Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Hill Cumorah

'Sup, homies?  We just got back from a Buffalo Bills game and are chilling for a little while, so I thought I'd hop on and show you some of the things we've been doing.  Last Thursday, we went to the Hill Cumorah.  It's so, so exciting to me to see these places I've been learning about my whole life.

We stopped in the visitor's center first and took a few pictures.  We liked this display - a table with all of the different languages the Book of Mormon is currently printed in:
Ben with the Portugese Book of Mormon:
 Et moi avec le Livre de Mormon en Franciase:
 They had a replica of what the original plates looked like here:
I cannot get over how much of the plates are still sealed.

Isn't it pretty here?:
There was this sink hole we saw along the trail; Mom and Ben pretended that was where the plates were hidden:
I love my family.  We're so funny. :)

There is this pillar thingey at the top of the hill.  Ben wanted us to all wave hello.  I'm not really sure what my mom is doing:
This is still at the top of the hill, looking down.  Behind Ben in this pic, the grassy ramp is where they do the Hill Cumorah pageant each year.  And the flat fields beyond (wherever there aren't trees) is where people park and sit to watch the pageant:
 This is a neat little statue of Moroni's Promise that Ben and I posed in front of:
We saw the coolest, scariest spider actually wrapping a big ole' cricket up in a web.  It was fascinating:
Then it was off to the Smith Family Farm.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Almost as bad as having a heart attack on a plane. But not really.

Welp, I can't sleep, so I'll do some bloggie-pooh action.  I keep falling asleep in the car, and we spent lots-o-time in the car today, so I'm thinking that's why I'm all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at two in the morning.

Aight.  Day one of our trip to western New York to visit my sistah, Beads.  Startingggggg NOW.

So we got up at the buttcrack of dawn, got ready, welcomed our baby-sitter, and left while the kids were still asleep.  We flew to Salt Lake first, and then had a really long layover.  Mom and I played Phase 10.  She kicked my trash:

Ben caught up on some z's:
 And Dad did some reading:
He's just started selling a product called Tai Slim.  I'm going on it as soon as I get home, and I'm really excited.  I need to lose some poundage.  And hopefully this will help me along the way.

Anywho, I get Restless Legs Syndrome quite often.  For those of you who don't know what this is, first of all, count your lucky stars.  It's the weirdest thing.  Your legs just want to wiggle and move and stretch.  It's almost like they have their own minds.  It's especially bad for me at night and when traveling.  It's like the second I'm in a slightly cramped position, my legs sense it and go CRAZY.  When my legs get that feeling, it feels like I could happily and gratefully run a marathon.  Just throw on some sneakers and jog for 26 miles in the pitch black outside.  Seriously, it sounds like a totally made-up health issue, but it's very real and very horrible.  And all the womenfolk in my family have had it.  My great-grandma.  My grandma.  My mom.  And now me.  I get all the cool hand-me-down health issues.  Thyroid.  Depression.  Low metabolism.  I hit the genetic jackpot.

From what I can tell, RLS (as those of us in the know call it) seems to be very related to circulation.  Mine is especially bad if my legs are cold.  My grandma's remedy - she wore legwarmers to bed.  Those ones that go clear up to the top of your thigh.  My mom's remedy - she wraps a lap blanket around her legs very, very tightly when she goes to bed.  Like a mummy.  That warms them up.  My remedy - a hot bath right before bed.

But ya know, you can't always take a hot bath when it hits, like when you're in an airplane.  And the plane ride from Idaho Falls to Salt Lake was a killer.  I would drift off to sleep and wake up with a jolt to find my feet tapdancing on the floor without my express written consent.

My mom takes a medication for her RLS that has been a lifesaver for her.  When I expressed concern about our next leg of the journey - Salt Lake to Atlanta - she offered to cut one of her RLS pills in half for me to try.

Yes, I know it's dumb to take another person's prescription.  Trust me, I don't usually make such dumb decisions.  But I was desperate. So I popped it right before we boarded the flight to Atlanta.


It kicked in as we were taking off - horrible, gut-wrenching, sweat-inducing nausea.  Intense.  Horrible.  Within minutes, I was frantically digging into the pockets of the seats in front of me for a barf bag.

