Friday, November 30, 2007

Message to Young Mothers

I have been thinking about this for awhile. It is HARD to be a mom to young children, especially many young children. I know this. I spaced mine out for 16 years. When the oldest was 16, the youngest was born. I had a baby/toddler/preschooler at home for 22 years. I joke that on the weekends I would wait up for the teenager to come home from the date, then wake up an hour later to nurse the baby......

So when life gets you down, it seems like you will NEVER have a free moment to yourself ever again, I give this message as a reminder to us all:

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I saw unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Matthew 25:35-40

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oasis of Creativity

Today was a creative day! I have discovered that in order for me to be a happy mom, I need to take some time to be creative, whether it is scrapbooking, sewing, quilting, photography, whatever. The years I was working so many long hours, I felt like I had "lost" myself and I think that's the reason why-I didn't take time to be creative. So here's my sample of scrapbooking today with the wonderful Angilicious Simplicity Class. I give her all the credit for the creativity but I get the credit for the cute kids in the photos!

I took a hiatus from scrapbooking this month (until today) and finished my Christmas quilt. The fabric had been sitting in the cupboard for a year but I finished it-Just in time for the weather to cool down and now we can wrap ourselves in its comfort! This photo is for my mommy to see what I finished:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 my i.pod

I had an awesome workout this morning and it is all because of this neat little piece of technology. When Steve (I decided to give up the "code names" when I realized I had given a couple of them away----oh well, so much for anonymity) left on his mission, his ipod got passed to his brother, then I inherited Bubba D's, which promptly died. So I got me a cute little nano and my kids taught me how to download stuff and generously let me download some of their songs for my "workout" playlist. It makes working out SO much easier because I lose myself in the music and pretty soon I am exhausted and time is up! My other son introduced me to e.s. posthumus-a kind of new age group and I downloaded their "unearthed" album. It is so great for doing my Pilates stuff and lifting weights, it has some great drums so you can get into the beat.....Ain't technology grand?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Mom is Cool

My mom is really cool. Yesterday I was talking to her on the phone and this is the conversation:
Mom: I have been dropping enough hints that I think I am going to get what I want for Christmas.
Me: What is that?
Mom: I want a laptop.
My mom will be 81 years old in a month. Now how cool is that? She is dying for a laptop at age 81!
On my birthday video this is what she said:
"I am supposed to tell something about my 50 year old daughter, but it's impossible for me to have a 50 year old daughter because I am only 29!
Now how cool is that?
My mom is writing her life story on the computer. She doesn't have a lot of photos to put in there so she is illustrating it from images she has downloaded from Google.
Now how cool is that?
She has excellent taste in clothes and jewelry. My kids all think that Grandma N. is the coolest.
Mom, I hope I have inherited your coolness and that my grandkids will think I am cool when I am nearly 81!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Survival of the Fittest or the Art of Self-Preservation

I recently saw this note atop a large container of homemade cookies. I love the added touch of the heart after the vicious, threatening note! (Alyssa makes FABULOUS chocolate chip cookies) It got me thinking about the dynamics of large familes. I have found food stashed in odd places throughout the years and threatening notes attached to food in the refrigerator...."TOUCH THIS AND YOU DIE"...... Do other families have this issue or is this just a common syndrome in large families? I used to wonder why my daughter, Arwen, had so many cavities when she took such good care of her teeth, and then I found out she had a large, secret stash of candy hidden away in her bedroom. I have found cans of Spagettios and meatballs in underwear drawers, cookies under beds, etc. etc. Does this happen only in families with large, ravenous teenage boys?????? I mean, it's not like we are poor or anything-there is always plenty of food... Is it sort of like a law of the family jungle??? Could it be something that Dr. Phil could address???? Naaaw......

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Decking the Halls and all that Good Stuff

Like most of the rest of the United States, we have spent the last few days enjoying family, appropriately eating turkey and giving thanks for everything. This is Baby B. enjoying her first Thanksgiving.
Here are Tres Yernos (three sons-in-law) eagerly anticipating the "Big Game" ASU vs USC with their new ASU hoodies (3 birthdays within two weeks). Alas, the home team lost.......sniff......

There has also been some major Hall-Decking going on around here.
I am thankful today for willing the kitchen....decking the halls...and just plain being fun to hang out with!
I am thankful today for technology and the internet....because I can go shopping on Black Friday in my jammies!
I am thankful for the internet repairman who came over yesterday to tune up said internet after it kept going down!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Whenever I hear the song of a bird,

Or look at the blue, blue sky,

Whenever I feel the rain on my face,

Or the wind as it rushes by,

Whenever I touch a velvet rose

Or walk by a lilac tree,

I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world

Heavenly Father created for me.

