Aug 31, 2010

I'm SO HAPPY Right Now!

I've had a song stuck in my head for a few decades now.

Not continuously, but periodically this song will pop into my head and stay for awhile.  Random snatches of lyric and melody flitting around my brain.

I've tried to find it on-line multiple times with no luck.  Probably because I was using the wrong lyrics to search for it.  (Most of the lyrics I thought I knew to most 80's songs were way off.  Thank you Internet, for setting me straight so many, many times.)

Today, as it randomly cycled through my internal boom box, I tried again.  I typed a fairly long phrase, in quotation marks, into my Google search box.



And then (after checking for objectionable lyrics--only one "s-e-x") I immediately purchased it on iTunes, (Dear iTunes,  I love you.  But only .99 cents worth.  I don't appreciate this $1.29 crap.) and immediately put it in my "Em's Dance Mix" playlist.

And the song is...
*synthesized drumroll...*

"Music That You Can Dance To" by Sparks  (This movie is pretty hilarious, btw)

This song was released in 1986.  That was 24 years ago, people!  And I don't think I've ever even heard of "Sparks"

(Dear Brandon, Laura, and Jenny:  Thank you for brain washing me with 80's music.  I will be forever grateful.  Dear Karie:  Thanks for nothing.  I found Steve Miller on my own.  Okay, actually thanks for James Taylor, Elton John, Paul Simon and Dan Folgerberg.  YES!  DAN FOLGERBERG!  I'M NOT ASHAMED!)

This song now joins the following in my playlist:
(which are blasted whenever I need a little extra help getting the house clean on a Saturday morning.)

And We Danced - The Hooters
Big in Japan - Alphaville
Cantina Ska - My Man Friday
Dance, Dance, Dance - Steve Miller Band
Dancing In The Moonlight - King Harvest
Dancing Queen - Abba
Even Superman - Ryan Shuppe
Faith - George Michael
I Don't Dance - High School Musical Cast  (Just for the boys, of course.)
I Play The Banjo - Ryan Shuppe
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You - Black Kids
Lay All Your Love On Me - Information Society, and Abba, and Erasure
Let's Dance to Joy Division - The Wombats
Music That You Can Dance To - Sparks  (WAHOO!!!)
Save The Last Dance For Me - Michael Bublé
Swing, Swing, Swing - My Man Friday
What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) - Information Society
Japan - The Presidents of The United States of America

*sigh*  My life is complete!

Any songs that have been stuck in your head for the last 24 years?
Any songs you think I NEED in my dance mix?

Aug 27, 2010

The Tribe Has Spoken

Yesterday during lunch the whole fam-dam walked over to the elementary school to look at class lists, meet teachers, and visit new class rooms.  School starts on Monday.  Afterwards as Doug walked back to work, I took the boys (all four) across the street to the BX to see what school supplies we could scrounge last minute.  (Not many.)  Shortly after wandering in, I ran into a friend from church.  She excitedly told me I had JUST MISSED meeting some visiting celebrities!  No wait...a few were still hanging around!  Would she like me to take a picture?  HECK YEAH!

Of course, if you're not into the long running hit reality show "Survivor" you wont think this is cool.  But since Doug and I watch this with the boys (not every season, but most) I was excited!

This is me with Sandra Diaz-Twine, the most recent winner from "Hero's vs. Villain's":  (She's kinda short.)
("Hey kids!  Remember the lady who threw Russell's hat in the fire 
and then won a million dollars?  This is HER!!!")

And this is me with James Clement the (extremely ripped) former grave digger (and fan favorite) who is (also) extremely shy and therefore probably didn't love me putting my arm around him.  Probably shoulda asked first.  Sorry about that James!
I also got to chat with Russell who is an incredibly nice guy.  (Didn't get a picture.)

See, there are some advantages to living on a remote military base in Northern Japan!  So neener-neener to all you suckas back in the states who can go to Target whenever you want to!!!

But WAIT...
There's MORE...
(so much more!)
Jump over to Doug's blog to read about the most dramatic finale in Survivor HISTORY!!!

