Saturday, December 25, 2010


Monday, December 6, 2010


Reily is a fun girl. Since I last blogged, she turned 5!! (I know ...5?! It's crazy!)

She does a lot of talking,

a lot of cartwheeling,

a lot of handstands,

and a lot more talking.

All day.

Every day.

That's just about it.

Today she wanted to walk the track at the YMCA. Every lap she would stop at the electrical outlet and fill up with imaginary soda. The next outlet, she would serve herself some imaginary ice cream. We did 1/2 a mile...snacking the whole way. I may have found MY new motivation.

She currently has a little mark on her lip, a scuff of some sort. I asked her how she got it. She launched into a fairly elaborate story about our "Elf on a Shelf", Jingle, sneaking into her room at night and punching her in the face. Mythical beings creep her out. She insists we should send Jingle back to way. As for Santa? No likey. She's on the letter route. If he does come to visit (which is questionable with the naughtiness level in this house) he is not to stomp around in his loud boots, and he has to promise to stay downstairs. So many rules. Santa may just skip us.

One more:

Tonight before going to sleep, she asked, "How long is the night?" I replied, "About 11 hours for you.". Reily: "GRRRRR! I can't keep my mouth shut for THAT long!!"

That's for sure.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For my friends who are not losers...

If I can get the rest of you to balloon to your GREEAATEST potential, I would look so goood.
So, in defiance of the BL (Biggest Loser), I'm giving you these...Killer Brownies.
Uh huh.
You're goin' down.
So, grab some good, stretchy yoga pants and get cookin'.
I don't have a visual.
I can't make more to get one.
Seriously, I can't.
It wouldn't be good.
I wouldn't be good.

Killer Brownies

1 milk chocolate cake mix
1/2 c. butter, softened...not melted
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. evaporated milk

1 lb. caramels...unwrapped
1/3 c. evaporated milk

1 pkg. milk chocolate chips

1. Mix cake mix, butter, flour, and 1/3 c. evaporated milk. The dough will be sticky.
2. Smash 1/2 cake mixture into bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
3. Bake @ 350 for 5-7 min.
4. Melt caramels and 1/3 c. evap milk. Melt slowly. Watch carefully. You'll be really mad if you scorch this gooey, creamy love.
5. When the cooked brownie mix is out of the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips, pour on the caramel, and squish/crumble the rest of the cake mixture on top.
6. Bake 10 more minutes.

It's best to wait for them to cool. If this is a lesson you wish to learn the hard way...they'll still taste delish!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lesson Learned: Charity & Death

My little Reily has several neuroses. She's also quick to establish new ones. She's always been curious about babies, armpits, and death. (Yep, armpits)

This weekend she and the other primary children were blessed with the opportunity of singing to the residence of the Sterling Home. The residents are chronologically gifted*. Our friend, Katie, celebrated her 100th birthday recently.

They all did an amazing job singing their little hearts out and even accepted those sweet, yet slightly suffocating, hugs and kisses.

Later, Reily confessed that she started to cry "just a little bit" when she was singing. When I asked her why... "Because I thought some of those people were a little bit dead. But, they were just sleeping. They looked a little dead though."

Since then we've had several discussions on the difference between sleep and death.

Oh, Reily.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What the fuss is all about.

Blaine and Dr. Drake's research came out in Nature yesterday.
It's caused quite a scientific buzz.

If you're into that sort of stuff, here are some links.

For those who like and can understand big words:

For those who like big pictures and little words:

I'm sure there's a TLC reality show in his future.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dear August,

I thought we were done with each other?!
You need to take your mayhem and torture someone else. DARE you drag September into this. A car robbery and all those bills from August's destruction...let's call it quits. Please?

You need to go away. I can't afford to have you in my life.

I don't care if you are my birthday month. I don't need to turn another year older. Besides, my birthday checks can't even cover your damages.

So long.

This doesn't need to be a bitter break up. Just go. Leave September where it is. We need football season, and if Reily doesn't have a birthday...the world would likely end.

Just go.

No more calls from the sheriff, the foundation repair guys, the dentist, the school, or the doctor.

Just move on.

Stay away from my family and friends. Go find some really mean people. They need you. They deserve you.

I'm not answering your calls, emails, or texts anymore.

Did I mention our GPS unit was stolen out of our car? yep. yay.

Sunday, August 29, 2010 summary

car tires - flat
car locks -unlockable
car - unstartable
car windshield - eaten by baboon
internet - gone
tv- still gone
phone service - installed incorrectly
phone - broken
blender - cracked
fan light - pulled apart
carpet - chewed
foundation - cracked, and drifting downhill
library - $28 fine
son - stitched
mercury - spilled
car - sprayed with oil; unwashable because of aforementioned baboon
dr. appt - late
doctor - mad
skin spot - undiagnosed
insurance card - missing
doctor - rich

Alexander and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day - sympathetic
Calamity Jane - laughing

Me - ready for September

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Day of School

The kids started school last Thursday

(angels sing)

3 schools.