He gave me my eyes that I might see

The color of butterfly wings

He gave me my ears that I might hear

The magical sound of things

He gave me my life, my mind, my heart

I thank Him reverently

For all his creations of which I'm a part

Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.

Happy Thanksgiving-I love you all...
Have a fun day, give lots of food and.....
GO ASU!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mystery and Weekend Recap

We have a mystery on our hands. When I opened the freezer on Friday night....(our first football-free Friday night for months).....I saw this:

This, my friends, is an exploded can of Dr. Pepper in my freezer. I immediately thought the culprit was Bubba, due to his love of Dr. Pepper. He happened to be gone to the high school "dance concert" (aka hot chicks in dance costumes). Later when I confronted both Bubba and Sopresa, they both vehemently denied it and passionately blamed the other.......Anyone else in my family want to confess??? My detective work will continue..........(BTW-frozen Dr. Pepper cleans up fairly well-it's the melted Dr. Pepper that is a pain!)

This photo is for Great Grandma:

On Sat. I had lunch and went to the park with my boys, Giddyup and sons. I got to practice shooting with my new camera, Canon Rebel XTi, love it,love it. The sun angle was a little high but great fun.

The Primary program turned out great. It always does, even if the little kids mess up it turns out. Everyone loves the Primary program.....I needed a nap for about 3 hours after...but it was all good.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thoughts on Giving Birth

I woke up this morning thinking about my birth experiences. I sincerely don't claim to be an expert on this (as my daughter, M.A. is-she is a labor and delivery nurse) but I have had a wide range of experiences, having given birth to 7 babies, one at a time.

I have gone the range of natural childbirth, no painkillers, (including one memorable episiotomy without anesthesia) to all out numb-from-the-waist-down C-sections.

I have managed to cause panic amongst the nursing staff several times by waiting too long to come to the hospital (in the days gone by they used to have elaborate procedures to prepare the mother for childbirth-I'll spare the details) and barely getting to the delivery room. There was also the memorable meltdown of the nurse who went into hysterics as I was giving birth in a Lazy-boy recliner......(that wasn't allowed). Also, due to the "infinite" wisdom of a nurse who ignored my advice to hurry up and get the epidural going because I went REALLY fast after I got to a certain point, and she had waited too long to call the doctor.....(#5 baby) I got hear this conversation-or it went something like this:
Me: "I have to push"
Nurse #1: You can't push, the doctor isn't here yet.
Me: "Ummm, I can feel the baby coming."
Nurse #1: DON'T Push!

(overheard by me)
Nurse 1: What are we going to do? She can't have the baby yet, the dr. isn't here!
Nurse 2: Well, then we deliver the baby....

Dr. mercifully arrives, arrogantly snapping on his gloves just in time to say-push.... catches said baby and leaves. (Dr. on call-didn't know him)

During birth experiences I always manage to blurt out whatever comes into my head at the moment........
Dr.: Mrs......, my son is going to medical school soon, could he come in and watch?
Me: Sure, why not-let's have the whole town come in and watch....doesn't matter to me..
(loss of all modesty at this point)

Another time after the birth:
Me: Hey doc, thanks for everything. Enjoy your pig!
(we traded a pig for the fee of my oldest son's birth-another story....)

And after birth #5 son, arrogant dr who had barely arrived to catch baby says:
Dr.: "What is the baby's name?"
Me: "His name is Steven, but not after you." (dr.'s name is Steven and yes, I really said that!)

Babies #6 and #7 were C-sections. In my earlier days I liked to consider myself the cousin of Mother Earth so having a C-section was somewhat upsetting. It made me feel like I was a failure in the birth department. I had a friend comfort me describing it this way, "Just think, it's just like Christmas, you go to the hospital, open the package and you get a baby!" Comforting thought.

I also seemed to have a profound effect on the two doctors who delivered my first 4 babies-both are dead. One died young in a freak airplane accident and the other committed suicice......makes ya' think.........

And the last piece of advice I will NEVER forget....."Honey, the Lord gives you the last month of pregnancy so you will go through ANYTHING to get that baby here."

So true.

