Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's Never Too Early

Yep, I did it. Halloween season is here. I may not have time later on to enjoy my favorite holiday, so I will now. As history (recent) would have it, I've gone a little far in costume preparation from custom face molds to make a fitted latex mask, building a pirate ship in the front yard, or shaving the head for an untimate Darth Maul. As a kid I would even dig a hole in my parents' front yard and bury myself, breathing through a vacuum tube, and jumping out at the trick-or-treaters. Good times. But I have to watch myself sometimes. I've already had to change the banner on our blog cause Emily's face that I had was something from the Grudge/Ring. A little too evil for sweet Emily, so if you missed it, shucks.
Someday, one fantasy I have is to find enough people to perform Thriller on our street with a loud sound system and lighting, fog, and the dance of course. How sweet would that be? I think the people around here could use a little exposure to the arts.
So bring it on, any ideas for this year will be considered.
Trick or treat. - Ryan

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

it's all how you look at it...

It seems so important that I get all of my things done every day...go for my run, get the laundry started in the morning, sweep the kitchen floor (8 times a day), do the dishes in the sink, make a poster for PTA, and the list never stops. And then, it's interesting how one 5 minute phone call can change your entire perspective on things; on life. All of a sudden, every "to do" on my list is completely miniature on the scale of what matters.
It's like the hang nail on your index finger, that just hurts, and irritates you constantly. You just want it to go away, it's really annoying. And then you fall, break your arm and have to have a cast for six weeks...all of a sudden that little hang nail sticking out at the end of your cast seems like no big fact, you would be THRILLED to have JUST a hang nail.

Being together with family, calling loved ones far away, and building bonds and friendships with people has a bigger meaning to me lately. I learned the hard way that I should not wait until the "perfect" evening or when the house is "just right" to have those friends over for dessert...they might have to pick up and go without too much notice.
I also know that I have certainly been taking too many things for granted. Time just slips away. I am going to be more grateful for moments I have with my family and with my friends close by. Those far away will be called more. Those near will be visited more.
It all comes back to your perspective. It's a shame that it takes something scary or awful to help us open our eyes, but in the end, it really is a blessing. It's beautiful to look with new eyes.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What?! Money doesn't grow on trees!?

I have to plug one of my favorite things! How many frustrating days have I spent in my married life paying the bills? Too many! Tear off the statement, write the check, put it in the envelope, seal it up, (wait did the check get put it?) put the stamp and return address on the outside...meawhile, getting snacks in between, and stopping arguments, "no, you can't decorate the table with stamps"...Finally, an HOUR later I stack up the paid bills and set them on the entry-way table, to take out next time I go out. Before I know it, they are overdo because I never put them in the mailbox! AAAGGGHHHH! Who needs this aggrivation? So, when we finally got hooked up to Bill Pay at WAMU about a year ago, it SAVED me!!! I can pay bills and continue to be sane! I LOVE to sit down, click a few buttons, click a couple of more, then be DONE! YEA! It's the simplest, most efficient and convienent way to get something this important done! kind of does make me feel like money grows on's almost too easy.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

School Has Started!!!

Apparently my time has longer are the carefree, playful summer days upon us. School has officially started, and we are a busy household around here. You would think that by being 1 child down during the day, I'd have MORE time to blog, however life just gets more hectic. And so, alas, the blog has stepped down a notch or two on the priority list...(behind PTO, Brownies, Church events, and of coarse feeding the family, cleaning, get the point!) So, I appologize now for the 20 times you come back to my blog and see the SAME picture pop up for days at a time. I'll do my best to keep up with all of you world -class pressure here. As for now, this will have to do until a little more "spare" time comes my way!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Beat the Heat...Creatively

