Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Smiling Peppers

In November of 2008 I was chatting on the phone with my Arizona friend, Patty, and I was making stuffed peppers. I cut to top off a green pepper and to my amazement the pepper was smiling! Here it is in all its glory....
I know....pretty cool, right? :)

Well, a few days ago I was cutting up some peppers that a friend had given me so I could freeze them. Such pretty colors -- red, yellow, green! 

As I was cutting the tops of these peppers, imagine my surprise when I found yet another "smiling pepper"! 

 It doesn't take much in life to make me happy! I consider myself one lucky girl to experience not just one smiling pepper, but TWO! ;)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dear Abigail and Annah

Dear Abigail and Annah, 
While putting some things away in your bathroom today I reflected on the things that I have apparently failed to teach my lovely daughters. Somehow I missed some very needed instruction so I just wanted to let you know a few things. 

First, it is perfectly okay with your mother -- actually, it is her ultimate desire -- that you throw out the dull razors, empty bottles of shampoo, body wash, spazzed out shower scrubbies, conditioner, and face wash. I really don't want to see you on an episode of "Hoarders" one day. 

Second, it would be equally pleasing to me to see you dispose of the multiple spent tubes of toothpaste laying in your bathroom drawer. I am betting that even if they were all combined there wouldn't be enough for even one more brush. Throw them out. I promise I have more. 

Third, what can I do to get you to stop using the q-tip container as an amplifier for your iPod? I could handle you using it like that IN the bathroom but it makes me twitch when I go looking and find it in your room everyday. Have we not taught you compassion for homeless q-tips? Apparently not. 

And finally, will someone fess up and tell me WHO all the toothbrushes belong to? Each time I ask I get the stupid look and total denial. Really? There are 4 people that live in this house. Your father and I keep our toothbrushes in our bathroom -- TWO toothbrushes -- one for me and one for him. You two have your own toothbrushes -- TWO of them -- upstairs in your bathroom. But somehow we have ended up with an additional FIVE TOOTHBRUSHES in the DOWNSTAIRS bathroom who are owner-less. That's NINE TOOTHBRUSHES for a family of 4. The truth will set you free, I promise. And we would all sleep better at night if you just come clean. 


*This dog toothbrush holder is a treasure in our home. Abigail loved this when she was little and it continues to live in the downstairs bathroom -- FULL of toothbrushes that belong to no one. :)

Friday, August 16, 2013


I can hear it now. Sing it Billy Joel...

"Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you"

I began hearing the lyrics to this song as soon as I read this paper that was on the kitchen counter. 

Hahahahha...love the "being together (sometimes)" part!  While I am not quite sure which one of the girls wrote it, I have my suspicions. :) 

Guess we have some things to work on as a family...like being together! ;)  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sweet 16

Sweet Miss Abigail turned 16 on August 5th! She wasn't home to celebrate but instead she was at Southern Virginia University attending a week long Zion's Camp. It's like an EFY but is mission focused. Each participant receives a "mission call" (Abigail's was to New Zealand!), learns how to teach discussions, attend zone conferences and they even get to teach mock missionary discussions to "investigators".  

I drove to Buena Vista, Virginia to pick up Abigail and her friends Ashley and Hannah. It was a 6 hour drive one way but actually wasn't too bad. When I arrived in the town I chuckled to see this sign:


Once Abigail was back home, one year older and wiser, she was able to go to take her test for her permit. She studied the manual a lot (more do than probably any other of our kids combined!) so I had no worries about her not passing. 

In our town you can only get your permit on Monday and Friday from 1:00-3:00 pm. That is it -- 2 hours, two days a week. The little white concrete block building on York Street is the happening place for those 2 hours, two days a week. The line was out the door and we stood in the hot sun for over an hour as the line inched ever so slowly toward the door and finally inside. Once we got close enough to see into the building it became obvious WHY we had such a long wait. There was only ONE lady doing everything -- the eye test, handing out the tests, grading the test -- everything!  The desk lady looked rough. It seemed that she hadn't even so much as combed her hair after getting out of bed that morning. Either that or she had a really rough lunch break before opening the doors on York Street!

As we stood in line there was a Korean couple who were in line up ahead of us with a boy about 5 years old and a baby about 6 months old who was in a carrier on his dad's back. When this couple finally got up to the desk area the woman went first. She started her eye test by reading the numbers on the top line right to left. Desk Lady looked confused and then reminded the woman to read left to right. She began again and passed the vision test. Desk Lady then asked her if she wanted her test in English or Korean. The women replied that she wanted one of each so if she didn't understand the English she could read it in Korean. Desk Lady said she couldn't do that because the tests are not the same. So the woman decided on the English test. She was given the papers and she made her way to the table to begin her test. At that point her husband made his way to the first stop...the vision test. It was obvious that he didn't understand English as well as his wife did and that is where the trouble began.

