Black Friday

All Day Thursday we poured over the ads in the newspapers. We were on a mission. We had shopping to do bright and early the next morning.

"What? Are you crazy? It's not so bright since the sun doesn't come up until two whole hours after the stores open! What person in their right mind shops that early in the morning?"

These kind of crazy girls that don't get to see each other very often and want to have some wild and crazy fun together! Most years we are back before everyone at the house is awake. This year almost everyone was still asleep. Not only did we hit three stores but we had a nice sit-down breakfast at the local Cracker Barrel, the best breakfast in the area.

One of the funnest things about going shopping early is watching all the other people. There are always a few people that stand in line for a while and then go home. They are usually new to the experience and are not expecting the crowds that amass on Predawn Black Friday shopping. There are others that have a whole crew at their disposal. Several stand in line, while others get coffee/hot chocolate and donuts, and often they have walkie talkies so they can communicate with each other in the madness of the shopping crowds. No normal cell phone can be heard these morning except in the empty bathrooms.

This year we had a treat at Target, our favorite Black Friday store. There are always security guards but this year wehad a female who had obviously shopped on Black Friday before. As the late crowds started forming in the parking lots, hoping to walk in with the crowds that had been waiting for over an hour she let them have it. She would point her finger at the crowd and holler, "I'm watching you guys! You can't butt in line with these guys, you need to go to the back of the line!" She did this a few times, endearing her to the lines of people already waiting.

Then, just before the store opened, a regular police officer pulled into the Target parking lot and parked right in front of the entrance. Just before the store opened he got out and lounged in the lane, just daring people to cut in line.

Then the doors finally opened!!!! We all pushed forward, trying to get the people in front of us to move a little faster. The people in the parking lot started moving forward. Sister Homemaker & I yelled the normal "To the back of the line!" Sister Accountant, having lived in New York City for three years and another in Chicago, regressed to her big city days. "Copper, get your gun out! People are trying to butt in line!"

Finally, we were in the store! We had a game plan. Sister Accountant headed for the video games, Sister Homemaker headed for the toys, & I headed for domestics, I was in charge of acquiring several king size blankets. We were planning on meeting by the DVDs on sale at the front of the store but we found each other before then. Pregnant Sister Accountant said some man had tried to push her out of his way with his big old belly. Of course, she stood her ground and got what she needed. Sister Homemaker got all the toys she wanted with a few extra. I had found and gotten all the blankets we needed. Of course there were only brown and white in King size. Being practical, I got all brown. We all have children and I knew how long a white blanket would stay clean. At my house it would be in the washer more than on the sofa.

I mentioned I wanted to look at the movies until Sister Accountant pointed to the mass of people around the racks. I took one look at that and said "Let's go!" We were out of the store before 6:10. We are pretty proud of getting in and getting out. No wasted time here! Several years ago we were in line at Toys R Us. We knew exactly what we wanted, got it, and checked out. When we left the store we gleefully noted that not everyone in line was in the store yet! We always have a lot of fun and get a few things on a great deal every Black Friday.


Meatball Sandwiches

Last week Olaf made Meatball Sandwiches for dinner. This is a good dinner because 75% of the family likes this meal. Normally, it seems as though at least 25% of our family doesn't like what we're having for dinner. But this one is almost a winner.

As we're eating Olaf starts snickering. "What?" the kids ask.

"Reminds me of the Testicle Festival up in Montana," he replies as he snickers some more.

"What are testicles?" both the boys ask.

"I'll tell you after dinner," he answered.

But the boys couldn't wait and kept pestering. They even guessed a few ridiculous body parts like elbows, toes, ears, etc.

Finally I couldn't help myself. "They're your nuts!" I giggled.

"OOOHH!" and they both squeeze their legs together as tight as possible. I love watching men and boys cringe as they think of their nether regions!

Fast Forward to Friday morning at school. Baby's Best Friend and his Mom are presenting their country to the class, Italy. The presentation went pretty well, until Baby's mind starts thinking in boy circles.

He raises his hand and when called upon asks, "Do they have meatballs in Italy?"

If you had been a mouse in my kitchen several nights ago, you could only see one direction for this conversation to go, but no one else in class had heard our lovely dinner conversation.

"Yes, they do," replies the Mom.

Baby raises his hand again. Once again he is called on. "My Dad told me what meatballs are made out of," he proudly announces.

"We don't want to know what their made of," his teacher very quickly responds and then she steers the discussion in a different direction. She's obviously had that child of mine in her class too long!

Maybe we should start watching TV during dinner like most American families. This whole conversation thing is obviously overrated. It only gets us in trouble!


The Hysteria

Over a week ago a good friend of mine bought me a ticket to see the long-awaited-for-by-girls-of-all-ages movie Twilight. I use the term ‘girls’ loosely in regards to this movie. There were plenty of grown women just as excited as their teenage counterparts, even wearing the movie-sanctioned t-shirt.

Then, last week another good friend brought the book over for me to read and tried to get me to go with a bunch of women from our neighborhood that were attending the midnight showing Thursday night/Friday morning. I laughed and declined, claiming if I didn’t do that for the Bond movie there was no way I was missing sleep for a different movie.

