Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Fruits of January

Just because I haven't been posting anything crafty doesn't mean that I have been sitting around watching period dramas and eating Candy Cane Joe Joes all month. Well actually I HAVE been sitting around watching period dramas and eating Candy Cane Joe Joes all month, but I have been crafting away as well.
When we were in Montana my mom helped me paint this. I did the composition and the actual painting she helped me decide on colors, highlight and how to make it look good. 4x4 acrylic on canvas. It needs a title and I am open to suggestions.Finally getting around to McCall's 5531. I added the hood and pockets. I didn't have enough of the bee lining so I had to make the sleeves out of something else.
I love my new coat. I love the roomy pockets, I love the color, I love the lining. Shell 100% wool, lining cotton. I plan on appliqueing a few bees on the hood and pocket.

In my quest for curly hair I experimented with pincurls. I am not sure how I feel about them yet.
A headband to keep me warm when I go walking. Pattern: DROPS Headband in Alaska Yarn: Cascade 220 Natural.
And wrist warmers to keep my hands from freezing. Pattern: Cherry Bomb Wrist Warmers Yarn: Cascade 220 Natural
This pixie hat is bigger than I had hoped. I knit it on 2s when the pattern called for 3s so go figure. This is supposed to fit a newborn. I might re-knit it. Pattern: Pixie Hat Yarn: Knitpicks Pallette color: Tidepool Heather.
I made this bracelet as a mock-up for the bracelets we were going to make for New Beginnings. We made 35 of them in the Young Women's Value Colors including gold which is the color for the new value Virtue. I made 9. Also I made 32 paper lanterns (cut with scalloped scissors which was genius!)for New Beginnings and orchestrated that event. Sadly, there were no pictures taken.
I crocheted 37 snowflakes (18 pictured here). These are not fun. Depending on the pattern they can take 20 minutes to 3 hours. And I can't crochet without looking so I am missing a lot of my movies. Blocking takes a lot of time and a lot of pins. I don't have enough pins. I didn't know that was possible. I am happy with them and plan on making 100+ before the year is out. I am using the book 99 Crocheted Snowflakes and the handful of free patterns online.
Some felt fruit and veggies for a little girl I know. I made about 16 more strawberries for Nutmeg. The strawberries are from this tutorial at Mr. Monkeysuit. The carrots and peas are my own design.

Props to Keira who came over and helped me arrange our family photos.

Currently I am working on a flannel dress for Nutmeg, remaking the sweater that was supposed to be my mom's Christmas gift, and a cowl for me in cream with pearls.

Friday, January 30, 2009

January Reading List

The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
We read this for our book group to see what all the fuss was about. It was surprising to learn that the Argument made in part 1 is very sensible. I agreed with it. Part 2 was the solution to part 1 and that is where I started thinking COO KOO! Dissolving the family, community of women, abolition of personal property??? These guys were nuts. Part 3, man these guys had a beef with Germany.
This is a bent book.
3 out of 7 thimbles. 3 because they made convincing arguments even though the solutions were ludicrous.

The Secret Life of Bees - Gina Prince-Bythewood
I got this book for free and again, I thought I would see what all the fuss was about.
Very interesting and compelling story about coming of age, mothers and daughters, race relations in the South. It made me appreciate my daughter and my mother.
I learned much about bees. This book made me crave honey.
I liked it, but for a Mormon, this book is alarmingly sacrilegious and laden with idolatry. Perfect example of what can happen when people are left to religion on their own without a prophet and proper authority.
4 out of 7 thimbles.

The Keeper of the Bees- by Gene Stratton -Porter
In this book you will learn much about bees, but that is only the beginning of it. I loved this book.
You didn't know what was going to happen next. In the beginning each new chapter changed the story completely. The characters are lovable. READ THIS BOOK. It is so lovely, healing, whole and good.
This book would be a perfect 7 but it was a tad predictable and a little, no a lot, preachy.
6 out of 7 thimbles.

Currently Reading:
The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett

I am reading this to Nutmeg at night.

Up Next :
Washington Square by Henry James

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Urban Legend Revealed

Monday I found a large envelope in my mailbox. It was from the Neilsen Ratings Company. I have of course heard about these people but I thought they were an urban legend made up by the TV people so that they could tell us how popular their terrible shows are. I had certainly never been polled by them, nor has anyone I know.

