Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fangs for the memories...

So just because I wanted to, I started pulling up some of the October folders in my pictures folder. Here are some of my favorite memories from past Halloweens (I only started taking digital pics in 2000, and can't be bothered to scan tonight... so no baby ones. Sorry!):


Michael as Ronald McDonald. This one cracked me up.


Remember the powerpuff girls?
DeAnna and her two cousins.


Michael as Harry Potter &
DeAnna with a really bad Jasmine wig.



Michael as Napoleon Dynamite.
He kept this face the entire night.



DeAnna in one of Nana's Clown Costumes.


Michael as his favorite Band's singer at the time...
I can't remember his name.


DeAnna as Hannah Montana


Michael as a vampire.

My mom also always gets into the spirit of Halloween.
Never do I remember her not being in at least
a witches hat when kids came to the door. :)


Dressed up as a clown at the ward trunk or treat.


Another year at the ward trunk or treat.
She pulled one of the seats down in the back
of her car and poked herself through it.
Laying very still with eyes closed, she waited
for the poor unsuspecting children to come to
her car, then she scared the crap out of them!

Can't wait to see all the costumes
out there tomorrow night! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Which witch is which?


Yesterday we went to Gardner Village to see all the witches with our good friends, the Hottons. Afterwards, we went to their house for lasagna and the best home made cheesy bread sticks I have ever tasted! (If you want to make them for yourself, you can get the recipe on Ruthanne's new blog, Ruthies Diner.)

















Clarissa enjoying the yummy lasagna. :)


Hot Hubby & Tayden playing Spiderman


Ruthanne sharing her baking wisdom with
DeAnna... someone has to!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Go with the flow...

MaryBeth that was very fun.
I'm an Esme too. :)
Click on the pic below to find out which character you are.
CH, this really is just for girls. LOL
(But if you want to try...
I would be interested fo find out who you are!)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The show must go on...

Despite beginning to lose her voice, (and having a very sore throat which left her not feeling very well), DeAnna performed in her choir concert singing "That's How You Know" from Enchanted. We couldn't have been prouder, (although she is her own worst critic and didn't want me to post this). Well, TOUGH DEANNA! I thought you were awesome!

(For all the techno-challenged, you do have to press play! :))

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cleanliness is next to Godliness...

Sometimes I question how I could possibly be my children's mother. I don't know what is wrong with them. They cannot keep their bedrooms clean no matter what! I have kept them inside, taken away privileges, even stooped to offering a quite generous allowance if they will JUST KEEP THEIR ROOMS CLEAN!!!! Nothing works. They clean it every now and then when I get SOOOOOOOOO mad that I make them stay in there until it is done, but two days later it is the back to the same old mess.

I hate the trash not being able to make it to the trash can. I hate the heaps of dirty laundry. I hate the piles of stuff stacked on all their counters. I hate stubbing my toes on things left strewn out all over the floor. I hate tripping over video game cords or football helmets. I HATE THE UTTER DISARRAY!!!

So this week after much thought about my predicament, I came up with a GENIUS idea to get my kids to clean their disgusting bedrooms. I would simply threaten to post pictures of their pigsty's on the blog for all to see and shame them in to cleaning. I was sure they would jump right off the beds as I was snapping pictures and push me out of their rooms as they hurried to make them sparkle. :)

Yeah, not so much. When I told them what I was going to do (while snapping pics), Michael tells me in a very sarcastic voice, (and without batting an eyelid as he continues to play video games), "Oooh I am so threatened mom", and DeAnna looks up at me, smiles and says, "Cheese".

Have you no shame my children????? Seriously. It's humiliating.

Thankfully, by pure luck, they both wanted something within the hour that I could withhold from them until the rooms were clean.

It turns out my son will clean his room for a CUPCAKE, (thank you to my visiting teacher, Maggie for bringing them over... you were truly inspired), and my daughter cleaned really quickly when I told her I was going to Walmart and that she would NOT be coming if her room wasn't tidy. (Hey, whatever works.)

Still, for the pure SPITE of it, I am posting the before and after pictures, and PLEASE... make sure to tell them you saw their disgusting rooms and that you can't believe they could live like that. I have a feeling they will be more embarrassed than they let on!

