Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm trying really hard not to title this a "Best of", "great in oh-8", or "retrospective" post

But I can't think of anything clever at the moment. Probably because I'm home alone on New Year's Eve with nothing to do but A: Play Rock Band by myself, so really, its more like "Rock Mom" than "Rock Band" and, well, isn't that just sort of pathetic? B: Blog. I like blogging, it doesn't make me feel too badly about myself. or C: Do Laundry. Well, if playing Rock Band by yourself is too pathetic of a New Year's Eve activity then surely doing laundry would make me want to slit my wrists, right? So, best to avoid THAT one more day.

So anyways, I guess I decided to blog with my bad lonesome self and spend some quality time looking back on 2008. Just to be sure, I checked back and realized that I didn't even start this blog until April. It originally was meant to replace a family blog we had kept while living some distance from the rest of the family, but it had ALOT of personal information and after attending some seminars on internet safety, we decided to just completely dump that blog into the "delete" box and start over. Well, things never really were the same after hitting that little blue box. I have to say, that being limited in what I could share about family specifics made me get a little more creative, and I'm glad I did. ( Even if occassionally JP hijacks the blog and posts-shall we say "interesting"- items of repute that has yet to be determined.) I've made some friends along the way and wow, has that helped with the lonely factor. ( yeah yeah, I know, who's lonely? I live in a city with millions of people, right?...need I remind you I'm home on NYE without having had to turn down any invitations?)

Looking back I realized we've had ALOT of fun. We've encountered the "No Kimchi for You" waitress, the Mad Crumper, and Incontinence. Don't forget the Happy Endings!  We've done the shaky-butt dance, chased each other with water baloons, paid $4.99 for gas, visited the Beach a couple of times, and buried my grandmother.  I had the privilege of gaining 20 lbs
But, you can't really's its only 20 and not 40)being assaulted with a deadly weapon (yeah, that really happened like in May or June and I didn't blog about it at the time because I just didn't want to talk about it) and having 3 callings in a 7 month period.

JP started a new job, Gabe started Kindergarten, Emily started Junior High, and Annie started High School. (Someday I'll actually write about why I don't write about Annie and Em very much) Lily is dying to start Pre-school and I'd love to start Karate, but its very expensive, so for now I'm playing the role of supportive mom. ( Although JP and I did wonder if it would be ok if we held our very own fight-class on the sidewalk outside the dojo...what do you think? Would that be inappropriate?)

The year came to an end all too quickly, I just didn't have time to attend all the parties we were invited too (oh, you already heard we didn't get a single invitation to a single holiday party this year? Who's talking about me? and where'd they hear that?) or eat all the cookies that were dropped off at our front porch. ( oh wait, that's a lie too. not one, not even a stale old half-eaten one) And I certainly loved going to the zoo lights with my "free" passes which I gave away to complete strangers because I thought they were supposed to be for guests since we had a membership which gets us into the zoo at all other times, and ended up paying for ourselves to get in because I was too embarrassed to ask for the passes back. We did have a wonderful time bowling with the AZ cousins though. That was a wonderful day which I think needs to be a tradition for the first Monday of Christmas break each year.

I guess I can truly say the year hasn't been half bad, in fact its been more than half good.  I wonder what 2009 will send our way? Hopefully some more of the kind of stuff we had this year, without the assualts and rude waitresses and stuff.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!-The Clan of the Cave Hair, also known as Lisa, Jp, Annie, Emily, Gabriel, and Lily

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gonna Whip You Into Shape...

Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually. Fit for Service is up and running again. I've taken a month long break from it and given it alot of thought. I even considered deleting the blog. But I finally realized that the problem with the blog was that I wasn't being true to myself. I wasn't writting it with my own voice. I just didn't feel that the writing was authentic and that feeling was coming through. I have decided that part of the problem was that I was writing for an audience I imagined I wanted, but didn't have. And...that my imagined audience wanted certain things from me I couldn't authentically provide.'s what I decided to do about it. I decided to stop worrying about who was or was not reading ( hello...did I not leave that advice for somebody else earlier this month?), to write with my own voice, my own style, and my very own bossy tone. If you dont like it, too bad. I'm writing it for my own reasons, not everybody elses.

