Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

I remember when I was a little kid anxiously anticipating Santa's arrival, I was laying in my bed, unsuccessfully trying to sleep. I finally dropped off, only to be awakened by the sound of jingle bells outside. I stood up on my bed and looked out the high window, and honest to goodness, I saw reindeer and an empty sleigh on the snow-covered grass (we had no fireplace, so we knew Santa came in through the front door). Somebody want to explain that vision to me? The power of suggestion is indeed strong, especially in those who have "the sleep genes" which are legendary in our family. (Someday soon I will have to do a post about the sleep genes. We have some hilarious stories.)

The gifts are wrapped, (miraculous...I often wrap everything on Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed), the jammies and ornaments are opened, the living room is vacuumed (now there is an exercise in futility), the stockings are ready to fill, and the luminarias are flickering up and down the street. I heart Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all...and to all a goodnight.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas to Me

I got a wonderful early gift on November 30, 2007. My newest grandson, Gavin Drew Bartle arrived a little early but weighing in at 8 lbs. 11 oz. and measuring 22.25 inches long! Healthy baby, healthy mom, cuter than all get out and lots of blond hair. What more could we ask? I got to spend a few (too few) days in Oregon with him and feel beyond blessed. How lucky can one granny be?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Welcome Home!

I'm really slow getting this posted, but yes, folks, he is home! He is just the same only better, and we love, love, love having him here. We feel so blessed. Well done, ED... you set the bar so high and soared over it. Welcome Home!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


While everyone else in these United States is anticipating Thanksgiving on Thursday, we will not be eating turkey or any of the usual things. We are running/walking in the turkey trot, heaven help us, and if we survive, we will most likely be trying to finish all the as-yet-undone tasks related to a most anticipated homecoming. Friday is the day, folks, and if I am not mistaken, that is a mere five DAYS away! I will miss weekly emails, wonderful reports of miracles in Mongolia, and the many blessings attendant to having a son in the mission field. These will be eclipsed, however, by the hugs, the personal stories, the privelege of looking at a face we haven't seen for these many months, and the hilarious presence of our own family spark plug. Hooray for reunions, family coming to town, and turkey on Saturday.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


It is embarrassing to have a blog and go so long between postings. You'd think life would slow down just a little, but no, it doesn't.

I've learned a few things over the last few days.

a. There is no end for the need to paint. Ever.

b. Painting causes huge disruptions in the flow of life.

c. All that being said, I LOVE paint. What could be more satisfying than covering up all those fingerprints, smudges, and tired old walls?

And a few more related things learned.

d. By nature I love being organized and clean. Unfortunately, by habit I let things beyond the surface go and pursue more enjoyable adventures.

e. None of it goes away. Dust mulitplies like coat hangers and single socks. Piles become mega-piles.

f. It is still hard to throw some things away, like my kids' toys. What if the grandkids would enjoy them? Lincoln logs, anyone?

g. Hm. Maybe my offspring take after me. That might be why I just hung 43 t-shirts in Eric's closet.

Monday, October 22, 2007

He's Legal

Well, he is legal. Twenty-one. I meant to do this post yesterday, the real birthday, but I didn't. I actually keep postponing my posts until I can learn to post a picture (again), but that never seems to happen. But back to the point, there was a celebration in Murun, Mongolia yesterday for our favorite missionary boy. It is his Golden Birthday, which means he is 21 on the 21st, so this calls for 21 gifts. He'll get them in exactly one month when he returns....he had to settle for a silly package of things he can consume or throw away before the luggage weigh-in. So Happy Birthday Golden Boy...we could not be more proud of you or more excited for your return to us. Let the good times roll.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Trip to Target

I made a quick run to Target yesterday afternoon. I intended to be there only 5 minutes because ALL I needed was dryer sheets. I figured I had a better shot at an "in and out" experience there than at the grocery store, since the echo monster has taken up residence in the refrigerator. Incorrect.

I made the mistake of entering through the garden center. Of course. When I checked out I had in my basket:

Two hanging unusual pink and yellow petunia combo, and a stunning dark fushia-ish purple petunia basket. They were such a bargain.

Two 6 packs of dwarf snapdragons.

Two seed packets of marigolds. (Are you seeing a trend here?)