The medication lasted the entire flight.  Which means I was running to the bathroom every few minutes for about four hours or so.  I was in between Ben and a really sweet Jehovah's Witness lady, and he was on medication for his back spasms, so he was dead to the world.  I had to keep punching him to wake him up, dry heaving into my barf bag while I waited for him to groggily unfold his long-legged self, and rush to the bathroom.

Needless to say, my delicious Slamburger lunch no longer resided in my stomach.

Once, the stewardesses had their big old drink thing blocking my way, so I ran to the front of the airplane.  In time to watch an elderly man walk into the bathroom.  I asked a male stewardess (flight attendant?  Yeah) - in between dry heaves - if I could use the bathroom in the very front.  "No, ma'am," he said, "That's just for our first-class passengers."  Not kidding.  So I stood there, dry heaving into the bag, for a good 10 minutes while I waited for the elderly man to come out.

The female flight attendants were a lot nicer to me. One of them brought me a couple of cold, wet washcloths to put on the back of my neck.  Another one put ice in a ziplock bag, which stayed colder longer.  Those washcloths got to be boiling within seconds.

And the nice Jehovah's Witness lady actually offered me her pillow.  "It's been next to the cold window this whole time.  It will feel so good for you," she said, patting me on the back.  What a sweetheart.  For reals.  Would I have given up my pillow to a girl who kept barfing?  Ah, no.

Where was Ben during all this?  In Muscle Relaxant Heaven.  Dead asleep for the whole four hours.  (I was a little resentful.)

Just as we were descending to Atlanta, I was forced to barf into the actual barf bag.  But I did a good job.  I pride myself on my barfing accuracy.  I've had lots and lots of practice - a combined four years total of barfing when I've been pregnant through the years.  So I barfed neatly into the little bag and even sealed it up nicely according to the bag directions.  By then, Ben was finally awake and obligingly held the bag for me for the rest of the descent, until we finally pulled into the tarmac and could unto our seatbelts.

It was good fun, my friends.  Good fun.  Moral of the story - don't take other peoples' prescription pills. No matter what your legs are doing without your mind's approval.

I would count this as the worst flight I've ever heard of, but my mom can top me - she had an actual heart attack while on an airplane this past spring.  I  kid you not.  So she wins the Oscar for Official Worst In-Flight Experience.  (She is doing much better now.  But my sisters and I were fa-reaking out when we got a text from Dad, saying that she had a heart attack on an airplane and was in the Las Vegas hospital.)  Poor, poor woman.  Please tell me that I don't win heart problems as part of my genetic lottery.  Only time will tell.  This is why I exercise like crazy - for heart health.

Anyways, luckily, those horrible, horrible pills wore off by the time our flight took off from Atlanta to Buffalo, and I enjoyed a well-deserved nap during the last leg of our journey.

And now we're here!  Brianna is a ridiculously good hostess.  Seriously, nurse anesthesiology shouldn't be her field.  She should run a bed-and-breakfast.  We're talking mints on the pillows.  We're talking shampoo, conditioner, body wash, loofas, and a facial mask that we get to keep when we leave.  We're talking gourmet cupcakes waiting for us when we arrived.  We're talking silk sheets, which I am completely in love with.  She's even talking about having us keep the towels she bought for us to use.  Which I'm not planning on doing.  There is a limit to the selfishness I'll allow myself to revel in.  A girl has her pride, you know. :)

Kay, I'm going to insert the earplugs that Brianna gave to me to ward off Ben's crazy-loud snoring and give sleeping another try.  'Night.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Luckiest Kid I've Ever Met

I'm so bad.  I should be cleaning my house - we're leaving on our trip reeeeeeeeeeeeally early in the morning.  But this is what I always do.  When faced with a deadline, I do something completely unrelated. 

Here's what we did yesterday - my darling friend Megs took our family's pictures.  She posted a teaser on her crafting blog of my Micah:
He really is so beautiful, isn't he?  And doesn't Megs do good work??  I can't wait to see the rest of them.  We went up to Cress Creek, by Heise.  I haven't been up there in years!  It's just as beautiful as I remember.

Afterwards, we went to Heise for some pizza.  Oh, mama, was that ever good.  I took some crappy pics with my phone.  This is me, Megs, and Gage:
And Ben and Mikey:

So dude.  In the basement of this little pizza place, they have arcade games.  Dylan talked Ben into giving him a few bucks to play the games.  One of the games was that claw game, where you put your money in and try to grab stuffed toys with the claw thing, right?  I have NEVER known anyone that has actually won that game.  EVER.