**Giving birth is an incredible miracle. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have done it. I didn't realize what a miracle it was until I witnessed the birth of 5 of my 6 grandkids. I was too busy doing it to realize how great it was. What an amazing thing-to be given the power to create another human life and have it grow from so small it can only be seen by a microscope to a functioning human being----wow.....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Meet the Fam

This is us at the height of my matriarchal madness, about 13 years ago. Not too long after I had given birth to child #5, my husband said, "you know, I had a dream that we had seven kids." WHAT? you're nuts......but I guess dreams do come true....When the oldest was 16, #7 arrived on the scene.
So left to right, meet, me, matriarchal madwoman, Sopresa (Spanish for surprise), Hero, Giddyup, M.A. (Madwoman apprentice-she now has 3 of her own), TL. Next row 1st little boy: Bubba, Elder and Arwen. These are all blog names to protect the innocent (and maybe not so innocent). Sopresa is given her name because when she arrived-Dad annouced to the kids that the baby was a girl and her name was Sopresa. Hero is given her name because she likes it (maybe from Much Ado about Nothing??). Boy #1, Giddyup because he says that ALL THE TIME, Bubba, given the name because we actually call him that sometimes, Elder because he is now serving his mission in Nashville TN, Spanish speaking, Arwen was given that nickname because she looks like the character in the Lord of the Rings movie. M.A. well, that's pretty obvious, or maybe MIT (Madwoman in training??)
I give full credit to Hero-the master of alliteration-in helping me name my blog. (I promised I would give her credit) She is an aspiring author....
So guys, if you hate your blogger names, let me know-we'll come up with a new one!
Love you guys!
P.S. Obviously I am thankful for every single one of them!
PPS. It's CLOUDY TODAY. Break out the long johns and hot chocolate!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What's UP with this heat?

Despite the fact that the calendar says November 14th, it sure doesn't feel like it....what with all the holiday ho-ho-hoing starting up and the pictures of fall leaves everywhere-it is a little hard to get in the spirit of things when you have to go outside at 4 AM to feel the slightest nip in the air. the spirit of keeping things positive and full of gratitude, I present three reasons why it is OK for it to still be so hot in Arizona.....
#1 Since it is November, and the power company cuts the electrical rate practically in half, I can turn my AC way down allllll day long and not worry about my electrical bill being the size of the national debt!

#2 In Arizona, we NEVER suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) where we get depressed from lack of sunshine. Au contraire...we can suffer from SDD (seasonal defective disorder) where we get depressed from too much heat and sunshine and feeling like we stick our head in an oven every time we open the front door.

And #3.....Look at this!


My GARDEN is a happy place! My little plants are just thriving away. Of course my water bill IS nearly the size of the national debit, but oh well....gardening in the winter in AZ is FUN. We had a tossed salad last Sunday with the baby romaine and baby lettuce greens fresh picked from the garden. Pretty soon the grandkids will be able to pick fresh broccoli and cauliflower and eat them with ranch dip! Yummy....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Half a Century

Today is the day----F-f-f-fifty years old, the big FIVE-O. There, I said it. Had a great day-fun day-took the day off-shopped-hung out-just had a very nice day. Back to the reality tomorrow. One of the highlights of the day-among many-----I bought a


Yes, a size 10-what a great birthday present....! Makes all those evenings of starving and sweating on the treadmill and everything WORTH IT!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

This morning when I went outside, I saw this flag in front of my yard. Every national holiday someone in our ward sets out the flags early in the morning and then takes them down before dark. It is SO nice to drive down the road and see the flags displayed. Today I am remembering and giving thanks for:
#1 The anonymous people in my ward who take the time to do the little things that are extra special-like getting up early to post American flags.
#2 That our nephew, Zach, is home safely after his tour in Iraq,-he took the time to come to my party-that made my cry!
#3 Thanks to all those today who are keeping our country free and those who have fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country free so that I can do fun things like blog!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Anniversary...again

Yes, just ONE year ago today.....another one of my baby girls became a bride......yes, a year and six days after her sister. Yes.....I did plan two weddings (and pay for) in less than two years...

But it was a great day-she was (and is still) a beautiful bride. Have a great day guys and congrats!