No really...

Charlotte's Web

Gabey has a new friend.  Her name is Charlotte.  Every morning he goes out on the front porch to look for her and asks;
"Weo Chah-yot, Mommy?"
And I say;
"She's sleeping!"
"Yep!  She only comes out at night to hunt!"
And then he's satisfied and goes on with his day of asking for food ("I hun-gee Mommy!")
and trips to the park ("I go WOCKET PAWK Mommy?")
and play dates with Ashley. ("I pay Ashee's house Mommy???  PEEEEASE!?!?)


The other night I told Doug again:
"You've really got to get a picture of Charlotte.  She's getting HUGE."

And this time he listened.  He got his camera and The Bludgeon (Mag Light) and went outside.

Then he called me out to assist.

"You shine the light on it so I can focus.  Then turn it off when I tell you and I'll take the picture."

We did this a few times.  Standing outside of our dark house, at 11 p.m., pointing a camera and flashlight towards the darkened front window.

And then our neighbor pulled up and got out of his car.

Him:  sounding disturbed "Uh...everything okay?"

Us:  embarrassed chuckle "Yep!  Just taking a picture of a giant spider!"


Meet Gabey's friend Charlotte:

The whole family has been keeping an eye on her for the past few months.  She has a fairly enormous web (which is rebuilt in the same exact spot whenever it gets knocked down by wind, rain, or large prey) and she's gotten huge over the summer.  Maybe three inches at her longest?

I don't bother her because I like her right where she is:  OUTSIDE my home.

Besides, my kids have always wanted a pet!  And Charlotte feeds and walks HERSELF!  (I'm such a selfless Mom!)

Here are a few more pics since I know you're all as fascinated as Gabey:

Pretty cool web, eh?
Dinner time!

This post is dedicated to my sister Laura who, as a child, slipped her foot into a clean sock only to find it full of freshly-hatched spider babies.  She's been terrified of all arachnids ever since.  Laura, if you're still reading at this point, I'll go outside and eat Charlotte for dinner!

Aug 22, 2010

Winner Winner

I once asked Em to blog something for me and she made me start my own blog. But now I don't Feel so Bloggy anymore and have taken to making Photo Books via Blurb. But I'd thought I blog this.

A few months ago I entered a photo contest for dental supply company, Ultradent. They were looking for pictures to put into their 2011 Calendar. So i submitted some and then got a letter in the last week saying I had been selected! and won a free calendar and a $20 Starbucks gift card!!!

I was/am very excited.

Here is the picture!!

So Hurry and get your Ultradent Calendars!!! 

Aug 21, 2010

Doug is Great...Gives Me Chocolate Cake!

Actually, he doesn't give me chocolate cake.  (See Freakishly Healthy post below.)
But he's STILL great.
For our 10-year anniversary, he took me (and Baby Gray) to an Onsen Resort.  It was my first experience visiting an Onsen and it was extremely not even remotely traumatic.  But more (much more) on that later.

We had a great time!

This was our Japanese-style tatami mat room during the day:  (Wish we had gotten a picture of the pretty view out the window.)
This was what our room looked like when we came back after dinner:
This is what Doug looked like in his yukata after his visit to the Onsen after dinner:
(The yukata are provided by the resort and it's acceptable (and common) to wear them around the hotel including into the dining room.  We both wore ours to breakfast.)

Also, although we weren't supposed to get each other gifts, he got me this:
Rock on!

I love it!!!  He found it at an antique store in Tokyo on his Fuji trip.  (Did I mention he hiked Fuji?  See his blog for pictures.  Luckily my friend Janeen was also on the trip and convinced him to fork over the dough and buy it for me.  Thank you, Janeen!!!)

He also threw this little number in the bag as a bonus present:

Hubba hubba!

(Okay, actually, Janeen slipped it in the bag as a joke with a very romantic note she wrote and signed--for Doug.  We laughed a LOT.  She was storing my bowl at her house so I wouldn't find it.)

I got him this:

It's never to late to give the old ball and chain some subtle hints, right?