Guess who won FIVE TOYS.  Fiiiiiive toys!!!  Dylan.  Can you believe that???  He gave Sadie two, and then each of the other kids got one.
The kid kills me.  He always wins everything.  Every art contest he enters.  Random drawings for toys or prizes at parties.  Seriously.  It's crazy.
And guess what we saw on the drive home?  Three enormous moose munching away in an alfalfa field:

Sorry.  You can't really see.  But that's a moose.  And he was biiiig.

Monday, September 24, 2012

He's Here!!

Dude, I'm so sorry I haven't written in forever!  I spent most of last week trying (and failing) to get the house nice and clean before Ben got here.  (And I may have spent an entire evening watching Season 2 of Downton Abbey...)

And since Ben has been here, I've been spending time cuddling him and cooking for him. :)  I'm trying to fill him up with all the chocolate he can handle, since he doesn't get much of that in China.

The kids have been beside themselves with happiness to have him back:
Gage immediately remembered him and took to him, too, which is great.  Of course, he brought presents home for everyone.  He got me a silk Chinese dress (not pictured) and this Dolce and Gabbana jacket from the silk market (you can buy these things for 10% of the retail price in the U.S.):
Sadly, neither of them fit me.  Sing it with me:  "Fat girl in a little coat....fat girl in a little co-oat...."  Sad.  So my skinny sister Lex gets the only Dolce and Gabbana thing I have ever owned or will ever own.  And a beautiful blue silk kimono.

My folks invited us to their stake's Harvest Festival that night, just a couple of hours after Ben got home, and we thought, free food.  Why not?  They had some chickens, rabbits, and goats that the kids could pet and feed, which was fun for them.

After the harvest fest, when the kids were settled in bed, Ben fell asleep. And has basically been asleep ever since. :)  Jet lag is a beeyotch.

Ben, me, and my parents are going on a little trip to New York to visit my seester, Beads, in a couple of days.  And then when we get home, Ben has a few more days with the kiddos before he has to leave again. :(  So now I'm off to do laundry and packing. 

This is Kar T.  Peace OUT.  (A little joke that only those who do the Insanity workout will get.)

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Lesson - How does keeping the commandments affect my ability to learn the gospel? - What I did.


Aight.  To introduce this topic, I gave one card to each kid that had instructions on how to locate a letter of the alphabet:
I told them that they had to obey the instructions on the card so that they could know where to find the letter of the alphabet.  Once each of them found his letter, I put a small poster up on the board and told them that the letters had to be arranged to form a word that could fit in the blank.  This is how it should look when they're finished:
Daniel and His Friends

The online manual suggested that we go over the story of Daniel and his friends, found in Daniel chapter 1.  I decided to use my flannel board and do a flannel board story.  And yes, I teach teenagers.  They love this kind of stuff.  For reals.  It's different.  It shakes things up.  So they like it.  I can't find the original web address where I found these figures, so I'm going to just put my pdf that I saved here for you:

And then I'll type the summarizing story that goes with it here:

When King Neuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered the land of Judah, he brought back to his kingdom some of the well-favored children of Israel.  Chosen were those who were without blemish, who were wise and well-educated.  Among them were four young men - Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

The king told his servant to feed them rich foods and wines for three years, the same food he would eat himself, and then bring them before him.

Daniel and his friends had been taught to eat a more healthy diet, and he made a request of the king's servant.  "Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse [seeds, grains, vegetables] to eat, and water to drink.

"Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants."  (Dan. 1:12-13.)

The servant agreed.  The Lord blessed the four young men for their faithfulness, and after ten days had passed, Daniel and his friends were fairer and healthier than those who ate the king's meat.

You can be like Daniel in the scriptures.  You, too, know what the Lord would have you eat and drink.  You know what is not good for you (see D&C 89).  If a king, or a friend, or anyone else tempts you to try something that is harmful to your body, say no with the same courage shown by Daniel.

Kay, this is Kar again.  I always knew that one of the main ideas of the story is that eating healthy foods will bless us with good health.  However, there are two verses in the chapter that also talk about another blessing that the Lord gave to Daniel and his friends - wisdom.  Gospel knowledge.  I had them look up Dan. 1: 17, 20.  We read them, highlighted them, and wrote in the margin, "If we keep the commandments, we are blessed with gospel knowledge."


