Sunday, August 31, 2008

Faith is like a little seed

About a month ago Cindy had decided to plant a sunflower out in the mysterious depths of our overgrown summer weed garden. She actually planted many, many seeds that day (most of which I did not see their final resting place), but only one of the seeds took root and started to grow pretty big. Pretty big in my garden dictionary means about 2 1/2 feet tall. (Not like the "pretty big" meaning in the Jen Barnes gardening dictionary which means 'taller than a Geico Caveman'). Anywhow, we had been checking the flower everyday waiting for it to bloom and it was taking so long. Finally, one day Cindy was out prancing in the garden and then she came in and told me in her most lovely Giselle voice, "Mom, I was talking to the sunflower and it said it would bloom in 6 days!!!" I told her that was wonderful and we would keep watching for it and wouldn't you know that six days later that thing bloomed! It was simply amazing. Makes me stop and think :) And then buy ten lottery tickets and have her pick my numbers. The jackpot is at 20 million right now.

Friday, August 29, 2008


So I know it is not technically even September yet, but I am alreay trying to decide on a Halloween costume for Luke. Last year's King outfit was pretty amazing, and I had that little gem of an idea mined back in the previous June. Not sure if I can top that this year. The age he is at is particularly tricky because there are a few rules I have to follow to ensure success. First off, no hats. He can't keep one on his head to save his life (they are way too interesting) so that can't be part of the costume. Secondly, it must have shoes that look like cows. I realize this drastically limits my options, but work with me here. Third, make-up is out. I can see that turning into one huge mess that all the wet ones in the world couldn't clean up. Fourth, it can't bee too hot. Florida is still acheiving about an 85 degree high in late October, so not real keen on anything furry, zip-up, or fleece. So yeah, pretty much other than those little rules, the sky is the limit! Let your imagination by your guide. I have visited several Halloween costume websites that give you tons of ideas and so far "Pile of Leaves" and "Macaroni and Cheese" have gotten my attention. Truth be told I would love to make him a Chef, complete with a little apron, wooden spoon (which is his favorite toy anyway), flour on his face, white chef's hat WITH chin strap. But the hat rule would be violated and that really makes the outfit. Maybe it is time to start his hat training! I do have almost 2 months. Now where do you get a chef's hat that small? They must make them, I mean even Ratatouille has one. I'm on the case! Film at 11...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Spaghetti for Dinner!!!

So if you are familiar with Hurricane tracking, (and hey, who isn't? Am I right?) you are familiar with the term "spaghetti model" which is picture of all the different predicted paths of a Hurricane. I just pulled up this latest spaghetti model for Hurricane Gustav off of the Drudge Report website, a site I read everyday. So as you can see, the different colors represent all the different computer models and what they each are predicting for the path of the storm. The models are all done by different weather organizations and atmospheric think tanks and they are pretty much all in consensus, but notice the very light blue path closest to Florida. This must be the path generated by the very sophisticated Stevie Wonder Hurricane computer model. Seriously, what is going on there? It is not even close to the other predicted tracks. All the other tracks are laughing at this poor guy! Furthermore, if you click on that picture and read the fine print/legal mumbo jumbo at the bottom of the graph, it states "If anything on this graphic causes confusion, ignore the entire product." Oh, these guys are killing me! It's like they knew I needed a good laugh today. Anyway, looks like Florida is safe, for now. Just wanted to share with you from the wacky world of Hurricane Prediction and Graphic Design. Now if we could just get them to change some of these Hurricane names....

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Days of Preschool

Cindy couldn't wait to go to preschool. She goes to College Heights Methodist preschool in Lakeland. There are 5 other girls from our ward in her school, 4 of which are in her class. She was totallly ready on her first day- complete with Barbie backpack, gummies and crackers for snack and light-up Strawberry Shortcake shoes. It is going to be a great year!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Big Lots! = Big FUN

