Posted by: jen | August 25, 2008

Thanks for Visiting…

Hello!

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope you enjoyed reading a little of my thoughts and experiences.  I would love to hear from you so please feel free to leave a comment!

Have a great day!

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Posted by: jen | August 22, 2008

I Don’t Do Windows…

I have finally understood the phrase, “I don’t do windows”.  I get it.  I have just spent all morning on my front windows only to find that they still look crappy.  What a waste of time and effort! 

I used the Windex Outdoor window washing stuff.  You know, the kind you hook to the end of your hose and you are supposedly done in the matter of no time?  Who are they kidding!?!?

I should have taken pictures.  I thought I had gotten the Windex properly attached to my hose but when I turned it on???  Water was EVERY where!  It was spraying from the end of the hose.  It was spraying from the bottle itself.  I was getting wetter and wetter by the second.

So I did what every normal thinking person does.  I turned off the hose and tried re-attaching the bottle.  Unfortunately for me, this did not solve the problem.  So I tried it again.  No luck.  It looked as though I was just going to have to get wet. 

I didn’t think this was going to be a big problem because after all, I was going to be done in no time!  What was a little water spraying on me while I cleaned the windows?  I hadn’t showered today so I would just consider this my shower precursor.

Little did I know that by the time I got the windows done it would be over two hours later.  Little did I know that I would not only have a shower precursor but a bath as well.  Little did I know that even after all my efforts, my windows were still going to look horrible.

The funniest part was that we live directly across from the high school where I have a junior attending.  Last year she had classes where she could see our house from her desk.  So occasionally, I would get a text saying hi and that she could see me.  So as I am having water spraying in my face, as I am trying my darnedest to get these windows cleaned and as I am getting wetter and wetter and wetter with water dripping from my shirt and my shorts, all I can think of is which of her friends is having a hard time concentrating in class right now because they are too busy laughing at me.  It helped pass the time. 🙂

Posted by: jen | August 21, 2008

Olympic Moms and Families

I love the Olympics and if you have read any of my recent posts about the Olympics you might think that “love” is an understatement.  That is ok because I know that it is more than love for me.  There is something about watching people strive to become their best, watch a goal ripen to fruition and be aaccomplished that makes me crazy.  And when you throw patriotism into the mix, I kind of go crazy!  Crazy in a good way though.  Crazy in a “man I love being an American” way.  Crazy in a “I had no idea I was this competitive” way.  It is crazy.

I have to admit though that the moms of Olympians are what get me the most.  There was one dad this year that really made me choked up.  He was the father of one of the divers, I wish I could remember his name, but he had been his coach as well as his dad and I think that is a double whammy right there. 

The broadcasters always cut to the moms (and sometimes the dads and siblings) to show their reaction.  The Olympian has just won a medal and within 2 minutes we are watching footage of the family as they watch the race, meet, game, etc.  We watch them hold their breath.  We watch them feel sick to their stomachs.  We watch as every emotion known to man floods through their bodies at the same time.  We watch them tense up as the finish comes closer and closer and closer.  We watch as they try to catch their Olympians eye to blow them a kiss, to wave, to give them a thumbs up, to give them a smile.  We watch as they sink into their seat with tears streaming down their faces.  We watch as their dreams come true too.  We watch as they realize that so many of their hopes for their child are happening.  We watch as gratitude fills their hearts that they took out the additional mortgage on their homes and woke every morning to drive them to practice.  We watch as they realize that it was all worth it to see their child who has grown before their eyes accomplishes what very few in the entire world ever will.  We watch.  We watch and we feel and we care.

That is what watching the Olympics is all about.

Posted by: jen | August 21, 2008

Fruit Chips

My new favorite thing to do with all my fruit coming off of my trees is to make fruit chips.

While nursing my baby I can’t seem to have any chips or fried foods of any kind.  And while that is good for the figure, it is bad for my taste buds.  I love chips. I love their flavor and crunchiness and I personally believe that no sandwich is complete without them.  Maybe I should do commercials for the chip industry…  But I digress… 🙂

Unfortunately, chips give my baby a tummy ache like no other.  He will scream and scream in pain for hours the next day.  It really breaks my heart.  So no chips for me.

You can imagine my happiness when I was making fruit leather the other day and found that I had made some too thin and it was crispy.  I popped that crispy little piece of fruit leather in my mouth and savored the crunch.  It was delightful!  It was heavenly!  It was a chipish sort of thing and I liked it!

