Friday, December 26, 2008

Pandelerium!

My in-laws arrived Tuesday! We don't know why, but for some reason, our pets are not fond of Jeff's dad--or if they are, they have a funny way of showing it.

Years ago, in our very first house on the bench in Boise, our cat Rushie clawed the Be-Jesus out of Bud's private area if you know what I mean. He was sitting at the table eating, when all of the sudden he tried to leap straight up out of his chair hitting his knees on the table and yelling something like "Oh holy, **)(*&^%^$!!"

A few years ago, our kitten Clover got shut in our walk-in closet. Bud had left his suitcase laying on the floor, open. Apparently, Clover decided it was the closest thing to a litter box she could find and relieved her self. Lovely.

And just the other night, our dog Belle scarfed up a can of Pedigree chopped beef and finished off the Salmon pate' the cats didn't eat and promptly threw up the entire contents of her stomach right into Bud's crotch while he was sitting on the couch. In the pandelerium that followed, Isaac threw up under the tree from the stench, I gagged so hard I tinkled my panties and we all laughed so hard it was ridiculous.

I have no idea why Bud thinks it's a good idea to visit us....but I'm glad they are here. We had a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kids


Isn't it great to watch your kids (or kids in general) around this time of year? Their eyes are shiny and they have a perpetual silly grin on their faces. My kids have been spending hours out on the hills by the pond sliding down onto the ice in their sleds. Their little red noses and cheeks are so cute! Then they troop in the house (with several friends) dripping snow and snot everywhere wanting hot chocolate. I love it!

Yesterday I made lavender sachets from the plant I harvested. I asked
Ben and his little buddy Kolin to deliver them to our neighbors with cards attached. Ben put on his Santa hat and told Kolin he would be Santa, and Kolin could be his elf. Because Kolin is such a little sweetheart, he readily agreed. They traipsed around the block ringing doorbells and saying "HO HO HO" as they gave out the items.

Isaac's friend Anthony stayed with us last night and he told us he's pretty sure he's getting what he wants because his mom has been acting happy and told him it he was going to be so excited Christmas morning. Kids are so fun to talk to. They are honest and you never have to guess how they feel. For example....we asked the kids if they wanted to go to Chuck' A Rama today and Anthony said, "Actually, if you don't mind, I prefer Golden Corral." Isn't that funny?!

It snowed last night and the kids can't wait to get out there! Have a great day and relax and enjoy the season....let some stuff go that doesn't really matter. Hug your husband and kiss the kids. Pet the dog and scratch the cat. Sit down and look at your tree. Let people know how important they are to you. XOXO

Thursday, December 18, 2008

iSanta!


Santa visited me early!

Jeff brought home my present today and I am so excited! It's a brand new white iphone!! I am downloading my music to it right now. Previously I had a shuffle. Yep. My kids had better ipods!! Plus it does a billion other things--GPS, web, camera, text, email, etc., etc., etc!

Thank-you Santa! I guess I've been a very good girl this year...:)

Christmas Time in The City


Yesterday I spent my day with seventy 5th and 6th graders. The Rockin' Ross Raptors is Isaac's choir, and we spent the day traveling all over the valley to spread Christmas cheer with music. We started at Ben's school, Ross's sister campus, then headed to Boise and sang around the tree at Boise Centre on the Grove. It was 7 degrees. I thought I was in Salmon again! The kids were troopers though. Jeff walked down from work and took a listen. Isaac was glad to see him.

From there we invaded the Golden Corral for lunch then sang to the crowd before leaving. We finished off with the Kuna Senior Center. That one was my favorite. Old people are just plain super. They got so much joy from the music and the kids with all their energy (a.k.a. over enthusiastic ringing of the jingle bells!), their faces were just radiant!

I really enjoyed being with Isaac and his buddies. He is getting so old and mature, but he still loves to hug me and spend time with me. People say that these times go fast and pretty soon he will be a surly teenager and think I am the dumbest person alive and won't spend any voluntary time with me. I hope that is not the case, but if it is...I'll cry!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Pics Of Cancun




Here are some of the pics my friends took in Cancun. The one of us sharing shots the ocean is right behind us, but you can't see it! The one of Kristine, Steve, me and Pete and the one of us with Kissman and Goldman is the night we went to the disco. Good Times!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SEE?!




Remember my blog a few days ago about monkeys, etc. on airplanes? The following articles confirm the lunacy!

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- A Spokane woman and her mother have been convicted in federal court on charges of sneaking a rhesus monkey into the United States from Thailand. Gypsy Lawson, 29, hid the sedated young rhesus macaque under her blouse, pretending to be pregnant when she successfully passed through U.S. Customs in Los Angeles after a trip to Bangkok, Thailand. Her mother, Fran Ogren, 55, of Northport, Wash., also went on the trip in November 2007. The two women were found guilty Monday by a 12-member jury on separate charges of conspiracy and smuggling goods into the United States. Sentencing is set for March 3. The monkey is now at a primate rescue facility in Oregon.
---

CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) -- U.S. Customs officials at Dulles International Airport discovered the charred carcasses of three monkeys in the luggage of a traveler arriving from Central Africa. The monkeys have been confiscated are being examined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Customs spokesman Steve Sapp said a trained dog alerted authorities to the man's bag on Friday. The luggage also contained deer meat and dried beef, which has been destroyed. Sapp said it's not unusual for foreign visitors to bring exotic foods to the U.S., but he says the discoveries were "a first." After the confiscations, the man was allowed to enter the U.S. The monkey carcasses were inadmissible under U.S. law. Monkeys can transfer infectious diseases to people.
---

Now that, my friends is news!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Really News?

The news is so incredibly stupid today. Granted, I am on my last nerve and want to shoot everybody I talk to, but really--the news is as dumb as I've ever seen it and I'd feel this way even if I weren't homicidal.

