craigslist & the dear old couch

In making preparations around the nest for the new baby bird I have come across various items that I decided had fulfilled their purpose for us. Being the sentimental individual that I am I was finding it difficult to part with the items.

Thank goodness money talks.

I concluded that if I could sell these things on craigslist then the dollars earned would ease the pain of losing my valued posessions. Shallow, I know.

Last night we sold a dear old couch. Before coming to look at it, the guy I spoke with on the phone asked if we were capable of delivering it. Knowing that if it didn't sell at all we would have to take it somewhere I said we could do that. When the young couple showed up they brought with them a little boy. "What a cute little family" I thought to myself.

They were cute, and very kind. Albeit a little dysfunctional. During the proceedings it came out that the girl was still in the process of a divorce. I swear she wasn't a day over 20. Anyway...

Richard delivered the couch and said that their small duplex was indeed in need of furniture. He said that they were grateful to get a good deal on a decent couch and even more appreciative of our effort to help them move it. It made me feel good. Knowing that our dear old couch with have more happy bottoms seated on it for a few more years was much better than the monetary compensation for my loss.

See, not so shallow afterall.

When all was said and done the young guy said to Richard, "Wow, I guess craigslist really works."

He must be a first-timer.

pictures in polos

I have been waiting for the weather to cool off to get some pictures taken by a real photographer. But the other day the boys looked nice in their little polos and I knew that those shirts would never look so good again. And I know that family members far and wide like to see the little brown eyed chaps. Enough with the excuses!

viewing pleasure & displeasure

On Tuesday night after the boys were in bed and all was quiet I sat down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn a couple popsicles. In the ways of my father I put the popsicles in the microwave for just a few seconds so they are soft and each bite melts in my mouth. I put in a dvd recommended by my family, a BBC miniseries called Cranford, based on a few short novels by Elizabeth Gaskell. (Think Jane Austen, 1840s, English countryside, etc.) I watched two episodes and they ended much too soon. Let me just summarize what I adored so much about this show. The script and dialogue were clever, humorous and used words either new or rarely used in my vocabulary. The characters, while they had their flaws, were admirable, moral and endearing. The scenery was breathtaking at times and simply charming at others. The plot was creative and engaging. All of these things combined left me in a contented state as I lay down to go to bed. I felt like a better person.

In contrast, last night I crashed on the couch, and having watched all available episodes of Cranford I turned on primetime t.v. There is that dream that people frequently mention, where you are running and running but can not get away from the villain that is chasing you. That is how I felt last night. I flipped channels frantically and could not get away from the sleeze. No single show interested me or failed to disgust me for more than five minutes. Sadly I sat there for about 40 minutes desperate to find something entertaining. Instead I found terrible acting, poor writing, lame plots, a lot of women in lingerie, a pregnant high school cheerleader who was unsure of the baby's father, women getting drunk and describing their sexual fantasies, and well I won't bother you further with the other demoralizing behaviors and references.

When I went to bed I felt awful. My mind was busy with images and frustrated by what I had seen. I felt much worse as a person.

I don't mean to say that there aren't good shows on t.v. (I occasionally watch The Biggest Loser.) But apparently there just aren't any on Wednesday nights. I rarely watch tv, I have found other ways to waste my time. So perhaps after not being exposed to primetime sitcoms and dramas for months it was a bit of a shock to my system. Shocked I was indeed. Can anyone relate?

I can't wait for the next Cranford dvd to arrive.

extraordinary day

I've always wondered about the word extraordinary. I always thought if something was extra ordinary it was just more ordinary. But the dictionary tells me that it means exceptional. Either way, our day yesterday was extraordinary. It was in many ways just another ordinary day, but it was exceptional in that we were all three (Richard is out of town) content and happy the entire day. It was so pleasant.

In the evening I took the boys to a movie. Tuesdays are bargain days at the already bargain theater. For $7 I paid for each of our tickets, popcorn, a drink and two candy items. The highlight of the evening for me? The boys were both so engrossed in the movie I got to eat most of the popcorn and all of the candy by myself. Wonderful.
My friend Jaymie gave me a great tip regarding toddlers and movie theater seats. She suggested that you bring in the youngsters car seat and not only does it keep their chair from flipping up and folding them in half, but it gives them a good six inches of height that allows them a clear shot of the giant screen. While I got things settled with his seat, Eli fought a battle with another chair and with his knees touching his nose and his feet in the air he whimpered in frustration. When I put him in his carseat he giggled with delight. I think Cameron was even a little jealous.
Before the movie started I placed a napkin on Eli's lap and put popcorn on top, expecting it to last 10 seconds. Much to my surprise he never finished the popcorn. He was so captivated by the movie he never took his eyes from the screen. Except for the time he asked for a drink and poured the Sprite all over himself. That was our only mishap but luckily he was enjoying himself so much he didn't mind being covered in carbonated beverage.
Cameron was equally enthralled but that didn't stop him from asking questions the entire movie. Richard says he gets that from me, but I'm hopeful it is just a phase. At first the people behind us laughed at his sweet curiosity. But by the end I think they were as anxious as I for him to sit quietly and just watch.