We'll start with Michael's room:

Notice the lethal cords spread stealthily across the floor to trip a poor unexpecting mother who comes in to kiss her son goodnight. And what exactly is the point of a bed side table when you can't even see the alarm clock and it is piled high with trash? Yes, he is laying in a bed that is not even made... and his pillow doesn't even have a pillow case on it. Oh the shame!

Can you tell me why you have a laundry basket in the room if you are just going to throw the clothes AROUND it??? There are several video games, some even OUT OF THE CASES, just laying on the floor... (those things are NOT cheap!) And more cords... dang things.

DeAnna's Room:

There is actually a perfectly good, comfy chair under that pile of clothes. It sits in front of a desk, which you wouldn't be able to see... because it is covered in stuff. I can count THREE pairs of shoes in the small space photographed here. How many pairs can you wear at once? And I can't even tell you how many items of clothing and purses are scattered all over her floor.

Ah yes, the Disney collection of JUNK that just sprawls itself all over the shelves. I'm counting three cups on the bedside table... that doesn't include the ones she has on the dresser on the other side of the bed, or the ones she stashes in the bathroom. The box under her bedside table is one she hasn't unpacked yet, (we moved here over a year ago), and yes, that is a pillow in her laundry basket!

Here are the improved, definitely not perfect, but narrowly acceptable rooms after a bit of tidying.

I can see the alarm clock... the floor is more or less clear and you can't see it, but the clothes are all in the laundry basket. The bed is somewhat made... and the pillow has a cover on it now. There is still a cord stretched across the room, but I had faith he would put it away before I came in to kiss him goodnight. (I didn't trip, so it must have been where it was supposed to be.)

Yea! I can see FLOOR!!!! Cups are gone... counter is clear. Disney stuff is organized and pillows are on the bed (although I think I would have washed it first if it was me... I'm just saying.) You can't see the chair and desk, but they are visible and usable... and her closet is even tidy!

Honestly, I'll take it for now... but ten bucks says it won't still look like this tomorrow. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

He Said She Said...

Welcome to another edition of He Said, She Said... starring Hot Hubby's answers in Green, and mine in Pink. We're asking all the questions you really don't give a crap about, but hey! We're having a ball. (Why not join in on the fun and go through the questions with your better half too!)

1. How many times did you date before your first kiss?

She Said: I can't remember how many times exactly, but I can remember it was about a month.

He Said: Let me think here... maybe four? (Yeah, short memory buddy... it took forever to get you to kiss me.)


2. Where was your favorite hang-out during your dating days?

She Said: We went to the movies EVERY weekend, twice... so all the employees at Wheaton Plaza Movie Theater knew us... we also hung out at Bob's Big Boy and frequented the bowling alley.

He Said: The movies!


3. What was the funniest thing that you remember about your spouse when you dated?

She Said: Him mooning the rude people in Bob's Big Boy as we left the restaurant with Jenna and MaryBeth.

He Said: The ketchup incident. Anytime a person can laugh when they have ketchup all over their white sweater, that's awesome.


4. What cartoon character does your spouse remind you of?

She Said: Fred Flinstone... he is all tough and "get me this, woman" in front of people, but as soon as they are not looking he is kissing up and being a total teddy bear.

He Said: Betty Rubble (Then he immitates her funny laugh.) (I do not sound like Betty Rubble when I laugh!)


5. What item of clothing would you most like to see removed from your spouses closet?

She Said: There are a few, but I think they Grumpy shirt has had it. It is old, and it has Grumpy on it for heavens sake! Oh, and get rid of those converse boats while you are at it!

He Said: Nothing Really! (I wonder if he has seen my big plastic shoes :)... Or maybe I just don't have enough clothes! Perhaps a shopping trip is in order!)


6. What is your favorite dish that your spouse prepares for dinner?

She Said: My favorite dish is the one he takes me out to eat. He pretty much just cooks pancakes otherwise.

He Said: You know what I like? There are a ton of things, but right now I love the orange chicken and rice.


7. What flower best describes your spouse when they get up in the morning?

She Said: A sunflower! And it drives me nuts. No-one should be that happy in the morning!

He Said: A tulip. It takes a little bit for it to open up and blossom, but once it does it is bright the rest of the day. (He is way too nice... I was sure he would say I was a snapdragon!)


8. What traffic sign describes your spouse on a bad day?

She Said: "Caution... Animal Crossing."