New gardening scissors. Mine have disappeared off the face of the earth.

One car (from Cars) for Devlin. (I think I enjoy collecting them for him more than
he does.)

A Christmas gift for Chloe. (Are you seeing another trend here?)

And last but not least, 2 packages of dryer sheets. Pretty expensive dryer sheets, wouldn't you say?

I think we can safely say that two of my weaknesses in life are my grandchildren and my garden. (And maybe Target!)

Speaking of grandchildren, happy birthday Zachary! I can't believe you are six!

Friday, October 5, 2007


Probably everyone agrees we are glad the weekend is approaching. For some reason I'm really glad this week. Maybe because

a. it is conference weekend, and not only does that mean a feast of new talks, a chance to recharge the inner batteries, and relax, but also
b. there will be a lovely lack of meetings and excessive errand running...
c. it will mark the end of a less than fully productive week...
d. in between doses of conference, there will be grass to mow and dirt to dig. Wahoo! What more could I ask?

Go Friday.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

10 Random Happy Things

1. Digging in the dirt. (Are anyone else's fingers itching now that the weather is changing?)
2. Sleeping until I wake up. Don't get to do it very often. One of life's simple pleasures.
3. Having a walking partner again. Such motivation to NOT sleep till I wake up. Thanks, AJ.
4. Emails from Mongolia. High fives for all things technical which stress me out but also bless my life abundantly. It is email Thursday, folks.
5. 3:55 p.m. when Holl-Doll gets home from school. Empty nests are highly over-rated.
6. When the dentist says "We're all done." Wahoo. Can you tell I went today?
7. 72 degrees at 7:30 a.m. vs. 92 degrees at 7:30 a.m. Did I mention I LOVE our current weather?
8. Grandkids. They really are grand.
9. Finished projects. Also one of life's (not so) simple pleasures.
10. Finding a rubber chicken in my makeup drawer.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pretty Disappointed

I just took the quiz to find out which Harry Potter character I am. Ron. Yes, Ron. Of all the characters I wouldn't want to be, Ron would win...except maybe Snape. Come on...can I change my answers? At least he has one saving grace... his red hair.

So then I took the quiz to see which Hogwarts house I would be in. Hufflepuff. Kill me.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Tag

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Ugh, I was struggling with mono, laying on the bed with my 3 year old, watching Arthur, Sesame Street, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility. My oldest was at BYU, four were in Robson, Taylor and Mesa High, and Holly was on the bed with me. It wasn't the most productive year of my life, but happily, it is behind me!

What were you doing 1 year ago?

I was a brand new YW president and feeling very inadequate and overwhelmed. Haha...some things never change! I'm taking it in stride a bit better these days.

Five snacks you enjoy.

Don't laugh.

  1. Dry roasted, unsalted almonds (or other cashews as well.)
  2. Peanut butter sandwiches, or preferrably, a toasted, single piece of ww bread with peanut butter melting on it. Some kind of yummy jam.
  3. Toast with butter and sugar/cinnamon.
  4. Sweet&Salty granola bars.
  5. Popcorn a la Holly.
Five songs you know all the words to.

  1. Grandpa's Farm
  2. When the Thunder Crashes
  3. Almost all the Monkees songs: Hey, Hey We're The Monkees, Last Train to Clarksville, I'm a Believer, etc. etc.
  4. There's A Kind of Hush
  5. Jumbo Elephant

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire.

  1. Find some way to feed starving children somewhere.
  2. Fund a cure for cancer. (yeah, I know, a million wouldn't touch it, but I'd try.)
  3. Hire someone to tear out my lawn and put in new sod. (Thus removing all the weeds from my grass.)
  4. Buy 3 new cars with zero miles on them. Nothing that fancy, just new.
  5. Try not to change my lifestyle....pretty much life as usual.

Five bad habits. Only five? Ah, there are so many to choose from.

  1. Procrastination. Especially phone calls.
  2. Going to bed without washing my face. I always brush my teeth, though, if that makes the gag reflex stop for you.
  3. Walking around in my pajamas as long as possible in the mornings before I have to get ready to go somewhere. I inevitably leave the getting ready a tad too long and have to rush.
  4. Staying up too late, getting up too late.
  5. Not planning dinner ahead of time. I'm working on that one. Still. Did much better this week! Yeah for me.

