My 3 Monsters: March 2009

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Say Cheeeeeese!!!

I am posting again, but you are NOT off the hook. Read yesterday's post and leave a comment if you have not already done so. I was just too excited not to share . . .

. . . my NEW TEETH! (The teeth. Just focus on the teeth. It'll be years before I'll have enough money to fix the rest of that mess there.) Pretty, huh? And not at all outrageous (like Ross on Friends -- that was my big fear). Very natural. Next Thursday I go back for the permanent crown on my front tooth. Yippee!!! For now I'm eating very carefully so as not to dislodge my temp. And because my teeth are CRAZY sensitive from the whitening. Like, seriously, OUCH!! Who knew?!


Identity Crisis

OK folks, readers of this blog, you are among my most respected peers and loved ones. Even those of you I don't personally know are welcome to voice an opinion, because, clearly, if you're reading this on a regular basis you have impeccable taste. I am at a bit of a cross-roads in life. I am leaving my job at the gym so I can put my heart and soul (what's left of it after my family is cared for) into my knew painting venture. I probably need to register, figure out the whole home-business tax thing, and . . . DECIDE ON AN IDENTITY!!! There are two concepts I'm considering and they represent polar opposite sides of my personality. Here they are, in business card form. Give me your HONEST opinions. I will not be offended.

Option 1: To me this says classy, artsy, pretty. I love it. It's the direction I'm kind of currently headed, I think. But I don't know if it's really speaks to what I do. Brent says, and don't let this influence your opinion, that when he sees this design he thinks more of faux finishes than murals. Ick! That is NOT what I want to do.

Option 2: A different take on what I do. A (very) little bit edgier. And I love it, too! What is graffiti anyways besides painting on walls?! And the "Suburban" aspect makes it softer . . . kinder . . . friendlier. And the best response I've received to date is to my graffiti murals. Not that I want to be known for that. Or do I? (Obviously I would change the name of my design blog to match if I went with this option. I wasn't thinking this afternoon.)

So . . . if you needed a mural painted, which Amy G would get your business? I expect EVERYONE who reads this post to leave a comment. No holds barred. Love one, hate the other? Cool! Love the concept, hate the execution? Cool! Got a better idea? Cool (and I flippin' love you)! Hate 'em both? Cool! I'm a big girl. I can take it. I just can't decide on my own.


I Need a Wife!

For the record, Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints proper) DO NOT practice polygamy. We don't. Really. But if we did . . . I've been telling Brent for years that I need a wife. Someone to do the laundry and the grocery shopping. And while she's at it, maybe she could clean the bathrooms and cook. (I know that's not how it really works, but in my mind it is.) He remains unconvinced. But this week I have fallen in love. Brent, if you decide to come around, this is who I want. Even if all she agreed to do was cook, erm, bake for us. We could find someone else to do all those other things. I'm just putting it out there . . .

(P.S. Kristen, I'll always be at least one step behind you in the kitchen.)


Note to a Fifth Grade Teacher -OR- Why We Will NEVER Home School

Let me preface my comments by saying thank you. Thank you for teaching my child to read and write like a grown up. Thank you for teaching her about biomes and the solar system. Thank you for the introduction to geometry and algebra. And thank you for putting up with the petty squabbles and chit chat of a room full of ten going on eighteen year olds. Thank you.

Thank you also for noticing my child wasn't in class several days last week and for your concern about her being able to keep up with the curriculum. Thank you for going out of your way to send all of her text books home with her little brother. Thank you, really. But please forgive me if she returns to school today with only a fraction of the work done. I really didn't think about how much work there would be until I saw it. And, you see, the past few days have been difficult around here. Sick kids (who were really just rashy, bored and stir-crazy), juggling schedules to meet all of our commitments without leaving said children home alone, and my complete incompetence as a "substitute teacher" have left us with a stack of unfinished assignments. Please know that we will continue to work extra every day to catch up, but it may take a bit of time. My daughter is a bright girl, but all the drudgery of homework without the pleasure of social interaction has left her rather . . . under-motivated. Forgive us. And thanks again.