The online manual refers to two talks by general authorities to read in preparation for this lesson, and I picked my two favorite quotes from the talks, quotes that I felt really went with the main idea of this lesson.  Here they are:

1.  Like a growing plant, [your testimony] must be nurtured or it will wither. Frequent and heartfelt prayers of faith are crucial and needed nutrients. Obedience to the truth you have received will keep the testimony alive and strengthen it. Obedience to the commandments is part of the nourishment you must provide for your testimony.  -  Elder Henry B. Eyering, quoted from this talk.

2.  One must be ever mentally and physically clean and have purity of intent so that the Lord can inspire. One who is obedient to His commandments is trusted of the Lord. That individual has access to His inspiration to know what to do and, as needed, the divine power to do it.  - Elder Richard G. Scott, quoted from this talk.

Line Upon Line

One of the suggested scriptures for the lesson is 2 Ne. 28:30.  I had the kids look it up, underline it and discuss it, and then I whipped out this bad boy:

Aw yeah.  Saturday's Warrior.  Circa 1989.  VHS.  I showed the song that Pam sings called "Line Upon Line."  The kids got a better idea of what that scripture is about, plus they had the added bonus of making fun of peoples' hair and clothes. :)

Scripture Activity 

This was one of the suggested activities from the online manual.  I gave each kid a slip of paper with a scripture on it:
On each slip, I said, "Read this and ponder what it teaches you about obedience and gospel learning.  Then, find someone in the class who selected a different scripture than you did and share with each other what you learned."

There are only four scriptures, so of course more than one kid had the same scripture.  So having them find someone who read a different scripture than them and discussing their different scriptures is a stroke of genius on the church curriculum peoples' part.  Here are the four scriptures:

John 7:17
D&C 76:  5-10
D&C 42:61
D&C 50:24

After they shared with each other, I had one person per scripture share with the whole class what they learned about obedience and gospel learning.  It was fab.

We got finished about five minutes before class got out, so the kids begged me to keep watching Saturday's Warrior.  Right after "Line Upon Line" is "Just a Friend" - oh, were they ever laughing. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Autumn Splendor

 I bought this paper a billion years ago to use in a scrapbooking project, but I never got around to it.  (I've only scrapbooked up to 2004.  For reals.  Yikes.)  I thought it would be perfect to make some autumn-themed any-occasion cards.  I'm loving how they turned out.

I didn't have quite enough of the gingham paper, so I used some golden paper I had on hand to make  a few more, and I love these ones just as much as the above ones.  Maybe even more.
 Here they are together.
Which is your favorite?  If you want to purchase any, hop on over to my etsy shop!  Next up - some more thank you cards.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Me=Sophia Loren

Please tell me that you can feel the tongue-in-cheekishness of that equation.

I do a lot of reading, and sometimes, I'll come across a word or phrase that I'm not familiar with.  Like a good little former English teacher, I usually decide what a word means by using context clues, right?  I'm not much of a looker-upper-in-a-dictionary kind of a gal.  (I'm also a gal who uses hyphens in very non-grammatically-correct kinds of ways.)

For instance, I must have come across the adjective "earthy" a million times in my reading by now.  But I have never properly looked it up.  I felt like it meant "reminds you of the earth."  And I decided that I was earthy.  I don't really know why.  Maybe because I like that image - of reminding people of the earth??  Because I like to work with the earth with all the gardening I do?  I seriously don't know.

So I was working out yesterday at the gym. (I'm taking an Insanity break.  It was getting to the point where I wasn't looking forward to it anymore.)  I did half an hour on the elliptical.  Which felt like heaven, basically.  Sooo much easier than diamond jumps. Or full-body drills.  Or suicides.  I could name fifty other moves that are very unpleasant.  But I'll leave it at that.

Anywho, while I was deciding what to watch as I worked out, I ran across a documentary about Sophia Loren and thought that looked interesting.  They were interviewing all of these directors, and they all kept saying, "Sophia Loren is just so EARTHY."  And I was like, Um, maybe I'm not earthy?  I mean, because look at HER.  And look at ME.