The following caught my attention--

Researchers in London have discovered that dogs have emotions. And maybe horses too. Really?

Micron will no longer be supplying tissues for their employees. Surprised.

Oprah is lamenting her weight. Who isn't?

How To Tell If You're Rich. Look at my bank account? Duh.

Illinois Governor corrupt! Wow. That is amazingly hard to believe.

People who get cold sores have a huge chance of ending up with Alzheimer's. Dementia here I come!

Man killed by being wrapped in a paper bale in Boise was drunk. Hmmmmmm.

And last but not least: Smart men have better sperm count. And I quote:

The smarter the man, the higher the quality of his sperm, new research published in the journal Intelligence shows. But women having difficulty conceiving shouldn't question their partner's intelligence and men who aren't quite geniuses should not worry about their ability to father children(ever been to Alabama?), lead researcher Rosalind Arden of Kings College London told Reuters Health.

It's not necessarily that women are going to favor men who are going to be rocket scientists, fantastically intelligent, fantastically cool," Arden added. "They might just say, 'I'd rather not have the guy who has a whole suite of unpleasant characteristics, I'd rather have the guy who is at least average."

Amen sister!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Funny Work Stuff


I was researching airline pet policies for a client yesterday and came across some funny stuff. You gotta laugh because it wouldn't be in the regulations if they hadn't had an issue with it in the past...

The following is from Delta's pet policy:

Only warm-blooded mammals and birds considered to be personal pets or show/exhibition animals will be accepted.
Primates, including lemurs, monkeys, orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees will not be permitted (unless a service animal).
Animals must be considered non-offensive and not dangerous to passengers or baggage handlers.
Cats, dogs, household birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, and marmots are accepted as checked baggage, not cargo.


When was the last time you travelled with your marmot? Have you tried to get your non-service orangutan on board on the lowdown? How do you go about getting your gorilla to act non-offensive?

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Insomnia

It's the middle of the night. I can't sleep. I took some cough syrup and crashed at 10pm, but woke up an hour ago ready to roll! This is so dumb.

Well, so how are you? Sheesh. I've read all the news websites, checked email, checked woot.com to see if they had anything I couldn't live without. They didn't. Checked the bank account. Scratched the lotto ticket I bought for tomorrow's lunch hour entertainment. Now what am I going to do at lunch?

It is so damned foggy! I love it. Belle doesn't. She will hardly step out to do her business.

Jeff is my hero--he finally got the Internet connection to work upstairs again. Yay! Having it in Isaac's bedroom really slowed down everything, but now, the laptop gets excellent reception and I don't have to wait precious extra seconds for pics and stuff to load! I want it NOW!

Oh yeah. Thanksgiving. We went to Salmon. Jeff and I got in a fight and I spread Cheese Whiz on his face and then that made him really mad. Jeez, it's just cheese dude! (Look at all the Zs I used in that last sentence!) Anywhoo, we made up and had a nice holiday. Took in the annual Christmas Lights parade Friday night, but skipped the famous Cheerleader's Bazaar this year. Just wanted to get back home and have a day to ourselves. We stopped at Loews on our way home and I bought a new vacuum and Jeff bought a multimeter. We were both happy :)

Well, I am getting a bit drowsy now. I am going to be so tired tomorrow. I am like a princess with sleep--if I don't get it, I turn into a bear raging around clawing everybody. I suggest you don't come see me tomorrow!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Congratulations Salmon Savages!

The Salmon Savage football team (with the wonderful Dani Rosin as manager and my neice!) won their first ever state championship game last night against Fruitland on the smurf turf!

In fact, it was Salmon's firt time to even go to state in football! Those kids were hyped up! Jeff and I went and took our boys. I had several family members come down. In the stands, we saw nearly the entire town of Salmon! We got to visit with several of our classmates (wow, twice in one year!) and it was really fun.

Right now I am waiting for my nails to dry, watching it snow, watching BSU play Nevada, and am about to get ready and hit the town with Jeff and some friends. The boys are at a sleepover and all is well.

Until we meet again!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What A Week


This past week was so hard and weird on so many different levels. Jeff and I were out of sync, I worked full time, we had two dinner parties to prepare for, he had guard to prepare for, we sold our motorcycles, his car and had issues with Ben's teacher. It was crazy and I only enjoyed a few hours of the week.

One of the nice times was getting to visit with Britt and Cody. They brought a lovely bottle of Robert Mondavi Private Selection, 2007 Pinot Grigio. Yum. Another nice time was eating fondue with our good friends Eric and Jayna (last night). We played Scene It and Eric and I kicked a$$. Neener neener neener!

Salmon's football team is coming to state next weekend and my family will be traveling down to stay with us and go to the game. The following week, we will be spending Thanksgiving in Salmon. Busy times! Hope all of you are having a great fall!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rainy Days, I love Em!

I have been digging all the rain we've been getting! I took Belly Buttons for a walk in it last night and she was bouncing with happiness!

Tonight we are having my niece and her new boyfriend out for dinner--Cold Beef Thai Salad--and pizza for the boys. I haven't seen her in about a year and that is ridiculous since she lives in Boise!! I feel like the bad aunt of the year.

I'm working 5 days this week and it's killing me! My co-worker needed some time off, so I am filling in. It's crazy how the house goes downhill when I am not there! How does it get messy if no one is home? Why is the sink full of dishes when we eat out?

Jeff has National Guard this weekend and he is not looking forward to it. He'll be out on the range in the rain and mud shooting guns and such. Yucky.

We went out last Saturday night and ran into some of our good friends from Emmett--it was great to see them!!

That is all I have for now. Ciao!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Hangover

Today I felt a range of emotions. Fear, awe, pride, sadness, exhaustion.