(This year I did not have to plan and pay for a wedding....)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Last To Know or How to feel really really Dumb

Well, today I really don't know where to start.....So I guess I will start at the beginning.....about a half century ago there was a little girl wait.....that's too far back......
So yesterday afternoon I get this in the mail:
WHAT? An invitation to join AARP??? WHAT????
Yesterday I had been running all day long it seemed, and we had the first play off game for Mesa High to go to. I was really really tired and kind of hit the wall about 5 PM, not in the nicest of moods. TL* comes home from work and says, we probably ought to stop by and say hi at Rich's open house (the invite to see his fab new house). So I agree, ok, ok, let's just get going so we are not late for the game. THEN Rich calls-hey can you go get some plastic cups for my open house. (I'm thinking-what the nerve!!!) So we go get the cups, me grumbling all the way-my daughter calls-says, yeah, we're going to the open house too for minute-I am really really in a foul mood-so tired-let's just get this over with. We pull up to the Rich C. estate, I see cars, think nothing, go in the house, see no one, think nothing. Then Rich says, "hey let's show Marilyn the back yard first" I step out, the lights go on and people shout "SURPRISE." Uhhhh, was I surprised.....uhhh yes, that's probably a mild word to use. Shock and awe were more like it, total confusion, embarrassment and then of course I did what any respectable women would do, CRY! So I guess there has been a surprise party for me, celebrating my half-century mark-can't say the F-word yet- in the planning works for at least oh, several months and I am totally clueless about it. Not even an idea whatsoever........very strange since I really usually know what is going on around me.....So after the blubbering and shock, vertigo and nausea set in.....I really didn't feel good-but I finally settled down and my #1 son and #2 daughter had put together a "tribute" video for me, which was great-especially since they had messages from my sisters from out of state (refer to Nov 9 blog) and my parents and each of my kids, and lastly, even a video message from Elder, son #2 on his mission. That's when the tears flowed...I haven't seen him for seven months.
So that's my story on how to feel really really dumb. I still have a few more days until the half-century mark........and what am I grateful for today?....well..
I have about 100 thank you cards to write to all the lovely people who worked so hard to plan this and who were kind enough to show up.
THANKS kids! I love you............
*I am assigning "blog" names to all my family to semi-protect their privacy...more later!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my cute baby sis-Lu. Love, ya-have a happy day-and remember, when you make fun of my age......well, you are not far behind.....tee hee.
Stay tuned for more exciting posts!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ode to Fall/Ode to Angie

Since today is a hectic day and I won't be home much-including tonight-I thought I would post now- This is my Ode to Fall and my Ode to mentor and inspiration. Even though she is half my age-she has been my teacher extraordinaire of the Simplicity Class for over two years.....I have faithfully copied her every layout-and admired her from afar....... Despite our vast difference in ages-we have similar interests and neuroses......So this layout is a proud moment for me because althought it IS an angie inspired color inspiration-I actually came up with this one on my own-(after scraplifting the layout plan from CZ. ) I must not take total credit but it was very satisfying to put this together all my myself!!! But never fear, miss angie-i will never give up the Simplicity experience....
Now-on reflecting on last night's post, I realized that I did not give proper credit and gratitude to those who helped make my business possible! Yes, I am good at what I do and I work and worked hard....but the proper gratitude needs to go to:
#1 My parents who funded my training for medical transcription.
#2 My family who put up with me when I was working so much, especially TL (husband) who had to pick up the pieces many times.
#3 Dr. L, Dr. F, Dr. M, Dr. W, Dr. P. who took a chance on a 4 month's pregnant lady and gave me a start way back when.......

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Work Day

Well, today I have been pretty much staring at this all day long. I started typing about 10:30 and finished just now-about 8 PM, with a few breaks here and there. I am doing some sub work for a girl who just had surgery-she used to work for me years ago. Whew-I am tired and my hiney feels it....
So what am I doing and why did I do it? About 16 years ago I was in the middle of my matriarchal madness-six kids at the time, ages 2-14 and we needed money. I had heard about medical transcription at home. I knew that I never wanted to go out of my home to work since my teenagers needed me just as bad as my little ones did-so I thought this might be an answer. To make a long story short-I studied medical terminology six days a week, for six months, got a computer, worked for a crazy lady for a year and then went off on my own. By that time I was pregnant with #7 and I went out and went door to door in medical offices giving them flyers and offering my services. I got my first two accounts (six doctors) within a month and the rest they say, is history. By 1997 I had over 20 docs and 6 ladies working for me. I cut back a bit the year after but then in about 2004, I realized, why am I killing myself? I really didn't need to work that much, so I cut back to my nice little life as I know it now-just 3 docs, 4 days a week part-time, just a nice bit of pocket money I can spend on scrapbooking and other fun stuff.
Was it worth it? Yes--we REALLY needed the money and I made very good money. It was a great way to be home and work but it is HARD to work at home with kids. Would I do it again? yes-if I have to-but I hope I don't now.
It has been a good experience but I have ended up being the family dispenser of medical advice, which is kinda scary....getting a phone call asking-hey, I have this itch under my left toenail.....what should I do? or......I have this funky rash under my right eye... what should I do????? (not really) my answer-ummm, maybe you better call your doctor........but it has been a blessing because when I can speak intelligently to doctors during a medical crisis, (of which there have been a few!) they have more respect. (I even had one doc, begging me...groveling.....saying...pleeeease do my work-that is great for the ego!!) So that's the story of my profession for the last 15 years.
So what am I thankful for today????
#1-Spell checker and quick correct....saves bunches of time! use it every day when I study my I looked up froward (what the heck is froward?) I know!!!
#3-That today is OVER.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Good Hair Day