So I looked it up online today.  Among other things, here's what the online dictionary says: 

suggestive of earth (as in texture, odor, or color) earthy

practical, down-to-earth 

plain and simple in style : unsophisticated <earthy peasant cookery> <earthy decor>  

crude, gross <earthy humor> 

Okay, I hit this right on the button.  Really, next to "earthy" in the dictionary, they should have a picture of me.   Suggestive of earth?  Check.  My feet are as rough as stone right now.  My hair is brown.  I probably have an earthy odor after I work out. :)  Practical and down-to-earth? Check.  Example - if I don't have time to do my hair before we go to someone's house or whatever, I say, oh well.  I'm not going to make everyone wait while I do my hair or makeup.  I didn't have time to do it.  And people have to just deal with that.  Plain and simple in style?   Uh, yeah.  Sometimes I see people wearing high heels in the grocery store, and I'm like, "But whyyyyy?  Why would you do that to your feet, to go shopping??"  I buy t-shirts like crazy because I know that if I buy a nice sweater or blouse, it will be uncomfortable to wear around the house, and it will just get ripped or drooled on.  Crude or gross?  Um, sadly, yeah.  I mean, I'm not that crude, but I don't mind talking about periods and other stuff like that.  I am an open book.

See?  Earthy.  I am earthy.

Um, the only reason I see Sophia Loren as being earthy is because she has tan skin and brown hair.   Those directors should have said that she was sophisticated.  Or statuesque.  Or exotic.  Earthy?  I dunno.

So tonight Ben was giving me crap while we were skyping.  He likes to push my buttons.  He comes home in a week (yeee!).  So we were talking about the time I'm supposed to pick him up, and he's like, "Um, maybe this time when you pick me up, you could dress a little nicer.  Or do your hair and makeup."  

Yeah.  The last time I picked him up, I had just worked out and didn't have time to shower or anything before heading over there.  I threw on a hoodie and a baseball hat and left.  Well, and pants and shoes and all that.  Not just a hoodie and a baseball hat. :)  And I feel kind of badly to have picked Ben up looking like that, but c'mon.  When one person is in charge of AN ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD BY HERSELF, what more can you expect??  I just can't do it all.  So, often, my appearance isn't as cute as it could be.   It's on the backburner.  I could wake up earlier to do something about that, but I just cannot bring myself to wake up earlier than is absolutely necessary.

"Well, Ben," I said in my defense, "It's because I'm earthy.  Like Sophia Loren.  She and I are basically the same person."  He didn't know who on earth I was talking about, so he looked her up right then, and, upon examination of the pictures of Sophia, burst out laughing. 

Yeah, it's a stretch.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pirate Squash

My mom is the Cub Scout Bear leader in her ward, and Dylan is a bear in scouting, so often, she invites him along to the activities her den is doing so that he can sign off requirements in his bear book.  She is seriously a doll for helping us with this.  She is the sole reason Dylan was able to pass off the Wolf level.

I was having theeeeeeeeeeeee hardest day today.  When I dropped Dylan off at my mom's so he could do an activity with her den for an hour, here was this little dude on the counter, smiling at me:

A squash.  With a pirate costume on.  I laughed and laughed and asked what on earth a pirate squash was doing on Mom's counter.  I thought for sure it was something for scouts or church or something.

And you know what?  It's not!  My mom has had so much squash in her garden this year, and she feels badly bugging people in order to give some of it away, right?  So she felt that, if she dressed the squash up a bit, people would be happier about getting squash from her.  Haha! 

My mom is so stinkin' cute.  I don't know one other person who would dress a squash as a pirate.  Not one.  This is one of the thousands of reasons I love that woman.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Lovely Bedtime Story for You

Once upon a time, there was a two-year-old boy named Gage:
He was a darling little boy and gave his mom virtually no problems. 

Gage was learning to go up and down the stairs and loved hanging out in his basement bedroom like a big boy, playing with toys. 

One day, his mother, Kar, decided to let him play in his room while she supervised homework for her two eldest children.  After about ten minutes, she excused herself from the table to go check on Gage.

He was happily playing in his room, but something was amiss.  Kar could feel it.  Literally.  Under her feet.  She was stepping on a gravelly substance that she knew was nothing other than kitty litter.  You see, the kitty litter box resided in the laundry room, right next to Gage's bedroom. 

Lest you think Kar is daft, the cat's litter box was one of these little numbers:
Enclosed, with a flappy door.  Kar knew better than to leave an open kitty litter box where a toddler could easily access it.  She figured that he would never flap that lid in to see what was in that mysterious box.

Kar was wrong.

Kar knew something was amiss when she felt that kitty litter underfoot, because the family cat, Xena, didn't ever use the litter box in the summertime.  She did her business outside, which made Gage's mom rejoice every single day.