Well, now I believe in them because they sent me CASH MONEY! I opened the envelope and there were the Benjamins (I know they aren't really Benjamins but it isn't cool to say one Lincoln and five Washingtons now it is?) and a tiny one side of one page survey to find out if we were white and if we spoke Spanish.

I don't really feel represented though, because they didn't ask much about the shows I watch and I don't think that they care that I am a married white woman.

I really hate when people in surveys are so concerned about race. WHO CARES??? If we really want to eliminate racism in this country than we need to stop obsessing about what demographic we fit into and just take people as they are.

They also promised to send me $20 more once they received the survey. I think that is aces and even if it is a scam I still have the $10 and they can't take it away from me. I am totally going to but something awesome with it like sushi, or chocolate, or yarn. Way to stimulate the economy Neilsen Ratings!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An Open Letter to the People Who Make DVDs

Dear People Who Make DVDs (especially DVDs for kids,)

Let me explain to you how DVDs work in a household with children, it may not be ideal or right but it is how it works.

One or more or all of these things is happening at the same time: The baby is crying and needs to be fed/changed/held, the telephone is ringing, something is on the stove, mom HAS to take 30 seconds for herself to use the toilet or shower, somebody is hurt or is hurting another, someone is very hungry, Mom has a deadline and/or a headache. Add to this a small child who wants to watch a DVD! Most likely the child has been begging or whining for quite some time about the DVD or something else. Mom finally gives in and says to herself "A movie will keep him/her/them quiet for a few minutes!" And she goes to put in the DVD.

This is the part where it really gets ugly, the children know they are going to get what they want so they stop trying to be good and begin chanting or whining "I wanna watch (insert annoying cartoon character's name here)" over and over again. Mom is doing all of this as quickly as possibly and at last the TV is turned on and the DVD is inserted. Then mom has to wait (she still has to pee you know) while the previews play and won't allow her to get to the menu or even more annoying there is a long cutesy DVD introduction where fairies fly through the back ground and turn a pumpkin into a magic fairy land and then sit down to have tea and to who knows what else all before Mom is allowed to select PLAY MOVIE!

I realize that you DVD makers don't get to use a lot of creativity and this is your one time to shine but let me be brutally honest here. NOBODY appreciates it. It annoys everyone. the only people who like watching pieces of the still picture from the film slowly materialize are your fellow DVD makers at your DVD making conferences and award parties.

If you want to make cutesy introductions with some one's movie do it on your own time and post it on YouTube. Please give us moms a break and take a cue from Nickelodeon's DVDs and make your DVDs play automatically with a continuous loop.

Samurai Mom

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Somebody, Think of the Parents!

This is the book we innocently checked out from the library, "Clifford's Riddles." Clifford books aren't exactly well written but I was not expecting this abomination. And I was forced to read it to a tired bed-time 3 year old TWICE! Then I read it to Moose because I want him to share in all parenting moments, the good and the tortuous.

Here are some examples of the lack of humor or basic competency in this book.
"If a blood hound marries a bat what will their child be? A vampire dog."
"What would be a good job for Clifford? He could be a seeing eye dog for King Kong."
"What is twelve feet tall, stops at stop lights, and has training wheels? Clifford's bicycle."
"It's sweet. It's furry. It barks. And it's frozen on a stick. What is it? A pup-sicle."

What??? How are theses even amusing? And who eats a furry popsicle that barks?
There is no excuse for this book.

Here's how I see it going down.
Publisher Man: "We can't publish this book Boss, it isn't even a book really just a collection of pictures and words. People won't buy it."
Publisher Boss Man :" People won't buy it but Libraries will, it has Clifford on it and Libraries love Clifford."
Library:"Oh look a new Clifford book. Sold!"
Kids: "Clifford! Clifford!"
Parents: "OK, OK. Stop yelling this is the library."...that night..." I can't believe the library wasted precious funds on this collection of words and pictures."

I am begging you Washington County Library Cooperative Services PLEASE have mercy on the parents of Washington County. Sell this book at the next used book sale. Use the 1/8th of an inch of shelf space for a good book like "Where the Wild Things Are."

Zero out of 7 thimbles.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

Afton wanted to know what the deal was with my Disneyland remark on yesterday's Sabbath Leaves. It is complicated and has a lot to do with me being selfish, sounds like a good blog post...

We are having a family reunion at Disneyland this Thanksgiving. I am not excited. I have never really had a desire to go to Disneyland. I mean as a kid I wouldn't have said "No" to an offer but I never dreamed of Disneyland.

