Friday, November 29, 2013

And We're Off!

I always feel like the holiday season starts with Halloween, probably because if you go to the stores the day before Halloween they are pushing the remaining candy bags closer together and beginning to make room for the Christmas decorations.

That's what my grocery store was doing, anyway.

And my girls start to get so excited, and they make me recite over and over every day the list of exciting things that are soon to happen.  The list goes like this:

New Year's
Hallie's Birthday
Hanna's Birthday
Hazel comes
Heather's Birthday

All that, in just a couple months, and it is no wonder the girls think this time of year is the best.

Except, that they also ask me every day when it will be warm enough to go swimming again.

But they mostly like it.

Here we are, decorating the house on the day after Thanksgiving as is our custom, to make all things look merry and bright.  Except me, I sat on the couch and watched my family make everything look festive and bright

Thursday, November 28, 2013

6th Annual Rose Family Thanksgiving Day Turkey Run

I took dictations from the family on their experience this year.  I took some liberties with Heather's, seeing as how a. she is asleep right now, and b. she doesn't really, you know, reliably speak in intelligible sentences.

Hallie: It was cold.  And fun.  I ran fast.  And I beat Hanna and Daddy to the coats.  I had two jackets on.  It was the funnest Turkey Run, ever.  Heather rode in a stroller.

Hanna:  I ran faster than Mommy and Heather.  Then Daddy ran with me on his back.

Heather: I just wanted them to take my gloves and jacket off, but no one would.  I cried when mommy tried to put a blanket on me.  I had a lot of fun.

Devin: This was our coldest Turkey Run yet.  Builds character.

Amy: This was definitely our coldest day yet, it was four degrees below freezing with a nasty biting wind. We didn't stay long.  The girls did a mile, with Devin carrying one of them for a lap each.  But it felt good to get out in the fresh air and move our bodies around a little bit.

Here's to next year, maybe we'll be back in shorts like last year!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Winner Winner Turkey Dinner!

November has become sort of a special and intense month for me.

Thanksgiving, obviously.

Black Friday, to shop or not to shop?

Rose Family Annual Turkey Run, hoping it won't be too cold

Thanksgiveaway, where I give away random things to my friends because it's fun, but sometimes I forget to mail them for... far too long

National Novel Writing Month, why do I keep thinking I can write 50,000 words in one month?

And then, you know, everything works out and November turns into December and the months roll around until I'm ready to do it all again.

Happy November to you!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hallie's School Pictures and Hyperbole

 We finally got Hallie's school pictures, only a month and half later than everyone else got theirs.

And only after several phone calls and emails and many disgruntled statements that I made to Devin about my dissatisfaction with Life Touch.

"I'm never going to order school photos again, ever, for any of our kids."

"I think this is the worst company of all time, how can they not get us her picture?  It's the only thing they do as a company!"

"This time when I call, I'm going to tell them that I have plenty of photos of my daughter and I don't want to keep waiting for them to figure it out, and could they just refund my money."

To these hyperbolic statements, Devin responded very calmly.

"Of course we're going to keep having school pictures taken."

"It's a big company, and it probably just got lost somehow.  Just call them again, they'll figure it out."

"You aren't going to tell them you don't want the picture anymore.  You know you want Hallie's kindergarten picture."

Which made it all the more amusing, after the last phone call with them, when I confidently declared to him that this time I thought we had jumped through all the hurdles and we were really going to get her picture and he said, "I just don't think it's going to happen."

And then when the envelope came in the mail today, he handed it to me and said, "I'm sorry, I really hope that what is inside this is what you wanted, but I don't think it will be."

But it was, and so he kept me going when I had given up all hope, and when hope seemed lost to him, I had regained my own, and all is well that ends well.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

She Did That, I Did This

Thank you so much for your responses that you have sent me in email, or Facebook, or in the comments.  You will all get an honorable mention in my book, I promise.  I'm so excited!  If you'd still like to give your input, feel free to, that post is here.

Last month my girl Al came to visit me.  The thing about Al is that she is really talented.  I've decided that this is one area in life that I really excel at.  I just feel like my talent is making friends with exceptionally talented people.

Since you're reading my blog, you can call yourself my friend, and so that should make you feel really good about yourself.

Al has lots of talents, but the one that came into play on this particular trip was painting.

She got me all hyped up, the way she does, into thinking that maybe I could paint too.

So we sat there with our paints and our brushes and our canvasses, and the lighting and her easel, which was Heather's high chair, and it was all very artistic and inspiring.