So Kar thought, "Why else would litter be on the floor unless a certain two-year-old has been messing in it?"  She threw up in her mouth a little.  She reached a trembling hand out toward the flap and pushed it in to examine the inside of the litter box.  Was all well in there?

No. Ohhhhhh no.

Inside the litter box were about eight sippy cups, Gage's baby wipes, and every single item of clean clothing from Gage's dresser.  Along with maybe 10 cat terds that must have happened, like, in the middle of last winter.


So Kar had a really great time cleaning up that mess.  And now the litter box sits on top of the dryer, out of the reach of toddler hands.

The End.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Goodbye, Green Hair

Have you ever read Good-bye Pink Pig by C.S. Adler?  It was one of my favorite books when I was a child.  My memory is sketchy, but the heroine of the book has all of these little figurines.  One of them is a quartz pink pig.  She's really lonely and has lots of struggles in her life, and the pink pig comes to life and is able to transport her to his world, a world full of the miniatures that this girl owns.  Anyways, she grows up a little and resolves some of her problems and realizes that she doesn't need the pink pig to take her away anymore, so she says goodbye.  Whenever I see pink quartz for sale, like at the state fair in a booth, or in a shop in Jackson or Yellowstone, I want to buy one just because it reminds me of that book.

I've thought a lot of this book over the last couple of days, because the time has come to say goodbye to the green hair that Micah has been wearing for....8 months or so?  Maybe longer?
It's obviously not a decision that has come easily.  He has felt some major insecurity, especially since Ben left for China, and my stance has historically been, "Hey, if it makes him feel more secure, and it's not hurting anyone, why not?"  And I've taken a lot of flak for that stance, by the way.
But things have come to a head in the past week.  I was noticing that, every time bathtime came around, Micah and I would have this huge fight over whether he could bring his green hair into the tub.  Every.  Single.  Night.  One night I finally gave in.  I pulled off his green hair, scrubbed his real hair and his body, rinsed him off, and when he got out, I wrung out the green hair and said, "Okay, let's hang this over the tub so that it can dry."  Oh no.  He was going to wear that hair sopping wet.

Fine.  Whatever.  Have a cold head.  Enjoy that.

But then he wanted to "nuggle" on the couch and watch "Gooby Doo" with me.  I told him I really wanted to snuggle him, too, but I couldn't do it with his green hair, because it would get me all wet.  So then he wanted to fight about that forever.  Finally, he decided to watch the movie by himself with his wet hair, rather than to snuggle with his mom.  And I had to put a towel under him so he wouldn't get the couch all wet.

The Green Hair was starting to get in the way of our life.

Second incident - he had mooshed Lucky Charms on his green hair, so I was like, time to wash it.  So Micah cried, screamed, rolled around, etc. for the whole two hours that the hair was washing and drying.  I got so fed up that I put him down for a nap. And then I did some research online about the best way to rid your child of these kinds of objects.  Obviously, there are a lot of ideas out there, but one that really stuck out to me was one that Supernanny did.  And I like her methods.  So I read up on it and decided to do it.

And I wasn't going to wait to do it, either.  Oh no.  The thing about me is, you can push and push and push me, and I'll grumble a lot, but I'll hold off for quite awhile.  And then suddenly, I'll be like, "THAT IS IT."  Ask two of our former dogs.  If you push me too far, I will do something drastic.  NOW.

Dylie was playing video games, so I asked him to hold down the fort while I ran to the toy store with the other two in tow.  Micah was sound asleep at this point in his room.  I ran to the toy store and got a toy Micah has had his eye on for quite awhile. I dug the green hair out of the dryer, marched it right out to the dumpster, and hucked that thing in.

Then I put the new toy and a note on the dryer.  This is what the note said (you may have to double click on this to see it bigger):

Isn't this ingenious?  Supernanny knows what's up.  She made it the Blankie Fairy, so I just changed things to fit our needs.  The Green Hair Fairy.

When Mikey woke up from his nap, immediately he asked after his green hair.  I was all, "Yeah, Mike, let's go down and get it together.  It should be all dry by now."  So I held his hand and we walked down the stairs.  His eyes lit up when he saw the toy - a LaLaLoopsy doll.  And he saw that the letter was to him (he can recognize the capital M).  I was like, "What is this?  What is going on?"  So I opened the letter and read it aloud to him.

