Sunday, April 29, 2012

Once Upon A Time...

Yesterday was pretty cool.  I got up really early (6:30 is early for me!), and made a breakfast casserole.  Kurtis helped.  I guess he likes spending time with me even though he could have just stayed in bed.  He grated cheese for me and cut up some mushrooms.  While it baked, I got ready for the day.
All last week, I was working really hard on making invitations and some cute decorations for my soon to be sister-in-law's wedding shower.  Her family was really, really crazy busy, so my mom conned me into throwing a shower for her.  I didn't mind.  Especially because my mom got my aunt to let us have it at her house.  My house is still "under-construction" and so it's not ready for so much excitement yet.  Having it at my aunt's house took the biggest load of stress off of my mind.  I hate trying to make my house clean enough for people to come over.  Any way.  I also put together a few games to play that were a lot of fun.
First we ate yummy breakfast casserole and then we played some games.  The first game we played was Guess the Herb.  I had eight different herbs and I put them in some containers.  The ladies smelled them and guessed what they were.  One of Lili's nieces got them all right and her prize was two Tobelerone candy bars.  Yum!  I love those.  Then we played Bridal Pictionary.  That was fun.  Then I asked Lili some questions that I had asked Michael earlier in the week (I recorded him answering, too), and she had to guess what Michael said.  It was soooo funny.  Mainly because a lot of the questions, she got the answers of what Michael said word for word.  Too funny.  Every time she got one wrong, she had to eat some Sour Patch Kids.  I was going for the sour face effect, but it didn't really work.  It was fun to listen to Michael give his answers, and to see her reaction, though.  Then she opened her presents.  It was such a fun shower!  It was so great to get to meet her mom and her sisters.  They're good people, and seem like they are a lot of fun.  Her mom was really funny.  She got Michael and Lili a wedding present, and decided that for her shower, she would give her more of a gag gift.  It was a golden statue of a pioneer-type girl.  Like Little House on the Prairie.  Lili said that they would prominently display it in their home whenever she was coming to visit.  So funny! :)  Yes, I took pictures!

 Lili has a really big family.  Like way, way big.  I made 60 invitations, but it turned out I only needed to make 50.  ;)

 Front and Back of the invitation.  I do them post card-style, so you can get more invites out of your pack of card stock (from Stampin' Up!).

 I made three rosettes that went with my sort of fairy tale theme for the shower.
So this is Michael.  All alone with no one to love.

 Then he and Lili meet and birds sing and the world feels right again!

 And this is Lili.  Or something like that. If you want to get all symbolic about it. ;)

 I also made some smaller rosettes into a garland.  It spelled out "Michael & Lili"

 I put a girl in between "Michael &" and then a boy face between "& Lili" to break up the words and make them easier to read.

 This is the finished garland.  Yeah, I know I need to take down my St. Patrick's Day decoration.  I just haven't really thought about it much until I took the picture.  I still haven't taken it down.

 These are the containers for the herb game.  I decorated them, too.

 Look what I got in the mail Friday!  I was so excited!

 Playing Pictionary.  This is also the girl who won the herb game.

 We had about 20 people or so come.  Those are the rosettes from above hanging from my aunt's ceiling fan.

 I won't bore you with too many pictures of Lili opening presents, but these are the ones that my mom, and brothers and sisters went in on, so I think they would like to see them. They couldn't make it to the shower.  :)

 My brother Ryan couldn't help pitch in with the gift, so he made her some "Commitment Perfume".  It smelled like mouthwash.  Lili said, "It smells!"  :)

 So we got her the cutting board set (shown above) and this knife set.  She said, "Now we can cut things!"
Love it! :)

 Okay, so maybe the statue was a little more on the Victorian side.
"I'd like to thank the academy..."  Yes, she really did say that. :D

Her sister got her this cool crock pot, and I promised her I would put this picture on my blog.  She's too much fun.  I love hanging out with her.  Oh, and she loved the decorations so much, she wants to use them at the reception and open house.  Awesome! :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Ana Has A Queen Amidala Costume That Might Wor. Work, Not Wor."