Free At Last! Free At Last!

It's Fifth Disease. That's what the rash was. Is. Fifth Disease. Which is no longer contagious after the rash appears. Which means . . . MY KIDS CAN GO TO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!! I have the doctor's signed note and everything.

Also, today I finally got out of the house. Brent let me help chaperon Riley's field trip to the farm this morning while he took the others to the doctor. It felt fantastic to be out in the open, breathing fresh farm air (crop farm, not animal farm) and feeling the warm sun on my face. I feel like a new woman.

Lastly, today I gave my two weeks notice at my gym job. That was a difficult decision to make because I really have enjoyed the past four years there. I like all of my co-workers and even some of the children. However, between my family responsibilities (ahem, sick kids), church responsibilities, and painting, I just felt like I was spreading myself too thin. I haven't been to work in three weeks and in the next few months I'm going to be needing a ton of time off again. I finally decided that it just wasn't fair to make everyone else pick up my slack any more. I was nervous about it at first, wondering if I was doing the right thing or the selfish thing. Tonight I feel good about it. Really good. Perhaps that's the farm air talking . . .



Since I have been home from Colorado, a series of misadventures has kept me almost entirely home bound. Aside from dental check ups, and a couple of trips to the pool for spring break, the kids and I have spent the lion's share of our time here. In the house. What was once a nice (albeit small), loving haven from the outside the outside world now seems more like a prison complete with gang fights and crappy food. Whatever. During Spring Break, when the kids were healthy, Brent's car broke down. Twice. I am still fighting the cold that began BEFORE I went to Colorado. That's almost four weeks now, if you're counting. Brent has had a migraine and a cold. On different days, mind you. In the past week the kids have gone from pink eye to sore throats to pink eye in the other eye and, finally, have taken the cake with a lovely rash covering the entirety of their bodies. Best I can guess (with the help of webMd) is that it is German measles. But that can't be right. They've had their vaccinations. How is this happening?! Oh, AND, on the one day that no one was sick our hot water heater broke and I waited around all day for it to be fixed.

AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!! Calgon, take me away! I spent yesterday evening changing the sheets on every bed, opening every window and Lysol-ing every surface. Be gone foul germs! I missed my family while I was in Colorado, but come on. I just want a little of my freedom back.


Say Goodbye to the Ugly Choppers

One week from Tuesday I will fulfill one of my longest, fondest dreams. Even more than my wedding, this is the day I have dreamed of and played over and over again in my imagination since I was pretty young. I'M GETTING MY FRONT TEETH FIXED!!! As many of you know I endured the emotional and physical pain of adult braces a few years ago. (OK, it wasn't really that bad, but I'm setting a scene here . . .) They came off nearly two years ago. My teeth were straight. But still ugly. And with a fun new black spot on my big old front tooth. Ugly. Since I'm not too much influenced by my vanity, I have lived with it. After the $3000 braces I couldn't justify anymore dental expenses right away. But, I've been working pretty hard lately and our tax return was bigger than we expected and so, with my dear husband's blessing, it's time. Zoom whitening and new crown, here I come!! I'll spare you the before pictures (really, you're welcome), but you best believe there's gonna' be some after shots. Mark your calenders, friends.


An Homage to Charles Dickens:

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
I have a son (who will remain nameless, but he's almost 9) who has fully embraced this famous opening to A Tale of Two Cities. No, he's never read that book. No, he has no idea what that even means. But EVERY SINGLE day of his life is the best day of his life AND the worst day of his life. And his view point changes like that (I just snapped my fingers . . . you didn't see or hear it, though). He wakes up and his skateboard shirt is clean. He's flying high. But when the CinnaGraham Honeycomb cereal is all gone, BOOM! Worst day ever. But wait. It's field day at school? Best. Day. Ever! Oh no. Vending machine (at the pool - Woo Hoo!) gave him Cheetos instead of Cheez-Its. Back at rock bottom. What's that, Tammy? He can have your chocolate chip cookies? Does life get better than this?! This morning marked the beginning of "The best day of my young life. For reals." because the video game he ordered on ebay might come in the mail today. That's right, I said might. I am fully prepared for the emotional devastation when he arrives home to find our mailbox full of bills and not video games. It's OK, really, because if the right episode of Arthur is on we'll be right back on top of the world. No wonder he falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow every night. It is exhausting to live like that. Where does he get this quirky little character flaw?! (Mom, you can keep your opinions to yourself.)


