Thursday, March 29, 2012


This is Rebekah. 
Seriously she not just beautiful??
Prom is coming up soon. 
There are 3 boys that want to ask her to accompany them to said Prom. 
Because not only is she beautiful she is also really great fun to be with.
But Prom is exactly 3 and 1/2 weeks before her 16th birthday. 
She has bemoaned this fact.
But I am so incredibly proud of her!
Do you want to know why?
Because she has not once asked if she could go.
Many people have hinted that maybe she is close enough to 16 to go. 
What's 3 and 1/2 weeks, really? 
Factoring in the spirit of the law vs. the letter of the law...isn't she close enough?
But Bryan and I don't feel that way.
And neither does she, apparently.
Because when I talked to her about it she was flabbergasted....yes, flabbergasted. 
"I couldn't go to Prom when I was only 15, Mom!  It wouldn't be right!"
I love that girl!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Things that have delighted me recently...

....or at least made me smile.

*Hearing the DJ on 101.9 the end use the word inordinately.  I thought I was the only one that ever used that word!  And then to make it even better...about 45 minutes later I heard my cousin use the same word.  It's the grammar geek coming out in me...

*Y-U-M-M-Y birthday cake.

*And in direct contradiction to the above...I've lost a few pounds.  My scale and I are friends again.

*There are baby cows in the field behind my house.  Like, seven of them or something.  Is it weird if I admit that I got a little misty-eyed the first time I noticed them playing around out there?

*Lilian is registered for Kindergarten!  Immunizations done and everything.  I made it, people!  I'm back to the point I was 6 years ago when I was getting ready to send Brandon, my last child (or so I thought at the time) to school....and was excitedly making plans for this new phase of life I was heading into.  Lilian changed all that and I've never regretted having our little caboose for one instant!  But I'm not going to deny that it was hard, that six year gap.

*"Tangled Ever After."  It was on the Disney channel the other day.  I laughed really hard.

*Lightning and thunder storms.

*The song "We Are Young" by FUN.

*Also the song "1000 Years" by Christina Perri.  Just go ahead and forget that it's from the "Breaking Dawn"'s just a really cool song.

*Reading "The Hunger Games" to Brandon.  "This book is SO good, Mom!"

*Realizing the grass is starting to turn green.  Not MY grass, mind you.  My back lawn is in sorry shape, what with the ugly scar from trenching for the building last summer and the bugs that have decided to make my grass their home.  (My Trugreen lawn care representative agrees that "it's pretty bad back there.")  But grass in general.  It's getting green.  It makes me happy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The newest Tween in the family

Brandon turned 11 years old today.  A Tween!  Of course, when I mentioned it to him he was a little put off by the term "tween."  Regardless, it'll be interesting to see if going through these inbe"tween" years are different for him (a boy) than they were for his girlie older sisters.  If we call it a scientific experiment maybe that will placate him.  He's all about anything science.  Science is the second coolest thing ever...after gymnastics of course.
Side note:  So now I'm curious.  Are kids aged 11 and 12 called tweens because it is in fact the time inbeTWEEN childhood and teenagerhood?  Or is it a cutesy way of describing the kids who are almost teens but not quite? tiny teens or something?  Like pre-teen?  Of course, didn't that used to be the actual word for it?  When did pre-teen turn into tween?  Just curious.  Side note over.

Crepes for dinner, an oreo birthday cake for dessert, and 3 dozen Krispy Creme donuts to share with his gymnastics team at workout...I guess the kid was favoring his sweet tooth.  His favorite gift was one his dad picked out for him: a super, secret spy pen.  It not only actually writes but also takes pictures and video.  Very cool.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Julianne spent Friday night at the Gateway with 3 of her besties.  Seeing "The Hunger Games" was the primary reason for the trip into town, but shopping was a close second.  Julianne kind of amazes me with her fashion know-how and shopping prowess.  A second trip to Bohme and Forever 21 for some clothing items that had to be left behind due to lack of funds is in the works.  I've already heard more than once the detailed descriptions of the "perfect white blousy shirt that cuts in at the waist" and also the "vintagey pink dress with ruffles and lace."  Apparently hauling mom and her wallet to the mall is the best way to remedy the lack of funds problem.  Now the only problem I see is if I will have the self control to get in and out of the store without picking up a little something for myself.  Julianne and I make a dangerous duo when we shop together....  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Holi-Festival of Colors

