Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Amazing fun "Burgers & fries"

These cupcakes would be really fun for the upcoming holiday.

They were pretty simple, and didn't take a lot of time.

I made two dozen cupcakes using yellow cake mix, and another two dozen in chocolate (fudge brownies cut in circles can be substituted for the chocolate cupcakes).

Remove the wrappers and cut each yellow cupcake in half like a hamburger bun.

Lightly dust tops with powdered sugar or sesame seeds (I vote sugar, no surprise there).

Remove wrappers from chocolate cupcakes and cut rounded tops off. These are your "hamburger patties."

Re-assemble thus: yellow cupcake bottom, chocolate cupcake top

Then make "lettuce" from green icing using a leaf tip.

Make "ketchup" with red icing using round tip.

Make "mustard" with yellow icing using round tip.

(let your condiments "hang over" the edge a little so they can be seen after the tops are added)

Put dusted yellow cupcake top on, use a fancy toothpick if you got 'em.

For the "home fries" I totally cheated. Used refrigerated cookie dough (GASP!!!). I know. Scandalous.

Slice like you're making cheater cookies, then use pizza slicer to cut into "fries." You'll need to add some space between them, they will spread and stick together.

Don't forget to hide the evidence: eat the chocolate cupcake bottoms with the extra icing. Don't share with your kids. They're not worthy. Bring 'em to my house, I'll help you. It's a sacrifice, but I love you so I'll help you out, just this once.

Makes (obviously) twenty four cupcakes. And makes you look like you know a pasta fork from a braising pan. Be careful, this might raise people's expectations about your talents and abilities.

Don't forget the little puddle of "ketchup" for the fries.

and linking here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I had that dream again..... know the one. Where you dream that the house is somehow bigger. It has many variations (like the one where you open a door you have never noticed in the basement and find a whole other house), and usually manifests when the house is a mess and crammed to the gills with stuff we really don't need.

Last night I dreamed Hubby surprised me by purchasing a new HUGE house. There were so many rooms! A real dedicated dining room! A bedroom for everyone, no more sharing! A craft room for me and a study for Hubby! There were so many rooms that I started thinking "we should rent some of this out, we could never possibly use it all!"

I've thought that before, in real life.

When we moved to our present home of 2200sf with 4 bedrooms we were swimming in extra space. How could we possibly fill it up? The old house was 1400sf with 3 bedrooms, we had been living like sardines. The new house was so spacious!

And now it is not.

We have 5 couches. Two dining tables. Fifteen 6ft bookcases crammed with books. Four very large desks. And all the crap that comes with living with five kids aged 8-20. The second family room has been converted into a bedroom for poor Luke Skywalker whose differences with his older brother made sharing a room unbearable for both.

But, alas, the dream turned sour.

The new imaginary house was in far west Provo. It was next to a huge factory, with no close neighbors. There were lots of horrid problems, and Hubby kept saying "we can fix that!" I think he just wanted more room for his books.

Alas, I must continue to make do with a house that really, should fit us just fine.

Maybe if I have a yard sale........maybe we could fit again.

Eventually, though I want to live here.

I've been dreaming of living in that house since I was seven years old (except mine had furniture and lots of FABULOUS clothing, and I was the 1973 Miss America Barbie).

Friday, June 25, 2010

a day that shall live in infamy

Twenty-two years ago today, I was doing this:

And this too, unfortunately.

Surprisingly enough, there was no liquor involved, so I really have no excuse for this type of behaviour. Or that headpiece. I can only plead "80's" on that count, really.

Sixteen years ago, this was us. You can see half of that cute little flower girl there on the right. She's in way too many of our pictures. Love you, Britt!

You can't say I didn't know what I was getting into, I've known Hubby since we were sixteen years old. He was my best friend's boyfriend. She married mine, I married hers (she married mine first, okay?). He has always been insane. Here's some evidence:

He, also, knew exactly what he was getting into.

This is us, up at the cabin, very shortly after we got engaged. Man, we were young! Hubby still has hair! Again, I have no excuse for my unfortunate choice of headwear. I suppose you could say that I was just providing opportunites for my future children to mock me. It is weird to think that Thing One is less than a year younger than I was in this picture.

