that at some point, the rain will stop, and we can continue on with spring and baseball and softball games.

Back when they were little

I was going through some old pictures looking for something specific. But I found it hard to not stop and look at all the pictures of my kids when they were cute and little. Not that they aren’t cute anymore, but honestly, they aren’t NEARLY as cute as they were when they were little.

Look at my little dancers. Dancers! And they liked each other.


And those little faces. And those little cheeks. And those little hands that wanted to hold my hand.

It’s just not the same anymore.

Yes, officer, they did break in. What did they look like? A couple of little girls with dark hair and dark eyes..

There I was, sitting on the couch, enjoying the silence of a quiet house with all the kids at school. *Sigh* It’s lovely, really.

When–BEEP-Beep-Beep-BEEP-Beep-Beep ZZZRT. The front door unlocks. What the heck? Nobody is supposed to be home from school yet. Giggle, Giggle. I go to check it out and I hear, Beep, ZZZRT. The door is now locked. It’s the neighbor girls. Unlocking and locking our door. Not because they want to get in, but because they think it’s fun.

I get a text from my husband asking me if it’s early out day. HE just got a text that is generated whenever anyone uses their code to unlock the door. Jenna’s code.

So. Jenna is the one who “shared” her code with these little hoodlems.

Time to update some codes.

Roll Magic

About a year ago I found the perfect wheat bread recipe for me. I can’t say that MY recipe would work for everyone, but here, it’s not failed me. Granted, sometimes I let them rise to long and we end up with some funky shaped loaves, (like these ones) but they still taste yummy.

But as far as rolls go, I just haven’t gotten it right. The recipe I had just didn’t seem to rise enough, and I always ended up with rolls that tasted ok, but just weren’t light and fluffy enough.

Then I found this recipe for bunny rolls

We tried to for Easter. The bunnies didn’t turn out so greats, so we just made regular rolls shapes. And we left out the orange zest and used water instead of juice, and the taste was PERFECT! I made rolls again last night, and they turned out great AGAIN! So it wasn’t a fluke, it’s just finally a recipe that worked for me.

So, here’s the modified Roll Recipe that Works for Paige

1 1/2 T. yeast
2 1/2 c. hot water
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
Mix together and let sit for 10 minutes until yeast begins to foam. Then add:
1 egg
3 T. water
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. powdered milk
1 T. salt
7 1/2-8 c. flour
Knead everything together in the Bosch until dough is smooth and then continue to knead for another 5 minutes. Once the dough is incorporated, let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes. Once the dough has rested for a few minutes, roll the dough into a large circle, cut into pie shapes and roll up to make crescent shapes.

Place on a sprayed cookie sheet a couple inches apart. Cover them and let them rise for 40-60 minutes, or until they have doubled in size. Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Yes, I’m sure there are other amazing roll recipes, but for me, this is the first one that has worked. Hooray!

What’s Happenin?

Some of the goings on around here this week.

**Oldest child took the AP Calculus Test

**Then he took the AP Physics Test

**Painted a dresser purple. It could have turned out better. But it looks better than it did.

**Acquired a chicken coop (no chickens yet, but I’m hoping to get some as soon as I get the coop fixed up and painted! Happy Dance!)

**Daughter throwing up

**Youngest son got hits EVERY time he was up to bat! And he can run those bases like nobody’s business!

**Tried to win a car. Did Not.

**Tried out for a play. Not my best audition in the world, but definitely not my worst. I went during the kids audition time because I couldn’t go later when it was my own time slot. It’s a lot less scary that way, too. I’m not competing with a bunch of talented men and women, but a bunch of scared kids. And I think the dance they teach the kids is easier than the adult dance. But I didn’t even make the call back list. In four years of auditioning for this particular community theater, I’ve ALWAYS made the call back list, even when I didn’t get a big part. So I either totally sucked at my audition, or I rocked it and they’ve already cast me in a part. Who knows?

**Tried to win a room makeover

**Got mulched

**Tried the new yogurt place in Highland, the Orange Leaf. Yum. Although I can’t help calling it the “Orange Orange” in my head. (only fans of the show Chuck will get that reference)

**And I’ve been cleaning carpets with the carpet cleaner borrowed from the lovely Julene. It’s gross, yet satisfying to dump out the disgusting dirty water.

So, that’s a glimpse into what’s going on. Want more info? Stay tuned, and have a wonderful day.

Book Review-The Canary List

Crockett Grey is a teacher of troubled children. He has gone through a terrible tragedy and all he wants to do is start his summer vacation by forgetting his problems. Little does he know that one of his students, Jaimie Piper, is on her way to his house with a whole new, terrifying set of problems of her own. Now Crockett is in a race for his life, trying to solve Jaimie’s nightmare in order to end his own, even if that means taking on the largest religious organization on the planet!

“The Canary List” by Sigmund Brouwer started out well with compelling characters and questions. It kept me wondering what was going to happen, and I really did care. I wanted things to work out for Jamie, the 12 year old girl, and I cared that Crocket was being framed for things he didn’t do. Oh, and the sweet neighbor, Nana, was also a loveable character. I was caught up in the great beginning, and wanted to know more.

