Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Funny

A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet and says, "My dog's cross-eyed.
Is there anything you can do for him?"
"Well," says the vet, "let's have a look at him."
So, he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, checks his teeth, etc.
Finally, he says, "I'm going to have to put him down."
"What? Just because he's cross-eyed?"
"No, because he's really, really heavy."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Company for Christmas

While we're very sad that Grandma and Grandpa Martin left for home today, we are so happy that they came all the way from Nevada to spend Christmas with us!  This is the first time in 15 years that we've spent Christmas with extended family.  We had so much fun and ate so much food!  We ate, played games, ate, watched movies, ate, talked, shopped and ate some more.  Thanks G-ma and G-pa for traveling to our little corner of the world and spending so much time with us.  We miss you already!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Move along. Nothing to see here.

I wrote this for my memoir writing group a week or so ago.  I figure it's a story I'll never live down so I might as well record it before someone else does.  Here it is for your reading pleasure.  Just remember, I was only four so be nice...

Kerplunk: A Short Christmas Story

The year was 1974, give or take a year.  I was about four years old and my older sister, Chantal, and I shared a bedroom in the basement.  It was Christmas Eve and we were nestled all snug in our beds;  Chantal had the top bunk, I was on the bottom.  There was one rule that had been drilled into our heads before we went to bed that night: Do not get up until you hear the radio.  That was always the signal that Santa had come and it was safe to come upstairs and see our presents.

While falling asleep on Christmas Eve is never easy, I had every intention of staying in bed.  But then it hit.  I had to go to the bathroom.  I don’t know how long I fought it.  So many years later, I can only imagine the thoughts that must have been going through my worried little head.  Of course, the bathroom was upstairs so that wasn’t even an option.  What should I do?  Well, I did the only thing I could do.  Knowing I’d be in big trouble if I wet my bed, I carefully climbed up the ladder to the top bunk, crawled in with Chantal, and wet her bed instead.  Only I didn’t just wet. 

The next morning, I tried to explain to my parents what happened.  I don’t remember what, exactly, I said.  I may have made something up to explain why I was in Chantal’s bed.  Maybe I said I was cold or scared.  But at some point in my explanation, I said, “...and then all of the sudden, Kerplunk!” 

That innocent little statement changed this funny little incident that should have been quickly forgotten to the realm of legend in my family.  If we have a family gathering and the word ‘kerplunk’ comes up, you can bet that someone will tell the story.  Lucky me.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Sadie got a cute apron for Christmas as well as a Princess cupcake set.  I'm fairly certain the manufacturer doesn't actually taste the product before they package it because it was not good.  The directions were vague at best.  Adding 2 eggs to a microscopic amount of cake mix turns into a watery mess.  Sadie wasn't fazed.  She and Daddy baked and Sadie decorated all by herself.  Sadie was beaming as she showed off her beautiful creations.  She willingly gave them to anyone brave enough to try.  Sterling popped one in his mouth.  I was so proud of him for managing a cheerful, "Thank you, Sadie" before spitting it in the garbage.  I laughed when Sadie excused herself by saying she was too full to try one.  Well, at least the apron is cute.  We'll stick to our own version of Princess cupcakes from now on.
(Notice the beautiful Princess makeup smeared on her cheeks)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We must have been good!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Happily Ever After

I have to show off this painting done by my friend, Deb Pottle.  She brought it over yesterday, just in time for Christmas.  About a year ago she told me she wanted to paint a picture of my family.  How exciting!  A few months ago she said she woke up with a picture in her head and knew just what it should look like.  She worked it up as a pencil sketch at first.  Then, in only three days, she painted this.  It's called "Our Story" and I love that we are all characters in our own little fairy tale.  Once I have it framed, it will go right over the couch.  It will be the first thing you see when you come in my house.  I totally love it!!

Friday Funny: Snowman Humor

This one is my favorite!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How To: Glass Etching

The kids have their last day of school tomorrow before Christmas break.  I've been busy making Christmas gifts for them to take to their teachers.  I usually make signs with vinyl lettering since that's always on hand and easy to personalize and it's still somewhat a novelty here in my corner of the world.  However, several of our teachers this year are teachers we've had once, twice, or even three times already.  I mean, how many vinyl signs does one teacher need?  A while back, I etched some glasses for our family.  Each of my kids got to pick out an animal they wanted on their glass with their name.  I love how they turned out so I decided to make a set of etched glasses for Sadie's Kindergarten teacher.  I thought I'd include a quick tutorial since they are so easy and super cute!

Here are the supplies you need:
  • glasses (I'm using two sizes - large for the Mom and Dad, small for the kids.  I picked these up at Target for about $2 for four glasses.)
  • vinyl cutouts or stickers, tape, etc.
  • glass etching cream (I use Armour Etch)
  • a paintbrush to distribute the etching cream.  I cut the top part off the bristles to make it easier to control.
  • rubber gloves
First, make sure your glasses are clean.  Then put the vinyl or stickers or tape on wherever you don't want it to be etched.