Julianne, Rebekah, three of Rebekah's friends and I all attended the Holi-Festival of Colors at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple today.

To give you an idea of what this festival is, here is a blurb from the organizers website:
Holi is the Festival of Colors, a traditional Indian holiday celebrated in our own innovative fashion.  By far our biggest festival of the year, during Holi 2011 50,000 revelers flooded the temple and grounds for 2 days day of brightly colored powder, mantra, music and a bit of "holi" mayhem.

Traditionally everyone wears white.  Bags of colored powder are available for sale.  And then every two hours they have a "throwing" where everyone tosses handfuls of color up in the air and basically goes all color war mayhem.  Music plays and everyone dances (ie: jumps up and down with their hands in the air).  Rebekah and her friends even "crowd surfed"  (ie: let themselves be passed above the crowd on outstretched hands).  Funny thing...even though the "throwing" is the main event, people continue to toss color around during downtimes as well.  Because apparently that's what you do...get a handful of color and throw it at whoever and whenever strikes your fancy.  So I was a complete rainbow long before I ever actually bought any bags of color for myself.  The whole thing was downright fascinating!  And really a lot of unique fun.  It took some pretty intense scrubbing to get all the color out of my hair and I still have yet to know if my white shirt will ever be truly white again....but it was worth it!

This picture is by EKPritchett Photography.  Isn't it amazing??!  We stood in the middle of the crowd during the "throwing."  If I ever go again, I'm already planning to watch from the outskirts and experience it that way.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Favorite Photo Friday: Reflections on grocery shopping...

January 2012

Trying in vain to get Lilian to pose for a picture...she was having way too much fun at the Children's Museum to pay any sort of attention to me...I finally resorted to getting a shot of her reflection in the mirror.  Being that she was in a corner, I happily ended up with three versions in one of Lilian and her grocery shopping role play.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Entertainment vs. Education. Escapism vs. Influence.

I've been reading a lot of the articles coming out that have been comparing Hunger Games and Twilight.  I suppose the comparisons are inevitable.  Some writers are showing seeming similarities between the such similarity being that the two books both have a love triangle between one girl and two boys.  Other writers are comparing the heroines, Katniss and Bella.  And then others are comparing the two entertainment franchises that are more or less competing for the hearts of the same fans.  Hunger Games is the next Twilight.  But remember when Twilight was the next Harry terms of it being a series of books made into movies?  Well, that and the whole rabid fan issue?  Remember even further back when the first Harry Potter books came out and critics worried that the subject of witches, wizards and magic were evil and would corrupt our childrens' minds...rather than doing just the opposite, which was getting our children more excited about reading than they had ever been before?  (I tell you what, it was because of that controversy that I started reading the Harry Potter books to begin with.  I thought all the critical talk was pure rubbish but needed to read the books first before joining the fray.  Kind of hard to speak with any authority on the subject if you haven't actually read the books...which, I might add, were what many of the critics were doing.  They hadn't even read the stories before completely dismissing them out of hand!)   

In the article I read today the writer was debating which was the better role model, Katniss or Bella.  I was annoyed in a few ways.  One, he was trying to point out that though Katniss seemed on the surface to be the better role model, strong and independent...that in all actuality she's not that different than whiny, angsty Bella.  And I didn't agree.  But two, and even more irritating to me was the idea that we even needed to worry about what kind of role models they are in the first place and what kind of negative effects they could have on our children.  Seriously?  The last time I checked, these books are supposed to be entertainment.  Escapism.  For enjoyment purposes.  Is there really supposed to be some deeper meaning?  My daughters have read both of these series of books and frankly, I'm just glad they are reading.

