Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why I haven't been blogging much this week....

Since it is Spring Break and Jacob and Cindy both have the week off, we have been tackling a huge home project for the past three days and that is to finally get our dang paver walkway finished! We toiled and labored and it looks FABULOUS. I could not be happier :) Or more sore. My body aches absolutely all over. I pretty much carried almost every single one of those bricks to its resting place. Not fun. Not to mention that in the process I also uncovered about 50 lizard skeletons, a huge roach compound and a very long snake. But it was worth it :) And the coolest part is that we had exactly the right amount of rectangle bricks. Seriously, we were within ONE. Amazing!

P.S. Cindy's Birthday Pics coming soon!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sweeney's Law, Volume 1

1. If a beverage is within 6 feet of Luke, he will find way to spill it.

2. If you make yourself one sandwich, Cindy will want it. If you go ahead and pre-emptively make two, she doesn't want either.

3. Cindy will have a bad dream at the exact moment you find the absolute best sleeping position.

4. Luke will then have a bad dream at the exact moment you get back to sleep after helping Cindy with her bad dream.

5. The minute I talk to another human, praising Cindy and Luke for some amazing behavior they exhibit, they will immediately discontinue said behavior for the rest of their lives.

6. If I finally get up the gumption to secretly throw away one of Cindy or Luke's annoying toys, they will suddenly become responsible children and need to throw something in the garbage 10 seconds later. And they will see their toy in the trash. And worse, the toy will live to torment me another day (or week, or month, or year as the case may be...)

7. If I plant a seed in my garden at the correct depth, with the correct soil and correct fertilizer, it will barely sprout. If Cindy's plants a sunflower in the middle of a shaded pile of cat sand, we will get a giant sunflower.

8. The only time Luke will decide to actually listen to me and go number two in the toilet (and not in his diaper) is at the exact moment my food arrives at a restaurant.

9. If I bring my video camera to Cindy's soccer game, she will play like she's blind and has one leg. If I don't bring the camera, she will score a hat trick in the first half.

10. If Luke had only one toy to play with in the entire world, he would leave it out on the floor, I would step on it in the middle of the night, and it would be a small, pointy hazard cone from his construction set.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Cindy Quickie

Today when I stopped at a red light we had our windows down. The car that was stopped next to us was full of teenagers and they were blaring a loud rock song. Cindy made the wise observation, "Whoa, those kids are listening to boy music and the girls don't even CARE!!!!" Still my little girlie-q :)

Iron Chef March.........kinda, sorta.....

Okay, so my iron chef challenge for the month got a little wacky. I started out with a very specific ingredient/recipe and then my days just didn't pan out the way I planned, so I ended up counting two different things I made as this month's challenge. But I didn't really take the right pictures either, so we will have to muddle through this one together.

Part One:

Ingredient: Lamb
Recipe: Irish Lamb Stew

I made this for St. Patty's day. While I have eaten lamb before, I have definitely never bought it or cooked it myself. So I got a recipe off the Internet and went with it. Unfortunately, early tasting revealed it didn't have enough flavor. So this is the recipe that actually got followed:

3/4 pound cubed lamb
one can beef stock
tons of salt
tons of thyme
3 packets of beef flavored Ramen seasoning

After the ramen seasoning went in, it turned out pretty good. Even the kids ate it and we also had enough leftovers for Jacob's lunch the next day. It went good with the Irish Soda bread I made, in which I somehow halved the recipe, yet doubled the sugar. I am such a good baker! :)

AND, the best part of all, was that for dessert I finally made the Oriental Coconut Jello I picked up in the Asian food store on the island of Oahu in 2006. I guess subconsciously I like to make my own expired food.

Yup, it was time to finally try it. We dyed it green, of course, and I am going to have to get someone with Asian jello knowledge (Maggie?) to tell me if ALL oriental jello comes out in a ridiculously hard, crumbly brick or if it was just my packet being 3 years old. I was really hoping for a smooth and creamy texture but it was more like eating hard wax. But at least the cool whip on top was right on the money!