Does this all add up to L-A-Z-Y? I'm really not lazy...maybe just wannabe lazy?

Five things you like to do.
  1. Hang out with my family. Joy and Rejoicing!
  2. Sit on my front porch and watch it rain.
  3. Work in my yard.
  4. Read
  5. Get pedicures, play the piano, shop (sometimes) and go to church. Sorry that was cheating, but I couldn't leave some of those out. Again hard to choose only five.

Five things you will never wear again.

  1. U-Knits. Oh heavens, remember those???? How embarrassing.
  2. Polyester Pant Suits. Only the aged will remember, but they were the only "suit"able replacements for wearing dresses to school. Actually at the time they were pretty stylin', but I don't want to go back there.
  3. Size small anything. Boohoo.
  4. Saddle shoes.
  5. Ribbons in my hair. Kinda too old, dang it.

Five favorite toys.

  1. Computer. Although we have a love/hate relationship, I adore keeping in touch with my missionary, my family, and my friends via its fab magic. I love that I don't have to use carbon paper and white-out anymore.
  2. Piano.
  3. My garden scissors and pruners. :)
  4. Lawn Mower
  5. iPod

Where will you be in ten years?

Good question. Maybe in Mongolia on a mission. Who knows? Hopefully wherever I am it will be in good health and with my best friend/husband, surrounded by my kids and grandkids. Do ya'll want to go on a mission with me?

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm Baaaack!

Well, I'm back in town, but having a hard time getting back in the saddle. Two weeks of no responsibility did wonders, but um, I really don't want to be responsible again. I thought I'd come back rarin' to go, but instead, I've been reading Harry Potter. I was quite behind, and the vaca seemed the perfect time to catch up. The problem is, HP just pulled me back in, and I have two more volumes to go!!! I so need to paint, clean, iron, do YW stuff, yard work, etc. Ah well, I suppose it will wait for me...I just need a wand to charm my chores to do themselves.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fossilized Potato

I don't know what I was thinking. Obviously I wasn't thinking. I guess because I cooked rice in the microwave for 20 minutes the day before, I was still in the mode. At any rate, when I put my lunch in the microwave (yes, a nice, clean, normal potato) instead of setting it for the usual three minutes, I set it for 20. After 14 minutes, I had completely forgotten about it and was in the other room, but Holly and Kylie were in the kitchen and suddenly became aware of white smoke pouring out of the microwave. The ensuing ruckus captured my undivided attention, and we opened the microwave door to stop the microwave, opened windows, and carefully moved the smoking object outside with the aid of tongs. Think of the most acrid, awful smell you can conjure up in your mind, multiply it by approximately 2,498 and it will come close to the scent we are sporting in our kitchen these days. The poor potato is charred black clear through. The picture doesn't really do it justice. The black part that fell off was the inside of the skin that was over the black body of the potato. The most surprising thing was that it weighs about as much as a feather now. All the moisture is sucked out of it and it feels a little bit like black Styrofoam. Pretty cool, but awfully scary, and endlessly stupid. I can't even tell you how hard it has been to get rid of the smell. We made a quick trip to the store for some Febreze plug-ins, and gradually we are getting back to normal, unless, of course we use the microwave. I fear we will stink forever. Just thought I'd make you all feel really good about your cooking skills. Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Think Blue

There is probably nothing I like better than a baby. Being a granny is such an opportunity to get to hold babies again! We just got the news today that a new baby BOY is joining the fam via the Bartles. It is so fun to know what gender to expect! We can start saying "he" instead of "the baby." Just had to share that happy news. He's due to arrive Dec. 13....what a great Christmas gift!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Pantry

