Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hello, Summer. How long will you be staying?

Give it to me straight, friends--how bad is it that yesterday I told Mike that I was considering packing up the kids and heading to my mom's...not for my annual extended two week stay...for the entire summer? Is that so wrong? Mike told me he wasn't all that sure my mom would want to keep me for two months. When Robyn called yesterday morning, the first words out of my mouth were, "I hate summer."
These are not the rantings of a happy woman. Or a cheery mother.

Being the introspective person that I am, I dug deep into my psychosis to unravel the mystery behind my disturbing summer hatred (because usually it's not this bad less than a week into it).
This is my conclusion: Summer blind sided me.
I just didn't prep myself. Normally I have a plan in place. This year, not so much. So...with a little acceptance,-- 'cuz it is what it is' --some planning and a few deep breaths I am ready to rumble. Bring it on, Summer, give me your best shot!

We are going to find adventure around every corner, smell the roses, party like it's 1999, chase rainbows, dance and frolic in lollipops and gumdrops falling from the sky...
Yes, this summer will be magical, the summer of 2009 will be one to be remembered, it will go down in history as the best summer ever.

And so...
Summer, my dear old friend, I say to you:
Come. Sit. Stay a while. Kick off your shoes and make yourself at home.
We will all enjoy your visit.
However, when the second week of August arrives...don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To my Elsie-girl

Happy Birthday, Sister Sue.
She is every bit as sweet as she looks-
and then some.
This girl has more lov'n and hugs than we know what to do with.
She is the coloring queen.
And has cuteness totally covered.
Lots of love to you on the big 0-6!

(let's all pretend I posted this yesterday on her actual birthday, shall we?)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On my toes.

Grant is CRAZY!!
His mischief level is off the charts lately. Since this morning he has:

~Made his own pancakes. Climbed on the counter, plugged in the griddle and poured the batter.
~Done a little ironing. Climbed the washer, fetched the iron, climbed down, plugged it in and ironed the wood floor. (Luckily I heard the sizzle before any real damage was done)
~Dolled himself up. This is an every day occurrence, he loves my make up drawer.
~Worked in the garage. This is at least an hourly occurrence. Today he climbed up, found some duct tape and taped a bunch of tools together.
~Mowed the lawn. Grateful am I that he has not figured out how to start it...yet.
~Last but not least, replaced a tile on the roof. ON THE ROOF!!!

Mike was up there for about two minutes to fix a tile on the other side, came back over the top and there was our boy. This kid is unbelievable!! (Mike being the supportive blog husband that he is, was quick to tell me to go get the camera)

Heaven help us--and him!

*Sarah, do you need a death defying crazy man to join your circus. He has many, MANY talents.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Farmgirl, the running fool.

I know reading about random stuff that only has to do with just me, myself and I can be a bit boring--However, I really wanted to give a quick update on the running.

I'm pretty much a freak'n rock star!

I don't really consider myself a 'runner'. I never have. I did run the St. George marathon a few years back, I use the term 'run' loosely. We walked a lot. I was always so intrigued with the idea of doing a marathon that I put it on my 'Before I Die' list and just did it. Finishing was nothing short of amazing- absolutely awesome!

So, just to recap:
Little Idaho Farmgirl decides to be a pseudo runner, talks her sweet husband into the craziness as well, trains with a bad knee for four months, has a not-so-great race day but finishes, accomplishes a huge life goal and is very happy and satisfied to never really run again.

Fast forward a few years when Farmgirl watches her sister and brother finish the Wasatch Back. And the running itch returns. That was last summer. Those itches come and then they go. No running occured in my life (minus chasing children) until about a month ago.

It's been going pretty good. Amanda and I got some good runs in while she was down here.
This morning I had a major break through....
I ran 4.8 miles in 47 minutes.
Do the math, people--that's UNDER a ten minute mile!!
I told you I'm pretty much a freak'n rock star, didn't I!?!
And just so you can all be even more impressed by my awesomeness--this run included some serious hill climbing. For all you local yolkals, I ran into old Santa Clara and back up the highway coming from the Jacob Hamblin home.
I have never run under a ten minute mile.
I know, you are all blown away by my quick footed skill!

This was a good running day. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Life Changes...

Are we ready for them, Moms?

Summer is almost upon us--we are at T minus three days and counting down here. School is just about out, although I don't know that what we have been doing for the last few weeks would really fall under the umbrella of 'school' as far as learning goes. It's been party-full!!
Honestly, I'm good with whatever...someone is willing to keep my kiddos and they are happy to go. Party your little hearts out, my friends.