And's not that simple is it?  Because as much we as adults say "it's just a story, FICTION...for heavens sake!" children's minds are more malleable.  As much as I did indeed love the Twilight story (and stayed up till 3:00 AM reading the first book because I was enjoying myself so much) I suppose if I really think about it, I don't want my daughters using Bella and Edward as an example of what a real relationship is or should be like.  But realistically, my daughters are smart.  And I would hope that when they read those books it never once occurred to them to wish and hope for a sexy, sparkly vampire to sneak into their rooms at night to watch them sleep.  Critics of The Hunger Games whine that it's an awful premise and much, much too violent.  Well, yes, I suppose.  But it's a story.  A story with a deeper meaning and symbolism?  Maybe.  I fully admit that the story spun around in my mind for days after I read it.  And made me wonder a lot about reality TV and what we consider entertainment in our own world.  It's always great when a book can grip your mind and keep your brain busy for a few days.  But first and foremost...The Hunger Games was a STORY.  Pure escapism.  Who doesn't like to lose themselves in a great story?  (Truth be told, as a mother reading to her children, I was inordinately glad that good triumphs evil in the world of Harry Potter.  But unfortunately, that's not always how the real world works.) 

I guess that's why I get so irritated.  Because studies have actually shown that our minds, and especially the minds of our children, ARE affected by what we read, watch and play.  A lot of times this isn't a bad thing.  If a book, a story can make me decide to be better, think harder, try something new...well I'm not going to complain about that, necessarily.  But can't we separate the real from the imaginary?  Especially when it's something so obviously out of the realms of the a whole super-secret society of witches and wizards, or an equally super-secret society of vampires and werewolves, or a reality TV show centered around children killing each other for sport and punishment.  (Okay...that last one may be not so out of the realms of reality, unfortunately, in certain countries.)  But I suppose if it were that simple I wouldn't have to consciously make a choice to stay away from intense and scary movies/books for fear of nightmares.  Bryan's always telling me when I'm afraid to turn out the lights, "It's just a story, Sarah.  It's not real."  


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In celebration of good grades...

We had some celebrating to do tonight.  Rebekah and Julianne both earned a 4.0 GPA on their report cards for 3rd term.  (Brandon hasn't brought his 5th grade report card home yet.  We decided to assume that it's going to be decent...)  Taking the family out for dinner as a reward for academic achievement seemed easier on the pocketbook than a big payoff for each and every A grade. 
Would you believe that after ordering, Rebekah and Julianne both pulled out homework to work on (history and math, respectively) while waiting for their entrees to appear?  I guess that's the kind of dedication it takes to earn a 4.0.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A happy surprise in the mailbox

I got a lovely little surprise in the mail today.  A letter writer since I was young, I remember the days when getting the mail was something to look forward to.  These days the mail lady probably curses every time she opens our mailbox only to find two or threes days worth of stacked up mail that I haven't picked up.  But it's hard to find the incentive to get the mail when all I find is ads and bills.  It's a sad commentary on the state of things when I look forward to getting the mail on Fridays because I know I'll find my People magazine.  (Yes,'s my guilty pleasure, what can I say?)

But today was different.  Two to three days worth of stacked mail stuffed into the box, yes.  But there was a package!  And it was from my friend Lori.  Lori and I have been friends since we were five years old.  We lived in the same neighborhood so memories of my growing up years are full of sleep-overs, late night kick-the-can games, riding to school in the back of her dad's truck, watching Jem and the Holograms and eating chocolate pies from KFC.  The two of us, along with Chellie, Kami and Heather, all get together fairly frequently even still...though now instead of kick-the-can and sleepovers, we are content with dinner and gabbing.

