Monday, June 30, 2008

No matter what they say don't go in their office.

Apparently my boys have a secret office.


And just today I learned about it.

By accident.

The four year old let it slip.

Now before you start thinking how cute and creative this is, let me tell you that it is not your ordinary pretend office. They did not pilfer through my desk and steal sticky notes, sharpies or paper clips for this office. As a matter of fact this office has no supplies or desks or lamps or doors or walls. All it has is a bush and a fence near by and it has eliminated the need to come inside for anything other than snacks

They call it their PEE OFFICE.
They're boys.

They can do that.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Can someone please go scrape my pride up off the concrete for me?

I took the kids to the park yesterday.
Yeah, I'm cool that way.
We invited some friends also.
Apparently other parents have picked up on my coolness and have started taking their kids to the park.

You see when we were there this time
we had the place all to ourselves.
Not yesterday.
My friends and I found a place to sit and we sent the children off to do their thing while we did ours. After sitting there doing our thing for about an hour I decide that it is time to get up and stretch my legs.
Lying on the ground just in front of me is Ben's razor scooter.
Now remember, I'm a cool mom, so instead of just passing over it I picked it up to take it for a little spin.
Have I mentioned that the park is packed.
I carefully maneuver my way around a million other parents and possibly a few nannies to head for the open space on the other side of the play structure.
I'm cruising right along, cool as a cat.
Yeah, I'm cool. I've still got it.
Someone, however, forgot to warn me of the role that playground bark can play in the immediate discontinuation of the circular motion to a scooters wheel.
Yeah, I'm cool.
Especially when I'm picking myself up off the concrete pretending not to be hurt in order to maintain some semblance of my pride.
Did I mention the park was PACKED?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Top Secret

There has been some recent begging and pleading for my recipe for the world traveled chocolate chip cookie bar thingys. I have been reluctant to share it with you folks because I fear that you all will start whipping up these delicious morsels yourselves and then shipping them all over the world to parts unknown and then I will no longer be the only blogger whose one claim to fame is that her cookies have been to Europe even though she never has.

And how is it that I have never been to Europe?

Everyone I know has been to Europe.
(that may be a slight exaggeration)

Mom, Dad, apparently the right and just thing to do after your children graduate from high school (which I managed to do) is to send them off trekking around European countries for three or four weeks.

Dave, apparently the right and noble thing to do is to take your wife to Europe for a vacation. Greece would be nice, but I'd settle for France or Italy or England or Germany or Ireland.
(or anywhere off the continent of North America for that matter)

But I digress.

Up until last night I wasn't going to give in to the pressure of sharing my Top Secret Cookie Bar Thingys recipe. I mean you people should probably know this about me by now, but I usually do the opposite of what people tell me to do. You say go right, I go left. You say eat this, I eat that. You say share your cookie bar thingys recipe, I clam up. It's my way of rebelling.
(now if only someone would tell me not to get a tattoo because i really want one)

But then this happened:

Trish, Trish, Trish.Who knew you were a closet Paula Deen. Cuz I have to admit, you look like a seriel killer in that goggles pic. :)You know I kid. Often.So are you gonna share the recipe or what? I'm for anything that "looks" done on the outside but is straight up "raw" on the inside.Melissa at Stretch Marks
June 24, 2008 8:10 PM

Yes, folks, Melissa Lee over at Stretch Marks called me a closet Paula Deen and a serial killer all in the same comment.

I think I'm flattered.

So, because Melissa is playing all nicey nicey, I'm going to tell you my secret recipe for those delicious, ooey, gooey cookie bar thingys.

Alright, are you ready for this? I'm a little nervous but here goes:

Do you still love me?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Up For Debate.........

I had a couple of conversations Monday that brought up some situations that I would handle differently than the people I was talking to. This got me thinking about how other families would approach these situations. So let's discuss them. Of course there is no right or wrong answers, unless of course you disagree with me. I which case you are wrong. Let us discuss:

Situation #1:
We all know that having our kids home for summer break brings along with it the bottomless pits that are their stomachs. My kids are constantly wanting snacks. Our day usually goes something like this: Breakfast, Snack, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Snack, Dinner, Snack, Snack. I really try to keep lots of fruit washed, sliced and in a bowl ready to eat, but we also have those quick convenient snacks like granola bars, fruit snacks, gold fish and crackers in the pantry and popsicles in the freezer.