I've written a post called "Why Not Today". Its for me. And You. And anybody else who is waiting a couple more days to make life-changes.

I hope you'll stop on by, give it a read, and leave me some feedback. You can feel free to let me know about topics you'd like to see in the future, or ideas you have about today's topic. Everybody's welcome and I'll even, as a special present to you , be eliminating Word Verification! Yeah!

All-right all-y'alls, get on over there.


Make it Mini!

Ok guys, here is my other (last?) 5 star recipe I promised back in November. If you make these mini-sized (Use a large biscuit cutter to cut your crusts) they make AWESOME appetizers. (and if you are like me and my friends, since there will be no alcohol for New Years Eve...there will be an overabundance of high-calorie horsdouvres.

This one is my take on a pizza that was made on TV using all kinds of exotic ingredients that my humble little farming town in Iowa couldn't provide me (fancy cured meats, various fromage's, fresh herbs, etc). But if there's one thing Iowa can provide...its BACON!

Here it is. Caramelized Onion and Bacon Pizza.

1 large pizza crust
2 Tbsp roasted garlic, chopped or paste
Olive oil
1 lb bacon
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
8 oz provolone cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Heat skillet and cook bacon until nearly crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels and set aside. Remove excess fat from skillet. Thinly slice onions. Add to skillet and cook until onions are tender and golden, becoming sweet to the taste. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh or dried thyme. On pizza crust, drizzle approximately 2 tsp olive oil, and spread roasted garlic evenly over crust. Chop bacon pieces and distribute evenly. Spread caramelized onions over entire pizza. Cover onions and bacon with slices of provolone cheese. Bake until cheese is beginning to bubble and brown slightly. Remove pizza from oven, allow to sit 3 minutes. Slice and serve.

Notes: This "Gourmet Style" pizza is easy to prepare and inexpensive but packs a powerful punch. Your friends will think you are amazing. Be sure to use a really great tasting crust.

Number of Servings: 8

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year End Reflections

I'm not always snarky, and I don't always need to crack lame jokes. In fact, I tend to spend quite a bit of time thinking about where I've been, where I'm going, and how I'll get there. I am not a big believer in New Year's Resolutions, I believe if I know something needs improvement, what better time to start than now? What is January 1 but an arbitrary date? Most New Years Resolutions are broken anyhow because they are not born of sincere desire for change, but out of a wish for something different. What I've learned over the past several years is that wishes for something different rarely result in anything different. Wishes make me feel good momentarily, but quickly arrives some circumstance that pops that wishful bubble right into oblivion. Wishes don't work for me.

Goals on the other hand, there is something I can work with. When I set goals, life doesn't happen to me, instead I participate in making my life what it is. I don't always acheive every goal I set out to acheive. Sometimes I fail miserably. But what goal setting has done for me is allowed me to stop living my life as a series of knee-jerk reactions.

This past year has been an interesting one for our family. Two years ago, we made a goal to obtain better employment. At the end of that year, we had the sought after employment and made a move from the midwest to the desert southwest. Because obtaining the employment and making the move were the results of rather large, rather life-changing goals, I didn't really know what to do next once those goals were obtained. I've spent the last 7 months doing smaller things. Trying to make friends, figure out my role in my new community and congregation, encourage my rambunctious children to behave, read scriptures, say family prayers, develop the habit of personal prayer. I've left a few things by the wayside. Personal physical health has been one of them. Although several months ago I began the South Beach Diet, and stuck to it perfectly, it didn't work for me. I've been to see the doctor on several occassions only to find out that everything is not only in working order, but in EXCELLENT working order. I've become lazy in my housekeeping, meal preparations and attendance to extra curricular activities.