Yes, time to rearrange my priorities for the next two and a half months. Goodbye routine. Hello chaos! The most I can hope for is controlled chaos. :) I do think that is manageable, we plan to stay busy -- trips to Idaho, visitors coming here, lot's-O-pool time, swim days with friends, weekly library day, throw in a camping trip or two and last but not least...summer chores! Yup, that should just about do it. One summer full of fun is on the docket!

Speaking of summer chores (or chores of any sort really)...they are so not my favorite thing. The neurotic OCD beast that lives inside my head just wants to do it all herself and HER way. But, alas, that is not an option for the reasonable farmgirl that lives in reality with five children whom she wants to raise to some day be contributing members of society. For her, kids doing chores is a must!! Doing them right? (And by right I mean the way that I do them- Hey, I'm the expert in this joint!) Well, that's a work in progress.

I like to refer to my age old motto:
Summer is just a continual lowering of my cleanliness standards.
And then one day they go back and I'm once again Queen of the Kingdom.

FYI- I really do have a cleaning party for myself the first week they go back to school. :o)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yes, but what did we dooo???

We did all things touristy.
Let's back up for a moment and begin at the beginning, shall we?....

First of all--how many people do you see in this vehicular?
That's right. Two! Yippee!! We are already off to a great start. :)

Our first big adventure was leaving the San Fransisco airport. We rode the shuttle. Our very Asian, very crazy driver drove us around and around the terminals until all nine seats were filled. Then we were off...and lucky to arrive at our hotel in one piece. We remedied that problem on the return trip and got a town car to take us. We decided the extra 15 bucks were like an investment in our children--it would ensure they would be raised by us and not the state. Money well spent.

We opted to buy a three day muni-pass so that we could use the public transportation. And use it we did. We went every where. We rode the bus, the street cars and the cable cars-they were my favorite. (and, yes, Angie I did hang off the back on one ride. no picture considering i was holding on for dear life. it was indeed a San Fransisco treat!)
Mike has a built in GPS system that is amazing. He got a cheesy map of the city from the hotel and we were all set. He knew exactly where we were going and how to get there. He's a freak'n rock star!

Chinatown was one of our first stops. Dim Sum and shopping. It was pretty cool.

After Chinatown we went to Union Square--did a little shopping, introduced ourselves to Boudins and made our first stop at the Cheesecake Factory (nothing like a little cheesecake for a midnight snack, right?) We decided to walk back to our hotel instead of ride the bus. Our walk up Sutter Street was a wee bit scary at night. I have been accused of walking fast-some say it's my long legs ;) well, that night I was sprint-walking to get off those streets.

Tuesday's first tourist stop was (as I mentioned before) a trip to the Mother Ship.
Do you see how big those letters are? A beacon on the hill, lit up at night it would call weary chocolate lovers home. Ghirardelli Sqare. It's a good thing.

Next up was Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.
Not only was there tons of food and random shops to wander through we met the Sea Lions. These guys were so entertaining we came back the next day for a second showing.

Next on the agenda: Alcatraz.
(That's it in the back ground.)

This was really cool and extremely interesting. I want to re-watch Escape From Alcatraz now that I have seen it all for real.

The rest of the day we spent just chillaxin'. We went back to Ghirardelli Square, sat on the beach for a while, went for a walk on this cool old pier and watched some guys fishing for crab. (This would be where we met our new friend, the crazy pier keeper.) We rode the cable car back to Union Square purchased our selves a little more Boudin sourdough bread and smartly took the bus back to our hotel.

Wednesday was fun filled as well.
First stop: Golden Gate Bridge. Really Awesome. It's HUGE, the most amazing thing to me was that it was built in the 30's!
This is one of the cables. Big enough for ya?We walked across it. It was super loud. Can you believe how big this is?

A few bus rides later and we were at Golden Gate Park. I guess this is the Central Park of San Fransisco. We walked around the lake and through the all the forest-y parts, it was really beautiful. After a while we made it over to the rose garden. I loved the rose garden. A delight for the eyes and the nose!

It's a good thing I soaked up all the beauty and goodness there because Haight-Ashbury was next. Mike really wanted to hit this spot- visiting once in a life time will be plenty for me. I guess it's charm was lost on me. It's official: I'm no hippie.

The rest of the day we spent revisiting all of our favorite finds. Ghirardelli Square, the sea lions at Pier 39, The Cheesecake Factory, Trish's Doughnuts, Boudins, Union Square...yes--food was a running theme in all of our favorites. ;)

Our plane was delayed coming home. What would have been a late night turned into an early morning late night. We were exhausted from all of our fun, but had a blast!! I don't think we will be waiting 15 years to plan our next get away. :)

Friends, nieghbors, countrymen,
Thanks for joining us.
That concludes our virtual tour of San Fransisco brought to you by Farmgirl.