My kids are still at the age where they will usually ask before having a snack, but the person I was talking to today was so frustrated with her 11 year old son who was constantly helping himself to the "good" snacks in the pantry and devouring everything in site, out of boredom, with no regard to the others in the family. The mom was ready to put all the "good snacks" in a locked cupboard, so that they were only accessible with permission. That is just a terrible idea for the fact that she would have to get up from blogging and unlock the snacks every time..........uggghhh, we all have much better things to do. Really.

I suggested that she instead divide up the fruit snacks, granola bars and other desirable snacks into gallon size ziplocks or shoe boxes for each of her children. Giving them access to their entire allotted snacks for whatever period she had grocery shopped for. That way each child would get the same amount of each snack in their bag and were allowed to eat them at their will. When they were gone, they were gone until the next grocery shopping trip.

Both this particular 11 year old and my eight year old would be the children that would devour their entire snack allotment with out discernment for how long they would have to go without. At which point they would begin to finagle, manipulate or coerce their younger sibling for the snacks that the younger ones have prudently rationed. I, of course, would have prepared the younger sibling with a lesson in the free enterprise system that makes America so great and that younger sibling would have in place either a monetary value or chore value to their snacks unless they were feeling especially generous that day.

So how do you handle the incessant munching session that is summer break?

Situation #2:
We belong to a gym that has some wonderful amenities (remember my love affair with the Supervised Play Room). One of them being a beautiful outdoor swimming pool with a diving board and large twisty water slide.
I LOVE to spend time outside by the pool on the hot summer days, but only on the HOT summer days. However, my 8 year old has no reservations about swimming on ANY day that the pool is open. Last summer I started allowing him the privilege of choosing to swim WHILE I work out. Yes folks, he is outside in the swimming pool WHILE I am inside on the treadmill. Fear not, as I am a stringent rule follower, and we are in compliance with the rules of the gym, which are clearly posted and state: "Children 6 and under must be accompanied by an adult."
Six and under. He is neither six nor under. No rules broken. Besides, he is a good swimmer and there is always two or three lifeguards on duty during open swim hours.

So today I run into an acquaintance as I am leaving Ben in the pool area and headed to the treadmill. We make small talk for a bit and then she asked the where abouts of Ben, as she had just dropped her eight year old son off in the Supervised Play Room. I told her that he was out swimming while I worked out. To which she responded "Are you serious? Doesn't that seem a little unsafe to just leave him out there unsupervised while you work out?"
To which I replied "No, I am perfectly okay with it."

However, if I were a little quicker thinking I would have replied "Oh yes, it seems terribly unsafe. That is why I do it. I mean he is kind of a pain in the butt some days, he eats alot of food, costs lots of money to clothe, and antagonizes his little brother to the point of much frustration. I just haven't been able to get rid of him any other way. Oh and don't trip over your "Mother of the Year" cloak."

How would you have responded?

Guess where these little buggers are going...

Homemade chocolate chip cookies are a favorite around here.
One day last week Ben and I made a batch of cookie dough, but I didn't want to sit around all day baking cookies so I just poured all the batter into a bar pan and baked it all at once. The results were these fabulously yummy and ultra gooey chocolate chip brownie like cookie thingys. They were perfect. Crispy on the outside but very gooey in the middle. On our way out the door to the park that afternoon we delivered a plate full to our neighbors Ron, Sue and Christopher (who had just come home from completing his freshmen year of college).

The next day I missed a phone call from Sue.
She left me a message saying "Trish, call me right away I need to ask you something really important."

I called her back and this is what she said "Those were the best cookies ever. Would you mind making another batch for us to take when we leave next Monday to go see Chad? He would love to have a homemade treat like that." And, since Sue and Ron are truly the best neighbors that we could ever have wished for, I agreed to make another batch!

So tomorrow these dangerously delicious chocolate chip cookie bar thingys will be traveling 4747 miles (or 7640 km) to:

York, England
(my cookies have been to europe but I never have!)

to be enjoyed by Chad, their other son, who is studying there as an English Literature major.
So Chad, I hope these cookies are not confiscated by greedy, hungry TSA employees or stolen by ravenous, kleptomaniac baggage handlers or consumed by your dad and Chris on the flight over. We miss you and pray that you are having a great time. My boys are very excited that you are coming home soon! Have a great time visiting and traveling with your family and enjoy the cookies.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Having a bouncey good time

Wouldn't it be fun to own one of these?