I wondered what Lori could be sending me.  She hadn't warned me that anything was coming my way.  I opened the card (a custom "Jon Woodbury fine art original" by her talented photographer husband) and read....

Just trying my hand at a
little jewelry making and came
across some fun and inexpensive
bits to practice with.  Thought
of you while making, so hope
you smile even if you don't wear

I was intrigued.  I carefully unwrapped the red tissue paper and my intrigue turned immediately to delight!  Owl jewelry!!!!  Being my friend she know that I'm a little...okay, a lot...obsessed with owls.  Trust me Lori, not only did this gift indeed make me smile but you can bet I will be wearing it tomorrow!  Thank you, my friend!  I love you! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

"The Lilian Fashion Show"

We were treated last night to the "Lilian Fashion Show" with Julianne as producer, Brandon as spotlight technician and Lilian as model.  And let me tell you, it was quite the show.  We felt like we were at New York Fashion Week, what with the runway all decked out with lights and the pounding Lady Gaga music.  Not only were there 8 different outfit changes but those outfits came accessorized with scarves, necklaces and sunglasses.  

As guest photographer, I tried to get some pictures of the awesomeness but the model was very influenced by the rhythm of the music and I had a hard time getting her to hold still.  "Fashion! Fashion!  Fashion!" she'd say with each new pose...but the poses were struck with great rapidity.  Or she'd announce "Jump splits!" before she'd hit the ground for some floor poses.  So please excuse the quality of my pictures....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kiss Me, I'm Irish!

I like St. Patrick's Day a lot...and even decorate for the holiday, as you can see.  The reason, I'm sure, is that I tend to really identify with my Irish roots.

My ancestors had made Ireland their home for generations until my great, great, great grandfather, John J. Dalton, emigrated to New York.  The next few generations saw the Dalton line joining the gold rush and heading west, wintering in Utah and joining the Mormon church, settling in Willard and then eventually on to Idaho where my grandfather and then father were born.

So today (yesterday, though we all wore even, in my Kiss Me, I'm Irish t-shirt...was a little bit hectic with Brandon's big state gymnastics meet) we celebrated the holiday AND our Irish heritage with a big corned beef and cabbage meal.  We decorated the table all sorts of fancy and listened to Irish music.  Julianne even performed an impromptu Irish jig.  No leprechauns played any tricks on us and the only gold we found was of the gymnastics variety...but we fully enjoyed our St. Patrick's Day.     

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Introducing the Level 5 State Gymnastics Champion!

The Utah men's gymnastics state meet was held today.  I thought it was rather appropriate that it was also St. Patrick's Day seeing as the two events had some similarities:  there was a lot of good luck being spread around, and all the boys were hoping for gold.

Brandon did remarkably well.  I knew there was an extremely good chance he would do well...more than well, really, at this meet.  He's taken first place all around at every local meet this season, after all.  But the worrywart inside me kept saying, "What if he falls on an event?  What if he makes a big mistake?"  Not the end of the world, certainly...but this was the STATE MEET which, in my mind anyhow, was a much bigger to-do.  And the prideful mama inside me wanted to be able to watch my son take his place on top of the podium knowing that he was the numero uno level 5 gymnast in all of Utah!

Pushing both the worrywart and the prideful mama down deep inside, I sat on those (hard) bleachers to watch the meet.  The whole team did well and the boys looked like they were truly enjoying themselves.  And realistically that's what matters most.  All the same, it was gratifying to see Brandon do so tremendously well and earn such amazing scores.  He took first place in EVERY SINGLE EVENT!  And then, very obviously, he took first place all around.  And then first place as a whole team.  It was the BEST. DAY. EVER.  (Of course, Brandon says that after every meet....)

Brandon seems not to be able to do an event that involves running (floor, vault) without his tongue sticking out.  Go figure.

Look at the height and flexibility on his pommel routine!!  (You're going to have to promise me you won't look at his cute bum.  He was worried about me putting this picture on the blog because it's a prime shot of his rear end.  But you're all looking at his nicely split legs, right??  So he has nothing to worry about...) 