Love the matchy flannel shirts, don't you? And Hubby is very hip in his "Members Only" jacket. If you were from the 80's you would understand that reference. The rest of won't understand until your children start to ridicule your own very cool wardrobe. (And my jacket is "Eddie Bauer." Some things are always cool. Although it would be cooler if it were "Jack Bauer" instead, right? Crap. That last joke was Hubby channeling in with his sense of humor. After 22 years, I can't believe I'm telling his jokes. Drat.)

So, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Sweetie. I love you! And I'm glad you've been by my side making trouble and having fun this last twenty-two years.

Photo of the day

I'm probably (okay, definitely) the only person you know who would look across a mall parking lot pointing at this and yell "Look! Mordor!"

Yeah, I'm a dork like that.

(I'm referring to the lovely foreboding sunset here, not Pirate Island, okay? Just wanted to make that clear.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Once upon a time many many years ago, in a land where no one had ever heard of Barak Obama, there was a book. One book, not a trilogy, mind you. My teenage daughter read this book and said, "Mom, you might like this."

Ever since a friend of mine told me she reads everything her kids read (thanks VitaGirl) in order to properly stalk her own children, I have done the same. And I have found some very good reads as a result.

Back to this book: this lone book for young adult readers. She didn't tell me anything about it, and I read it. And thoroughly enjoyed it. I was surprised to find it was about vampires. No one else I knew had read it and spoiled it for me. This book was followed by a second book, equally riveting. Wasn't quite expecting werewolves.

Unfortunately, by the time the third book came out, the masses had discovered it, and ruined that twilight world for us both. It was only made worse when they made a movie out of it. A BAD MOVIE. Why is it that Hollywood takes really good books and makes them into really bad movies? Why, Stephanie, why did you let them? Why is Bella an emotionless hack? Why is does Edward look like the LAST guy you would want to go to prom with? And Jacob....well even this old lady can say Jacob is hot, but he can't save the movie by himself, now, can he?

And, Stephanie, why didn't you make the books just a little harder to read so the bimbos wouldn't be interested? Use just a few more BIG WORDS to scare them off next time, would you? Thing One is with me on this one, Steph. And she was one of the FIRST to read the book when it first came out.

And now the third movie is about to be released. And poor Thing One, she works in a movie theater.

She just sent me this text message from work:

"Dear Diary. Today I get to fulfill my life's dream of selling twilight merchandise to screaming teenage girls. Mah life, it is complete (NOT).

followed by:

"I am in the box office with two Jacob Black standees. Creepy."

Poor child. Never, in her wildest dreams five years ago could she have imagined this scenario. Neither could I.

Now, when I have nightmares, it's not the vampires or werewolves that scare me, it's the SCREAMING TEENAGE GIRLS.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Conversation with Eclair.

Wow. What a day. Had the ENTIRE family over & made my world famous lasagne last Sunday for Father's Day. Lotsa kids. This is most of them, the ones who are related to me anyway. Thing Two is missing for some reason, probably hiding from me. You know how much he loves having his picture taken.

There were a few missing though. My brother and his family live back east, and although they come out every summer, they weren't here yet. Eclair has a favorite cousin in that family, and was asking about her on Sunday:

E: Mom, how come Splinter didn't come?

M: Splinter? Who is Splinter?

E: My favorite cousin. Remember? I call her Splinty?

M:?????? Who are you talking about?

E: Splinty! You know, my favorite cousin?

M: Is Splinter a boy or a girl?

E: A girl, Mom. She likes to play dress-up with me. And she has a brother, I think.

M: ????(asking Screamapillar) Do you know who she is talking about?

S: I have no idea.

E: You know mom, she lives far away? And she plays with me when they come here for vacation.


E: Oh, yeah! Spencer! and I call her Spency!!! When is she coming?

M: (FacePalm) In a few weeks. Can you wait that long?

E: If I have to, I guess.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Look! I made something weird this weekend!!!

a Peck of pickled PEPPERS...

Actually, I made 7 pints. I'm not sure what a peck is, some portion of a bushel, I think. And I'm probably wrong about that, I'm just using what I learned from costuming Guys & Dolls. I canned hot pickled vegies for my Pop, who loves them for some strange reason. All afternoon on Saturday when I was making them I kept hearing "What is that funky smell?" and "Man, that stinks!" followed by "We'll come back inside when the house doesn't smell like vinegar anymore. See you next week."

But my dad was thrilled, and that's the important thing. When he opened a jar (man, that smelled HOT) he only said "YUMMM!!!" while everyone else said "Put the lid back on!" (If you're feeling especially brave, the recipe can be found in the Ball Blue Book.)

