Friday, August 31, 2007

Things a Nine-Year Old Boy Thinks of!

Usually my friend Trish at Beneath the Couch Cushions does a Friday Funny. But today I could not resist adding my own! This is something that my nine year old would cry laughing at for hours if we had. I laughed (a dorky laugh according to my husband) for quite a while. Gotta go make myself some eggs for breakfast!

Peter Petrie Egg Separator!
A Revolting Gag Gift for anyone who likes to cook or bake!
This has to be one the most hideous presents you could ever give a baker or a chef. Not only is revolting to watch it, but it is actually very practical. This funny looking little piece of pottery is an egg separator, used to separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Just drop in an egg, lean it forward and Peter Petrie drips the egg whites from his nose (looks like snot) and leaves a perfect yolk inside the dish.
OUR PRICE: $ 12.89
UPDATE: In a conversation with Jill & Chris (what a fun surprise conference call!) They suggested I find a video. There is also a Hillary Clinton version of the egg separator, but I can't tell you where to buy that.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Survival, Cake Decorating, and the Gynecologist

I usually read fiction during the summer and then non-fiction the rest of the year. This Summer I worked my way through the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson. They follow seven orphaned children now grown adults that decided to form their own family, and each one changed their last name to O'Malley.

Essentially each book is the same in that each person comes to a life altering decision to follow Christ while at the same time meeting the person they will eventually marry. However, once you get past the fact that each story is the same, they are fun and quick reads. I should however mention that I do not know if this holds true for the last book because I am waiting for Carrie to finish the last book so I can still read it. (read faster girl!)

Since school has started, and I have nothing better to do, I have started reading George Barna's book, Revolutionary Parenting. This is not a book you can read in a day! I am not finished with it, but I thought I would comment on it. The gist of the book is to learn from other parents who have raised "spiritual champions" and follow what they have done. George Barna is sort of the guru of research and statistics. In his research of families that have "produced" spiritual champions he found several things in common.

The one I wanted to mention today was the idea of goal-oriented parenting vs. survival-based parenting. Part of me wants to scream, "But you've never spent a day in my house! I'm happy with survival!" But I really like the idea of having a short-term and long-term goal for each child and then ways to "track" their progress. Just like my dinners are more enjoyable when I have planned them out rather than trying to cook on the fly. I think my children will be more enjoyable if not parented on the fly.

It is taking me some time to come around and listen to some of what Barna has to say because at the beginning of the book he lists some of the conditions under which successful parenting occurs. One of those was family size. Apparently statistically speaking the fewer the children in the family the more likely they are to produce spiritual champions.
Okay, I realize that we're talking statistics. This was not my favorite college course. Come to think of it, I think I rearranged my schedule so I wouldn't have to take statistics. I like cold hard facts not what could be or what is most likely to happen. Probably part of why I do not gamble. That and the fact that I have not money to gamble.

But the point is...that this mother of six did NOT like being told that statistically speaking she had less of a chance of raising a spiritual champion that the lady in Wal-mart screaming at her two out-of-control children! Or at least that's how I read it.

All in all I am NOW enjoying this book, although, it has now made my parenting a lot more work. Today I tried being very proactive with Jeffrey (who I am still not sure will make it to three). It was a little better but maybe if I used Proactiv, his icky attitude would disappear like a blemish!

Speaking of TV commercials, Meredith came running to the kitchen today during her 30 minutes of TV (more part of that revolutionary parenting - apparently they limit their children's media exposure) to tell me we had to buy this cake thing!

"Momma, you have to see this!"
Drop everything and pay attention to me.
"It makes flowers!"
Every four-year old princess' dream.
"You can even make brown cake"
Yes, a chocolate lover already!
"And you only have to use ONE hand"
Because I am so busy with my other children I only have one hand free!

This afternoon I had my yearly gynecologist appointment. In some crazy way I was looking forward to some peace and quiet. When I got there an older lady sat down next to me and loudly asked no one why there were only parenting magazines in the waiting room.

"I messed that up so bad the first time around I don't want to know what else I messed up!"