I read the book during the week. It was easy reading, I think my seven-year-old could read the book. He’d hate it, but he would be able to read it without a problem. I only made it to page 312 before I saw the movie, but then I didn’t dedicate much time to reading, maybe three hours worth during the week. I was a little surprised at how popular these books have become. The writing was quite poor for a book of this acclaim. The reading was somewhat entertaining, if you’re into romance, which I’m not so much. I enjoy a romance in the book, but not as the whole story. And at 312 pages there had been nothing but romance! I didn’t quite see what they could put in the movie and was really beginning to dread it.

Friday night I headed to the theater amid hundreds of screaming fans. We sat near the front and I watched the movie. It was actually pretty good. They used the last 180 pages that I hadn’t read as the main story line. While it didn’t ruin the book, which I finished last night to see how it differed, it was enjoyable.

But the best part was all the girls and women squealing during the movie! It felt like a concert full of teenage girls with their favorite rock star. Every time someone new came on the screen there were squeals of delight heard throughout the audience. I wasn’t quite prepared for the hyperness of the grown women! I guess love makes people feel young.



I just barely got my sunglasses back from the optical shop and the sun decides to hide behind the mountains until after I get to work and it disappears on the other side just before I leave! That dang sun makes it hard to show off my stylish new specs. And to make matters worse it will be like this for at least two months. The winter solstice this year is December 21, 2008 at 7:04 am eastern standard time. It will take at least another month to get to this same length of day.

Whenever I get sad about the shortness of days I try to count my blessings. I'm glad I don't live in Alaska where the days are MUCH shorter. And on the flip side, how do you ever go to sleep at night while it's still light outside? When I was in England the sun came up around 4 or 5 in the morning. We had no problem getting up at 6:30 in order to get an early start on sightseeing.

I'm also glad I live in the Northern Hemisphere. It would be so unseasonable to have Christmas in the middle of Summer. I may not love the cold but it doesn't seem right if Christmas doesn't have some snow. I remember reading an article that said even in South America Christmas cards had snowy pictures on them, imitating the north!

I must stay positive as we hit this time of year. I must not succumb to the depression that sets in so readily as the days shorten and shrink. I will come out of this winter happy and alive!


Fielding the New Territory

I've been having lots of different kinds of thoughts lately and I was beginning to think I was going a little crazy. I've only known one person close to me that has died and that was a long time ago. I really didn't know what was normal. And, yes I know, nothing is normal about grieving. But I was worried and confused about how I was feeling. Olaf, being the considerate husband he is, made an appointment with a counselor so we could talk about things. He told me "It went against every man bone in my body."

We had absolutely no idea what to expect. Olaf works with a bunch of therapists and considers most of it pointless and useless. But he wanted to make me happy. We both went together and were kind of a little worried about talking to a stranger about personal feelings, but I at least knew I needed to talk to someone about how I was feeling.

We were pleasantly surprised by this visit. It was very helpful. I was worried about different things than Olaf and he had no idea I was worried about the things I was concerned about. For one, I was worried that I wasn't sad enough or crying enough (I'm not much of a crier to begin with) or depressed enough. I would catch myself having fun and joking around and then I would question myself "How can you be happy at all? How can you laugh?" I was also concerned that I wasn't caught up with any guilt that I should have been a better Mother. But once again I don't believe in the "Mother Guilt Syndrome" that plagues our nation. I think it puts way too much pressure on people and I just don't need that in my life. But I was worried because it's glorified to lay in bed for weeks and bemoan the fact that we're not better people and always feel guilty for not doing something differently. Olaf had no idea I thought these things and I informed him they're Woman Worries, definitely not Man Thoughts.

The therapist told me that it was good I was not caught up in the "Mother Guilt Syndrome" because it's not healthy. He said it's healthy for me to be happy and laugh and joke around. He reassured me that I'm dealing with Calvin's untimely death in a very healthy manner. I will still have days when I wish the world would cave in on me, but not every day anymore. When we left I felt like I had a new lease on life, I WAS allowed to be happy again. I didn't know if I'd ever get to that point again but it's finally come and I don't want to be depressed all the time. That doesn't mean I won't be depressed some days but I get to be happy most of the time. That knowledge alone made me happy.




Yes, I have tickets!

WoW, It's Late!

Last night as Olaf was sending Middle Child to bed he said several times "Midnight comes really soon!"

Huh? Midnight always comes at midnight and since we're usually sleeping, especially the children, why do we care?

Little did I know that Olaf had promised Middle Child that he would come and wake him up before Midnight, the magical hour, and whisk him off to WalMart to purchase the new World of Warcraft (WoW) extension!

As I went to bed, Olaf crawled in next to me. I asked "Is this a good idea? You have to get up soon!" But I felt him get up sometime later and since Middle Child said they were at the store on time, I know it was before midnight. Middle Child was tickled pink to get the new game. Of course he hasn't played it yet, but he knows it's there!