My hubby LOVES his present. He was feeling kinda left out, not being on the chore chart and I took another chore chart idea I saw somewhere in the blogiverse and came up with this:

He was a tad disappointed that it didn't come with any actual honeydew. He'll get over it. And he already fixed the swamp cooler on Saturday night, so he was able to cross something out immediately! Talk about instant gratification.

All I have done here is use an 11x14 frame that was collecting dust under the piano in the living room (I highly recommend having a baby grand piano, if for no other reason, you can cram a lot of stuff underneath it) and spraypainted it with that same "caramel latte" that I used for the desk organizer. Then I made a collage from some fun honeydew photos off the web, printed landscape with "Daddy's Honey-do List" at the top, trimmed and taped into the frame.

This next part is reeeaalllly difficult:

find the hammer and a nail so you can hang it up.

I have three hammers. You think I could find one when I need one. Screamapillar had one in her room, I don't want to know why, but I used that one.

It was easier to find a green dry erase marker in my many pen jars scattered around the house than it was to find the hammer. You have two choices with the dry erase marker: 1.) wipe off the job after you finish it or B.) cross them off one by one and only wipe it down after there is no room left to write new jobs so wife won't forget the wonderful things you have accomplished when she says "you never do anything around here." (love my run-on non-sentences?)

He says he loves it, but didn't want it hanging by his desk. He wants it in plain sight where everyone can see it (he just wants credit for crossing stuff off, I'll bet).

This really was a gift for me, you know. When I remember the really terrible jobs that I don't want to do but would prefer my big strong hubby to do for me because he is the nicest person on the planet and can never say "no" to me, then I can write them down. And he will do them. 'Cause he's cool like that.

And it wasn't all he got, either. So don't be thinking I'm a rotten wife or anything.

He got a tie, too.

And bacon.

And the most amazing lasagne dinner for 28 people ever. My whole family came, and the college/teenager kids broke in the new dining table playing Cataan and PIT!!!! for 4 hours.

A good time was had by all.


(Linking to: It's So Very Cheri , DIY Showoff and Just a Girl and House of Hepworths)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dining table & chairs AFTER

It is done. And Britny keeps asking for pictures, so here they are.

Table Before:

Ugh. very ugly.

Table After:

Ooooohhh! Shiny! (dirty ugly lineoleum, though). I must admit I had some help with the table. I sanded the top, and assigned one table leg to each of my 4 oldest slaves children to sand. I don't recommend this approach, as I had to re-sand each one myself and remove someone's initials from one table leg (barbarians).

Chairs Before:

Okay, look again -- ugly dirty seat covers!

Chairs After:
LOVE IT! Hubby loves it too. Kids think I'm weird and should have done something "cooler." Like what? Screamapillar: "Anything except that. It just looks lame and old."

Thank you , dear, for your opinion. Now go away.

I picked the fabric (from my year's supply of textiles) because I have always loved it and didn't know what to make out of it. It's an upholstery fabric with Scotch Guard, even! Great for a woman with messy childern! I thought I had gotten it from my mother, but she said it was her mother's fabric -- making the fabric likely as old as the chairs. Way cool. or Vintage-y!

It wasn't hard at all to re-do the chairs, it helps TONS if you start off with an easy to disassemble chair with four screws like this:

I then watched Simpsons with Thing One and Luke Skywalker while we pulled off the old seatcovers, removing staples with a flat screwdriver (and occasionally stabbing ourselves in the palm in the process). 623 million staples later, we had just the wooden seat and the padding.

Recovering is just like gift wrapping: the corners are the tricky part.

Keep in mind, that with a chair like this one, the corners are never seen! So who cares what they look like!! (Except for me, I'm a super control freak and everything has to be as perfect as possible. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well, right? My kids hate it when I say that.)

Okay, that's not a good one. The last one was the best one, but someone else had run off with my camera by then to take pictures of her car for her next blog entry (stay tuned for Karen's Millenium Falcon post!) so I couldn't take a picture of the PERFECT CORNER....which is now firmly screwed into a chair base. Oh well.

So here it is! Finished! but we had to keep the ugly pine bench there on the end for Eclair. It's her "spot" and she won't sit anywhere else. So it stays. Maybe I'll spray paint it to match the chairs. Not.

Oh yeah -- costs:

Table $40

Chairs $35

Wax & Stain $20

Staples & band-aids: $2.79

New dining room for under a hundred bucks. Score.

