Sunday, December 28, 2008


I am glad to say that I find myself to be fairly vice free. It's a nice thing, not being addicted to alcohol or tobacco or whatever, you know? Not only would that be really annoying, it would also cost a lot of money, and I'd much rather spend my resources in other places. But as with most things, there is an exception... Hello, my name is Laura and I'm a read-a-holic.

Seriously, I don't read novels hardly at all, not because I don't like to read, but because I like to read too much. A couple weeks ago, I found myself in a bit of pickle. You see, everyone I know has been reading those darn Twilight books. I, being very rebellious in nature, promised myself that I would never read them simply because everyone else did and that's a sure fire way to make me not want to do something (I know, it's immature and I need to get over it). Then that stupid movie came out and more and more people started talking about them. Several of the blogs that I read posted about the books and everyone was saying how bad they were and they weren't worth all attention. I guess it was a classic case of any publicity is good publicity because as soon as everyone was talking about how bad they were, I HAD to see if they were really that bad, so when I was in line at the Wal-Mart and staring me down was a paperback copy of the Twilight for a mere $7.48, I was compelled to buy it. I had to teach Sunday School that week and knowing my nature to read too much, I decided to save it until my lesson was over. I picked it up that Sunday and started to read... and read and read and read. I couldn't stop! And when that book was over, I had to pick up the next one and the after that and the one after that. Truth be told, I read all four of those books in 7 days. I figure that's got to be somewhere around 2500 pages. Don't get me wrong, they were all an easy read, but it still takes a certain amount of time to read that many pages and I DO have 3 small children that require almost constant attention.

So, since I read them all so quickly, one would think that I was really into them, right? See that's where the addiction comes in. They weren't that great. I read them, and I was entertained, but I found them to be quite shallow and even annoying at times. The worst part was Bella, who didn't seem to be special in any way shape or form and I couldn't figure out why everyone was all worked up over her. Even though I didn't particularly enjoy them, I was compelled to read them. The house work didn't get done (ok it never actually gets done) I stayed up way too late reading, I ignored my children and was frustrated when anything got in the way of me reading. I can't stop. I hate picking up the book to read and I hate putting it back down. I hate myself for making myself sick with sleep deprivation because I'm reading, I hate myself for trying to force my children into watching 8 straight hours of movies so that they will leave me alone, I hate it all, but if there is a story to be told, I HAVE to get to the end of it. I'm like an unstoppable force of nature.

And of course, since I read the books, I had to go see the movie (which was WAY worse than the book and Bella was even less special and a lot more annoying than she was in the book, I don't think she smiled once and I don't think she and Edward even liked eachother all that much, let alone were willing to die for eachother) and since they are sure to make more mediocre movies, I'll have to go see those too. This is why I don't read.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jane Stringham: Dancing Machine

Today was Jane's winter dance recital. Last year, the dance recitals were SUCH an ordeal and so expensive and on a Saturday and just an all around pain. She is taking dance with a couple of friends at a much more relaxed studio this year and their recital included a red, black or green outfit and me showing up the last 15 minutes of class. I didn't have to go anywhere special or buy a costume or watch 50 other classes dance when really all I want to see is my child. It was awesome.

I hope that Jane keeps taking ballet. Doesn't she just look like she should be a ballerina? We are hoping to take to her see her cousin perform in the Nutcracker next weekend. I think she'll love it.

And here are the dancing friends, Eva, Abby and Jane.

Charlie, I Love You

Working on 3 months and he's a smiling machine. Of course, I can't ever get one on camera because you have to look at him to get him to smile, it's a little frustrating. He started laughing today when I played the ever so popular baby game "arms in the air" with him. It's fairly simple, you just take their arms and pull them over their heads. Babies love it.

and I love him.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Be Prepared

Fact: I am no Boy Scout. I've got some serious issues with being prepared and I'm working on them. It isn't that I don't want to be, it's just that being prepared requires forethought, of which I have little. The worst of the worst for me is Sunday dinner. Every Sunday we are totally scrounging because I never have the forethought to get to the store the night before and get what I need, as was the case this morning. I went through a new cookbook that I got this weekend and realized that I had pretty much everything that I needed to make bar-b-que beef sandwiches, other than the hamburger buns. I thought that I didn't have buns, but I DID have what I needed to make them and so I decided that even though I've only made one or two previous attempts and making bread (wherein we ended up with something that resembled a rock more closely than an loaf of bread) I would give it a try. Jane and I did it together and we had a lot of fun! We made everything completely by hand including the mixing and the kneading and everything. I would have used my KitchenAid, had I been able to find my bread hook. I decided that I must never have had one until Brent reminded me that yes I did have one and don't I remember how he used to use it all the time to pretend like he was Captain Hook. No, Brent, I did NOT remember that. I must have managed to block it out. Anyway, we made one loaf of french bread and the rest into rolls. We ate the rolls, but I made Brent photograph Jane and me and our triumph over the cursed rock bread...

Sorry about Jane's face, the other photo was really blurry... focus on the bread. Doesn't it look pretty? Truth be told, it tasted quite a bit like flour which may have had something to do with the fact that Jane was in charge of measuring the flour, but it was a good try. I intend to keep working at it until I get it right. I figure that making bread by hand has got to be a good skill to develop as it will enable me to be more prepared, right?

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Water Stand

Jane finally got a long overdue playdate with her friend, Caitlin. They don't live in our neighborhood and I'm a total bum about inviting friends over, so it was a big deal for Jane. They are really cute together and get along so well, these girls are little partners in crime :) They are almost exactly the same size, which is also cute to me and Caitlin actually put on all Jane's clothes yesterday to go play outside.

Anyway, yesterday they ran upstairs and told me about their plan to have "water stand."

"Water stand? What's a water stand?"

Apparently a water stand is "when they go outside with all their tables and stuff and they give water to people who need it and want to pay them for it... you know, like they do with lemonade."

I guess we didn't have any lemonade. When I went downstairs to see what all their "stuff" consisted of, I was so amused that I grabbed the camera to document it.

In preparation for the water stand, they basically climbed into the cabinets and unloaded every plate, cup and bowl they could find, as well as every piece of cutlery in the house. They bust me up. I made them put most everything back where it came from and sent them in the back yard with some paper cups and large cup of water, which seemed to satisfy them.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Love/Hate relationship

Lizzy and Ben have been together literally almost every day since Lizzy was born. For this reason, they love each other. They are always so excited to see each other and often, they like to give each other hugs and kisses and play nice. 'Lizzy' was one of Ben's first words, if not the first. Lizzy copies everything that Ben does, she's a bit of a sheep that way.

Unfortunately, they are both entering the terrible twos a little early. Most of the words we hear out of their mouths are "NO!" and "MINE!" I would say that about %75 of the time they are together, they are clutching the same toy and screaming at the top of their lungs. Leslie and I are fairly close to inseparable these days, which means that we have to endure a lot of screaming. For some reason, the farm animals were the big favorite today and were of varying degrees of desirability. 'Moo' was by far the favorite, followed by 'Neigh' and then Sheep. It was an intense toddler battle and since I tried really hard to get some footage of the carnage, I thought I'd share the wealth...

If you choose to watch this, I'd turn the volume way down.

Seriously, we listen to this for hours a day. I would say that this particular fight lasted for a good half an hour, probably longer. We just mostly laughed at them and I followed them around with the camera because some day, I want to show them how ridiculous they were.

I never want twins.