Reasons why I don't want to go:
The commercialism of it all. Yuck it just makes me want to gag. Disney everything all for sale! Don't even get me started on how ticked I am at Disney for getting copyrights for everything extended just so they could hold on to vintage Mickey.

I have issues with Disney movies, fun movies and all. I am a huge fan of the art in Sleeping Beauty and used to be obsessed with Snow White but the way they twist the original fairy tales really bugs me. It isn't the fact that they do it but the fact that after one of their movies is out it becomes synonymous with the fairy tale and the original is lost to the public knowledge. How many people know that the Little Mermaid really dies, that Beauty from Beauty and the beast had sisters, that the witch tricked Snow White with a poisoned comb, and tight corset strings before the apple, that Sleeping Beauty lay asleep for 100 years and many princes died trying to reach her?

I have problems with the values Disney teaches through their movies. Fairy tales by their very nature are made to teach virtue to children.
In the Disney version of The Little Mermaid Ariel disobeys her father, runs away, sells her soul to the sea witch and wins the prince in the end. In the original she dies because she did not listen to her father. Which would you rather your children learn that by disobeying they could be in mortal danger or that by disobeying and selling your soul you will win happiness?

There is also the universal theme of true love conquers all in their movies, and you know what sometimes true love isn't enough. Sometimes love at first sight isn't love. Often the Disney Characters think that they know better than their parents or caregivers.

And then there are the crowds. We are going in November so it probably won't be as bad as it could be but I hate crowds of tourists. I try to avoid them at all costs. I like to go to the Children's Museum on days when there will not be any field trips so we can have room to enjoy the experience and not be worried about losing people.

There is the whole carnival aspect of it. I can't shake the foreboding feeling that it will be like a big expensive carnival, hot, dusty and sticky.

Which brings me to the expense. The whole things seems to me like a gigantic HUGE waste of money. I can't fathom how much we will spend and couldn't that money be better used for practical things or many small, economical family vacations?

I am betting dollars to doughnuts that the costumes will not meet my exacting standards and that will annoy me.

And this whole "Happiest Place on Earth Thing" Really? I am pretty sure I will have sore feet, a headache and a hungry belly combined with cranky over tired children. I will be worried about kids running off. There will also be the family reunion stress of making sure 17 people are happy and getting to what they want to do. How exactly will this be happy? I think that seeing a happy Cinderella and Jasmine walking down the street will really tick me of in these moments.

And so in preparation for our family reunion I am striving to get a better attitude about Disneyland. Do you think they sell those in the gift shops?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blogger IRL Sighting

Today I met Crashhanna, the author of a blog I read. Really, it wasn't that much of a feat, she is my friend's sister and I sat next to her at church. She was great, slightly less irreverent than Keira but Keira was pretty good today. Maybe they were on their best behavior for each other (or the Stake President and Stake Relief Society Presidency) I know I was! It was fun to meet a fellow blogger.

Sabbath Leaves

Our Beautiful World: Honey and Honeycomb. I have been reading a few books where bees and honey figure prominently and I am obsessed with honey and eating it.

Blessings: That Moose has a job - his company announced that they were closing a factory this week. Scary stuff. I am so grateful he has a job.

Striving for: A better attitude about my calling, Disneyland and the future of our Republic.

Friday, January 23, 2009

They call me Madam President

Last night I was explaining to Moose the reasons why I could not be the President of these United States. While I would kick butt on domestic and economic issues I have doubts about my ability to defend the country.

Moose disagreed with me and thought that I would do just fine. This vote of confidence touched me. And so, if you will have me I am throwing my hat in the ring. I will be your president.
I promise I will not lie to you.

I will balance the budget like a stay at home mom with several kids - with a hatchet and a scalpel. If you want something you will have to earn it not expect me to give you the money.

I will work toward getting the federal government out of education completely.

I will work to abolish the IRS - but I gotta be honest this will be tough to get through congress but I will try.

I WILL VETO all bills with even a trace of pork.

I have no attachment to Social Security. I think we should phase it out starting now.

The FDA is number one on my list of corrupt government agencies and I will reform them or ax them. Your children will not be science experiments.

I will do what I can to stop the killing of children, regardless of their gestational age, but you will have to shout out and help me because alone I will be ineffective.

You can have all the guns you like.

Free Trade is my economic policy.