He Said: "Yield" or "One Way" 'cause it's your way or the highway! (Now that's just plain rude!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

You don't know what you've got till it's gone...

Ah, the smell of the fresh, clean air... the sound of crisp leaves under your feet... the brightness of the oranges, pinks, reds, yellows... IT'S FALL TIME! :)

Oh my bad!!! I forgot, I live in the desert... there is no fall. :( Seriously, here is a picture of the biggest tree at my house shedding it's leaves:



It's pretty pathetic isn't it?


Here is my favorite memory of Fall on the east side of the country...




What my new memories of Fall on the west side of the county will consist of...



Yep, you better believe that is snow on my car. (Taken October 12th). I have never known such strange weather patterns in all my life. It literally can be 70 degrees one day, then snowing the next... actually it doesn't have to even be the next day... it can be 70 degrees during the day and snow THAT NIGHT. It is almost as if there is some little elf somewhere picking the temperature for the day out of a hat. (And having a good giggle about it.)

I have to admit. I loved the fall. Emily Bronte (The British novelist who wrote Bella's favorite book, Wuthering Heights), summed up my feelings best when she wrote:

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me,

fluttering from the Autumn tree."

To truly appreciate that line, you would have to seen the Autumn colors that I have seen... this little collage is made from our family picture shoot during our very last fall in Maryland... just look at the colors of the trees... they are breathtaking. It is like God painted them all by hand.


Don't get me wrong, there is definitely an incredible beauty that radiates from the mountains, and even the snow... but I have to say my heart aches every October with a desire to see the true Autumn colors that I have enjoyed year after year throughout my life.

So to my friends from the east, enjoy every moment of this fall for me. Notice every color... take your kids out jumping in the HUGE piles of leaves, let the leaves speak bliss to you... and to my friends in the west... please oh please, TELL ME! Where can I get me some of this?????

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nothing lasts forever...

... and in this case, THANK HEAVENS!!!!

I am giving five out of five daisies to Imodium AD,

and Activa Yogurt.


After feeling seriously ILL for three whole days to the point that I had to go to the doctor, these two products, which she recommended, SAVED me literally within minutes.

Long live Imodium AD
& Activa Yogurt!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'll go forward, a young man prepared...

CONGRATULATIONS

Michael Paul Collins Jr

on being ordained to the office of
Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood

Ordained by Michael Paul Collins Sr
October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

He Said, She Said...

While blog stalking, I found a blog where someone had been tagged to answer all these questions about their relationship with their hubby. (Hmm... that sounded like a decent, OK idea.) But an even better idea, I thought, would be to have hubby answer the questions too, and post both sets of answers to see if there were any differences on how both of us see things. (I would have to devise a plan to get him to participate, but I wasn't overly worried.)

So I took the list of questions, typed them out, and typed and printed my answers. Then I took extra paper and a pen along with my answers out on my date last night with my hot hubby. Once we were in the car, I told him I had a fun thing planned for us. ;) (That always raises his eyebrows in a suspicious, distrusting sort of way.) I proceeded to ask him the questions, jotting down word for word what he said. He was a tad hesitant at first, (first words were, "you're not gonna blog about this are you?") but he very quickly got in to the spirit of things, and after he had answered all the questions, I read him my answers.

Can I tell you, this was an ABSOLUTE BLAST for BOTH of us. I highly recommend you doing this with your hubby for some good fun.

So I present to you He Said, She Said. Starring Hot Hubby's answers and comments in pink, and all my answers (and ornery comments) in brown. :)


1. Who eats more?

She Said: This is just one of those things that is not fair. He eats way more than me, but you wouldn't know it to look at him. He will sit and eat an entire pound of M&M's or a half gallon of ice-cream or a dozen donuts. I can't eat a Hershey Kiss without it showing up on my body somewhere. (Obviously I DO eat my fair share of Hershey Kisses. :( )

He Said: ME! I eat WAY more than you do. (Clearly, he's a man of many words.)

2. Who is taller?

She Said: Him. By a measly 1 inch. That's why you rarely see me in heels.

He Said: Me, but if you have heels on, you are taller.

3. Who is smarter?

She Said: We both have things we are smarter at. That is why we are such a good match. he can fix about anything in the house except a computer. I can fix the computer. He can fix any physical ache any of us may have (through massage or exercises), but I am more apt to fix the emotional ailments of the family.

