Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rock the Vote, People

The Ant & the Grasshopper in 2008
Two Different Versions! Two Different Morals!


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and
plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper
has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

Be responsible for yourself!



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and
plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and
demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while
others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering
grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a
table filled with food America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor
grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody
cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where
the news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.' Jesse then
has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that
the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for
immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Hillary and Obama go on national television agreeing that the plight of
the grasshopper is the fault of George Bush.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act
retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green
bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is
confiscated by the government.

Barack gets his old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a
defamation suit against the ant, and the case i
s tried before a panel of federal
judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of
the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to
be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house,
now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once
peaceful neighborhood.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Yay Fall!!!

Ahhhhh pumpkin guts. A sure sign that fall is well under way. Here in Dallas, we are still wearing shorts and t-shirts so it's a lot different than what the past 10 years have conditioned me to. I love it! We usually carve our pumpkins the Family Night before Halloween, but since I will be off on my Awesome Adventure next Monday, we decided to do it this Monday instead. The pumpkins will certainly rot before Halloween gets here, however, since we won't be here to smell their awful stench, we don't care! Viva KC! The kids love carving pumpkin, as you can see. Addy did an amazing rendition of Mr. Cooper (who turned 2 yesterday, btw! Happy B-day Coopie Doo-Doo!!) Aidyn is way into Batman so he carved a Joker pumpkin and a bat, and sweet Avery. She of course wants to be involved with whatever Addy and Aidyn are up to and they are kind enough siblings to allow that. So kind! I really don't give them enough credit sometimes. She can find the girly in any make-believe. When Aidyn plays Spiderman, Avery is Mary Jane. When Addy plays Sonic the Hedgehog, Avery is Cream the Rabbit. When Aidyn plays transformers, Avery is McKayla. When they all play Lego Batman, Avery is Poison Ivy or Harley Quinn. Since Batman is the in thang at our house right now, John helped Avery with a Poison Ivy pumpkin. Her only requirements were as follows: "I want her to look pretty...and can you make her have a green dress and red hair, too???". Sorry Avery, but we aren't even sure we can do pretty. She was really more interested in the pumpkin guts anyway. Check out our creations!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Pictures

Just for the record, the pumpkin patches in KC and Dallas ain't got NOTHIN' on the ones they do in the NW> It's sad, really. Where are the giant corn mazes? Where are the giant hay slides with potato sacks to ride on, that literally SHOOT you out into a pile of hay? Where are the petting zoos? Where are the acorn houses (ie: little log cabins filled up inside with acorns-like a ball bounce-but so much less gross for some reason)? Where are the hay rides? Where are the reasonably priced pumpkins? Where are the helicopter tours? Where are the trains? WHERE ARE THE FREAKING DONUTS AND APPLE CIDER???? Ok, so admittedly, some of the pumpkin patches in KC and Dallas may have one or two of the afore mentioned elements at any given patch. But I want them all in one place! I want pumpkin patch fabulousness! There weren't a ton of things I liked about living in the NW. In fact, I can name 3: The Stevens' family, Kerry, and AWESOME PUMPKIN PATCHES.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And the Winner IS!!!!!!

Thank you all so, so much for helping me with my market analysis experiment. This drawing was super helpful and fun. I will definitely start doing these on a regular basis, so keep checking the blog for more drawings to enter. Drum roll please!!! The lucky winner of the holiday pendant contest is...oh probably want to know which pendants were most popular so here are the results:

#1 most voted for: Believe, number 9
#2 most voted for: Joy, number 6
#3 most voted for: POE, number 1 (missed the tie for second by 1 vote)
#4 most voted for: Tree, number 5
#5 most voted for: Bells and Jolly tied

And the winner is.........


Hi Stephanie! Thanks for entering and congratulations! Please go to my eboutique, and choose your pendant and pendant accessory. You are welcome to choose one of the seasonal designs, or a custom pendant. After you have made your selections, email me at I look forward to mailing you some beautiful, custom jewelry!