Next, use the paintbrush to distribute the etching cream to the open spaces that you want etched.  Follow the directions on the jar.  Be generous.  I like to paint it on and keep going over it for a couple of minutes, adding more etching cream as needed.  I find I get better coverage when I do this.  Let stand for 5 minutes. 

Then, while wearing the rubber gloves, rinse off the etching cream.  You don't want it to touch your skin.  Also, I use our plastic utility sink for this as the etching cream will apparently etch my porcelain sink.  I'm guessing stainless sinks are okay (?).

Finally, remove the vinyl or stickers.  The etching will show up best when the glass is dry.
Easy, cute and personal.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Video: Kids and Christmas

This is a sweet video that made me smile.  We're sure getting excited for Christmas at our house! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Deep Thoughts by Soren

"Why do I always have to wait for the moment I've always been waiting for?"

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Aren't these designs neat?  You can make your own at this website:  Flame
You can change the options and come up with all sorts of cool effects.  They make great wallpaper for your computer!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Funny: 2 for 1

What did the woman say when she saw three holes in the ground?

Well, well, well.

Two muffins were in an oven.
One says to the other, "Whew, it's really hot in here."
The other one says, "AAHHHHHHH! A TALKING MUFFIN!"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Rollers

Have you ever heard of snow rollers?  We hadn't until we woke up one February morning in 2003 and they were all over town.  From the little information we could gather, we learned that it takes the perfect combination of wind speed, temperature, and just the right kind of snow for them to form.  The wind picks up an edge of snow and rolls it across the ground.  The one pictured above shows the layers, like a cinnamon roll.  Chances are, we won't see them again in our lifetime.  Here are a few more pictures of this cool phenomenon:

Snow Rollers Everywhere!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Soren's Motto

Do what you hate and do it happily.

That's Soren's new motto.  He came up with it by himself and it sounds good to me!  I know for a fact that there are a lot of chores people hate around here...  I'm all for happiness!  It reminds me of a quote by Goethe: "It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do that makes life blessed."  Amen to that!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Contacting Santa Claus

Are your kids busy writing their letters to Santa?  Here's a website you can visit where you'll find Santa's e-mail address and phone number: 

Santa won't answer the phone - he's very busy this time of year - but it's fun for the kids to hear his voice asking them to leave a message. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Day

There is much rejoicing at our house tonight.  We just got a call from the School Superintendent announcing that "due to blowing snow conditions" there will be no school tomorrow.  Amazing how one little phone call can cause rioting (albeit cheerful rioting).  The older kids have completely lucked out.  They somehow neglected to finish up some big projects over the weekend so they've been saved by the weather.  (I hate it when their procrastination receives positive reinforcement....)  So, while I may be losing my three child-free hours where I recover from the weekend, I have a feeling it'll be a fun day!  Come on over!!

We're dreaming of warm days!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree

I was looking for some music on the other day when I stumbled upon
The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree by the VeggieTales gang.  For some reason, at the time of this posting, the mp3 album is being offered for free.  It's got some clever songs and if you listen to them in order, it tells a cute little story.  Just thought I'd pass that along.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Funny

Three guys with hearing loss were golfing.  One says to the others, "It sure is windy, isn't it?"

The second one says, "No, it's Thursday."

The third guy says, "Me, too.  Let's go get a drink."
And one more for those of you who, like my crazy kids, enjoy 5th grade potty humor.  This was actually sent to Jeff by one of his college students:
(say it out loud for the best effect...)

Knock, Knock.

Who's There?

I eat mop.

I eat mop who?

Eeeew!  You do?

(get it?)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stirring Up Memories at DQ

I drove Savannah and a couple of her friends to DQ after her choir concert tonight.  Our DQ was recently remodeled and they have a whole bunch of nostalgic photos hanging on the wall.  This one immediately caught my eye.  Can that be anything other than the Salt Lake Temple in the background?  I'm guessing this was a Dairy Queen float in the Days of '47 Parade that runs right through the city each year on July 24.  We used to go every year and watch the parade outside my Dad's office.

Fun to find a little slice of my hometown inside a midwestern DQ! 

Savannah's concert was awesome, by the way!  Oh, and excuse the poor quality of this photo...  I could have at least taken it straight on.  Oh well!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Favorite Nativity

Several years ago, my sister-in-law made me this adorable Nativity wall hanging.  I put the words on the frame, but she stitched the picture and then painted it by hand.  I love how it's like a family picture.  This photo really doesn't do it justice, but it's my favorite nativity. 