I won't send your sons to war unless it is to protect you - for real.

I think there should be a petition day when regular people get to talk to the president and tell them their concerns.

I will defend the constitution not attack it or undermine it.

P.S. I am not eligible for a few years yet but I think we can start fundraising.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Fire

Today I attempted to clean my oven. I have been meaning to do it for quite a while. When I made tandoori chicken the other day and there was sauce burned onto my broiler pan that will not come off with any amount of scrubbing, I decided it was time and I would leave the broiler pan in there to be cleaned too.
I kept forgetting, and each time I preheated the oven I would open it up to find a sizzling hot broiler pan. Eventually I found a day when we would be out of the house and I could turn the oven on to clean (this has to be done while we are out of the house because of the toxic smell) and wrote it on my calendar.
The day was yesterday and even though it was on my calendar I still forgot.

So this morning, I turned the clean cycle and prepared to get the kids out of the house. About 10 minutes later I noticed a FIRE inside my oven. I don't know if this is normal or not -since I am always out of the house when the clean cycle is on - but the black smoke coming out of the oven vents did not look right. I turned off the clean cycle and watched through my LOCKED oven door as the flames kept leaping from the broiler pan. The kids cried and my heart was thumping - how do you put out a fire when the oven door is locked? Eventually the fire ran out of oxygen or fuel or something and died out. My oven is still dirty and my broiler pan is even more uncleanable. Maybe I should just buy another one?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Low Tech, High Maintenance

I want to listen to the radio when I am in the kitchen preparing dinner. Just the AM radio, I don't even need any fancy FM stereo.
I have a radio not 10 steps away from the kitchen in the Library but it has one of those little cord antenna and I can't pick up any stations on it. I don't need a clock, there are already three in the kitchen just a radio.
I could stream from the computer but the radio stations' streaming only works with a Microsoft operating system, which I do not use.
Apparently this is too low tech for the 21st century.

So last night Moose and I packed up all the little mooselings into the car and went to Best Buy for two items.
When we got to BB I was in the lead filing past the DVD's when I noticed the kids were starting to lag behind, I turned around and I couldn't see Moose, then I saw him bent over looking at something on a low shelf in the Blue Ray Section. We don't have a Blue Ray player so I walked over to him and said "What are you looking at Honey?" In a sweet little wifey voice. He stood up and he was NOT Moose. I had never seen that guy in my life. I said "Oh, you are not my honey, I am sorry." Blushed, and turned around. Then I saw Moose wondering what on earth I was doing. I walked over to him and said "That man is NOT my husband. Where were you?" Home Theatre section.

We arrived at the headphone section.
As I have stated before I have small ears. Generally this is a good thing because small ears = beautiful ears in my opinion, but it does cause a problem when it comes to headphones and earpieces. Earbuds do not stay in my ears or are too big and hurts them. Ear pieces are too heavy and hurt my ears. We tried to find something that will work.
We ended up purchasing some Nike Vapor phones which ended up being too big for the inside of my ear and too heavy and pinchy for the outside of the ear. I think I will forgo coolness and get some good old headband style earphones. (By the way headbands press on my head and give me a headache so I can't wear those either, only all fabric headbands around here.)

We looked for the plain old low tech radio, - we did not find there though apparently there is one available at Best Buy online. Which brings me to how stupid major retail stores are with their websites.

When I go to I am not looking to buy at I am deciding if it is worth my time to find someone to watch the kids and get in the car and drive to The GAP and shop. I would never buy an article of clothing unless I knew it would fit me.
For example, this fall when I was looking for a black turtleneck online and I found turtlenecks at and decided it was worth a trip to the Gap to check it out. The guy in the store looked at me as if I had said "Polyester Leisure Suit" instead of "turtleneck". I told him they had one on the website. He told me that they don't have a lot of things that are on the website.

Don't they get it?!? Use your website to drive traffic to your store you big retail morons! And then have the items the people want. They treat the websites as separate endeavors when they SHOULD be an addition to the store.
All their websites accomplish is me getting a sitter and wasting my time going to The GAP for no good reason when I could have just stayed home and bought online. This makes me want to not shop at retail stores because they are a waste of my time but I don't want to buy online because I want to try on my clothes first! So I don't buy anything and their stock falls and the economy is in the dumps all because had a turtleneck and the store didn't and the only profit was made by my babysitter.
I did not get a black turtleneck form I went without. So anyway has a little radio but I think I will be buying it from anyone BUT

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thoughts on Wuthering Heights

I watched the first half of PBS' Wuthering Heights last night. I watched against my better judgement because I do NOT like Wuthering Heights.