I rarely watch a movie more than once in the theater. I get restless in theaters easily and it takes a good movie to keep my interest even during the first viewing. (I had seen this one before in different company.) But luckily I had a very wiggly unborn girl and two immobilized boys sitting next to me to sustain me with gratitude throughout the movie.

And Up! is a clever and humorous film worth watching.


Church lasts three hours and for several years now I have spent the last two hours of the meeting tending to the needs of the children, working in primary for those familiar with the lingo. Along with three other women we were responsible for 60-100 children. It made for a pretty intense, but very rewarding couple of hours each Sunday.

Today I was released from that obligation. I went to the adult meetings for the first time in years. As I sat during the last hour I could hear the boys and girls singing and I felt that I had left my heart in the room across the hall.

Although it was stressful in primary, it was always satisfying to feel needed. People relied on me and the kids looked up to me. (At least in my own mind they did.)

Today I felt like a nobody. Just another body in the building. I longed to sit by a restless child and hear them jibber-jabber about Pokemon. Kids love a captive audience. Then again, so do adults...

In any case, I will miss the children. I will miss their irrelevent comments and their brutal honesty. I will miss their inappropriate moments of putting their hands down their pants that left us adults breathless in laughter.

Eating boogers, climbing under chairs, throwing tantrums.

Giving me hugs, genuine smiles, singing like angels.

Giveaway Winner

Thanks everyone for participating, even if it was because I guilted you into it. Thanks for sharing your insights into role models and especially thanks for the new names introduced to me. I plan to do a little research on Muhammad Yunus, Eleanor Roosevelt (not a new name but I don't remember much about her) and Greg Mortensen. (Or just read his book!)

The random number generated #2, which is Joleen. I'll be in touch with you.

Thanks! Have a great weekend and if you didn't win, check out Mere Christianity from the library.

no thanks

There are many things that I have come to love solely because my children love them.

Playdoh is not one of those things.


Wow. That has to be the lamest giveaway in blog history. Quite frankly I'm depressed because either

1. I will take it personally that mine is the only blog that does a giveaway that fails to produce at least a dozen contributions.


2. None (except four) of the readers of this blog could think of anyone worth admiring.

I didn't set a deadline so I will go ahead and wait until Saturday to do the "random number generator". Then I will put this poor giveaway out of it's misery.

Don't take it personally Clive, it has nothing to do with your book being the prize.

role models

The other day Richard and I were discussing modern day role models. I was trying to make a point but for the life of me I could not think of anyone, alive today, who I admired the way I admire men and women from history who have made great sacrifices for the betterment of society.

I'm talking about someone who with either passion or talent has made this world a better place, and maintained their dignity and integrity in the process. Someone who embodies all the traits we want to posess and especially we want our children to possess.

A hero of sorts. I racked my brain for someone famous whose example I would be anxious for my children to follow but all I could come up with were political figures, athletes and media celebrities who have been spoiled by party agenda, greed or fame.

I hate to be a cynic, so I am on a quest. I am curious who your shining examples are. I'll even turn this quest into a blog giveaway.

The criteria: It doesn't even have be someone famous. Just tell me about someone who is selfless and good and has somehow contributed to the well-being of others on a large scale. And they have to be living.

The prize: A copy of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, because he is a hero of my own. And because I am currently reading the book, and although I have to read some paragraphs three or four times, I am thoroughly enjoying it.

So pray tell, who is your role model?

(Although I am tempted to select a winner based on the idol that best suits my taste, I will select randomly.)

bubble wrap

I love receiving packages in the mail. Oh yes. And now that Cameron and Eli's little fingers are strong enough to pop the bubble packaging they can enjoy these UPS and FedEx delights along with me.
They started out on the floor but became so engrossed in the task that they moved to a more comfortable location on the couch, where they spent the better part of an hour.

eight years

Like most Americans I can remember clearly the events of my day on September 11 2001. I was a student at ISU and I remember my roommate turning on the radio in the morning after the first crash. We watched the second plane crash on tv and then I left for class.

I'll never forget walking home from class and seeing my roommate sitting on the front porch, cell phone in hand and despair in her face. Her cousin was in one of the Towers and no one had heard from him. He was killed that day.

For the sake of those who suffered a great loss that day I would never wish to go back. But for the sake of those of us who have forgotten all the kindness and unity we felt as a country, I almost wish we could.

