Friday, August 31, 2007

I Adore This Book!

I am sooooo happy that it's my month to host bookclub. I've been waiting for my turn to share one of my favorites. I read I Capture the Castle several years ago and loved it. It's 50 years old and very British. A coming-of-age story with romance, humor and family drama all mixed in. I recommend it very highly!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Problem with Having Twin 3-year-old Boys...

You know the what the problem is? That you have two three-year-old boys living with you. ALL the time.

Of course, they are cute and adorable and say funny stuff sometimes, like "Potty-train? Me don't ride no potty train!" (Which is true, unfortunately...) They also give the sweetest smiles and their hugs are delicious.

But, anyone who has lived with any three-year-old recognizes that they are all bi-polar.

I mean, one minute they are all hugs and giggles and the next minute, they are screaming because you did something abusive to them...such as cutting their sandwich into squares instead of triangles. Or failing to fill their juice cup to that mysterious "just right" spot which is .0000000001 inch between "way-too-much-I'm-sure-to-spill" and "not-enough-at-all-do-you-think-I'm-still-a-baby?"!

Every three-year-old has a split personality. Half delightful love muffin. Half rabid maniac.

So, you do the math. One 1/2 crazy three-year-old + another 1/2 crazy three-year-old=one very crazy mom.

And, the thing is...they TAKE TURNS. I know Mr. Rogers taught us all to take turns, but in this case, it's a bad thing. If they both just timed their I-don't-want-you-to-get-my-shoes-on-for-me-but-I-cannot-do-the-velcro-myself meltdown at the same moment, it would be done in ten minutes. But, since they TAKE TURNS, one little incident takes over the entire morning, makes us late for gymnastics and ruins Mom's hair and makeup.

I tell ya...these guys are killing me!

Happy Tails

Thanks to all of you wellwishers for your love and concern.

My better-half's better half is healing slowly but surely.

Now I can truly say that I am NOT his biggest
pain in the rump!

Who needs a coccyx, anyway?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Way We Were

permgirl gets hitched!
only mr. smooth could get away with this tux...

my favorite

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Hope It's Not Your Coccyx!

My little brothers and I used to watch a certain 1972 Barbra Streisand/Ryan O'Neal movie over and over back when VCR's were a cool new invention.

In one crazy scene, madcap Barb is rushing around O'Neal's character asking if he is hurt and which bones are broken. To quote: "Do you think you broke your coccyx? I hope it's not your coccyx!"

Can you name the movie? Check your answer the way, I think it is a great flick and would be a fun Labor Day weekend repeat.

Well, I always wanted to have something in common with Ms. Streisand...and now I do. Someone I love has broken his coccyx!

If you missed my cutie pie's spill on the hills last spring, you may not realize that he has been in mountain-bike-rehab all summer long. Fortunately, most of his body is back to its everyday studliness...but his tailbone is out of whack.

Tomorrow he goes under the knife for a little coccyx-removal and won't be able to sit down for awhile. Please keep him in your prayers (and say an extra one for me)!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Great Outdoors

Experience wildlife...take your children camping!
A few shots of our weekend...
Makes a mean s'more...

Roasts 'em but won't eat 'em...

Loves watching the fish jump and the flames dance... Digs up the most worms!


The engagement: long & long-distance
The day: a beautiful Wednesday in August
The dress: oh-so-1990 Jessica McClintock
The perm: extra fluffy for the ceremony, then in an updo for the reception
The groom: nervous and wearing a white tux
The wedding: Salt Lake Temple...perfect!
The reception: Grandma's lovely backyard
The bridesmaids: wore floral wreaths in their hair and Battenburg lace place mats as collars (what?!)
The groomsmen: sang in 3 part harmony and flirted with the serving girls
The mother-of-the-bride: almost trampled to death on her way to watch the cake-cutting
The honeymoon: local, humorous and very romantic
What a great way to start living happily ever after!
**Photos to come...having technical difficulties**