A big huge shout out to all my help in making this little dream come true. It takes a village to take a vacation! Thanks to all the best of the best-ies!!

Food. Food. Glorious Food.

There was some good eat'n to be done. We ate. We ate lots. And we ate well.

We were told Dim Sum was a must try. I am glad we gave it a whirl. We went to Hang Ah, the oldest restaurant in China Town to get it. I'm pretty sure the last time they redecorated was some time in the 40's. Check out that atmosphere.
I got some sort of rice/pork/steamed veggie thing. Not bad--although I didn't care too much for the smell of the seaweed broad leaf contraption it was cooked in.
Mike got a shrimp/veggie something.
Little did we know it was prepared in a placenta sac....
It didn't taste bad, just fairly gross to eat.

Fantastic!! We made a meal of sourdough bread and butter. Mmmmm. Dee-Lish!!
We were frequenters at Boudins.

Cheesecake Factory.
I know, it's available closer--doesn't matter--Love this place.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Carmelle Cheesecake.
That's pretty much all you need to know.

Breakfast at a lovely cafe named Roxanne's. Tasty blueberry muffin and hot chocolate that rivaled Bear Paw. Mike had a Belgian waffle that was mighty fine, too.

*Side Note*
Eating was a big deal. I decided early on I needed a plan. Slow and steady wins the race, right? That was my motto. I had to pace myself. I tried to eat small amounts so that I would be good to go again as soon as we hit our next destination. It worked out pretty well for me. :)
So, basically, I was constantly eating because we were constantly moving.

This next bit is really important.
I need you to know--
I found the Mother Ship.
And she was calling me home.
Ghiradelli Square.
There are three different chocolate shops. They all give out free samples. I hit each of them four times. We also hit the ice cream parlor....purty durn good!!
Just makes me happy thinking about it. :)

At Pier 39 there was also some good eats. We had crepes, none too shabby.
Then we stumbled onto this little gem of a place.
I know, my eyes are closed, but I felt you all needed to see the place you should search out if ever the opportunity arises. Trish's Mini Doughnuts. Hot. Fresh. Sugar & Cinnamon. Delectable.
Okay, we may have frequented this place too. ;)

Definitely a thumbs up!! That might be a bucket of 36 doughnuts. What?? We didn't eat them one sitting. What's wrong with that? It was our last day--we had to live it up, baby!

We searched out some Italian food. It was pretty high on Mike's priority list. We randomly chose this spot. We lucked out!Fantastico'.
Seriously. Good grub! We started with the Brochette. Ahhh, gooood. Mike ordered the crab ravioli with asparagus and leaks in a cream tomato sauce. A hit! I ordered a chicken mushroom panini. Score again!

Just to round out the eating experience we also dined at the lovely and super classy McDonald's in Haight-Ashbury. A pleasure. We went ahead and got fries on the side instead of pot. We're so boring that way.

Some lovely little pastries at the hotel cafe and that just about covers the eating portion of our tour.

Are ya still with me, World?
One more post and I think we are gonna have this trip in the bag. :D

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Before we Begin...

There are a few things you should know:

#1) There are a LOT of pigeons in the bay area. We are not talking about 'Look up there-look at those pigeons in the sky' sort of a thing. We are talking about fearless little beasts. For any one who knows me well (or has ever eaten outside at Pasta Factory with me), you know I am really not a big fan of birds. Any small animal that flutters or scurries is no friend of mine. Being the fantastic sport that I am, I decided I had to make peace with the pigeons.

See?? Are they close enough, do ya think?

Don't I look calm? And super relaxed? Me and the birds...we were real tight on this trip. ;)

#2) There are also a LOT of--how should I put this?--employment, life skilled and socially challenged people. No kidding. Every where. For the most part they were just pretty much part of the scenery. There were a couple that stood out:
There was the psycho-sexual we spent ample time observing at Union Square.
Our short visit to Haight-Ashbury was just chock full of the best of the best.
There was the Schizophrenic people hater guarding the pier.

See this picture? My face is saying, "Isn't this picturesque?" But, through my gritted smiling teeth I am really saying, "Quick, Mike, take the dang picture!! The looney is heading this way!" The very unstable 'pier guard' was on his way towards us.

And then there was this guy:
He was completely entertaining. We saw him the first night, but just kept walking. His gig was he would stand there absolutely still-like a mannequin. The second night we saw him again and Mike decided to put some money in his cup (I know, it shocked me too.) He then did this little dance like thing. It was so funny--before long he had a crowd gathered around dropping money in his cup to watch him jig.