The writing was subtle and compelling, although there were many, many typos that will hopefully be corrected. It REALLY made me appreciate a good editor and proofreader because it was so distracting. Honestly, there were extra words or mistakes on nearly every other page. But, since this was an advance copy, I have to overlook those mistakes and focus on the story.

Even though this story was very Dan Brown-ish (ala the DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons) and had way too much reference to demons and corruption hidden in the Vatican for my taste, I still continued on. Normally all that supernatural stuff would turn me off of a book, but the characters and the plot drove me to continue reading.

The ending. Sigh. I have a thing about endings. I like the story to wrap up at the end. I also like the characters to be somewhat happy. Yes, I admit, I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I just like to know that those characters who have been in my head for a few days or weeks are going to go off and live happy, normal lives. I don’t want to spend any more time worrying about them. Sappy, I know. But that’s just my personal opinion. Without giving away too much about the ending here, I will say that things do get resolved and I can stop fretting about if they will all get out of the terrible situation they are in, HOWEVER, I do not enjoy a WHOLE BUNCH of twists and turns and hidden agendas right at the end of the book. As I’m reading, and I know there are only four pages left, I scan to the end and think, “How is this all going to end in just four pages?” Once all the secrets have been revealed, it seems there are even MORE secrets, and then I wonder…What the heck? So, I have to say I didn’t like the ending, but that’s just my opinion.

In all, I enjoyed the book. I wanted to read it, and wanted to know what happened to the characters. I would have liked the book to be more about Jamie and hear more from her point of view. I didn’t LOVE the book, and don’t know if I would recommend it to everyone I know, unless they were into the supernatural or kind of creepy thriller books.

This was the first book I’ve ever read by this author, and while I didn’t immediately search to see what else he had written, I would read another book by him if given the chance.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Mother’s day

Let’s face it, some Mother’s Days just aren’t that great. It’s not always the Hallmark picture of flowers and puppies.

Well, maybe not ALL Hallmark ads are great.

And husbands, as much as we love them, have to be trained. Once, when I commented about the lovely flowers my dad had given my mom, she said, “Do you think he ever gave me flowers when you kids were younger? It’s taken YEARS to train him.” And I understand. I’ve been married now for almost 19 years, and we’ve had some less than stellar mother’s days (sorry, honey. You may want to stop reading now). I remember when my first child was little and it was one of my first mother’s days as a mother. And I kept waiting for my husband to do something GREAT for me. I had bought presents for my mother AND for his mother, but hadn’t bought anything for myself, not had I really hinted about anything I would have liked as a mother’s day gift. I went to church and there were the customary sappy talks designed to make moms cry or feel guilty for yelling at their kids, and flowers for the moms. I remember looking out the window at the cemetary and seeing people decorating a grave, and I started to cry. My sweet husband asked me what was wrong. I broke down and blubbered about how he hadn’t done one thing for me for mother’s day. I tried to be nice and say that it’s ok, I didn’t really need a mother’s day present, but I couldn’t. Mother’s day was supposed to be special, wasn’t it. I’ll never forget what he said (and I’ll never let HIM forget it, either), and I’m sure a lot of new husbands have said the same thing. “You’re not my mother.” Oh, the stab.

Husbands–No, your wife is not your mother, but she is your WIFE and the Mother of your children, and as such, should be treated special on Mother’s day. She gets you a gift for Father’s Day, doesn’t she?

Thankfully we have progressed from that stage, and hubby usually remembers that it is Mother’s day. Usually. There have been a couple Mother’s days when he was out of town, and that was pretty much miserable.

But this year, I put in a big time hint. As in, I took him the ad, and said, “This is what I want for Mother’s Day.” Simple, right? Necessary.

In the morning, he and the kids made a lovely brunch. It’s better than breakfast in bed because then we all get to eat together. He even took John outside and they cut some tulips for the table. It was nice.
And the best part? There was a PRESENT. A WRAPPED present. On the table. Hooray! They didn’t all forget! Someone actually shopped! And it was the present I had asked for! Even better!

And let me tell you, I’m excited to read some books on it! So are the kids, and we later had some arguing in the car over who was going to use it, but it’s all good.

As I was helping the girls bake a cake for later, Ryan helped John write a talk for primary. A mother’s day talk. I have heretofore been the designated talk writer, so I was HAPPY to turn this one over. Both Ryan and John did a very nice on the talk, by the way.

At church, there were the customary talks on Mother’s, but none brought on the guilt. Our ward has the graduating seniors all talk on Mother’s day, and I think it’s a grand idea. Well, I do until next year, when I’ll have a senior, who will be forced to talk about Mothers. Then I don’t think I’ll like it. And fudge. Our ward gives out fudge. Yum.

Primary was the usual hectic mess, but once that was done, we had time to frost a cake and jump in the car to go to my parents’ house for dinner. Chicken enchiladas! We all ate WAY too much, and enjoyed our visit.

We hurried home to the see the finale of the Amazing Race (yes, we have priorities, people). I am Surprised by how it ended, but not disappointed.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. My hubby, in fact, summed it up nicely when he said, “Mother’s day is like opposite day. Everything we would normally do, just do the opposite, and that should cover it.”

Thanks, sweetie, for the fabulous mother’s day. Hopefully we can make your Father’s Day just as nice.

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