It has come to my attention that I have filled my days with busy work, "fun" and other time-wasting activities. And I realize that these things have come because I haven't really set out any kind of obtainable, measurable, goal that is important enough to me to spend energy in my downtime achieving.

Jp and I are driven people when we have something we want. But being in a position of having all that you had previously hoped for leaves a strange empty feeling inside. I'm not sure exactly what the next big thing is. But I do know that I'm tired of spinning my wheels and I'm ready to get down to work again. I've enjoyed the "time off" from the work involved in obtaining a large goal, but I kind of miss the feelings of resolve and hope that are involved in these things. I don't want to become the person who feels empty inside and can't fill her cup. So, I guess its time for a different kind of prayer. I'll still offer up the prayers of gratitude we've been offering, but its time for something more. I think tonight I'll ask for a little guidance and opportunity in setting new goals. And just because it happens to be year end, don't go thinking I am setting a New Year's Resolution. Today is Dec. 28th, no where near Jan 1.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bringing Marriages, Families, and Friends Closer, One Note at a Time

or..."On the inside I'm wearing a bikini and have purple hair".
You know you secretly wish you were a rockstar, admit it! Well, if you indulge your family in a "RockBand" game, even fat ol' mom who spends more time sweeping Cheerio's off the floor than rockin' out these days can let her inner Hessian out and rule the (virtual) Music Scene. This is aided by such items as an "easy" setting, "No Fail" rounds, and the ability to spew gibberish into the microphone and still get a fair number of points. ( As illustrated by a certain 2 year old who sang "Are you Ready to Rock" through 3 minutes of "Nine in the Afternoon" and still scored somewhere between 65% and 70%).

Having trouble getting your children to obey? Now you have new leverage! Out of ideas for creative date nights? As it turns out, you can successfully whisper your way through 2.5 hours of rock'n'roll and not wake the babies. However, you should be warned, if you try this method, you must turn in your "cool" card prior to your first set.

(Are you unsure about your current "cool" status? Well, first things first, if you're using the word "Cool" you are almost certainly UNcool...add "whip" to the end, and you'll be a'ight. ie: this game is Cool-Whip)

Throwing a dinner party? Nothing breaks the ice like a rousing round of the Beastie Boys "Whatcha Want" failed at least three times, even on easy because even though you *think* you know that song, I promise you, you do not.

So, there, that's my obnoxious "look what we got for Christmas" post in which I attempt to show the world how superiorly blessed our family is with worldy gifts that help us completely forget that we are not Masters of the Universe and that we do indeed owe all we have; health, spirit, and the ability to care for ourselves and those in need to Christ our Savior.

It is my sincerest wish that each of you had a wonderful Christmas day full of love and the people that mean the most to you. ( And we hope you were able to throw some fun into the mix too!)

And with that we are "Back to Regularly Scheduled Programming"...or...I'll be back when I have something to write, its been a nice week away from the 'puter, but we're back to the grind now, which means, I'll be looking forward to my daily break from reality in the blogging world. I'm looking forward to reading New Years Posts soon!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Apparently my husband is bent on offending everyone for Christmas

And I'm sorry.
Merry Christmas everybody. We'll be offline for the next several days, but want you to all know we wish you a TRULY Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

For both factions!

This is a little clip for both factions...those who are all up tight because there is too much/not enough santa!

you know us huubies, we gotta offend if we can ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A teensy favor

Hey guys! My Don't you Hate it When story was selected for the December competition and you know, I don't ask a lot of my readers, I don't even beg for comments (even though I DO love them) but I am going to ask you to do this for me. Will you please go give me a vote for the "Don't You Hate it When" contest? Please? I would really love to win that handmade purse, and the Amazon card, but you know what I'm going to do with the Target Card ( should I win it) is send it on to my brother who's story this really is. He has a brand spankin' new baby that is just the cutest and he and his wife are recent college grads and having a bit of a rough spot and I just know that 20.00 at Target actually would be a really great perk for them right now. So, if you can't vote for me, at least vote for baby Henry, k? He needs diapers!
click on the link above and go post your vote for Lisa with Cave Hair--lol ( I think that's a funny way to describe me, as well as quite accurate)
Thanks all you wonderful people who love me ( or at least like me enough to do one little extra thing :) )

A post without a Theme

As you can see, last night the Clan of the Cave Hair blog was abducted by a true caveman. JP has not ONLY hijacked the blog to add weirdness such as BUCKETHEAD...he has also added himself as a contributor. So watch out world, things are gonna get weird!