If the President-Elect really is who I've researched him to be, then I am very anxious about the future. His ideas and plans for this country are radical and so far left he's almost off the map.

I have a feeling, the majority of people who voted for him think he will govern down the middle. He won't. Don't be surprised when it gets painful and ugly.

This country has made it through plenty of presidents with problems, incompetent people around them and horrible policies. We seem to always recover and move on. Let's hope we can do so again if the next four years go terribly wrong.

I'm proud that as Americans we can transfer power in a peaceful manner and that we can disagree with our government without fear.

How is my husband feeling about the outcome? He bought a Mossberg shotgun on his lunch hour today.....hmmmmmmm. (Marge Simpson sound.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

"To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical idea."

James Madison

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkins



Here are my pumpkins with theirs!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cancun/Riviera Maya


Wow. I am back in the real world and am happy to be here! The trip to Cancun/Riviera Maya was fantastic and wonderful, but to be home with my 3 guys is incredibility grand.

I took over 500 pictures. Hundreds of them are of the 27 properties I inspected, i.e., pools, rooms, restaurants, spas. After awhile, those all start looking the same! I took a picture of each property's name before entering, so it is somewhat organized on my camera.

There are many pros to Cancun. There are some pros and many cons to Riviera Maya. It really depends where you stay down that way. Cancun properties for the most part have lovely beaches, gorgeous blue/green water and modern and clean resorts. The beaches further south are more rocky and the water not so blue. Also, RM has bugs because they are still surrounded by mangrove. The locals call the mangroves "jungle" but I call it brush in the water.

Right now, it's the rainy season and as you can see from some of the pictures, the hotels have very low occupancy. The hotels that were also timeshares had more clients. A lot of families were at the Moon Palace and the Grand Mayan. The high season is January-April. And during Spring Break, I guess it's almost impossible to get a place by the pool or a palapa by the beach.

I visited the biggest disco in Latin American, called The City. It was fun, but I had horrible high heels on that killed my feet. I ended up walking back to the hotel barefoot in the rain!

We got to shop on 5th Ave. in Playa Del Carmen which was super fun! I bought a sarong, coffee, etc. I treated myself at the Moon Palace by getting a pendant with my initials in the Mayan alphabet in gold on a lapis background surrounded by silver. Gorgeous!

At Secrets Silversands, I had a manicure at the spa. It was the least expensive on the menu at $70! She gave me a neck, face and head rub in addition to a wonderful manicure, but still!

The food was all inclusive in the resorts we stayed at (Dreams in Cancun, Secret Silversands in Riviera Maya) and we took advantage! Plus, they stock your fridge everyday with beer, soda, water, juices. I put guac on everything I ate. That and the beer explains why I put on 7 pounds. Cripes!

We walked over 5 miles a day and each hotel we visited was a 60-90 min. presentation/tour. They are all beautiful, and the Mexican people are so nice and service oriented. I will certainly go back, and take the kids and Jeff. I think we'll stay at the Grand Mayan, since it's included in our travel club membership. Even though it's down in the RM, their beach is much better than some of the newer resorts who haven't had time to get rid of rocks and bring in sand. Overall, it was fun, tiring and a bit expensive, but very well worth it!

The highlight for me was swimming in the azure waters of the Caribbean. It was like bath water, so warm and clear. The sand was like brown sugar mixed with powdered sugar. I didn't want to get out of the sea!--it was a dream come true for me to be there.

Here are some pictures.

The ones at the end are of leaving Mexico City...a city that seems to never end.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I feel like a Bear!

Today is cold and windy and I want to get in bed and hibernate!! I talked with the clerk at Jackson's and she said she felt the same way! Alas, I cannot hole up for the winter because I am headed south of the border in 3 days.

In preparation for my trip to Cancun, I have been trying to organize not only myself and what I will need to take, but also our household. I've prepaid all the bills, washed all the laundry, bought groceries, etc. etc. I just want things to go as smoothly as possible for Jeff and the boys while I am gone. I have never left the three of them for more than a few days. This time I will be gone 8 days.

Jeff is so good with the boys that I am not worried a bit about their well being. I do worry the kitties will be forgotten and Belle may not get enough lovin'. On my days off, Belle is my shadow. If I sit down, like I am at this very moment, she is on my lap. It's fun to try and type with her heavy snout pushing down on my arm!

In all the worry about getting ready, I find that I forget what a wonderful time I might have! My manager told me to take my dancing shoes! She has been on several of these trips to various tropical locations and says dancing and socializing are a huge part of the overall experience. My new strappy sandals are already in my suitcase! Actually, I have to take them out and wear them Saturday night though, because Jeff is taking me dancing to break them in!

When I talk about going, Benny gets a bit melancholy. He keeps asking how many days we have left together :( I hope to talk to them while I'm gone, but it will cost 99 cents a minute on my cell phone. Texts are 50 cents. I may buy a calling card down there and call from special phone booths they have available.

Anyway, I am almost ready and trying to pack light. The stupid airlines now charge for checked luggage, so I am really trying to get a week's worth of dress clothes, casual clothes, swimming suits, etc. into one bag. Oh, and it can't weight over 50 pounds! One packing web site said I should roll up my panties and stuff them in my shoes. I said, "No way! That's gross!"

I'll share pics when I get back. Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Worth 1000 Words

Friday, September 19, 2008

Makes Me Go Hmmmmm......

I'm not one to fear monger, but I just came across a quote by Obama from his book:

"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

What does this mean, EXACTLY?

I'm not saying all Muslims are terrorists, but in this climate is that a very smart thing to say? What can he gain by saying it? All I can think of is that it lets Muslims know he's on their side when/if anything "ugly" happens. Where does that leave us (non-Muslims) if he happens to become the leader of the free world?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

MS Walk


Julie, Ben walking Belle, Martha walking Pudge, and Isaac
Salmon, ID
Sept. 6, 2008

We walked to raise money for MS research. Jeff's mom was diagnosed several years ago and we do this every year. Unfortunately, Jeff had National Guard and couldn't make it.

