Sunday, February 28, 2010


winter formal has come and gone. a really fun evening for my eden. thank you to michael munton for being the PERFECT date for her. they are two peas in a pod. on the way over to the home where photos were to be taken and dinner served, they were talking about vintage suspenders and franklin roosevelt, then the conversation progressed to math scores. when i left them they were in a sea of major orange county high school fluff...but i think they emerged unscathed. the dance was "so fun", eden reported to me at about 1am, after she had "breakfast" (april made german pancakes, and i made vanilla syrup) at carsons house after the dance. oh, and the party bus, complete with stripper pole (and 60 plus kids), i might add, was well utilized. apparently this said pole is a common limo accessory these days. 
who thinks of these things anyway?
call me old fashioned.
(my older girls are rolling their eyes about now)

oh, and emma...i borrowed your sequined tube top and made eden a bag out of it.
we couldnt find a clutch big enough for her size 10 flip flops.
so i had to get creative, about an hour before she was to leave.
(i think my mind works better under pressure)
 thanks for having a closet handy we can rummage through.
wink, wink...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

more simple green and other stuff

so as much as the kids complain that their high school looks like a jail, and actually feels like a jail...this place has some legitimate scenery in the springtime. so i have to write another post about the gorgeous green we experience in our neck of the woods. i know all over southern california it is a green paradise, but for some reason this little valley where tesoso sits, becomes magic to my eyes. 
so kids, be grateful you attend a school/jail that is so beautiful.

so this "green" experience was this very rainy hunter ventured into his first swim meet. love the pool deck for some reason...and loved seeing my polo boys again. they are all about getting their picture taken. they have learned when they see me approach the water, camera in hand, they scramble to pose, climbing over each other to make sure they are seen. i hardly even have to say anything anymore...they know what to do...because i cant be screaming directions to them (i did that last polo season)...they just do it now, instinctively. they are well trained little puppets of mine. they even respond to hand signals. lots of funny faces and antics from them, knowing i will capture a priceless image. 
best part is when i see one of my pictures posted as their facebook profile pic. 
love it. 
and better yet, 
when they add me as a friend. 

very cool indeed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

simple green

love the green the rain and this time of year produces. 
the sharp, clear and bright chartreuse.
and i dont mind driving all that much when the journey looks like this.
i have been known to point out lovely colors in nature on a regular basis.
just another mom thing i do.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

dead battery

(reject dress number one)

(winner dress number nine)

eden took the day off today, so we ran to the mall (well, not literally. if dane read this
he would think we actually "ran" to the mall...such a literal boy) to find
her a winter formal dress, because
as you all know, i scored tickets when they were all sold out.
kind of a long story...
just call me wonder mother.

i grabbed my camera, and out we went. 
ended up at macy's, meandered through the shoe department first, then quickly grabbed about 
10 dresses in the next department over...and found the biggest dressing room we could. 

i got my camera out to take photos of eden in each dress...a fun post, i was thinking...
until my battery died. 
hadnt changed it in sidetracked i guess. 
so one lousy shot was all i got.
so frustrating.

found one dress, out of about 10. found some pretty blingy high heels (a first for her),
and even found a rhinestone bracelet and earrings at the kiosk
across from lucky.
all of this completed in just 2 hours (complete with a power walk),
and just in time to pick up dane on time.
 and we even had a pretzel for a treat.

remind me to charge my battery on a regular basis.

good day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

fresh lemonade

uh, just call me fanny farmer, cuz my citrus trees are going crazy. one rather puny orange tree produces very little, but the fruit is HUGE...and the lemon trees produce buckets and buckets...all year long.
so, i am putting the word out. anyone who wants lemons, come and get them.
you know the saying...
when life gives you lemons,

someone must be trying to tell me something...
cuz i have LOTS of lemons.

