Thursday, October 29, 2009

Confession time

It is so totally sick and wrong and over-the-top and GEEE-ROSSS that I  even contemplated spending $150 on Christmas cards.....

breath breath breath, but they are so cute.....

BUT THEY ARE JUST CHRISTMAS CARDS

okay....I think I am okay with it.....I will get over it....I am not possibly spending that kind of money on cards and I would never try and "recreate/copy" their design...because that is wrong.  I just thought you should see the card that you will never get. 


Pretty cute...huh?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

40 Things That I Want To Do Before I Turn 40





(idea stolen from here)

1)Go to Thailand/Bali.....somewhere or anywhere in that vicinity.
2)Write a children's book.
3)Go to Napa.
4)Learn to surf.
5)Spend more time camping with my kids.
6)Show my kids the joy of the ocean.
7)Go to Hawaii
8)Go on Colorado River Trip
9)Make an attempt every year to see my good friends (you know who you are)
10)Work more on giving away then acquiring
11)Eat more healthy
12)Go skiing (it has been awhile)
13)Let go of the bad stuff and appreciate the good stuff
14)Accept the things that I have been given in life
15)Save more money so I can go on all of these trips.
16)Try and read at least one book a month.
17)Take Josh to Cabo and go fishing for tuna and eat it raw on the beach with some wasabi.
18)See Oprah live.
19)(um having a hard time coming up with 40)
20)Camp in Havasupai
21)Go to many many good concerts.
22)Raise respectful and intelligent kids.
23)Laugh much and often...no matter what.
24)See my family more then once a year......
25)Save money for a fabulous retirement.
26)Have a family reunion with the Smith Girls side of the family.
27)Learn to garden like a pro and have an abundance of vegetables.
28)Enjoy my job.
29)Be active in my children's education.
30)Go to Greece and eat Greek Yogurt and eat Greek Salad.
31)Go to Tuscany and pick real olives from real trees.
32)Go on hikes with the kids.
33)Ride a horse at full speed.
34)Stare at many beautiful sunsets.
35)Run.
36)Use my sewing machine more.
37)See my siblings more.
38)Enjoy the arts.
39)Spend less time on my computer.
40)Eat good food.

Just a public service announcement

Organic fruit and veggies can be expensive, but here is a good list of what you should buy organic:
Apples
Bell Peppers
Celery
Cherries
Grapes (Imported)
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears Potatoes
Raspberries
Spinach
Strawberries

The reason: these veggies/fruits had a 91 percent pesticide contamination rate. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Look up, yeah up there...see that.....

My MIL (aka Birdie) made it for me...isn't it cool? You are jealous...aren't ya???


I bet you are wondering what we have been up too...I know it was probably just THRILLING to read about our canning adventures (just you wait until I discuss us making applesauce)...but no, we actually do fun things around here....for instance:

We arrange marriage for our children (Mason 2, Lily almost 3, older woman):



We feed our kids to sheep.


We put our kids in cages and let them jump until they are so tired they want to take naps. (I failed to mention all the good germs I just exposed them too...)
















We clone our kids......(isn't it odd how much they all look like each other?)









And we let them stare-all-googly-eyed at wierd mascots of unknown origin. 
You don't believe me....what is this thing? (it doesn't really matter, Kendall thought it was Gophy the Gopher..but what are the yellow flappy things on its face?)


We dog-pile on dad.

And we pile on dad some more.





We just like to have fun, and smile and be happy and "be a family"....and I love that kids say that everytime we are sitting together.....they say "we are a family".

Sunday, October 11, 2009

So long Summer, hello GRAPES!!




Yes, my friends, those beautiful purple orbs are grapes.  And no, we did not move to Napa (although I probably wouldn't hesitate if someone offered to send us there to live.)   Those Concord grapes were handpicked at our neighbor's (Dr. Larry).  We have also been the beneficiary of this lovely apple trees (thank you again Dr. Larry).

So I may just have to give up the title of Faux Martha and hand it over to the husband, Mr. Baux Martha...because he was the man behind our jam (not jelly, it has the skins in it so it is chunkier).  I helped skin the grapes, but really it was Josh who did all the work.  He got the recipe (thanks Susan!) and bought the jars and did all the prep work.....and it was awesome....I just took the pictures.

And this jam....WOWZERS.....talk about delcious...so dang sweet.  We were just spooning it out and eating it.   With the cold snap that recently hit, we just got another batch of grapes and so we hope to make some more in the next few days.  Maybe wine is next?

PS...all of my pictures are big...you can always click on them and see them on a bigger scale, more blown up.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Come on people....it is PRESCHOOL

So maybe I read the directions wrong, but I swear the directions said something like "Work with your child to decorate the attached pumpkin(photocopied on white paper)....use things you have around the home, sequins, noodles, etc.)"