Want a Good, Easy Read?

Sydney brought it home from the school library and I talked her in to sharing it with me. We took turns and both finished on Saturday. Such a fun little mystery. You'll never solve it on your own (at least we weren't even close) so just sit back and enjoy the twists and turns. This book is from my era . . . How did I never read it as a kid? I missed out.


Be Still My Heart.

I'm in the process of scanning all our old family pictures so I can save them on CDs and maybe create a photo book or something and I came across these lovelies. Don't get me wrong, I really love my kids now with all their independence and budding maturity. It's an awesome thing to behold. But these pictures make my heart break just a little bit for what has necessarily been sacrificed along the way. Look at those beautiful baby faces and the sweet innocence in those eyes. I can still remember how soft that skin was on those chubby cheeks and the fresh smell of that thin wispy hair. Oh, how I look forward to having grandchildren . . .


It Can Only Mean One Thing . . .

This is one of the most beautiful of times here in Arizona. Autumn is also a lovely breath of fresh air after a long, hot Summer has bid us adieu. But Spring just feels a little bit special. We are enjoying the bounty of citrus season. That picture is a fraction of a HUGE Rubbermaid container FULL of lemons and grapefruits. Seriously. It must weigh twenty pounds. And it is just a "little something" that our kids picked at Doug's house last weekend. Fantastic. And yes, my kids are swimming again. Our spring break tradition . . . the first swim of the year.
So, come on Summer. Give us your worst. We're ready. (But maybe wait until March is over if you don't mind too terribly.)


Who Am I?

OK, I really just can't get over how much fun this new scanner is. It's ridiculous. I'm like a kid a kid in a candy store. Or like Brent on iTunes. Or like Dylan when I was trying to be "fun mom" and let him get Coke at the movie theater the other night. Just can't stop!! Truly, what's ridiculous is that we haven't had a scanner until now. They're like $40. Are you freaking joking me?! Whatever. I also realize that EVERY "mommy blog" in the world has done this post or something similar, but it never gets old for me. Can you guess who is who in these photos. (A certain Canadian we all know and love is unpictured.) And I guess I'll never be able to deny my relation to these kids, will I? Answers in the comment section . . .
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A Life in Pictures

So, I blogged about a month ago about why I never post photos of myself. This is my penance.
With this post I am declaring to the universe and all who care to listen that I am what I am and that's OK. I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!
(Also, I got a fun new scanner that I want to play with tonight.)
Plus, I took the liberty of picking and choosing the "me" I want you all to see.

The early years.

And the latter years. Yeah, I don't know what was up with the long black hair. Or the kooky curls in high school. Why did no one stop me? I don't blame any of you, but come on . . .

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Fundraiser Mania!!!

Cutest fundraiser ever, huh?
I'm so in love with these vintage 50's images lately. I must admit I kind of designed the whole fundraiser around them. But I think it's also a good idea. People already budget for food. Everybody eats. Here is the BIG assumption based on my personal experience -- Everybody dislikes preparing ( or is too busy to prepare) dinner. We can't all be as good as you, Kristen. So we are offering 5 dinners (Teriyaki Chicken, Lemon-Parsley Chicken, Honey Baked Pork Chops, Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy, and Lasagna) made from deliciously fresh ingredients that can be frozen and enjoyed at your later convenience. All you have to do is thaw and bake. It's genius. (In my humble opinion.)
And if you live close enough for me to deliver them to you you are welcome to call me and place an order.


As Also Promised . . .

Ta Daaaaaaaah!
My Craft Closet.

