Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Is there anything as frustrating as trying to sweep up a macaroni noodle?

I think not.

And yet only the universe knows why I stand there and encourage that little noodle along with my broom. It refuses to glide along at the pace of all the rest of my dusty crusties on the kitchen floor. It moves forward just a few inches only to stick and roll under the bristles of the broom.

It's infuriating.

And why don't I just bend over and pick the nasty thing up and deposit it in the trash can?

I don't know. I just don't know.

Eventually I get it to "the pile", although sometimes I stop short and bring the pile to it. It's called Pile Relocation.

Can't you see that I lead an extremely high paced and sophisticated life?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Spirit

A couple of weeks ago, Mark asked me "What's wrong?"

I had been feeling sad and when I feel sad I get quiet. I tend to retreat inside of myself while I mull things over.

As usual, when Mark asks me what's wrong, I reply "Nothing." But we've been together over a decade (awesome!) and he is well versed in the herculean effort it takes for me to give him a real answer.

"What's wrong?"



"I'm fine."

"Tell me. You're not fine"

"I don't know"

Silence. He's waiting. Because he knows that I have NEVER really not wanted to tell him what was wrong.

"'s just that.." and then I spill it. All of it. Everything that's been on my mind in one gargantuan run on sentence peppered with tears and nose blowing.

Sooo... I'd been feeling distant from Heavenly Father. When I think of Him I feel a great deal of disapproval. I picture him with a spiral notebook and a pencil keeping track of the endless unkind thoughts, how many times I say "seriously?" to my kids, the excessive number of 'dangit's that come out of my mouth, when I forget to say my prayers, how many times I've turned off the tv when I hear Mark opening the garage door and make it look like I wasn't being lazy, and on and on and on. For some reason I picture Him as an accountant of my failings rather than a father that is giving me the benefit of the doubt. I spent my whole mission trying desperately to convince others that God loves them and He wants them to be happy. And now I spend everyday trying to teach my four little people the same thing. I tell them that they can always turn to him and he'll understand the true desires of their hearts. I want them to feel His love for them, but for some reason I struggle believing that He loves me too.

Mark listened and reassured and eventually I stopped crying and we started talking about something else and then we popped popcorn and watched "The Office".

But as we went to the temple this weekend, it was still on my mind. As I sat in the Celestial Room, I wondered why I have a hard time feeling His love for me. I prayed to feel it. I prayed to know what it was when I felt it. And like most things in life, I eventually had to get up out of that chair and leave the Celestial Room and change back into my street clothes and drive back to Arkansas. And life goes on.

Then today as I pulled out of the driveway to go to church, I popped in the CD with the kids' primary songs on it. The first one was "The Family is of God". I had just read my sister's blog and how much she loves this song. She had mentioned that her favorite part is "God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be. This is how He shares his love". So naturally when it came to that part, I paid a little more attention. When I heard those words, I felt that wonderful feeling wash over me. It reminded me that He shows me His love through the love of my family. They are a gift from Him. I remembered the exact words of my prayer in the temple and I realized that I had received an answer. Such a small thing and it all happened inside of my head and my heart. Isn't that something? It really is something.

Maybe He does have a spiral notebook. If He does, maybe He wrote down that I grew a little bit today. And maybe He'll jot down that I made dinner (with side dishes!) instead of busted out the cold cereal. That's got to neutralize the fact that I'm helping myself to the kids' Halloween candy without permission.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A missing piece

I have this thing about missing pieces. It bothers me....alot. If there is a piece missing from a puzzle, a board game, a set of books, a collection of rocks....whatever, I can't stop thinking about it. I give myself about 3 weeks to find it and then I end up getting rid of the whole thing. Even as I write this, I am acutely aware that our Sorry game is missing one yellow and two red pawns. I contemplate possible hiding places. As I was driving today I decided I should look under the armoir in the living room....or maybe it's in the magazine/diaper basket.

The other day I put together a 1000 piece puzzle. I have no idea where this puzzle came from. It didn't look like the kind of puzzle I would buy, but it was fun to sort out the side pieces and watch the whole thing come together. As I got closer to the end, it became disconcertingly clear that there weren't as many pieces left as empty spaces. There was one missing. ONE PIECE. I scoured the floor, under the bed, baseboards, behind the nightstands. Nopity nope. It made me sweat because I can't leave a thousand piece puzzle just lying around for the 3 week probationary period and I can't put the puzzle back in the box. I'd have to put a note on it that says, "Missing a piece" because I'm not about to put together a puzzle that I know will never be completed. Am I the only one that loves to stroke my hand over the surface of a freshly completed puzzle? That is satisfaction.

Mark notices me looking and looking. Getting a bit agitated.

He took a piece of paper and slipped it behind the puzzle, traced the outline, carefully drawing in what should have been there and colored it to match. He took the paper, glued it to the box of the 'Life' game (I hate that big loss) and cut it out. As I sat in frustration by my "almost there" puzzle, he sat down next to me and popped his handmade piece in place.


