Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Confession Wednesday: "We have reached cruising altitude. You may now pry your fingernails off the armrests and stop screaming."

I'm going to close out this particular Year of No Fear by flying. In an airplane. (Shudder.)

(Technically this isn't a true Yonf, because I've done it before, but I REALLY, REALLY would rather avoid it.)

I know, I know, flying is much safer than driving, yadda, yadda, yadda . . . I just can't seem to get past the fact that if my car breaks down or leaves the road or is side-swiped by another vehicle, I still get a fighting chance. In an airplane? It's all over.

But I love my sisters enough to brave the terrifying skies so I can be with them for their respective big days.

Are you afraid of anything that doesn't seem to bother anyone else?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Annual Christmas Ornament Exchange

I have previously mentioned a popular ornament exchange here in town that I avoided for years. The pressure was too great-bring a beautiful ornament wrapped perfectly that everyone will want. I had a friend one year who brought an ornament and was very embarrassed when some comments were made reguarding the size and color of the ornament. So out of fear I never went to this party. Fears of the party-bringing an ornament, people I don't know, attention on me when I pick an ornament, and worrying that somehow I would make a fool out of myself. Last year as part of my year of no fear, I went to the ornament exchange with Mrs. B. I spent a few weeks finding the perfect ornament and trying out a bunch of different recipes to bring, which led me to try these fabulous s'more brownies (to die for but I decided they were too messy for the event). I ended up taking a great wooden angel and swedish meatballs. I had a fabulous time! I had a great ornament that was well received, not knowing many people wasn't a big deal, attention on me was minimal when picking a very popular ornament when it was my turn and no big deal, and I didn't embarrass myself, not even once. I vowed to go back the next year.

Here is the ornament I got last year (it even lights up):

2008 Ornament exchange rolls around and I decide my mom needs to come (not to hold my hand! Just for fun!) so I go twice-once in the afternoon and once at night. I used my mom as an excuse to go twice, but really I wanted to go twice. What happened!? I was no longer afraid of something that I was afraid of for so many years, instead I was excited and anxious and I will even admit I had a hard time sleeping the night before because I was so exited! And this year the ornament exchange didn't let me down. I had the best time!

Here are some pictures of the ornaments I got this year:

So the moral of my story is I'm so grateful that I decided not to let fear win last year and that I attended the ornament exchange and attended this year too!
Is there any other holiday parties you look forward too each year?

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Just wanted to say I really appreciated all of the thoughtful comments on the whole Christmas letter issue. My mind was finally made up by this:

(That's not my mechanic or my car, but that's exactly how my mechanic was looking at my car when I was wishing I had a camera with me earlier this week. My dad, who was with me, had a camera phone, but it refused to operate.)

Anyhoo, to those of you who wished for me to stamp my season's greeting, thank you for sacrificing so I can have power steering and fuel pressure back.

Also, Christmas Project night was OODLES of fun! I've mentioned before that I hesitate to invite people over because it sends me into a VERY uncharacteristic OCD cleaning frenzy.

Once, years ago, I was frantically cleaning house prior to a visit from my parents. My across-the-street neighbor called me and said, "I can see you through the window. You're cleaning your toaster?? Your parents' love for you will NOT be affected by the state of your toaster, which quite frankly is easier to replace than to clean. STOP IT NOW!"

(JQ, I miss you.)

So I'm just here to report that yesterday I did NOT freak out, did NOT deep-clean, and even went to a *movie yesterday afternoon, leaving myself less than an hour to finish preparing. (I DID have to force myself not to think about the appearance of my carpet, the cleaning of which has also been sacrificed to recent automotive events.) Thanks to all that came - I thoroughly enjoyed each of you!

Highlights included:

  • Watching Staci & Jenn wrap and transport this gift without tearing any paper

  • Having my cinnamon rolls compared to Krispy Kreme donuts. (Jerilyn, do you remember the time you wrote a news story for the high school paper, and "donuts" got misprinted as "dobuts?" It still makes me giggle.)
  • 6 layers of 3 different colors of paint that all dried to the same color as the vinyl waiting to be applied to the board.
  • Really, all of it!!
* The movie, after much pleading from the resident 12-year-old, was Twilight. What a mother won't do . . .

Now I'm off to Michael's to buy more paint!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Time -Wednesday confession

I got to do the unthinkable today. I went shopping by myself! I don't know when the last time I did that was. I was able to hit 4 stores and buy everything I needed for the Ward Christmas Party on Saturday 6pm (the more the merrier) in an hour and a half. Is that impressive or what? I was very proud! It was fun too! I'm going along my way at Costco and I hear the most beautiful Christmas Music. I look around and I can't see where it is coming from. Finally, when I'm checking out I see the Eagle Point High School Choir singing at the front of the store. It was beautiful! I'm not sure if it was the wonderfulness of being alone or the beautiful music but all of a sudden the Christmas Spirit hit me. It started to feel like Christmas, the cold weather no longer seemed like a hindrance, the crazy traffic was no longer annoying, and I no longer felt overwhelmed with the Christmas Party, Christmas presents, and kids. My mood was lifted and I enjoyed the singing to help me feel like Christmas is coming.

Confession time: Has the Christmas Spirit hit you? What caused it to finally feel like Christmas for you?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Answering Yonf's wish #8

I've decided to copy Jenn's idea follow Jenn's example (thanks!) and have a Christmas Project night at my house, too. Come this Thursday anytime after 7:00 and bring a project to work on or presents to wrap. Or don't bring anything and come anyway!

Tag! YONF's Turn

8 favorite TV shows:
1. Survior
2. Amazing Race
3. Gray's Anatomy
4. Seinfeld
5. Life
6. Cheesy Lifetime Movies (Especially Christmas ones)
7. How I Met Your Mother
8. Numbers

8 books I recommend:
1. The Notebook
2. Three Weeks With My Brother
3. The Choice
4. The Blossom Street Series5
5. Babywise
6. To Kill a Mockingbird

8 things that happened yesterday:
1. My baby slept through the night! Yea!
2. I needed the lesson taught in Relief Society (I need to improve my attitude)
3. I watched the Survior Finale, pleased with the results
4. Ate quiche that my husband made, very good!
5. Felt like I was running around with my head cut off trying to get things ready for Ward Christmas Party
6. Took a fabulous nap
7. Baked bread.
8. Made reindeer food with the kids to give to my niece and nephews

8 things to look forward to:
1. I have a nephew being born any day now!
2. Christmas!
3. Christmas break-we all get to sleep in
4. The hopes of a possible vacation
5. Spring
6. Rejoining the gym
7. A break from dr. appointments
8. Tamales on Christmas Eve

8 things on my wish list:
1. A clean house longer than 5 minutes!
2. A clean garage!
3. A new wallet
4. New clothes
5. Scene It-Seinfeld Edition
6. A vacation!
7. PF Chang's
8. A girls' night out

8 things I love about winter:
1. When it snows and I have no where to go
2. Watching the kids play in the snow
3. Hot cocoa
4. Stews, soups, and all kinds of warm foods
5. Driving around looking at Christmas lights
6. Christmas Parties
7. Snuggling in my favorite purple blanket
8. My husband is home a lot more!