I think Wuthering Heights is dark, twisted and has little to no redeeming value. It is a well written, carefully laid out compelling story. But compelling like a car wreck, you just can't look away from all the terrible things.

One woman said to me "I would just love to be loved like that."(implying Catherine and Heathcliff) I thought that was interesting. So you want to be loved in a way that causes the man who loves you to go earn his fortune in shady deals so that he can come back and drive your brother to his death out of revenge and then neglect and abuse his son (your nephew), seduce your sister in law and then torture her emotionally until she flees. Breaks your heart until you lose the will to live and die. Then the man you love abuses his own son and kidnaps your daughter forcing them to marry and forfeit their fortune to him. Eventually he dies of madness or heartbreak or just plain hate. Did I miss anything? Thanks, but I think I'll pass on that kind of love.

Catherine is incredibly selfish and irresponsible. She accepts none of the consequences of her actions and everything she does is without regard for others. She breaks Heathcliff's heart bending him on revenge, then marries Linton when her heart is Heathcliff's, expects Heathcliff to love her in spite of her marriage, no concern about Linton. Decides to die, leaving her daughter without a mother. Then she haunts Heathcliff for the next two decades. Not to mention wearing poor Nelly out.

Hindley is a pretty bad egg but would be better served with mercy than revenge. Linton is a pantywaist. Joseph is supposedly a pious Christian but is portayed ad strict and cruel. The only characters I like are Mr. Earnshaw and Hareton.

The movie thus far is pretty steamy which almost makes you forget about all the meaness in the story.

Four out of Seven thimbles.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sabbath Leaves (yes, it's back , it's been a while I know)

Our Beautiful World: Frost. I have been walking in the mornings and have been struck with the beauty of frost. One little bonzai type evergreen in the front yard of a house along the way is particularly beautiful with frost.
Blessings: I am so grateful to have a daughter this week.
Striving: To get into a routine. To be present with the children.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mother Daughter Moments

On the list of things to do while in Montana there was "go antiquing" this was put off until the last day, which happened to be the day we were snowed in. I was pretty sad about it especially since there were a few things in particular I wanted to look for.

Today, I took Boba Fett's cello in to have some adjustments and found myself on Main Street in Hillsboro. There are at least 4 antique stores. Nutmeg and I popped into one and I watched as she flitted from case to case pointing out items that appealed to a 3 year old. She pointed out one of the prettiest sets of China I have ever seen, white with a fat pink band and silver flowers.

I am looking forward to more antiquing trips with my daughter. Maybe Nutmeg growing up isn't SO bad.

We saw a sewing bird only $395!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A timely post...

Since I don't know where to start in a Christmas Review I will just dive right in with gifts that I made. I know it is 3 weeks after Christmas but after all that crafting I needed some time to recoup.

A Lush and Lacy in Knit Picks Swish Superwash Bordeaux for The Lovely Mrs. Moss. I am modeling it so it doesn't fit just right.
An Extreme robe for Mr. Moss. He had specifications for this robe and I learned it is hard to find good terry cloth - so I went to bed bath and beyond and purchased bath sheets and towels and made it out of that. I had my friend Paula embroider "Extreme" on the lapel.
A Flying W Weezer hat for Moose but he doesn't like it. Commander C however loves it and Boba Fett has requested one as well.
For my Knitting Friends I made Mystery Yarn balls. You buy a skein of Yarn and wrap it around fun knitting accessories so when the ball is unwound there are surprises unwrapped every so often.

I made stitch markers out of beads and buttons. Fixed a Christmas colored stitch marker on the ball and tied with a pretty ribbon.

Commander C designed this sweater and I knit it. He has worn it at least 10 days since Christmas. I am unhappy with the ladder effect on the saddle shoulders but other wise VERY happy. Knit in Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Black and Red Pepper on size 8 needles. Elizabeth Zimmerman saddle shoulder yoke instructions.

Boba Fett requested a Luigi sweater. Oy! What a pain. I didn't know intarsia was SO difficut.