Much Love,

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Drawing is TOMORROW!!!!

Hey Ya'll!!! If you have not yet voted for your favorite pendant, today and tomorrow are the last days!!! Scroll down a posting or two to find the pendant designs and leave your vote for your top 3 in the comments section. Tuesday night I will draw a name for a free pendant and pendant accesory. If you are the lucky winner, you can select the pendant of your choice, with the necklace of your choice to wear it with. I will post the winner on Wednesday. So practice your voting skills, you'll need them soon enough.

Much Love,

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Confessions of a Harried Housewife, Chapter 1

All right so everybody does these different things on their blogs like Flashback Friday, What's on the Menu, the 20 questions with one word answers's all good and I love to read em'. But I want to do something non-main stream. Shocking. I want you to get to know the real me; the me that my husband and kids have to put up with on a daily basis. The crazy-scary Amy that comes out when my nerves are fried, I'm at my wit's end, and my sanity is all but gone. The Amy who, as she sits here typing this, has a 4 year-old trying to crawl onto her lap to play dolls and/or press keyboard buttons, a 10 year-old who keeps "hey mom" ing every 15 seconds for "look-at-me's", and an 8 year-old who is chronicling his sorrows of missing pieces to his Jengo-Fett minifig. Sigh. Life as a mom, right? Ok, so maybe this frustration I'm currently feeling doesn't happen daily exactly, but it definitely happens on a regular basis as a wife and mother. If you are disagreeing with me right now, you are on some seriously high-end Prozac (and you should call me with your doctor's #). When I'm feeling overwrought, I get a little sassy and I do mean things. In my book there is a fine line between mean and harsh teasing and I looooooove to walk that line when I'm in a mood. Let me give you a little bit of background information about each of my kids to help you better understand my motivation for this evenings harried-housewife-mean-thing:

Addy Stats: age 10.5: Positive Character Traits: super intelligent/super Gospel oriented/super good friend/ super charismatic/super creative...
Not So Positive Character Traits: super whiny when tired/super drama queen on rare occasions (also when tired)

Aidyn Stats: age 8: Positive Character Traits: super sweet/super giving/super fun/super good friend/super mad lego skills...Not So Positive Character Traits: seriously, I can't think of any, but he can be a little gullible. He's the easiest kid ever, knock on wood.

Avery Stats: age 4: Positive Character Traits: super out-going/ super energetic/ super social/ super kind...Not So Positive Character Trait: likes to push buttons when she is bored/tired. Beep, Beep.

Ok, so don't think I'm a horrible mom for pointing out more flaws in Addy than the other two. Actually...think what you want, it's a free country. Bottom line, she's very vocal when annoyed and getting close to pre-teen years means that vocality is increasing. Hence, chapter 1....

We are driving to Aidyn's basketball game tonight which means 20 minutes of fun car time. John is out of town so it's just me and the kiddies. Avery is in her car seat singing a song, totally typical, she loves to sing. At four, she hasn't been vocally trained and all though I thoroughly enjoy hearing her sing, Addy does not. She asks Avery several times to stop, stop, STOP. I am talking on the phone to my friend, Karina,trying to schedule some much needed girl trip time and trying to ignore the dispute, hoping they will work it out. Finally, Addy screams at the top of her lungs, "Avery!!!! STOP IT!!!!" at which point, I politely excuse myself and get off the phone.


me: "HELLO!!! I'm on the phone!!!"
Addy: whimpering "She's so annoying! I asked her to stop singing like a million times the nice way and she won't stop!!! She's just doing it to annoy me!! It's so frustrating!!!"
Avery: "But I just like to sing"
Addy: super mean "No you don't, you just like to be annoying".
me: "Ok, Addy, enough. Avery, you have been singing for 10 minutes. Take a break. Addy, learn a little patience. Avery can sing if she wants, she's doing it because she enjoys it, not because she wants to drive you crazy."
Addy: super whiny "But she is driving me crazy."
me: "Sigh. Addy, learn a little patience. Avery, if someone asks you nicely to stop doing something, it's polite to stop. End of conversation, let's play the quiet game."