Wouldn't it be fun if I owned one of these? Then you could borrow it!

Well, the SITs girls are giving it away this weekend and I (or you) could win it.

How? you ask. Go join SITS.

What is SITS? you ask.

It 's a top secret blogging sisterhood created by two blogging geniuses as a way to connect and introduce bloggers with each other. (just kidding about the top secret part!)

So if you are interested in being part of the SITSA hood then head on over and join and tell them I sent you (that'll get me another entry to win this bouncy house). Also, don't forget to pick up your fun little button for your blog like mine over there on the side once you join SITS.

Then leave a comment for 'roll-call' and you could be entered to win this fabulous bounce house (which I will probably ask to borrow some time!).

Have a fun Saturday and don't forget:

The Secret is in the Sauce!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I cleaned my car in the dark tonight

Out of necessity.
Cooper threw up big time.
It was the first time that I can remember either of my kids throwing up in the car. Usually they save it for the middle of the night, just as they are standing over my side of the bed telling me that they don't feel good.
I've been kind of spoiled. I have very bad gag reflexes so Dave usually cleans up the vomit. No such luck tonight, he is working a late shift and won't be home until after midnight. My friend Lisa said I should leave it for him (as I was gagging and crying on the phone to her while trying to clean it up). I thought about it for a bit, but then decided that by the time he got home it would be dry and crusty and extra stinky in my car. So I drug out the 409, the Folex Stain Remover, the Febreze, a roll of paper towels, the shop vac and the hose and I cleaned up the whole mess by myself. Out came the car seat and the floormats. I used the hose on both of those along with the clothes that I stripped Coop out of outside before sending him in to the shower.
Then the shop vac for everything else, so Dave if you are reading this..............
ummmm, the shop vac is going to need to be emptied and cleaned out tomorrow. Yeah, thanks!
The worst part of it all is that Coop isn't even sick. He just gagged on his own spit and ended up coughing so hard that up came the contents of his stomach. Which by the way was FULL of movie theatre popcorn and Panda Express Orange Chicken. That about ruins it for me on both of those foods.
Speaking of movie theatre popcorn and Panda Express Orange chicken. (both of which I used to like!) We saw Kung Fu Panda today. It was the last day of school and we celebrated with a movie. It was very cute. Well, what I remember of it anyways. I did fall asleep for about 20 minutes.
Speaking of the last day of school. (see how this is all related? me neither.) Guess what the new elementary school trend is? Well, besides this. It's digital scrapbooks. Instead of the big bulky, plastic comb bound, labor intensive scrapbook of the whole year, Ben came home with a sweet little DVD with a 20 minute digital scrapbook of pictures from the whole year all set to fabulous little tunes like Somewhere Over the Rainbow by IZ and Kids of the Future by Jonas Brothers . How great is that? I just may be able to get his entire school career into one Rubbermaid box afterall. Actually it makes me almost want to volunteer for room mom just to be sure that it happens again next year.
I said almost.
Alright, enough random blather.
Tonight I leave you with the great philosophical words of Master Shifu:
"Don't stand that close. I can smell your breath."
Thursday morning edit..........
So I didn't do such a great job cleaning my car in the dark last night. I neglected to notice that he had managed to projectile all over the back of the drivers seat.
Good thing I left the windows open all night.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Honey!!

Today is my husbands birthday! He is forty-something-ish. Oh, who cares how old he is? Age is just a number and he certainly defies his number. He's still young enough and younger at heart.

Dave, I love you and am very proud of what you have accomplished. I know that it has not been easy the last few years. Thank you for sticking with it and accomplishing your goal. I am proud of you!
Love, Trish

Friday, June 13, 2008

Check out EK Inspired

My friend Eryn has a new Etsy shop!
(By the way, what does Etsy mean?)
To celebrate her now shop she is giving away one of her very cute hand stamped pea sized necklaces.

Go check out her giveaway here.