Linking to:

HodgePodge Life and Shabby Chic Cottage and Shabby Nest

Disturbing work pranks

Sometimes, people just go too far.

I was startled by this man while walking through the engineering department on the way to my car.

I'm sure the man who owns this workspace will be equally startled when he walks into his office Monday morning.

I had nothing to do with it, I swear.

Stupid Lineman dummy. Nearly gave me a heart attack.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Middle Daughter's name change

Each of the childern (yes, childern. not a typo) has a unique nickname. Most were acquired in toddlerhood, some at birth. Some before birth.

Thing One and Thing Two are obvious to the Seuss lover. They even have matching Cat in the Hat Christmas ornaments in honor of their nicknames. Thing One has also been know as "Little Bird" and "Kenya." She has the unique honor of having a nickname bestowed upon her by Hugh Nibley, who could never remember her real name. He would see us at church on Sunday and ask "And how is little Grover today?" To give him credit, he had much more important things to remember, and he remembered my husband's name, which was far more important because Dr. Nibley was Hubby's boss.

Thing Two has also been known affectionately known as "Bonehead" and "Quit touching me!" At least, that is what I hear from the other childern when he is about. We call him "Joe Cool" sometimes, the whole sax playing Snoopy inspiring that nickname.

Luke Skywalker has a few alternate names over the years. He was "lemon head" for a very brief period, specifically when he tried to be born during a Jazz playoff game in May of 1997 (yes, we did beat the Bulls during that game) when he wasn't due until November -- something about his head being the size of a lemon in the ultrasound. He has also been "Gator" because of how often he bit people when he was small. His current name suits him well because of his long-lasting obsession with Lego Star Wars, and anything to do with Star Wars.

Eclair is the beloved baby of the family, and that nickname obviously is a play on her real name. While I was pregnant with her, I grew weary of people asking "What are you having?" and started answering "A kangaroo" so that stuck for a little while. After she was born, we called her "Evil Baby." It's okay if you use it right! Really! "Loookkieee the cutsie little eeevil baby!" and such. I LOVED calling her evil baby. Still do, sometimes. Fine. Whatever. Hate me if you will, just don't call DCFS.

And getting to the point. Middle Daughter has up until now been called Middle Daughter because she needs a dedicated post to explain her genuine nickname.

From the moment she exited my womb, she has been screaming.

Piercing, shrill screams that could peel the paint from the walls.

We called her "Dactyl Baby" at first. That developed into "Katherine the Vile" for one reason: wake her before her time and you would wish you were dead. She screamed because she was hungry. Because she was tired. Because someone looked at her funny. Because she was bored. Because the sun was shining (or not shining, depending on what she wanted at that moment).

And now she is 15.

And she still screams.

At her brothers. At her sisters. At the straightening iron (she is "cursed" with naturally curly hair). At me, even, sometimes.

Funny thing, she never screams here:

Here she is, playing her sport: War paint. People kicking her in the shins. Being shoved, smacked, stolen from, ATTACKED!!!! (Soccer girls are FIERCE!!!)

But she doesn't scream at them. Only at us.

Not fair.

You may have guessed her real nickname when I posted the Servitude Schedule. I give it to you now. Click it if you dare.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Before & AFTER!

I showed you my little potential projects, and now you get to see the finished product. All I did was spray paint them -- I love spray paint! It requires almost NO SKILL WHATSOEVER. I'm really good at "no skill."

First, the desk organizer. Suffering from Seventies Syndrome (not the good kind);

Champagne spray paint, and its so much brighter & happier! Look: it even has a mummy. No desk organizer is complete without a mummy.

Next up, the mirror that I salvaged that was an ugly tacky gold color:

The after is SO much better. I used a flat black spray paint followed by a satin finish clear coat:

The only problem I have now is where to hang it. Middle Daughter has the whole Tinkerbell room going on, and refused to put anything black in there. Thing One already has an amazing mirror (a very large one that was an incredible deal at DI). The boys aren't interested, they could care less what they look like. Maybe my room? Or the entry way? Not sure what I'm going to do with it now, but I will find a place for the pitiful homeless makeover mirror.