8 people to tag (that is, if they wish to be tagged)
Mrs. B tagged all the people I know that have blogs!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I've been tagged by the ever-delightful Mandi.

8 favorite TV shows:

  1. I Love Lucy
  2. The Cosby Show
  3. The Muppets
  4. (The theme here is either ANCIENT HISTORY or NERD ALERT.)
  5. But also:
  6. NCIS
  7. and . . . um . . .
  8. Moving on . . .

8 books I recommend:
  1. The Scarlet Pimpernel
  2. Mrs. Mike
  3. All of Jane Austen's (Thanks Marla)
  4. Jane Eyre
  5. (Technically that's more than 8)

8 things that happened yesterday:
  1. Wild bargain shopping spree at Kohl's.
  2. Ate fish tacos for the first time - yum! (Except the cilantro)
  3. Sampled a Milk Bordeaux at See's - also yum!
  4. Grocery run with my 3yo.
  5. Ice cream with my 5yo.
  6. Blushed again at my Friday-night charades attempt at "Elf."
  7. Saw a teenaged acquaintance in the mall and forgot that grownups aren't supposed to greet adolescents in such settings. Especially not grownups that publicly confess a love of The Muppets. Received a hasty, barely audible hello as said acquaintance passed.
  8. Saw a tweenaged acquaintance 10 minutes later, forgot again, got the same results. Will I ever learn?
8 things to look forward to:
  1. Next Sunday's Christmas program
  2. Post-Christmas family events!
  3. All things Christmas
  4. Warm weather
  5. January slow-down
  6. The box of Clementine Cuties in the kitchen
  7. Sleeping
  8. My new steam mop that's on a UPS truck somewhere east of here
8 things on my wish list:
  1. Slippers
  2. Warm socks
  3. Winter dress boots
  4. The return of normal circulation to my previously overheated year-round-flip-flop feet.
  5. New cooling racks
  6. August Rush
  7. Motivation & energy to declutter
  8. This little gadget
8 things I love about winter:
  1. Cold tap water
  2. Holidays
  3. Snow days
  4. Hot Cocoa
  5. Random 65-degree days
  6. Clam Chowder
  7. Rosy cheeks
  8. Christmas lights
8 people to tag (that is, if they wish to be tagged)
  1. Jacque
  2. Yonf
  3. Jill
  4. LCM
  5. Christy
  6. Savannah
  7. Kathlene
  8. Jenn

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Confession Wednesday: To stamp or not to stamp?

I've been wondering for months now: Would it be tacky to create an online Christmas letter this year? I've mailed out letters for several years running now, and I'm always excited when everyone else's cards, letters, and pictures start rolling in each December. But this year I haven't been able to bring myself to buy the stamps yet.

For the record, I would strive to create a good online letter: pictures, music, attempts at wit that I'll agonize over and rewrite many times, etc. I'm adding a poll to the sidebar, because I really just can't decide what to do. But since I'm investing my hard-earned funds in a new monitor for the homeschool computer today, I know which direction I'm leaning.

At least that's the way I'll lean until the mail comes at 3:00 with more stamped Christmas cards and the guilt kicks in.

Would an online creation (in place of a stamped letter) bug you?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Confession: Facebook Etiquette

I've been a "member" of facebook (mom-go to to see what this is) for quite awhile. My sister-in-law challenged me to join, she also challenged me to start a blog, Thanks! I'm still trying to figure out the etiquette of facebook. For example, who do you invite to be your friends? I'm constantly exclaiming to my husband, "200 friends, how can so and so have 200 friends?" Do you just request everyone you've ever met? Where do you draw the line?

I did an experiment today, I was at the eye dr. for my daughter's appointment. While there an old high school friend came up to say hi. I've been to the eye dr. a lot, between daughter and myself and never has this old friend been so friendly. I found her on facebook a few weeks ago but decided not to request to be her friend because I wasn't sure how we really left things between us years ago. She is one of those high school friends that was tons of fun and made me do things way out of my comfort zone, she was hilarious! But after high school I went away to college and we never really connected as friends again. So my experiment-I was very friendly today and now I'm curious to see if she requests me as a friend.

So my etiquette questions about facebook-
1. Do you just request everyone you've ever met to be your friend?
2. What do you write in the "what are you doing right now" field?
3. How often should I comment on someone's wall?
4. What's up with poking people? Should I do that?

Mrs. B and I were having a race to see who could post first today-yeah I won!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For Julie

I’m fully fed up with this lame-O billpay

It’s in serious need of a fixee

But I felt ‘bout as big as a guppie fillet

After yelling at not-her-fault Trixie

The end.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My wonderful, resourceful, timely, FANTASTIC mother just emailed me Aunt Beaner's garbage letter!

Browning-Ferris Industries
1955 Oakland Road
San Jose CA

Dear Sanitation Engineer,

We never are sure just what time you will come,
So just to make sure, we were up with the sun.
(As a matter of fact, it was sometime before.
We beat the old sun by an hour or more.)

'Twas chilly, of course, for we'd turned down the heat.
But dauntless, we put shoes and socks on our feet.
(Or he did, at least, it was his turn this week,
I pulled up the covers and went back to sleep.)

Or tried to; you see, it was awfully hard
With garbage banging around in the yard.
After he'd set them all out, one by one,
He know that the job, although cold, was well done.

I sent him to work, and the kids off to school.
(We do this on Wednesday, each week, as a rule.)
The cans on the street, we gave nary a thought,
We knew you would take them...Alas! You did not.

The truck came and went, yes, to everyone else's;
The Campbells, the Paces, but not to ourselves's.
Their can were all empty, their refuse was gone.
Our cans were full (and they'd been there since dawn)!

They were not too heavy. I tested them, sure.
I lifted them easy, as light as they were.
With only two houses this side of the street,
Why did you leave out our garbage this week?


(Mrs. B's Aunt Beaner)


Friday, November 14, 2008

Confession Wednesday: Congenial Complaints

This is my dear Aunt Beaner, trying out the "Bumper Car Room"
(a low-ceiling-ed access room that's being outfitted for grandkid adventures).

I was trying to pay a bill a few days ago, and I was having trouble with the website for the company who wanted my money. I called customer service and explained that they shouldn't make it so stinkin' hard for ME to give THEM money. Maybe not in the kindest way possible. I mean, hello, I'm not aggressive enough to be flat out rude, but I spoke irritably enough for my conscience to flare up (because it's not Operator Trixie's fault that the website is stupid), and then I had to apologize so I could think straight again.

Then I thought about my Aunt Beaner (love you Aunt Beaner!). In addition to the fact that she bakes heavenly homemade bread, raised some of my favorite cousins, can sing her parents' high school's song, lets me visit whenever I want (and with as many children as I can bring), loves to tell a funny story, emails me all the time, and shares my nickname (that's one of my favorites, also a shout-out to Kathlene-a-Bean!), she also is a master of words. And a peacemaker. Years ago, she combined the two and penned a witty complaint (in verse) to her city sanitation department, who had forgotten to collect her trash, maybe more than once. If memory serves correctly, she received a sincere apology from management and her own special trash-pickup. It's family legend now.