(Don't worry, I also got this one on the off chance there is something I need to improve on.  As if.)

(Thank you, Leslie, for the idea...)

Since the resort is at the base of the Oirase Gorge we spent some time up there.  

I brought my tiny travel watercolor set, Doug took his camera and strapped Gray into the Baby Bjorn.
(I think this first picture would be award worthy if not for the tiny slouching painter on the rock messing it up!!)

All in all, a pretty great anniversary.

It's like the shirt says...

(No, not 'og guod'...!)
"GO DOUG!!!"

Chocolate cake is over-rated anyway.

P.S.  I'm wearing my (obviously professionally made) GO DOUG t-shirt today because Doug participated in his second ever triathlon.  I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome of me to show up--I COULD have slept in.

Oh yeah, and he did pretty awesome too.  He beat last years time by four minutes.  It's like I keep sayin'...

P.P.S.  I'd rather stick hot pokers under my finger nails than participate in a triathlon.

Aug 15, 2010

Ten Tumultuous but Terrific Years

Okay, well only tumultuous if you consider they were filled with constant schooling, crazy boy-children, excessive student loans, and moves across country and across continents.  Mostly they've been terrific.  Transcendent even.

Darling Douglas Devon,

On our ten year anniversary, I would like to profess to the world ten things I love about you:

1.  I love that you have put up with me for ten whole years and you still love me.
2.  I love that you make me laugh everyday.  (Whether it be at you or with you.)
3.  I love it when you laugh out loud when reading my blog.  (It's happened about 5 times total now.)
4.  I love that you love kids.
4a.  I love that you're a great dad to our kids.
5.  I love that you encourage me to be a potter and have "Boy's Night" when I'm pottering.
5a.  I also love that you love lots of the same things I do; i.e., reading, travel, good music, good food, etc.
6.  I love that you are always trying to be a better person.  Spiritually, Physically, (yowza!) and Financially.
6a.  But I hate Dave Ramsey
7.  I love that you are such a crappy, crappy liar.  (And that you've only told one fib in the last ten years.)
8.  I love the fact that you honor your priesthood and married me in the temple.
9.  I love knowing I'm married to a man with (excessive) integrity and moral courage.
10.  I love your hot bod.

Now, here are ten things I would change about you:

Just kidding.

Okay, maybe one...
Quit raising your eyebrows at me!

Just kidding.

(But really...)

Just so you know, I have not once in 3,650 days, (that's 87,600 hours) ever regretted marrying you.  Not even when you put that fake lizard in the microwave and made me scream really loud.  Not even when you hide Baby Jesus to torment me.  Not even when you try (unsuccessfully) to tell me what to do or raise your eyebrows at me.  Nope, not even then.

I'll love you forever.

Sincerely Your Favorite Human and Adoring Wife,

Emily Deon

P.S.  These childhood pictures of us both on a beach and both wearing red shorts, prove we were destined to be together.

P.P.S.  Don't even get me started on our middle names...


Aug 9, 2010

Freakishly Healthy and a Recipe

I know I mention it all the time, but that is because it's still weird to me:  Since moving here, we've gotten a lot healthier.  I'm not gonna to lie: I had nothing to do with it.  In fact, I had every intention of starting a "Dessert Club" when I moved in.  In fact, I may be the sole reason we're still as un-healthy as we are.

(Okay, so I AM the sole reason.  But how was I to know we'd be planted (pun intended) in the middle of a hot-bed of Vegetarians and Nutritarians*?  A girl needs time to adjust to major life changes such as seven pounds of vegetables on a single pizza with only about a half ounce of cheese!!!)

I mean, REALLY Janeen!

No healthy person should be so happy!

Even the KIDS around here eat healthy.  Voluntarily!  Don't believe me?

Meet my neighbor Eva:

Exhibit A:
She wandered into my back yard one day eating a bell pepper.  Eating a bell pepper like an apple.  No one is even making her!!!  (Sick, right?!  See what I mean about freakishly healthy?)

