Sunday, June 29, 2008


I spent the weekend busily visiting every quilt shop from Payson to Logan and I did it with two toddlers! Yup, one toddler was 3 the other is 60-ish and "toddles" too. (Just kidding mom -- you did a great job going to all those stores and did very little toddling. My mom had a brain tumor removed a year ago and is doing very well!)

My favorite part of the trip happened at the hotel. We were playing cards while Emma ran around the hotel room like a wild animal. At one point Emma came over by us with quarters pressed into her eyes. "I have grandma eyes!" she blurts out. We all laugh, but then I asked her why she thinks those are grandma eyes. And Emma, bless her little heart, tells us it's because they *sparkle* like grandma's eyes. Awwww . . . . . . how cute is that?!?

Here she is with grandma eyes and another photo of Emma being Grandma when we went to the zoo. It's a beautiful thing (sniff, sniff -- wiping away a tear)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Foto Flashback

We're off on our annual road trip for the Utah Quilt Shop Hop! So for Foto Flashback I thought I'd give you a picture of the only three quilts I've ever FINISHED. I simply refuse to share photos of all the quilts that I have ever STARTED. Still, with unfinished quilts abounding I must obey the call of the wind and jump in my minivan to tour the many quilt shops along the Wasatch Front. YIPPEE!

This was the first quilt I ever made. I paper pieced it and then hand quilted it. (Most of the stitching is gone now, and I bleached it at some point . . .it's just a mere shadow of what it use to be)

Here is the second quilt. I really loved how this one turned out - I think it's the reason I keep wanting to quilt. The purples & greens set off with the black are great!

This is just an old levi's rag quilt that I put together this spring so I could have something to sit on at Josh's soccer games. It is inspired by a rag quilt that Tammy had at a very cold soccer game that I was envious of.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I've been a little MIA lately. That's Missing In Action FYI. I've been a little busy studying for my LO classes. That's Loan Officer classes. In the process of studying I've come to realize how much I under use acronyms. I'm wasting my time and breath in not shortening what I say.

For example, in the LO classes we say important things like: According to HOEPA (pronounced Hoe-Eee-Pa, cuz saying the individual letters takes too much time too) which is an ammendment to TILA (Till-uh) it is good for LO's to disclose APR's and any ARM info provided from the FTC and HUD. See, that's way faster than saying it with the actual words in place, KWIM?

In fact the whole LO class has led me to make some major changes in how I run my house. Here's a few of the top changes:

  • When the boys are teasing each other I kindly remind them of BKTOA (pronounced Back-toe-uh). "Josh, please stop spraying your new AXE spray on Ethan's sheets & blankets or you'll be in violation of BKTOA (Be Kind To Others Act). "

  • When I'm headed to the car I just shout GIC! And the kids know immediately to Get In the Car.

  • I've renamed their job charts too. We call them HUD #1's (Home Upkeep Documents). The boys have yet to hand in a fully initialized triplicate form! It's so frustrating~

  • And finally, bedtime is now streamlined as I remind the kids to BTSYPKG (pronounced Betsy-pinking). In other words: Bruth Teeth, Say Your Prayers, Kiss Goodnight!

I'm taking this home in a whole new direction! We're going to rise to the top, we're going to go National, baby!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Apologies

Dear Temple Patrons on Saturday, June 21st at the 10am Session:

Please forgive me for butting in line for the session. I can readily give you any number of excuses, but I doubt that they will make some of you feel better. Just rest assured that I felt guilty and wanted to turn around once the session began and ask your forgiveness. However, I didn't feel like that was possible. I have started the repentance process (this is the confess & forsake phase) and will be much more appropriate next time I am at the temple. Again, I am deeply sorry that I brought anger into some of your hearts in that beautiful place and wracked my soul with guilt for the following two hours.

P.S. Tammy - this whole situation only goes to prove that I will follow you ANYWHERE. Please do not consider jumping off a cliff, walking on hot coals or eating anything strange. Heaven knows that if you do it - I will also!


Owner of Possibly the World's Most Guilty Conscience

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Open Letter Opportunity

This morning events conspired in such a cosmic way, that another open letter is necessitated. However, I thought I would use a visual form to get my message across. Consider it a symbolical visual open letter. To help you, here is a key for the symbols used in the video:
  • The store in this video should be interpreted as a swim meet that happened this morning
  • The people intricately going about their shopping trip can be interpreted as the participants at the swim meet (who are being carefully orchestrated by a swim mom and her trusty volunteer friends)
  • Finally, please intrepet the cash paying customer as an eager parent who sees flaws in the intricate workings of the swim meet and on the spot changes the whole flow of the meet causing the ensuing disaster

In my mind I like to picture the assistant store manager of this deli as she sees the process and procedure go up in smoke. She's probably biting a hole in her lip ~ she may be storming around the store venting at any available co-worker ~ she may be on the verge of closing the store entirely for the rest of the day ~ she may wish she had a .22 under the scoring table aimed at the cash paying customer.