Cindy took this picture. I think it looks incredibly artsy. Nice work, trainee.

Part Two:

I was craving fish tacos the other day, so I found an interesting recipe and ended up having to buy some adobo peppers in chipotle sauce. And since I have never ever cooked with actual "Chipotle" stuff (even though every food in the whole entire wide world now comes in chipotle flavor), that was a new one for me.

Here is the recipe: Fish Tacos with Honey-Cumin Cilantro Slaw and Chipotle Mayo

This was 5 stars all the way! Kinda spicy, but totally delicious :)

Hopefully I will be back on track for April. Which would be great because then it would count as Iron Chef April as well as another Underwhelming Feat of Amazement :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Get ready for this!

I have been thinking of a new feature for my blog. It is simply called:

Yes, I did design that graphic myself. No, it was not while intoxicated or under duress. It needed to be underwhelming. Nailed it!

So pretty much anytime I accomplish some sort of amazing feat that is sure to underwhelm you, you will hear about it. So now I officially give you the first of my

(just so you know, in my mind there is a loud echo-y voice that is saying that every time the graphic appears...)

Today while leaving my in-laws' house, I was the last to leave so I had to exit through the garage. I also had to close the garage door by pushing the button and then quickly running out and jumping over the sensor so the door would indeed shut. I pushed the button, began to scoot on out of there and at the last second I noticed some scraps of lettuce, apple and snow peas on a little board near the trash can. So in the course of about 2 seconds, I saw it, realized it was some food for our bunny and proceeded to pick it all up with one hand before successfully making it out of the garage. IT WAS SPECTACULAR! If One-handed Rabbit Scraps Handling was an Olympic sport- Gold. Medal.

P.S. If those scraps were not indeed meant for Rosa, sorry Karl and DeAnne for taking your compost. But the feat was still amazing nonetheless :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Right to Remain Seated

On Friday night I had the opportunity to take my kids to see the latest Chick-a-munk movie. You know, Alvin, Simon, Theodore; "the Squeakquel"? It was playing at the dollar theater (or 3 dollar theater as the case may be). So while Jacob was at his Elder's Quorum activity playing Xbox and slaughtering people, I was sitting in the theater trying to stay conscious. I barely made it. Cindy, however, was literally biting her nails and on the edge of her seat as Alvin and the Chippettes desperately tried to escape their evil manager and make it to the High School Sing-off to win $25,000. On a remote control helicopter. It was kind of like a documentary. Anyway, my parents joined me for this cinematic delight and at the end when the credits rolled- we didn't move. Nope, it is Bingham tradition that you wait until the last name, song, and final scene that all the other impatient movie losers didn't get to see, is over. (Ha ha, suckers!) Ever since I can remember going to the movies, we've stayed til the bitter end. "Bitter end" meaning "til the theater employees are planning ways to vandalize your car because you are preventing them from cleaning up." AND, what makes it ever better is looking at all the names that scroll up the screen to find the first names of those in your immediate family. Then the person whose name is seen the most times during the credits is the winner. David was tonight's winner by a long shot. There must have been about 30 David's that worked on that flick (and each one of them needs to be severely flogged). I also learned tonight that my parents have never seen the name Sadie (the name of my niece) in the credits of a film they have seen at the theater. I guess all the Sadie's of the world are just not old enough yet to have a job in the movies. So next time you head to the theater, check the credits. There's always some good stuff waiting to reward those who are patient. (Or those who are sitting there because they need some time to wake up before operating a motor vehicle. Not that I personally would know anything about that. I never sleep during movies :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Uno, Dos, Tres!