Friday, August 24, 2007

It Was Down Hill the Rest of the Way

Mr. Smooth must have followed every direction from the guidebook, "How To Hook Miss Bookworm"...
Step 1: Let her take you snowskiing for the first time. Act impressed with her slalom, take a few mandatory spills and then blow her away with your natural ability. Keep her warm on the chairlift.
Step 2: Help her babysit five little cousins. Endear yourself to them (and her!) by bringing a pocketfull of candy kisses. Let the little one ride on your shoulders and smile when she calls you "Daddy!"
Step 3: Fill her apartment with roses and love notes on Valentine's Day.
Step 4: Make it a Saturday tradition to fix ailing cars and pancake breakfasts. Do all the dishes, too.
Step 5: Watch basketball with her grandpa. Flirt with her little sisters. Joke with her brothers. Be respectful to her parents. Take her home to meet yours.
Unfortunately, he must have missed the page that said...
Step 6: If an old flame comes back on the scene and invites you and all your friends (aside from Permgirl) to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show late one Friday night, do NOT go.
Luckily, he did read...
Step 7: Tell Miss Weepy Bookworm that you are falling in love with her and that it scares you. A permgirl cannot resist a guy who is scared and in love. All will be forgiven and forgotten ('til she starts her blog, of course)!
Step 8: Take her to a fancy Italian restaurant. Arrange for the waitress bring a dozen roses between every course. Hide a small velvet box in the last bouquet. Propose to cheers from the entire restaurant. Good job!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Courtship of a Bookworm

So, Miss Sophomore really did not like Mr. Smooth. He was her anti-type-- with his sports, cars and Barbie lookalikes. He was Van Halen, she was Manilow. She went to the library to check out the books. He went to the library to check out the babes.

Besides, he was just too arrogant--a big know-it-all and completely over-confident.

But, he did have a very cute smile.

And, was it just her imagination, or had their eyes really caught and lingered meaningfully a few times over the Pictionary board? Did he really laugh at all her quirky jokes? She knew he enjoyed her baking...but was it possible that he liked what was behind the apron as much as what was in the cookie jar?

The first date was an accident. Thanksgiving weekend, everyone was meeting for movies and dessert. Permgirl and Smooth turned out to be the only ones left in town. Good thing, too, because they were about to see the most romantic love-story of all time. The perfect date movie to start any relationship.

Yep. You guessed it..."Look Who's Talkin' : Part One."

They laughed. And talked. And laughed and talked. For such polar opposites, they really did have a lot in common.

And maybe someone could be a know-it-all without reading every book in the library. Maybe just growing up all over the country, living in South America, working summers on a farm, and having all kinds of after-school work experience offered its own education and a very attractive self-confidence.
Maybe there was more to Mr. Smooth than just, um, smoothness.
And, by the way, wow! Where the heck did he learn to kiss like that?!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Permgirl Meets Mr. Smooth

After a busy summer, Permgirl was back for her sophomore year. Apartment living proved to be a lot more exciting than dorm life after all. Grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning--it felt a little like playing house with her cool roommates. There were all the usual back-to-school events, football games and dances. Her new friends were really fun and social, so she tagged along, too.

One of her roommates already knew a whole gang of cute guys who lived across the street. Really, they were MEN because they were each at least 21 years old, some had cars and all had recently returned home from church missions. The truth is they were WAY out of this girl's league, and, besides, they all seemed to be more interested in her much hotter roommates.

That was ok... Miss Bookworm was not looking for romance. She was a SERIOUS student. After all, she had decided to get her teaching degree and had to make the grades for her Elementary Ed. program. This involved raising her own swarm of fruit flies for Education Biology, writing epic papers for History of Civilization II, and logging hours of exercise in Fitness for Life.

Between her full-time studies and the part-time nursery school job, there was still a little time for fun. She got set up on a few dates and went bowling, dancing, to midnight movies and out for cheap Mexican food. At this point, one or more of "the guys" from across the street were a permament fixture at her apartment. They enjoyed coming over to watch the girls' tv, eat their food and use the clean bathroom facilities.

Each of the guys had unique attractive qualities. There was the brain, the jock, the clown, the quiet one, the sensitive soul and then there was MR. SMOOTH.

Mr. Smooth seemed to be the type who is just a little too sure of himself, a bit cocky, kind of overconfident. Sure, he was good-looking, smart, funny and had his own car. Sure, he did well in his classes, worked at a parttime job, played basketball on the weekends, taught Sunday School and spoke Spanish fluently. Sure, he had a long line of cute coeds baking him cookies, buying him Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts, asking him to girls' choice dances and throwing him birthday parties (three months premature...but that's another story).

Yes. Mr. Smooth definitely had a big group of admirers.

Permgirl, however, was not among them...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Love & Marriage

Welcome to Love & Marriage Week on the gabblog!