Wedding!


Todd and Becca
Newport, OR
August 29, 2008

Love Lasts a Lifetime...Congratulations!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Labor Day/Old Letters

We had a great Labor Day weekend last week. Friday we went to dinner/karaoke/pool with our good friends Eric and Jayna. Saturday we hung around the house playing with kids. They had a sleepover. Sunday we drove to Idaho City to see our friends from high school, Jeff and Heather McFrederick. We rode our motorcycles and had a cookout and some really fun conversation around the campfire! Monday we relaxed, I baked, and we just spent time together.

Last night, Jeff and I found 2 years worth of letters in an old trunk he had in Germany. The letters were from me and some from his family. Reading them was so funny and amazing because we knew back then what we wanted and we are living our fairy tale pretty much! We made it happen. The letters were full of our wants and desires for the future. I have to say, we've pretty much traveled the road we wanted to. Except for about 10 years during our 20's, we have made the journey we dreamed of making. A card I wrote to Jeff Christmas of 1989 quoted: This is the true measure of love, when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could have loved before us, and that no one will ever love in the same way after us." Goethe

Despite our family's misgivings and fears, we've weathered the years together!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

End of Summer


Peggy, John, Mel, Nora

Last week I drove to Salmon to pick up my dog at my parents house. She had been there for two weeks and I was missing her so much! The boys and Jeff were sick of driving after our big trip, so I went alone. It's not bad driving 6 hours by yourself. I just get a book on CD and hit the road. While I was in Salmon, I got to see my aunt and uncle from Texas and my other aunt from Spokane. It was fun to visit with them as I seem them only every 5 years or so. I also went to see Gma Bea in her nursing home. She is hanging in there at 96. She knew me this time, so that was nice. We talked about her past and had a nice visit. It was a good day for her. I also dropped in to see my Gma Mary. She is fit as a fiddle and looks the same as she did 20 years ago I swear! I had lunch with Jeff's folks and it's always good to see them. I stayed with my seester Jenny and we had a great visit too. They took me to dinner at the Junkyard Bistro and it was fabulous! If you visit Salmon, go there!

Today and tomorrow are the last two days of summer for me and the kids. They go back Friday and we are all ready! Even though the boys play well together, they've been bickering and fighting and are ready for some serious separation! They go to different schools, so it will be good for them to spend some time apart.

Today is haircut day. I just had 4 inches cut off and don't feel so much like a sea hag now! The boys go in at 3pm for a trim only. As you can tell from some of the pics on this blog, they are growing their hair out. Isaac is shooting for a squeeb (a hair style on Rock Band), so that means we have to let the bangs grow almost to his chin. Ben just wants to have his the way it is right now. I've decided to let them pick their own hair styles. It really doesn't matter in the whole scheme of life what their hair looks like. And besides, it's cute and different than everybody else, and I'm all for being different!

Another quest I've been on and finally won is a war with squash bugs in my garden. They decimated my pumpkins while we were in Oregon and started in on the crook necks and zucchinis. I put a stop to that as soon as I could and after spraying every other day for a week, I won! The guy at Zamzows said the cool spring cut back on earwigs, but made a perfect environment for squash bugs. I was glad to have fewer earwigs, because they almost killed my butterfly bush last year.

What other boring news can I share? I seriously wish we were friggin rich so I could have a maid and chef. Since I can't, I guess I'll wrap this up so I can clean and cook. I hope you all had a fantastical summer!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oregon Coast

We recently spent a week on the Oregon Coast. We'd been promising the boys for years to take them and we finally came through!

We decided to enjoy the journey as well as the destination, and I think that is the only way to travel now. We usually drive hell bent for leather to get somewhere. This trip we meandered here and there and drove in the general direction of Newport, where we rented a condo for the week.

Some of the highlights for me:

The waterfalls east of Portland.
Crabbing off the dock and eating our catch.
Spending time with one of my oldest (long time known!) friends Sisi.
The 65 mph ride in the Florence sand dunes.
Seeing the whales off Depoe Bay.
Trying to find the best chowder on the coast (The Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach).
The sea lions on dock one.
Playing chicken in the pool with Jeff and the boys. (Jeff's 12 inches on me gives him quite the advantage!)

We traveled nearly 1400 miles. On the way home I read Oregon Ghost Stories aloud for 4 hours to keep us all entertained. The rest of the way we rocked out and ate junk food. We got home at 2am and fell into our wonderful bed with glee. The bed at the condo was marginally softer than the floor and after 6 nights, Jeff said "NO MORE!" and we left a whole day early just to get home. Here is a link to some of the over 500 photos we took.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

FEAR

It's been a very long time since I've felt real fear. That changed last Sunday afternoon when the four of us got a nice healthy dose of it. We decided to float the lazy little stream that runs through Kuna--Indian Creek. Well, it was not lazy, and we were in trouble almost from the start. We each had a tube, and the kids had life vests on. I also should have had one. After we each had numerous spills and crashes with trees, Ben lost his tube, jumped on mine, and then we hit a tree together. I remember rolling over backwards in the tube and hitting my head twice on the rocks below. I came up without Ben, but thankfully, Jeff had him. The current was so strong and I was dizzy and my legs would not work. I could not get on my tube. Eventually, Jeff got us to a place we could get out of the current and pulled us onto a small island. There, we caught our breath, assessed the damage and realized we had to get back in the creek to finish and get to our car at the Kuna City Park. None of us wanted to, we were so beat up and tired. But of course we did and made it. We won't be floating anytime soon. It scared Jeff and I to think what could have happened if he had not been able to keep us together and the kids had not been wearing life vests. It's bothered us all week. It went wrong so fast.