They are fun with sandwiches.  They are fun as a snack.  They are fun for your figure.  They are just plain fun!  So if you love chips like I do and it is the crunchiness that you adore, try making fruit leather thinner than normal and see what you think!

Next I am going to try to figure out how to do it with actual potatoes with seasonings.  Stay tuned!!!

Posted by: jen | August 21, 2008

Two Car Garages

Are traditional two car garages really big enough for two cars?  Maybe two tinsy tiny, not legal in American cars but what about real cars?

For the first time in my life I have a two car garage that is not posing as a storage unit.  It is cleaned out and therefore, should be able to hold two cars.  Right?

Not right.  We own a minivan and an Accord.  These are not big cars.  They are not SUV’s.  They barely even fit our family!  But when we get both of them in the garage, you can’t get out of them.  Ok, my oldest who is a size 2 can get out of them but my husband and I can’t. 

Ok, we CAN get out of them but it is frankly demoralizing.  Who wants your cars and your garage to remind you that you have a few pounds to loose???  Who wants to have to squeeze along a wall praying that it doesn’t get your Sunday clothes dirty just to get in the dang car?!?  And heaven forbid I have the baby in his carseat, am carrying my purse, a diaper bag, my camera (I AM a blogger you know!) and am trying to get the rest of our bunch to listen to me!  It is enough to make any sweet mom into a screaming lunatic in 30 seconds flat!!!

So, here are my thoughts…

  • My house is 30 years old.  Have cars grown in size like the American waistband?  Logic would say “no” because of rising gas prices and I remember the 1972 Lincoln Continental I drove as a new driver.  It was a tank!
  • Granted my waistband has grown significantly but would that really be the only reason?  And let’s say, hypothetically, that it is, for some crazy reason, the ONLY reason that I can’t fit my two cars in my garage, is that enough to make me go on a diet and start exercising?  I don’t know.  The jury is still out on that one. 🙂
  • There is one more consideration.  One that might be easily overlooked.  One that really could be the ONLY reason that I can’t fit my two normal size cars into my traditional two car garage.  I have to carry too much stuff.  It is true.  30 years ago the average American mom didn’t have to haul her baby in a car seat.  Nope they did not and by the way, I think it is a miracle that any of us lived to tell the tale!  I also don’t think that the average mom hauled her camera with her.  Why would she?  There was no blogging to be done. 🙂  And I don’t think the average mom hauled a diaper bag the likes of diaper bags these days.  I am just sayin’.  I seem to have a ton of stuff I carry for this little one of mine. 🙂

So in conclusion…  I think it is the amount of stuff that mom’s have to carry that make it so that we can’t fit our normal size cars into our traditional two car garages. 🙂

Peaches

Peaches

My 11 year old came rushing into my office this evening with her eyes beaming and a look of pure delight on her face.

“MOM!!!  The peaches are ready!!!  Try this!!!”

I questioningly took a bite because sometimes this sweet daughter of mine likes to trick me but her face was a little too sparkly for a trick.  The peach was perfect.  It was sweet and juicy and delightful in every way.

I never knew I would like fruit trees.  In fact, I believe that I have made quite a deal in the past about how I didn’t ever want fruit trees because they are “too much work” and are “too messy”. 🙂

This is a true statement.  They do take more work than regular trees do and if you don’t keep the fallen fruit picked up, it is just plain stinky and messy.  BUT… When you get to savor the sweet little gifts of sunshine fresh off the tree…  When you get to feel the warmth of their juices as they fill your mouth…  Warm from the sunshine they have just been bathing in…  I just know that I was born for this and didn’t know it.

What a blessing fruit trees are!

Posted by: jen | August 19, 2008

The Photographer In Me… Maybe…

I have always longed to be a photographer.  I love great pictures and think that they do so much to add to the story of life.

Unfortunately, I am an average photographer.  I smile at this because unless I was born with incredible instinctive qualities, I should be nothing more.  I have never taken a class or had any training.  And all I do is take thousands of pictures and hope for the best.

Take this picture at the top of this blog.  I took that in Mexico a year and a half ago.  It was a pretty average photo until I decided to put it as the top of my blog.  This particular template would only allow me this very long and very narrow area so I began cropping.  I think it looks pretty nice and a little interesting.

Lately, I have been re-reading my camera user guide.  It feels like I am reading a foreign language which also makes me smile. 🙂  Right now I am studying how to do those really cool photos where the person is wonderfully visible and the background is completely blurred out.  I am also working on how to take those really cool pictures where the colors practically pop off of screen and they feel almost 3D.