Monday, February 22, 2010

once upon a time...

a long time ago we lived in murrieta. for me it seems like last year, sometimes it seems like a dream...however for the folks who saw hunter and eden yesterday, it became a reality for me that it wasnt yesterday. when we left in 2001, hunter was about to enter 1st grade, eden 3rd. i can still see that little boy and girl in front of me like holograms sometimes. so the shock of my old friends seeing these kids yesterday all grown up is understandable. 
we attended the missionary homecoming of derrick hales...a darling boy who served a successful mission in baltimore maryland. our families were close, back in the day when together we had 9 little ones in our entourage. when hunter and ashley held hands while venturing into their first day of kindergarten and derrick was famous for a glorious (and very realistic) chicken noise we all thought was so funny. so fun to go back and rub shoulders with wonderful people, including the dowdens who became an extension of our family, quite literally because we were all of 2 houses away. i was "mama #2" to those kids, and she was "mama #2" to mine. we shared lots of family dinners together, carpool duties and even a wonderful lake powell trip spent on their houseboat. grandpa and grandma murphy were in between us too, so we got the benefits of even extended grandparents, who came in handy when it was time to kill rats who had climbed into garbage disposals...(yes, you heard me right...this story deserves a post of its own) and who shared their home grown crookneck squash with us in the summer. the memories i have could fill pages and pages of blog posts, they could go on forever and ever. those memories near and dear to my heart, will stay there, a permanent fixture. they are like precious gems i desperately hold onto. and the frosting on the cake is when we do occasionally see these fine seems like we never left. 
the same warmth and closeness front and center. 
so when it was time to go, and we got in the car, my kids expressed their feelings to me in such a wonderful way. the happy, good feelings oozing out of them...they felt loved, they felt special and they know good people when they see them. they were using the words "down to earth" and "loving" and "great". they were almost amazed at the love shown to them...the warmth they felt. 
the warmth that only true and loyal friends have to give.

so thank you dear friends for being great examples of how 
we should be and how we should live our lives. 
your warmth will never be outdone. 

(and see, diana...the photo turned out cute!)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

died and gone to coleslaw heaven

hunter and i LOVE coleslaw for some strange reason.
and of course, no one else loves it at all.
they all look at us really strangely when we get excited about eating cabbage. 
want a snack? have some coleslaw. 
whats for dinner? coleslaw. 
if i dont have a head of cabbage in the crisper, 
its time to run to the market. 
and while the ready made coleslaw dressing is good, 
i was determined to make my own...and now, 
we love coleslaw even more, 
if that is even possible. 
weird, i know.

coleslaw heaven dressing

1 1/2 head cabbage sliced
 sliced green onion (to taste)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp pepper (i added way more)
1/4 cup milk
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 TBS white wine vinegar
2 1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice

combine with chopped cabbage and chill 1 hour before serving

Friday, February 19, 2010

remember third grade?

dane participated in this third grade play, written and directed by his teacher. (have i told you she is wonderful?) it was darling...talked about the history of orange county, even made reference to the real housewives. it was hilarious, however only us adults got the humor in it all. 
the kids did a great job delivering the punch lines. 
danes character was james irvine. 
i even made a trip to uci bookstore yesterday to get his "outfit".

and they sang "proud to be an american" thoughts quickly did a rewind, and was remembering a time when the older kids had programs in school when that same song was sung. i had an image of emma, fifth grade i think. there she was decked out in red, white and blue...singing her heart out. 

he ran up to me afterwards, grinning ear to ear, and threw his arms around me.
he was so happy he did well.
i was happy he did well.
he memorized his lines perfectly, spoke slowly and even had lots of inflection in his voice.
job well done dane, and he even said his teacher told him his "costume" was PERFECT!!

what more could you ask for on a friday afternoon?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

precious cargo

when you have this particular load of stuff in your car, you know you had a good day.
thank you to my relief society friends for making a chore so much fun.

and christina, i ended up with your glue sticks and the breakfast casserole was divine...
oh, if i could just craft and sew all day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

everyone loves a scotty dog

best in show

best trouble maker

best original scotty

Sunday, February 14, 2010

brownie love

pretty self explanatory.
brownies in cupcake form.
happy love day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

little people

one day i wont have these on my stairwell... 
or this giant lego mess, and little boys sprawled on my floor. 
i will miss all of this when it goes away.

luckily i have a few more years left.

Friday, February 12, 2010

too quiet

so i miss this boy...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

3 out of 5

3 out of 5 flown the coop.