Baby Owns This

Baby came home from school a couple of weeks ago and PROUDLY announced:
"I am the second-shortest kid in the class!"

Baby got back from Basketball tonight:
"I made two baskets! But I'm still afraid of the ball. I'm afraid of the soccer ball too. But I'm not afraid of the football!"

"I LOVE Froggy!" and he takes him places all the time.

And all the time:
"I Love Star Wars! I wish I could be Commander Cody!"

The child is all about the fun things in life. We should all take a lesson and be proud of all our accomplishments.


3 Days Left!



(yes, I am excited! The countdown will probably
be in all caps this week cuz I can't help myself!)


Star Wars is in my Blood

The other day when my friend, A, & I took my mom to the airport to go home we were discussing Halloween costumes. We discussed the things we had been as children and what our own children were going to be this year.

Me: Baby is going to be a Clone Trooper from Star Wars this year. We got him a cool helmet at Costco. He loves it and is so excited!

Mom: That is pretty cool.

A: My boy is going to be a frog. Baby will love it (she knows of his love for everything froggy.) My hubby wants me to be the Bounty Hunter's wife. She is so skanky. I just can't do it!

Mom: Oh, I know exactly what you mean. She wears those short skirts and tight tops.

A: She's got the biggest boobs. She is just scary!

Meanwhile I am racking my brain. I thought I knew Star Wars pretty good, but I couldn't remember a time when Boba Fett's wife was on the show. In fact, they just cloned him, there was no wife involved whatsoever in the process of making Clone Troopers. Finally, in complete confusion I blurt:

Me: I didn't know Boba Fett had a wife? What part was she in? I just don't remember her!

A & Mom both burst out laughing at my one track mind. They had long since forgotten about Star Wars.

Me: Oh, do you mean Dog the Bounty Hunter?

A: You live in such BOY land!


And the winner is. . .

We named our new dog Tank. He seems to respond to the name. He is doing pretty good with us as his new family. The first day we brought him home he was so hyper he was jumping over the sofas! He has calmed down quite a bit but still has his moments when he's running crazy. He makes us think that Boomer was much older than we thought!



Last night we got to check out the new movie theater in Orem. It's really pretty! I used to do daycare for the manager of the theater and so he gave us Family & Friends passes. I got to see Journey to the Center of the Earth with Olaf, Baby, and Baby's friend. Middle Child and his friend saw Igor. I really wanted to see that but would have had to sit in the front row on the side; I did that once and won't ever do it again! Here's the countdown again!

9 Days To Go!



On Devil's Night we do not allow our children out to burn down abandoned houses like they do in Detroit. Instead we use the evening to create a wholesome activity, Pumpkin Carving! Actually, we don't have it together yet this year and had not gotten around to carving pumpkins and now we were down to the end and HAD to do it. So the kids got to stay up late and carve their pumpkins they picked out almost a month ago.

At 7:30 in the evening we discovered we had none of the special tools created for pumpkin carving. We went searching the local stores while the children cleaned the guts out of their pumpkins. Of course, there were no special carving tools available. We got back home and announced to our children they had to come up with their own designs and carve them out with steak knives. Little did we know how, in the interest of money, Corporate America has been sucking the fun out of pumpkin carving. Our children have never had as much fun carving pumpkins as they did this year! Baby was so happy so be given a Big Knife and told to Cut with it. We don't usually put out butter knives, much less steak knives, for him to use. Grandma was still here and we both cringed as he sawed away creating his masterpiece. Middle Child was the same. Neither were upset that no patterns were provided. They went to town carving away! Here are their creations on our doorstep, inviting all to come and be awed.

Baby's Pumpkin

Middle Child's Pumpkin

Then on Hallowed Trick of Treating Night the children went in droves to fill their bags over and over again with candy. They got enough candy this year for me to gain 20 pounds by Christmas! They're going to have to hide the candy!

Our favorite house to Trick or Treat always provides much needed entertainment for the adults usually freezing their butts off. (This year was nice and unseasonably warm.) This house is a dentists and bankers dream, all rolled into one. While rifling through this year's bag of goodies from them I was almost disappointed because the pamphlets were the same as last year: The Story of Inflation, The Story of Money, The Story of Checks and Electronic Payments, The Story of the Federal Reserve System, The Story of Foreign Trade and Exchange, plus about that many more all complements of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Thank You! This year we also got The Adventures of Buddy McNutty from the National Peanut Board and Milk Matters from US Dep't of Health and Human Services.

My absolute favorite book came from Bethesda and is titled "Color in the Differences." It can be found here just in case you wanted your own copy for your children. It talks about how everything/one is different; Apples and Oranges; Sharks and Whales; Dogs and Cats; and finally your friends are all different from you, you have different names and toys! Then for the last three pages they bring in the children in wheelchairs and talk about how they are different. As if we didn't already know, "They like to be outside and to swim in a pool; They like to be with friends, at home and at school." The end. We get ten pages leading us up to how everything is different and then Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma'am! Disabled children are different but yet the exact same as you! They aren't different after all. Halloween and all it's Tricks.