I buried my nose deeper in Barna's book and decided to read with a more open mind!

When I saw the doctor, he asked what I was using for birth control. I responded with a firm "Nothing!" The man was speechless! It was priceless - worth the fact that he checked my tonsils from below! I didn't wait long enough to let him calculate his next Hawaiian vacation before I told him Mike had made sure there would be no more little Iversons.

And Mike assures me he will get checked every year to make sure!

Because I've already got statistics against me - better not make the odds worse!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And then there were three.

Today is the first day of school and I sent three off - all day!Such loving siblings!

Cool man, Jarrett, the first grader!

Goofy Judson, the third grader!

Beautiful Mikalah, the fifth grader!
(man, she has got to stop growing up!)

Off on their bikes!

Now there are three at home. Unfortunately they are the three that require the most work and I just lost my biggest helpers! The good news is they are also the three that still take naps. I should get at least an hour and a half of quiet in the house. We'll see how that one works out! For now I am excited to have a routine back, but kind of sad that the Summer is ended and we have to have a routine again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Okay, I've looked and hunted and I just can not figure out how to get a cute picture next to my comments. How do you do that?????


No pictures, but yesterday we took the kids to our local water park. Five slides, two back-yard size pools, and a kiddie-pool. The kids had a blast (they've never been to Schlitterbahn), Morgan got a fat lip (face plant on the concrete), and Mommy has racoon eyes (no sunscreen and big sunglasses!).

Monday, August 27, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

That's right it's football time. Depth charts, statistics, and game plan. I know some of you are saying, "great, I lose my husband every Sunday until Jan." But ladies, there's more. Monday night, Thursday night, and the occasional odd holiday. No more. I refuse to be alone. I'm joining! You heard me right. I'm joining in. Just like in college when I learned how to play golf (sort of) so I wouldn't be a golf widow, I'm playing FANTASY FOOTBALL!! I'm learning about wide receivers and running backs and which defense allows more points - fantasy points. My husband? He thinks this is HOT. His woman interested in football, playing with him, and liking (sort of) the things that he likes. And you know what? It's kind of fun. I like surprising people, so when there is a conversation swirling about, I can add, "TJ Houshmandzadeh looks like he's got good match-ups this year and should be really good in the red zone!" Leaves 'em speechless every time! And makes my husband proud. He usually leaves the conversation for me.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

A Tale of Two Houses

*House #1*
A 20 room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house, all heated by gas. In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not situated in a Northern or Midwestern "snow belt" area. It's in the South.

*House #2*
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house is 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on a high prairie in the American Southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat-pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it consumes one-quarter electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Waste water from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Surrounding flowers and shrubs native to the area enable the property to blend into the surrounding rural landscape.

House #1 is outside of Nashville, Tennessee; it is the abode of the "environmentalist," Al Gore.

House #2 is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas; it is the residence the of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

An "Inconvenient Truth"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Newest Song

The newest song written in our house is about to sweep the nation. Kids everywhere will be singing it and it will soon make it's national debut on The Singing Bee! Don't you love that show? In the Sandi Patti & Larnell Harris world I grew up in, I didn't think I would ever know some of those songs, but I do! (Thanks to commercials!) At the same time, it's funny to see what people thought were the words but aren't and their version makes no sense!!!

Written by Meredith, here are the words:

When you wake up in the morning
At 12 o-clock
What you do?
You brush your teeth.
ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch (brushing teeth motion)

When you wake up in the morning
At 12 o'clock
What do you do?
You fart.
ppprrrfffff (some farting noise I can't figure out how to spell!)

When I tried to tell her that we did NOT get up at 12 o'clock we get up at 7 o'clock she insisted that we could make it whatever time we wanted. As for the farting, well...that's what 2 older brothers will do to a princess.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Are these all yours?

This is a phrase that I hear almost every day - every day that I leave my house! and then at least twice while I'm out. I admit that I am not a great writer, but Dawn has captured what a day in the life of Jennifer at the grocery store is like. It is hilarious and will have your crying laughing. Or maybe I was because it was too true!! This is something she is selling on ebay. Make sure you read the whole thing!