1 in utah.
1 in florida.
1 in rome.

pretty quiet around here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

double life

i talk a big fight.

i love simple.
i hate clutter.
despise it.
my mantra is less is more...

so i am co-chair for the relief society enrichment committee.
or whatever it is called.
they change the name frequently.

i sit in meetings where we talk about "stuff".
i voice my opinion loud and clear, "i do not like all
that ga-ga stuff...absolutely no frou-frou".
who wants another handout anyways.
i have been hurt one too many times by handouts
thrown on the floor, which i have spent literally
hours on, and hundreds on colored ink.
and who cares about decorations?
a white tablecloth and some plastic 
dinnerware will do the job.

so i leave these meetings vowing to keep it simple.
then my mind starts thinking about all the cute stuff out there,
just waiting to be made.
calling my name.
then i start dreaming about it.
then it is all over.

so, this is my simple, un-cluttered, no frills display of the cute t-shirt dresses
we will be making the night of the relief society birthday celebration
for the children of haiti.
and i cant even tell you how cute the tables are going to be,
 donated dresses we will hang all over the cultural hall,
vintage dinnerware, doilies and yummy food...

uh, sister johnson, what did you just say about simplifying?

no more just sittin around talking about the service we will
render, the good deeds we will perform...we are making 100 
(i know i originally said 50-but were uppin it, girls) 
of these that night.
see, there is strength in numbers, and i am tapping that.

well, dont ask me to decorate anymore.
because this is what you will get.
ga-ga, clutter...and frou-frou.
and did i mention a mess at home, neglected children
and cold cereal for dinner.

i am one confused woman.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

bring on the mundane

i had an epiphany of sorts yesterday while walking the isles of ralphs supermarket with dane. i love the mundane now. love the common. love the old school feel of ralphs supermarket. like the hughes market i used to shop at when we lived in murrieta, and when i had two or three, or even four little ones with me at all times. back then, tiny socked feet dangling from the front seat of the cart, an older inquisitive one hanging on to the side. i was always in such a hurry. always had so much to do. never took time to enjoy the little pleasures of life. i wish i had slowed down, and taken my time. taken the time to relax, and enjoy the moment. one day, when i get to live my life over again, 
i am going to do just that.

we had about an hour to kill before dane was supposed to be at scouts, so we leisurely were taking our time. we walked slowly down each isle, dane sipping his orange drink from a earlier drive thru visit to mcdonalds...the straw bent and chewed on, the cup empty. we talked about which pop tart is his favorite, and went down the cereal isle and talked about better choices for cereal. better choices for drinks too, and how we were not going to buy lemonade anymore because of the sugar content. ventured into the frozen food area where he told me which kind of pizza they serve at his school. i asked if he wanted a box...he said no. we strolled into the bread isle, and he became mezmerized by the greeting cards directly across from the baked goods...he was reading every one. and i didnt hurry him. we looked in the dairy section for his favorite yogurt and were lucky enough to find a box of 8 with all strawberry, not strawberry and peach, because you know, no one likes the peach ones.  we decide which kind of shredded cheese would be best on the enchiladas we were going to assemble at home and decided on the mexican mix. maneuvered our cart into the baby isle and bought diapers, wipes and rice cereal for the care and share collection at his school. i hope he remembers this.

we had seen every isle, so we loaded all the groceries onto the counter at the register. then the cashier had to ring up the woman ahead of us all over again, all because she hit the wrong button. we waited patiently, and checked out the gum and candy in the meantime. looking for anything cinnamon.
she was flustered-but a-ok with us.
no sighs, no rolling of the eyes. we were good.

dane helped me get the groceries out of the basket, reaching in deep to get the items on the bottom. he inquired as to about how much all of this would cost, his mouth agape when i told him...turned out it was twice the amount i estimated. then we started a conversation about hand sanitizer, and how brianna at school, has a "big bottle" of it with a note on it which reads "please ask before you take". i then asked him what happened to his big bottle..."oh, it was gone a long time ago". so i bought him a little bottle at the register, which can be attached to his backpack...i know, hunter, 
this is such a nerdy thing to do. 
its ok. 
i like nerds. 
we are in touch with our geeky side...maybe you should be too.

Monday, February 8, 2010

light the candle, please

just couldnt eat the cheesecake...
before the candle time.
poor eden, gets a bootleg birthday cake,
with only one candle, and a giant bite out of it.
what slackers we are.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

let's play in the street

two big boys having fun with a frisbee.
those boys stick together.