In the meantime...What is special about the plywood underneath the dining room table covered in little wartime refuse? What is special about that board is that it once was in a single peice. That is, until Gabriel, on his very first try EVER, kicked it in half during Karate Lessons yesterday. As you can see, it now makes an excellent fortress for little green army guys. Kindly ignore the bread crumbs, they are playing a crucial role in this battlefield epic.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12 days o Christmas

who doesn't love a good Christmas carole with Buckethead?

Merry Christmas from the dark side

Merry Christmas....

Don't you hate it when...

**Hey guys, I know you all have read this already, but I really want to win the amazing purse and gift cards that Shelley is giving away over at BlokThoughts, so do me a favor and bear with me. If I need your help at any point ( IE...need your VOTES...I'll let you know, but for now, enjoy this little peice of Cheer)


Don't you hate it when you are home alone, not really feeling your best, laying on the couch watching tv and you realize your day is suddenly about to get 1000% better because you just looked down with one eye to the floor and realized that somebody left a chocolate covered almond on the floor and nobody is home to see you pick it up and eat it, so you do, and your mouth is watering, and you lips are quivering and you greedily stuff that beautiful lump of joy in your mouth and you begin to savor it, allowing it to melt slowly on your tongue and you notice the texture isn't quite right, and... then... you... realize...there's a problem, a rather large problem and suddenly you find yourself rocketing out of the couch, headed for the toilet, shaking, (but this time not out of ecstasy) spitting, clawing at your tongue, grabbing soap, toothpaste and water, lots and lots of water,vinegar, more soap, anything you can cleanse your palate with because it turned out... that was no chocolate covered almond...

*technically speaking this is my brother's story. I won't tell ya' which one though!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A peek into our most private family celebrations

This is how we welcome the newest members of our family into the Cave Hair Clan. This year we will be getting one beautiful new lady added to the clan. I think she was a little put off by my beard, but she didn't seem to mind the munchkins passing around the community spirits. I hope you guys appreciate this intimate look into our most private family celebrations

3 rants and a rave-Bizarro World Edition

Remember when Superman and his friends went to Bizarro World and everything was backwards? Yeah, me neither, but I do remember Bizarro Jerry and Bizarro George on Seinfeld. This is 3 rants and a rave-Bizarro World edition...that means its 3 raves and a rant~!

Rave 1: Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle-Body Wash so pepperminty-fresh you'll want to avoid it at will wake you up too much. And will tingle.

Rave 2: Peppermint Stick ice cream. This is my favorite Holiday flavor. Apple pie ice cream is good. Pumpkin Pie ice cream is good. Egg-nog ice cream is gross. But peppermint...Peppermint, is the BEST! A Peppermint Tin-Roof Sundae is even better. I *think* we're going to make homemade peppermint stick ice cream and homemade waffle bowls for treats to take to friends and neighbors for Christmas this year...maybe... if the price of milk doesn't go any higher.

Rave 3: Burts Bees Lip Balm. uh...yeah...(*embarrassed*) this one is Peppermint too. What can I say? I LOVE peppermint! But the Peppermint isn't the best part of Burts Bees Lip Balm! Its the...oh, ok, its the peppermint.