Friday, July 25, 2008

RIP Estelle

The passing of Estelle Geddy makes me remember how much laughter she and her cohorts brought me when I needed it most. I had just had Isaac and was having bouts of depression and loneliness staying at home by myself, alone, with a baby, all day long. Each day, I looked forward to watching the Golden Girls. I love the theme song and the show made me laugh and feel good. Today, I just happened to catch a Golden Girls marathon in session on Lifetime. It still makes me laugh! Thanks Estelle, Rose, Blanche and Dorothy. And rest in peace Estelle.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Roaring Springs

Tickets to water park--$55
Pizza--$17
Pretzels--$10
Dippin' Dots--$14
Strawberry Lemonade--$5

Spending the day swimming and riding crazy water rides with Isaac, Ben and their friend Anthony--Priceless.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summers' Summertime

Here's the boys and their beloved smoke bombs. They burned up hundreds of them over the last few weeks!
It's the middle of July and that means Jeff is doing his annual training for the National Guard. It gives us quite a bit of time together at home with the odd hours he is scheduled for this summer. He's been working some days, but mostly nights, 6pm-4:30am. He sleeps till noon and we have the afternoons together which is really nice. On days I work, he gets to spend great time with the boys doing manly things like messing up the house, not doing chores and using every dish in the cupboard. But they love their time together, so I won't complain about being the maid.

I've been reading lots and lots of books. I go through phases and I'm in one now for sure. I start another as soon as I'm done with one. In order to run the household, I reward myself with 30 minutes of reading by doing a load of laundry or getting the kitchen clean. I get books at the Kuna Library. The kids are reading too, and doing math workbooks their teachers sent home the last day of school. I don't want them getting behind and losing all the smarts they gained. They're pretty good about doing two pages a day.

Isaac is saving money to buy a "hand" chair. He's doing well. He has $118 saved from losing teeth, mowing the lawn, unloading the dishwasher, folding and putting away clothes and keeping his room clean.

Ben had close to $50 in his wallet when it came up missing in June. I hate to say this, but I think one of the neighborhood kids took it. Ben was really bad about showing off his wallet and the money inside. He left it on his headboard and one day it was gone. We have kids in and out all the time, so I assume that's how it vanished. He's learned a very expensive lesson. So now he's started over saving, but has a hard time not buying ice cream, candy and crappy-assed toys from the dollar store that break 7 minutes after he gets them.
The boys have been "swimming" in the shallow run off water in the park. It creates a little pond that is cleaner than the big pond, in which we don't let them swim. They love it. They've also been spending a lot of time at friends' houses swimming and playing. Watching them makes me want to be a kid again. They sleep so well at night after long days of playing outside. And surprisingly, the mosquitoes are not too bad this year. I think it's because we had such a long cold spring. But what do I know?

I cut my hours to 3 days a week/2 days a week and so on throughout the summer. So, every other week I have a 5-day weekend. It's really nice. My garden is doing great and we should have veggies here pretty soon.

Other than eating copious amounts of freezer pops, and all of the above, we don't do anything too exciting. We like hanging out in our house and yard and just being together. I hope you are enjoying your summer just as much! Ciao!

Friday, July 11, 2008

How Dumb Am I?

Apparently, pretty dumb. I just found out that I've been paying for ILD Nationwide Voicemail (on my Qwest bill) for the last 31 months. A Qwest rep informed me it's a third party and I must have signed up for it doing online surveys.

The problem with that is, I don't do online surveys. A call to ILD informed me that someone named Elizabeth Kelly listed my phone number as a bill-to number while she was playing lotto online. I asked the company why they don't make sure the person signing up is actually connected to the phone number they provide. This was their response--"Well, she did check the box that said she was over 21 and responsible for the charges." I'm sure she did. However, she didn't get her nationwide voicemail service--I did. And I've paid $409.82 for something I've never even used. I know. Slap my ass and call me stupid. But with online bills these days, I never see a paper statement. I had Qwest sign me up for paper again. There is just something about having a bill in front of you that you can peruse. Really, who goes online to view their statement? Doesn't everyone just pay it and mark it off their list like I do? Probably not.

They said they would credit me the money, but only after August's fee was charged. So, in September, I am supposed to see a full credit on my Qwest bill. I gave Qwest a heads up and they basically said you can only hope they refund it. Why would they? Yeah, why would they?

I know none of you are as dumb as I am, but if you see ILD Nationwide Voicemail on your phone bill, it is not necessarily necessary and it is also not necessarily a Qwest charge.

I haven't told Jeff yet, but he probably won't be surprised. I've been known to do dumb things similar to this over the last 18 years. I think he'll just be thankful that I finally noticed it and we didn't pay for it for the rest of our lives! I think that's how he'll react. I hope.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tweny Year Reunion (gasp!)

We attended our 20th reunion last Thursday-Saturday in Salmon. The turn-out was good and seeing people I hadn't seen since graduation night was wild!

Jeff and I really enjoyed visiting with everyone. I had some great laughs with my old best friend Shanda--she hasn't changed a bit! Still crazy--and she secretly plants zucchini everywhere she goes, doctor offices, downtown planters in Boise, etc. She can't help herself!

Chuck and Tami Overacker hosted us Thursday night in at their awesome spread. They are great hosts and super fun people. Thanks you guys!

We really hit it off with Derek and Jenny Stringer (Prestwich). We plan on getting together with them as much as possible considering the distance between Kuna and Livingston MT!

Ken and Licy Frederikson are so hip and happenen! They brought wine and champagne from their own vineyard and it was so yummy. Thanks you two and we'll be in touch when we get to Chicago.

I could go on, but for now I'll just share some pics!