My, oh my, I'm feeling good tonight. I just finished cleaning up my pantry. It is far from perfect, but it is organized and straight and it hasn't been for...quite some time now. Somehow I conjured up in my mind that it would take hours and hours to deal with it, so I haven't attempted it. Tonight I just had to organize the paper plates and cups and utinsils so I could make room for a new item, and one thing just led to another. I have to admit, the obsessive/compulsive streak in me just loves putting all the green beans together, lining up the soup in flavors, arranging the baking goods so you can actually see what is there, and {drumroll} discarding the chips and crackers that have two stale bites left in the bag. Mr. Monk would definitely be proud. The ice cream cones and crackers are conveniently located on the bottom shelf so the grandkids can reach them. I'm so proud of me! It didn't even take that long. I think I need to attack a few other projects this week which have been procrastinated because I think they are going to take gobs of time. Maybe my recipe/computer adventure, my curtains, Eric's missionary scrapbook {it would be nice to get that done before he arrives back home, don't you think?}, my abandoned painting projects, etc., etc. Any bets on how long my organized pantry will last? It is really a shame it wasn't cleaned up before my company came. My bad.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ok, I know it has been forever since I posted. There are reasons for this.

A. My computer is in a room occupied by my very cherished visitors so I'm trying not to invade their privacy too much. :)

B. My life just isn't that interesting!

However, my world rocked this morning when my tile guys announced "we are done." Wahoo! One more step accomplished on the way to restoration of usage of the master bathroom. Now all we need are sinks and toilets! Minor details, eh? I will post a picture when....I don't know when, but hopefully soon! In the meantime, I have a lot of nail holes to putty and sand.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Perfect Storm/Packaging

It is true that chaos attracts more chaos. Remember that movie a few years ago about a big storm on the ocean or something (never saw it) where many different conditions came together to create that "perfect storm"? Well, the perfect storm arrived at our house this week. Remodeling, car issues, people moving, not moving, plumbing issues, painting, furniture delivery (fun, btw), YW, VT, etc. have made a happy chaos over in these parts. We are determined to keep our sense of humor and happy countenances though.

A lingering (and unrelated) issue with me is the innate inability I seem to have been born with to open things that are packaged. Even simple things like cereal boxes and cake mixes give me trouble. Even if I manage to get it open, chances are it is upside down. Yesterday I wanted to give my granddaughter a cheese stick and by the time I figured out how to peel it open, she wasn't interested any more. You know those bags that are sealed on top and then have zip locks for after you have opened it? Not my friends. Who invented "child-proof" lids, anyhow? It doesn't stop the kids, only me. I have to hand the bottle to the children to open it. And how about the lids that are put on at the factory by a big machine, and then they expect me to twist them off? Puh-leeeeeease. And how did my mirror arrive in the mail yesterday with the box so taped up that you would think the keys to the kingdom were inside, cushioned with half of the world's Styrofoam sheeting (which disintegrated into a hideous mess as I removed it), and the heavy wood frame was damaged/cracked/crushed. Was someone shipping an elephant in the box which happened to be on top of my mirror? The words "open here" are completely frustrating to me. It is just as hard "there" as anywhere else for me, but everyone around me zips the corner off and has the contents eaten before I find my scissors. I guess my husband's old saying "It's not what you want but what you get that makes you fat" could actually bless my life...I can't get the package open. I suppose I'll just maintain my friendship with my scissors and pocket knife and move on.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Wow, it seems like the only consistent thing in life is change!

A big change in my life was the death of my aunt this past week. She was my piano teacher for a while when I was in high school, and I'll always be grateful to her for teaching me some of the classics I still enjoy playing today (except I can't quite play them any more.) I will miss her, not that we really kept in touch, but I always knew she was there and that she was probably saying something really funny, 'cause she was like that. A change in routine for me was going to SLC to her funeral and spending some time with my awesome family. It was nice to re-c0nnect with everyone, even if it was for a short time. Miss you, guys! See you soon!

Another big change comin' up in my life is the state of our master bathroom. Come Thursday, the demolition crew will be here to transform its current hideous state into something lovely! It has been a long time comin'. Hooray!

Ripples going out from that change include painting the master bedroom. I meant to start that over the weekend. What happened? Perhaps a change of plans......?????

And a not-so-happy-for-me change occurred today as my beloved Beehive Counselor and Laurel Advisor became part of the new Stake YW Presidency. Hm. I will miss them like crazy. I guess I have to give them up for the greater good, but it is hard to imagine who needs them more than I do! I guess the silver lining in that dark cloud is that I will get to know some more fantastic women!

