Monday, November 21, 2011

Pie, anyone?

Okay, serious post here. It happens so infrequently that hopefully it will stand out.

Over the next few weeks I am going to be doing a bunch of posts on homemade and money saving gift ideas, things we are doing or have done in the past. We have five kids and not a lot of money, but even if we did, I don't think I would be throwing a bunch of money around and teaching our kids that Christmas is about Santa Claus bringing you video games. It should be focused on GIVING not GETTING.

Today I'd like to share what we do for "neighbor treats." The note we are sending to all our friends and neighbors starts out like this:

We LOVE you!
But once again, we have sent
your Christmas treat
 to Kyrgyzstan.

Why? Because I rediscovered a good friend from high school through Face Book a few years ago, and her story is truly amazing. After many childless years with her wonderful husband, they decided to go looking for their children. They found them: four in Kazakhstan, and one in Kyrgyzstan. If you would like to learn more about this wonderful family, please visit their blog at:

Last year Cindy volunteered to take a pie in the face if people contributed $500 to a fundraiser to send much needed supplies to the orphanage where their third son was adopted. And for each additional $100, her husband and kids would get pied as well. Needless to say, I was happy to help Cindy enjoy some pie. Enough was donated for ALL to enjoy some pie. For the past few years, we've been donating our budget for neighbor treats to charities. It's hard to spend all that time and money on creating little plates or bags of treats (and then trying to deliver them all), when all around us there are people whose situations are sometimes quite desperate. Before last year, we had donated to the local food bank. Last year we donated to Cindy's charity. This year we are blessed to be able to do both.

And I challenge you to do the same.

Don't bring me a treat. I don't need it anyway, I'm trying to lose weight. Cut back in some very small way, and find someone who needs that small bit more than you do. If you are interested in our little orphanage project, you can go here to donate: (they even sent a statement the following January so we could declare the donation on our taxes). As you can see on the site, Cindy and Company are assured their pies again this year. Pick someone else on the list if you'd like to make sure the pies are evenly distributed, or we can just continue to gang up on the La Joy clan. If your inclination is to donate elsewhere, PLEASE do, there are SO MANY organizations out there looking for help, even in your own community. A donation of even $5 in the right hands can do great things. If you can't donate monitarily, find somewhere you can serve.

Alma 37:6  Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass;

In this season where we celebrate Thanksgiving for the many blessings we have, and the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, may we reach out to those less fortunate. Let us lend a hand in fellowship and love to our brothers and sisters, wherever they may be.

Friday, November 18, 2011

In the middle of the night....

....weird things start to happen. People say stuff that you would NEVER expect to hear, say, at four in the afternoon.

Today I applied fresh caulking to the big picture window behind the window seat in the dining room. When Thing One came home from choir practice and sat in said window seat, I reminded her, "be careful, there's wet silicone seal behind you. Don't mess it up."

To which she replied, "It's a good thing you said that, 'cause I was just about to lick it."


And a few minutes later, Muffin-cat was found stalking on the dining room table, apparently munching on something. Hubby picked her up and unceremoniously dumped her on the floor, thinking she was eating something left behind by a lazy child.

Instead, he exclaims "WHAT are you eating the BAND-AIDS for?!?"

Ew again.

To top it all off, Thing One complained on her Face Book status about getting braces on today. She said "Braces are weird and annonying." And her friend posted a video in reply, saying "So is this."

And then we all watched in horror with the occasional hysterical giggle. I had seen it before, and I think it is so weird that I can only recommend that EVERYONE see it at least once:

Somebody seriously has too much time on their hands.


 Ew a lot.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Weighty matters

Hubby and I have become.....sedentary. And weight gain has been the unfortunate result. I started a diet a couple months ago, and I'm down 15 lbs. I've been gently encouraging Hubby to join me in the quest to rediscover my waistline, and I think I might have sparked a little interest. Here's the conversation we had in the car this morning on the way to work:

Hubby: I've started a diet!

Me: Really.

H: It's a PIE diet!

M: A PIE diet? (thinking that PIE would be some kind of acronym and forgetting that Luke Skywalker's leftover birthday pie is still in the fridge...)

H: YES! I eat nothing but pie! Pie is good, right? I has healthy things like bananas! And it includes the Sugar group!

M: I'm not sure if that is a good thing.

H: Yeah, it is! Whipped cream has like some kind of milk in it, right?

M: *facepalm*

H: The best part is that when we run out of pie I can't eat anymore and I will lose weight. WIN!

(I think he presumes that I have forgotten that Thanksgiving is next week, and that pie will become a staple over the next six weeks. I predict weight gain.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Luke Skywalker ages gracefully.

My little boy is growing up and is super old. Seriously. When Thing One turned 14, I cried. No less today, when the second youngest is old enough to attend Stake dances. But he still can't date, so no true despair yet.

I must say that this sweet boy has provided me with more beautiful photos than perhaps any of the other children. He always has a smile on his face, and is a more willing helper that all the other children combined. He is not allowed to ever grow up and leave me. He can just keep living here forever.

Here's my cute baby: the demolition derby...

...taking shelter from the rain and eating raspberry ice cream at Bear Lake...

...impersonating a wall on behalf of Pyramus and Thisbe...