Today is one of my favorite days of the month.....Haircut Day! You see, I have a talent that I inherited from my paternal grandmother, which I have to thank, that is the talent of going gray early. In fact, I have been told by my stylist, the Divine Miss J. that my hair is actually white! (gee-what a talent to have) So under her skillful hands, I have had my roots transformed and my highlights freshened and my "young piece" renewed. The story of the young piece started actually when I decided to chop my hair REALLY short. I told the Divine Miss J. that I wanted to look "young." So she told me that in order not to have a "helmet head" I would need a "young piece," a couple of tiny shoots of hair that were short and kinda spiky so I can look like a really "hip" grandma. So that's what she did, and with the addition of much product and her talents... my life has been transformed, I will forever look young... Another reason I love Haircut Day is that I can get up, wash hair, no stylin, no product, no nothing-I show up with a virgin head and she goes to work.
I know, I know, the photo is pretty lame, but do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself??????? I tried about 20 shots and finally settled on this one.....
And, the three things I am grateful for today:
#1- It is pretty obvious-The Divine Miss J. and hair dye..(does that count as 2 things?)
#2-Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Hummus (yummy! only 60 calories for 2 T.-a dieter's dream-an answer to french onion dip..)
#3- Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat-Lemon Echinacea herb tea-really, really helps when you have a cold-still trying to get over mine-but the herb tea definitely helps.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I'm taking a minute to post again, because I have been inspired by my cousin, who was inspired by Pres. Eyring, who I SHOULD have been inspired write three things you are thankful for at the end of each day.. So here goes:

#1 I am thankful that today is Monday-because it's missionary P-day.....hooray......a nice letter today from our Elder.

#2 I am thankful for air conditioning. (Today was 93 degrees...It's November, for heaven sakes!)

#3 I am thankful for the nice plumber who ended up showing up, a little late, but showed up nevertheless to fix the clog that keeps coming back.........and he didn't charge too much!!!

So, don't worry-be grateful.....

Happy Anniversary

Two years ago TODAY my little girl became a wife. She was (and is still) a beautiful bride. CONGRATS kids. I hope you have a fun day......
Today I am battling a cold and the aftereffects of the first Primary program practice. This is my third year in charge and I must went better than expected. Half the kids didn't know their parts and it was semi chaotic but if you don't have high expectations and plenty of patience.....well, then my cup is half full! Chao..........

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Moment of Silence.....

We are in Deep Mourning today......Alas, our home team, ASU has broken its string of undeafetedness and lost last night to Oregon. So out of respect to the fans, please pause for a moment of silence..............................................................................................................................................................

Last night my house was full of testosterone as the ASU fans high fived, shouted, cheered, cursed....(not really)....and finally a glum silence descending..... I did manage to watch some of the game but I was kind of afraid of being hit by random flying objects and hurting my hearing as the decibel level rose to above the safety limit..... I retreated to the safety of my office and computer but could tell the progress of the game without even watching by the noise level and the comments being made.
So fans, gird up your loins, fresh courage take, next week UCLA....
Lousy photo-I know-but it helps to preserve the anonimity of the fans and demonstrate the emotion-hence the blurriness

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Family photo

Okay-I blew it on first post. HERE is the photo of my gorgeous family.

First Post

The title of this post seems pretty boring, but it is kind of a scary new thing.....entering into the cyberworld. But here it is-first post- As I get the hang of this, it will most likely get more creative. Right now I am in the last few days of hanging on to my 40s by the skin of my teeth-entering into another I am trying to be brave. IF my picture posted correctly, there is a photo of my gorgeous family, minus one new little one we got in August, Evelyn Rachelle....(Cassandra, I hope I spelled her middle name right). So anyway, here goes nothing...............