It really was sad when he realized what had happened.  He immediately started crying. So I gathered him in my arms and took him upstairs and held him and loved him and hugged him and told him how happy that little baby who lives far away will be to have some green hair to take care of him.  He calmed a little bit, and we opened up his toy.  Here he is with his new toy, and a look in his eyes like, "I can't believe this just happened to me...":

He struggled quite a bit for a couple more hours.  He would keep asking where his hair was, and I would remind him, and then he would be sad and angry.  He would throw things, scream, and curse the Green Hair Fairy.  He told me how much he hates her and how he's going to kill her and squish her, etc.

But here's the thing:  he was mad at the Green Hair Fairy.  NOT ME.

So I was sympathetic and loving and just kept reminding him that the Green Hair Fairy was just doing her job.  Pretty soon, Sadie and he started playing with the LaLaLoopsy doll, and he was happy for several hours.

I was worried he would freak out at bedtime, but he was totally fine.  In fact, he said to me right before bed, "You know, I like my normal hair.  It's pretty."  I told him that, if he wanted to grow his real hair a little longer, he could do that.  And he thought about it.

But today, when it was time for Dylan and Gage to get haircuts, Micah told me he wanted his hair cut, too.  And lady at the salon spiked it for him, and he kept saying, "My hair is so cool.  I love my hair."  I started calling him Spikey Mikey.

Really, it's been easier than I thought.  If I had known how well he would take it, I would have done this months ago!  Haha!  I just wanted to do right by him.  But it was really starting to get in my way.  It was affecting more than him.  And one of the things I learned in my Love and Logic class is that we need to protect ourselves as parents.  If something is ruining our happiness and peace of mind, we need to deal with it and show our kids that we are dealing with it. We need to be good models of taking care of ourselves. 

Anyways, so far, so good.  It's so weird to see him without that green shirt on his head.  I wash his hair every day, but that was really the only time I ever saw it.  He looks so much taller and grown-up.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

In My Heart

 Just finished some more any-occasion cards!  Cute, right? 

I'm trying to figure out which one is my  I think I like the one with the red top and striped bottom.  I'm a sucker for stripes.  Which is your favorite?  If you're interested in buying any, you can hop on over to my etsy shop!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Other Man in my Life

This is one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jason:

Isn't he adorable? 

Jason and I were EFY counselors together about ten billion years ago and instantly became besties.  We bonded over so many things, dancing being only one of them.  Here we are, dancing together, back when I was skinny and cute:
What's up with all the big open mouth cheesy smiles on my part??  There is more than one face you can use when you dance, Kar.  Sheesh.
 He and I are the two on the right in this pic:
Again with the hugely open mouth.  I don't get it.  I still make that face all the time.  Time for a new arsenal of  "I'm having fun" faces.  I'll have to go practice in the mirror. 

So.  We were counselors together for two years and had so. much. fun. We drove from Rexburg to Provo once together and laughed the whole entire time.  And he gave my purple Dodge Neon a name - Grimace.  I remember he and I driving around Rexburg, listening to his Rent CD.  I remember him coming up with the best EFY cheer I have ever, ever, ever heard.  Wanna hear it?  I knew you would.

We're turbo!
We're spastic!
We're turbo! And we're spastic!
And we're sprinkler heads!
Sprinkler heads!
We're turbo spastic sprinkler heads!

And then you do this sprinkler head dance move.  The one where you go ch-ch-ch-ch-chchchchchchch. 

At the end of the summer, we went to a photography shop and picked out frames for our dancing pictures.  We vowed to be friends forever.  His EFY nickname was Showtime, and mine was....Kar.  Well, it depended on the week. One week I was Disco Diva, another week I was Karate Hottie...long story.  Mainly, I was Kar.  Like now.

Anyways, sadly, we lost track of each other.  I tried, and I'm sure he tried, but we went to different colleges, and after he graduated, he moved to Japan and has been there ever since.

And this is why I love Facebook - you can find long lost friends.  He found me!  And I have had the greatest summer getting to know him again.  We skype all the time.  He puts a smile on my face every time we talk.  He's hilarious and very sensitive and kind.  He's been exactly what I've needed during this difficult time in my life.  He is, quite literally, an answer to my prayers. 