You might have guessed that I have not been successful yet, hence, why no pictures are added to this post.  So if any of my dear friends and family that read this are close by and want to come over and give me some photography tips, I WOULD LOVE IT!!! 🙂

In the meantime, I will keep reading and testing and reading and testing some more. 🙂

Posted by: jen | August 18, 2008

One Word

My one word responses.  What will yours be?

1. Where is your cell phone? pocket
2. Your significant other? ballplayer
3. Your hair? long
4. Your mother? seamstress
5. Your father? sad
6. Your favorite thing? work
7. Your dream last night? Hawaii
8. favorite drink? ice water
9. Your dream/goal? own business
10. The room you’re in? office
11. your ex? nothing
12. Your fear? death of a child/spouse
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? financial freedom
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What are you not? perfect
16. Muffin’s? chocolate
17. One of your wish list items? new kitchen
18.Where you grew up? the world
19. The last thing you did? apricot fruit leather
20. What are you wearing? clothes
21. Your TV? Olympics
22. Your pet? Gabie’s
23. Your computer? potential
24. Your life? full
25. Your mood? curious
26. Missing someone? family
27. Your car? minivan
28. Something you’re not wearing? jewelry
29. Favorite Store? target
30. Your summer? hot
31. Like someone? Dave
32. Your favorite color? red
33. When was the last time you laughed? an hour ago
34. When was the last time you cried? February
35. Who will/would re-post this? ???Now, I tag all of my readers!  

Posted by: jen | August 17, 2008

Am I Competitive?

I wonder if I am competitive.  I have never played formal sports or participated on competitions of any kind so that would make me assume that I am not competitive. 🙂 I say this sheepishly because deep in my heart I know that I am.  Heehee….

I love to watch sports and cheer on my team.  You might have gotten that from my Olympic posts so far.  I find that I cheer for events now even if the American’s aren’t in it just hoping for a country with a low medal count to win.  Anyone but China!!!  Am I racist???  NO WAY!!!  They are just too close for comfort in the medal count. 🙂

I also tend to be competitive with work stuff.  I want to work as hard if not harder than anyone else.  Even if the world is ready to cut me some slack for having five kids, I will push harder. 

This is interesting because I am even more competitive with my kids.  Is competitive the right word?  I want them to have every opportunity that I can open for them.  I want them to learn to work and play and have fun and be creative.  I want them to learn to think outside the box and find out what their limits are and then push them a little.  I want them to explore and try new things and not be afraid — of anything.  I want them to try, knowing that to try is far better than not trying at all because at least then, they have no regrets.  

And I want them to love.  I want them to love life and people. I want them to learn to love work and challenges.  I want them to wake up in the morning with a desire to make it a great day.

Maybe this doesn’t mean that I am competitive but that I am driven.  I am driven to be the best mom, no matter what.  I will do what it takes to open doors, experiences and thought processes for my kids.  And we know that this is driven versus competitive because I want every other mom I know to join me on this fun journey.

So I guess we can conclude that I am competitive with sports but driven with my family. 🙂  I wonder if you are too….

Posted by: jen | August 16, 2008

The Gift of a Day…

I woke this morning thinking that I was spending the day with my family.  Only not long after my eyes opened, the plans of the day changed; they all left me. Was I grumpy you ask? No! NEVER! 🙂 I am headed to see the new Star Wars with my brother tonight and since he asked me a week ago, I couldn’t change my plans and join my family in their last minute plans. 

They are head to SLC to see the Declaration of Independence and check out to see if there is a treasure map on the back. Meanwhile, my seven year old is hoping to find a $100 bill because he has a water bottle ready to check out the time on the clock. 🙂 We love “National Treasure”. 🙂

Anyway… I am home and working and doing laundry. My husband left saying that I should do whatever I wanted since I had the day to myself and this is what I have chosen.  Am I a freak?

Every mother I know wishes with her entire heart for the “gift of a day”.  She wants to do what she wants, when she wants to.  She wants to watch her favorite shows, her favorite movies, paint her nails, read a good book, sleep as long as she likes.  And here I am with the day before me and I am choosing work and laundry.  Am I crazy?  Maybe but we will choose to like me despite it. 🙂

Maybe if I hurry, I can get the bathrooms freshly scoured as well!!! 🙂  Yep… I am a freak!!! 🙂

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