Monday, March 31, 2014

Mouse in the House

Lots of good was accomplished today, but the only thing that is really on my mind right now is that about an hour ago my son heard the tale tell sounds of scratching little mouse paws in our downstairs basement wall. I am a fan of animals, both large and small, just not in my house. The only pet I want right now is green, has painted blue toenails, and has an interesting pattern on her shell. Athena Xena (our Greek box turtle) is the max of what I can handle right now.  I want any and all mice to be out of my home asap, and they can either leave the way they came, or we will help them on their way to their next life, by means of death. Snap. If we had an ant problem, I would name each ant and invite them on a picnic. (besides, the ants in AZ always bit, and here they don't even do anything, and if they did, we could just step on them.)  I can not/will not step on a mouse. I have zip tolerance for them. Disney's Cinderella made them seem almost adorable, but in real life mice are not welcome at the Smith home. Period. Getting rid of mice? Ain't no body got time for that!

Spring break meant the kids had today off, and they wanted to go to a local thrift store, the DI.
Simon found this giant motorcycle helmet and bought it (with his own $) It was just calling his name.  Where is he going to wear that? What is the plan?

Annie found a bike for $5. Boom, baby. So did Owen and Simon, along with helmets.
The DI can sure make a small allowance go far!

This is a picture of major progress. The floor has been sanded several times, and the first coat of lacquer is going on. Once the floor is done, everything else can be assembled and placed!!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Snowin Again - Booooo, Hissssss

I'm trying to relax about the weather here in Bountiful, Utah, but I'm just not really feeling the love.  It's Spring break. My house is in remodel mode.  As easy as it is to have my kids veg out in front of the t.v/computer/kindle, etc, I would really love to just send them outside to play, or since it's Sunday, I would love to go for a lovely walk with them... but not today... because it's snowing. Spring whatever. Bring on the Hot Chocolate, which is clearly the only silver lining to this madness.

Being from Arizona, this little meme creates a longing for my hometown that really can't be described. With strength and courage, they always rebuild. They always have. they always will.

Thankfully, a wonderful friend had my large family over for dinner (which was great!) 
Her son kindly played the role of Jungle Gym.

Annie Joy and Lindsey Joy

Today my church held the semi-annual worldwide women's broadcast.  This year all girls 8 and older were invited to attend, so Annie Joy made the cut. To celebrate, Annie Joy and Lindsey Joy went to a jewelry party and bought necklaces, went to the women's meeting, and then went out to dinner.  It was wonderful! So glad that I get to be the mother of that delightful nut, Ms. Annie Joy (to be around) Smith!... As for the home updates, Ryan has been insanely ill all day so hardly anything was accomplished.  As of tomorrow, we will have gone 5 weeks without a kitchen.

Lindsey Joy and Annie Joy: BFF's

Friday, March 28, 2014

Crystal Hot Springs

I know some families in Utah are flying the coop for spring break, but we are not one of those families. We have a kitchen that we are trying to finish, and I know that the majority of the weekend needs to go in the direction of finishing that goal, but I still wanted to do something fun and different to celebrate the kids' day off.  We opted for a drive up north to Crystal Hot Springs.  It was loads of fun, some friends and their littles joined us. We had a great picnic lunch, and soaked up the heat from the hot springs.  I hate how most public pools wont let kids into the jacuzzi. Not the case here at Crystal Hot Springs.

Warm mineral water.

Calvin, me and Simon at the base of the water slide.  So fun for the kids.  
I'm not really a fan of waterslides because I don't wear my glasses because I would hate to lose or damage them... and not being able to see while going down a water slide just isn't fun.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Progress in Pictures

Our kitchen remodel is progressing at a slower rate than I would prefer, but today saw many improvements, thanks to a few pals and a handyman husband:

I love how one of my friends is wearing a boot on her left foot.  We built a few boxes but it doesn't make any sense to put any more boxes together until the flooring is done, as most of the cabinets aren't wall cabinets, but rest on the floor, which has to be finished.

We now have 3/4 of the kitchen flooring in place. Once it's all glued down, we will sand it a few times and then put on a final coat of lacquer.

I am sawing some metal bit that goes behind the wall cabinets to help hold them in place.

Oh my goodness!!! Three cabinets are now properly attached to the wall!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3 Helpings

Tonight at the dinner table I found myself having three, un-petite portions of the pasta that I served for dinner... and three thick slices of italian bread... and several carrots in an attempt to eat something healthy.  But I was stress eating... and eating just makes me feel so happy!  Normally, I have some portion control. Normally, I don't eat my weight in pasta. Normally, I don't even think about calorie counting because it seems like a slippery slope that could lead to FOCD (food obsessive compulsive disorder) but tonight I turned into a pig.  And then I went running. Like a running pig. I think I'm ready to have my house back from remodel mode. Yes, yes I am.