A change I'm looking forward to tomorrow is a haircut and color. Wahoo! I'm definitely looking forward to that one. Whaddaya think? Red? Blonde? Boring Brown? Highlights, no highlights, chunky or conservative? Hm. Guess we'll know by this time tomorrow!

I think I better change in to my pj's and contemplate some shut-eye. Maybe I'll change into a morning person. Wouldn't that be great?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

This Guy

This guy is my favorite. He was born in a little town in Idaho on the very same day that I was being given a name and a blessing in a little church in Utah. We joke about that and say that I was REALLY blessed that day, but it is actually not a joke. I was. I am. And so are my kids. Happy Father's Day, baby. You are the best thing that ever happened to me.

This guy is my other favorite. He is the best dad a girl could ever have. I am so lucky. I can truly say I was born of goodly parents. Happy Father's Day, dad. I love you.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I had the pleasure of mowing our lawn today. This is a chore usually assigned to Ryan these days, but his days have been very busy of late and it was more than a tad neglected. Since he gets up at the crack of the crack to work a landscaping job already, it is hard to face when he gets home. AND, when I got up this morning and walked outside and saw how overcast and cool it was for an Arizona morning in June, I knew I had to do something out there. Add to it the empty green barrel...need I say more? I just love how it looks when it is done, and I love mowing in patterns and trying to figure out the most efficient way to do it. It makes me feel like I went to the gym and worked out, only this is FUN working out. The only trouble is, it leads to weeding, trimming and pruning. Hm. All in all, it was a morning in heaven. Next step: fertilizer. Then I can mow green grass instead of brown, crunchy wannabe grass. I really hate having the worst looking lawn on the street. Definitely a downer.

Monday, June 4, 2007


It is hard to quantify the things I've learned as a result of rubbing shoulders with Sandra. I love her like a sister. I'll always miss her. But I'm sure glad I got to live around her for a while and learn from her. She definitely left footprints in my heart.

Things I learned from Sandra:

People always matter more than programs or possessions.

Sometimes kids just need you to rub their ears.

Time is precious.

Being in nature helps us get closer to God.

We need time that isn't programmed to listen to the birds and watch the clouds.

Families are the glue that holds life together.

Little plants are like little souls. (We share a love of digging in the dirt.)

You need to deadhead your flowers. There is a quote by Sue Careless that always makes me think of Sandra..."You know you are one hard-core gardener if you deadhead flowers in other people's gardens." Sandra was a hard-core gardener.

Learn to serve.

Keep it simple.

Singing hymns brings the spirit. Kneeling prayer is powerful.

We learn to do by doing.

Sometimes we think too much.

Painting on cardboard is fun, whether it is with Beehives, Scouts, or any other group of kids. It is OK if it isn't perfect, and it is OK if it gets on the driveway. It comes out eventually.

Life is more fun when you laugh a lot. Presidency meetings are more fun when you laugh a lot.

Put one foot in front of the other even if it is hard. We can do hard things.

Some things are worth fighting for. Sometimes we need to assume the role of advocate.

Sometimes our role is submitting our will to God's will.

Life is good....the zinnias are blooming. (The last time Sandra was in my home, about two weeks ago, these were her parting words.)

I love you, my friend. I can't imagine life without you. Thank you for patiently teaching me.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Numero Uno Times Dos

Although it has been a while since this momentous event took place, here is the very first bloom of the summer on my baby zinnias. AND, this is my very first venture into photos on the blog!

Now there are dozens of zinnias in bloom and soon (I hope) there will be dozens of pictures on my blog. The reason I just have to settle for being hopeful is because I honestly don't know if I can remember how to do this. (Remember technostress.) But at least my computer has the capability now, even if I don't, which was not the case until my genius husband came to my rescue and re-set a bunch of stuff on my computer. Thanks, genius husband. Now if you could just re-set my brain to work better when dealing with things binary, we'd be in business.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Graduate

I officially have five children graduated from high school. This makes me feel really old in some ways. But wow, Ryan, way to do it in style! I could try to list every nice thing that people have said about Ryan in the last few days at various assemblies and activities, but I'll settle for a few of the choicest ones that Mr. Baser, a faculty member, said about him when he presented the Faculty's Choice Citizenship Award/Outstanding Student of the Year" to him.