In honor of my seventeenth anniversary, which is coming up this week, I've decided to record all my memories of falling in love, getting married and living happily ever after.
I'm doing this so my kids will know "our story"--but mostly for myself, because, sometimes, after a long day of children, bills and household appliances, it's nice to remember that it all started with a smile from a really cute boy.
(NOTE TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS OF " The Dee & Marty Chronicles": If you are expecting my romance to come anywhere close to this Romeo-and-Juliet-meets-Captain VonTrapp-and-Sister Maria-fairy-tale, please lower your expectations drastically. I'm sorry, but my love story just does not outraged inlaws, no jealous exboyfriends, no European backdrop, no lederhosen. My tale is more along the lines of A Very Brady Wedding, but it has its own modest charm.)
Once upon a time, long before cell phones, I-Pods or the worldwide web, there was a college freshman. This girl wrote her papers on a typewriter, hoped her parents would accept the charges on her collect phone calls and jammed to her collection of Chicago (the band, not the musical) cassette tapes. She could often be seen wearing combinations of denim, khaki, flashes of red, and sporting a very fluffy perm.
Much to her mother's disappointment, this BYU coed was not boy crazy. Her social life consisted mostly of books and babysitting. She dated very little and had only been kissed by three guys in her life. Her fondest dream was to be a social worker, librarian or a school teacher. She took 8:00 am classes and fell asleep by 10, supplementing her savings by working at a nursery school. In short, she was an 18-year-old spinster. A nerd...with a perm.
To further ensure a comatose social life, our heroine had just applied for a position as a dorm R.A.--you know, one of those motherly, cheerful and often frumpy college students who enforce "lights out" and "visiting hours" and get free room&board for babysitting freshmen. She knew she was perfect for the job.
Imagine her horror as she was not only passed over for the postion, but saw it offered to her sometime-best-friend-who-didn't-really-need-or-want-the-RA-job-but-just-went-along-to-keep-her-company-at-the-interview instead! It was a college calamity... What would she do? All the good apartments were taken...and how could she afford one anyway?...all her friends had people to room with...she would be stuck riding public transportation to her off-campus job forever... Oh, the inhumanity!
Fortunately, the bookworm had met two really cute and popular Southern gals on her freshman floor. They seemed to like her in spite of her nerdiness and invited her to share an apartment with them sophomore year. Her parents promised to help as much as they could and she planned to just save and save all summer long.
So, taking a deep breath and using her last $125 for a security deposit, the freshman signed up for a place at the King Henry Apartment complex. Little did she know, this small decision would affect her future forever!
To be continued...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

True Lies

I loved this idea from Christie. Write two versions of your life for your alumni newsletter: which one do you think rings true?


After graduation, Gab set out to make the world a better place. She started by teaching youngsters to read and write and supported her new husband in his budding career. The newlyweds enjoyed an 8 year honeymoon--seeing the world and investing in real estate. Spreading their wings and landing in a new home back East, the happy lovebirds feathered their luxurious nest and soon welcomed four baby birdies into their world.

Almost 9 years later, the little nest has become a buzzing hive as the four busy bees have developed talents and interests of their own! Soccer, swimteam, gymnastics, piano, Cubscouts, horseback riding, dance classes, and church activities provide opportunities for fun and friendship.

Gab uses her education background to provide wholesome, homemade memories for her family. She enjoys preparing healthy meals, attending parent-teacher conferences and receiving long-distance phone calls from her husband.


After graduation, Gab took the first teaching job she could get. Her co-teacher hated all young professionals--especially those who wore makeup/were married and/or did not know every single line of "The Hobbit" by heart. Gab cried almost every day, until she was transferred to a different school.

When she was not crying about her job, Gab was crying at her fertility...or lack thereof. She spent most of her free time, money and husband's patience obsessing about dye-tests, basal body temperatures and the unfairness of the universe.

Many years, dollars and intra-muscular injections later, Gab did indeed become mother to four amazing kids. The fact that each child is a miracle has been quite helpful in keeping them each alive as they have: barbered their own hair, ruined 3 car stereos, broken family heirlooms and flushed semi-precious jewelry down the toilet.

Gab has come to grips with the reality that she will never: wear a size 2, finish her children's scrapbooks, be happy with her husband's travel schedule, have all three levels of the house clean at once, or enjoy stitchery.