Happiness at the awards ceremony...   
I love the joy on his face.

 1st place AA

1st place team

Friday, March 16, 2012

Getting our caucus on...

Bryan and I went to the Republican caucus last night.  We'd never been before.  I'm a little embarrassed to admit it seeing as I've always considered myself highly patriotic and fairly interested in politics.  Truth be told, I had no idea what you even do in a caucus.  I knew that delegates were chosen but I didn't know how or why or what a delegate really even does.  Bryan and I were both fascinated with the whole process.  Apparently we had a great turnout.  184 people was huge in comparison to past years, we were told.  After nominations and speeches and some discussion (even slightly heated at times) our precinct chose 3 state and 5 county delegates.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Why haven't I ever gone before?  I've always felt that participating in the political process was a right and privilege...and even more than that, my duty as a citizen.  But I think up to this point I've ignorantly only considered that position as it applied to voting each November.  I now actually think that I'd like to serve as a delegate.  Maybe someday.  Until then, I can certainly be better at doing my part in informing myself about the issues, attending caucus' and other such events, and just basically keeping up to speed in grassroots politics. 

Bryan and I went out for tacos after wards.  Does that mean we can count the evening as a date??

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Singing with new friends

A couple of months ago I was invited to join a little singing group here in my area.  At our first meeting I was introduced to the other four singers in the group.  Although there were a few familiar faces, I didn't really know any of them.  Stephanie outlined her goals for this group, her vision and the name she had picked out for us, "Witness Women's Singing Group."  She informed us that our first performance had been scheduled and she had already put together a rough draft script of our parts...though she was hoping from input from us.  We started practicing our music immediately...all of us throwing out ideas and writing in extra notes for harmony parts and descants.  I went home from practice that very first day and told Bryan that I could already tell the five of us were going to become good friends.

Fast forward a few weeks and numerous practices later....though I had predicted we'd become good friends just from sheer necessity seeing as we'd be spending a lot of time together, I was still surprised at just how tightly we have bonded and how fast.  When I was sick and had to miss a rehearsal, not only did they all send me emails wishing me a speedy recovery, but Catrina made an extra trip over to my house to show me her notes in the music as to who was singing where and which parts so I could practice at home.  When I was having a hard time printing out the sheet music that had been emailed to me because our printer was on the fritz, Julie printed out a copy and brought it to my house.  And when she found me not home, she called my cell to let me know where she had left the music, and then talked me through some emotions when she discovered that I was having a pretty bad day.  These women...Stephanie, Catrina, Julie and Kami...are pretty amazing women and I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to not only sing and perform with them, but to be their friend and feel of their strength and spirit.

Our first performance was last night.  We were the entertainment at a Relief Society dinner.  Judging from the feedback we got from members of the audience it went well and was well received...more than one person commented that our message was exactly what they needed to hear.  Our program was called "Beauty From Ashes: Accessing the Atonement in our Lives as Women and Witnesses of Christ."  There was humor mixed in with the more serious and spiritual...interspersed with songs, of course.  And though I know that we've put this program together (and have plans to expand on it) with an audience in mind...I can't help but think that this message is every bit as much for me.  It's something I need in my life right now.

Come to Jesus when you hunger for a feast that satisfies.
Come to Jesus when you wonder why your spirit's running dry.
He will feed you from His table, living water He will pour,
Till you're filled with bread of life and your soul will thirst no more.
So if you hunger, come...come to Jesus.

Come to Jesus when you're weary of the burdens you must bear.
Come to Jesus when you're fearful and your heart is in despair.
He will ease the load you carry by the power of His hand.
As you lean on Him for strength you will find that you can stand.
So if you're weary, come...come to Jesus.

Come and claim the Savior's grace.
Seek for Him and you will find yourself in His embrace.