One of my personal favorites was "he would rather chew off his arm than tell a lie."

"He is the nicest person I know."

"I've never heard anyone say one bad word about Ryan, but maybe that is because I have never heard Ryan say one bad word about anyone else."

"When he arrived at Mesa High he decided to forget himself and serve so the Mesa High experience would be better for everyone else."

"He gets people to work hard and get things done because he always takes the dirtiest job for himself."

"He is pre-approved to marry my daughter." (I heard this one from several people! :) )

"If I had a son, I would want him to be just like Ryan."

Well, I'm glad he is my son. Thanks for being who you are, dude. Love you forever.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It Gave Me A Fright (what movies is that from?)

JTLYK, there was a grasshopper on my pillow when I made my bed this morning (see my previous post.) Tell me, how did a grasshopper get in my bedroom? It is beyond my ken. (What song is that from?) The most frightening possibility is that it came in with me yesterday after working outside. Hm. That freaks me out...was it in my hair? On my shirt? This is not cool. The offending creature is currently on my bedroom carpet where I smashed the bajeebers out of it in my hysteric horror. Don't think I can pick it up...maybe the vacuum? Ack.

Green Monday

Well, I got sucked in by the green barrel emptiness again today. Maybe it will become a Monday tradition that all previous plans go out the window when I realize the green barrel is not full. I kind of like being spontaneous, I've decided. I especially like putting off all the "dumb things I gotta do" in favor of doing something I love. (One of these weekends we will mow the lawn and it will be full.)

As I puttered around in my yard, it gave me a chance to reflect on a few things, take some deep breaths of fresh air, and get "grounded" again (no pun intended.) BTW, wasn't it a nice morning? Here's my profound thoughts for today:

Be grateful for every single day you are healthy and can dig in the dirt.

How'd I ever manage to be standing in the right line when they were passing out wonderful kids? I think I got the cream o' the crop in that department. Love you guys! (Nice speech at baccalaureate, Ryan!) I was definitely not standing in the right line when they were passing out hair. Hm. Glorious thought, I have a haircut tomorrow! Now if I can just remember long enough to get there...

In exactly 12 days camp will be over. I know, I know, it's gonna be really fun. It just isn't fun yet. I'm the world's most ridiculous novice about this whole thing. Don't get it, don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, don't like camping. But it's gonna be fun, right? Right?

Miracles happen. Every time I plant seeds and in a few weeks have blooming plants, I marvel at the creation. How does that seed know what to do? There is a saying that goes "Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see...believes in God." It's true. Having said that, I believe in other miracles too...we gotta believe!

Five of my six children will be high school grads this Thursday. Thanks for being 13, Holly. I'm not ready to be an empty nester. I don't wanna grow up.

What are the odds that if you plant a whole row of mixed color zinnias there will be 3 pink ones in a row? Apparently the odds are not that slim.

Grandkids are like the cherry on top. I love being a granny.

I hate grasshoppers. Always have, but 10th grade biology didn't help. I was so disappointed to learn that Arizona has them too. If we have to have scorpions, you'd think we wouldn't have to have grasshoppers.

The end.

Friday, May 18, 2007

News Flash

Once in a while things happen that rock my mommy world! Today the faculty at Mesa High presented R-Dawg with the Faculty's Citizenship Award...Outstanding Student of the Year. Can I just say I'm so proud of you? You too, Holl-Doll! Congrats on the 8th grade VP!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Do you want the bad news, or the other bad news?

Well, the bad news is the Suns lost!
The other bad news is Melinda lost! What on earth?
I'm exhausted. Things will look better in the morning, right?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Green Barrels