I would choose a main dish or side dish over dessert any day of the week.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Road Not Taken

Every Day choices are made: what time to get up, what to to eat, who to call, what to read, where to go. A choice to to go and do one thing, is also a choice to not go and do something else.  I hope I am choosing the scenic route. Preston has to memorize the following poem by Robert Frost for class. It's a winner.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.     

Calvin's new glasses, should be ready in 10 days.

Calvin did this wonderful dance in music class. It probably didn't load right, but it was pretty awesome.

Calvin and SImon at karate.  Calvin got to be a helper and run through some of the drills with the younger kids.

Annie's toe nails are red and blue, which make me think of the U of A wildcats, who are still in the tourney.  Bear Down!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Belated Birthday Cake

Tonight we had a real, high quality SUnday night dinner at my friend's house.  She made pasta (because carbs are fabulous, and she has a stove to boil water on:~) Homemade croutons on a salad. For dessert she made a delicious pineapple upside down cake, my birthday cake! I think that since this is my very first Sunday being 36, that we can still call it a birthday cake.  It also had candles in it, and I I was sung Happy Birthday, so it was all very legit. A pretty great day starts with church and ends with cake.  Monday, I think I'm ready for you.

I loved reading "Furious George Goes Bananas" with my boys.  Lots of cuddle time.

The pineapple upside down cake... and there's even a real pineapple in the background for this shot.
It was mighty tasty, and I am glad Amy opted for the 3 and 6 candles, instead of 36 candles.

Annie helped me blow out my candles. I hope that my wish still comes true, even if I did have a helper.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Morning Chores

Today's Saturday morning chores can best be described by a quote I have taken from the Urban Dictionary:

To fix, repair, repaint, shine or do other things to something that isn't worthy - but you have to do it for one reason or another. Because the basic fact is no matter what you do to a turd - polish it, paint it, give it bling - it's still a turd, and there is nothing you can do about that underlying fact.

This is often encountered for people who restore antiques, or who work in older buildings or on old machines (or are in the middle of a never-ending kitchen/everything remodel in whihc they are doing 95% of the work themselves). It may not be practical to replace a piece of crap, and polishing a turd may be all you can do. 

.....basically, attempting to clean a house, that is in the midst of a massive remodel, feels a bit like polishing a turd. I appreciate my children who willingly put their shoulders to the wheel, all the while knowing the wagon wasn't going to move today.

According to Myth-busters, it is entirely possible to polish a turd.
I can attest to that fact, after today's routine cleaning.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pillow Party

How very excited I am to have conversations in our conversation pit.  The benches and pads have been made, but we are trying to locate fantastic pillows, loads of different kinds, that will be used as the back cushion. A pal and I made some pillow covers today.  I cut. We both ironed. She sewed. It was a team effort, and the results were fab. I sure hope my friends are preparing some good conversations for our conversation pit.

Amy at her sewing machine; like a duck in water; like chocolate in a cookie.

My favorite are the two blue pillows in the middle.

Owen playing at the park with some of his good friends.
Monkey bars are the best!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Last of All Days

When I was down in Arizona visiting family for Christmas I had a conversation with my dad.  He told me about a song that he heard on the radio several years ago.  He searched for a long time till he was finally able to locate the title and artist. The song is called "The Last Day" and is sung by Marilyn Scott. It is delightful, and I love my dad for sharing it with me.

If today were the last of all days
Would it change how you feel who you are
Would you rise for a moment
Above all of your fears
Become one with the moon & the stars
Would you like what you see looking down
Did you give everything back to go
Have you done everything that you wanted to do
Is there still so much more that you hope

Follow your dreams to the end of the rainbow
Way beyond one pot of gold
Open your eyes to the colors around you
& find the true beauty life host

Would you live a moment
Like when you were young
& time didn't travel so fast
Be free in the present
Enjoying the now
Untied to a future or past

Follow your dreams to the end of the rainbow
Way beyond one pot of gold
Open your eyes to the colors around you
& find the true beauty life host

You probably said all you wanted to say
But doesn't that strike you astrange
Then we'd only begin start living our lives
If today were the last of all days
If today were the last of all days

Below is the rad music video on youtube for this song.

I am certainly missing Edinburgh Scotland tonight.  A piece of my heart will always belong to Auld Reekie.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Boss

Our kids elementary school is in the midst of "Reading Week."  It is packed with fun activities for the kids, and books, and a book fair, and crazy socks, wear a hat day, etc. Wednesday morning of the week usually entails some before school fun with donuts and book reading with a grown up. It has been called "Moms and Muffins" which made the dads feel left out. The idea of "dads and donuts" wouldn't work for the same reason, so they call it "Breakfast with a Buddy."  So as I'm walking my kids to school, they ask:

Calvin, Simon, Annie and Owen:        Why are you walking with us to school today?