Already in disarray, I'm more enamored with it now than I was at first. The mess just means I use it, right? And every time I go to get something out and it is exactly where it makes sense for it to be and I don't have to dig boxes out from under the bed to get it, I say a little prayer of thanks for all that is right in my world now.
Truly one of the most beautiful sights in my day-to-day life. I adore ribbon. And over sized glass jars. Together they make a heavenly combination.

The inside of the door.
(Oops. I really need to call that guy who gave me that business card. That's good for another couple hundred dollars worth of work.)

All the closet still lacks (besides about 600 square feet of usable space) is beautiful brushed nickel hooks so I can hang up my sweet retro painting aprons.
Anyway, it's good to be me these days.

As Promised . . .

Brent, the emcee.
He does a new character every year. This year he was a toothless painter with no hosting experience and an odd fixation on his keys. And the mermaid in his bath tub. Don't ask. The kids loved it.

Sydney, the pop star.
She sang a song that had to have been written just for her. It's called "I Like to Fuss".
("Mostly I am pleasant. Mostly I am good. I answer you politely just as you say I should. Yes, mostly I am perfect. You won't hear me complain. But after so much sunshine we need a little rain. Bah-dum-dum-dum-dum. I like to fuss. I like to moan. I like to stand on my chair and say leave me alone. Don't bother me. ". . .)

Riley, the sk8er dude.
Demonstrating his "kick flip" and other awesome stunts. After deciding that hip hop dancing by himself was a little too much for his courage to handle this year.

Dylan, the humble origami artist.
At the last minute he decided he didn't want to get up and talk about his carefully crafted display. Oh well. It was still cool.


Home At Last!!

I arrived home Saturday evening to an immaculately clean home that lasted for all of, ohhh, ten minutes. (Thanks, honey. Do you feel my pain now?) I am still working on getting over this horrible cold that I've been fighting all week. It's brutal. At least this week is SPRING BREAK so none of us have to get up super early. Hooray!! By "none of us" I here mean everyone but Brent. (Sorry, B.)

I've posted pictures of my murals on my design blog for all to see. Just click the crown link-y thing on the side bar that says "Click Here". Yeah, I'm wicked technical like that.

So, I've had a lot going on these past few weeks. We've had the Ward Primary Talent Show which my man emceed. Good times. Fun photos. I've also organized the most fabulous camp fundraiser in the history of camp fundraisers. In my humble opinion. The overall success of it remains to be seen, but we have earned nearly $900 of our $2500 goal in just the first day of taking orders. Expect posts and photos of all in the next few days. I've vowed to spend Spring Break catching up on my blogging. And to stop needing to blow my nose every ten seconds. And with this mediocre post under my belt, a glass of orange juice awaits.


Colorado, Day 4:

I'm still sick. Boo. Sicker, in fact, than I was before I came. That's the bad news.

Here's the good news. I'm totally rocking the murals. No paint on my clothes. Two of the four murals done, one canceled, one in progress. I should be done Thursday morning. Fingers crossed.

And a little more bad. I'm here until Saturday afternoon. I can't get over my feelings of guilt. I should be home with my kids. I shouldn't be here enjoying the beautiful hotel for which I'm not paying for one day longer than I absolutely have to. Will the owner (of the gym) think I conned him to get a free vacation?! Will he want to pay me less if I actually worked fewer hours than I planned even though I did the same amount of work?! AAAAHHHHHHHH! So, to settle my angst, I e-mailed the owner's assistant tonight and fully disclosed the situation to see what they want me to do. At least then, if they want me to stay, I can do so with a clear conscience. Mostly. I still miss my family.


What The . . .

I. Am. In. Colorado.

Painting. Murals.

Still totally unreal to me, but I am having fun. Not so much last night after a 12 hour work day, but today after a 10 hour sleep and only 8 hour work day. FUN!! I can't post pictures from the hotel computer, but rest assured, it is turning out fantastic. Just look at pictures of the treasure map in Carefree and imagine it with far superior monkeys. Yeah. That's what I've done so far. Way ahead of schedule. Hooray, because not finishing is not an option. Off to get dinner. . .

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