I had to knit the sweater twice once in the round and once in flat pieces. Did the intarsia twice,once in the round and once in flat pieces then scrapped it and did duplicate stitch which is where you kind if embroider over the stockingette to make it look like it is knit. Then I knit the neck not once, ore twice but three times, and it still flips out.Then it turned out that I had placed Luigi too low so he is on the belly rather than the chest. I love the 1 up mushroom on the sleeve!The picture isn't so hot because I haven't blocked it and the yarn has been knit and re-knit and wound around other colors so there are fuzzies everywhere. Knit in Knit Picks Swish Superwash Black, Dublin, and Bare on size 8 needles.

Modern Vintage hankies for my mom. I got a bee in my bonnet the day before we left for Montana and sewed some of these up out of fabrics from my stash.
I made several family history tree picture charms for my dad and Aunt Janie.

I rounded my siblings up to sing a song for my dad. I have video but I haven't watched it yet and I am afraid because it was early and our voices were scratchy.

I think that is all I MADE but not nearly all I gave.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Defining Grade School Memories

When I think back on my school days at good old F.M.E. (Fair-Mont-Egan School K-8) there are some memories that I always remember about certain events and people.

1st grade - Luke Kenall's 7 older brothers daring me to kiss Luke and I chased him around the school and did.
Also concerning Luke, he was a great artist and I gave up thinking I was good at art because I didn't draw like he did. I regret that.

Second grade - There was a question "What is the longest river in the world?" It was a contest to see who could guess it and then you won. Well I kept writing "Mississippi" over and over again - I kept thinking it was wrong because I was misspelling it. The correct answer is" The Nile."

Timmy Erfle fell off the slide at recess one winter. Every year after that the slide was closed in the winter. Also when Timmy came back to school he wore glasses - totally unrelated I assume but I still threaten my kids with that story when they are on good old fashioned dangerous playground equipment.
3rd grade - I was standing near a chart with each student's name written on it. Suddenly the etymology of Sommer Whitehead's last name hit me and I said aloud "Whitehead - it's like a white head." Sommer was right next to me and did not find it interesting at all - I think she thought I was being mean. I have always been really embarassed about that.

First day of 4th grade- Mr. Benke, the new principle, tells us that our favorite teacher Mrs. Javorka has been fired. I, at the tender age of 8 realize that this was a poor choice of words and it was not very diplomatic of him to say "fired." He should have said she "Will not be teaching here anymore," or the more likely scenario "She decided to stay home and take care of her new baby." Since those fateful introductory words there was a seed of contempt for Mr. Benke (who also liked to drink orange juice and eat tootsie rolls together as a child) planted deep in my heart.

One year we got together and raised money to save and acre of the rainforest by buying it. I wonder about that acre, where is it, can we go hang out there? Is it still "safe." Was it all a scam to wheedle money out of middle school kids?

In the locker room in 6th or 7th grade and Allison Quigley had a long scar or scab on her shin and we learned she had gotten it while shaving - that still makes me weak.

The time Kurt and Sabin collided while playing foot ball and soemone's braces went through their lip and the other guy's cheek.

And the penultimate defining moment of my F.M.E experience was when I was on the basketball team. Both years. Why was I allowed on the basket ball team????
There are many horrible memories from Basketball like the over and back violation - who knew that was even a rule?
I don't recall if I ever scored a point in any game in either season.

So, one game I had a free throw (I could not make a free throw if my child's life depended on it) and Tom Kurdy whose joy in life was to torment and make fun of me shouted from the stands - "Do a granny shot!" I knew I might actually have a better chance of making a basket with a granny shot. So I did it. It was not a point. Everyone asked why I did it. Bad decision.

And while we are on the topic of Tom Kurdy- he was so mean to me; and one blessed Christmas season he and his perfect complexion got a big red zit on the end of his nose.
I was not a cruel kid and I never teased people but I am sure God sent this zit just for me and to give Tom some of his own medicine. So I got people in the class to sing Tommy the Red-Nosed Reindeer to him all the time. Revenge was sweet.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Lovely Mrs Moss

This is The Lovely Mrs Moss. She is married to my brother Mr. Moss, and today is her birthday!
The Lovely Mrs Moss stayed married to my brother even though he forgot to bring his passport on their honeymoon and they missed their flight.
The lovely Mrs. Moss wasn't born into a family with any sisters but she sure married into one.
We love her just like a sister except we don't fight with her, she is too nice.
The Lovely Mrs Moss likes dogs.
The Lovely Mrs Moss like to go fishing and camping and such with Mr Moss and her Dad. The Lovely Mrs Moss is a true Montana girl.