Her stuff is so adorable and I just love her tag line:

"Savor the little things...someday you'll remember them as the big things."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Double Life

I've been keeping a secret from you all. Well it's not really a secret, just something that I've never talked much about here. Some people know and recently my sister Gina blew my cover. So I guess it's time to out myself. Alright folks. Are you sitting down? Come closer:

I'm on the PTA Executive Board

There, I said it. I've confessed. But wait, I have another confession.
I actually enjoy it!
People tried to warn me not to do it because it is just a "clique".
Well guess what? It is kind of a clique, but not in the sense that most people think. I like to think of it as more of a CLICK. You see, I have formed relationships with most of the other people involved and we have CLICKED. But that is because for the last 10 months we have been working in the trenches, with few other volunteers, trying to make our children's school a fabulous place to be with wonderful programs and activities that serve our children. We couldn't help but CLICK as we worked side by side. Are we exclusive? No way! If you want to be part of our CLICK then sign up to help, put yourself out there, your help will not be turned away and soon you'll be clicking with others too.
The other warning that I heard was "PTA is too political".
Political? Yes. Too political? No. There are by-laws and standing rules that must be adhered to. But most well functioning organizations have a set of governing rules, otherwise there would be incessant pandemonium.
The job of the PTA is to lobby on behalf of our children for better education, safety and health. Basically it is a political organization with no party ties. Is that so bad? It's okay with me because I am very aware of my political standings and what I believe and if the PTA stands for something that I don't agree with then so be it. This is still a free country and I am free to speak my point and have been known to do so when I disagree with something.
One last argument for not joining the PTA that I heard was "It takes to much time"
True, it takes time. I'm not sure how I have done it, but I did. I managed to work part-time, taxi kids to practices, work in the nursery at church, blog (oh yeah!), keep my house standing (I said standing, not clean), and do the PTA treasurer thing.
I also managed to miss the entire season of American Idol because I just didn't have time to watch (and we have yet to come into the TIVO century), but thanks to the writer strike I really didn't miss much other TV.
I know people have different levels of business that they can handle, but there are jobs on the PTA that require little time commitments and can be done from the comforts of your home.
I am a bit of a rebel. If people tell me I HAVE to do something, I usually try to find an good argument for not. If someone tells me I shouldn't do something, I almost always do it just to try to prove them wrong, so this time I joined the PTA.
Oh Yeah, one more confession:
I'm glad the school year is over!


Some people go for the coffee, I go for the fruit and yogurt parfait.

Billy Graham and Woody Allen

My friend Val has dug up old video of Woody Allen interviewing Evangelist Billy Graham.
There are two videos that are about 4 minutes each. They are very funny and they really made me admire Billy Graham even more!

Go check them out here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Mother....the blogger

Well, who knew?
I actually should not be suprised.
She stands for lots, and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She is very passionate about people and cares deeply. She is political and very vocal in that arena. But most of all she is a very loving grandma and proud of all 19 of her grandkids
At any rate, why don't ya'all pop on over to her blog and give her a big bloggy welcome.
She'll appreciate the love.
Tell her I sent ya.
Oh yeah, and don't laugh at the family portrait. We were stylin ya know.

Wii Didn't Win

It was a tight race and for a while I was quite a ways in the lead, but in the end my picture ended up in 3rd place.

Oh well, my boys still have sticks and rocks to play with all summer long.

A big thank you to my friends Debbie (who was almost more obsessed with me winning than i was), Gina, Meagan and LeeAnn who all posted the link to vote on their blogs.

It was fun, but I can't say that I will do that again. I am way to competitive and the constant score checking was to consuming.............

Saturday, June 7, 2008

There's a place I love

I haven't been there for years, but it's still a part of me. My time spent there was a major contributing factor to the person that I am today. So much so that I still think of this place every summer and am now counting down the days until my children can and will be sent there.

No, it wasn't juvie.

It was Lakeside Bible Camp on Whidbey Island and this is a camp like no other. (if you ask me)

And I can say that because I have been to one other summer camp in my life. I don't remember the name of that camp, it was somewhere in Alaska (I lived there until I was 9). I vividly remember the night I fell out of the top bunk and landed on the counselors HIGH HEEL SHOES. Seriously folks. Who brings HIGH HEELS to summer camp?

Now back to Lakeside, or LBC as it will lovingly be called from here on out.

LBC is on Deer Lake, which is on Whidbey Island which, for those of you not from these parts, is the Pacific Northwest's answer to Hilton Head or Mackinac Island.

Or maybe not.

But it is a beautiful island here in the Puget Sound.

I started going to LBC in middle school and instantly fell in love. Summer camp was just my gig.