So I go to the kitchen I get a bowl of noodles, beans, fruity cheerios, toothpicks, popcorn and I bring them downstairs. I then grab orange, green, and black crayons.  I then grab the Elmers and with hesitation I set all of this down on the table in front of Miss K.  She with the biggest grin ever, goes to town "decorating" her pumpkin, with her style(i.e massive glue), in her own artistic manner. 

It dries and it looks really cool in a crafty sort of way.  (Side note: Mason her trusty sidekick also got to do the same.)

So today I put the "art project" in Kendall's backpack to send back to school (as we were directed).  I pick her up this afternoon and as I am walking down the hall, I suddenly stop to see the wall full of "decorated" pumpkins. 

Come on people....I may be wrong but about 50% of them were SOOO obviously done by the parents.  Everything so perfect and lined up.  One person had taken sparkly puff paint and followed all the lines of the pumpkin with the puff paint.....HINT HINT...kids at this age aren't really good at drawing a perfectly straight line, let along hold a bottle of puffpaint and draw a straight line.  I would KILL to take a picture of this madness but I am sure that would make me persona non grata at the next preschool meeting.  IT IS PRESCHOOL.....not Harvard. What a bad thing to teach your kids at an early age....

Give your kids some freedom people.  Lay down the old used tablecloth, pull out an apron and let your kids have some fun.  That is WHY they made Spray'N'Wash.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Good Lessions

This past weekend I got to do something so fabulous......I went on my first ever GIRLS WEEKEND.  And these are not just your average gals...these are my old childhood friends (we are talking First Grade and up people)..... beautiful, amazing mamas, sisters, women....so amazingly fun and happy and beautiful.

It was like no time had lapsed......an hour into it the trip and the silly jokes and the laughs were a'flowinnnnng....their was absolutely no uncomfortableness.  I laugh daily or even hourly with the kids, but seriously my stomach hurt from the amount of laughing that went on. 

When you plan these things you kind of worry that you will have too high of expectations...but seriously...it was a total blast

the pictures I took can be seen on facebook.....

Seriously people.....don't hold back....go see your friends....don't wait....life is short.  We are going to do this every year until I die...if I can help it. 

Here is my favorite shot.




Which brings me to a post a I am stealing from Amy Tangerine who stole it from them

Highly happy people all share happy habits. It’s as simple as that. The happiest people I know share 7 very obvious habits. If you’re looking to expand your general happiness you may consider adopting these habits in your own life.




Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

-Abraham Lincoln



Be a Part of Something You Believe In – This could be anything. People may take an active role in their local city council, find refuge in religious faith, join a social club supporting causes they believe in, or find passion in their careers. In each case the physiological outcome is the same. They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in. This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives.

Share Time with Friends and Family – A happy life is a life shared with friends and family. The stronger the personal relationships are and the higher the frequency of interaction, the happier a person will be.

Reflect on the Good – Quite often people concentrate too much of their attention on negative outcomes and leave no time to positively reflect on their successes. It’s natural for a person to want to correct undesirable circumstances and focus closely on doing so, but there must be a healthy balance in the allocation of personal awareness. It is important to mindfully reflect on the good while striving diligently to correct the bad. A continuous general awareness of your daily successes can have a noticeably positive affect on your overall emotional happiness.

Exploit the Resources You DO Have Access To – The average person is usually astonished when they see a physically handicap person show intense signs of emotional happiness. How could someone in such a restricted physical state be so happy? The answer rests in how they use the resources they do have. Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has 25 Grammy Awards to prove it.

Create Happy Endings Whenever Possible – The power of endings is quite remarkable. The end of any experience has a profound impact on a person’s overall perception of the experience as a whole. Think about reading a fairly well written, thought provoking novel. Now imagine the ending totally sucks. Even if the story was captivating up until the ending, would you still be happy recommending the novel to a friend? People always remember the ending. If the ending is happy, the experience creates happiness. Always tie loose ends, leave things on a good note, and create happy endings in your life whenever possible.

Use Personal Strengths to Get Things Done – Everyone possesses unique personal strengths. We all have different talents and skill sets. Emotional happiness comes naturally to those who use their strengths to get things done. The state of completion always creates a sense of achievement. If this achievement is based exclusively on your own personal ability to get the job done, the physiological rewards are priceless.

Savor the Natural Joy of Simple Pleasures – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best things in life are free. They come in the form of simple pleasures and they appear right in front of you at various locations and arbitrary times. They are governed by Mother Nature and situational circumstance and captured by mindful awareness. It’s all about taking a moment to notice the orange and pink sunset reflecting off the pond water as you hold hands with someone you love. Noticing these moments and taking part in them regularly will bring unpredictable bursts of happiness into your life.