Now look at this startling photographic evidence:
Exhibit B:
This is my child - Gabe - eating a WHOLE cucumber AND a carrot!  (???)  Sure, most kids will eat a baby carrot if coerced, but a WHOLE CUCUMBER?!?  It's totally bizarre to me that he's doing this AND smiling.

And this final picture?  I just find this one PAINFUL...

Exhibit C:

Gabe is seen here happily eating RAW (nasty/horrible/disgusting/my-arch-nemisis) tomatoes!!!

You can rest assured I had nothing to do with this.

So anyway, it's gotten so bad here that now Doug just goes into the kitchen and whips up healthy meals with ingredients straight from our Square Foot Garden.  (Our garden is totally ROCKING this year,  btw!)

This is what he made us for dinner tonight:

And guess what?
It was surprisingly delicious!!!  (After I picked out the tomatoes...)

(My standard reaction to most vegetarian dishes is:  "This is... Surprisingly good!" or "Surprisingly delicious!" or "Surprisingly not as disgusting as I thought it would be, and I REALLY thought this one was going to be disgusting!!!")

So if you want to get in on the healthy eating action, try this out.  You might be as surprised as I am!

Doug's Healthy Pita Pockets
1 giant oversized fresh to death cucumber out of the garden (sliced and chopped)
1/2 chopped onion
1 apple, chopped
a man sized handfull of sliced grapes
2 japanese sized cloves of garlic (these are about 1 1/2 the size of american ones)
1 can of garbanzo beans, mashed up with a fork
1 cup(ish) fresh cherry tomatoes, halved (Less if you have a picky wife.  More if you don't)
1 T dill weed
2 T balsamic vinegar

Mix all together and place into warmed-up whole wheat pita pockets and place into pie hole. Enjoy.

*all these can be adjusted and experimented with. I wanted to use some lettuce but forgot.
**some plain yogurt mixed with some dill weed and lemon juice is also a good topping.
***it was good for lunch again the next day!

Enjoy in good health! (weird-o)

*Nutritarian:  A person whose food choices are influenced by nutritional quality.  See "Dr. Furman" for more details.

P.S.  Janeen has a website here with a bunch of recipes here.

Aug 5, 2010

Me vs. The Wii

(I submitted this to MMB a few months ago, but never heard anything so...I'm publishing it here.)

I wasn't against my sons having a video game system so much as I was vehemently opposed to it.  So when our oldest, Max, started asking for a Wii a few years ago, I said the following:

"I will never, ever buy you a Wii.  (Or Game Cube. Or Playstation. Or Atari!)  If you want one, you'll have to buy it yourself!!!"  

HA!  I showed HIM!

So he saved up his earnings from chores and his $10-for-every-month-you-don't-eat-candy, and approximately a year after our conversation, he bought himself a used Wii from his Uncle Dave.

Wii wins!
(Didn't see that coming...)

What's a mom to do?  Tell you what Doug and I did:  We told the boys they (Max has to share) could play it for one hour on Fridays (assuming chores and homework are done) and two hours on Saturday (assuming chores are done and it isn't a beautiful day outside.)
Also, if there is fighting, crying, or whining, the Wii gets turned off and boys get kicked back out to the back yard.  (Where they should be anyway.)

This set-up has been working well since December. 

More recently, I've instituted an additional incentive program.   If I catch them doing something nice or being extra helpful, I give them a marble in the "extra Wii time" jar.  Each marble is worth 5 minutes that they can use ANY TIME!  One week they earned 20 extra minutes and I got some extra work out of them!

Surprisingly, the Wii hasn't been too bad to have around.  And I'm realizing I haven't even BEGUN to test the limits (or 'plumb the depths') of it's potential.  

That is, until yesterday...

See, for the last year or so, I've been trying to prepare child #2, Sammy, (who is extremely averse to change and does NOT like trying new things) for Piano lessons.

Maxwell has been playing for almost two years, and I think Sam is ready to start now.  He sits down and plunks on it everyday anyway, AND his best buddy just started lessons--so I figure now is a good time.  