Me:   It's "breakfast with a buddy" today.

Kids:    I still don't get why you're coming.

Me:    I'm the buddy for Breakfast with a Buddy.  That's me. The buddy.

Annie: You're not the buddy. You're the boss...

Why yes. Yes I am. True story.

The gym was packed, but I took this picture right as they were 
ushering the kids to head up to their class rooms.  
Where is Simon? 
It's a question as old as time, death, and taxes.

Going on day 25 of being "kitchen free" aka: cruddy microwave food. overcrowding the landfill with paper products, and washing scant dishes in the tub (please no lectures on the sanitary implications of washing dishes in the tub... it's beyond my ability to care about the hygienic possibilities/probabilities.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

36 Kicks! Happy Birthday to me (and Lesley!)

My Day in pictures:

I did a demo on t.v today for the show Studio 5. It will air tomorrow at 1:00pm.  What a fun thing to do on my birthday!  The highlight of the demo was that a friend who is also a fab hairdresser offered to do my hair before the taping, so I looked like an egyptian goddess for the shoot.  An other friend helped with the prep work during the taping. Yeah awesome friends!

Lunch at CousCous, a great way to celebrate turing 36!

My dear friend, Amy Hunter, sews ninja's and she made me a ninja chef.  I have named her Fiona Tor, after some chef friends at my school in Edinburgh.

Another pal decorated my door. Mercy!!!! It's like the best birthday decorations in the entire world!!!

Preston had a choir concert tonight.  He was great.

Owen thought it would be fun to put on some shirts. DUring Preston's concert he told me he was hot and wanted to take some off. Okay.  In total my silly son had put on 18 shirts for this evening. What a nut!

Owen and a stack of shirts.

No cake and ice cream for me tonight... but I did get some kitchen lighting! Progress!

Luckily a friend dropped some wonderful gourmet cookies off.  The kids sang a rousing rendition of happy birthday, I cut these babies up, and we feasted on birthday biscuits.

This picture looks like a poster but it's actually muffin cups that look like jeans (4 count!). What a great b-day gift!

Birthday flowers.  Yellow is my favorite flower color.  
Thanks to all my family and friends that made today wonderful: especially parents that made me 36 years ago, in-laws that made my handsome husband, my 5 darlings that I got to make.  I feel so blessed to have had 36 entire years on this planet, and am hoping for another 36 + 23 more.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Sweaters

Saint Patrick's Day with my sisters: aka. the last day of our birthday celebration. Boo-hoo, but glad to see my kids and honey wagon (Ryan... he loves when I call him that.)

Lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

Hillary's husband, John, trying to take a picture of us, but accidentally taking one of himself.

Matching sweaters, thanks to Hillary! It's very fun going out in public with matching clothes. I'm going to try and convince ryan to give it a go.

Saying audios to Lesley in the Denver airport, just a few hours shy of our big 36! We so obviously look 35 in this picture.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Monument Ward Sunday Services

How exciting that Hillary and John gave the prayers today in sacrament meeting. Today was truly a day of rest: walking the dog, watching a few musical performances from nieces, sitting and chatting, cooking and eating.  We even got a private tour of some amazing paintings of women in the scriptures. Lovely.  I'm sad to be headed home tomorrow. I love Sunday.  10 points to Ryan for taking on early morning church with our five (my spies informed me that Annie even had her hair done.  I guess Ryan should get 15 points... and maybe even more, depending on how far along our remodeling progressed this weekend.) xoxox

Noah was recognized today in primary for having memorized the 13 Articles of Faith (13 basic core doctrines that set Mormons apart from other Christian churches.) How fun that we got to be there for that!

HIllary is the music leader in primary.  She gave a lovely leprechaun lesson, and clearly dressed the part. What a lucky primary to have her!

A picture of the three of us in front of Hillary's ward building.

Denver Day

Hillary actually lives in Monument, CO which is about 40 min outside of Denver, so today we decided to drive into the big city.  Fun Day. Lovely sisters.

The day began in the best way possible: a pine wood derby race.

Joshua and Noah were the clear winners when it came to style.  Their derby cars were modeled after favorite Dr. Who characters. Very cool.  And John, their dad, did a bang up job in helping them realize their derby dreams.

A very unattractive shot of the three of us in front of the Denver Temple. I love attending the temple with family.

We finished the night with a darling movie at a posh theatre that offers complimentary popcorn and soda. How cool is that?!? The movie: Winters Tale.