TJ and Marc









Marie, Shawn, Dodi, Michelle and Jeni









Me, Shawn and his lovely wife (sorry I forget her name!)

Rob and Jeff








Brian, Brad and Clint

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"What Happens There Goes On There"


So, I was in the library last week and after being uncomfortably stared at for 15 minutes, this guy approaches me. He clumsily starts the conversation by saying something clever like, "Checking out a book today?" I respond accordingly--"Yep." It happens to be a book on the history of Las Vegas. He asks why, I tell him I'm going there for several days, and he says--yeah, he really says this--"Well, you know what they say, what happens there goes on there!" Um, ok. So I respond accordingly--"Yep!" And run away.

We arrived in Vegas 5 hours earlier than planned due to our airline calling us and telling us if we could check in in 45 mins., they could get us a non-stop. We hustled and just made it! That is where our luck began. We checking in to our beautiful condo just behind Planet Hollywood Resort and settled in. We decided to go eat and that is when our luck continued. We stopped in at a new bar/restaurant just outside of the Monte Carlo called Diablo's. It was packed and we were faint with hunger. We put our name in and were told it would be a 45 minute wait. We headed out the door to entertain ourselves when our buzzer went off! We turned right around and went up to the hostess---she looked at us strangely and we showed her our flashing buzzer. She obviously called the wrong one, but being a professional, she seated us immediately!! After some ridiculously expensive margaritas ($36 for a pitcher) and a shared quesadilla, we felt revived enough to go lose a crap load of money in the Monte Carlo. Alas, our luck was dwindling.

Saturday we went grocery shopping and bought breakfast and lunches with the plan of eating dinners out. We only did this so we could shove more money into the slots and crap tables. We lazed around the pool and went to the Bodies Exhibition at the Trop. It was insane and weird, but we love it! The bodies are real human bodies preserved with some wild-assed chemical. We saw every part of the human body displayed in every way imaginable---skinned, just muscles, just bones, just veins, just arteries, the reproductive systems, diseased hearts, lungs, livers, you name it. They even had embryos and fetuses from every week from conception to birth. They had conjoined twin babies, they had a full term baby whose insides developed on the outside, everything. I can't get over one thing--our meat looks just like chicken. I'm not kidding.

The cool thing about our resort condo is that the pools never close. We sat out there till 2-3am almost every night. People were playing volleyball, and talking and having fun. I could live there. The name of the property is the Wyndham Grand Desert, and it's a part of the travel club we joined last year. It was our first time staying at the Wyndham, but won't be our last.

Sunday I spent the day at the Grand Canyon. What a long 10 hours. We motor coached from Vegas to the junction, then boarded a crappy hack bus to drive the 15-mile dirt road to the west rim of the canyon. We broke down in the middle of the Mojave desert. Yep. With no air, and rattlesnakes crawling all over, we waited for 45 minutes for a new bus. When we finally reached the canyon it was amazing. It is awesome-so unbelievably beautiful. I will post some pics later.

Back in town, Jeff spent father's day doing laundry and driving around buying me presents! I am the luckiest woman on planet earth! He met me in the Shadows Bar at Ceasers with a cold drink waiting. We ordered a few more and caught up on each other's day. We then got all dolled up and headed to the NYNY for the 10:30pm showing of Zumanity. Earlier in the day I had mentioned to some fellow agents that we were going to the show. They looked shocked and told me to be extremely open-minded and that they had clients walk out they were so shocked, because after all, it is about human sexuality. I assured them I had done my research and was fully aware of what I was getting into. Some say it's not appropriate. Some say it's dirty. I say it was incredibly erotic and sensual and that the dancers are fantastically talented. We sat in the second row and I have great news for all of you ladies out there--even show girls have cellulite if you sit close enough to the stage--and they are still beautiful!! We so enjoyed the show and laughed at the comedy and sat still during the amazing dramatic scenes. There was even a midget and a goat--it's not what you think--well, not really.

We again layed by the pool until the wee hours talking about our lives and where we want to be in the next few years and what we want to do and what we want to teach our boys. Great time for talking. No time constraints. No responsibilities. Just us. Doing whatever we want. A true vacation.

The next day we were so beat we just sat at the pool and played group bingo. Exciting I know, but it was really fun! Later we headed to Bill's Saloon and Gambling Hall ate at the steakhouse there and then raked in the friggin bucks!! Jeff was between two hotties at the craps table for over two hours. They thought they had a fresh one to go home with until I sidled up with my several hundred dollars I won on the dollar slots. You should have seen their faces fall when Jeff grab me up and kissed me! Sorry girls, you'll have to find your own man. Jeff gets hit on all the time. The only time a man talked to me that night was when an old guy in a walker tried to buy a smoke off me. I gave him one and he gave me the nicest smile I'd seen all night. Later we hit Harrah's piano bar and watched them hit the keys. The place was packed and everyone sang along. We really had fun there!

Tuesday we layed around some more, gambled some, bought souvenirs downtown. We packed up Wednesday morning and flew home that afternoon. We both worked today and again tomorrow. It really sucks working you know? We both dreaded going in today. But, reality has struck.

The best thing about Saturday will be holding my babies again. We'll meet mom and dad in Stanley to collect our boys and doggy. I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Jeff (yesterday)!


Yesterday was Jeff's 38th birthday. The distinguished gray hair he's sporting only makes him sexier. We both worked, then headed over to a local bar/steakhouse here in Kuna. Good music, good food. We had a long, slow dinner and great conversation. I never tire of talking to him, looking at him, being with him. He truly is my knight in shining armor. May he live long and prosper! I love you babe.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Excitement vs. Guilt


My kids go to Salmon with my parents in two days. I have these conflicting feelings of excitement and guilt happening all at once. I don't know why I do this to myself. They go up there every summer for two weeks to spend time with both mine and Jeff's families. And every summer I get nostalgic and weepy before they go. I also get greedy with excitement thinking of all the fun things Jeff and I can do while the kids are away! Funny, Jeff has not shown one bit of weepiness or nostalgia...hmmmm. He has shown excitement, however. Weird.

