"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I'm not sure why my life suddenly seems so ridiculously busy.  There wasn't a huge change... I just feel like I don't have time to do even half the stuff I need to get done anymore.  BUT, I don't want to blog about that over and over again.  Believe me, I could.  Here's today's question... how, on top of everything else that needs to be getting done, including giant piles of laundry, do you also have time to wash everyone's sheets on a somewhat regular basis?  It's too embarrassing to even tell you when the last time the kids' sheets were washed.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Banned Words

What words are banned at your house?  And I'm not talking the actual swear words.  I'm not even talking about words that are just bad in your family (ie: we couldn't say "butt" in my family growing up).  I'm speaking of those obnoxious phrases, whines, complaints that your kids say that you just can't handle hearing anymore. 

Here are the banned phrases at our house:

1) "That's not fair."  Or, any use of the word fair when used in comparison to what a sibling or parent is getting that they aren't.

2) "Actually..." This is usually followed by some smart alecky correction about how the parent is wrong and the kid is thus going to correct them in the middle of getting in trouble for something else.  Basically, it's pointing out that they are right for no reason.

3) "One minute."  This is said to me anytime I ask a kid to do something for me.  I don't have "one minute" to wait for them to finish playing with Legos, or whatever, I need them to do what I've asked them to do for me right exactly now.

What words/phrases are banned at your house?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Feb. 10

A dozen years ago, Jed asked me to marry him

I said yes. 

Thanks for asking, Cutie.

*If you look closely at the sign, Jed wrote "est. 1984," which makes us seem ancient, but really, marks the year his family moved to California and he decided he wanted to marry me.  We were six.

**Wouldn't Fishbowl be an awesome last name!?!

***Family pics courtesy of Emma J.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

The Week

I feel like this week will be much calmer than last week, minus three doctor appointments for Little Guy and a birthday party.   Here's what's on the schedule:


-a bunch of church stuff and meetings (dealing with my new calling in the Young Women's presidency)
-update family blog

-school, chores, clean-up (repeat daily)
-basically get back to a normal but uber-productive way of life

- homeschool book club (which I am in charge of)
-grocery trip
-Activity Days, Cub Scouts, Beehive activity

-something for Valentine's Day
-the older two kids have a cooking class at night

-spelling tests
-call two relatives for birthdays
-skip the homeschool Valentine Party

-clean the church
-bake Mystery Baby a half-birthday cake

 -Throughout the week, I need to be working on my reading, journal writing, writing, blogging, etc. Etc. Etc.   Oh, and caring for, teaching, picking up after and feeding a bunch of other people.  I feel a bit like Bella in Notting Hill when she says, "And to add insult to serious injury -- I've totally given up smoking, my favourite thing..."  I'm not sure I have time to read this stack of books.  Not to mention the ones I have on hold at the library.  And the ones on the Kindle waiting for me.


I wrote that post about my LOOSE connections to famous people, and forgot all about this one until I was at Barnes and Noble last night and saw her books . . .  everywhere.  You might recognize them below.  I took a few classes at BYU with Ally Condie (and her husband, before they were married, before his mission even).  I was just acquaintances with them, but we did in fact sort of know each other. I ended up knowing her brother-in-law even better.  He was in my ward and family home evening group a couple years later. 

You can get to them all here at Amazon.com.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Reading Stack

Good Omens
Pretty Little Liars
Navigating Early
Code Name Verity
Animal Farm
The Way They Learn
Every Child Can Succeed
The Last Dragonslayer

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Blog Fame

You know how some blogs have sponsored giveaways for Kitchen Aid mixers, etc.  Well, I'm not that kind of blog.  But Kohl's did contact me about this post and shared with me a coupon code to share with you.  Here it is:

The exclusive 10% off blogger code for kohls.com. You can use TENFORBLOG through March 9th, 2013. It can be used to stack savings with one other code as well.

It's almost as cool as when Rhodes Rolls sent me a dry ice pack of frozen rolls to try out and blog about.  Now if only Jed hadn't gone on his shopping spree (partially at Kohl's) LAST weekend...

Monday, February 04, 2013


I have so many awesome plans:

The kids are going to get ahead in school.  That's one of the great bonuses of homeschooling, right?

We're going to be awesome about doing our chores and getting our house clean.

We're going to keep it clean.

We're going to be organized.

I'm going to blog.  And read.  And cook.  And bake.  And sleep.  And have friends.

I'm going to start a cooking/reading/kid project/blog.

I'm going to make the homeschool book club successful.

We're going to actually make it to some homeschool activities so my kids can socialize with their friends.

Princess Sparkley wants a book club.  And a diorama club.  And a cooking club.  

The kids are going to be involved in sports and other activities.

I'm going to be able to see my desk someday.

I'm going to shower daily.

I'm going to have an awesome homeschool blog.

I'm going to have great projects and lessons for my kids.

And then it's almost 5PM and I find myself struggling to get any of the things done we were supposed to do today.  I realize the dryer buzzed an hour ago and I haven't made it downstairs yet to switch the loads.  The kids still don't have this week's spelling lists.  I forgot all about my cooking/reading/kid project/blog plan for weeks.  Little Guy has three doctor's appointments and a birthday party this week to go to which means our school plans are shot in the foot.  I didn't go visiting teaching for church at all last month. I haven't made it to the grocery store today and today is our shopping day which means we're running out of everything.  The mess I got all cleaned up last week has reappeared.  My Google Calendar is packed.  Saturday was the only empty day for the entire month and then Jed sent me a message that he has a thing that afternoon.

I spent one year as the Primary president before we left Kansas and I felt like I spent that entire year just staying afloat.  I wasn't good.  I wasn't successful.  I just survived.  And that doesn't make me happy.  I feel like that's how I am now in my entire life ... I'm surviving, not succeeding.  

Friday, February 01, 2013

Angry Birds Party

 So, this wasn't an actual party.  It was just dessert and presents with extended family.  But I figured I should still document it on here.  I got the idea for the cake from here.  I didn't actually click on the picture on Pinterest and read her entire blog post until now.  It would have been smart for me to look and see the double layer of her wafer tower and the long cake.  I only saw the close up of the piggy building.  And I paid no attention to the chocolate stick supports she had.  That would have been helpful, ours collapsed several times in the making.  Oh well.  It was fun and Little Guy enjoyed getting to knock it down with an Angry Bird after he blew out the candles.

Book Shop

I ventured into Barnes and Noble* the other day with all four kids.  It was sort of fun to see their end cap displays and see how many books on them were favorites of mine from last year.  Or were books I've read.  Pretty good since this is only the teen section of the store.  Also pretty sad because most of the books I read in 2012 were teen books.

I've marked them for your easy scanning.  The Green Circles mean they are on my top 10 of 2012 list.  The Orange Circle means I've read them.  The Yellow Circle means a book by the same author made my 2012 list.  Sorry, you may have to click to enlarge to be able to see my Circles.

I find what fits under "realistic fiction" humorous for some of these books.

*PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Barnes and Noble, do not shut down the one in my town.  We already lost Borders.

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