Come to Jesus when you're ready for a sweeter way of life.  
Come to Jesus when you're heading down a pathway with no light.
He will take your sin and weakness and will wash away the shame.
He will purify your heart and you will never be the same.
So if you're ready, come....come to Jesus.          

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Little Miss Smarty Pants

I just got back from Julianne's SEOP today.  SEOP = Student Education/Occupation Plan.  I had to look it up because I realized that I didn't actually know what SEOP even stood for.  In my mind SEOP translates into Meet-With-Counselor-To-Register-For-Classes.  But I suppose that would actually be MWCTRFC which would be much too overwhelming.  So SEOP it is.

Beyond picking classes for next year...graduation requirements, scholarship requirements, thoughts about future colleges and careers all played into this SEOP.  But also, Julianne's counselor used this opportunity to orient Julianne to her transcript.  She explained cumulative GPA's and where she could find it.  "'s right at the top in bold, even bigger than your name.  That's how important it is."  She showed Julianne her list of classes, the grades she had received in each and how many credits each class would be worth.  And then she showed Julianne her class ranking.  Would you believe that Julianne is ranked #1 of 333 8th graders at her jr. high school?  I think I said something very sophisticated and elegant like, "Holy crap!  Seriously??"  Julianne may have been embarrassed when I insisted on a high five.... 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yearbook cover art contest

Being in charge of the yearbook cover art contest at the elementary school didn't seem like that big of a deal when I first agreed to do it back in January.  And admittedly, it hasn't been hard...just more time consuming that I thought.

Making copies of entry forms and contest rules.
Counting out the right number of said forms and rules for each teacher/class.
Making sure extra copies were in the office and available for download on the website.
Posting reminder fliers around the school.
Gathering all the entries two weeks later.
Arranging for a judging committee and getting the entries to them.
Scanning and printing winner and runners-up artwork.
Getting winning entries to yearbook head to send to printer.
Displaying all 150+ entries at the elementary school.
Arranging for the winners to be announced on the website, newletter and over the intercom.

Other than pulling down the display in another week or so, I think I see light at the end of the tunnel.  I tell you what, though.  We've got some really talented kids at our elementary school.  It was quite a privilege to view not only their art, but also get a glimpse into how their little creative minds work.

 (Julianne and Lilian were good helpers today....although I'm guessing if Julianne doesn't have to form another tape roll ever again, it will still be too soon.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Left brain or Right brain?

“I am the left brain. I am a scientist. A mathematician. I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear. Analytical. Strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am.”

“I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.”

Sometimes I feel like this is us.  Bryan, the left brain...Sarah, the right.  When we argue about something we tend to talk around and around in circles, having a hard time coming to a satisfactory conclusion because Bryan argues with logic and facts while I argue with emotion and feelings.  We are very different, the two of us.  Differences in likes and dislikes, entertainment and hobbies.  We come together on the important things, of course.  But beyond that, I'm discovering that I rather like the fact that we are so different.  Somehow it feels like we balance each other out.  Honestly, I think it makes life more interesting...a little more full.  And while we definitely have learned to support and be happy for each other in our various endeavors we also find ourselves doing things together maybe we wouldn't choose to do singly.  For an example...during one week, Bryan came to watch me perform in a musical, "Power in His Touch," at the Rose Wagner Theatre in Salt Lake City...and then two days later I accompanied him to Pahrump, Nevada where we participated in a two day defensive handgun course.   

Looking at it another way I suppose you could say that I am the yin to Bryan's yang.  Yin and Yang.  Right brain and left brain.  However you want to define's us and it is a good thing.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday thoughts...

* I really don't like Daylight Savings Time.  Honestly, I don't care if it is lighter in the evenings.  I am annoyed that my lighter mornings are now plunged into darkness again.  I hate that all of our biological schedules will take a good week to get readjusted.  Can't we pick a time and just stick with it?  (With apologies to my father who is a big fan of DST.)

* Sunday naps.  Seriously, one of THE best things about having early church.