So I am sure most you have been in a Big Lots! store before. Much like the dollar store, you can find almost anything you need there, and tons of stuff you absolutely never ever will, at a pretty good price. My last adventure to Big Lots! got me some Cow Shoes for Luke- these are not actually real shoes, but more like a soft pleather with elastic around the top. I was in a pinch and just needed something to cover Luke's feet and prevent ant bites- so for $5 I ended up with these little shoes that have a face, ears, and the phrase "Got Milk?" printed on the bottom. Normal- No. Normal for Big Lots? YES. But, they totally worked, much better than I even thought- and Luke is now in LOVE with them. He hates taking them off. (And you would be astounded at the amount of compliments we get on them!) However, recently we lost one of the cow shoes and I can't function without them. They are the perfect quick-on, quick-off shoe. Short of going hiking in the mountains, they can and do go anywhere. So I returned to Big Lots! (never forget that exclamation point- very important) today in search of a replacement pair and after I successfully completed that task, I went to my absolute favorite part of the Big Lots! store. The Food Section. Or should I say, Off-brand Food Heaven. I love those aisles! They are filled with the most bizarre food you can find. Even worse than the dollar store. They have Canned Shrimp Paste, and Ahi Tuna in little tiny vacuum sealed bags and, dry roasted Edamame soy beans, Jeff Foxworthy Beef Jerky, Coffee flavored soda pop- today they even had boxes of pancake, muffin and baking mix made by Lehi Roller Mills in Utah, complete with the picture of the mill on the front! I also liked the U Bet! Chocolate Syrup (that looked like it was made in 1985) and the entire pallet of American Idol Pop Tarts they were trying to get rid of. Classic. So next time you head to Big Lots! be prepared for Big Fun in the food aisle. Post what you find on your own blog, I would love to see what else is out there. I should have bought some of that coffee soda, though, these roasted soy beans are making me thirsty.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ever heard of a Cannondale?

Me neither. Not until I did some research into road bikes. (These are the bikes that serious people use in a triathlon. Not the purple Huffy mountain bikes they got when they were 12. These are the bikes that cost more than a car...) So Cannondale is pretty much one of the best brands out there for road bikes. And it just so happens that a guy in the bishopric in the other ward gave me one to use for the race. That is pretty much like someone saying "Hey, I hear you need to drive from one end of town to the other, you can borrow my Ferrari." All he told me was, "I think you will really like it." UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR. Wow, I went out with Jacob riding and totally destroyed him. It wasn't even close. (okay, not totally sure if it was the bike or whether maybe he was pedaling with one leg and one arm or what, but he was reallly far behind me the entire time.) AND, the best part is that I was not even really trying! It is so light,I can lift this bike with one arm into the bed of the truck. My other bike takes a forklift and certification classes to move it. It is really amazing. The seat remains excruciatingly uncomfortable, but a small price to pay in return for triathlon glory!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Alert the Media! I have made Pants!

This project was really just an afterthought. After buying a pattern on eBay for $5, It took only one day and one call to my mom and Voila! I had made the shiny Hello Kitty pants I could only have dreamed of. So now that I can sew these with ease, I think I will make a few more pairs, as Cindy has the HARDEST time keeping track of her pajamas. And also shoes. Oh, and also panties. And jewelry too. And hair clippies. Hmmm, I seem to be detecting a pattern....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Way to Go, Fay! Ugh!!!

So Cindy was going to have a magical week. We just went and met her preschool teacher this morning, and Mrs. Kristie is like Mary Poppins- practically perfect in every way. She is thin, blonde, smiling, kind- Cindy gave her a hug when we left- I thought a bird would come in and land on her finger to sing a duet. Cindy was on cloud nine. Then, I get home and find out that the school board has cancelled school tomorrow AND Wednesday because of this tropical storm/would-be hurricane Fay. Aye carumba! Try explaining that one to Cindy. So I told her that a storm was coming and they wanted everyone to stay home and be safe- she was not amused. She was close to tears but held it together and we then made an exciting trip to Wal-mart to pick out her new backpack. (Consquently, there was not a gallon of water to be found in that entire store...but I digress) She chose the Barbie backpack and it is "SOOO beautiful". That made things a little better. So anyways, now I am thinking about all the things I can do the next two days. With Daddy home for these next two days too, maybe I can finally get that bathroom painted! Or gather more stuff for my next yard sale! Or sew pajama pants for my whole family! Or finally write that symphony! Or get that tattoo I have been wanting! The options are limitless!!!! As you can tell, I am not so worried about the actual storm. We usually don't get much action here other than wind and rain and even then, it usually isn't so bad because we are in the interior. I also have a generator, gas, water, and some random food storage, so if worse comes to worse, I will still have a little bit of power, a way to get around and will have a lovely dinner of pringles, stove-top stuffing and mayonaise.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Oh, I Forgot Something

I forgot this little story about Cindy.... When I got the aforementioned running shoes, they were shipped to my house. And of course, Cindy is very excited about any package that ever comes. So we excitedly brought the package in the house and she was squealing as we opened it. I finally got the shoes out and said, "Aren't these beautiful?!?!" And her reply was "Oh my gosh I think those are sketchers!!" She was totally serious. What a world, what a world!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mis zapatos son muy especial!

So these are my stellar new Nike+ Pegasus shoes that I got for the tri. They are insanely comfortable and they have a lot of nice cushiony padding right at the balls of your feet- which is where I feel all shoes are totally lacking. My first run with them was really great. Unfortunately, I was not Carl Lewis when I put them on, but my feet were not at all sore afterwards and that is a first for me. I tried them on at an overpriced running store here in town, fell in love with them, and then went home and found them on the internet for $25 cheaper. Long live capitalism! I love America.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What's in a name?