What is it about an empty green barrel that plunges me into a frenzy of backbreaking work I wasn't planning to do so I can fill it before the garbage collector comes? Why can't I just leave it sitting there like every other sane person in the neighborhood? Maybe part of the reason is that green barrels are currently our only method of transporting dead (or otherwise undesirable) foliage out of my beloved yard and into the land fill. And maybe part of it is that I'd so much rather dig in the dirt than do laundry, cleaning, errands, or almost anything else I can think of. I grabbed a shovel, a pruner, and what fortitude I could muster and attacked our winter-killed ficus trees. The limbs were thick but brittle, and I managed to cut through them, but the roots were very determined to stay put. This surprised me, since the trees definitely gave up the ghost some months ago. There is a quote by Matthew McConaughey (bless his beautiful heart/face) that gave me inspiration today. "I love having my hands in the dirt. It is never a science and always an art. There are no rules. And if it comes down to me versus that weed that I'm trying to pull out of the ground that doesn't want to come out? I know I'll win." I kept telling myself today that I was going to win. Those roots gave me a royal battle and I have to admit, I'm glad you couldn't see (or hear) me during the altercation. One of them almost got the better of me. I'm gonna be sore tomorrow, but guess what? I won!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Of Things Mongolian

It has been 18 months since a bundle of energy left our home for the outer reaches of Mongolia. How do we miss him? Let me count the ways.

1. Miss the energy...he is to the family like a spark plug is to the engine.
2. Miss the laugh...hearing it last night on the phone was
3. Miss the hilarity... i.e. the chick magnet dance, fork and spoon pic from the Taj Mahal, twin hair picture with Tyler, etc. Every situation is more fun because he's there...he has a way of getting us all rolling. (Although I have to say, all of my children are pretty good in that department.)
4. Miss the acronymns he attaches to everything...I wonder if he has them in Mongolian?
5. Miss the sensitive side...he is emotionally open and feels deeply.
6. Miss the clothes on the bathroom floor...nah, not so much.
7. Miss trying to drag him out of bed in the morning...j/k...he is an early riser now. Go Yo!
8. Miss the little neat freak, OCD endearing. We call them Mitchisms.
9. Miss the sleeping antics...sleepwalking, hilarious conversations at 3 a.m., not hearing alarms that wake the neighbors across the street.
10. Miss the computer genius that patiently got me out of scrapes on a daily basis.

Well, that is a beginning of a long, long list of how I miss the kid. Do I want him back? Yep...but not for six months. I wouldn't bring him back today if I could. Isn't that weird? It just all goes to prove that sometimes the best way to love them is to let them go. And when he is back home, we will miss the weekly diet of uplifting and miraculous letters, the phone calls twice a year, and knowing he is in exactly the right place at the right time doing the right thing. Love you, Eddude!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Dixon Family Fairness Doctrine

The Dixon Family Fairness Doctrine. Hm. I was musing about this last night. One of our children (I do believe it was runningfan) finally put a label on our lifelong attempt to make things fair for our gifts, birthday gifts, privileges, chores, etc. It would be so much easier NOT to. But every Christmas, the list gets made, every gift for every child listed, price posted, and totaled with love. Everyone has the same number of Christmas presents to open, even if it means purchasing somebody's favorite box of cereal and wrapping it up to make things even. Birthdays and graduation gifts all have a budget (which on occasion I admit we exceed...bah!) And then there is the whole dilemma that even if it costs the same, does it LOOK the same? Ah, there is where stress is born. And then we add the nuances of inflation and relative prosperity into the mix. Hm. All I can say, kids, is that hopefully you know we adore you all the same, and we TRY to be fair and square, always and forever, and that we love every minute of it. BTW, it never ends. If I buy something cute for one grandchild, is it fair to the others? I give up...I'm just gonna be a spontaneous granny! They will all get a turn.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Boy Band

Last night on American Idol (yes, I'm watching my very first season!) they put out a request for bands to send in a recording and participate in a band competition. I turned to my kids and jokingly remarked that it was too bad Fresh Milk couldn't participate. Fresh Milk was a boy band in which my older son, Eric, was the cutest drummer ever. Although at the time I worried a lot about him being in a band, we enjoy remembering back to the boy band days and listening to the CD they made. I reflected on the whereabouts of the now-grown-up boys in the band...Mongolia, Africa, Austria and Brazil! They have all chosen to serve religious missions and are having a positive impact all over the world. I was never more proud of Fresh Milk.

Monday, May 7, 2007

A beginning.

Although my relationship with computers defines the word technostress, I'm venturing into the world of blogging so I can comment on my ever-so-fabulous daughter's blog (hopefully!) I may even have an occasional post if I can actually figure out how to do this. :) Everyone in my family can attest to my lack of savvy when it comes to things technical, digital, and mechanical. Here's to a new beginning!