This year, Gab's greatest accomplishments have been starting a blog and potty-training her three-year-old twins! (Well, one twin anyway...)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Few Vacation Photos

Em with cousins

Twins Squared

Cap'n Luke

One-eyed Sam

Pure Cousin Love

Happy Mom

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You Know It's Been a Good Vacation When You Come Home Completely Exhausted!

This is how I feel right now.

Our trip was a huge success! In spite of my pre-flight anxiety and one airborne incident, the children did quite well on the cross-country trek. Once we arrived, we spent a few days in the mountains of Park City and then crashed at my sister's for some time in Salt Lake.
Highlights included: Alpine Slide& Coaster, rock wall climbing, mini golf, bumper boats, swimming, boating at Jordanelle, a trip to Seven Peaks Water Park, visiting BYU campus, shakes at Dairy Keen, game night, cousins' tea party, laser tag, a big-boy sleepover, girls' lunch out, babysitting twinkies, late nights, good food and one great big party in the park with lots of family and friends.
Thanks to everyone who came to hang out with us. You guys are all the BEST! I get such energy just being with good friends and seeing the good things you do. I have the world's best parents and most supportive brothers and sisters...thank you for making us feel like the center of the universe for one special week.
A special shout out to Amy and Scott and their girlies for hosting our gang for four long days and (especially) taking us out on the boat! You are so generous and your home is inspiring in many ways. Thanks for introducing us to a fun new game, a funny new guy and a thrilling new must-watch!
Now, I've got laundry to fold, a fridge to fill, messages to return and that what-do-I-look-forward-to-now? kind of let-down. Oh like that can't last forever! And it's a good thing...I'm beat!

A Book to Sink Your Teeth Into...

This book was recommended to me by three separate people in one weekend! I figured I had to get it and I am hooked. A story about a high school girl falling in love with a vampire doesn't fall within my usual genre...but it is so well written! The book is the first in a series and is going to be made into a movie and was written by a BYU grad. In fact, I like it so much...I have to quit writing and go READ!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

An Advanced Apology to the Passengers on Flight #504

Fellow passengers,

I would just like to state, for the record, that when I am travelling alone, I am a sane, quiet woman. My luggage is neatly stowed, my drink does not spill, my volume is low. I read my book or make pleasant small talk. I am even willing to switch seats for your comfort and convenience. I am your ideal flight companion.

However, when I am flying my family of six cross-country, all bets are off.

In my 8.5 years of parenting, I have taken many flights with children. Very few of them have gone smoothly. In fact, most have been quite turbulent.

There has been throwing up, diaper malfunctions, earaches, seat kicking, colic, fistfights, temper tantrums and, on one memorable occasion, an 18-month-old in a spica cast who screamed the entire 4 1/2 hour flight.

On our most recent family jaunt last fall, one of my two-year-olds threw up all over himself and me. We had packed "light" and had no extra clothes onboard. "Luckily" for us, we had a layover in Cincinnati and were fortunate to find what we thought was a onesie in the "bargain" section of the airport gift shop. He perked up immediately, but looked slightly ridiculous wearing a girl's leotard in 35-degree weather.

By the time we reached our hometown, shoved our 48 pieces of luggage and the carseats and stroller and cranky kids into the car and drove home, we were exhausted. We couldn't wait to get everyone in bed, grab a cold drink from the fridge and relax.

However, the minute we opened the back door, we realized this was not going to be a night for relaxing. Our fridge had died the day we left and after seven days was now full of rotten cheese, stinky meat and rancid butter. The long night got longer and our love for family travel sank to record lows.

So, tomorrow's flight will be our first chance to try again. I am hoping it goes smoothly. I have spent several days (and at least $200) filling my kids' backpacks with toys, snacks, games and books they will enjoy. I am happy to pay for your beverage or rent you some earphones for the in-flight entertainment.

I have seen the latest trend in traveling with children...and it scares me to death.

So, please fasten your seatbelts, look out your window, try to be tolerant and just be thankful you're not in my seat!

Thank you and have a nice flight.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Right Now I'm Reading...

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. It was recommended by Amy, my cute sister, who knows all about princesses...raising three of her own right now.

I kind of avoided this book at first because it sounded Disney-ish...but it's not at all. Although written for "young adults", it is a very well-crafted story about a mountain girl being educated to marry a prince and using her wits to save the day!
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