Quiet Quiet Quiet

We get to the basketball game, Aidyn joins his team, Avery and I sit down to read some books, Addy starts reading her book.

30 seconds later

Addy: super whiny voice "Mom, can I go somewhere else and read? It's too loud in here."
me: "No, Addy, you have to stay with me. I want to watch Aidyn's game and I can't see him if I leave with you."
Addy: super super whiny voice "I hate coming to his games. It's sooooo boring."
me: "He's your brother, you need to support him. Remember that Zac and Cody episode we just watched? How Zac totally supported Cody by going to watch his speech even though that was ultra boring?" (you might want to add watching Disney sitcoms with your kids and then referring to them as life lessons to your repertoire of fine parenting skills)
Addy: super super super whiny voice "UUUUUGGGHHHH!!! I just hate this!! That buzzer is so loud and everything is just LOUD! I want to leave! How long do we have to be here anyway!"
me: "Games are 45 minutes. Just read your book and it will go by fast"
Addy: you get the point "MOM. Can I please just go right outside the gym door??? The noise is driving me crazy. I can't concentrate on my book."
me: "I said no-not safe, not happenin"

more arguing about loudness and leaving.....

10 minutes later

Ok, I have officially reached my melting point at this juncture. I hate to argue more than just about anything else. I'm not good at it and I tend to give in easily. Addy is the queen of negotiation in the form of arguing (she gets these mad skills from her daddy). She will make a great defense lawyer someday.

We are almost to the mean harried housewife part. First, let me clue you in on a conversation that we had earlier that day while walking home from school. Addy is talking to her friend Olivia about a search and rescue operation she took part in while visiting Vancouver, WA last month. A boy about her age with autism was lost while camping with his dad. Olivia asked Addy what autism was and Addy asked me to explain it. So I tried as best I could to explain that autism is considered a mental illness where those who suffer from it have a hard time with social interactions and communication. Most of the kids I have met with autism are great kids, highly functioning and extremely smart.

This is where the mean comes on if you dare.....

Back at the basketball game I am fed up and ready to kick Addy in the rear. Can't I have a moments peace to enjoy my sons ever-so-slowly budding basketball skills??????

me: "you know Addy, your senses are really easily overwhelmed. That's a symptom of autism. This has been happening more and more frequently lately, especially the noise thing. Maybe we should make an appointment with your doctor to see if you need to be tested."
Addy: super worried voice "you think I have autism?!?!?"
me: "Well don't act all bent about it, I mean I just worry when you get so freaked out about stuff like this (I really do, actually)."
Addy: super super worried voice "you think I have autism?!!?!!?"
me: "I'm just saying that if you are constantly feeling this overwhelmed by loud noise, maybe we should see if there's something to it."
Addy: super super super worried voice "you think I have autism?!!!?!!!?"
me: "I didn't say I thought you had anything, I just said maybe we should look into it."

Ok, so that totally shut down the complaint fest. On the one hand, I felt really good about that cuz I could veg out on basketball in peace. On the other hand, I felt like a total schmuck for resorting to that type of manipulation to get Addy to shut it down. I admit that it took several minutes before I started feeling like a schmuck. And just for the record, I don't think autism is something that should be made light of or joked about. I have fully disclosed that I was mean; this is my form of therapy/admitting I was wrong. I am being honest about my weaknesses.

Ok, it's not exactly "monkeys" or "ass goblins" (past harried housewife tactics), but it was pretty close. I pinpointed what I knew would bother her, and I totally used it as a weapon to my advantage. Pretty crappy, right?

When I got home I apologized and told Addy I was a big fat donkey, and that it was totally wrong to do what I did. I then spent some time reflecting on finding "Joy in the Journey"
(go to this link and watch for President Monson's talk on finding "Joy in the Journey" for clarity on that fabulous quote:,6353,310-1,00.html)
and admonished myself for feeling like my life was anything but pretty darn awesome.

Thanks for reading.