The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: November 2012

Banter (with my hair)

Every once in a while I have a really good hair day. When I glance in the mirror throughout the day, I can’t help thinking, “Hey, my hair STILL looks good! Wow!” Because you know how it is–you do your hair in the morning and it looks nice and fluffy and great for about the same amount of time that you are in the house, and then as soon as you go to work or school or wherever it is you are going, the frizzies or the flyaways or the flatsies take over. For me, it’s the flatsies. I have fine, thin hair, and it’s just terrible to try and keep it looking full and fluffy.

So, yesterday, the hair was looking all fabulous for the whole day! Amazing.

So, I was like, “Hey, girlfriend, you are lookin’ fine today.”

and my hair was like, “You got that right, girlfriend!” spouting some attitude and snapping her fingers in a z.

And I was like, “Any chance you can look this good two weeks from now when I have that big old concert in the conference center?”

and my hair was all, “Oh heck to the no, girl. Do you know how much work it is to keep up this look? I’m exhausted just thinking about it. This is a one time deal! And just because you gettin all snippy looking you will be getting some FLAT hair for the next two weeks. And get me some of that conditioner that I like, will ya?”

And so then I slink off and don’t bring it up again.

Sigh. Yep. That’s how it is.

Linking up to Alphabee Thursday with Jenny Matlock

Thankful weekend

What a wonderful Thanksgiving! We enjoyed a big family gathering for the Colemans. Because there were about 70 people coming, we had to hold the dinner at my sister’s church, and there was no shortage of yumminess going on. Larissa got to experience her first Thanksgiving, and hopefully she will remember the day fondly.

My family doesn’t go in for all the formal dinner stuff, (we used paper plates) and while half of the cultural hall was set up with tables, the other half was used for basketball. People played before and after the meal. There were oreo turkeys and silly hats.
Perfect! We also got to chat and catch up with cousins I only see once or twice a year, and everyone had a great time.

After most people had sufficiently stuffed themselves, I took my large pot that had held green beans and started to scrape plates into the pot. What? Some of the food was HARDLY touched, (picky kids!) and it’s good enough for my chickens, right? Those girls aren’t picky–they eat bugs, for heaven’s sake. I filled the WHOLE pot with the leavings, even though I got some strange looks and had to explain that I wasn’t taking this home to feed my family, but to feed my CHICKENS. Otherwise it would just be going in the trash, right? I had to transfer that big pot of squished food to 3 gallon sized ziplock bags. I wouldn’t want to feed it to them all at once. They are happy with the leftovers and don’t complain at all when I bring it out to them.

The chickens are happy with their new fabulous house, by the way.

Here’s an inside view.

They don’t have a microwave and furniture in there, but I worried it might come to that.

Anyway, after that big family feast, we went over to Ryan’s sister Julene’s house, where most of Ryan’s family was gathered. They were just finishing up dinner, so I’m glad we didn’t get there any earlier. We tasted some of our favorites and Ryan got some of his mom’s dressing, which is his favorite part of Thanksgiving. I’m not a big stuffing/dressing fan, so I don’t bother with that, but he is convinced that it’s the best dressing in the world, and it’s not Thanksgiving until he has some. That right there is one reason that I won’t even attempt to make dressing. It would never live up to his mom’s, and I don’t really like it, anyway. After the meal, we helped clear the table and divide up the leftovers. Even though we didn’t eat at this party, we ended up taking a little bit of everything home. Ryan’s mom divied up the leftover dressing (don’t ever call it stuffing, by the way. “Stuffing is cooked inside the bird, dressing is NOT.”), in baggies. Ryan’s niece Camille just started eating the dressing. “This won’t even make it home,” she said. Like I said, this family really like’s Mom’s recipe. Julene and Italo’s son, Elias, even called Grandma from California and asked how to make this dressing. He was hosting his first Thanksgiving and said hers was the best dressing he’d ever tasted. She gave him all the specifics and instructions. Not sure how it turned out, but good for him for trying it. We went home with the generous fixins for the perfect leftover sandwiches–turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy and sweet potatoes. I had made rolls and pumpkin pie for us, so we were set for at least one lunch.

We are so blessed to live so close to family! It was a wonderful day with people we love and we are so blessed.

For Black Friday, I did a little online shopping. Ryan was the one who went out, but that was just to the hardware store. He’s been working on the basement this week since he had a couple of days off. Hooray! No, we are not ready for our 4-way inspection and I don’t know when that will be, but every day there is some progress, and it’s been nice to have Cole here for the weekend to help out. He doesn’t really let me help much, but I did help move a tub into place and he let me paint a door frame yesterday. I really just try to stay out of the way.

