Apr 30, 2008

A Life In Review

Gabe can;
crawl fast,
stand-up and walk with help,
wave bye-bye,
sign "more" and "all done",
say "Mama", "Dada", and "Ah-yah" (that's for Max and Sam)
give hugs and slobbery kisses,
fake cry and fake laugh,
empty a cupboard, drawer, or toy box in record time,
melt hearts,
and get whatever he wants whenever he wants it!!!

Happy Birthday Angel Baby!!!

A Little Resin Miracle


St. Joseph Statue Kit
Popular belief holds that you can enlist the aid of St. Joseph, the patron saint of home and family, to sell your home by burying his replica. Kit includes 8"-tall resin statue, home-seller’s guide, and prayer to St. Joseph.

088702 $8.99

Evidently, THIS is what I need to get my house sold! Who knew?

Apr 24, 2008

Oprah reads my blog for ideas!

On Tuesday I got to guest blog for my sister-in-law Laura. I wanted to know what YOU would do if you witnessed bad behavior by someone in a public place. Would you intervene? Get involved? Report them anonymously? Do nothing? The few times I've done nothing, I've regretted it later so I was curious about what others would do.

Then yesterday I just happened to catch a commercial for the Oprah show and tuned-in to watch. The topic was "What Would You Do?" and there were hidden camera's involved. Did you happen to see this one? What did you think? (Check it out here!)

It was disheartening to see so many people walk right past bad situations without stopping to help. But then were were the people who DID get involved and DID try to help. I was literally cheering out-loud for these people!

It made me all the more determined to do the right thing in the future.
Whatever that "right thing" is, it'll definitely be better than doing nothing!

Agree or disagree? Twalk amongst yourselves! (Then leave a comment)

What Spring Looks Like...

...in our neck of the woods.

One of the best things about all the bright green leaves sprouting, is that they hide all of our neighbors. In a few more days, we wont be able to see them (or their side-yards full of junk) and they wont be able to see us. We'll be alone again on our private island in the woods!

That is...until we leave for our own little not-so-private island in the middle of the ocean.

Apr 23, 2008

What's In A Name?

I started this blog a long time ago.

Hold on.

Let me check how long ago:

*short pause while I do some research*

Alright. It was 9/14/05.
That's September 14th, 2005 for you dummies out there.
(Sorry for calling you a dummy. Sometimes I'm just in a mean mood.)

Back then, my kids looked like this: (They're the boys, not the girls, Dummy!)

I only had two of them and they were perfectly well-behaved, sweet, innocent, and evidently extremely grubby. (This picture was taken on a camping trip. Give me a break.)

Following the example of my sister-in-law Laura, (aka Mrs. Dub) I started a blog and THIS my friends, is an exact replica of my VERY FIRST POST!!!

Read it carefully, for it explains EVERYTHING!!!


So I created a blog, looked through the "Foreign Words and Phrases" in the back of the dictionary for a clever name, picked my template...

I think I expected more.

Oh well. Maybe I'll be more excited about my first dip into blogdom when it's not so late. Or early. Or whatever. I just want to show off pictures of my adorable children. Is that so wrong? I think not. Goodnight!


Yes, that's right. I found the name of my blog, "acte gratuit" in the back of a dictionary in the "Foreign Words and Phrases" section. (The desk edition, not the pocket-size.)

It was a completely random choice made in the middle of the night. No, I do not speak French. My blearly thoughts went something like this: "acte gratuit: Gratuitous act. Hmmm. I like the word 'gratuitous'! And it's kinda like the creation of this blog! Sorta pointless and unnecessary!"

It was probably a few minutes later that I had to call one of my Young Women (this one) to ask how to add a link to the side-bar. (She's not linked on my side-bar because I don't want anyone stalking my Young Women. Or Young Neices (Madi). So just leave her (them) alone!)

After this stellar beginning, it took me 7 months to do another post.

And that my friends, is how I ended up with the name Acte Gratuit; two French words I can't even pronounce properly. And also the reason we shouldn't blog after midnight. Which is why I'm going to bed now.