I have finished the table, but I'm saving it for when I post the chairs. I found some amazing vintage fabric in my year's supply of fabric stored in my garage. I'm hoping to finish the chairs tonight because I FOUND MY STAPLE GUN TODAY!!!! It was in the garage in a box with some other missing tools that one of my loving children "put away" for me under a box of tuxedos (don't ask, that's a whole other story, and a long one you have no desire to hear although I'm bound to blog about it eventually).

So I hope you enjoyed today's spray paint!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dodged that bullet...

So the bishop wanted to meet with me last Sunday, and man, I really thought I was in trouble.

Turned out he just had a new assignment for me.

I was worried that my past had finally caught up with me and I was being excommunicated for my chronic inability to grow zucchini.

You see, there is a history here. I grew up in a convert family, my parents striving daily to be good Later-day Saints. Thus, they grew zucchini. And I had two important chores to contribute to the success of this endeavor: kill squash bugs, and sell the zukes. Sell the zukes? How hard can that be? Zukes are great! Everyone over the age of 18 loves zukes!

What you don't know is that my insane parents (I come by it honestly, people) would let them grow and grow and grow.......until we had 9-12 lb. zucchini. Yuk. Giant watery no-flavor zukes. And they would load them into the wagon and send us out. "Children: go forth into the wilderness and obtain riches from the fruits (or vegetables) or our labors" they would cry! And we couldn't come home until the wagon was empty.

Our non-member neighbors must have had the wisdom of saints, as they were able to ascertain our predicament (the LDS ones had no sympathy - they had their own zukes). They would buy the horrid zukes, maybe to make wallpaper paste out of, and allow us to go home. We sold them faster when we took toddler David with us for the cuteness factor. "Just give the girl a quarter, Hal, so they'll stop ringing the doorbell!"

What I learned after moving to Utah makes me think the missionaries were holding out on us converts in the wilderness: You're supposed to take the giant zukes to church with you and leave them in unlocked cars.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Who are these children and why are they calling me "Mom?"

I am blessed to be Mom to many children who I didn't have the "blessing" of giving birth to. Many young peoples (friends of my young peoples) like to come to my house and eat. I LOVE to feed them. And pester them as if I were their real mother.....

This post today is for my dear DAYNA who is living and working at Lake Powell this summer and is not able to drop in at a moment's notice and say "Got any Muddy Buddies?"

Because you have chosen to live and work in the depths of fiery hell this summer (I've been to Lake Powell before, for someone with my autoimmune disorder, it is nothing but hell), I am unable to send these in a care package. They would completely dissolve in the heat. And you would be sad. We can't have that!! So here is Mommy's Special Muddy Buddies Recipe. If you want the commercial version from CHEX, click here. If you want the best version ever, keep reading.

You'll need:
1 14 oz. box Western Family Corn Squares (about 9 cups)
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup margarine
1-2 cups powdered sugar

Pour your cereal out into a large mixing bowl, you'll need space for mixing. On very low heat melt the margarine, then add chocolate chips, and stir until combined. When all the chips are melted, add the peanut butter and continue mixing. If the heat is too high it will be thick and lumpy. If you add vanilla extract like in that other recipe it will be thick and lumpy. Thick and lumpy is BAD. Very bad. As soon as it is creamy, pour slowly over the cereal, stirring to coat evenly. This is where I'm all OCD and make sure every piece is evenly coated. It ain't pretty, just don't come in the kitchen until I am done with this part. I use a rubber scraper for this because I am such a complete control freak about my muddy buddies. Get every inch of that chocolaty sauce out of the pan, it must not go to waste! Instead, it goes to my waist. After this part is done, add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time, keep stirring until it looks like it needs more. And more. And more. At some point the chocolate stops absorbing the powdered sugar and they start to look a little white. You can stop with the powdered sugar at this point, unless you want more. Hey, knock yourself out with the powdered sugar, why don't ya.

End result = yummy.

Go make some, Dayna. And don't forget to turn off the stove.

(posted here to share)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mission Control

Here's some more "before and after" for ya:

This is Mission Control for our house.
because we just aren't normal people, we need a bigger calender to cram our many activities into. The rule is, "If it's not on the calendar, it doesn't exist & nobody goes."
Bell schedule
for the high school (so I can text them between classes and/or know if they are in class while texting me so I can text back "don't *&^%$#@ text me while you're in class").
HS Soccer schedule
so I know where the heck I am going this week to yell my head off cheering a game that after seven years I still know nothing about (Go my favorite sports team, go! Score another goal basket unit!).
Elementary schedule
because those people just take the most freaking random days off and you never know until it's too late to plan something fun that: the little ones are going to be home today......
Phone list and an assortment of notes with random phone numbers written by small children that might reach the Dali Llama or Barry Manilow.
I would like to hang nicely someday, but they are here on random nails so they won't get broken.