I was trying to emulate Aunt Bean when I sent the following letter to my then-local Wal-Mart several years ago:

Ode to the Commode

As I was shopping in Wal-Mart today,

Enjoying low prices galore,
My young offspring told me her bladder was full;
I had ten seconds, not one bit more!

I whisked her up quickly and ran at full speed,
Desperately begging her, "Wait!"
I zigged through the sporting goods, zagged through the toys;
Crying, "She must urinate!"

Soon we arrived at the Ladies' Room door
In just slightly less than a wink;
But Oh! Our poor noses! For as we went in,
We smelled the most hideous stink!

Quickly we realized the source of the stench;
For all over counter and floor

Were puddles and garbage and T.P. and mud;

Alas! I had seen it before!

I warily opened the door of the stall

And what awful sight met my eyes?

Smeared on the toilet seat there was what's known

(In my house) as Diaper Surprise.

But what could I do? In my arms was my daughter;

I would not; could not put her there!

Despairing, I held her out over the toilet

As she did her deed in mid-air!

I humbly beseeched of an aproned employee,

"This bathroom's not fit to be used!"

She asked me to tell the cashier at McDonald's

Who stared at me, fully confused.

(Note: There was an in-store McD's by the bathrooms)

Now please understand I've been living for years

And all of that time, had a bladder;

But Wal-Mart's facilities rank 'neath an outhouse

On any John Cleanliness ladder.

You'd do well to try out the restroom at Target;

They clean every spot, vast or tiny!

They've pleasant aromas in spite of their purpose;

And all of the porcelain's shiny!

In closing, I ask you, please keep the john clean;

For next time it's foul, please be sure

My money, my daughter, and her little bladder

Will frequent a tidier store.

For the record, Wal-Mart's reaction was a phone call and advice to use the bathrooms by layaway, since they get less traffic. Bravo, Wal-Mart. (But they did like my poem.)

What you deserve to see, here, though, is the work of the master. I asked Aunt Beaner if she would supply her garbage poem for blogging, and she couldn't locate it (she's building a home, and has a lot of stuff in storage), but she sent me this delightful composition instead.

July 21, 2004

Dear Longs Folks,

Your ad came last week -- it was very inviting,

With Dreyer's ice cream at a price most exciting!

As soon as I saw it, I knew right away

I'd be visiting Longs down on East Mono Way.

I went Tuesday morning... but when I got there

The freezer was out. And the shelves were all bare!

"But don't give up hope," I was told with a smile.

"It soon will be fixed... it's down just a short while.

And ice cream again will be there on display

For all who are willing the dollars to pay."

I visited Longs the next morning, but no...

The shelves labeled 'Dreyer's were empty. And so

I traveled back home without ice cream in hand.

(And we really do think that Dreyer's is grand!)

I tried other days. In fact, four trips I made.

But what I was seeking was never displayed.

The freezer was fixed -- of that I'm aware,

For frozen confections were stacked up in there,

Including some Dreyer's Ice Cream packed in pints.

But never the one and three quarters quart size.

The week is now past and the sale price passe,

But since I was out doing errands that way,

I thought I would check on the freezer once more.

And, WOW!!! It was full from the top to the floor!

Perhaps you can tell me the reasons retail:

Why advertised Dreyer's boycotted that sale?

See what I mean? Aunt Beaner's a genius! She's also proof that you can make your point without making a scene. Let's face it - everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes those need to be pointed out, but nobody wants to be publicly raked over the coals.

What's a creative way you've dealt with an uncomfortable situation?

(Also, what rhymes with "Trixie" and "billpay"?)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Confession Wednesday

My confession: I read a girl's blog that I knew in college. I don't plan on ever letting her know. However tonight it paid off, she had this posted:

"Just saw this on Brandis' blog and HAD to pass it along. Something about something on Oprah, but as a result, snapfish is giving away FREE photobooks ($30 value) if you click here ! You have to do it in the next 48 in, have it finished and ordered, SO HURRY HURRY!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Vinyl Admonition

I woke up cranky Friday morning. (Must crack down on the 3yo who tossed and turned in my bed for 3 hours prior to dawn.) When I dragged myself out into the kitchen, my mood did not improve. I had been absent the night before,and would you like to know what to my wondering eyes did appear?
  • A container of blackberry jam covered in . . . well . . . blackberry jam.
  • Cheese, garlic, syrup, and pancake chunks in the tub of butter.
  • 8 dish cloths used to wipe up globs of who-knows-what . . . not a single one rinsed out.
  • Various remnants of all of the above caked onto the counter.
  • Two open bread bags.
  • Pancake confetti on the floor.
  • 17 dirty cups (only 6 people live here)
I'll spare you the details of my cyclically catalyzed mature and rational response. Suffice it to say the demon mother emerged, banned the entire family from the kitchen, created job security for the future therapists of America, and then slunk back to her cave to sulk.

Later in the day, I went to a local Christmas Craft Fair, and spotted this little gem:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hiding Under the Table Confession Wednesday

One of my favorite shows on TV is “How I Met Your Mother.” The dialogue and storylines are unique and witty. I find myself laughing outloud when watching the show. On Monday’s episode it had the main character and his friends hiding under a table at a restaurant to avoid coming face to face with his former fiancĂ© who dumped him at the alter just weeks prior. Talk about something I would do! The hide under the table part, not dumping someone at the alter! Except I wouldn’t hide under a table at a restaurant because it seems too dirty and germy, but I would hide!

All the characters under the table talk about who they would not want to have walk through the door because of it would awkward and uncomfortable. It was either past girlfriends, someone they had made fun of in high school, or in one characters case it was her father.

I started thinking about who I would “hide under a table” to avoid. Two people came to mind. One is a woman I’ll call Renee. When we moved to Medford from Ashland we had them over a lot. They became pretty good friends. They were really fun to play games with and made us laugh so we hung out a lot. Unfortunelty, things started going south quickly.

To make a long story short the problems started with Renee and her husband making us dinner that I couldn’t eat because of my ulcer and left the kitchen a huge mess, the dinner involved cutting up veggies and they didn’t even throw away the remnants. Now that I write this years later it sounds petty, but seriously this was just the beginning. From there we just stopped clicking as friends and Renee kept coming on strong so we came up with excuses to stop seeing them. They finally got the hint that things weren’t working out. It led to a nasty Christmas Card a year later from Renee, making things even more uncomfortable. If I ran into Renee today I wouldn’t know how to explain how I acted years ago. I’m embarrassed by how the friendship ended but at the same time I had to get out of the friendship. I felt taken advantage of more than once and just didn’t feel like it was a good thing for me to be apart of. I hadn’t had that kind of thing happen before and I haven’t had it happen since, it was just a weird friendship that wasn’t good for me.