I love that man.

Global Contribution to Love and Harmony

The inventor of the Magic Eraser deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

Whoever you are....I send you the love and adoration only befitting one who has saved countless children from beatings and verbal abuse due to misguided attempts at wall murals.

We thank you.

And today, Megan Kathleen Hufford thanks you.

Friday, October 16, 2009


It happened again.

I tried to resist.

I walked away.

I made a major effort to distract myself.

I couldn't do it.

I finished off Laney's corn dog.

I'm going to go and google LCA (Leftover Corndog Anonymous) groups.

Have a nice day.

Oh, wait....
Corn Dog Casserole anyone? The internet is a sick and twisted place.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Intercession Pt. 3

And for our intercession finale.....I give you....

Tanyard Creek.

Beautiful and the easiest hike ever.

My kids loved it because it had signs all along the way that name plants, trees, and reasons why something might be there. We found it very entertaining.

We only hiked to the waterfall because it was getting late. When we arrived there were some people taking family portraits up by the falls, so we took the opportunity to take our own breathtaking shots by this gorgeous natural cropping of chain link and concrete.

Never leave home without your camo shorts and brown velvet cowboy vest. Perhaps I should have waited a couple more weeks to get down the Halloween box down from the attic.....nah.

Ethan found some "clams". I have no idea what they really are. I do know that they are somewhere in my house in a mason jar and I had better find them soon or suffer the consequences.
Once "those people" finished with their photo shoot, we enjoyed the falls and poked around a bit. I must say that this is a beautiful little spot and absolutely kid friendly. If it had been warmer, I would've gladly let the kids get in the water and play.

We started hiking out just as it started to rain. Some people might not appreciate this, but for my kids, it lends welcome drama to the day's activities. Not a bad way to spend a couple hours.

The remainder of intercession was spent primarily on tv, neighbors, driving Megan to preschool and an open box of honey nut Cheerios. I put together 2 puzzles, which might explain the decline in mother-initiated activities. What can I say...I was pooped. This week the kids are back in school and I get a vacation from our vacation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Intercession Pt. 2

Oooh. Fancy that. 2 parts it is!

Had a "Bike Day" at Shining Rock River, more commonly know as Ward Nail Park.

Here's a photo of the new and improved Shining Rock River.

It isn't a river and although there are many many rocks, those aren't shining either. We named it that because that's just what we do. Last year, the city expanded our little pond and turned the fields into a beautiful park with paved bike/walking trails, basketball courts, play equipment and a BMX track that the boys LOVE (heart, heart). This year they are working on soccer fields and tennis courts. We're just happy that we don't have to get into the car to get there.

Laney rides in the bike trailer and finds ways to entertain herself:

We played on the swings and took a few photos. It's always interesting to me what each child considers a worthy pose.

The flying mommy pose?

Eye through the link?

The casual lean?

The "I couldn't care less about your obsessive need to photograph me"?

But I did manage to get a decent updated photo of them all together. BINGO! Momma's happy.

We pedaled over to the pond and Laney passed out in the trailer.

I sat on the bank and watched my oldest three throw rocks and wander out onto the peninsula to relax. Kinda nice to enjoy the sun and the breeze and the fact that none of them were so young they'll just walk into the pond. It's in the details, right?

I love Mathew just lying on that bench.

A good day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Intercession Pt. 1

Maybe I shouldn't commit myself by naming this "Pt. 1". That means I'm obligated to come up with a Pt. 2. We all know how that "Weekly Review" thing panned out. Well, If I don't get around to it, I'll just go back and erase the "Pt. 1" from the title.


So because we are on a modified year round schedule, we have a shorter summer and then a couple week long breaks throughout the year. This is super awesome because a)this means we have a seven week summer (I've already sung those praises) and b) everyone else is still in school and the we have the place to ourselves. Also, the breaks are in October and March, which means we are likely to have fantastic weather.

So we've been painting pumpkins.

This is an inexpensive way to feel crafty. And it gives me a reason to use my nasty vinyl tablecloth. A win-win.

Laney's happy she is included and no longer stuck in the high chair with a pile of cheerios.

I found it interesting that each one had their own approach to painting....


Polka dots:

Hang on...cookie break....[swallow]


We also spent some quality time with the Chucky's cheese and visited Sam at his club. Mainly we were there for his free cookies and cheap pizza. There will be no photos...I have enough documentation of the Chuck to last me many moons.

Monday, October 12, 2009


While on a hike the other day, Mathew waxed philosophical.

"Well, I'll tell you. The more you eat, the more you poop. Believe me....I know."

No....believe me. He knows.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A path of destruction.

Tonight after I got the kids to bed, I gathered 10 lbs. of potatoes that had been strewn throughout the house. It was like the Easter Potato had visited early and left brown surprises just for me.