* Playing the piano in primary today the thought came to me that I'm really very glad that my parents never let me quit lessons when I begged.

* Broken toe or not?  Unsure.  The swelling on Brandon's pinky toe has gone down simultaneously with the bruising becoming more obvious.  But the limping has all but disappeared.  Good news for a boy who is competing in the state gymnastics meet this coming Saturday.

* A driving assignment with her Drivers Ed teacher required Rebekah to be at the high school at 6:30 AM yesterday.  Just in case you haven't put two and two together...that's a SATURDAY MORNING, people!  I was less than pleased.  Apparently next Saturday will be replay.  Sigh.

* Temperatures are forecast to be in the 60's for the rest of the week.  I have never been this excited for spring.  It's been an emotionally hard winter so I am very much looking forward to standing outside with my bare feet digging into the grass and my head thrown back so the sun can shine fully on my face.  Somehow I think it will be rejuvenating.

* I am still smacking my lips with the thought of the yummy salad Bryan made yesterday for dinner.  Simple...just mixed greens, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, croutons and a vinaigrette.  It was scrumptious and to die for.  (Dad...that's for you.)  :)  I'm wondering if the reason I'm still dreaming about it has something to do with the fact that our Sunday dinner this afternoon was more of a fend-for-yourself sort of meal... 

* St. Patricks Day is in less than a week.  I like St. Patricks Day.  I feel my Irish roots surfacing.  And despite the fact that everyone is honorary Irish on the 17th of March, I find myself unabashedly proud that I'm official.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spinning my wheels

The weather warmed up enough today for me to take my road bike off the hook in the garage where it had been spending a lonely winter, dust it off, pump up the tires and go for the first ride of the season.

Helmet, biking gloves and sunglasses...check.  Blue sky and bright sun...check, check.  Two good friends to ride with....check, check and check.  I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed myself, how exhilarating it felt to be back in the saddle again.  And then my mind spent the rest of the day busily planning out routes I want to ride, hills I want to conquer, miles I want to spin.  It's amazing what a balmy 60 degrees and 15 miles can do for my mental state.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Favorite Photo Friday: Friends

 Summer 2008

Rebekah and Julianne with friends Deidra and Tiffany... savoring one of the last days of freedom before heading back to school.

Photography credits go to a 7-year old Brandon.  And yes, that is a hint of his thumb in the corner of the picture....the only evidence left of my attempt to crop out the whole rest of his hand.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The newest Temple Run champion

I've succumbed.
I always swore my iphone would not become a toy for my 4-year old.
Oh, I had a few games on it...Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and the like.  Not that I knew how to play them...Brandon installed them to keep himself occupied on the long and frequent drives to gymnastics.  But Lilian didn't know any of this and I wanted to keep it that way.  That last thing I wanted was for her to realize the iphone potential for entertainment.  I have friends who purposely load their phones with not only kid friendly games but also movies and music and swear it's a life saver for those long drives in the car, waiting in lines, grocery shopping with the kid in the cart, etc.  And while I could see the purpose behind it, I wanted none of that.  My iphone was MINE.  I didn't want to have to be running around the house trying to figure out where Lilian left my phone.  I didn't want the risks involved...the potential for dropping, breaking, or ruining my phone.  I've heard comical stories of kids sending accidental text messages from the contact list, buying apps, calling random people, etc.  And nope...that was not for me.

But then Rebekah loaded Temple Run onto my phone...a fairly straightforward game that requires a lot of running and jumping...something achieved by pushing your pointer finger around the touch screen.  Lilian somehow discovered the game (maybe by watching her sister?) and quickly realized that it was something she could not only play but actually get rather good at.  I have to admit, it was kind of cute watching her play....her forehead wrinkled up in concentration, her little pointer finger hard at work.  And darn it all if it really is just the best thing for keeping her entertained on those long drives in the car, waiting in lines and grocery shopping with her in the cart.  (Okay, actually she doesn't play while in the cart for two, I rarely take Lilian grocery shopping with me.  And two, oh the horrors if she dropped the phone on the hard floor from that high up!!)  