All I know, is that after cleaning up hot dog puke at 3am keeping a clear head around "cash paying customers" bright and early in the morning, is really, really, really hard. So here's to you, "cash paying customer" for helping me take my self-control for an exercising walk around the block today! I owe you one ~

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Foto Flashback

It's Foto Flashback ~ with a reminder to stop and smell the roses. Which I haven't been doing lately. And am going to make an effort to do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Waxing Philosophical about Ice

In a brief moment of pure clarity at the swimming pool this morning (6:30am) as I was drinking the last of my Diet Coke (yeah, 6:30am) I had a deep realization. ICE MATTERS! As I sipped the last drop of my DC I happened to squeeze my cup too hard, causing the lid to pop off (don't ask why I squeezed too hard). And that's when it happened! I saw that the pool has Crushed Ice (you know, the Sonic kind). What joy, what happiness! And all of a sudden, how much better I thought my Diet Coke had tasted.

Then the really deep thinking began . . . . What if in life, we are all ice cubes? And depending on which kind of ice you are (cubed, blocked, crushed) you can make any situation in life more enjoyable. For example, the dude at the triathlon who was a pain in the butt -- definitely BLOCK ICE! The neighbor girl who works at the grocery store and asked me very nicely if I wanted paper or plastic -- CUBED ICE! One of the dearest older women in the neighborhood, Dora -- CRUSHED ICE!

See? The situations may be the same, but depending on who is there, and with what attitude (Cube, Block, Crushed) it makes all the difference!

(Wow! What amazing thoughts I have at 6:30 in the morning all hopped on caffeine!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I went to the dentist yesterday and had the worst two hours of my life.

Although the two events are related -- the worst two hours did not happen AT the dentist they happened AFTER the dentist.

Mouth fully numb from WAY TOO MUCH dental work I couldn't even sip a Diet Coke! I couldn't tell when the ice cold can of Diet Coke was pressed against my lips . . . . it dribbled down the front of my shirt and not into my mouth. A straw was a futile attempt, and simply dangled from my numb lips.

I had to go Coke-less for two hours.

I still get misty-eyed from the absence of it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

An Open Letter

I have a blogger friend who has made great use of blogging in an "open letter" format. When she has been witness to an injustice, an oversight and just plain rudeness; she writes an open letter to that person. Following a long Saturday of hosting a triathlon I have an open letter to write . . . . . (Really I have about 5 that I could write, but I'll limit it to one today)

Dear Man Who Thinks His Wife Is The Only One On The Planet:

I wanted to first introduce myself to you, as I didn't really have time to on Saturday. My name is Wendy, I was the tall, overweight lady in the bright blue volunteer shirt who kept waving and shouting at you. I wanted to first congratulate you on having a wife who would enter to participate in our triathlon (heaven knows I didn't enter because I knew it was going to be hard). I know that when she came into the heavily marked "transition area" you must have been so full of joy at seeing her complete the running portion of the race. So full of joy that you missed the bright yellow CAUTION tape that you stepped over to get to her. So full of joy that you missed the bright orange cones holding the CAUTION tape that had signs like "Only participants in this area!"

I figured you were so overcome at her first success that you must have been blind to my frantically waving gestures and my shouts to please get behind the flagged area. Then again, I don't normally get ignored when I'm hollering and waving my arms. And since you didn't seem to notice me - I sent my friend Lisa -- who is much louder and bolder than I am to let you know you were in an area where you couldn't be. Yeah, her name is Lisa -- she had the bright blue volunteer shirt on too.

And finally, when you helped your wife get her bike down off the bike rack . . . . how sweet! Except that you weren't suppose to be in that area and you're not allowed to help the athletes. The athlete can be disqualified!!! And when we told you that, as you finally listened to us, I really liked how you got upset. My favorite was when you said, "Why didn't you tell me?" Although, it didn't really come across as my favorite part when I screamed back at you, "I've been trying to tell you the last 5 minutes!"

In closing, dear sir, there were plenty of wives and mothers who participated in this race and made it to the very end of the race - even in last place with no help at all. I saw their husbands and families cheering them on from the SIDELINES and I find, in my mind, their success ten times what your wife's was.

