Monday, February 26, 2007

Quote of The Week...

"It takes courage to live--courage and strength and hope and humor. And courage and strength and hope and humor have to be bought and paid for with pain and work and prayers and tears."

--Jerome P. Fleishman

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Left behind...

It's so sad to be the littlest brother. All your big brothers and sisters take off outside and you are stuck. A prisoner in your own home.
[please forgive the edits and changes as I figure out how to post pictures!]

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Great 'Soup' Mystery solved...

So, the hubby calls me a few days ago and the conversation goes something like this:

The Hubby: Uhh, babe?
Me: Yeah?
TH: I , uh, finally read your blog.
[been telling me for weeks he'd get around to it...but to be fair: 1 wife, 7 kids, 3 jobs. Nuff said.]
M: Oh, yeah? So? What did you think?
TH: It's good, very funny. You know I think you are funny. But, ummm...the soup??
M: the soup? What soup...oh, yeah, what about the soup?
TH: That was all me. I bought it when you had that dental work done and couldn't chew. I thought you might like it.

So, from this we learn a few things. One, my husband is thoughtful and downright precious about taking care of the wife when she is hurting. (this I already knew, but those little reminders mean a lot after close to 20 years together) and Two, my husband thinks I would eat soup with little green floatie things.

So close, and yet so far.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Quote of the Week...

"Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." --Charles Dickens

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A to Z...

Got this meme from Mormon Millie, who cracks me up. She tagged everyone who reads her blog, and I read it daily. Because of the cracking up which I previously mentioned.
ACCENT: I tend to soak up whoever I am talking to's accent. I am a good mimic, but it makes it hard for me because I tend to slip into everyone else's way of talking.
CHORE I DON'T CARE FOR: mopping the floor
DOG OR CAT: I have children, I don't need any more animals to care for.
ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS: Computer, TV with my DVR, my Cricut machine
HANDBAG I CARRY MOST OFTEN: Big, black, leather looking bag from Old Navy
INSOMNIA: More than I care for, yes.
JOB TITLE: Homemaker
KIDS: 3 girls: 17, 7, and 3; and 4 boys: 14, 9, 5, and 17 months
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: with my husband and offspring in a house far too nice for all of us because we are loud, messy hooligans. (well, them. Not me.)
MOST ADMIRABLE TRAIT: Great resource when you have the nagging question, "Now, what else have I seen that actor in??"
NAUGHTIEST CHILDHOOD BEHAVIOR: I used to steal gum from my mom's nightstand and blame my brother for it
OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAYS: Once at 10 or so for what they thought was spinal menengitis, then for each of my children's births
PHOBIAS: Snakes, snakes, and did I mention snakes?
QUOTE: "I have 9,768,423 things to do...other than that, I'm free all day." -a friend named Dottie
RELIGION: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
SIBLINGS: I have one brother I grew up with, and then 9 adopted siblings
TIME I WAKE UP: 5:00 AM. Thanks for reminding me.
UNUSUAL TALENT OR SKILL: As I mentioned with accent, I can mimic other people pretty dead on
WORST HABIT: Procrastination
X-RAYS: Dental, when I was 16 and fell off of a car and broke my tailbone, about 7 years ago after a bad fall at an aquarium
YUMMY STUFF I COOK: Swedish Meatball Soup, Crock Pot Ravioli, Pumpkin Chocolate chip Muffins
If you didn't already take the challenge from Millie to do this meme, take it from me!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quote of the Week...

"Marriage hath in it less of beauty but more of safety ... it hath more care, but less danger, it is more merry, and more sad; it is fuller of sorrows, and fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but it is supported by all the strengths of love and charity, and those burdens are delightful."

--Bishop Jeremy Taylor

Friday, February 09, 2007

How did THAT get in there?

So, I'm digging in my pantry to make some effort at dinner, and I come across some items that, well...have me a little confused. Because I have no recollection of seeing them in the store, putting them in my cart, paying for them, bringing them home, and then placing them in the pantry on the shelf next to all the other stuff that is in there.

Since I know that I am the only one who actually purchases food for our household, that means it must have been me. Huh. Here are a few of the items in question:

"Southwest Style Pepper Jack" cheese soup. Seriously? What little lies did I tell myself that made me think that my kids would come within 10 feet of reddish orange soup with green floatie things in it??

1 regular sized box of pilaf Rice-a-Roni. This is just confusing on so many levels. First of all, we have 7 kids--I never buy the regular size of ANYTHING. Sometimes, if I am in a pinch and they don't have the jumbo bucket of something I may buy a smaller size...but then I'll buy 4 or 5. So the "one"ness of this box just doesn't feel right. And we don't even eat pilaf--unless it's my mom's homemade pilaf, because when she makes it it is just so goooooood.