I became sassy, which is what I do when Al is around and she has me thinking I'm cooler than I am, and so we're painting, and I begin to say, periodically, "Look, I'm an artist. If you don't like my work, you can just get over it."

In the most ridiculous voice ever.  Because, again, sassy.

And thus we painted.  Hers came out sooooooooo well, and I sometimes sit and just stare at it on my wall.  You might think I'm joking.

But if you do know me, you probably know that I really do do that. I mean, not all the time.  I have a life.

My painting?  It hung on the wall, and sort of started to make me feel sick.  I kept thinking, "yeah, so... I'm an artist, if you don't like my work, you can get over it, but what happens when the artist is me and I really don't like the work?"

It was all sort of sad and disheartening, and I wished that I had some of the talent that my talented friends have.

But then, just when you thought this story was going to get really mopy, Pinterest.

I whipped together a little something, painted over the mess that I had done earlier, and am mostly satisfied with the result.  It isn't finished yet, I haven't quite figured out exactly how I want to make it really pop with a little more color, but I'll think of something.

Hey, talented friends, you have any ideas?  What would you put with it to make it really look finished?  Remember, nothing complicated.  I am not, it turns out, an artist.

Her painting.
  I asked for birds in the springtime. Can you see the little pink buds on the trees?  It makes me so, so, so happy.  And she only had a couple hours to do it. Amazing.

I wish you could see the birds better.  They are kind of blurry here, but they are just perfect.

 AND... what I made.  
My original thought was that we would all put our hand prints around it, but... I don't know. Handprints?  Any other ideas?


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stuff and Things

People ask me, "So, how's the story coming along?"

And I say, "Oh, it's coming!  I think it's... yeah, it's coming! It'll probably be great.  You know, we'll see, but it is coming along."

In fact, if you your very own lucky self would like to be involved in helping move the story along, you could help me by answering the following question.

Are you more afraid of physical pain, or emotional pain?

Your answer should be in one of the three following formats:

I am more afraid of physical pain.

I am more afraid of emotional pain.

Pain does not scare me at all.

And then, if you want really bonus extra points from me, you can tell me why you chose the response you did.

So!  Email, facebook, comment here on the blog, call me, send me a letter in the mail with a stamp on it, whatever you're into.

Except Twitter, because I still haven't figured that out yet.

And now, for some pictures of other things I have done, mostly in October when my mom was visiting.

 Canning tomatoes.  
Also canned in October: grape jelly, raspberry jam, apple raspberry jam, applesauce, strawberry jam

 I saw this on Pinterest and had to make some since the number one most aggravating thing in our house is that the girls always steal the kitchen towel, and the bathroom towel always ends up on the floor.  No more. 
They are now buttoned on, and while Hallie and Hanna CAN undo buttons, they just don't seem to want the towel as much when they have to work for it.  I think I made 8 of these, in just a couple hours.  A fast project makes me really happy.

I just wanted something to decorate our bathroom.
I had these random bits of scrap fabric that my mom gave me that she inherited from my Grandma Homer.  So, cut out a little blue bird, and zip zap zoop, the bathroom looks great. Well, I think so.

 The girls like to stand on "stage" and perform for us.

And this is the towel/apron that I made for my cousin Kate, if she likes it, for when her baby comes.   

A note just for Kate:  The towel is huge. When I am wearing it, it goes all the way to my ankles.  You'll never get wet with this thing on, and it could easily handle a baby up to 2 years old.  So, what do you think of the colors?  I'm not going to lie, I like it so much I sort of hope you'll say you want different colors, and it came together so fast I'd be happy to find colors you prefer.  But if you like it, I might still have enough of that fabric to just make myself another one.

Because please, I'm making one for myself too.  I am in love with it.

And, there is one more project that I made in October, but I don't have a picture of it yet, but I am most pleased with that project because I did it all by myself after my mom left, and I didn't even cut it in half. That's huge for me. Want to know what I made myself?

It's glitzy. It's glamorous.  It's gorgeous and glorious and just really great, you know?

A hospital gown.  Yes, so that I can feel pretty when the baby comes. Because, I don't know, this is my fourth baby and suddenly that seemed important?

You want pictures?


What kind of pain scares you the most?

Thanks, and thanks.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Good Songs People Wrote

My friend Nick Empey is a musician.  We first met back in high school, and he performed at a talent show at EFY, which is kind of like Mormon summer camp, sort of.  I don't know.  Anyway, as a person without any talent at all, I was so impressed that he actually knew how to do cool things.