I love putting out each of our Nativity sets every year as we decorate for Christmas.  I only have a few, but they are my favorite decorations.  Here are the others:

The Little People Nativity is perfectly kid-proof and Sadie plays with it daily.  When you push down on the angel on the top, it plays "Away in a Manger." I love it!

The most formal of our nativity sets, this one usually sits on top of the piano.  Since the piano is still in my bedroom from the floor refinishing project, I've put these on a little shelf that seems to collect things - papers, books, toys, etc.  This fills up the spot and looks a lot nicer than the "stuff" that usually ends up there.

I love the simplicity of this one!

My newest and smallest (only about 3" tall).

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Early Morning Rainbow

When I think of rainbows, I always picture them in the east because that's where I usually see them.  The late afternoon sun shining after the rain... 

A few weeks ago it was pretty chilly out and raining lightly.  Despite the rain and the early hour (before 7am), the sun seemed brighter than usual.  As a result, there was a beautiful rainbow right through the trees in the west.  A great start to the day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Welcome Libby!

My brother and his wife are the proud parents of little Libby Marie who was born one week ago today.  We are anxious to meet our new little niece and cousin.  I love this picture of Libby with her pleased-as-punch big brother, Nathan.  David said Nathan has been so sweet with her.  I'm sure big sister Emma is thrilled to finally have a baby sister.  Christopher may be too little to get what is going on - after all, he just turned one about a week before Libby made her debut!  Unable to have children, I doubt Dave and Tanya would have ever guessed that in 7 years they would adopt 4 beautiful babies.  What a miracle and blessing.  We are so glad to have each of them in our family! 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Can you tell...

...who hung most of the ornaments on our tree?  Sadie can only reach so high.  She was so proud!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Funny

A woman gets on a bus with her baby.  The bus driver says: “That's the ugliest baby that I've ever seen. Ugh!” 

The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: “The driver just insulted me!” 

The man says: “You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I'll hold your monkey for you.”  

 I guess I could have just used a picture of me as a baby....  My Dad said I looked just like a baby gorilla.  (Thanks, Dad.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

While we were staying with the Randall's last week, we decorated gingerbread houses.  A long-time tradition for their family, we are so glad they invited us to join in.  I don't know that I've ever really decorated my own gingerbread house before.  It was so fun and we all had such a great time!  True to form, Paula made the gingerbread from scratch.  We helped by contributing some of the candy decorations.  Darin has this down to an art form and he looks in books and on the internet to choose what his house will look like every year.  He and Paula's were definitely the most elaborate and thought out.  The preparations took all day - seriously a ton of work! - but a great time together.  Thanks, guys!

Darin and Paula's-the big ones in the back. Soren's is half-eaten in the front...
The DOG HOUSE is mine.  Do you love the "steamin' jobbie" by the door?

The Ballroom

So, what do you do on newly finished floors until your furniture arrives?  Well, if you happen to be 5-years old, you rename it "The Ballroom" and you dance. 

Sadie busied herself for a good portion of Sunday afternoon creating decorations (see "wreath" below).  She even got her brothers to help.  Don't you love Sterling's chandelier?  They had a great time.  They even pulled out the Karaoke machine and Sadie and Soren were doing some serious dancing to Sterling's tunes. Good times!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Before and After: Wood Floors

After 10 years of blue carpet in the living room (it came with the house), we finally ripped it out last May.  We intended to re-carpet.  After all, there was a 30"x30" plywood patch in a conspicuous place which we figured would prohibit us from having the original wood floors refinished.  Too bad, too, because they were still in fairly good condition.  Sure they looked pretty rough, but we expected much worse for a house built in 1916.  Most of the living room is oak, but there is a large area of pine where the original owners would have laid a rug.  Pine was much cheaper and so they used oak wherever it would show and then put down pine where it wouldn't matter.  The adjoining and smaller dining room floor is mostly pine (again, where a rug would have gone) surrounded by oak. 

I mentioned our floors to Jay Allred at church and he agreed to come by and take a look.  He's been in the flooring business for years and knows his craft.  He assured us that the patch and some termite damage could be fixed.  He also said that the pine would be beautiful and look like an inlaid floor.  We took his word for it and hired his team for the job.  We are thrilled with the results.  They did a great job!


Left is pine.  Right is oak.
A pretty rough spot in the oak.
Pine, originally  meant to be covered up.

After (drumroll, please...):

Dining room looking into living room.  I'm loving the pine!

Living room.  The pine is on the right.  Most of the room is oak (left).

Dining room.  This gives a fairly good view of the oak surrounding the pine.
Aren't they pretty?  We love them!  Here are a few more before/after comparisons to specific spots.

Here you see the termite damage in one board.  The next photo shows the repair.  Then you see the final result:

Here is a before and after to show the corner detail (it may or may not be the same corner in both pictures, but you get the idea):