The other person I would avoid, and in fact have avoided by turning around and walking the other way is an ex-boyfriend. Mind you we are on speaking terms, well emailing terms. But he was a very serious boyfriend that while the relationship didn’t ended badly it was definitely a very sad, depressing breakup on both ends, we jus didn’t want the same things and both had a hard time admitting and accepting it. When I ended the relationship and told him I was moving back to Oregon, from Utah, his words were, "I'll help you pack and drive you home." Now he has a new girlfriend, somewhat serious, and I think that if I saw them around town I would hide under a table to avoid saying hi. I'm just not there yet.

I’m realizing if I ran into either one of these people I would have to conquer my fear of saying hi and actually confront them. Wish me luck!
Confession time:
Who would you “hide under a table” to avoid?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Long-winded Confession Wednesday

Just a few things I've been enjoying lately:

Fiddler on the Roof
This is one of my very favorite movies. Does anybody else remember life before VCRs? Every so often, my mom would say something like, "Hey guys, this movie called 'The Sound of Music' is going to be on channel 10 this Friday, and you can stay up to watch it! You're going to love it!" We'd pop a yellow-tupperware-bowl-full of popcorn and spread out the blue bedsheet (no buttery popcorn off the sheet, please). It felt like Christmas. My kids, on the other hand, have been exposed to these movies since they were knee-high to Jane & Michael Banks. While pushing a grocery cart with a 3-year-old belting out, "SOOOOO! A NEEDLE PULLING FRED!" is a hoot, I still wish they could experience seeing the classics for the first time on magical Friday nights like I did.

That's how I first saw "Fiddler." It's fantastic. If I made a list of my favorite movies, it would be in the top 3. I watched it with the kids the other night, and it gets better every time.

My new Peru Hat (do they have another name?)
A birthday gift to accessorize my typical outfit of my orange top, green jacket, and orange Ecuadorian purse. (I do believe I've warned you that I'm fashion-stunted, and my favorite clothes are those that fit well, don't wrinkle, and are already in my closet. That the shirt and purse match is purely coincidental.) It's unbelievably toasty. Totally worth the hat hair afterwards.

(See me YONFing myself by voluntarily posting pictures of moi?)

Camille Fronk Olson
She's a Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU (Yonf was in her class back in the day!), and was a speaker at Time Out for Women in Portland last weekend. TOFW is a mini-Women's Conference put on by Deseret Book, with several speakers and a few musicians. We were invited to submit questions for a post-lunch Q&A session with the presenters. The program has this picture of Camille Fronk Olson:
It caught my attention because it seemed a little dated. It was. She looks quite a bit different now - very stylish, and wearing an ORANGE top! After pointing it out to the friends I was with, and in an attempt to get a laugh out of them (the sentiment was sincere, however), I submitted the following on my Q&A card: "Sister Olson: Your bio pic doesn't do your fabulous good looks enough justice. Can I take a new one for you?"

We missed the Q&A session (we were at the Saturday Market in downtown Portland, acquiring Peru Hats), but when I got back, I was informed that they had indeed read my card. Out loud. To Camille herself, along with 1800 women in attendance. I immediately broke into a sweat glisten. Her reply was that she was waiting on a new cut and color first. Somebody (I can't remember who now) suggested that since it was break time, I should work my way to the front to meet her. The thought did not help my composure, but YONF required that I comply. Of course she was lovely and, lucky for me, laughed at my audacity, and then probably noticed the painful irony that it took 2 cameras and 4 shots to get a decent picture of the moment. But don't we look lovely in our orange duet? (See my peru-hat hair?)

Mary Ellen Edmunds
Another presenter from TOFW. Witty, fun, laughed heartily at her own jokes . . . I enjoyed her immensely, and jotted down in my notes that she seemed to be channeling this woman, who I also enjoy:

Pumpkin Carving
I perpetually procrastinate purchasing pumpkins, so I was thrilled when we were offered the surplus from my aunt's preschool pumpkin patch!

The day we had planned to carve pumpkins was a down-to-the-minute marathon from sunup to sundown, and by the time I had dragged my gang to the church to carve with other families, I was beyond fried and feeling a little bitter about my day. As I walked away from the van, a pumpkin under each arm, a full bag over my shoulder, and a shoeless 3-year-old clinging to my back like a spider monkey, I realized I hadn't locked the van. In the 2+ months I've owned the van, the keyless remote has only successfully locked the doors once, and I wasn't in any position to put anything down and get back into the van. Sending a vague plea heavenward, I hit the button on the remote dangling from one pinkie.

Clunk: The doors locked. Would you believe me if I told you it was downright uplifting?

Then, within seconds of our grand entrance, this good man abandoned his own pumpkin, plonked my barefoot son down next to him, and helped him carve his pumpkin without a bit of effort from me.

The evening was a delight. The only that would have improved it would have been in if LW's pumpkin had actually fit over his head. So close, but he chickened out when it became clear that his nose would go in, but likely not come back out.

This little guy

On the list of things I'm NOT enjoying: Cilantro. Blech. But here's a cilantro salad (gah) for Jill to feast her eyes on:

And because I was tagged by the inimitable Savannah, here are some blogs I've been enjoying as well:

Mandi has a fantastic knack for chronicling her life through stunning pictures and clever commentary. I understand she also keeps a lively tempo when she plays hymns on the organ - who doesn't love that? She also recently calculated how much it cost to feed her family for a day ($13.47), including "Candy yoinked from the bag for trick-or-treaters: .19."

Laura is a night charge nurse at a children's hospital, and she goes to work in a cape and tiara! Remember the part in "It Could Happen to You" where Rosie Perez and Bridget Fonda have both won the lottery, and Rosie goes on a shopping spree, but Bridget only buys herself a jar of roasted peanuts and she looks like she could die happy? That's Laura - she revels in the little things. She's also one of my favorite cousins, and it appears that my daughter has a little thing for her husband.

Tag rules here, since this post approaching epic length.

What have you been enjoying lately?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Confession: What makes you a good mom?

I was a good mom tonight (lately I feel like that is a rare occurrence!) Like all kids, mine love to work in the kitchen and help out with dinner. Since I was almost finished cooking I asked if they wanted to make brownies (something they love to do and can do mostly by themselves.) Sure enough they had a fabulous time and we all enjoyed the end result!

Confession time: What is something you do that makes you feel like a good mom?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy 21st Birthday Mrs. B!

Here are 21 memories and fun facts about the fabulous Mrs. B.

1. I remember when I was around 10 years old my mom saying how wonderful Mrs. B was, it took me over 15 years to become her friend and find out my mom was right.

2. Also when I around 10 I thought Mrs. B was cool because she would wear a hat on her head and have a pony tail out through the back.

3. She is a fabulous photographer!

4. She makes the best cinnamon rolls in the valley.

5. She is a really good friend!

6. She always has the funniest experiences happen to her. She is one of those people that I am constantly saying, "That would only happen to Mrs. B!" And sure enough she had one of those this weekend involving her comment about a presenters hair being read among thousands of women. (This led to a year of no fear moment that she will have to post about later.)