Project #28-

When we got this house, I just couldn't’t stop
Admiring my stove, with its smooth cooking top.
But over the months, I’ve really abused it.
My special "cook top cleaner"? I’ve barely used it!
So my special sponge got opened, It’s immaculate and now you’re able,
To use it as a place to cook AND an operating table!
(Because who doesn't want to perform surgery on their oven, am I right?
Yeah, that was terrible...But it looks dang good!)

Project #29-

My blueish-green place mats needed a wash.
Whenever I saw them, I thought,"Oh my gosh!
These things are filthy and totally foul!"
So into my washer they went with the towels.

Now they are spotless and beautifully clean,
and this task has boosted my low self-esteem! Go Me!!!

Project #30-

I cleaned out my closet about 6 months ago.
And to the Goodwill, this pile was to go.
Yes, it's been sitting there all of this time,
but I thought, "One day I'll take it and things will be fine."

Well, 'one day' was this morning and to Goodwill I wandered.
And as for all that extra space? It is now my place to ponder.

Yes, this is me pondering....

My projects are over! I completed all thirty!
I've toiled and labored and cleaned what was dirty!
This past month has been a thrill-
Just like every other one, here in Sweeneyville :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I must be Irish, because this is Lucky for me!

So upon further examination of my calendar, I realize that I have one more day to finish my projects! I was just counting thirty days as February 17- March 17. But that actually only gives me 29 days- boo-yah! I have one more day- which I really only need for one more project. Check back tomorrow for the full wrap-up!

On a side note, I may have discovered the perfect pre-running snack. I saw this idea in a magazine so the kids and I made a Fruit Rainbow, complete with Pot of Gold (fruit dip) in honor of St. Patty's day. We all devoured this up after our authentic Irish Lamb Stew and psuedo-soda bread I made for dinner last night. Quite tasty! Anyway, I went for a run this morning and I was invincible!! Best run I have had in over a month- seriously, there might just be a lot more Fruit Rainbows being made around here. Not that anyone would mind one bit :)

P.S. And it almost brought a tear to my eye when I saw Cindy make that face, totally uncoached. A thing of beauty!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Are projects falling from the sky? Yes, El Guapo...

Project #23-

There once was a show called AFV,
You send them your videos for all to see.
We have one of Luke that we want to submit
But, I’m dragging my feet, I have to admit.
What is the holdup? Why won’t it get done?
It's the stinking release forms that don’t make it fun....

(I am making the most bizarre and pained face in this picture. I was waiting too long for Cindy to take the picture. But those are the forms in my hand...

And seriously, have you ever submitted a video to America's Funniest Videos? No lie, you have to pretty much sign over your entire life, including your children, pets, and college savings to these people. I kid you not that you promise by signing those forms that you will "not run for political office in the next 18 months." Dangit! That really messes things up for me...)

Project #24-

My chairs are cheap, this I know.
But I have no cause to hate them.
This just means I don’t get mad
when little people break them!
But the cushion tops, were falling off,
Which was getting quite annoying.
Thanks be to Jacob and his mad drilling skills.
Our chairs we are all now enjoying!

(Cindy took this picture and cut off Jacob's head. Which means she will still be wearing her paper "trainee" hat for another six months.)

Project #25-

This big box of junk was out with the bunny.
She’s chewed it to pieces, the mess isn't funny.
So I finally chucked it! They took it away!
And it’s opened more space up for Rosa to play :)

Project #26-

Finally we have tenants in our little rental house.
They signed the lease, they're moving in- and all thanks to my spouse!
Since Jacob did the real hard work, I took the lesser task,
to make a copy of the lease and then to give it back.
It took me just a little while to get that project done.
And let me say just one more time, how much I love you, hun!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another 4 bite the dust!

Project #19-

There once was a circle, a long-lost shape
That was ripped from a book, and it just needed tape!
To put that back in, it took me a YEAR.
A true feat of greatness, well, you saw it here :)

Project #20-
The shelf in my closet, is where I deposit
Just about all of my stuff.
But I’d finally had it, this isn’t the attic!
The mess was quite enough.

