Friday, April 25, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

We're turning sweet sixteen today! Yep, that's right, today is our sixteenth wedding anniversary. It could be sweeter though, Jeff left for Dallas at 5 am. But oh well. Here's hoping the whole year is a good one. Here's the wish list: 1. our house in Ohio sells, 2. our house in Ohio sells, and 3. our house in Ohio sells. So, it's going to sell. Ah, the power of wishful thinking, or is that delusional thinking? Hmmm.....not sure anymore.

Looking back, the last sixteen years went by so fast (except for the last eight months). And although there are days I feel like I don't get anything done except get dressed, get the kids off to school, and complete a few household chores, when I look back in aggregate, we've actually accomplished quite a lot. I think I should make lists more often. I get the stuff done anyhow, but then I remember that I did it and feel good about it. So here's what I'm feeling good about right now:

In sixteen years of marriage we:
1. earned four degrees between us,
2. welcomed six children into our family,
3. managed to house, clothe, and feed said children despite being poor students for eight of those sixteen years,
4. moved ourselves eleven times without breaking our backs or anything else irreplaceable,
5. succeeded at loving one another through good times and bad, with the result that we love each other more now than we did on the day we married,
6. have been blessed with excellent health and DNA that keeps us looking younger than we are, and
7. are looking forward to the next sixteen!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Write Away

You won't be able to read about my attempts to write around my family or break into publishing on this blog anymore. I know you're all really upset about that. Ha ha. I just thought it would be better to separate my personal blog from my writing blog. So, if anyone wants to read how my writing is going, you'll have to check it out at: This one is going to remain for more personal posts and family updates. I hope spring is visiting you all. It's snowing here. Ugh.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fat Pheasant Festival

Fat pheasants abounded today. I took a double take on our way home from church to make sure one wasn't a turkey. The weather finally warmed up to fifty degrees and the pheasants came out in droves. Jeff took the kids out to the land we're trying to buy and Sadie chased them while the kids ran. They were bouncing in the apartment with deafening synergy, so it was good for them to get out for a while.

If you're wondering, we still haven't had an offer on our house. I still can't figure out why. It's such a great house and the daffodils and redbuds, are probably blooming now. I love the yard in the spring. I never dreamed it would be so difficult to sell. I'm trying not to stress out about it, but it's tough. That hardest part is not being able to do anything to change the situation. Yes I know, have patience. I'm working on it. The good news is that no matter how long we have these double payments, we'll never starve. We can always go out and catch a pheasant.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Rain and snow, blow and go (no really, just go)

We had a glorious weekend and then today, snowy rain. Ick. What a tease. Nathan was so excited to try out his new umbrella though. Here's a shot of him testing it out. Obviously, the weather doesn't bother him at all.

I cozy up around the stove or under a blanket with a book when it's miserable out, but today I made a cake for a friend's birthday. I took it to her and we commiserated over a slice of chocolate cake and suddenly, who cared about the weather. Great company and an infusion of chocolate work wonders. But if it's gross tomorrow, I think a book is in order. That is, if I can squeeze it in around the editing jobs that just came in.

Anyhow, here's the cake. And yes, it's as good as it looks. I wish I'd made two. Not that I need any more cake. We've had a LOT lately and I'm making no headway at all against the weight I've gained this winter. Sigh. I can no longer eat whatever I want to and get away with it. Yeah, yeah, I know, the world's smallest violin is playing my song.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Birthday boys, Take two

We celebrated the second round of double birthdays this weekend. I seem to be suffering memory loss or something because I forgot to buy camera batteries - again. So I don't have any pictures to post. Sorry. We did get the party on video, so they won't be totally bereft of birthday memories. Yesterday was a lot of fun though. Jeff made kites with the kids and then flew them at the park. The kites soared and the kids had a blast.

For me, the best part of the whole weekend was the glorious weather. Ah yes...I remember what warm temperatures feel like again. It's been heavenly - sunny and sixty five with the earthy smell of spring all around. Whenever I get a house of my own again, I'm planting hundreds of flowers. I really miss plants here in this neighborhood of asphalt encircled, high density housing. Six more weeks and we'll have a yard again. Yay! And if we get really lucky, the people who liked our house in Ohio at the showing yesterday will buy it soon. Here's hoping.

Trevor played in his first tennis match and got fried. He forgot to take sunscreen and has a livid farmer's burn. He's very embarrassed about it, which only makes his face look like a steamed lobster. He won half of his matches though and had a really good time. He plays doubles with a really sharp guy from school and they are enjoying the boy to girl ratio on the JV tennis team which is hovering around 1:6.

Lindsey is a little nervous about middle school. I am too. We choose her classes next week. I just hope she can figure out a way to stay organized and keep up on her homework next year. Maybe, like a caterpillar, she'll undergo a miraculous transformation this summer that will allow her to fly with creativity, but still keep track of things.

Tyler and Evan are looking forward to playing baseball. Tyler is very charged up about it, Evan, not so much. This in and of itself is weird since he's a natural athlete. But we'll see how it goes.