Rant:Its Christmas Season, what's to rant about? (I'm sure I'll think of something later).
**I thought of something. Where does WalMart get off selling toddler size Christmas dresses for 37.45? If I wanted to spend 37+ dollars on a Christmas dress for my 2 year old, trust me, I would have gone to Nordstrom.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Grown Up Christmas List

I know this idea's not original, but I heard the song the other day and it did get me thinking (about how much I don't really like that song, among other things...).
If I got to write a list, a list that included everything I could possibly want, what would I ask for? Well, a new crock-pot, and a stand mixer might be on that list, but I can do better than that. I would wish for the next 6 years to be almost exactly like the last 6 months ( minus all the times Mr. Cavehair has been sick.) I would wish for my children to have the knowledge I have, minus the experiences that forced me to gain said knowledge. I would wish for Elf to play on network TV. I would wish for our collective siblings to find in life what they are looking for. I would wish for a friend (or two) who lived nearby and would come over in their sweatpants and eat my cookies and drink my milk and bring their laughs and their twirpy kids with them. I would wish for Filiberto's Chile Relleno Burrito's to be calorie free ( and the Horchata too!) I would wish for my husband to be bullet-proof, my children to know that names-can-never-hurt them and for myself to always have a smile ready. I'd wish to be a fly-on-the-wall in my son's Kindergarten class.
I'd wish to be able to take away the painful things locked inside my loved one's minds. I would wish I could figure out how to write my Fit for Service blog in a way that works for me. I would wish for my blogging friends to know how much I appreciate them. I would wish for JP to know how much I love him. I would wish for Real Christmas Trees to be fireproof, elderly people to die only of old-age, and BinLaden to be found. I would wish that we could just eat the sausage without knowing how its made. I would wish that I could sit through "Its a Wonderful Life" and think its just as wonderful as I'm supposed too, I would enjoy Hot Cocoa like normal people, and broken cookies really would offer up my heart's desire.
But most of all, I would wish Jennifer Anniston would just shut her mouth.

Friday, December 12, 2008


This is Gabriel's Kenyan. He does not have a name, but he does eat Chapati and Roasted Goat for Christmas ( he probably also wears a white shirt and black pants to go to his Baptist church, but we were asked to dress the doll in tribal dress) He will go all 'round the Village singing Christmas carols and collecting money for his church. The skewer through the nose, and the large earrings and neckbands are precious, but what really makes this doll authentic is his nipples. Yes, his nipples, placed rather high, close together, and somewhat too near the neck.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Dark Side Wants OUT!-(and she's gonna be Wearin' Purple)

But there's a reason I've kept her under wraps. She is more trouble than she's worth. But lately, I feel her clawing at my brains saying "Please, Please, let me out to play, just for a little while"...but giving her voice gives way to things like this , and this, and this.
So, here's to giving her just a teensy bit'o'freedom and making me smile today. (And if you don't like it, or it scares you, come back tomorrow...we'll be back to regular programming)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Toys for Tots

You'll notice on my sidebar, there is a new button. Clicking that button will take you directly to the Toys for Tots "Donate Online" page. Once you're there, you can click through the website to learn more about the Toys for Tots program.

Its been a program that has been occassionally abused, its one of hundreds of programs competing for your attention this year, but its also a program that is worth donating too.

In our first year of marriage, our family( my two oldest girls)beneffitted from the Toys for Tots program. One doesn't marry a Marine for his income, and a Marine doesn't marry a single mother of Two with no college degree for her income potential. It was really difficult to accept the gifts. We felt embarrassed, frankly. We had planned a very small, very happy christmas with what we had and we were happy to be together and to share in the love we had in our home. I'm still unclear as to how we came to recieve Toys for Tots in our home. We hadn't registered to recieve them, but anybody who was a junior rank automatically qualified so it could be that the company XO or some other person had submitted our name, I don't know. What I do know is that our children recieved gifts that were far better than we probably would have purchased given a more robust budget for the year. We were truly amazed at the generosity, especially considering how many family's were receiving these gifts.

The next few years we were no longer in the Marine Corps, and while we may have qualified for the assistance, we never felt to register. We truly believe in keeping Christmas more about giving than recieving, and have tried to instill in our children a sense of appreciation for the things they have rather than the things they don't have.