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's Confirmed

The saga of my toe continues...

This morning when I woke up my toes was still hurting a lot. Now I don't want to sound like a baby, but when I can't walk quickly to get to something or someone, it gets a little frustrating. So my husband, being ever concerned for his beautiful bride suggested I at least call the nurse and explain my pain. Or maybe he was just tired of listening to me explain my pain to him...hmmmm. Well, I took his suggestion and I'm not so sure I'm grateful yet. The nurse suggested I go and see the doctor and have my foot x-rayed just in case a piece of bone had broken off or in case there was a problem with the alignment. I knew tires could have problems, but who knew toes could too.

So I went to see the doctor. The first clinic said the wait would be two hours! Well, my sweet caring husband was watching the kids and needed to get to golf this afternoon, so two hours would be too long to wait just to see the doctor. Off to the second clinic. Their wait was only 1 hour. By the time I drove to the third clinic, my wait would be partially over so I decided to stay at clinic #2. Nice people, pleasant office, LONG wait. Try 90 minutes just to be called back. And you all know that means just a change of scenery to wait a little longer! The nurse took all my vitals, told me I had the blood pressure of a teenager - I think that's good or maybe just that I had drifted into an almost comatose state while waiting to be seen.

Finally the doctor comes in and informs me that they should x-ray it. I started wondering where is the office where you can just walk in a request an x-ray - skip the doctor part, because now I had to wait another 45 min. for the x-ray tech to call me. I could have skipped the first 2 hours and just gone straight to the x-ray tech, had the doc read the x-ray, confirm that indeed my fourth toes is broken, and suggest that I get a hideous boot to keep it stable. oh, yeah, and ice it and take tylenol, and stay off it.

As a mother of six, staying off my feet is not really an option (especially when my husband has golf tonight - really!). I'm pretty sure I've exceeded my daily allowance of tylenol by lunch time. I already ice my toe probably 3 hours a day. And the boot, really, a fashion diva like myself can not be seen wear such a thing. Now if it were winter, I could wear jeans and disguise it to look like the latest Ugg, but in the summer when the other foot is sporting the cutest flip-flop? That is where I draw the line! I'll settle for taping it, and if by Friday it still is too painful, maybe I'll see if a boot can be bedazzled!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I live in a household that had been on the countdown for the much anticipated High School Musical 2. As a Grease-loving person myself, I did so love High School Musical. I was (still am) that nerdy girl that dreamed of dating the popular jock (what I got was so much better!) But like most sequels, I was sceptical for HSM2. While only seeing it once now, I still like the first one better. However, it should be noted that I did enjoy the movie; the life messages; and the "romance". And not to disappoint, I did cry - twice. But I cried at Cars, Monsters, and Ratatouille. (who am I kidding - I cry at almost every movie!) And the music in #2 - Michael Jackson would be proud. Carrie and I laughed - hard...but it was definitely a fun movie!

The one that was most anticipating the premiere was Mikalah. She can sing the songs, dance the dances, and cheer the cheers. She had a friend spend the night, concocted a new snack, and stayed up late to watch! Then today she went to the Montana Fair as a performer. She and a couple of friends sang and danced on the "Free Stage". They performed a few HSM songs! Mike and Carrie took the kids while Morgan stayed home with me icing and resting my infamous toe. This would be the toe that was starting to feel better, but I slammed up into a chair leg this morning. That does NOT feel good. So the house was quiet, I did six loads of laundry, I finished the program for church tomorrow, and addressed 650 advertisements for and event next week. Not that I want to hurt my foot again, but I have accomplished a lot just sitting. And my performing daughter did a great job.

I'll leave you with some video of Mikalah's performance and go finish baths and HSM2 for the second time!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Toes & Fire

I've had several people ask about my toe, so here is the uneventful story...