Guess what? School is out so I threw away all the schedules (liberation!). Here's the new and improved Mission Control:

Still has Barry Manilow's phone number, though, in case Eclair wants to go over there to play.

Here's the part that may need some more explaining. As part of the new "anti-boredom summer device" I have created a detailed list of what has to be done before the job is complete. Why, yes, I am an OCD Type A Control Freak, why do you ask?
Yes, the downstairs bathroom is a dungeon. Only Thing Two is brave enough to use it. Desperately needs a makeover, but not until I have an extra $2000 kicking around.

These are actual photos of my actual house. In it's natural state (which in scientific terms would be called "a big heinous mess"). Just trying to keep it real here, folks, it's nothin' you ain't already seen.

Did you notice the giant trash can in the dining room? Yeah, the one with wheels on. I love this trash can. It's like the Energizer Bunny: it just keeps going and going. I can throw away all the crap left behind by children all day long. It doesn't fill up too fast, and I can keep throwing things away for hours. Take it everywhere with me when I'm cleaning. I even got a whole doll house in there once (don't tell Eclair, she thinks the dog ate it). Did I mention that I love this trash can? It's my bestest friend in the whole world.

Man, I need to get out more if the trash can is my best friend....


Here are the "before" photos of the current projects:

Desk organizer, DI, $1.00
shows potential.....

Gaudy gold mirror from grandma's house, free:

Again, potential, I love mirrors.

Set of four sturdy and lovely chairs, DI, $35 for all:

I am totally in love with these chairs. I wish you could fully appreciate how disgusting the seat covers are though. Any suggestions for replacement fabric? Maybe zebra stripe? Care Bears? I do have both.

Table with leaf, DI, $40:

Pretty bad surface, but sturdy in construction. Turned legs a monster to sand for refinishing. But, we desperately need a bigger table instead of using the small table and the bar for family meals. Wouldn't it be lovely if the ugly pine table could match the lovely mahogany chairs?

Stay tuned......

And by the way, those photos of the table and chairs reveal a new project that really needs to happen: Ugly Deck Makeover......

Monday, June 7, 2010

The newest "Anti-Boredom Device" for summer.

Yeah, if I were a normal person, I'd call it a chore chart.

But I'm not, and if you didn't know that already, you might as well click "next blog" now.

I see so many cute things on other people's blogs, and I think to myself, "Self, you're a moderately intelligent human being (at times), you could make that!" And I saw a cute idea for a chore chart. Cute little tile magnets, cute printed paper, And it looked like the glue-gun-impaired part of me might be able to manage it. Until I started pricing out all the parts & pieces required to make it.

Yeah, right.

We'll get right on that one, $45 chore chart.

The reason I need a chore chart is because I have five children. And because I have five children, I can't afford a $45 chore chart. If I had $45 sitting around un-earmarked to fees & expenses, I'd be sitting at Cold Stone eating "German Chocolate Cake" right now. Forty five dollars worth of "German Chocolate Cake" mind you.

So I have improvised. What will a magnet stick to other than a $12 sheet of galvanized steel custom cut to fit your pretty little specialty item $8 router-cut board?

A COOKIE SHEET. You know, I think I just might have 47 million of those.

And do I need to order my little glass tiles from Etsy at $10 for ten tiles, plus shipping? Wait! Got 30 at Lowe's for $2.24 (cool clear sea glass with little bubbles!!!!). I could have got the $.84 clearance ones, because we all know what a big spender I am, but those weren't as cute as these. They were ugly for all their budgetary cheapness, and I have standards, you know!


And those really strong earth magnets, those you gotta have (as I have learned because my Scrabble magnets are always falling off the fridge after being played with by little people who live in or visit my house). Etsy again at about the same price as the craft store, but I'd have to order 100 of them. Hmmmm..... maybe I should reconsider that one, I could make more chores with 100 magnets!!!!! But I'd have to pay for shipping the heavy things, and then I couldn't use the 40% off coupon. Craft store wins this time.