7. Can fix any computer problems!

8. Non-judgemental-I have never heard her say one judgemental thing about anyone!

9. She always makes me laugh!

10. She is always giving her services to others, either photography, babysitting, baking, sewing, she loves helping other people!

11. She has more friends than anyone I know!

12. She loves her family!

13. She says her prayers everyday, even if she falls asleep while saying them!

14. She is always doing fun stuff with her kids!

15. She is always involved in something, roadshows, friends birthday parties, she never sits around doing nothing!

16. You can ask Mrs. B anything and get an honest answer!

17. My 10 year old put it best one day, she said I love going over to the B's house because you never know what you are going to find! This is the best compliment to get from a 10 year old!

18. She knows how to have a good time! Either a pie eating contest, a Brian Regan party, out to lunch with the ladies, or an IKEA trip up in Portland.

19. She makes me a better person by being her friend.

20. Rumor has it she loves her husband and had a smooching session behind a van at IKEA.

21. She is so clever! She comes up with great gifts like: "Tools for a Veteran Mother" which includes: a scraper (pancake batter on counter, melted crayon in dryer), name tags (to the get the kids name right the first time), and duct tape (sewing kit)! (The fact that she thinks of me as a veteran mother means a lot to me too.)

Happy Birthday Mrs. B!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is it Thursday already? I'm confessing anyway.

I don't know what the heck is causing this, but I'm having very vivid and also strange dreams lately. This one, for instance. Or the one that made me mad at a female of my acquaintance for an entire day. Last night I dreamed I was pregnant (I'm not), and pretty doggone excited about it (I would be).

The eye surgery went well. I'll chronicle the entire saga, but not today. (I know, I know, the suspense will kill you. Try to carry on.)

Ok, down to the point. Here's my Year of No Fear experience for this week. (The lazy person in me . . . . wait, that IS me. . . . would like to start abbreviating Year of No Fear, but I've abstained thus far so as to avoid confusion, since YONF is what I named this here blog's other contributor. But I'm tired of it, I tell you. If I referred to the Year of No Fear as YONF, and to you-know-who as Yonf, would it befuddle you all terribly? No? Excellent. I'll add a clarification to the sidebar. Eventually.)

Where was I?

Right. For my YONF this week, I'm going to delurk on a blog. Here's why: One of the downfalls of the voyeuristic world of blogging is that occasionally I run into somebody whose (who's?) blog I've been perusing anonymously for quite some time. I am instantly thrown into an internal panic. Do I confess I've been peeking at her blog like some sort of creepy peeping tom? What will she think? And yet if I pretend to be surprised as we catch up on each other's lives, I'll feel more fake than Lee Press-on Nails!

Internal panic doesn't look good on me. I have an insanely hyperactive conscience that screams in my ear and obliterates all mental function and social grace, which can only be recovered when I come clean in as awkward a way as possible. Three past experiences come immediately to mind (if you know me well, feel free to have a giggle at the dress in the casserole dish, the diamond engagement ring, or the spilling of the nemesis).

Help me out here: What do you do when blogging meets real life? Is it practical to comment occasionally on every blog you read? Or even just the blogs of people you actually know? Do you lurk, or are you a conscientious commenter?

But in the meantime, for my own YONF, I'm going to leave a comment on a blog I've been reading for a while. It's a friend I grew up with, but I haven't seen her or been in touch for a good 12 years or so. I came across her blog through a friend, who I found on another blog, etc. I've enjoyed reading about her adventures, but I didn't comment at first because I felt silly popping up out of the blue like that, and then because I felt silly for not commenting to begin with. Now, quite some time later, we've added each other on facebook, and my stupid conscience is screeching in my ear that I've got to come clean so I can enjoy that friendship again without being a big Press-on Nail Faker.

Still holding onto a shred of respect for me? Allow me to relieve you of it: This particular person has commented on this very blog. Not with her real name, but with her blogger ID (which, if you're following, I'm well aware of). But I didn't return the favor and comment on her blog because of the confession vs. faker dilemma. (See how we're approaching the part where I confess awkwardly?)

So that's it. I'm off to comment. If you're reading this, and you remember me begging you for a stick of gum to get the flavor of a nasty menthol cough drop out of my mouth in 7th grade science class (and by the way, do you remember how we used to mock the teacher for telling us that he marks his wife's cycle on the calendar so he could be ready for the crazy?), you should check your blog. I'm coming clean.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Way to deliver! (har!)

You're looking at Yonf's sweet little boy who arrived today (as expertly predicted by bestgrandkidsever) at 8:43 am (just 46 minutes later than predicted by Shar - sorry you're not sharing your birthday - I feel your pain) weighing 7lbs 6oz, which was within 2 oz of both Jacque's and Lissa's guesses, and measuring 18.5 inches, which was a mere half an inch off from Jerilyn's prediction (what did I tell you?).


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Confession Wednesday

I promised Yonf I'd do the Wednesday post - told her I had something to write about. I really did, but I can't seem to get it just right. I have several posts begun in my head, but I lack the time to do any of them justice. I did write some lyrics for our upcoming Stake Road Show (being produced by the fabulous Savannah and hubby - not to be missed!!), but I can't share those either. Top secret, you know.

So instead, I'll share that today I attended the funeral of this remarkable man:

The church was full of wonderful people, and some degree of each person's wonderful was a result of knowing him. If you knew him, you'll know why I'm at a loss for adequate words.

You all know somebody like that, so confess: Who is it?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Better late than never

Ok, I'm still a little blind, but I'm checking in to report that I entered the "Sometimes Life is Funny" contest (Late. In a panic. Through very fuzzy vision. Ignore the timestamp - I have a sick child.), which will result in a compilation of blog posts in a book. The proceeds of said book will go entirely to the Nie Recovery Fund, so when it's published later this fall (and whether or not I make it in, darn it all) make sure to buy a copy! Many of my favorite bloggers are contributing - it will be a fantastic read! Did anyone else enter?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

And We Know That Deliv'rance is Nigh

My family has a tradition when a delivery is imminent: we all try to see who can guess what the baby's statistics will be. (My oldest sister has a crazy knack for outguessing the rest of us much of the time.) When we were children, we got a dime for each correct answer. It's a good thing they gave up passing out dimes, because it would have become exponential, what with their rapidly increasing posterity (lots of babies, lots of contestants).

So, since YONF is due to deliver a sweet little mini-yonf on October 22 , I'm making it a Year of No Fear contest! (Hey YONF, if I dare you to deliver naturally, does the Year of No Fear require you to?)

Here's what you can guess at:

  • Date (Hint: The doctor suspects she'll go early)
  • Time
  • Weight
  • Length
  • (We already know he's a boy)
Make your guesses in the comments. The closest guess for each stat wins . . . um . . . a dime?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Confession Wednesday: YONF Me and Accepting Help

In a previous post I mentioned how I was ready to accept some challenges, some fears to overcome. Those that left a comment obviously know me well and were able to come up with some good ones. Here is a follow up to those comments:

Cricket: I loved your suggestions! Being the first is something very hard for me to do. I recently was the first to tell someone I liked their outfit, they were surprised (either that I told them or that someone noticed.) I want to keep doing this, I want to keep being the first! Great suggestion!