He sent me a copy of his cd after we had gone back home and resumed normal life and whatnot and then we found out we were both going to Purdue when we graduated, and it was such a relief to know that I would know someone at that big school so far away.

It was a long, tedious 2 hours from my home, and so I could only make the trip like twice a week.

At school, he realized that I was even crazier than he could have guessed, but there was a group of us that had good times, many many good times.  And one of the girls in the group, who would become one of my life long best friends of all time because she's the coolest, let him fall in love with her.

And now they have this little pack of kids who are just adorable, and they wrote the lyrics to this song, and Nick put it to music.  You should really listen and enjoy, and then like his page on Facebook, too.

I'll Be Right Back

hungry hungry caterpillar hanging out with mr. miller
foxes in heaven falling in love
you can do anything you do
you can't do anything you can't do
dancing cat with dancing cow

you can eat breakfast and not sing ho ho ho
up and down and all around like the letter O
i know what a pencil looks like
i will be right back

itsy bitsy spider has a pencil in his hand
caterpillars like eating envelopes or parts of them
move the bubbles out da way
oh, lovely lovely lovely day
that's where me and rubber duck will stay

you can eat breakfast...

Awesome, am I right? I'm told there is a music video in the works.  I am holding my breath for that.  It makes the baby uncomfortable, but I am holding my breath anyway.

Then have you heard about this song, Oh Sweet Lorraine?  Apparently some radio station hosted a contest to see who could send in the best original lyrics, and this 96 year old man won the contest with lyrics that he wrote about his deceased wife and the life they had together.  You can watch a video of Fred hearing his song for the first time, here.  It was number 7 on itunes when it was first released.

Way to go, Fred!  I know I bought it.  Because also, did I mention, Fred is from PEORIA.  How could I not buy it?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veteran's Day

My old frenemy, NaNoWriMo is back in full force, so I've mostly been spending my time at the computer over there.  Or on Facebook.  Because you know how it goes.

But tonight I was honored to be involved in a special choir that was performing for a tribute to the Veterans in our area.  I had been a little nervous about how the songs were going to go, because some of them were sort of challenging (we sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic", the version that earned the Mormon Tabernacle Choir their Grammy, and that wasn't even our hardest song).

But it came out so nicely, and I thought the whole night was beautiful.  I don't know why, but I always cry when I hear the songs representing each of the divisions of the armed forces, in particular the Marines song and the Navy song get me.  We were supposed to sing the songs with the presenting of each flag, and I was crying so hard through most of them I just couldn't. I don't know what that is about, but perhaps the pride and the courage of those men and women that are illustrated by the words just speaks to my heart.

I mean, do you know these songs?

Anchors aweigh, my boys! anchors aweigh! farewell to college joys, we sail at the break of day.  Through our last night on shore, hail to the foam, until we meet once more, here's wishing you a happy voyage home! (NAVY)

Off we go into the wild blue yonder climbing high into the sun; here they come zooming to meet our thunder, at 'em boys, give 'er the gun!  Down we dive spouting our flame from under, off with one helluva roar! (yes, this meeting was held in our church building, and you could hear the choir stumble through that last line, but no lightning struck...) We live in fame or go down in flame, nothing'll stop the Army Air Force! (AIR FORCE)

We're always ready for the call, we place our trust in thee.  Through howling gail and shot and shell to win our victory.  Semper Paratus is our guide, our pledge, our motto, too.  We're "always ready" do or die, aye Coast Guard, we fight for you. (COAST GUARD)

Over hill, over dale as we hit the dusty trail, and those caissons go rolling along. In and out, hear them shout, counter march and right about, and those caissons go rolling along.  Then it's hi! hi! hee! in the field artillery, shout out our numbers loud and strong, for where e'er you go, you will always know that those caissons go rolling along.  (ARMY)

From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli; we fight our country's battles on the land as on the sea; First to fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean; we are proud to claim the title of United States Marine. (MARINES)

Maybe you had to be there, but to see those men standing as their song was sung, to see their proud faces and their upright postures, some of them so old and some of them so young.  To look at them and to know that the things they have seen, and the things they have had to do, all so that I can sit at home and be comfortable and warm and safe.

And because I like poetry,

Concord Hymn:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
and Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
to die, and leave their children free,
bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Ralph Waldo Emerson