Desk Lady asked him to put his forehead on the machine, look in, and read the chart. He too began reading right to left. Desk Lady corrected him and he proceeded. He got through the numbers and letters and then there was a part where their are lights that blink in the area that would be your peripheral vision. Desk Lady asked him what he saw around his head. He pulled his head away from the machine and said, "Walls?"  Desk Lady wasn't happy with that answer!  Trying again, she asked what he saw around his head and used her hands to motion to the side of her head. The man thought for a minute and said, "Glasses."  "No, no, no!" Desk Lady sputtered. By this time the peanut gallery (a.k.a. the people waiting for their kids to get through this painful process, which included me) started to chuckle. Desk Lady couldn't help but do the same in between her exasperated motioning and explaining! Desk Lady did what most of us do when someone doesn't understand what we are saying, she talked LOUDER, (what's up with that?) like that was going to get the communication flowing!  "WHAT DO YOU SEE AROUND YOUR HEAD?" she asked loudly and patting her head. The man put his hand on his head and replied, "Hair."

Okay, I couldn't help it but I was going to LAUGH OUT LOUD if this didn't wrap up pretty soon!  I thought the whole time they should ask the wife to tell him what Desk Lady was asking since she had just gone through it herself but nobody asked me. Probably because I was sitting against the wall muffling my laugh the whole time.  Finally, by a total stroke of luck, I am sure, Desk Lady got her question answered. What do you see around your head? (which really isn't an accurate question given the situation, especially to someone who doesn't speak much English!) But he finally gave the right answer of "lights" - DING! DING! DING!

WHEW! Everyone in the room was relieved for the man!

At this point there was still another person in front of Abigail and while she waited I whispered to her, 

"Hey Abigail! When you get up there and Desk Lady hands you your test, ask her if you could take it in Korean!" :D BWHAHAHAHAHA! To my surprise she said she was going to do it!

Abigail got up there, did her eye test and was handed her test paper. As she took it from Desk Lady she said, "Can I have it in Korean?"  Desk Lady's eyes got big and she tried not to grin. Slowly she said, "What..did...you...say?" Abigail laughed and said, "I asked for the test in Korean but I was just kidding!"  Desk Lady looked her up and down and said. "That was bad!  That was VERY bad! Did your mother put you up to that???"  Abigail threw me under the bus and said, "Yes!" Desk Lady playfully glared at me and repeated "that was bad", all the while me and the lady next to me were laughing! Desk Lady then looked at Abigail and said, "I am going to remember you when you come back up here!!"  Hahahaha!

The Korean couple finished and passed their tests just fine and then came the moment of truth for Abigail. Desk Lady scored her test and she passed! YAY! After giving Abigail the white card she had to take over to the DMV to get her permit issued, Desk Lady said, "Wait a minute!" and took the card back. With her pen she wrote something on the bottom of the card:  

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Too funny! And do you know that no one at the DMV even commented on the *Korean Test* notation!  No sense of humor, I tell you!

So, with a passing score on her test it was time for Abigail's permit to be issued. Abigail fixed her hair and looked ready to go. She had planned out that she was going to have the best looking permit picture e.v.e.r. I warned her that DMV photos have a way of humbling you. 

While she waited for the people to be ready to take her picture she spotted a cartoon that had my name in it. She pointed it out and I thought it would be fun to get a picture of it. So before they were ready I leaned over Abigail, (the only way to get a straight on shot),steadied my camera and we hear CLICK and see a flash...but it wasn't MY camera. The side of my head was in Abigail's permit photo!! Oops! But I did get a picture of the cartoon. :)

Abigail readied herself for the second attempt at her permit picture and the lady said, "Ready" and Abigail smiled her beautiful smile - CLICK! Abigail stopped smiling and then the FLASH happened.....

Can we just say that she wasn't a happy permit carrier at that point?

She would die to have me post her permit picture on the blog but lets just say it sort of resembled this picture....minus the chocolate on her lips. 

We love you!

Another School Year Begins

I adore summer. I don't adore the weather (heat and I have a very rocky relationship) but do adore summer for other reasons. 

I love the freedom from school schedules which must dictate bedtimes and wake up times. I love doing whatever I want on any given day that falls between the first of June and the middle of August. Well, okay, maybe I can't do whatever I want -- like I REALLY want to travel to Maine and stay in a house on the beach listening to ocean sounds without a care in the world. So yeah, that probably isn't going to happen. But, in my own little world of my family, summer brings the freedom from schedules and deadlines, projects and homework.  Being a mom of 6 kids I have been saddled with schedules and deadlines and projects and been the taskmaster over homework for a lot of years! We still have two at home so, yeah, I have a few more years to go but it is the summer in between each school year that makes it bearable. I do adore summer. 

Tomorrow school begins again. The anticipation has officially been ramped up with a Seminary meeting (Abigail) after church Sunday to discuss the new schedule (starting at 7:10 a.m. this year instead of the 6:20! Can I get a big WOO HOO and a high five?)  The newly called seminary teacher will be awesome...makes *me* want to go to Seminary!  Then there was an orientation at the Jessamine Career and Technology Center (JCTC) for Annah where she, as an 8th grader, is taking a dual credit course of Geometry and Engineering. She is able to earn a high school credit while still in middle school because she's smart like that. :)  And we jump start the school year with Abigail's first home volleyball game tonight!  WOOT WOOT!  

                         Annah going into 8th grade                 Abigail going into 11th grade

Here we go..... another school year begins!