He Said: You of course! (Just his answer here proves his sheer genius... what kind of idiot would tell his wife he is smarter than her????)

4. Who is more stubborn?

She Said: He will say I am, though I have no idea what he is talking about.

He Said: (Way too quickly) You by 100 fold. (Yeah, forget the sheer genius thing.)

5. Who wears the pants in the relationship?

She Said: Him for sure! However, I have the belt that holds up the pants ;)

He Said: I wear the pants, but you have the belt that holds the pants up.

6. Who asked who out first?

She Said: He knew I played basketball and challenged me to a game. I didn't like guys paying for me on dates, so we bet that the winner got to pay for a movie. I did beat him by the way, but he still payed. :)

He Said: Kind of me. I didn't know how to ask you out so I challenged you to a basketball game. Then I beat you and we went to see Rocky 4. (You wish buddy. Your age it getting the best of your memory.)

7. Who kissed who first?

She Said: Ummmm... I honestly don't remember... that was a LOT of kisses ago.

He Said: (Grinning) You kissed me first and you laid it on me! (I HIGHLY doubt that. ;))

8. Who proposed?

She Said: Do you count throwing a ring at me and telling me to put it on as proposing? Don't get me started on this one. It's a bit of a sore point.

He Said: I proposed. (Liar! There was no proposal!)

Stay tuned next week for another episode of He Said, She Said... who knows, maybe we will make this a regular Saturday post... so if you have anything you would like to ask both of us, throw it in the comments section... we'll be happy to oblige. :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Truth is stranger than fiction...

Thank you Ruthanne for tagging me. It shows me how much you LOVE me. :) I love you too BTW.

Here are 6 things about me that some say could be considered quirky... (you be the judge):

1. My bed has to be made a certain way… perfectly, all the wrinkles smoothed out, symmetrical on each side. I like to get in it carefully and pull it over the top of me still made up. It can get messy after that, but it has to start out perfect.

2. I always choose the number 13. I don’t know why… I think it is because I know no-one else will choose it because they all think it is bad luck. I also like the volume on our bedroom TV to be on the number 13. Any less, I can’t hear it. Any more, I can’t fall asleep if I want to. 13. That’s what it is all about.

3. I don’t like to end with dessert because I don’t like being left with a sweet taste in my mouth. I will usually grab a pringle or a piece of cheese or something savory after eating something sweet. I AM NOT A SWEET GIRL (in either sense of the phrase.)

4. I HATE being chased up the stairs. I will usually try to be the last one to go up. Hubby knows this, and always waits for me to get a few stairs up, then runs after me. He usually has a very sore shoulder after this happens. (J/K)

5. I only drink iced water with a meal. I can’t imagine drinking milk, soda or juice… that is like mixing… baked beans with… ice-cream. Too many flavors!!!!!! It all about a tall glass of iced water. Mmmmmmmmmm. I am thirsty just thinking about it.

6. I don’t drink milk at ALL, (yuck), but if I have a piece of cake, I like to pour milk over it. Hubby thinks this is weird because I HATE soggy cereal to the point that I will pour a tiny amount of milk over my cereal and drink it off quickly, then eat the cereal… however, I will just let my cake, drenched with milk, dissolve into a bowl of mush.

And here are my six tags… DeAnna & Mike cause they love stuff like this, Jenna because she apparently has run out of things to blog about for the past couple of WEEKS, Karena, Sarah and Irene. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Poets are born not made...

So I would love to be able to say that I got my rhyming skills from my dad, but I think that would be an insult to him, because he is WAY better than I am. Here is the reply the REAL poet of the family emailed me when he read my last post:

If I were you, I'd meditate
On how to oxidize your mate.

I'd put HIM in the washing pile
And watch disintegrate his smile

As round and round the tub he span
Until he was well laundered man.

And then he would appreciate
He should not your displeasure bait

But self-comport with more concern
And for your better welfare yearn.

As for the kids, throw them away
And your bad temper fain allay.

Another kid you can obtain --
They're three a penny for your pain

If you are willing to invest
In snoodlums with your laundered pest.

But Michael and DeAnna?, well,
They're ultra cute -- it's hard to tell

If you could gain a better horde
By throwing them straight overboard.