This is the first picture I saw of him on his blog:
He wore this outfit in tribute to Donna Summers' death.  So fun.  He's just as skinny as he was in college, the twit. :)  He eats really healthily and still dances and works out like a maniac, so of course he looks fantastic.  He was whining about being like one pound over his ideal weight, and I laughed and laughed.  Try thirty, bro.  And then we can talk.

So what has he been doing?  He is an expat (I've always wanted to use that word in a sentence that didn't have anything to do with Ernest Hemingway) living in Tokyo, and he's an actor! He's living his dream. He performs on stage in various plays all the time, plus he does this traveling show.  Aaaaand he's on TV.  From what I can tell, it looks like he's on this show that reminds me of Kathie Lee and Hoda.  He teaches bits of English on the show.  He has fans, you guys!  He actually has to wear sunglasses when he goes out and about!  I told him he's the Japan version of Jennifer Aniston. 

He has a blog for his fans.  You really should go check it out HERE.  He's so good to his fans.  He responds to every single comment, and he blogs almost every single day.  He always has something sunny and positive to talk about.  Just snapshots of his daily life.  And he's sunny and positive without being really obnoxious, you know what I mean?  He's like, "Look!  I have cute ladybugs in my apartment!"  Instead of, "Look at how perfect I am and how perfectly I do everything."  There's a difference, right?  I love reading his blog and seeing what exciting, fun thing he's doing.

Here's one of my favorite pictures from his blog recently:

He ran into a friend in Tokyo, and they were dressed almost identically.  He's on the right.  Aren't they cute? I love their little model pose.  Adorable.

Jason lives with his partner, who is equally adorable, and I often get to speak to both of them when we skype.  I've kept him up wayyy too late too many times, and vice versa.  And I love it.  That night I was crying so hard, the dear friend who cheered me up when he called me on skype?  Jason.

He's the best listener.  He totally listens and asks reflective questions and is just so kind.  And I love that we can talk about artsy stuff together. I show him the cards I'm working on, and he gives me all kinds of good feedback, and the very first time we skyped, he showed me some choreography from a cruise show he's working on.  The other night, he was looking at my facebook page while we were skyping, and he told me I had good lines.  That's dancer speak.  And I love that we can talk about soutenous and sousous and any other dance-related thing.

He just had a giveaway on his blog, and guess what was one of the things he gave away?  Some of my cards that he bought!!!  It was fun to see them up there on his blog and peoples' kind responses to them. Once, when we were skyping, he was telling his partner about the cards he bought from me, and he told his partner, "Karlenn is an artist."  And I just about cried.  He gets me!  He really gets me!  Hahaha!

He and I are on a mission - to talk Ben into letting Ben and I go and visit he and his partner in Tokyo.  Jason and I are of the opinion that I should go "pick up" Ben in November when he's done with his job (like parents sometimes go "pick up" their kids in foreign countries when their missions are done) and that we should head over to Tokyo for a week.  We're really working hard to talk him into it.  If you talk to Ben, put in a good word for us going to Tokyo, mmmmkay?

Anywho, Jason is just the best, and I thought you should meet him.  Oh, and because I want to print my blog into a book, I want to paste what he recently wrote about me on his blog.  It's just something I want to have in print for myself.  I hope you don't mind:

As you saw from my recent GIVEAWAY, the beautiful cards were handmade by an artist in America.  Today, I’d like to introduce her to all of you.  This is Karlenn and her husband [he had a picture of us], she is from Idaho.  Originally a junior high school teacher, Karlenn has seen many parts of this big world.  Having lived in England, China, and various parts of America, Karlenn has an amazing perspective on life, tolerance, and aesthetics.  She is an incredible writer (what you’d expect from a caring teacher), and has a really great blog.  You can check it out at it is witty, caring, and fun.  She writes about her family, her feelings, and other things that I always think are interesting.  She also has an account where you can place orders.  Karlenn is so talented, and can also customize cards for anything.  Send her a message- tell her I said hi.

I met Karlenn while we were in college.  We both did the same summer job, and had a great time!!  Our paths went separate ways after the summer was over, but recently we were able to connect again.  This is a picture of us during those days. [he had one of the above pictures right here] (we are the two on the right- don’t laugh at how young we look.  We haven’t aged a day since this picture was taken!!)  She is also a dancer- AND we were actually dance partners for a while, too!!  Here is a picture of us, again, being silly. [another of the above pictures right here]  Thank you, Kar!!

Love ya tons, Jason!!
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