After lots of lifting and tons of sifting,
My shelf is neat and clean.
As for the rest, I’ll do my best
To clean it by 2013.

Project #21-

(This one happens to be sung to the tune of "O Christmas Tree." I don't know why...)

Picture Wall! Oh, Picture Wall! You had old pictures and were dusty!
Now Picture Wall, Oh Picture Wall! You look new and not so crusty!
I've got pictures of- most everyone,
And fin-a-lly, this project's done-
Oh, Picture Wall! Oh, Picture Wall! You look new and not so crusty!!

Project #22-

Luke's car seat foam, was broken and old
and needed to be put back together.
But I just couldn't bring, myself to spring
into this task with good enough measure.

But on Wednesday, poor Luke, really did puke
all over that sad little seat.
It was cleaned very well and I got out the smell.
The foam's glued and now Luke's life is Sweet!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

Another exhibit in my collection of just what exactly makes me a giant nerd....

(Although, trying to explain to Cindy that there is a number called Pi and how that equates to March, 14th was a little difficult. But, heck! Who cares! We got to eat Chicken pot pie WITH candles! Good thing I just happened to have turned 31 and had the candles handy :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Musings of Cindy Sweeney

Every morning on the way to school I have to drive through the middle school bus stop at the end of my street. I say "through" the bus stop, because literally these dummy teen boys who are waiting for their bus stand in the middle of the road every morning. They like to do stupid things like pretend they are throwing things across the street as I drive by or pretend that they are holding some sort of rope across the road in front of my car and I am going to hit it. Worse yet, they scream like 6-year-old girls as loud as they can whenever they horse around. They are just really obnoxious. And, of course, they always look at me like I am the weirdo who is driving a car, in the street, of all places! Seriously, I am thinking of attaching cattle prods to the front of Rocket. Anyway, this morning as I was voicing my opinion of them out loud in the car, I said "Well, one day I am just going to have to hit them with the car. And then maybe they won't act like monkeys in the road." Cindy just got really quiet for a while. Then finally she spoke up and quietly said, "Mom, I know those boys need to learn their lesson, but do we really have to hit them with our car? Because I really don't want to." Awwh, isn't that sweet? I still plan to run them over if needs be, but sweet nonetheless :)

P.S. So I was just checking to see what day I had to be done with my 30 projects. Yeah, it's this Wednesday. Gah! But, I have made the list of my remaining projects, I have already done a few that I have just not posted yet, and in the end I am pretty sure, that like the little Engine that could, 'I think I can' get it all done. I am hard at work making a display board for the Stake Relief Society Women's Conference on Saturday, so when that is complete, I can re-focus my attention back on my own stuff. It's gonna be one for the record books! Or something like that...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

9 Years Ago Today

Has it really been that long already? I seriously don't really remember what it was like before I was married to Jacob. Anyway, I wrote this in the snow in Utah about 10 years ago. It was true then, and it's even more true now. If this is torture, chain me to the wall! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Low Hanging Fruit

Project #15-

A rad girl named Sarah Fol-ey
Made me a mix CD.
I had yet to hear it
So my schedule- I cleared it!
It was A+ music potpourri!

(Seriously, very good choices, Sarah. I love it! Especially that Barenaked Ladies song...)

Project #16-

All of these bricks were scattered about, and littering my backyard space.
I made one big pile so that all the while we can ignore them in just ONE place.

Project #17-

In Christmas 09, my tree fell two times
And I had ornament casualties.
Including a S’more-uh who lost his fedora
He was looking ragged indeed!

The hat was missing, but after some fishing
I found it under our couch.
Alas! He is fixed, and as this image depicts,
Luke is no longer an ornament grouch.