When the days get over 100 degrees it's time to be creative for some indoor's just too hot to go out! My children have come up with some pretty great activities to do inside while we hold out for cooler weather. Yeah, we go to the pool, we run through sprinklers, we go to the A/C ed library....but even those things get old after a while. Most of my childrens' ideas I endorse, even join in...while others, well, let's just say, just because there's a picture of it doesn't mean I APPROVE of it! Take the stair way rope swing for instance...very creative, very fun, and tons of excitement...but NOT approved by mom (regardless of the "one more time guys so I can get a quick picture...").
However, other activiites, such as dancing to music that's way too loud, a puppet theater, and face painting or finger painting are highly endorsed around here. My kids love to be creative, and I think it's so fun! We have had all kinds of "forts" and tents, dress-up pretend play and art activities. Their new favorite board game right now is "Guess Who". Play Dough and coloring are always fun as well. It's been a great, fun summer and even though it's hot out doesn't mean we have to be hot and bored in the let's take some tips from the little ones and use our imaginations to whip up some indoor fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This time...GUESS WHO?

This is probably easier than I thought it would be, but give me your guesses anyway. I was going to do some real toughies, but I backed out. Guess away!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Faster than the speed of ....?

These are certainly not Ezra's "First Steps", but a few wobbly efforts at RUNNING! He does not want to just walk...he has to try to keep up with everyone else in the family. When this guy hits the ground, he is running! He will run and wobble towards whatever his eye is on, and when he falls he scrambles over on all going slow for the EZ. Too much to see, so little time (evidently). We love our little ambitious Ezra! He just wants to be a big kid like everyone else...but I say, no growing up too fast!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

Shrimp Anyone?

Well, a couple of posts back I was showing you the disgusting boxes of shrimp that I had NO idea what to do with...I was ready to chuck them and call it good. However, knowing how pricey and delicious shrimp are, I decided to check it out online and see what I could do with them...and how much my stomache could handle in the cleaning process. Troy said he'd be happy to help clean them if we wanted him to. I took him up on it. Long story short (and about 90m minuites later) these creepy crawly sea creatures went from NASTY, to This: a delicious BBQ shrimp FEAST! It was so good! Thanks Ali and Troy for helping out with this new food adventure. I know I learned alot! and, yes, I WOULD do it again! To see the "process", click here!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Favorite!

Just a little blurb about one of my absolute favorite cleaning products...this stuff gets everything out your carpet and rugs! (We just discovered it's great for blood stains as well :) ).
I have a supply of this stuff on hand at all times...stock up when it goes on sale. It was especially useful when the kids were potty training. hee hee. Now, with 3 big kids in and out of the house, and Ezra's not-so-spill-proof sippy cups, this stuff is a life saver! love it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Not for those with a weak constitution...

We were thrilled last week when our friendly neighbor gave us 2 boxes of frozen jumbo shrimp! We LOVE shrimp! Their family had just been down to Mexico and had 8 lbs. of shrimp to use. Ryan brought them in, very excited. "Can you find a place for these in the freezer until we can use them?" of coarse, there's always room for some shrimp! YUMMY.
I set them on the counter while I was busy cleaning and doing various chores around the kitchen. Then the smell became pretty potent, so I set out to make room for the boxes in the freezer. Then I looked at the box. Take a look at the picture... Notice the area where there are boxes to be checked if they are "Headless" or "Head On" or "Peeled". Well, none of the boxes are checked, so I opened the box to see. OH MY!!!! I am not sqeamish about things like this when it comes to food or cooking, but this just about did it for me! These frozen jumbo shrimp are STRAIGHT OUT OF THE OCEAN! I think the part that creeps me out the most are the frozen tentacles that just snap right off! (i've got the willies just thinking about it). I have never seen shrimp like this before, it's not exactly what you see on the grocery store display. On that note, anybody have any ideas how to cook these bad boys?

What a load of CR*P!