1 box of Red Velvet cake mix. Now, this actually could be explained. Not that I would ever MAKE a red velvet cake, but I buy cake mixes by the dozen because my kids like cake mix cookies. So, it falls within the realm of possiblity that I--while reaching for the spice, chocolate, or yellow cake mixes--inadvertently grabbed this sad little never-to-be-used box of red velvet.

Creamy Ranchero Tomato soup. Again with the soup. Now, on the label it says: Great for Cooking. So maybe I thought that somehow if I bought these soups that I would actually cook with them. Or that maybe they would cook for me. Or something. But, again--little green floatie things. Hello!!!??? Little. Green. Floatie. Things.

Oh, and for those who may be wondering...I ended up making meatball stew.
And none of the above ingredients were harmed in the process.

Cake mix cookies:
1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup of oil
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix first 3 ingredients into dough. Then stir in chocolate chips. Roll into teaspoon sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes @ 350 degrees. Cookies will look "wrinkley" but not browned.

Another version:
1 box spice cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup of oil

Bake same as above.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Quote of the week...

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but I realize that it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as though they were great and noble."

--Helen Keller

Friday, February 02, 2007

Books that have changed me...

Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls. This was the first book where I learned that someone could write something that could make me feel a powerful emotion--as though I were really witnessing what they wrote about. I was 9, and I can still vividly remember having to put the book down--because I couldn't read through the tears in my eyes--when Little Ann and Old Dan met their sad fate. At first I felt a little uncomfortable, thinking "why am I crying over dogs and a boy that aren't even real?" and then somewhere in the back of my mind came the knowledge: that is what a good book can do. It can make you feel something real within a story that is not.

If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I doing in the Pits?, Erma Bombeck. I'm pretty sure that I must have read my mom's copy, because I remember reading this book when I was in 4th grade, and I doubt I would have sought it out. I loved that she talked about everyday things that all moms and families go through, but she made it laugh out loud funny. (and I wasn't even a mom!) This was the first book that made me laugh out loud, and it was also the first book that I found could have me laughing one minute, and tearing up the next. Make me cry without meanness and I like you. Make me laugh and I love you. Make me cry while I am laughing...and I am yours forever.

The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allen Poe; and Stories That Scared Even Me, Alfred Hitchcock. Ok, technically, Tell Tale is a short story; and Stories That Scared is a collection of stories compiled by Hitchcock; but I have to put them in here and put them together because they scared me to death. They were my first exposure to literature designed to frighten and boy, did they do a good job. It was disturbing and yet oddly exciting to find myself feeling the panic and madness come over the narrator in Tell Tale, and finding myself having to resist the urge to run to my parent's bedroom after reading one of the Stories That Scared. To this day I cannot read frightening or very suspense filled books if I am alone in the house. I've never put a scary book in the freezer, a'la Joey on Friends...but I've thought about it.

Days of Grace, Arthur Ashe w/Arnold Rampersad. This book amazed me and taught me that there will be literally thousands of brave and honorable people in this world that I may never know about. I picked up this book knowing very little of Ashe except his gentlemanly nature on the tennis court, but he became one of my heroes. His grace (hence the title) and courage against racism and illness, and his quiet dignity in doing the right thing is something I still look back on and try to require from myself. He once said: "If one's reputation is a possession, then of all my possessions, my reputation means most to me." He deserves that possession to be a valuable one, he worked for it and he earned it.

Woman of Independent Means, Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey. It sounds like a romance novel, but it's not. It's written entirely as letters that one woman writes to the people in her life over the span of some 60 years. This book was where I was reminded how much I truly love letters...I will read letters by people I have never heard of, and have no idea about. I think it must be because letters seem so intimate, so private. And because you can feel the relationship that the sender and the recipient have based on the tone and feel of the correspondence. Because of this book, I put copies of letters and emails to different people from me in my journal. I know that each one reveals a little bit more of all the sides of me. I also learned in this book how I can love a character and still not like her. I found myself completely shocked at some of the things Bess Steed would say or do; but then still find her ultimately, and overwhelmingly, endearing. I re-read this book every year or so, and every time I still find myself sad that Bess is simply a character and not a real woman. Because I'd love to have tea with her.

This is a short list. I haven't mentioned all of the books that have changed me, mostly because there are too many. And some, I really couldn't tell all the things that have changed about me because of them. How could I possibly try to explain the impact of the Bible and the Book Of Mormon, for example? They permeate my soul. They have changed--and are changing--every facet of my personality.

Please feel free to share some of your special books with me in the comments, or if you blog--make your own list. If you do, let me know so I can go and take a look.