The Lovely Mrs Moss is musical. She plays the violin and piano and composes music. For Christmas she composed a song for a string quartet as a gift to me.

The Lovely Mrs Moss has many friend but she and her mom are totally BFF.
The Lovely Mrs Moss is lovely as you can see. Look at that beautiful dark hair and pretty eyes.

The Lovely Mrs Moss says that she is not crafty, we don't believe it for a minute and we are teaching her how to be a crafter.
Mr Moss bought her a vintage sewing machine for Christmas and we are teaching her how to sew. It is a little difficult to arrange sewing lessons when she is in Arizona and the rest of us are not. If you are in the Mesa area and would like to help The Lovely Mrs Moss learn to sew please contact Samurai Mom.

The Lovely Mrs Moss loves Audrey Hepburn and nobody can fault her for that, it also proves that she has good taste.
The Lovely Mrs Moss took a trip to Italy with the Honors Society in High School. She got to go because she was so smart. The Lovely Mrs Moss is a patriot just like me.

The Lovely Mrs. Moss works very hard on Mr Moss' business endeavors.
Nutmeg loves The Lovely Mrs Moss. This picture is before she was her favorite.

I have been informed that The Lovely Mrs Moss wants to have SIX BOYS. I find this very ill advised and I hope that she has not cursed herself. I am telling her now, five boys and a girl is acceptable, but you need to have the girl first because I need nieces and I need them soon!

I really do adore children

Just in case the previous post made you think otherwise, I really do love my kids every day. Even when they are three and four I wouldn't trade them for a newborn of five year old.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Samurai Mom's Child Development: Wherein I scare you about the dark ages of Childhood. If you can make it to 5 years you might survive.

I have shall now layout the different stages of child development and my feelings thereon;

Newborn- 2 months
Best age ever, they just sleep, nurse and pee and you can just hold them, love them and kiss them. Poop does not stink.

3-4 months - this age is ho-hum. They are still adorable babies that sleep on you but they need a little more activity and they are a little blobby. By blobby I mean, they can't sit up yet, they are rather oval shaped. It is impossible to get a cute picture at this age. This is a fantastic age to put the baby on your back and go on walks. They smile now. Poop still does not stink.

5-8 months - my favorite baby age after newborn. These babies are sitting up and interacting with you, they are chubby and kissable and munchable. Hugging these babies is divine. They love mom and fun faces and play with anything you give them. They light up when you walk in the room and flap their arms like they are trying to get to you. Laughing, baby laughs priceless..

9-12 months - these are ok times but baby doesn't look so babyish anymore. Eating solid foods now. They are crawling, cruising and thinking about walking. They go through potty pauses like crazy and you are so busy picking things up and keeping them out of trouble you are exhausted. Poop starts stinking but hopefully they are fairly reliable on the potty now.

12-13 months - learning to walk OY! And you have that lovely heartbreaking milestone - baby's first birthday. Stock up on the chocolate. Church is impossible, you spend the whole time shhh-ing baby and hanging in the hall.

14 months- I don't know why but I am always tempted to stop nursing around 14 months. I think they start biting then.

15-18 months - Church is really impossible. But in the end - you finally get to put them in nursery.

18 months to 2 years- Depending on the child you know spend all your time in nursery trying to sneak away from your baby or feeling a little bit sad that they don't seem to need you anymore. Talking now or not. Sign language is awesome at this stage you can know what they want and avoid tantrums and learn what they are thinking about. If you have a super EC kid like Nutmeg potty accidents are almost done!

2 years - Who came up with the terrible two's? Two is not terrible, THREE is terrible. (more on three later) I like to call them the terrific two's. They are so curious, settling into their personalities, fully interacting and developing relationships with people, discovering pretend play. Two year olds like picking up and "helping."Two is awesome. Sure there is some stubbornness, you can't distract them just by waving a cool toy in front of their eyes anymore. They do not play well with others, but they can take naps still. They are more work but I think the good outweighs the bad in the Terrific Two's.

3 years - Three is really tough naps are impossible, they had a full vocabulary and aren't afraid to use it. Three year olds want to you entertain them all the time. Like, full on interaction. Three year olds want to "help" when you don't want them to and won't help when you want them to. They can open doors and take off their clothes but not put them on. They think they can do anything but they can't. Inexcusable tantrums begin at three. Three is also loud. They may or may not play well with other kids. My three year old is also constantly hungry. Three can not be reasoned with. Three year old are little sponges - sponges that suck you dry and fill you with guilt. Oh and the questions begin at three.