So, on Sunday, Jaydon came running down stairs to tell us he has pulled a large marker-size toy out of the kids' toilet. Then he said that the "water won't go down" when he flushed. Ryan ran upstairs, plunger in hand, and went to vain. We locked the bathroom door and we forlornly faced the fact that we were going to have to pay big bucks to have the plummer come out. All fingers were pointing at little Ezra, who just newly discovered the fun of dropping things into the toilet (but doesn't know how to flush yet). Well, we heard that some friends had done a plumming job themselves and Ryan was determined.
48 hours of having no use in that bathroom Ryan set out to clear the clog! I avoided the whole situation, of coarse, by taking an extra long time putting the kids to bed. Ryan stuck his head in the kids' room and mentioned something about getting some part at Lowes. When I came down stairs 1/2 an hour later...THIS (along with a HORRIBLE smell) is what I found on the kitchen floor!!! yep, a poo bag! Of coarse I had to get the camera...too bad you can't "smell" a picture! He forgot to take it out to the trash with him on his way out the door! YUCK! Here is my hero, cleaning out the poo poo mess from the clogged toilet. Needless to say, we saved a bunch of money, and Ezra is innocent...just don't let your five year old use 8 "flushable" wipes to clean himself after he's done his duty! Way to go Ryan! You saved the day...and $300!.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mt Whitney

My turn to chime in. Now that you all know what ABC stands for and other not-so-true facts about my pick-up lines in college, I need to get dibs on some blog space before women take it over forever.
So here's the story. My hero, Troy, must have known I was a High Sierra fanatic (to the point that if we had another girl I would have named her Sierra) said a few guys dropped out from work for the trip and offered me a spot. Well, I asked my boss and I told myself to go, so I did. We took off to Lone Pine and played around in the Alabama Hills located near the Mt Whitney Portal. Interesting rocks there. We then went up to the actual trail head and found a slot to camp for the first night to help us acclimate to the altitude. They are very bear aware there and for good reason. I had one rub up against my tent and try to eat my camera and stove. Go Bears! But we left unharmed the next morning up the mountian hiking 6 miles and climbing 4000 ft in altitude. Not an easy hike, especially with a 40 lb pack. I've done a lot of trails and this was no cake-walk. We went through a few waterfalls and lakes but eventaully settled at a place called Trail Camp above all vegetation and trees at 12,000 ft. See Photos Here
It was only 1PM Thursday and thought we could chill the rest of the day and maybe jump in the lake, but massive rain storms and hail kept us tent bound, wet, and kinda bummed. It wasn't until 8PM that it eased up and made for some cool pics of the face we were about to climb the next day of Mt Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous USA.
I had enough food but everyone was very generous and shared much of theirs since some had overpacked. I scored some rasberry dessert from Troy and other yummy variables too.
One of our fellow campers, Scott from South Africa, thought it would be cool to conquer Whitney super early to watch the sunrise. Watch the sunrise from on top of the world at 14,496 ft? Sign me up. So we were up and hiking from 2AM Friday up the 99 switchbacks next to our camp. Some of us were sick and had a rough night but they were all awesome. After about 20 min I realized that I really wanted to have a light like Troy's since mine was no brighter than a spark you get when biting a life saver. So I stashed my light and went by the moonlight. WOW! Nothing but stars and moon to light my path up narrow trails with 1000 ft cliffs on the sides. Nonetheless, it was rather peaceful. I had my iPod, but before you all think I'm anti-nature for bringing it, know that I was listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. How much better could it get. I had some great meditative moments as I was hiking on top of the world in the dark. See Photos Here
So after we accended the switchbacks we circled the back side of the mountain and jimmied around slippery rock trails with again, cliffs on the sides. But with much persistence, we mounted the summit by 5:30 AM and awaited the sunrise. With ice around us from the previous day's rain, we estimate it was about 27˚F. Ya, cold. We had to wait another half hour for the sun but it was worth it. To think that for a moment I was higher than anyone in North America was awesome.
We headed back down 5 miles to camp, some of which I ran to try and get some altitude training for my Tahoe half-marathon (which was a mistake) and then packed up and made the remaining 6 miles down to the trail head totalling 16 miles for the day. We jumped in the stream to clean up and it was awesomely cold.
then I drove home and was locked out of the house for a few hours, so once again my hero fed me. What a great time, glad that I did it, not sure I'll do it again.See Photos Here

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Appropriate or's the explaination of my nick name:
My first year at Ricks College, my roommate ( Jen) and her fiance, Mark came up with ABC one afternoon as we were discussing my curly hair. VERY curly hair at that time. Between my hair, my nose and my hiney, it was decided that I could be an Albino Black Chick...ABC. It just kind of stuck. Pretty funny!