About 2 years ago, we finally found ourselves in a position to be able to donate for other children. You can't imagine how much joy we felt the first time we dropped off bags full of carefully chosen gifts to that donation truck. We were so pleased with our then 3 year old Gabriel and the excitement he showed for chosing and then giving the toys away. We look forward each year to that special shopping trip and the feelings we get from doing something that we don't benefit from,(but having an appreciation for the feelings of those who will benefit).

There are many worthy organizations available to give your time and money to this Christmas. If you are having difficulty chosing one, I would recommend Toys for Tots. And if you can't go out and take part in the joy of chosing the actual toys, I would encourage you to click on that bear above and make a donation online.

Merry Christmas!--The Cave Hair Clan

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When You've Fully Embraced Motherhood

When you've fully embraced Motherhood you'll notice things are not the same as they've always been. Perhaps you've become OK with the inevitable change in body shape, wrinkly-papery belly skin, silvery stretch markes, or laugh lines all over your face. You've come to expect scatalogical references, spilled milk, and serious aversions to all things leafy and or green. You may have found that manners have been replaced with simple, more practical traditions like "Shirtless Sunday Supper" so that you can at least have one day a week without a load of laundry.
Your budget has changed, your "me" time is lost, and you find yourself anxious at the slightest suggestion of silence. But the number one signal that you have now fully embraced motherhood and all its associated joys is when you straighten the slip-covers on the couch, discover a Cheerio within its folds and rather than make a trip to the trash can, or toss it on the floor to be vaccuumed, you pop that gem right down your throat, noting to yourself "gee, that one wasn't even stale yet".

Monday, December 8, 2008

A little bit of Internet Introspection

Today, Mina posted something that really touched my heart and I have so much to say about her topic, that I felt an entire post was better than a pages long "comment" on her post about "Insecurity" ***Forgive me ahead of time if this turns into a "Stream of Consciousness" type post, I have SO many thoughts to share.***

I find it interesting how perspective changes and truths are revealed as we grow into adulthood. But what I find even more interesting, is how-given the right circumstances-the internet can bring out the best in people.

We've all heard the horror stories about internet predators, on-line scams, and various e-addictions. Those things exist, they are real, but thus far, they have not been a part of my life. In my life, the internet has been a true blessing.

Mina talked about the insecurities she had growing up, and how those insecurities gave birth to behavior that now embarrasses her. I know some of the behaviors she's talking about, but I forgive her. The truth is, I spent my child-hood thinking that she was more talented, more outgoing, and more popular than I could ever dream of being. I have to admit, that when I started seeing her readership go up, I started to feel some of those old insecurities again, but quickly realized that her voice is different than mine and she reaches people in a different way. THere is no reason to feel insecure about her or anybody else's blogs growing in readership. In fact, its something to celebrate and to compliment. I love how the internet, specifically blogging, connects people. It shows us how our lives are similar, which can be particularly valuable at times when we feel alone in our challenges. I love how we can find those who uplift us, who make us laugh, who have it worse than us, make us roll our eyes, inspire us, or cause us to go through just about any other human emotion you can think of.
The internet and I have a relatively short, but valuable relationship.
I wonder who else has found a job, an apartment, and a spouse online in a single 6 month period? (we didn't marry in that 6 month period, we married a good year later, but we did find each other in that 6 month period!) I know others have long-term friendships, I think it was Whitney who finally met a friend of 7 years recently. I too have an internet friend who'm I've never met face to face, of approximately 7 years. We keep in touch regularly and are happy for each other as we travel through life. Many of the friends I've "met" here in the blogging world in the past few months feel like "real" friends already. Kind comments, shared laughs, the occassional snark make it all feel real. Which begs the question-if you haven't met face to face, is the friendship any less real? I suppose it depends on the second party's perception of the friendship, but I would say, an online friendship can be as valuable and real as an in-person friendship, and I'm thankful for that. My internet friends have been a big part of my having discovered my "voice"...or rather, my dang personality!-which come to find out, some "real-life" people even like!