4 years- I try to block out four. It is that bad, you still have the challenges of three, non stop questions, thinking they are big kids, demanding attention, can't put on their clothes very well. But you have the added challenge of you can barely pick them up, they are even more stubborn than before and above all they think they can reason with you but you can not reason with them. They start being picky about food. Four year olds can not, no, will not do chores and they WILL whine endlessly about them.

5 years - Five is nice. At five they can get themselves dressed even if it is in questionable taste. They are into dress up but not in an annoying way. They understand TIME, they can get some food by themselves. They are really curious about reading and learning. Sometimes five year olds do chores without complaining but by this time you have pretty much given up on chores and make the older kids do the chores or do it by yourself.
Five year olds, while not big kids yet, can play with the big kids for relatively long periods of time. Five is, to quote Laura Dominguez "Super good."
If you are the kind that like to deliver your children into the hands of the socialist humanists this is now the time to begin the brainwashing and get your self 3-6 hours of kid free time a day paid for by the taxpayer. Either way, five is good.

I don't think I have enough experience with the older ages. I can say though that 8 is really nice, Commander C can finally do chores and he is really nice to be around - except when he isn't.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

That's a Crock Pot of Deliciousness!

The Lovely Mrs. Moss and Mr. Moss gave me a Crock Pot for Christmas. It has a removable crock. that's all I have to say about that. No more boiling water in the crock pot to clean it, no sir-ee. Dishwasher baby.

Also, while in Montana I was reading the Daily Interlake (which is a blog post in itself that I will relate one day remind me of the words "Law Enforcement Roundup) and saw a mini article about crock pots and this book that has recipes with out cans of cream o' something soup. I put it on hold at the library and picked it up yesterday. Last night I read the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Slow Cooker Cooking and picked out a few recipes.

Today I made Chicken Parprikash pg 195 (in the new pot) and Classic Creole Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce sans pecans pg 301 (in the old small pot.) I recommend using boneless chicken in the crock pot, we found that the chicken legs fell apart and we didn't know if each spoonful was full of delicious chicken and vegetables or cartilage and bones.

They both earned 4 thumbs up with Moose being the only dissenter but he doesn't like anything that does not involve processed cheese or steak so his objections were thrown out.

The book gets 5 out of 7 thimbles. It is easy to read and flip through but some of the recipes make me wonder why I am using a crock pot if I am doing ALL this prep or why am I using a crock pot if I am using all these dishes. See, for me Crock pots are about easy and minimal dishes.

And then Mommy Bee posted a link to A YEAR OF CROCKPOTTING and I learned of Stephanie who cooked in her crock pot everyday in 2008, I can't decide if I admire her, am jealous of her or afraid of her. Either way she certainly is a gal with follow through.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Blubbery Truth About Samurai Mom

After watching the latest week of Martha on Tivo I was sufficiently brainwashed to sign up for the Body and Soul Challenge over at
I knew things were fishy when the first "wellness tool" was "Body Mass Index"
I have issues with BMI. I will say it straight out: according to BMI and our government Samurai Mom is obese. Yep, obese. Obesity, that disease sweeping the nation fuelled by Twinkies and coke, that obese.
****Which makes me wonder if the gov't says I am obese and I am not how many other people is that true of, and is obesity really the epidemic they claim it is? ***
Samurai Mom is not only in the obese category but well in the middle of the obese slot. The funny thing is my goal weight is in the overweight category. The skinniest I have ever been back in 1999, working on my feet all summer and then having not eaten for several months from morning sickness, back when my hip bones stuck out and I found it uncomfortable to sleep because my bones were poking me, that weight is also overweight.

If you have seen me (and the pictures online have not been doctored in anyway) you know that I am not obese. There are a couple of pounds around the middle that didn't fall off after the last baby but otherwise I feel pretty good about my weight.

Also The Body and Soul Challenge Wellness Tool "Nutritional Needs" says that I should eat 1632 calories a day. I about fell off my chair laughing. Apparently I am "squash shaped" I don't know what that means but I am thinking it is better than the apple and pear shapes.

I have posted 2 pictures one of Samurai Mom overweight and one of Samurai Mom as obese. I think I will work my way into that tiny t-shirt my own way.