Ah, Third grade.  It's the grade that seems to have the most homework at our kids' school.  I'm really not exaggerating.  Riley is in third grade this year.  In two years, Kaleb will be in third grade, and I will be posting this exact same post only the name will be changed.
So every year, they make the third graders do about four thousand book reports and all of them seem to have some sort of project they have to do that goes along with it.  Woo hoo.  More work for me.  When Riley was in third grade, I helped him a lot.  I learned my lesson.  I don't really need to help out so much.  But this time, Riley needed a costume for his book report.  Sigh.  His book was The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland.  It's a good book with beautiful illustrations.  It's about a woman from Vietnam who comes to America during the Vietnam war.  The emperor of Vietnam gets one page of the story.  Guess which character Riley wanted to dress up as and review the story to his class dressed up as said character.  Yep.  The emperor.
So I googled emperor costumes and came up short.  I posted my dilemma on facebook, and my sister came to the rescue.  A few years back, her daughter wanted to be Queen Amidala for Halloween.  She's way more ambitious than me, and made her costume.  It is beautiful.  She mailed it to me and slipped a little surprise for the boys inside.  She's so awesome.  The boys were absolutely excited to find three HEXbugs inside the box with extra batteries.  Oh man.  Those things are awesome and they don't have the ones she sent us here.
Any way, I don't have a picture of my niece all dressed up in her costume, but I remember seeing one.  It was cute.

 I took a picture of the illustration so my sister could see what I needed.  See, it's a beautiful book.  She probably immediately thought of her costume.  I went online to see if there were any Queen Amidala costumes that looked right, so she wouldn't have to pay to mail it to me, but nothing was at all like what she sent, or like the picture above.

 My sister is an artist so she knows how to manipulate things, and suggested I take a milk jug and spray paint it gold and use that for his helmet.  I went to do that, but I wasn't quite sure what to do.  I said to myself, "But I do know how to manipulate paper.  I can do that!"  So I cut off the bottom of the milk jug, stuck paper to it, and painted it gold.  I even have some gold glitter paint, so I painted the edges of the fringe with that.  I also painted the "feather" with glittery swirls.  You can't really see it in the picture, though.

 Here's Riley all ready to go perform before school.  I didn't get to go see it. :(
This is his favorite pose for pictures.

I had to work.  Here is what he did when I said, "Okay, now let's get one where you look like a normal boy."   Doesn't he look handsome?

He brought this home from school today.
Thanks, Michele!  I think she gets the coolest aunt award today. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Unite and Take Over

The other day, I asked Riley a couple of questions.  I asked him, "What if there was a drug that was only for men that you could only get from a doctor and insurance covered it, but there is also a drug that was only for women that you had to go to the doctor to get but insurance didn't always cover it - do you think that's fair?
He said, "No.  Insurance should cover both."  I also said, "Let's pretend Mom has a job that is the exact same job as Dad's where she does the exact same thing that Dad does and has the same ability to do that job.  Do you think that Mom and Dad should be paid the same amount of money, or should Dad get more?"
He said, "No.  They should be paid the same."
See.  A nine-year-old gets it.  Why can't this guy?  

Here is a humorous interpretation of what women have to put up with:

We absolutely should be pissed off.  Because it is flat out, simply, just plain wrong.

I hate politics.  I purposefully checked "Unaffiliated" on the box when I registered to vote.  Kurtis had the audacity to call me a "Moderate" once (although that does sound about right).  I hate taking a stand on things, but this is just out of control.  But all is not lost.  There is something you can do (aside from taking over the world and making yourself supreme dictator).  You can register to vote, and actually exercise your right as a citizen of this country by voting.  Or you can stand back and watch in disbelief as idiots behave idiotically.  It's up to you.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

No One's Getting Out Without Stadium Love!

Thursday was my dad's birthday.  He turned 61.  My dad is awesome.  When I went away to college, for my first Valentine's day away from home, he got me a single pink carnation.  He said it was because he didn't want me to think that nobody loved me that day.  I probably laughed and blew him off and said I didn't think that, but it meant the world to me, and I have never forgotten it.  He has the kindest heart of any man that I have ever met.  He showed me how to work and taught me how to be a good person.  He still comes over and helps me when I don't know who else to call.  I really do have the best dad on the planet.  True story.
On March 29th, my sister wrote this on my wall on facebook:  "Hey maybe for Dad's birthday we should get him Stadium of Fire tickets... The Beach Boys are playing!"  How does she find out about these things?  She's so up on all the hip info.  I'll never be able to keep up.  My dad really loves the Beach Boys and I couldn't think of a way more awesome gift to get him, so I suggested that Emily ask if the rest of our siblings would like to chip in.  Then we could get them really good seats.  :)  
My brother Rodney came over on Easter and told me that my brother's fiance was telling him about the Beach Boys coming and that Dad said that he and my mom would have to go to that.  I was worried that my dad would buy himself some tickets, so a couple of days later, I called my mom and asked her to think of an excuse to tell him they couldn't afford that.  That was pretty easy for her as it turns out, they have a wedding coming up in a couple of weeks.  Whew.  I also told her not to write it down on her calendar, or Dad would see it!  My mom likes to plan things and have things to plan for.  She tends to write them all down, too.
Yesterday, Emily and I went to visit my parents and watch my dad open his present.  That's always the best part! 

He wasn't expecting that!


 These are good seats!