He was actually starting to respond favorably to my nudging...until recently.  That's when Doug decided to step in and "help".  In his defense, he thought he was doing what I was doing...just trying to ease Sam into it.  So he said "Sammy, piano is really really hard, but if you practice a lot, you'll like it and get good at it!

Next time I mentioned piano to Sam he said angrily "I am NOT doing it!  It's too HARD!!!"  (Six month regression.  Just like that.)
I tried to argue with him for a minute but I could see he wasn't backing down.
So I said, 
"Fine Sam.  If you don't want to take piano, you can no longer play the Wii.  If you take lessons and do your practicing, you can still play the Wii."

His eyebrows shot up.

He had no response to that.  And no more protests.

He'll be starting lessons on Thursday.

It's called "Parental Currency" people, and I know how to use it!

Mom wins!

Post script:  He's been taking piano for a few months now and does really well.  He actually practices without being asked!  Who woulda thunk it?

Aug 2, 2010

"...The Last Leg of a Journey We Started A Long Time Ago..."*

*Hearts and Bones by Paul Simon.

Remember how I left you hangin' a few weeks back and never finished up the account of our trip to Osorezan?


Hello?  (echo...echo...)

Well, here's the final adventure of that trip.

While we were in the neighborhood we decided to visit Cape Shiriya (The top right tip of the above map) and see the wild horses.

Who knew the park closed so early?

Luckily, I found a solution.  I figured we'd be in and out really quick.

I figured the park was probably full of people still finding their way out.

I figured if they had such shoddy security, it must not be a big deal to break in.

I figured wrong.

We zoomed nervously down the road and saw the lighthouse.

We saw a Park Employee on a motorcycle.  He passed us and tried to gesture us back towards the exit.

But we hadn't seen any horses yet, so we kept going.  More nervous than before.          

We found the horses;

(short, fat, and happy horses...who evidently spend a lot of time eating and breeding.  Sorta like me, actually...)

We threw some carrots at them,
And then we turned around and sped toward the exit.

Which had now been barred.  Undoubtedly by the Park Employee who passed us on the road.

After trying to jimmy the locks unsuccessfully, the husbands had to find the Employee to get him to let us out.

He wasn't happy.

We said 'gomenasai' a lot, bowed, and got out of their quick.

This is why American's have a bad name abroad.  Whoops.

And then we went home.

The End.

Aug 1, 2010

Sammy's Birthday and a Mario Cake

Friday evening:
D:  (Walking in the door from work.) "How ya doing?" 
Me:  "I bought three box fans on-line from Amazon today."  
D:  "Those will come in handy when they get here in December."  
Me:  "Yeah, well that's what happens when I have to bake a cake in a thousand degree house!  I do desperate things!"
D:  "Maybe it would be cheaper to buy him a cake next year."
Me:  "Bite me."  (I get a little testy after 6 hours of cake making.  And I may or may not over-use this expression.  And D may or may not bite me when I use this expression.)
We were camping the actual day of Samuel's birthday so it was postponed until this last Friday.  He seemed to enjoy himself so I'm assuming it was worth the wait.  He wanted a Mario cake.

By the time I got this far, the frosting was melting in the heat.  So chocolate side burns.  Plus, I couldn't find the candy I bought for the I used construction paper. 

It was so stinkin' hot I didn't even care!  And everyone still ate it!

Jess did his face for him...

The boys played the Wii... (Super Mario, of course) and then we opened presents.

"Heavy, heavy hang-over, thy poor head.  Whatdaya wish this person with a BUMP on the head?!"

He was one happy boy opening his presents:

A Toy Story Lego set from Mom and Dad  (Dad already helped him super-glue it together.)
A "Cars" Slip n' Slide from his brothers (Will be broken out--and probably broken--tomorrow.)
Another Lego set from (neighbor) Michael, and a 
Super Hero action figure from (pre-school buddy) Payden.  (Super Man, I think...?)

Pretty much exactly what he would have picked for himself.
Yep, heat and delay's not withstanding, I'd say he had a pretty happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Sammy-boy!  It's been pretty awesome having you around for six years.  

We love you!!!