Maybe it's better to retain
The kids and tolerate the stain!

And if you do, just bear in mind
That laundry blues will be a bind

Until the day you just admit
Your family is a mighty hit!
(By: Peter Joyce)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...

Listen closely and you'll hear,
the laundry nightmare of the year...

'Cause I just want to scream and shout,
when pockets don't get emptied out!

M&M's are worse than dirt,
when they get dried in to my shirt.

Though there are trash cans everywhere,
there's gum stuck on my underwear!

Abreva cost me fifteen bucks,
but now we're simply out of luck...

Since in a pocket it did stay
the cream has melted all away!

Lucky me! It's on MY clothes
Oh, my laundry pocket woes :(

But wait, there's more, don't go quite yet...
Here's what else they've gotten wet:

Money, house keys, trash galore,
letters from their teachers... MORE;

There's soggy crackers in my stuff
and if that doesn't seem enough...

Cell phones! Not just one, but TWO
(Another flushed right down the loo.)

Drives me crazy, makes me pout,
to see the lip gloss emptied out.

What's a mother s'posed to do
when DADDY even does it too?

Share, (I plead), your bright ideas
on how to cure my laundry fears!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em...

This week on Mike (Jr's) birthday, we ended up at South Towne Center Mall. We split up boys & girls as we usually do, (they don't want to shoe shop and we don't want to look at video games), and naturally, DeAnna and I found ourselves drawn into Payless by the big BOGO sign in the front window. (Buy one, get one half off... technically I think it should be BOGOHO, but whatever.)

What excited us even more was when we got in the store they had a ton of shoes at ridiculous clearance prices! Ooooooooh. Anyway, My husband has been looking at crocs... (well, actually Airwalk clogs, a discounted version of crocs that you can find in Payless,)...ever since we got to Utah. I don't know why, but they wear them much more here than they did when we were back east. The first time he mentioned them to me I told him adamantly that he could get them if he liked, but I would not be going out with him anywhere when he was wearing them. Why did he want them anyway? I myself refuse to wear shoes just because "everyone else is doing it". Those big plasticy shoes were a bit over the top as far as I was concerned, and why would ANYONE put those on their feet? Ha! (I laughed at him.) Ha, Ha, HA!!! That was the last time he mentioned them.

Well it just so happened that while we were in Payless, I saw a slew of the clogs on clearance for $3 a pair. Hmmm... wouldn't it be funny if I got a pair just as a joke? They had a large variety of colors in size 10. (Apparently not too many people have mammoth feet like me because I don't generally have a hard time finding shoes in my size.) There were red, navy blue, light blue, black, white, pink, orange and lots of different tie dyes to name a few. And $3? It was so worth the laugh. So I pulled out a nice bright orange pair and put them on my feet. Hmm... these actually felt quite comfortable. Almost like a winter flip-flop. (And you know how much I love flip-flops... I have like 30 pairs!) Huh... kind of bouncy... don't look too bad with my jeans really... I think I could maybe get used to these.

I couldn't decide on the pale pink with white skulls or the bright orange, so I just got both. When the lady rang me up, it came to a grand total of $4.81. Excuse me did you make some kind of mistake? Nope... I forgot, it's BOGO(HO). (Hmm... after separating it like that, I can kind of see why they don't add that on the end...). You mean BOGO(HO) works on clearance shoes too??? Oh Yeah!

Well all of a sudden I was feeling quite generous. Come on DeAnna, I will treat you to a couple of pairs of shoes too. (Usually she buys her own... she earns a good amount babysitting.)

Needless to say, we ended up with six pairs of shoes, (three pairs each), and the grand total including the aforementioned shoes was, (drum roll please), $20.83 :)



Now it could possibly end up that MY shoes will just sit in my closet for a good long time once I realize that I caved to a fad, (I haven't worn the big plastic shoes out in public yet), but who knows, I might get brave sometime soon. (After all, you can just hose them down if they get dirty... that has got to be a plus!)

Regardless, if you happen to see me with them on... please, BE NICE!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Old ways are best...

MaryBeth posted this cute little quiz that determines what year you belong in... I have to admit, I knew I would be somewhere in the 80's before I even started the thing!

Make sure to let me know where you ended up! (Come on, you know you want to do it... Just click the link underneath.)



You Belong in 1987



Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.