I grew up in a hilarious household. But it was always somebody else's job to be funny. It was Lisa's job to be smart, serious,and athletic. It was not my job to be funny. But, I've discovered I do have a funny bone in me. Its my own brand of humor, and its lost on plenty of people, but not everybody. Some people, it seems, actually even kinda like my brand of humor, and laugh with me, even when I'm not actually TRYING to be funny...yes, that's you Joanna, and you totally made my day when you laughed at me last week about something I said which I didn't even mean to be funny, but turned out funny anyways. Being told "You're funny" is like the ultimate compliment in my book. I would rather be told I'm funny than be told I'm pretty, smart, or a waste of space on this precious planet. But the point isn't that other people think I might be funny, the point is, that on the internet, where I say what I want to say, and think what I want to think, I've discovered that people like me for me. Not everybody likes me, and that's ok. The great part about that is a: I don't have such a long list of followers that I can never ever keep up with them all, and I can actually develop somewhat of a relationship with those who visit frequently, and B: This attitude has carried over into my non-virtual life. The attitude of "not everybody likes me and that's ok" has really served me well here in my new home-town. I have found it difficult to make friends here. I don't have an explanation for it, because I actually found making friends in the last town we lived, quite easy. I don't know what exactly is different, but it doesn't matter. Instead of falling into old habits of thinking that I must not dress right, must not have the right talents, or must not live in a nice enough house to please everybody, I just think "well, I just haven't found the right friends yet." It makes life alot easier to feel ok about who I am, and be able to be patient about finding the right friends.
I'm currently serving in the RS presidency. I have found it to be a challenge. I really stink at small talk and I often worry that I speak far too plainly, and out of turn. But when I do, I am always approached by somebody who says "You said exactly what I needed to hear today". So, as it turns out, my relatively new-found ability to be bold sometimes even serves others well. If I could figure out a way to make "small talk" on the internet, I would probably practice that here a little too, but hey! There is absolutely NO REASON for small talk here, and I guess that's part of the attraction for me.
Its wonderful knowing that at any time, in any circumstances, there is a community of women just a finger's tip away from me that have similar lives, similar values, similar difficulties, and similar joys. And that brings comfort. I know that sometimes there is a little "image management" going on behind the scenes from blog to blog. Its pretty easy to guess when a husband and wife have had a major blowout ( hubby either breaks into the blog to post a mushy "how I appreciate my wife" post, or wifey logs in to name the Top 10 Things I Appreciate Most about My Husband". ( If its yours or his birthday however, I'll just assume you're being nice and not trying to cover up your name calling from last night, LOL)or when a new blogger is still trying to find their voice, but overall, I find this to be a joyful community to be a part of.

And so, at the end of this very jumbled post-of-too-many words, I just want to say to each of you, "Merry Christmas" and "thank-you" for reading, responding, and being a part of my life. ( You Too, family members☺)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

*gag* *choke* *hyper-ventilate*-Oh wait! don't do THAT!

I just walked into a cumbustible cloud of gas, not my own, nor belonging to a family member. How in 36 years is this the first time that has ever happened? I don't know.
But I will tell you this! I will have a hard time not laughing when that customer returns.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bringin' Sexy Back

And apparently Brad Pitt thinks HE's responsible??? Come Now...Mr. Cave Hair has been sporting the 'stache for the better part of a year now. And while I appreciate Mr. Pitts attempts at making sure mustachioed men everywhere are treated fairly I think Mr. Cavehair is perfectly capable of taking care of himself. I mean, Would YOU mess with this man?
I. didn't. think. so.

Larry King..."You were here a year ago. It's good to have you back. But I must ask, Brad, what's the moustache for?"
Brad Pitt: "It's political, Larry. It's political. I'm making a stand for men with moustaches. I don't think they get treated fairly."
King: "You've got a point."
Pitt: "And I want to change that."