Anyone else have an 18 month old?

Friday, October 9, 2009

One thing I love about my husband

On "Donuts with Dad" day all my kids were sick.

They were bummed.

Dad came through.

Personally, I think this is the way to go. No lines, no crowd control, no wondering which donuts have been touched by the 50 kids that came before you.

Just dad, sprinkles, and leftovers.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Isn't that exactly how it goes?

This morning I made myself camel's eyes. It's a gross name for a yummy breakfast.

These are not in keeping with the spirit of my healthy eating plan.

As I was cooking up two of these (because two is the perfect amount for one person), Ethan wanders up and says, "ooh. What are those? Those look good. Can I have one?" Well, my gut instinct was to say, "NO! MINE!" But I just read the verses in Matthew 7 about knowing how to give good gifts to my children (v.11) and so I took a deep breath and said calmly, "Sure."

I put his on his breakfast plate and skulked off to eat my half of a serving. 10 minutes later I come in to find Laney poking holes in it with a colored pencil.

"Hey! Why didn't you eat your camel's eye?"

"I didn't like it so I gave it to Laney"

"And you didn't think to give it back to me?

"Sorry, Mom."


I would've retrieved it from the clutches of the baby, but she had already moved on to the poke and drag technique. It was unrecognizable. And you know as well as I do that making two sets of camel's eyes pushes the boundaries of healthy eating. It can't be rationalized.

What. The. Heck.

Great. Now what are we supposed to do for food storage?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Only the beginning.

Has this happened for you yet?

If not, I wish for it to come to you speedily.

Sure, he looks like he's mowing uphill.

Sure, he only did a 10' x 10' section of our lawn.

Sure, he took eleven breaks after which Mark would have to come over and restart the mower.

But that was 100 square feet of grass that was cut by hands other than ours and it's
only the beginning.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nobody's perfect.

Ever seen a cheddar pizza?

Now you have.

"When you fail to plan, you plan to have a cheddar pizza."

Words to live by.

Remember my gorgeous, green kale...destined for the soup pot? The caterpillars ate the top leaves and pooped all over the bottom leaves. No amount of washing/radiation can get me to put one of those in my mouth.

In case you didn't know, kale is 68 cents a bunch right now at Walmart. The Zuppa Toscana

A couple weeks ago, the third step off the deck broke off and I haven't replaced it because my fat little wiener dog can't get up it and whine at the back door. I'm happy with this arrangement. It helps me to not yell unattractive things from the back door in the middle of the night. Hopefully I don't regret the procrastination when one of my offspring falls through the gaping hole.

Last week one of the pedals on one of our kids' tricycles fell off. Mark tried to throw it away, but I'm emotionally attached to it (our kids rode that tricycle!) so I saved it from its fate at the dump and bought some epoxy to try and fix it, but I'm intimidated by the complicated instructions on the package and so there has been a broken tricycle in my kitchen for 4 days, causing fights over who gets to scoot around the linoleum on it and who should or should not be using it as a ladder to get to the marshmallows.

Which reminds me. We have marshmallows. Those would be good with some chocolate chips.



This morning I found this little fellow on the wall in the dining room.

Kinda cute, huh? But a little wierd that there is a tree frog in my house. And how beautiful are those blue eyes? As I look at this photo, I sense wisdom in those eyes. Like he's trying to impart nuggets of ancient knowledge to me. "Tired, you are. Sleep, you must have. Chocolate, you must eat." Thank you, little Yoda. I will follow your counsel closely.

Oh, and what's a girl gotta do to get another brown-eyed occupant in this house? Dominant gene, shmominant gene. What a crock.

Then there's this thing I found on my tomato plant. I've heard they are very good for a garden, but I say, "freaky!" I was inching closer to get a good look at him and he honest to goodness turned his creepy head and stared my right in the eyes. Chills went up my spine.

Then there's the crazy big spider in the front flower bed that is super cool and HUGE! He is quite the web weaver and I witnessed him capture and wrap a moth for his breakfast yesterday morning (full body shiver). I normally would "take him out" but he is simply too awesome to kill. We're hoping he'll stick around until Halloween and earn his keep. Mark did a quick google to ascertain the level of danger he poses to our offspring and we are assured he isn't a threat to anyone but the wayward insect. So he stays.

But if anyone knows how to get rid of the nasty slugs that slime there way around our front and back porch every night, please share. Gross.

I confess, this is an old photo...but how many times can a person take pictures of slugs? And also, I still haven't repainted that door frame. I'm banking on the rest of the paint falling off and going with a weathered look. Is that still in?

Friday, October 2, 2009

The baby's milk

The fact is, when given the choice between

Special K with skim
Frosted Mini Wheats with sweet heavenly whole milk

the fat and sugar wins every time.

Bottoms up!