Nathan is just thrilled to be four and both he and Jared want to spend all day at the park. Not that I blame them. But it is a good thing that they get hungry so often, or I'd never convince them to leave.

I'm finishing up the revision on my story and beginning to edit the manuscripts of the studies Jeff mentored his graduate students through. The students wrote the manuscripts and I'm just trying to keep from beating my head against the wall as I try to bring them up to publication caliber. Some are so awful, I'm practically re-writing them. I'm not sure if one student even knows what a complete sentence is, much less tenses, proper grammar, or appropriate statistical expression of data. That manuscript is truly beyond help so I'm not wasting my time. But it is baffling that someone can graduate with a master's degree and not know the basic conventions of written English. So I'll take two Tylenol, fix two manuscripts, and write again when I've recovered from my concussions. Then I'll patch the wall.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Standing (or sitting) corrected

Okay, I stand corrected. Urinetown is not the sewage it seems to be. Apparently, audiences and critics alike love it. I'm not deleting my previous post though, because I still think it has a tacky title.

Theater whizzes

Has all good taste left the arts? Sometimes I wonder. I drove past the campus theater this morning and did a double take. A bold yellow sign promoted their Spring production. Emblazoned across a yellow backdrop in sinuous black letters read: Urinetown - The muscial.

Yes, I get the 'clever' double entendre. But still, who thought anyone would want to see a show entitled thus. Ew. I mean, other than mild curiosity over whether it is set in France, Italy, or some other hygenically challenged place with bad sewers, that title fails to pique my interest in any way. I'd heard the university theater program has gone down the toilet lately, but now they're advertising it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

House call

I was a bit irritated when Trevor called me from his cell phone the other day. The call itself was not the problem. After all, that is why we gave him the phone in the first place and I do enjoy talking with him. The problem was that he called me from the basement.

After ascertaining that he was indeed home, I told him to walk his lazy bum upstairs to talk to me in person. Being fourteen, he was highly affronted by the request and demanded to know why he had to hike two flights of stairs instead of conveniently using the phone. I blustered something about preferring face to face conversations.

Then I started thinking about it. The phone was easier for his brief question, and generally, I'm all for easy. But I really do prefer conversations in person. Phone calls and e-mail are fine for long distance, but seriously lack the inflection and body language that communicates more than words alone can. And I love words.

I thought the long winter here was isolating, but perhaps everyone feels somewhat isolated in these days of instant, often impersonal, communication. Or maybe, as my son pointed out, I'm just old and out of touch. Either way, I think people still need to take time to see each other in person. So how about it, anyone flying in to have lunch? No? Bummer. I guess I'll settle for phone calls, just not with someone who is already in the same house.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Birthday gift of Spring

The gift of Spring graced Jeff and Jared's birthday. I baked a cake in the morning and then we enjoyed the sunny, sixty degree afternoon in the park. After I unbuckled Jared, he ran toward the park with that delirious glee that only children seem capable of. I could hardly take any pictures because as soon as I focused, he darted from the frame. I never did learn how to take action shots. Nathan was pretty excited too. Jared was yelping "go, go, go" when I took this picture, he didn't like being held back. I got off a few more snapshots and then my camera's batteries died. Figures. We finally have a beautiful day and I can't capture it in pixels so I'll have to capture it in memory. It was so wonderful to be outside without freezing for a change.

Jared didn't get the whole gift thing when it came to the party. He happily played with the sunglasses Lindsey gave him while his siblings showed him how to unwrap the other packages. He became interested pretty quick once he realized that they held goodies like a Spiderman play hut, a ride-on Winnie the Pooh airplane, Spiderman pajamas and a Superman bed quilt. Notice a theme? Yes, sad to say, but my two year old has a superhero fixation thanks to his older brothers. Superman, Spiderman, and Batman figure prominently in his eleven word vocabulary along with binky, bottle (code for sippy cup), cookie, go, eat, mine, dad and mom. Hopefully, not in that priority order.

Jeff worked, came home to eat a steak dinner, and worked some more. He was behind because he went with Lindsey and Tyler on their field trip to the fish hatchery. The hatchery was interesting (apparently agonizing too, Jeff said the fish they harvested the eggs from were huge), but the work still had to get done. At least he had the chance to enjoy his evening. Thanks to everyone who remembered my birthday boys. Jeff loved Diane's blog post with his favorite song and we had a good laugh over the dated video. For anyone who'd like to see it, check it out at:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Natural glow

YES! We've finally broken the 40 degree barrier! After scraping a thick layer of frost of my windshield this morning, the temperature climbed to a balmy 42 with sunny skies. I threw on my bathing suit and ran down the street to celebrate.

April Fool's. Not a chance I'm showing my pasty legs until they get a dose of 'natural' glow tanning lotion and it's at least 80 degrees outside. I don't remember 80 degrees. I know I've experienced it before. It seems like it would be lovely and warm. I wonder how long it takes to get to 80 degrees here in Idaho?