Feel free to Vote on Your favorite Mustachioed ;)

5 years in the making

2 Carne Asada Burritos with drinks...$12.00
2 Tickets to the game purchased from a sketchy lookin' dude in the parking lot $100.00
1 Hot Cocoa, 1 Bag Peanuts, 1 Diet Pepsi...lord knows how much
Finally getting to that Hockey Game?...PRICELESS

*I also discovered the most demeaning job for women in the sporting world..."ice girls" how would it look if the NBA sent a bunch of females out to sweep the courts between periods? What? That would seem misogynistic in some way? Well...apparently in Hockey its some kind of honor to dress up in a skimpy little uniform and skate around the rink hunched over like Quasimoto over a snow shovel while the guys get some water.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"I'm Not Eating My Sister's Candy!"-Emily Grace, 4 years old

When my second daughter was about 4, one day nearing Christmas I realized it was entirely too quiet in the house and inquired as to her whereabouts. Emily's response to the question, "Hey Em, whatcha doin?"..."I'm not eating my sisters candy."

Now, I'm sure all you mothers out there know precisely what 4 year old candy lover Emily Grace was doing to her sister's candy, which happened to be a part of an Advent Calendar. Of course, she was in fact stuffing little peices chocolate greedily down her tiny little gullet, hoping, praying, that somehow, not only would she not get caught, but that her sisters calendar would somehow not be ruined in the act of piracy.

Fast Forward 10 years.

I thought about fixing the red-eye in that picture of Lily, but I truthfully felt that the devilish gleam suited the situation perfectly, and chose to keep it in place. The shredded paper below was ( not the key word *was*...yes, past tense intentional) an Advent Calendar.

Following in her sister's footsteps before her, Lily is a great lover of all things chocolate. ( who are we kidding, its all things sweet, her very first sentence afterall was "I like cookies") and in that great tradition of all things Emily Grace, decided that simply having a single peice of chocolate each day between now and Christmas was, well, pointless. Why dole it out in tiny portions when you could not only have it all at once, but you could have your brother's too?

We have an interesting "history" with Advent Calendars. Never has one made it 24 days, never has one made it 14 days, but NEVER has one (or two as the case may be) been entirely cleaned out by Dec 3rd.

Now, it could be argued that this is the fault of the Mommy. After 4 children and at least 12 episodes of Unauthorized Advent Burglery one would think that a mother would get the clue that these things need to be put up. But what's the fun of a Christmas Calendar that you can't see?

And besides, by now, its become tradition. And who am I to take such a joyful tradition away from my children? So, eat away baby girl, eat away...oh, wait, there's nothing left. Did you find what you were looking for in the pantry? I doubt it, because I did finally throw away the halloween candy. So there!

***For those of you who have a face book account, search for the group "Im declaring Dec 23rd to be Hold the Door Day" and join the group. (and of course make invitations to all of your friends)It would be so fun to see the group grow!

In case you're wondering, that's my maiden name, and nope, not gonna tell you my real

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

National Hold the Door Day

I am declaring Dec. 23rd, 2008 the first ever national "Hold the Door Day".
A few years ago at Christmas time, hubby and I were at the mall doing some last minute shopping-stroller in tow and having a little bit of a rough time getting through the crowds. People were generally not so much rude, as just non-observant. We felt invisible. On the way home that afternoon we had the "what would you do if you had a million dollars" conversation. We both decided that if we had a million dollars, we would withdraw 100K and take it to the mall a few days before Christmas and hand over 1000.00 to anybody who said "excuse me", held the door for us, wished us a "Merry Christmas" ( not a Happy Holiday...that wouldn't count) or in any other way displayed some courtesy and holiday cheer.

Well...we don't have a million dollars...darn it. But we do have the ability to spread the word! ( And we might even have 20 bucks or so to invest in chocolate bars or some other inexpensive but unexpected reward) And so I am officially declaring Dec 23rd to be "Hold the Door Day"...try it, see what happens! ( make it extra special by wishing somebody Merry Christmas too.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

I am fully aware that this is disgusting looking

but once again, I bit off more than I could chew and have to revisit it tomorrow.