Scrapbook paper backgrounds for each person's assignments. Yeah, right again. I'm a freakin' photographer, right? So let's print some photos instead of using scrapbook paper! Then no one can say "I didn't know which chores were mine!" Lets pick really embarrassing photos: Thing One wearing the "Bridesmaid from the Black Lagoon" dress, for example. The dress with the slug sleeves. Yeah. This is getting better and better!!!!Here's the step by step on how this amazing feat was accomplished:

1. Cookie sheet is ugly. Scrub with steel wool. For what seems like hours. Still ugly. Use Modge Podge to cover ugliness with sheet of white tissue paper. Moderately better.

2. Size photos of children and print to fit back of cookie sheet so it looks like there was SOME thought and effort that went into this..... dimensions for mine called for 5x5 photo prints, made in PhotoShop Elements.

3. Print photos trying not to think of how color printer ink costs more per ounce than gold. Cut out and Modge Podge to back of cookie sheet.

4. Create list and find matching pictures for chore tiles. Look for really difficult jobs for the kids that annoy you, and easy ones for your favorite child (Quit denying it, everyone has a favorite).

5. Print to fit tiles (mine were 1", so pics a bit smaller) trying once again not to think of how color printer ink costs more than gold. Mod Podge to tiles and allow to dry.

6. Using SUPER AMAZING E6000 glue, VERY CAREFULLY glue the magnets to the back of the tiles. Don't put them too close to each other or they will pull each other's magnets off. Seriously. And don't get in the way if the magnets decide to fly toward their apparent life partner 12 inches away -- or thanks to E6000 glue, YOU will be the magnet's life partner.

7. Nail your finished project to the wall and proclaim for all to hear: "HERE ARE YOUR CHORES! DO THEM OR DIE!!!!!!"
8. Giggle and laugh with your husband at the childrens plight while coming up with amusing titles for the "Chore Chart." Like, "Activities Options List" and "Servitude Scheduling" or, as I have titled this post "Anti-Boredom Device."

And here is the finished product for your consideration.
(Note the extra "Brownie Points" for insane people who might be looking for more work to do.)

Now go make a servitude schedule for your own children, before they start to think that you love them or something.
(update on this post).
linking to:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

1000 VISITS!!!

Lookie at the little counter at the bottom! We've had 1000 VISITS!!!

Most of them were me looking for typos......lets subtract my clicks:

Lookie! We've had 11 visits!!!

And here's a snapshot to celebrate:

This lovely blurry photo taken as the sun was going down is Middle Daughter (#13) kicking some girl in the shins. She's amazing. At kicking people in the shins, I mean.

And she's pretty good at soccer too.

She's coming home today. It has been quiet without her. The boys have no one to fight with but themselves, and that's no fun. Everyone know that tormenting a sister has 10X the value of pestering a brother.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Photo and Quote of the Day...

"Never, never, never grow up."
Winston Churchill



Got that one wrong.


Okay, so never give up on not growing up. Okay?

This message brought to you today by:
Princesses in Sombreros Anonymous.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Top Ten Things to do for SUMMER VACATION!!!

So, today is the official first day of summer. Friday doesn't count because the elementary school kids still had to go to school even though the high school ones didn't. And apparently, Memorial Day (yesterday) doesn't count because it was a holiday and there wouldn't have been school anyway.

So, here it is. My list of the top ten things we should do as a family for SUMMER VACATION!!!!!!

10. Boys: get caught up on all the scouting stuff.
9. Go camping
8. Take a trip, maybe to California to visit my sister.
7. Spend time working in the garden & grow some good stuff to eat.
6. Remodel the family room (an ongoing project to make a difficult space work).
5. Get the house clean!!!! Make some major donations to DI and downsize.
4. Spend more time serving others -- get out and do something in the community.
3. See more movies together (maybe at the theater and not always the Red Box).
2. Plan some great day trips & spend time with the whole family.
1. Go camping again (I love camping).

Alas, I doubt my top ten list will go far.

Behold the children's top ten list:

10. Play X-box & PlayStation.
9. Play on the computer all day.
8. Watch tv all day long in our pajamas striving to forget anything we learned in school last year.
7. Sleep in until the crack of noon.
6. Stay up late doing relatively nothing.
5. Play night games.
4. Eat in every room (even the off limits ones) and leave dirty dishes behind.
3. Do absolutely no chores whatsoever.
2. Lie around proclaiming our boredom to the world.
1. Stay up late (see #6) so we can sleep in (see #7).

Lofty goals, indeed.

Who will win?