 I think he likes them.  It's kind of hard to tell, though.  He's so stoic.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Some Easters Are Better Than Others

This morning started out with an Easter egg hunt.  The kind where the eggs are filled with various sorts of candies.  Then the boys looked at the Easter baskets while I sorted through the plastic eggs and made sure everybody got the same amount of the same candies.  It's the way I was raised.  We'll just leave it at that.
We also made Resurrection Rolls for breakfast.  I got the recipe from my friend who posted the link on her blog.  Thanks, Shauna!  They are not a healthy breakfast at all, but they are tasty.  I figured I would try to help them understand why we celebrate Easter, and let them know that it isn't just about chocolate.  Emphasis on the word try.  Because as Zachary read the scripture verses about Jesus' crucifixion, we had a few people trying to talk about other things and I wasn't very happy about that.  Then Kaleb cried because he wouldn't eat his roll, but we wouldn't let him have any candy until he did.  Then I went to choir practice, but before I did, I heard Kaleb talking to himself and crying because he didn't get a Lego Star Wars III game.  It's what he wanted for Christmas, but because he didn't put it at the top of his list, we thought he wanted Lego Pirates of the Caribbean more, and got him that.  I was late to choir practice because I felt the need to give him a little lovin' before I left.  When I got back, Kaleb was crying.  Dad told him he couldn't have any Easter candy until he put on his church shoes, and he couldn't find them!  We found them under a box in his room.  Then I helped Kaleb put on his new tie.  It's his first tie you tie yourself, and not some zipper tie.  It was a little long, and he started to cry.  "I don't like it!" He cried.  He's the one of my children who is most concerned about his appearance.  Ugh.  He did not wear his new tie today, and Kurtis told him we would take him to the tie store to pick out his own tie.  We also decided maybe he wasn't quite ready for the tie it yourself tie.  Zipper ties are awesome, but the other kind last longer (unless you are my kids and you just can't help but ruin them in one way or another).  Poor kid!  This Easter seemed like a total FAIL for him.  It just seemed like a lot of drama over a tie to me.  I suppose I might feel the same way about shoes sometimes, though.  For dinner, we had shishkabobs.  No, I don't know how to spell that word. I'm sure I knew at one time or another.  That works for me, though.  We also had some yummy artichoke dip.  Well, Kurtis and I did.  The kids didn't really want any.  Meh.  More for us. :)

 I tried to put other things in their baskets besides candy, but that really didn't happen.  Except the ties.  I really, really liked Kaleb's tie and I am really bummed that he was so unhappy with it.  It's the one black one with turquoise stripes in the basket next to the one on the far left with the giant bag of Cadbury mini eggs in it. Yes, yes, those are for me.  I really, really love them and the Easter Bunny understands.

 Hunting for the eggs!  The Easter Bunny hid 50 eggs this year.  That's a lot.

 Resurrection Rolls!  Yum!  The tomb was empty.

These shishkabobs were delightful! :D

These are the Easter cards I forgot to send out.  I'll do that tomorrow maybe.  Probably it's more like I will get everybody to sign them tomorrow and then put them in the mail Tuesday.  All the painting I've been doing has made me neglect pretty much everything else.  Sorry!  I still love you, though! :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunlight Across a Darkened Floor

I have some good news.  No, I'm not going to have a baby.  You guys are weird.  My kitchen is finally put completely back together.  Except for two baseboards that I will nail in myself and two baseboards that my brother needs to cut me to replace the ones in the kitchen that don't match up with the ones in the front room.  Yay for unforeseen circumstances! 
Saturday, Kurtis and I pounded in the baseboards in the front room except on the west side of the room.  I was really anxious to begin painting the front room the way I want it, and I was not going to wait around any more.
Sunday, I started painting.  I'm so super excited about the way my wall is starting to look!  It's going to be really cool when it's done.
Here are some pictures of the new floor as it got put in:

 Here is the picture I took when the boys went on a lunch break.

 After day 1.

 This is the new sub floor they put in.  They also put one in the front room before they started installing the floor.

 They finished up the kitchen except

 this part.  Somebody forgot to order the stair nose and so until that came, it wasn't worth coming back and doing just this tiny bit until they got that part.

 Here it's all done! :)

 Then, when he went to put in the quarter rounds (the edging around my cupboards), he realized he had forgotten his small nail gun.  Finally, two weeks later, they have put it in and the floor is done!

And they put this edge on as well.  We are so thrilled to have the floor completed!  Woo hoo!

Here is something fun to show you.  The vent grates were the same color as the old floor, so I got to get new ones!  I like these so much better.  :)
But Project Front Room continues.  The rest is up to me.  Kurtis is only helping when I need it on this one.  I know I've said this before, but his expertise is very specific, and it's given him carpel tunnel.  It's good for me.  I suppose.