Anonymous said: "What about mending a past relationship. Is there someone out there whom you no longer speak with, for whatever reason, that you have been thinking about lately? Now, I know you're married so I'm not talking about a past boyfriend but a good friend who you maybe think about from time to time that you have had a falling out with. Maybe this is the month that you should call and renew that friendship."

To be honest I was afraid that whoever anonymous is was thinking I need to renew their friendship. I thought long and hard on this one, I couldn't think of anyone! If you had asked me a year or so ago there were some people that I needed to renew a friendship with, and am proud to say I did it. Best decision ever. I'm still thinking on this one and seeing if there is someone that I'm overlooking.

Julie's suggestion was:
Julie said... I think you should hold a tarantula. Mean I know. I don't think I could do it. Yuck, just thinking about it is creeping me out!

JULIE! I'm saving this one for when I get to see you again! Maybe I shouldn't say that, then you will avoid me so you can avoid the tarantula!

Christy said...
Hey, I've got one. I overheard you at church saying that you didn't want a list going around for either your shower or dinners,not sure which one. I wasn't really listening in, really, I just sort of caught some of the conversation. But I remember you saying that you don't want people to feel obligated. How about you change your mind on that and let them pass around a sign up list. I have learned this past couple of weeks that taking help is awesome, for everyone. I always so "no thanks" when they ask if I need help out with my groceries but lately I have been saying "yes, please" and it really is a help. Also, I told Darren that I would love help with Ryland while Chuck was at scout camp. I usually say no because I have that feeling of I'm the mom, I should be able to do this on my own. but I am learning that accepting help isn't saying you're weak, it's just saying that yeah, I'm not superman, I do need help every once in a while. Think about it. Plus, I bet there are lots of people who would love to make you meals or bring your son a gift but wouldn't have the chance unless a list was circulated at church.

This suggestion was very good as well. And Christy will be proud to know that I have since said I will take the meals the ward has to offer. Which was hard for me to do! But this is the topic of my post, asking and accepting help when it is needed an offerred. Mrs. B and I are both terrible at accepting help. So in preparation for posting today I said yes to help today when I really didn't want to. I am hosting a Relief Society Bread Recipe exchange at my house tonight. One thing I love about hosting these is it makes to do small projects around the house, such as getting rid of a clutter area. So I love it! There were a few things I needed to do around the house today, my mom offered to help. My first thought was "no, I'll be fine, I can do it myself." But because I was planning on posting about this today I accepted her help. Not only did we get a ton of stuff done but we also had fun doing it! Plus I had time to play with the kids this afternoon and type this post!

Mrs. B is having surgery on Monday for her eyes. It is a "good" kind of surgery but none the less she will be laid up for a week and have sunglasses on for quite a few weeks. Just like me she is struggling with accepting help. So I YONF Mrs. B to accept help, and for her friends who read the blog to not let her say no!

Blogging friends~confess if you have a hard time accepting help and if you've overcome it. Also, how can we help others to accept our help when they say no?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Confession Wednesday: Kitchen Catastrophes

You'll have to click on that picture to see what's really going on.

Cooking has never come easily to me. I am related to several fantastic cooks, and I was trained by one of the best, but apparently when everyone else was lining up for that gene, I was back in the SPINE line, begging for a heftier helping. I can recall teenaged failures at things like popcorn (who messes up popcorn? People who open the popper mid-popping to check the progress, that's who!), and crockpot casseroles (who messes up crockpot recipes? People who fill crockpots with meat and vegetables and fail to add any liquids, that's who!). My siblings and I used to take turns cooking dinner, but you know, I don't remember cooking dinner that often. I think even my 10-year-old brother knew it was more palatable to take an extra turn than to let me loose in the kitchen.

Once when I was about 15, I was trying to make an apple pie while my mom was gone. The apples were coming along well enough, but I was mystified by the crumbly crust. Knowing I was in over my head, I called my grandma (who got a double dose of the cooking gene) and asked her what I should do. She gave me some advice, and five minutes later I called her back because it hadn't worked. She gave me another idea to try, which produced the same results. On the third phone call, her final words of wisdom were, "Good Grief. Crumble the crust over the apples. You've just made an apple crisp."

I'm a little better at making dinner than I used to be, but I'm still on the shady side of average. In fact, there's only one thing I make well: rolls. They're nothing special . . . no secret ingredient, no slaving over the stove. They don't even begin to compare to my Aunt Arlene's rolls, but it's the only recipe that rarely fails me. I've got a lot of people fooled, because rolls can be disguised as a wide variety of concoctions (bread, cinnamon rolls, breadsticks, cinnamon bread, sticky buns), but in the end it's all the same recipe.

If I had my way, I'd bring rolls to every potluck gathering until the end of time. I always have the ingredients on hand, and it doesn't require any creativity on my part. Salads, on the other hand, stress me out. You can't just bring lettuce, carrots and tomatoes anymore! Gone are the days of cool whip and colored marshmallows! Jello and fruit cocktail? History! A salad isn't a salad anymore unless it's full of nuts, craisins, strawberries, mangoes, cilantro (ack), ramen noodles, and that lettuce that looks like it was pollinated by a spider, and that you can't cut, stab or corral with a fork, so you have to resort to balancing it on the fork and cramming it rapidly into your mouth while hoping that all the tentacles will make it in before your advancing fork triggers your gag reflex.

Please understand, I find these salads utterly delectable (even the gangly spider lettuce), but the creation thereof perplexes me. I end up wandering through the produce section of the grocery store trying to decide which fruits and vegetables can peacefully coexist in a salad bowl. Green onions and mandarin oranges? Bell peppers and pears? Meanwhile my gaze keeps wandering longingly over to the aisles where jello, canned peaches and cool whip sit in all their simplicity. It's like trying to match up skirts, shirts, shoes and accessories when your fashion sense has been flat-lined since leg warmers came around the first time (or was is just one time? I haven't really been paying attention. ***See picture above.).

Please, oh please, just let me bring the rolls.

Lately, though, even the rolls have been failing me. Something just wasn't right. They looked funny, and they tasted like they needed salt, but I knew for sure I was adding just the right amount. I feared I was losing my precarious touch. What the heck was left to bring to potlucks?

A scientific investigation (I tasted the salt, then my daughter tasted the salt) revealed that my salt had lost its savor. Actually, I think it was mostly sugar and just a little salt. SOMEBODY had tampered with my baking cupboard . . . . a jealous fellow baker? A three-year-old who gleefully discovered open ingredients left on the counter? The recipient of my last anonymous (I thought) April Fool's joke? Whoever it was, they've doomed me to a paranoid life-time of tasting the salt (blech) before I add it.

But the rolls are good again. (Until someone goes after the cooking oil.)