#3) If you can't pull off the wind blown look as good as I can...San Fransisco may not be the place for you. It was windy! The wind didn't blow all the time, mostly in the mornings and at night. No Joke--that wind off the ocean is C.O.L.D. This, of course, is coming from a girl who has a cold temperature tolerance of about nil. Seriously, what happened to this Cache Valley girl? Oh yeah...she was transplanted into the heat.

That's it for now, my friends. Tomorrow we talk about food.
I know, I'm excited too. Try to get some sleep. Don't keep your self up all night with the anticipation. Maybe a little snack would help....I have to two words for you:
Boudins & Ghirardelli.
Mmmm Hmmmm. That's what I'm talking about...

Been there, done that.

Hey All, I'mmm Baaacckk!!!
Miss me?

Three fabulous, fun filled days away...
Just Me and My Man!!
That was then....

This is now.
Insert {me} into real life.

I can't wait to give you all a blog tour of our trip.
Seriously, can't wait!
However, coming home at 2 am has turned my brain to complete mush.
And if you will note my Mothers Day gift hat...
Not only am I the one and only Farmgirl-
-It's chore time!

For the time being, this little lady has some mom catching up to do.

Stay tuned...
Your virtual trip to San Fransisco will be coming up shortly.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This is Big. B.I.G.-- I tell ya-- BIG news.

All right every one, sit down. Are you sitting? (Okay, that may be kind of a dumb question-if you are at your computer you are most likely sitting, no?.)
This is huge.
Mike and I....
are you ready for this? I mean are you really ready??
Mike and I.....
are taking a trip to San Fransisco!!
I am beyond excited!
We shant be gone for long- 3 days 2 nights. Heck, I don't really care! My expectations are fairly low considering the number of trips we have planned out and taken. Let me add those up real quick in my head for you...just to give you a rough idea....let's see.....humbadee...humbadee.....add 2 carry the 1...minus our honeymoon, ya that would be ZERO!
Anne, I have already printed out and perused blog entries -all 13 pages- of yours and Staci's trip. I am scouting out any and all information, great things to do, must see places, to die for food, you get the idea. I want to be prepared! And since these things only come around every 15 years, I plan to make the most of it!
So, if you have any great insight--even if you are not a regular commenter...
Help a sista out!

To quote an earlier entry (not to mention a great movie):
I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What's a girl to do....

When her sister bff is away at school?

The answer is obvious.....make a paper replica.

Meet Paper Lucy.
Paper Lucy was created by Elsie one day while Goose was at school. Elsie went in to clean her room. After she was done she started working on a project, the rest-as they say-is history and Paper Lucy was born.

Elsie's creation was flat Paper Lucy. She just lounged on the bed all day, I guess it was fitting considering she was dressed in Lucy's robe and PJ's. When the Real Lucy got home from school she was highly impressed and very flattered. Pretty soon flat Paper Lucy became mobile Paper Lucy. She was stuffed with a towel, her head and hands were pinned on and she was ready to be transported where ever the girls wanted to play.

Paper Lucy was a great gal. Those two and a half days she was with us will always be treasured. Mostly she stayed in the girls room, occasionally she would venture out to the family room- she wanted to feel like a part of the family. The tragic mistake Paper Lucy made that lead to her demise was her inadvertent decision to find her way onto my bed.

That's right, you guessed it, I sat on Paper Lucy. Now, in all fairness I think we could have rushed her into the paper doctors and saved her life....but, remember those pins that were her life line? Did I mention the type of pin used? We're talking straight pins, my friends, NOT safety. There were a lot of them. And I sat on most of them. Paper Lucy was a danger to society. She had to go.

How ever.....
This whole thing got me to thinking-
How does Paper Mom sound??
I know, she might be a bit of a slacker.
Maybe she could just pull it off for an afternoon here or there....
Whadaya think??

Friday, May 1, 2009

Blogs are for bragging, right?

When my brother, Howard, was married a photographer friend of his was there snapping pictures. He took a gazillion shots. A couple of weeks later Howard called and said this friend of his had taken a bunch of Elsie and there was one he wanted us to sign a release for. We said sure, as long as he sent us a copy of the picture, and didn't think much more about it. It was darling--what else would you expect from our little Elsie-girl?

Fast forward a couple of years to this morning when Mike happened to go look at the St. George City home page and voila---he found this.

Elsie the Water Girl.

That's what we will be calling her from now on. School is not in session for the kindergartners next week (see- i told you they never go to school) so she will be available to sign autographs at any time. :o)

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Peeks last week...need this for noncommentors. Lame. commenting is cool.