Last Friday Jeffrey wanted to go potty. I put him on the potty and turned to go throw the diaper away and snagged my three outer toes on my left foot on the door jam. I winced in pain and tried to walk it off. The more I walked the more it hurt. As any other mom would do, I popped two tylenol and continued my day, limping around. By the time I got my kids fed lunch and reading/napping, I was in more pain. I then proceeded to sit on the couch icing my toe for the next three hours (and several more tylenol). I really should have taken a picture then, because it was a beautiful shade of purple for several days. Now it is just sore and pretty stiff. I'm not doing any running and still need some tylenol on a regular basis. I did not go and see a doctor as I have broken a toe (and even broken bones in my foot) before and the doctors have said there really isn't anything they can do. One other interesting fact, ibuprofen interferes with the growth of bones, so you shouldn't take that when you have a broken bone. I'm just thankful that it's still flip-flop season!

Another thing people have asked me about are the fires brewing out here. There are a lot! Yesterday's paper had 15 listed just within 300 miles of us. Every once in a while it will smell like a campfire outside and the last week or so it has been quite hazy. I haven't seen the sun yet this morning! These are some pictures from the church camp that Mike grew up going to. The camp is about 150 miles from Billings. They have evacuated almost everyone, but some have been left behind as support for the firefighters. They've been able to open the campgrounds as a "rest stop" for the brave men and women working so hard.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Yesterday, Jarrett (6), had a temper tantrum, and Mike handled the punishment. One week with no TV or video games. So, will Jarrett be spending the week with Daddy?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Busy, busy week!!!

This past week has been crazy! and blogging has been low on the priority list. Here's a peek into the last week...
  • Jeffrey starts thinking 6am is a good time to wake up.
  • I've been cleaning out bedrooms of clothes, toys, etc.
  • We're rearranging bedrooms in anticipation of Carrie getting her own apartment.
  • Carrie moving is bittersweet!!!
  • The sun still does not set until 9pm, so bed time has been 9:30!
  • I'm too tired to do anything after 9:30!
  • Even though school does not start for two more weeks, school supply sales are now.
  • All three kids are packed and ready to go!
  • Yellowstone Church is having a "Movies in the Park" event next week.
  • Lots to do to prepare!
  • We have people for dinner for the next three nights.
  • That means mopping the floor and cleaning the bathroom.
  • Everyday!
  • In the midst of all of this, I bought a $29 dresser today to "make over" for my bedroom. I'll have to do before and after shots some time soon.
  • And to top it off, I broke my toe last week and now walk at a snail's pace and have to stop every few hours to rest, pop some Tylenol and ice it!

So for a little light humor, a quote for today...

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. — Doug Larson

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ninja Cows

Today ends a visit from some friends from Indiana - the Storys!
Aaron & Carrie and their three boys spent the last four days here and we had a blast! Church on Sunday, girly movie, golf, the zoo/a fun nature walk, sports camp, Baskin Robbins, and the ranch. Yesterday, we took them out to Mike's parents ranch and rode four-wheelers (uneventful compared to last time!), chased cows and had lunch. It was a beautiful day and their middle child, Gabe, was just so excited to see cows upclose and personal. Mike chased cows on the motorcycle (modern ranching!) and I rode behind him for about 10 min. He thought it would be romantic to chase cows together. My hiney is still recovering!!!

We took lots of pictures, but my time is short (last day of sports camp and I have to pick kids up soon!), so I'll leave you with Meredith imitating the cows. We do have unique cows here in Montana!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

New Addition

My husband so beautifully reminded me last night that Morgan was now fourteen months old and that when Jeffrey was fourteen months old I was giving birth to Morgan! Well, Hallelujah, I'm not this time!!! Morgan is still our youngest child!!!

We do have a new addition to the family though. After having a gym membership and not using it and getting rid of it and complaining about not having any "nice" gyms in Billings, I wore my husband down and we purchased a treadmill. Neither of us really like to run, but really the convenience of running for 20 minutes in the morning without waking children is very appealing. Now I just have to buckle down and use the thing...maybe in six months I'll be as talented as these guys.

or these guys might be a better goal for now!!!