What's the best dish you make? What's the worst thing you've ever made?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Makeover Mayhem

One day last spring, I was lamenting the perpetually chaotic state of my older girls' (10&12) room. Holy toledo, it was bad! So I threatened my daughters with, "One of these days you're going to come home from school and find that I've cleaned, de-cluttered, and rearranged your room the way I want!"

I expected some eye-rolling in return, but what I got was two wide grins and two enthusiastic OKAY's!

Dang it.

So I struck a deal with my girls: if they would watch the two younger children for me, I would lock myself in their room and prepare a surprise makeover. They readily agreed.

Daughter #1 is a ginormous fan of "Lord of the Rings." Daughter #2 loves monkeys. The room decor evolved into something like "Lord of the Monkeys." (The motherless living room and kitchen, meanwhile, were more like "Lord of the Flies," but that's another story.)

Long story short, it was a BOATLOAD of work! I had furniture, power tools, sewing equipment, painting supplies, and hardware scattered from corner to corner. There was stud-finding, counter-sinking of screw heads (I might be a wee bit proud of that one), hot-glue, repairing of dresser drawers, duct tape, shelf-building, custom-sewn bedding, yard-sale scavenging, and hours upon hours of peeling extra vinyl around quotes from "Lord of the Rings."

Here's where Year of No Fear came in (aside from tackling a gargantuan project that I put off for 4 months . . . ): Not long before my self-imposed deadline, I ran to Wal-Mart to quickly purchase some monkey fabric for a bulletin board. As I was choosing my fabric, the fabric girl wandered out of the fabric section. I waited at the counter for her to cut my fabric (that's 5 "fabric"s in 3 sentences, if you're wondering), but several minutes went by with no assistance. I even dinged the "ring for help" bell! I hate dinging those bells. It makes me feel all bossy and pushy. (Stop mocking me.)

I was anxious to get back home and nobody was coming! More customers were beginning to line up behind me. One lady had even gone to automotive to request a page, but no luck. So I stood there feeling more and more irritated. Visions danced through my head of a smug fabric girl engaged in all sorts of irresponsible, time-wasting activities while I stood helplessly waiting!

Then a thought came to me: If I was my friend, K, who's not the kind to stand around waiting for assistance, what would I be doing? I would be picking up the fabric desk phone and demanding some help, that's what! (K later confirmed that I was correct.) So I did! I picked up the phone, hit some numbers until someone answered (the fitting room, as luck would have it?), and explained my plight.

Turns out the fitting room carries about as much clout as automotive. Nobody appeared.

By now I had been waiting at least 15 minutes. What would K do next, I wondered? Of course she would pick up that fancy pricing gun, print her own sticker, cut her own fabric, and skitter off to the checkout stand, that's what! (K informs me that I was WRONG, but I didn't know that until later.) So I grabbed the pricing gun, scanned my fabric bolt, and started fiddling around, trying to get it to print a sticker.

You know, they make that look really easy. IT'S NOT. Ten minutes later, when the fabric girl FINALLY showed up, I was still punching buttons with a furrowed brow. Upon being caught red-handed, I immediately decided that the poor girl had probably been the helpless victim of sudden and prolonged gastrointestinal distress, and who was I to judge? I sheepishly handed over the gun with a flimsy apology, which she sheepishly took with NO apology (it's hard to apologize for gastrointestinal attacks), and nothing more was spoken while she cut and priced my fabric.

My audacious courage didn't save me any time, but I did watch her like a hawk so the next time she goes AWOL, I'll be all over that pricing gun!

The makeover was a success, and the children survived their week as orphans. (Yes, that's a hammock. She's slept in it going on 2 years now. I will either be known as the coolest mom ever, or the chiropractor's standing Caribbean cruise fund.)

My Belated Wednesday question for you:
Who wants to makeover the younger kids' room?

Ha, just kidding.


Confession Wednesday

I confess that I worked on a post on and off all day, but forgot to finish and post it.

Anyone else have something to confess?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Year of No Fear Me!

Today marks one month until my birthday! There were many fears conquered, attempted, and put on hold.

Conquered!-Christmas ornament exchange party I had avoided for years! Can't wait to go again this year!

Attempted?-Making phone calls to people I don't know. I have done well with some people but I still have a phone number of a new friend that I want to call but just can't get the nerve to.

Put on Hold*-Shooting a gun. My doctor recommended I wait until I'm not pregnant. She was confused by why I was wanting to shoot a gun anyway.

So I post the question, what should I do in the next month? After my birthday hits I won't be stopping my year of no fear, I do have to give birth shortly after so I'll need no fear more than ever! But in the next month what are some suggestions of fears I should conquer? I'll pick one suggestion and let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Confession Wednesday-Worry, Worry!

I came to a new conclusion on Sunday. Probably one of the best yet for my year of fear. I worry to much! I worry about everything! There have been many nights I haven't gotten much sleep because I worry too much. I worry about money, kids, husband, business, parents, friends, the house, the future, the list could go on and on. I know that worrying is bad, but it is in my blood! If you think I sound like a worrier you haven't met my dad and brother!

So now that I figured this out what will I do about it? To stop worrying would be a major overhaul on who I am. What will I think about all day and night if I don't allow myself to worry? Well I will tell you, nothing! It has been a fabulous few days where every time a worry creeps into my head, no matter what time of day, I tell myself that worrying doesn't do any good and I am not going to do it. I have found my thoughts filled with positive, wonderful things.

The worst part of worrying is the "what ifs" which get me no where. Case in point: I've been dreading my oldest starting 7th grade, I had a terrible 7th grade year and I didn't know any other kind of 7th grade year could happen. I could write an entire post on the terrible 7th grade year I had. I've been worried for at least the summer months, if not longer. What would it be like for her? Would she be sad? Lonely? Overwhelmed? Hateful? Angry? I've been worrying all summer. So yesterday she starts school. Since I no longer worry I thought about her often during the day but not worried about her just curious what she was doing. She came home a completely different child. I think I picked up the wrong one from school! She has struggled with attitude issues all summer with me, moped around the house often and didn't engage much with the family. She said she had a wonderful first day and didn't stop talking all night. She apologized when I casually mentioned please don't leave your shoes on the pillows. This morning she happily put away the clean dishes, cleaned up additionally around the kitchen, made her lunch, cleaned up after herself and left with a smiling, happy attitude. What is going on? Is it the week she spent at grandma's and realized I wasn't so bad? Is it my attitude-more happy, less worry? Is it her, where she changed from something else? So far 7th grade is shaping up to be her best year ever! I won't worry about why she is so great-I'll just enjoy it!

Confession time: Are you a worrier? What do you worry about? How do you deal with your worries?

Monday, September 1, 2008


Hey everyone, thanks for your bids! The Year of No Fear Auction will be donating $205 to the Nielson's Recovery Fund!

Winners are as follows:

Diaper/Wipes Holder #1 goes to Melissa, Ryan & Addy (that's one bidder) for $15.
Diaper/Wipes Holder #2 goes to ~love for $10.
The Portrait Session goes to Liz for $80.
The Cinnamon Rolls go to a bidder who wishes to remain anonymous for $100. (Wouldn't you want to remain anonymous if you had a pan-full of tasty baked goods?)