This time, we are spending a week at home working very little and laying around on the couch a lot. We are then flying to Vegas for 5 days. I have a work conference, but have arranged some free time for us to kick up our heels. I get to take a day trip with other travel agents to the Grand Canyon and Jeff and I are seeing two shows...Blue Man and Zumanity. There are dinners we have to go to and I have meetings everyday. However, since I love my job, I am even looking forward to the those!

We'll get the kids and dog back from my parents the 22nd. In the meantime, I'll try and enjoy my free time and not miss my little trolls too much. (Oh, but they are so sweet and funny and squishy--ok, I'll stop already.)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

EYE-zik William


Ten years ago this morning, I gave birth to the "laughing conqueror." Many people have asked over the years why we chose the name Isaac....the answer is--he was conceived in a fit of giggles!! Both Jeff and I were overcome with something hysterically funny--we don't remember what, but we do know Isaac came into existence that silly day. Hence his name. William is my dad's middle name.

My nickname for Isaac is Willie or Will. For years, Benjamin couldn't say Isaac and called him Yisaac. Too cute. My mom calls him Eye-ball or Icicle. My sister Amy calls him Ike. Great names huh?!

He is so easy going. He is smart, generous and so handsome. He looks like Jeff!

Ten years ago last night, I chowed down on Whoppers and watched the playoffs. My water broke in the night and we rushed to the hospital. He weighed 9 lbs. 14 oz. He looked Asian. Black hair, slanted eyes, beautiful. Everyone thought he was adopted from China! When he was 4 months old, a guy at the Coeur d'Alene Resort got so excited when he saw him--he just knew we had adopted him from China--and he had just filed paperwork to adopt from there too! Wow! So funny. Even now, I see the Asian in him, but I have no idea which side of the family he's taking it from.

Only about 1/4 of the population can spell his name correctly, so he will be spelling it out for people the rest of his life. Even teachers can't get it. I'll give them a break though, because there are so many parents spelling their kids names so exotically now, that it's hard to tell. But we went with the Biblical spelling to keep it somewhat simple!

So today I'm taking Isaac and 7 buddies to Planet Kid, out for pizza and back to our house for cake and presents. I had to borrow a mini-van, because I am not a mini-van mommy, but today, I will drive the van with pleasure!

Happy Birthday, Honey. And I forgive you for making me crave Mexican food and gaining 70 pounds during pregnancy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Small Things

Small things add up to make bigger things. Today was like that. Both good and bad small things kept happening. Some of the good things: I saw a baby Herford calf running and kicking and twisting and jumping through the field; it rained; I smelled the first Russian Olive of the year; my kids' report cards were awesome; Jeff is being silly and secretive so I know he bought me a present; today is my Friday.

Some of the bad things--ah, who cares!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Most Bestest Fantastical Neighbor in the Universe!!!


Ok. How would you like it if every morning around 6:00am the neighbor's snorting, farting, puking dog let herself into your house through the doggie door, ate your cat's food, then came and jumped into bed with you?

This happens to our neighbor Anna most everyday. Who might this dog be you ask? Well, ours. Yep. It's Belle(y) Buttons. I feel bad, but Anna swears she loves it when Belle visits. Even at 6:00am. Anna is a saint. Her black lab, Porter, is Belle's best buddy and they get into all sorts of mischief together. In fact, we've both been sited for having an "at large dog" thanks to the world's most worstest neighbor across the street who turns everybody in for every little thing. Yes, she has no life. I won't mention her name, but I want to.

Anywhoo....Anna has Belle's pictures on her screen saver and her myspace page, so I guess she really must love Belle. And really, who could blame her?! She also takes Belle on walks if she sees her in her outdoor kennel while we are not home, and returns her safely on her return.

So, here's to you Anna. You are officially the best neighbor in the universe. Thank you for putting up with us. We know 99.9% of the population would certainly have an issue with this situation. Please don't ever move!

Jeff The Wonderful

Sometimes husbands are just tolerable. Sometimes they are superiorly awesome. Like for instance, just a few minutes ago, I was having a serious craving for Gardettos and fountain Coke. And a scratch lotto crossword. I just casually mentioned my wants, and Jeff dropped whatever it was he was doing, put his hat on and and headed to the nearest Jackson's. In 5 minutes, I had my fix. Now that, my friends, is love. I didn't expect him to go. Well, that's a lie. But he delivered it with a kiss and a smile and I know he didn't resent me for suggesting the errand. After 22 years together, and nearly 18 of them married, he and I have this pretty much figured out, I think. He does what I ask, and everything is good! I hope you know I'm kidding. I have no idea why our marriage works, but it does. And I'm not going to fix something that isn't broken!

PS--I won $5 on the scratch ticket! It paid for the gas at least!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ben's Writings

There is a link on the right-hand side of my blog for Ben's Prose. It's some of my 8 year old's stories and poems. Two years ago, his kindergarten teacher told me he could be an author. His first grade teacher couldn't believe his reading skills, and his second grade teacher encourages him daily to use his incredible vocabulary. His dad and I are so proud of him, and Jeff set up a special blog for his work.

Maybe soon I won't be the only published author in the family! Enjoy!

Indy Rides Again

We took the boys to Indian Jones last night--opening night. The freeway was backed up for miles at the exit to the theatre! Thankfully I'd bought tickets on Fandango earlier in the day, because it was sold out. The movie was very entertaining even with Indy moving much more slowly than he used too.