Project #18-

Little papers torn from envelopes, I’ve been keeping for quite some time.
They have addresses I need, all I needed to do was write them on the line!
It took me 6 months to finish this task, Oh, I feel so totally pathetic!
And judging by Cindy’s ever-dirty room, I have a feeling this trait is genetic :(

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Top Eleven to Tide You Over

(And, in honor of March, and the month of Cindy's birthday, I have let her choose the colors for the blog. Can you tell?)

Top Eleven Words Luke Uses and Mispronunces on a Daily Basis

11. MyDonalds (Luke's favorite restaurant. Not to be confused with YourDonalds, which is your favorite restaurant according to Luke)

10. Hanguhbur (what he likes to eat at MyDonalds)

9. Buns Buggy (a cartoon he loves to watch on Netflix, despite having the joke about "missing the turn in Albequerque" go right over his head every time)

8. Chick-a-munk (Alvin, Simon and Theodore just crack him UP!)

7. Kooky (chocoate chip are the best)

6. Milk polish (pretty colors you put on your toes when Mom disppears into the bathroom to do her hair for 20 minutes)

5. Grills (who milk polish is really intended for)

4. Brizbee (that round thing that is really fun to throw into the bushes near the front of the house)

3. Marshfellows (Luke's favorite part of having a fire)

2. Ock-a-don (Luke's favorite shape or a little known species of Dinosaur famous for cage fighting)

1. Blashlight (those shining things you leave on forever so the next time you ask to see it Mom tells you it's broken)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Is it just me?

Or does anyone else see the resemblence between American Idol contestant Lilly Scott and a certain Albino from "The Princess Bride?" Not trying to be mean, but it's kinda creeping me out....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fashion Fixes

Project #14-

Look at this picture and the adorable girls!
And take special note of that armband of pearls.
It was too big for Cindy’s small wrist,
So she wore it up high- a true fashion twist!

That was 4 years ago at her Uncle Dave’s wedding
And she was excited for those pearls she was getting.
She still has the bracelet, but for some time it’s been broken,
So I restrung the pearls and mended her token.

She was happy I did it. It erased all her sorrow!
Too bad she’ll misplace it by 7 tomorrow...

Project #13-

This purple dress has been lying in a clump
during my motivation's 6-month slump.

The ruffle came out and it hung way down low,
Cindy was getting impatient, she just needed to know.

“When will you fix this dress so I can wear it?!”
Okay fine, I give in! Peace, be still, my young parrot!

A fashion icon once more :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Just want you to know....

That I am still working on all my projects! The hard part is that when I am here alone during the day it is hard to find a photographer that is more than 3 feet tall. And I must have visuals! So in the next day or two I will be all caught up, poems, photos- all of it :)

On a different note, I have a Cindy and Luke Quickie for you. I put one on Facebook already, but when I publish this blog into the #1 New York Times Bestseller that it is, I will want to make sure the story is not forgotten.

The other day Cindy saw a large silo-looking building in an industrial park near her school. She asked me, "Mom, what's in there? People? Water? Explosives? Syrup?"

Inquiring minds want to know! Personally, I am wishing with all my heart for syrup.

Now for Luke:

We were at a friends house today babysitting. They had a toy there that was a steering wheel, stick shift, etc. It made all kinds of cool car noises when you moved the shifter- first the engine revving, then tires burning rubber, then crashes- but then after that last noise it would always start into a song about cars. Every time the noises stopped and that song began, Luke would throw the toy and say, "Ugh! I hate the singing!" It's official: he's a guy.

Also, I have decided to put another widget on my blog chronicling the collection of immature children's humor that Cindy is starting to bring home (from various sources :) So anyway, I have put up a list of the anecdotes she has been singing since Halloween, and the top one at the list came when she got in the car on Monday. Are kids really still saying all the same jokes? Incredible.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Do the bookcase boogie!

Project #12-

Why, oh sweet bookcase, do you get so untidy?
I clean you on Monday, you're disgusting by Friday!
I have cleaned up the clutter, assigned each subject a shelf,
Too bad this here bookcase cannot clean itself :)