If you're a winner, please click here . . .

. . . and make your donation directly to the recovery fund (Paypal account not required). Then please forward your Paypal receipt to yearofnofear at gmail dot com, along with contact information, and we'll get your items to you!

Thanks so much for helping the Nielsons!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Auction 4: Cinnamon Rolls

Are you wondering what this is all about? Click here to find out!

Up for grabs: One dozen scrumptious homemade cinnamon rolls! (Again, Rogue Valley Locals only. They're no good after 3 days in the mail.) They won't be naked like these ones - they'll be frosted or glazed!

  • Please bid for this item in this post's comments. Check the comments to see the current bid.
  • Please bid in whole dollar amounts.
  • Bidding will close Sunday at 10:00pm, Pacific Time. Winners will be announced Monday.
  • You don't need a Paypal account to donate - they take credit, debit, or bank accounts
Happy bidding! Thanks for helping such a great cause!

Auction 3: Portrait Session

Are you wondering what this is all about? Click here to find out!

Next up! A portrait session. (Rogue Valley Locals only.) The winner will receive a sitting, 25 printed 4x6 pictures, a CD of 100+ pictures, a web gallery, and up to an hour of photoshopping on request. See examples at (click on "Gallery" or "Portfolio").

  • Please bid for this item in this post's comments. Check the comments to see the current bid.
  • Please bid in whole dollar amounts.
  • Bidding will close Sunday at 10:00pm, Pacific Time. Winners will be announced Monday.
  • You don't need a Paypal account to donate - they take credit, debit, or bank accounts
Happy bidding! Thanks for helping such a great cause!

Auctions 1&2: Diaper/Wipes Holders

Are you wondering what this is all about? Click here to find out!

First up! Two handy-dandy Diaper/Wipes Holders! One will go to each of the two highest bidders. These will be handmade in boy or girl fabric (your choice), and we'll cover the shipping.

  • Please bid for this item in this post's comments. Check the comments to see the current bid.
  • Please bid in whole dollar amounts.
  • Bidding will close Sunday at 10:00pm, Pacific Time. Winners will be announced Monday.
  • You don't need a Paypal account to donate - they take credit, debit, or bank accounts
Happy bidding! Thanks for helping such a great cause!

NieNie Day

Today is NieNie day, and we're hosting four auctions in honor of Christian and Stephanie (NieNie) Neilson (parents of 4 young children), who were critically injured in an airplane crash, and who have months and months of recovery ahead of them. You can follow their story at, (one of my favorite blogs) and you can see Stephanie's well-loved and immensely popular blog at All of today's proceeds will go directly to the Nielson's recovery fund.

Read more about NieNie Day at

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Wednesday!

Here's the skinny on tomorrow's auction:

  • We'll list each item tomorrow as a separate post, and you can bid in the comments. (ie. "I bid $5.")
  • Please bid in whole dollar amounts.
  • Bidding will end Sunday at 10:00pm, Pacific time.
  • On Monday we'll post the winners and a link to the Neilsen's Paypal Fund. Winners can pay to the fund, then forward us a copy of the receipt along with their contact information.

And now . . . a preview of our auction items! (Don't bid until tomorrow!)

Up for grabs:

Auctions 1 & 2: TWO lovely diaper/wipes holders, perfect for sliding into your purse on the way out the door! (Also prevents "bunchy diapers" - you know how they get when they tumble around loose for a awhile.) The winners can tell us whether they want girl or boy fabric. We'll cover shipping.

Auction 3: A portrait session. (Rogue Valley Locals only.) The winner will receive a sitting, 25 printed 4x6 pictures, a CD of 100+ pictures, a web gallery, and up to an hour of photoshopping on request. See examples at (click on "Gallery" or "Portfolio").

(Please, please don't misconstrue this as me using Stephanie''s Auction Day to advertise. I am absolutely not trying to drum up extra business, as I am much too scatter-brained to handle any more than what I've already got. Don't believe me? Ask the soccer coach who sat with my poor forgotten daughter an extra 20 minutes after practice last night . . .)

Auction 4: One dozen scrumptious homemade cinnamon rolls! (Again, Rogue Valley Locals. They're no good after 3 days in the mail.) They won't be naked like these ones - they'll be frosted or glazed! (Like unto the apology batch I'll be making for a certain soccer coach . . . )

Thanks for helping us help out!

And since it's Anonymous Confession Wednesday, (and since this was one of the amazing things Stephanie did for her kids just days before she was hurt) tell me this:

What are your family's back-to-school traditions?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Auction for NieNie

I'm sure you all know what this button is about. (If not, you can follow the story at Heaven knows it's occupied many of my waking thoughts in the past week. I wanted to write something eloquent . . . the sum of the thoughts bouncing around in my head, but I can't seem to collect them, and in a million years I could never say it as beautifully as this. (So read that instead.)

YONF and I talked, and we're going to participate in Thursday's online auction. We'll be having our own Year of No Fear auction right here on Thursday . . . items to be announced soon! All proceeds will go directly and speedily to the Neilsens' recovery fund, of course.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

YONF Tagged!

Thanks Mrs. B for the tag!

Favorite Color: Red

Hometown: Medford, OR

Kids: 3 girls, almost 2 boys

Number of Siblings: 1 brother

Unknown Fact About Me: I've traveled to England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and Italy.

Favorite Store: Target

Worst Habit: Bite my fingernails.

Your Favorite Food: hamburgers

Zodiac Sign: Libra

Last movie at the theater: Dark Knight

Favorite TV show: Seinfeld

Favorite Sandwich: Ham and cheese

Listening to right now: silence, wonderful quiet silence

Last thing you ate: tomatoes, basil, and mozarella cheese made by my husband

Under your bed: I’m not really sure!

Towns have you lived in: Bend, OR; Medford, OR; Provo, UT; Salt Lake City, UT; Medford, OR; Ashland, OR; back to Medford for the last time!

I tag our new friend Megan!


I was tagged, but since I'm a rule-breaker (I drove OUT the IN path at the Pear Farm this week!), I'm shaking up the tag a little. Forgive me Jill.

Favorite Color: Green
Hometown: Ashland, OR
Kids: 3 girls, 1 boy
Number of Siblings: 3 sisters, 4 brothers
Unknown Fact About Me: I ate 3 Big Macs for lunch on a dare in 1993. I haven't had one since.
Favorite Store: Ikea, of course
Worst Habit: Procrastination
Your Favorite Food: Chinese, dessert
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Last movie at the theater: Kung Fu Panda
Favorite TV show: I Love Lucy & The Muppets
Favorite Sandwich: BLT
Listening to right now: Kids scooting chairs around the kitchen.
Last thing you ate: Herman Cake
Under your bed: Food storage
Towns have you lived in: Layton, Portland, Medford, Ashland, Provo, Ashland again, Wichita Falls (TX), Ashland again, Layton agin, Hill AFB, Ogden, Medford again.

You're IT, YONF.