They bring back annoying Marion (the shot shooting irritating Mongolian tavern owning chick). I could tell she hasn't acted since. Cate Blanchett's Russian accent was a bit ridiculous. And her hair never gets messed up. Never. Not once. And none of their clothes ever get dirty. No matter how much they roll around on the ground and punch each other and throw each other around, no one gets dirty or messes a hair up. I guess that's Hollywood for you. It's a bit long, but Shae LeBouf (spelling?) was great. I think he has a future for sure.

We got home at 9:30pm with the boys still asking why did this happen and who was that guy and why did she do or say that....I couldn't answer them. I'm still not sure I understand the premise of the movie, but I got the gist of it!

It's worth seeing on the big screen and I'm glad we went. Ben is an Indy freak right now. He has a huge poster, he paid for, on his wall, has all the books, has seen the movies and wants a messenger bag and hat next. At least he's grown out of wearing his Spidey suit around the neighborhood 24/7.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And The New American Idol is....(DVR quit recording)

Can you believe that?! Perfectly bad timing! We had to jump on the internet to find out who won! After sitting through two hours (fast forwarding commercials of course) of singing, dancing, and a weird looking Donna Summer.

Overall, it was quite a good show. David Cook rocked it with ZZ Top. That was the best music all night. The best dancing? Not the contestants from the dancing show, Jack Black! Yes. I loved that spoof of the Pips and almost burst a lung watching him. Funny men are it for me.

So Cook won. Wow. Little David is probably getting whipped as I type by his monster stage dad. Poor kid.

And George Michael is back. His song was a complete downer, but I liked the message. He's done his time and deserves another shot. Give peace/love a chance.

I think Simon was privy to the winner, so he did some back-tracking about his comments last night. He covered his arse.

Why didn't Jimmy Kimmel razz Randy? Can Randy not take a joke? Hmmmmm.

That is it for now. Until next year!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Idol Thoughts

Well it's all over but the votin'. I've voted for Cook all season. I think he has the mojo going on. Seriously. If he doesn't win, it's ok though. He will make millions and be fine. I feel like little David is under tremendous pressure from his a-hole dad and hope he can find himself. He seems to be on the verge of breaking down each time he is done singing. He's like the little brother I never had and never wanted! I wish him well and hope he tells his dad to back up. So, I guess I don't really care who wins. I like them both. And btw, Ryan had WAY too much eyeliner on tonight.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pics of the Tat

Here are some pics of my 3-day-old tattoo!



Belle(y) Buttons


How can you not fall in love with this face? Impossible!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Half-way There

Well--I did it! Last night Jeff and my groovy friend Jayna took me to 6th St. Studio in downtown Boise and watched me get my first tat. I have to go back to get it finished, but the first part is done. The word "life" is etched forever on the inside of my right wrist in white ink. Apparently, white ink is the devil according to the artist who did my wrist. Next week he'll do the word "wonderful" on the inside of my left wrist. I love it. And I loved the whole experience too. It was weird, because I am not usually into pain, but it was a high and I think I'm hooked!

It felt like a bee was stinging me when he started. A really angry bee. But as he continued, the pain turned into some kind of wonderful hurts so bad kinda feeling! Jeff thinks I'm the bomb, and I am! Jayna has 9 and plans more! Jeff is getting one on his left forearm soon as well. I hate to be like everyone else (every white suburban housewife is getting pierced and inked), but mine is for me, not really for the world to view. That is why I went with white ink. It looks like a scar. I chose the words for two reasons.....number one, my life really is wonderful, and number two, I love the movie "It's a Wonderful Life.

After we finished there, Jeff fed us and took us out to a great dive bar for shots and karaoke! How much fun was that? Jayna sang her fool butt off and had everyone dancing. We really had a blast and I'm not at all disappointed in my decision. I highly recommend it.

Until next time, me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wonderful Life

Hey you all. I have really let the time go by haven't I?

There is a reason for that--I actually have a job! Last August after we returned from Vegas, I had a message from Uniglobe Travel. I had applied to all of the agencies last March and never heard from any of them, so I was surprised and very excited.

Long story short, they hired me and I am loving it! I work 3 days a week in downtown Nampa. The perks are great, although I've not yet taken advantage of them!

The kids are well. Isaac took 6 months of tutoring at Huntington Learning Center finishing in April. He did well and brought those math grades up--whew! We figured we'd better take care of any problems now and are really pleased with the way he overcame his fear of math. Of course he's ready to be out and they do finish May 29th, so he doesn't have to wait too long! He'll start 5th grade in August. My baby!

Ben is in 2nd grade at the moment and doing fine. He spends his days climbing the willow trees after school and getting as dirty as he possibly can. He could live outside. Honestly, he hates being indoors.

Jeff and I spent 4 days in Sunset Beach, California in February. We had a cottage right on the beach and really enjoyed the solitude. The bar next door, King Neptune's, served fantastic clam chowder and some really decent shots! We made friends with the bar tender and he spoiled us all night (spoiled meaning giving us free concoctions to try, therebye, getting us completely hammered!). I wasn't such a big fan of his the next day.

We are heading to Salmon for graduation on the 30th. My nephew Cody will be walking. How insane is it that time can pass so quickly? He was a little red-headed chubby baby not so long ago!

We've been playing Rock Band on our XBox and loving it! How fun is it to rock out with our boys? Fantastic. You should hear Ben belt out the Stones "Give Me Shelter!" And Isaac can drum the hell out of "Dead or Alive." I scored a 100% singing Ozzy's "Paranoid." Take that Jeff! He's always cringed when I sing to the radio, or in the shower, or anywhere! But I'm not sure if singing Ozzy perfectly is a good thing or if it should scare me!

Tonight I get my first tatoo(s). I'll take pics and post them here soon! Hint--The title of this blog will be somewhere on my body after tonight!