Well, a lot, I guess. We were talking to Cindy last night about names and how we all have the same last name and Jacob mentioned to her that her REAL name is actually Cynthia. This was like a total revelation to her, you could have knocked her over with a feather. She kept smiling and saying how beautiful that name was and that she wanted us to call her that from now on. It was pretty funny. I wondered if it would last at all, and sure enough this morning when she got up and came out to the breakfast table, complete with half open eyes and total bed head, I said to Luke, "Look, it's Cindy!" And she immediately said, "No, it's Cynthia!" However, memory fatigue is setting in as of late because she keeps asking me, "What's my other name again??" "Oh, yeah, I forgot..." So Cindy, Cynthia or CJ, whichever it is, is having fun with names as I look at her right now, also chocolate. Her lunch plate consists of 4 Hershey kisses and a little debbie choco-cake. I am such a good mom.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Around the Yard

Here are some pictures from around my yard, just to give you an idea of what is happening out there (because you know you are just going to die if you don't know what is going on in my yard...). First we have the bromeliads that are blooming right now. Very pretty looking. Seems that this is happening earlier this year, but I can't really verify that.

Next we have this beastly area by the front door. It is totally overgrown and I am hoping to remove all these plants over the winter. I want to replace them with peace lillies, although, they are not good in any type of frost situation, so you have to be careful. Jacob is looking to create a palm corner of the backyard with tons of palms and stuff, so I think I will transplant this whole area somewhere in the back.

My once robust tomato plant is now just about dead, but amazingly it still has two last juicy looking tomatoes on it that I am just waiting to eat. Yummy!

I just have to say how amazing banana palms are. After a banana palm produces bananas it dies and then two new baby banana palms sprout up next to it. That is why you see those giant bunches of banana palms in Florida. So here is our dead palm stock on the ground and you can see the new baby palms coming in. Then our other front banana palm just started growing bananas so it is only a matter of time before it bites the dust.

And here is my total NEMESIS: The backyard. I just went to Lowe's and bought some weed killer that you hook up to your hose and just doused this entire area of the yard. I want to kille everything- it is so weedy and buggy and nasty back there. I am thinking of just doing the whole backyard in sand. Just like the beach. How cool. No, seriously, I want pavers or something, but it is just ridiculous. I can't spend 40 minutes on a Saturday mowing weeds. It is so wrong!

And here is the picture that Cindy took of the morning glory that was open. :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Don't Worry, It's Like Riding a Bicycle...

You mean it's really uncomfortable, physically draining and almost impossible to pedal uphill? Yeah, that is what that common phrase forgets to mention about biking. As you may have guessed, I have been doing some more biking in preparation for the tri in October. I have realized that the biking part is alot more complicated than it sounds. I was thinking that if you can ride a bike, you can do this part, no problem, right? But actually, there is a lot more to think about. It is very hard to gauge your speed on the bike. Since I have to do 12 miles, and I need it to take about 45 minutes, I need to be going about 15mph. Can anyone tell how many miles per hour you are going on a bike? I for sure cannot, so tomorrow's agenda includes a trip to Wham-tart to find a spedometer. I am actually afraid of getting one because I don't want to hook it up and realize I have been biking at a speed of nowhere near 15mph and then wish I was dead. Add to this the fact that I am indeed using my purple Huffy mountain bike I got for my 12th birthday for this race. Yup, this is the valiant steed I will ride in on. However, the goal is to finish, not to win, so you use what you got. Unless you have sponsors, and then you have a bike that costs more than a car. But I digress... It is going to be a long road to October 11- but hopefully I will be on it going a heck of a lot faster than 12mph.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Flour Power

Cindy has an obsession with flour. I don't know why, but everytime I get it out to make anything, she wants to eat it, and play in it and marry it if she could. She is convinced every time that it is going to taste good. Well, as I was mixing up some cookies, I hear her in the bathroom sounding like she is going to cough up a lung. She finally comes out and she is covered in flour, her eyes are watery and red, and when she grimaced at me I could see her mouth full of gooey white stuff just coating her teeth. It was like eating paper mache. She looked a little grossed out and I began telling her again why we don't eat flour. So after almost choking to death and coughing for another solid 30 minutes, she finally chilled out and, while we were eating the cookies we made, she said, "You're right Mom, I guess we shouldn't eat flour." We'll see if she remembers that little tidbit of advice the next time we bake.

Second Cindy story of the day: While on the way home from Lithia Springs, I was carpooling with my friend Michelle and her kids. Her oldest son, Cory, who is 6, asked Cindy when Luke was going to turn 2. Cindy thought about it and said, "I think on his second birthday..." Nice answer- totally accurate, but completely useless.