The tall, chubby, screaming lady in the bright blue shirt!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Library Books As An Investment

Just for fun the other day I decided to add "The Marvelous Mud Washing Machine" to my list of "Favorites" at (See my sidebar on the right). In the process of adding it to my favorites list I came to find out a few interesting things:
  • This book is out of print
  • The cheapest you can get this book on is $42.41!!
  • The highest price for this book is $96.40 from Barnes & Noble Book Quest
  • Either of these prices is a lot higher than the price on the back of the book ($3.50 - it's a hard back too)
  • Either of these prices is a lot higher than what I paid the library for it ($14)

One last interesting note. Several books available for purchase on Amazon list the book as a "fair ex-library" copy. Now, either we're all losing books or someone is using the "lost" excuse to make an investment.

I've been wrestling with myself all morning trying to decide what to do with this book now. Do I sell it? Do I put it behind museum glass? Do I let Emma draw pictures over the words? Actually, maybe it's time to donate it back to the library and let them be responsible for it. I wonder if they would take it in exchange for cancelling all my late fees . . . . . .

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Foto Flashback

Here's another Foto Flashback to 2004 when Josh and Ethan had started swimming for the local recreation team. It was all so innocent back then . . . . .

And now, I'm in over my head being "swim mom" for a team of 225 kids and helping put on a triathlon this Saturday morning. I have been living and breathing swimming the last two weeks! But it's all worth it when I see the boys swim and realize that they do very well. I like that they are confident swimmers and not just a frightened doggy paddler like myself.

Foto above is Ethan swimming a crooked back stroke - it's not so crooked after 4 years of swimming!

Josh definitely likes swimming more than Ethan does. The coaches say he has a great kick, we're working on arms now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Commercials

If your first week(s) of summer have been as busy as mine, you'll probably laugh hysterically if I ask you what your favorite t.v. commercial, running now, is. I haven't flipped the t.v. on all week! And it's not loking good for the rest of the week either. But in a moment of computer surfing, while ignoring the pile of "stuff" that needs to be done, I found a blog discussing the best summer commercials. You can submit your favorites (or least favorites) to the blog and see what everyone is liking. The results are not in yet -- but I kinda liked this one (I like the Discovery Channel too):

You can follow along on the commercial blog by clicking HERE
You can see last year's disturbing commercial and best commercial HERE. I'm still trying to scour the Sour Skittles commercial out of my memory bank!

Enjoy Your Day!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Washing Machine Now Wash . . . .

I have found out a secret! And I am going to disclose it to all the mother's in my life ~

If you want your children to do their own laundry -- get them their own washer and dryer!

Really, I'm not kidding! It has worked like a charm~ When Uncle Ryan moved out of the basement last month, he left his washer and dryer for us. Josh and Ethan have promptly taken it over, and with GREAT results. I went to the store and purchased just the right smelling laundry soap and dryer sheets (good times having your boys sniff every product down the aisle!). And now they are on their own. I have not had to remind them about doing their laundry, to take it out of the dryer, put it away, etc. It's a dream!

Except that in a way, it's not a dream. It's just one more reminder that my boys want independence and self-sufficiency. I'm slowly being phased out. Just tonight they asked if they could use Uncle Ryan's dishwasher too and do their own dishes. The basement has become a bachelor pad for 12 and unders.

(FYI blog title is derived from a cute kids book called "The Marvelous Mud Washing Machine". You can obtain this book by checking it out of the library, losing it, pretending for months that you know just where it is, and then one day having a reality check and paying the library 5 times the book's value so you can go home and find the "lost" book. You can then keep the book because the library has cashed your check and there's no way you're going back there with this whole story!)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Life Is A Zoo!

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Yup, here we are at the zoo. It started out a cloudy, rainy day but we packed a lunch and headed up to Salt Lake anyway.

"Wow, Wendy, you sure seem prepared for a day at the zoo in the rain though. You all look warm and cozy."

"Yes, that's right we did get all warm and cozy after I bought three of us warm hoodies and sweatshirts at that most economical gift shop they have at the zoo. Thank goodness I bought my annual zoo pass so that I could go to the zoo for FREE during the year!

We did have a great time though!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Lieu Lieu Skip to My Lieu

My apologies in advance for the continuing saga of "Wendy Goes Back to School", but this whole experience is rocking my mind.