In the afternoon on Friday, Ryan and I got cleaned up and went to Salt Lake to meet the family in the Salt Lake Temple. Ryan’s niece Rachel is going on a mission. She’s the first sister missionary in the family, and we are SO proud of her. She’s going to The Dominican Republic. Because of the new mission age for girls, her younger sister Marissa is ALSO going on a mission, and just got her call this week to serve in Puerto Rico! How blessed this family will be to have two missionaries out at the same time! We enjoyed an endowment session there in the temple, then met for dinner at the Garden Restaurant. Because the lights on Temple Square turned on at 5:00, it was pretty crowded, but that just added to the spirit of Temple Square. We looked out over the temple and it was so beautiful!

(Photo from RKSmith

Saturday was spent working about the house. I ran some errands and bought a few things. But while at Kohler’s (our local grocery store), I realized that the 6 pk bottles of sprite were still on sale for $2 each. Thinking that these might make fun and easy neighbor gifts, I bought all I could find. When I showed up at the checkout, my cart was FULL of sprite, and a few other things for a salad. I got some weird looks (again), but I don’t mind. A bargain is a bargain.

I was kind of bugging my husband to get the lights up while it was warm, but he decided to do that when he decides to do that. I had bought new LED lights after Christmas last year, and therefore we needed new clips. I bought some when I was at Lowe’s this week, but not knowing if they were right, I only bought 3 boxes of 100 each. Well, they were right, but we needed more. I went back to Lowes while he got started. Of course Lowe’s did not have any. I checked WalMart to see if they had such a clip….nada. Then I went to Home Depot. I found a similar clip, just not the same exact one. It will have to do! I bought five boxes of 75 each. Hopefully they will work, cause that was all I could find. I could always order more–if I had to.

The weekend was a nice break from school and work. It was really wonderful to be here with family and to have time to celebrate, count our blessings, and enjoy!

I’m thankful we made it through that week

Well, we survived another busy concert week!

With rehearsal on Tuesday, Wed, Thursday and a concert on Friday night and then a Music and the Spoken Word braodcast on Sunday morning, I was gone about 22 hours for bells. *Whew!*

Saturday night I woke up and the room was spinning. Really. I was really thirsty, but didn’t want to risk getting up out of bed to get a drink, so I just tried to sleep and make the spinning stop. What a horrible feeling. By morning, there was no spinning, but I still felt awful. Not sure if it was a bug of some kind, or if it was just exhaustion. I spent most of the day lazing around. So thankful I didn’t have a whole long list of things I was supposed to get done that day!

The concert went very well. We even lightened things up with “Blue Christmas” and “Jingle Bells”. I haven’t found any reviews online yet, but you know if I do, I will post it (if it’s a good review, that is).

Now we get a week off for Thanksgiving and then we will work on our songs for the Tabernacle Choir Christmas concerts and our next Music and the Spoken word appearance.

In other news, my little chime choir is up to 12 kids, now. I’m a little worried about our concert in two weeks. I still haven’t gotten the morning group and the afternoon group together, so we haven’t played a whole song all together. But people probably don’t expect too much of us, so if we crash and burn I can blame it on the fact that I’m working with 3rd-6th graders here.

I’m still trying to drum up votes in our grant competition. If you haven’t taken the time to register your email and vote, please do so. You can find out about it here. You can just search for ‘handbells’ (it’s the only grant request to mention handbells), and then if you could force everyone in your family with a cell phone to text in once a day, I wouldn’t complain. We are currently ranked 128th, so that’s only 127 other grants we need to surpass to assure our money!

And in other news, we are getting excited for Thanksgiving! I bought all the stuff to make these little critters.

We also found these great hats at Target so all my turkeys could be ready for Thanksgiving!

I don’t have to cook a turkey, but probably will, just so we can have all the yummy turkey leftovers. For our big family party, I am assigned green beans, so I will make up a huge amount of my favorite bacon, apple green beans.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Travel? Guests? Lots of cooking? Whatever your plans may be, remember to be thankful for your family and those you love!

Bells–Clorox wants to help us purchase them

As many of you may know, I have started a beginning chime choir at Highland Elementary school, where I volunteer with the PTA and substitute teach. While it’s been slow going and frustrating at times, I am thrilled with what they have learned in just two months.

We are using a borrowed set of chimes, thanks to a chime loan from the Area 11 Handbell Musicians of America guild, but would like to be able to purchase our own set for for next year and beyond. Perhaps because I’m not a full time teacher, my attempts at securing grants through the traditional avenues had not been successful. So when I found out about this Clorox educational grant for up to $50,000, I was all over it.