Your Friend the Dummy,

Acte Gratuit

(That's "twee" not "too-it"!)

(...i think.)

Apr 22, 2008

Soon to be FAMOUS

Well, I hope you got my signature (or a lock of my hair) when you had the chance because after today I'm going to be totally FAMOUS! That's because I'm blogging somewhere else today and it's--like--a totally popular blog. And I'm pretty sure it's going to lead to a book deal.
--I'll try to remember you in the credits!

Peace out, Peeps!

Apr 14, 2008

How To Avoid Housework:

Sit down in front of the computer and you'll find plenty of things to occupy your time. (Oh wait...isn't this what Elder Ballard cautioned against*? D'oh! I'll do better tomorrow.)

For example, I decided my recipe blog has a lack of representation from the non-breakfast/non-dessert group. (What's the name of that group again?) So I posted my mother-in-law's Scrumptious Spinach Salad recipe. I really love my Mother-in-Law! She's a really excellent lady and a really excellent cook! (Aren't you jealous that I love my MIL and you don't? Thought so.)

AND I was thrilled to find that the cool font used in my word document, showed up in Blogger! It didn't lose the formatting!!! It kept the pretty font I used for the title!!! This has never happened before!!! IS ANYONE ELSE THRILLED AND AMAZED?!?! (Or is it just a fluke and it's showing up on your screen as Arial? Stupid, ugly Arial!)

Next thing: You know those people who start a blog, write a few posts, and then poop-out? (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, JEN ROSS I mean PEOPLE!!!)

Well, my sister-in-law Christina is one of these people. She was going strong, then slacked off never to update again. Then recently she started a new blog (using Blogger) and is now posting again like a maniac. So Post-lific** is she, that I can hardly keep up! But today I read her latest post and I loved it.

Just as some background, Chrissy is married to my only brother. The one boy sandwiched between four girls. (Which is why we had a Navajo Indian foster brother for 10 years...but that's another story.) My brother Brandon is a completely psychotic person and an evil computer genius. But he's the best big brother a girl could ask for. (That's a complete lie, because I totally would have asked for a brother with a lot less gas and far fewer evil-mischievous tendencies.) No really! I'm very grateful he's my brother and I've always looked up to him. (Even after several incidences that proved him to be sick and twisted.)

That said, it should be noted he married someone just as evilly-brilliant as himself. Chrissy is also sick and twisted! She likes bugs. Really really likes them. And reads text-books for fun. And doesn't read fiction. And she likes school so much she keeps going back for more. How much more screwed up can a person be? But yet, she's surprisingly still really cool and fun to be around. And her blog is as funny and twisted as she is.

Anyway, take a gander and read about some of the experiences she's had leading up to the adoption of 3 of their 6 kids. (My adorable and brilliant nieces and nephews.) Whenever I hear these stories, I immediately want to sign up as a foster parent. Little does Doug know I'm just biding my time until we have an income not subsidized by high-interest loans! Then, let the baby barrage begin! I'm all over that.
Read Chrissy's latest Sunday Post here. Then go save a child!

Okay, I could go on posting randomness all day. (And have in the past.) But I think that's enough for now. My children demand lunch and my cold toes demand socks. So TTFN!

P.S. I'm still trying to get my Blog Roll up-to-date! If you're someone I know (or someone I don't know who reads this blog) and you have a blog, and I haven't posted the link to your blog, leave a comment and I'll do it! I HATE LEAVING PEOPLE OUT!!!

*"...And don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the time-wasting, mind-numbing things like television soap operas or surfing the Internet." It should be noted that reading this blog is NOT time-wasting, only slightly mind-numbing, and absolutely does NOT count as surfing the Internet. So READ-ON!!! (Just cut-out the soaps!)

I totally just made up a new word and I expect credit in the next edition of Merriam-Webster.

Apr 12, 2008

An Eye for an Eye!

Max spent quite awhile this morning working on a tough puzzle and was pretty proud that he did it all by himself.