This play was performed at his magnet school a couple years ago, Pyramus and a lot of others joined us last weekend for Luke's party. Funny things happen when you get a bunch of uber-smart geek boys together...

Unknown to the boys, I took a transcript of a conversation about rocks that occured over cake.

Geek One: We should totally make a comic strip on that!
Geek Two: Yeah! and Igneous Man would have awesome fire powers.
Geek One: Composite Man would be able to break down into smaller super heros whenever he wanted.
Geek Three: And Fossil would be really old, and he'd keep saying "Back in my day..."

Ah, the joys of geekery.

Happy Birthday my wonderful boy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A few letters I've been meaning to write.

Dear Upcoming Holiday Season,

You are giving me stress already. I'm worried again I will fall short and not get anything done in time for Christmas. I won't get the lights up, or the tree up, or my presents completed. I will forget to get a gift for SOMEONE again, not sure who this time. I will compose the Annual Epistle of Exaggeration and Falsehoods, and STILL not mail it out, because I'm already a month late getting our family picture taken. I am taking the easy way out again finding an awesome charity to donate to intead of making 3000 burnt cookies for the neighbors. For my co-workers and family, I'm going to have to go to the internet again for simple crafts I can make cheap and quick, and then I won't finish said crafts. Do you think that we could maybe postpone Christmas a week or two so I have a chance this year?

With undying gratitude,
Harried Housewife

Dear World Wide Web,

Thank you so much for the service you provide. Never have I had so many ways to kill time and accomplish nothing when I should really be cleaning my house. Who ever knew that I would rather read about Kim Kardashian's 72 day marriage instead of the newest book by Orson Scott Card? I wouldn't, really, I try to avoid anything about celebrities whenever I can, but I got distracted when I was looking for ideas for Christmas gifts, and the next thing you know, I actually know the name of that poor guy she married.

A mother looking for LESS information

p.s. If Farmville were to mysteriously disappear (while I might initially appear to be very upset) it would be a good thing.

Dear Pinterest,

Our relationship is an interesting one. I love you, yet I hate you. I came to you looking for some Christmas craft ideas, then wandered around looking at what my friends have posted. Maybe if you would stop posting lovely things and sucking me into a vortex of wasted time looking at stuff that I love but can never have, I might be able to spend more time with you.

Until we meet again in five minutes,

Dear Friends who post awesome things on Pinterest for me to look at,

Stop it. Right NOW. Or I'm going to have to hurt you.

Love, Me

Friday, November 4, 2011


Hubby has a trip coming up. He's had to take on some more responsibilities at work, and if that means a raise, I'm all for it.

Lately he's had to take a number of trips to talk to donors for his department at the university. Folks who might be interested in past projects and want to help fund the projects he is working on currently or in the future (some of his more fun stuff has to do with Mesoamerican swords and pre-Columbian DNA). He likes this a lot, because the donors are generally pretty sharp people who enjoy the stuff he's working on, and sometimes they get to go out for STEAK! (I don't like cholesterol, so I rarely feed hubby red meat, because I'm so mean to him that I want him with me forever.) I really think he's in it for the steak.

This month he has the opportunity to do something a little different. Here's how he explained it to me:

Hubby: "Looks like I'm going to Mexico this time."

Me: "Really? What's up with that?"

H: "Some kinda dig, or something. I'll be gone for about ten days, somewhere in the wilderness of the Baja desert."

M: "Sounds fun! Who are you going into the wilderness with? Anyone interesting?"

H: "Just a bunch of people from the university. I think one is a botanist, and an archaeologist, and some other folks. I'll be the DNA guy on this trip."

M: "Ummm.....really? Any lawyers?"

H: "Lawyers? I don't think so. Why?"

M: "Because your trip has already been made into a movie, and the lawyer was the first one to get eaten by a dinosaur. Maybe you should stay home."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween: The Aftermath

I'm a mean mom, I cut my kids off the free candy thing at thirteen. I figure by that age they're old enough to go out and make trouble with their friends instead of asking for handouts. And that way, if they don't go out with friends to make trouble, I can make them answer the door and hand out treats instead of me!

Luke Skywalker stayed home for the first time, and handed out treats.

Screamapillar only had this to say "Mom, you made us the LAME house!"

The lame house? Us? What the heck does that mean? We have our awesome windows and tombstones! And a cd playing "Monster Mash." How could we possibly be the lame house?

It's because of the "treat" we were handing out. Vampire teeth.

I don't know about you, but with all the candy out there, it's nice when you get something fun. Plus, Hubby says, when they're rotted out their teeth with all the candy, we've already provided them with a replacement set!

As a result of my mean-momness, Eclair is the only person in our household still old enough to go ask strangers for candy. When she got home with her loot, she was immediately set upon by her siblings.

Screamapillar: "You have to pay the sister-tax. Can I have some of the Snickers?"

Thing Two: "YES! She has CHOCOLATE! Brother tax!!"

Thing One: "You love me, doncha sweetie? Can I have some candy? Sister tax, you know!"

Luke Skywalker just looked at the two gallon-size bags of candy, trying not to drool. She gave him all her Twix, because he looked so pitiful.

The next morning, she was rooting through the bags, looking for breakfast. "HEY! Who ate all my Tootsie Rolls?"

You forgot to pay the Daddy and Mommy Tax, dear.