She has since discovered the other wonders and joys of my phone, namely taking pictures of herself and typing out nonsensical "notes"...then asking me to decipher and translate the mumbo jumbo of the random letters she has strung together.  She has yet to send anyone a text, call anyone on my contact list or buy any new apps (thank my password for that last one).  She always asks permission before taking my phone, and I tend to not let her play unless I'm with her.  She even dutifully hands it over when it rings or beeps a text or email through.  But she was in a full pout when I took the phone away tonight so I could leave for book club...

Sigh.  A consistent parent I am, apparently, not.  But hey, maybe I can set my mind at ease with the knowledge that I'm raising the worlds next high scoring Temple Run champion...    

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I signed up for NaBloPoMo again this month.  You know...that craziness that requires a blog post per day?  Sadly it is only the 7th of March and I am already stumped.  So I asked my children what I should blog about this evening.  Here are their responses:

Brandon:  (age 10) 
"Gymnastics!!"  (said with a fist pump high in the air.) 
"But Brandon....I've blogged a lot about gymnastics lately and will probably do so again when you compete at state in another week and a half." 
"Okay, how about science?"

Julianne: (age 14) 
"Umm....what about stars?"
"You could go outside and take a picture.  And then you could tell some sort of story about when you were out under the stars and how you learned something from it.  And then you could share some cool quote about stars."

Lilian:  (age 4)
"Babies?  You mean baby the ones you were playing with today?'
"No.  Just babies."

Rebekah:  (age 15)
"Mom....I'm trying to do my homework here."
"I know.  But what do you think I should blog about?
"You're only saying that because you know that's what Julianne said."
"What are you listening to on your ipod?"
"You're going to blog about the song I'm listening to???"

For the record....she's listening to "With or Without You" by U2  (a good choice, I must admit) while she fills out a worksheet on "The Count of Monte Cristo" for her English class.
So there you have it.  Four days worth of blog posts coming up....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Aching for spring

I'm wishing for spring.  Apparently my trees are as well because I noticed little buds on them when I went out to get my mail this morning.  Those who know me realize that this admission early in March is a big deal.  I am a winter girl.  I don't ski, sled or snowshoe but I absolutely love the snow and cold.  I am also a firm believer that seasons should act as they are meant to. Which means that I get irrationally cranky with people who complain about snow storms in February or even least up till the 20th, the official first day of spring.  But I am weary of winter this year.  Maybe because it's been a lackluster and depressingly dry season with not much wintery weather to be excited about.  Whatever it is, I am aching for warmer weather and sun....and these things:

*To kick off the slippers that I wear daily and go barefoot around the house.
*To put together, stain and set up my new potting bench in the backyard.
*To bike my favorite 21 mile route without having to wear all my winter gear.
*To shop the nursery for little herb and vegetable plants...
*...and to dig in the soil and get it all ready for planting.  I literally want to feel the dirt between my fingers.  (I've been reading "The Good Earth" by Pearl's making me crave gardening.)
*To be able to wear all those cute sandals sitting on shelves in my closet.  They look lonely...and dusty.
*To paint my toenails and not then immediately hide them inside a pair of socks and boots.
*To wake up to light outside my window.
*To set set up the patio furniture on my back deck.

However...I have a sneaking suspicion that if Mother Nature favored us with a serious walloping of snow (rather than the puny little 1/2 inch we got last night) I'd probably get on board the winter train once again.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gym vs. Diet

I got this backwards today.  I worked out hard in our little home gym this evening....rowing, weights and sit-ups.  (Did you know that I can row a 5k faster than I can run one?  Go figure.)  But I ate way too many cookies.  (Darn Rebekah and her friend for making snickerdoodles.  Don't they realize that I have next to no willpower??)