There was so many fun things to do, lot's of people to be around (including boys) and it was away from home! I'm not positive how I actually ended up at LBC in the first place, because it was quite likely way out of the family budget for me to go. I'm pretty sure someone else outside of my family paid for me to go and I am very strong in my suspicions of who that was. At any rate, LBC was where I belonged. I started with junior high summer camp and retreats in the winter and by the time I was in High School I was going to high school camp for a week, TCL (Training in Christian Leadership) for a four weeks, and working as a counselor one or two other weeks each summer. TCL was the most impactful program for me at LBC. It was only open by application with two letters of recommendation to 24 (12 girls and 12 boys) high schoolers per session, with two sessions per summer. And guess what TCL'ers did? We worked. Seriously, it cost $100 dollars to participate in TCL and we went for the month and worked. We served the other campers that were there for their camp sessions. We served meals, did dishes, cleaned toilets and showers daily, did full cabin cleaning after each camp left, and each TCL program worked on a major camp improvement project. To this day, if you go to Lakeside, you quite likely can find my name along with the names of the other TCL'ers carved into the baseball backstop, the soccer goals, the fence around the dumpsters and the boat dock.

That's me, circa 1990, with a very dear friend, Mrs. Trudy, who came to visit me for Family Day.

This is the place that I discovered God's amazing love for me. I had grown up going to church and Sunday School, but it was only at LBC that I learned that God's Word was applicable to MY life, not just a good book that you carried to Sunday school each week and that God desired a personal relationship with me.

My last visit to LBC as a camper was about 12 years when Dave and I took our then four year old nephew to LBC for a week of Family Camp. We had a great week, but it was hard for Dave to understand my deep, deep love for that place.
These days my nieces and nephews go to LBC! The girl on the far right is my niece (we call her Peanut) at High School camp last summer.

She wasn't even born when I was going to LBC!

I am now counting down the days until Skippy can go. And guess what? He is just over a year away from being able to go to Jr. Boys camp, or as we often called it "smelly boys camp". That was the week that we dreaded to serve because those boys NEVER showered and rarely remembered to flush the toilets that we had to clean! Thank goodness for the lake to swim in, otherwise some of those boys would be filthy beyond recognition when it was pick-up time.

Come next summer you can bet that I will be making the four hour drive to deliver my son to LBC for a week of "smelly boy camp"!

I can't wait.........

Do you have a favorite summer camp memory?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Seriously Folks

Have you seen this one? It came to me as an e-mail and since I'm so superstitious (NOT!), and don't want to break the chain and incur seven years of the black plague (WHATEVER), on my family I thought I'd save us all and quite possibly the rest of you by just posting it here. I mean, it is my one goal in life to save the world and all of the human species and some of the cat population from the black plague. So here you go:

(My satirical commentary has been added in Italics because I like being sarcastic and I like italics.)

C'mon pick your card.

And what he really wants you to do is look him STRAIGHT in the eyes, not straigth. So do it. Look into his eyes and THINK.

Yes, I know that's a little creepy.

Just do it though.

He doesn't know you. He can't see you.


He is David Copperfield after all.

It's GONE. G-O-N-E. Gone.

How'd he do that?

SPOILER: There is more satirical commentary and the answer behind how Mr. Copperfield pulled this one off in the comments. Comment along.

But before you do that please go vote for our adorable picture to win the Wii:

Click on the picture, it'll take you right to the place to vote. Then scroll down to the bottom past all the finalist pictures. Mine is title "it's my crazy life" (catchy, eh).

Tell all your friends to vote (for mine!) too.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Yes it's true!!

The photo that I entered at 5 Minutes for Moms has been picked as a finalist!

The grand prize is a Wii video game system, and I am pretty sure that I can think of an eight year old and four year old boy who would LOVE a Wii!
Their parents would probably enjoy it also.

So please, oh please help us win that Wii.

Go here to vote.

This is my entry picture:

It is under "it's my crazy life".

And if you love me at all you would also post a link on your blog in order to help me win that Wii.

So please, please, please go vote (yes, that's me begging!)

Remember, it's for the children!

The Secret is in the Sauce

I don't make sauce, I buy it. BBQ, spaghetti, chocolate, teriyaki and soy. All store bought.

But these girls:

They make Sauce.

Go check them out. Then have a little fun with us.

There is a contest there and one of the prizes is a blog design from Eight Crazy Designs. She is amazing and quite likely on the verge of becoming famous!

Join in the fun!