So on the anniversary today of that terrible tragedy I want to pay tribute. I want to pay tribute to those who lost their lives and the families they left behind. But I also want to pay tribute to the compassion we are capable of as a country.

messy messy

I had such a clumsy messy day yesterday. I tried to cook Talapia in the microwave and it exploded, after only a few seconds!

My bag of flour was damaged in transition from grocery story to home and now there is flour all over the floor of the van.

When I opened my delicious Cascade Ice drink it fizzed all over my hand, arm, and skirt.

That doesn't quite cover the damages done but you get the idea. It was jut one of those days.

But thank goodness when a mysterious tupperware of brown leftovers jumped out of the refrigerator and spread itself across the kitchen floor, Misha came to the rescue. I'd much rather swiffer the dog-licked residue than the entire gooey disaster.


I am intrigued by the tulip fields in the Netherlands. I am intrigued by a great number of European places and interests. I want try it out.

I want to experience Europe.

I don't mean I want to take an intense ten day vacation across the Atlantic to see the Eiffle Tower and Swiss Alps. I want to live there.

I want it so badly. I can't explain it but I just want to get to know the people. See things differently. Ride the Eurorail and eat cheese all the time.

Speaking of cheese, I want to sort out all the stereotypes. I want destroy preconceived notions. I just want to be someplace foreign. But not just anywhere.

I'm not sure why I don't feel this way about Africa or the Asian world. I've been to South America now and while I feel there is a great deal to learn from those folks, it is Europe that my heart longs for.

the cannery

Our church has an amazing welfare program to assist members in need. It is run in great part by volunteers. The other day Marisa and I spent our morning canning peaches at the Garden City Cannery.

It's such a feel good experience all around. It seems to me that a sense of humor is a requirement for the full-time employees and volunteers. At one point a rubber rat came floating down the conveyor belt and fell into a can of peaches. (No worries, I'm sure it was sterile.) Marisa screamed and I looked up to see the supervisor getting a good laugh at our expense.

Since four hours is a long time for this prego to go without eating I took a break halfway through. In the hallway they set up a table to with homemade bread and various samples of jam and jelly produced there at the cannery. While snacking I read a quote on the wall. I have a terrible memory and had nothing to write it down with so I will have to do my best to re-quote it. Forgive me Jean Christensen because your words were very eloquent.
"Ultimately I find that I only matter when I matter to someone else. I am only whole when I have divided myself amongst all those who need me. I stand the tallest when I have stooped down to help another. I can only find myself when I have lost myself in service."

It's in the air and I can't resist

Several years ago shortly after we were married I discovered something about Richard and decided it was a crossroad. I concluded that I must choose to either tolerate this interest of his that occupied him for hours on Saturday afternoons, or I could embrace it. I decided to embrace it.

My foundation for a love of college football had been laid after attending a few BYU football games with my older brother and sister. The Cougs love their football team and it's contagious.

The first personal step in my conversion was Richard and I signing up for a co-ed flag football team at ISU. We had a great time (despite the turf burns) and I learned for the first time what a first down was. After understanding the fundamentals of football it became much easier to watch a game.

But what has really deepened my love for the game has been jumping on the BSU bandwagon since we moved back to Boise three years ago. Now I love this time of year and I love watching the anticipation in Richard's eyes as Game Day approaches. This year I saw that same anticipation in Cameron's eyes with all the talk of Bronco football, and of course whatever excites Cameron excites Eli. Thanks for not disappointing last night Broncos.

**And now I am going to do something that I usually frown upon. I am going to post several pictures that are all basically the same but different enough that a mother feels compelled to post them all. The great game-day gear was provided by my loyal Bronco fan mother-in-law.


Cameron started preschool this week. It's pretty much a win-win for all involved.
Cameron: Gets four hours a week of play time with kids his own age, snacks, crafts and of course we hope he is learning something.
Me: I get to be the parent of only one child which makes running errands less complicated and one-on-one time with Eli more achievable.
Eli: The poor boy is so used to playing "as instructed" that I think he is going to enjoy two hours twice a week to play as his little heart desires without big bossy brother.


I've been in denial about the end of summer. Since no one around here is attending school I had defined Labor day as the end of summer. Well, I was devastated to learn that the SnoCone shack was operating on a different schedule. As I pulled into the gravel parking lot where I have been indulging all summer in icy goodness, the shack was completely absent. No sign that it had ever existed.

It was a sad moment because I was craving something fruity but also because I had to come to terms with Fall. I love Fall and I am looking forward to pumpkins and football, but I am sad to see the tan on my little boys toes fade away.

To my great fortune, Moxie Java seems to be in my camp as far as when summer ends. As I turned my van around to go home I saw painted in the window of the coffee shop

"Italian Sodas $0.99 ALL SUMMER!"

A raspberry Italian soda was just what I needed.