Yesterday when I attended my 2nd day of 'classes' it started out rather poorly. I found that at age 37 I was not capable of finding my own seat in the class. Apparently this instructor believes in the "assigned seating" methodology of making you feel inferior. (Puh-lease, assigned seating in a room that seats 50 when there's only 5 of us there . . ) Man! I have taken for granted, these past 19 years, the ability to sit wherever I want. But I triumphed anyway, since I strolled to my assigned seat with the air of confidence that says, "This is really where I wanted to be anyway!"

In addition to assigned seating I found this class to be a men's club of loan officers who have been forced to endure continuing education classes. One gentleman proclaimed, "I already know everything." after showing up 40 minutes late to class whereupon he also announced he was late "because I was smoking crack." Good one, pal . . . (quick note, but that reference has just upped my blog rating again!)

So what did I really learn yesterday at class? The instructor asked that I try to become more comfortable with using the words "in lieu of". Yeah, when reading aloud a section from a form, I thought I could skip some words. In the process of doing so, I skipped the words "in lieu of" which the instructor took to mean that I was uncomfortable using those words. (Hey, buddy, I'm just uncomfortable role-playing filling out a loan form and wanted it to go as fast as possible) Regardless, this now leaves me with the home work assignment to become more comfortable with these words in my vocabulary. I've been practicing and here's some examples:

  • Josh,I realize that you think you can play Guitar Hero in lieu of chores, but promptly cleaning your room would be more appropos (I'm using the previous instructors pet word from Tuesday too).
  • In lieu of cereal this morning we are going to Gandolfo's for a Chaz Bagel . . .Yum!
  • Who in the world decided to have rain and clouds the last two days in lieu of sunshine?!
  • I wish I could put dust bunnies in my gas tank in lieu of gasoline so I could afford to get to the zoo today.
  • I will accept Diet Pepsi in lieu of Diet Coke (just a helpful note for all of you)

Home work done!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Home Manager

Today I started re-started my educational path. I am studying to become a . . . . Loan Officer.

I thought the fact that I charmed the young twenty-year old who enrolled me in class was a good start today. Also, that they let you drink Diet Coke while in class was another really good sign (Thanks Josh for lending me some cash!). I brought my favorite pen and notebook to class and got an expensive awesome calculator that requires me to do absolutely no thinking to figure loan payments!

But the class turned a bit sour as we all had to introduce ourselves. For pity's sake could I have not been spared this little tidbit of fun? It went like this:

"What's your name?"
"Welcome to class, Bob. What do you do?"
"I've been working in real estate for a year."
"Great, Bob! And what's your name?"
"Well, Ted, what do you do?"
"I've been doing loans for 20 years now and I'm here for some CE" (Um. . .only took me 15 minutes to figure out that meant Continuing Education . . I'm smart that way.)
"Well, I'm so excited to hear your stories Ted - you'll be a great addition to class. What's your name?"
"Wendy, what do you do?"
"I'm a home manager." (Big cheesy grin, cuz I think I'm hysterical!)
"Yeah, I'm . . " (Here I start to falter under the gaze of my fellow classmates - all 4 of them. I'm not feeling so funny and charming anymore) . . "I'm actually just a Stay At Home Mom."
"Well. . . that's interesting . .. "

Yeah, I don't think the teacher meant interesting like I wish she would've meant it. For the first 2 hours I got the remedial comments as she explained words like . . . mortgage, interest and escrow. For crying out loud I do have a house and know something about loans. I wish I would've stuck to my guns about the Home Manager thing . . . I downed several Diet Cokes during my 4 hours and stroked my awesome new calculator to calm myself whenever she gave me the remedial glance as she talked about the FHA 240C loan that is such a pain. I know something about pains . . . .

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Perfect 30 Minutes

I have had the most amazing 30 minutes! And I get to have this same amazing 30 minutes every day for the next 2 weeks! And all it cost me was $20!

This perfect half hour is called . . . Swimming Lessons. Yes, I took Emma to her first swimming lesson today at the public pool. Josh and Ethan 'wanted' to stay home and clean their room. So I grabbed a large, cold Diet Coke and my new book (and Emma) and headed to the pool.

It was *magical*! I sat in a chair all by myself with no one bugging me, sipping my favorite drink and reading a book. The sun toasted my legs and toes and all the sun-induced endorphins zipped along and made my heart sing! I was so happy having these minutes to myself I very nearly cried ~ OK, it was the awesome book I am reading that made me cry. ["Once Upon A Town" is a non-fiction story about North Platte, Nebraska during WW2, recounting how fabulous people can be!]

At the end of the 30 minutes I felt refreshed! Emma asked, "Mom, did you watch me?" I admit I lied . . . "Sure, honey, I watched you -- you did awesome!"

I can't wait to go again tomorrow!