Here’s a grant that is more like a contest. And we all know how much I love a contest. Someone will win $25,000 to $50,000 for their school, why not our school? There are 2566 total entries, but only 402 entries in the “create” category. Can we get more votes than the other 401 entries? Well, we can try.

If we were to win this grant, we could buy not only a 3 octave set of chimes, but more than one set, tables, pads, and music for all of the music department, not just the chimes.

So, once again, I am asking for your help. But this isn’t just for me to win a trip or a car for a year or the usual contests that I ask for help. This is for the school. This is one of those vote daily contests that are ‘so much fun’. Besides voting on the computer, there’s a text your vote option, so that’s two votes every day. And voters only have to be 13, so this is a great way to put those texting teenagers to good use. The contest runs from November 5-December 12. I know you are busy, especially this month, but it will really only take a minute or two to click over and vote. I don’t know the text code yet, but when voting goes live on Monday, they should let us know what the text code for our school is.

Here’s a link directly to our school’s grant proposal.

While this is my personal project, this would be a wonderful thing for our school, and another way to spread the joy of handbells. There are many great grant ideas that we are competing against, but I hope you can support me in this effort with your vote and even help spread the word to others who would support us in our quest for handbell world domination (ok, just kidding about that last part).

You can text 2269pbf to the number 95248 to vote as well. Use your kids’ phones, your neighbor’s phones, your work phone…just vote!

If you would like me to remind you daily to vote, I would gladly do that–just let me know. I would love it if you could help spread the word. I can only reach the people in my circles, and while I may know quite a few people, I don’t know nearly enough. Post a link on your blog, on your facebook page, or even twitter (I don’t tweet, but maybe that’s part of your world and you could help me). Please help me help our school win.

Halloween 2012

Oh the Halloween festivities are so much fun!

Between the parties, the house decorating, the costumes and the candy, it’s no wonder we are exhausted.

We did the pumpkin carving last week when it was still cold, and as you can see, even the birds got into the fun. This is new for Larissa, so she was excited to to carve a pumpkin!

Saturday was our ward party and trunk or treat. Instead of candy, I gave out hot chocolate, and that was a big hit.

I was excited to dress up as Maleficent, from sleeping beauty. Can you believe some kids didn’t know who I was?

On Monday, I took the girls to Gardner Village to see the witches. They all played along and wore witch hats!

We had some fun shopping and seeing all the witches and Halloween decor. Not to complain, but it was almost too warm.

Halloween was a wonderful warm day. So nice, in fact, that Ryan decided to skip the festivities at work and stay home and work on his chicken house project.

I would never complain about a job well done, but I think he’s going a little bit overboard on this project. He might just install a tv in there and keep it for himself!

Those are the nesting boxes on one side, and there’s a feed “trough” on the other side. I helped with some caulking and priming before I had to dress up and go to John’s school party.

First we played the mummy wrap game, with two teams wrapping their friend up in TP. It was close, but the girls were the winners.

My game was the cup stack, and I had each kid try to stack the 36 cups in one minute.

Not many could do it. Perhaps I should have a made it a bit easier for them and had less cups to stack, but they still had fun, even if they didn’t all ‘win’.

By the time the party was over, I was feeling very sick, and starting to rethink our hugely busy plan for the rest of the afternoon. I LOVE Halloween, and I really want to do ALL the fun stuff we can possibly do, so we usually grab the kids right after school and go trick-or-treat at Ryan’s work. When I told him I wasn’t doing well, and didn’t want to go to his work, he said he didn’t really want to take the kids, and he didn’t care if we went or not. I knew the kids would be disappointed, but I broke the news to them that we wouldn’t be doing that activity, and no one threw anything at me, at least. I went upstairs and had a tiny nap, hoping to gather a little energy.

After a little bit of dinner, the kids were excited to go out.
They were all in costume, and the house was bedecked in Halloweeniness.

In case you can’t tell, we had the tootsie pop owl, pikachu, a cereal killer, spider man (although he changed several times throughout the day), and a hippie.

The kids all went out in groups, with friends or sisters, and I didn’t go out with any of them. I didn’t even want to go over to our neighbor’s annual donut night. I was just wiped out and not feeling good. I stayed close to the door and gave out candy to all the little trick-or-treaters, but I still felt like I was missing out on the festivities a little bit.

Megan and Larissa ended up going out later that night to movie parties, but everyone ended up safe and sound. Even though it was a middle of the week holiday, everyone got their share of fun! (Jenna and I even have a mother daughter costume party coming up this Saturday, so I guess it’s not time to put the costumes away JUST yet).

I hope you also enjoyed your Halloween, wherever you were.

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