A few minutes later, before Daddy even got to see it, Sammy came by and messed it all up. Max was upset and I dragged Sammy into time-out. (Kicking and screaming, of course.)

While he was gone, I sat Max down and decided this was a prime teaching opportunity.

"Max, do you know what Jesus would do if someone slapped him? He'd turn his cheek and let that person slap the other side! It's called 'turning the other cheek'!"

Blank stare.

"Okay Max...give my cheek a little slap. Not hard, just a little one." (He looks baffled and slaps his own cheek.)

"No, slap MY cheek."

He pauses and then very tentatively slaps my cheek.

"See, if you did that to me, and I were Jesus, I'd let you slap the other side too!"

More blank staring.

This isn't going well. I'm quickly losing confidence in my example, the Bible, and my general comprehension of Judeo-Christian ethics.

"Alright Max, the point is, if someone does something you don't like, you don't get mad! You forgive them!" (But I'm not about to tell him to just let the person smack him again.)

Look of complete bewilderment.

I'm gonna let this one go. Time to deal with Sammy. Exit stage left.

"Sammy! You need to go upstairs and say 'sorry' to Max! You messed up his puzzle and that made him very sad! Go say 'sorry', okay?"

Sam leaves the room and goes upstairs. A second later he's crying loudly and stomping back down the stairs.

"What happened Sammy?"

"Max FWAPPED me!!!"

I quit.

Apr 9, 2008

J is For...Cheesecake

I have a lot of Jennifer's in my life. First and foremost, there's my sister Jenny. You may recall she recently visited here from Virginia. Next we have the "ward Jen's". J-Co the Primary President and her counsellors Jenni M. and Jen T. All good friends of mine. Of course, we can't forget FabulousPhotographerJen (previously of R.I.) of Jen Lee Photography.

Friends Jenn Ross and Jenny Fairbanks were in my San Francisco ward, and Jennerator I've know since High School.

That's eight Jennifers, but I'm probably forgetting a few.
{Sorry Jen(s)}

Anyway, for the most part these Jen's don't have a lot in common. Except two. My sister Jenny F. reminds me of my friend Jenni M.

Here's what they have in common: Both of them are soft spoken, both have serious Internet Safety concerns, both have recently had serious below-the-knee fractures, and both love to BAKE! While Jenny my sister was visiting, she made us the best Ciabatta bread to go with our pizza one night! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. She's also the source of numerous other delish recipes.

Sort of like Jenni M., my friend and neighbor who stopped by with this yesterday:

Yep, that's right. Chocolate Cheesecake. But not just any Chocolate Cheesecake. Only the most delicious Chocolate Cheesecake I've ever eaten. (Better than any Cheesecake Factory offering I've tried...and that's sayin' something.) One of the best Chocolate desserts I've ever tasted! Like top three.
What did I do to deserve this? I had a birthday.

Bet you wish you were me, huh?!?

THANK YOU Jenni M.!!! You're my new favorite Jennifer!
Not that I have favorites or anything...

Gotta go. I have some eating to do.

I love Jen's!

Apr 5, 2008

Buy Our House!

This house selling thing really stinks! Today we had our second Open House. We cleaned for two days. The Open House lasted two hours. Three people came through. We've had zero offers.

After this sort of time investment, I expect some real appreciation! I want the Open House Attendees to gaze adoringly at my color-coded closet. I want them to inspect the grout I scrubbed on my hands and knees!

Yes, Lookee-Lou's, feel free to sprawl on my plumped couch cushions and eat at my beautifully set table. Sit on the toilet and appreciate the artfully arranged custom photography of local landmarks. Check under the beds! Open every cupboard and closet door! Sniff the fresh smelling air and feel the sun shining through the meticulously shined windows!

But whatever you do, don't traipse through the house in under five minutes (scuffing the newly painted staircase on your way) and disappear forever!

I made you muffins! I polished every door handle! I locked my kids out in the yard for hours!!!



My boys just want to come back inside!