Departures at 6:30...7:00...and 7:30.

Why is he so grumpy?

He got the most sleep!!

Everyone seems to be happy with classes and teachers. I think it's going to be a good year.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why animal shelters are full.

Save the carpet.

Save the dog.

I fixed it (ish) before Dad got home...lucky dog.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Cosmos...

Reily: "Does God ever sleep?"

Mom: "No. He has a pretty strong spirit that keeps him going."

Reily: "Oh yeah, sweet potato fries make you really strong."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Birds & Bees II - the final chapter?

Reily will not let the subject die.
She asked the car...with her little friend right beside her.

I told her it was something we would talk about as a mom and little girl, not with our friend.

She came in my room today while I was folding my molehill of laundry. (Really, it was a mountain, but I'm trying to change my perspective.)


It was a perfect time and there was no real escape in sight. So, I got out the human body book and blah, blah, blush, blah...

After we were finished, she said, "THAT'S how babies are made?! Ok. Next, I'm gonna need your wedding dress."

This girl is on the fast track. I'll try to derail her. Watch out world, you've been fairly warned.

Monday, August 9, 2010

2nd Grade Epicurean

Mom: "Macy, I need to make some cookies. Would you like to make them?"
Macy: "I was thinking we could make caviar or cream brulee."

Where did she come from?

Saks Fifth Avenue?
Rodeo Drive?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Birds & Bees & Primary - Oh My!!

Reily and I had a little whispered exchange during Primary singing time at church today.

R: "Do Moms & Dads REALLY make babies?"
me: "Yep."
R: "How?"
me: "Uhh....we're singing."

I think that will do for another year or so.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Faling in love with Fallingwater

I didn't know how important this place was to me. As we drove the long-ish road I got all butterfly-ish.

This is one from my bucket list.

I was giddy. More so than my children. But, I think they found glimmers of enjoyment; like the algae-ridden pool and the slicker-than-snot rocks in the river.

I enjoyed all the artsy fantasticness of the place. Frank Lloyd Wright has always been an idol of mine.




Oh yeah, on the way, we drove through Normalville. Small town. It was a nice break from the Crazyville we've been living in. I guess I could say, "Nice place. But, I wouldn't want to live there'"

But, that would be the jealousy speaking.

Pitsburgh - Stitchburgh - Pukesburgh

Oh, Pittsburgh. You are my new Georgia. And that really means something.

It's 2:30am on Wednesday. We've been here almost 12 hours.

I've scoured the hotel for a soda machine that will accept bills. So, I could buy a ginger ale for my pukey little 7 year old. She's rolling with a tummy ache next to me.

We've taken the kids swimming, broke their hearts because the jacuzzi is broken.

Blaine has been to the ER to get 9 stitches for Payton's lip. yep. ER. yep. 9 stitches. Sister jumped on his face in the pool. He's proud of his new teeth through the lip, blue-stitched, think pad.

I would've liked to have posted this earlier; but, the front desk insists on maintaining the charade that I have internet access in my room and they will get a tech on it tomorrow...or tomorrow...or maybe NEVER!!

We found a spot of tortoise-like wireless in the lobby. I can eat my Canadian smuggled Aero bar and blog to my hearts content.

I will give you a point of redemption...


love, love, love

Friday, July 23, 2010

Big Deal

Dr. G is going to be published in "Nature".
That's a big deal!!

Yay hubs!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Do you know how long it takes to watch 6 seasons of Lost?

For some, it took 6 years.

We are fairly gifted and talented in this household.

It only took us 2 months!!

That's right...

2 months of child neglect

2 months of disney channel reruns

2 months of locked doors

2 months of sighing when someone knocked on the door

2 months of overlooking late night kitchen cleaning

2 months of forgetting about that track to tenure

2 months of bed sores (not really, but you catch my drift)

I COULD NOT WAIT for Jack, Sawyer, Hurley and Kate to get of that blasted island!!

Our house looks as though the smoke monster himself took up residence.

But, they're all dead now. We've enjoyed our accelerated brush with the worldwide phenomenon...and we're back.

The inmates will no longer be running this prison...the Others have returned!!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

this is your brain on summer

my brain melted.
sometime in may. between a birthday party, yearbooks, teacher gifts, and end of the year melted into a big ball of goo.

i'm scrambling to get it back.
not happening.

may slapped me upside the head....much like december does.
june just finished me off.
summer is hard this year.

they're all soooo hard to entertain.
and summer math and reading?
good parents all around are concerned. i....didn't even think about it. there's still time. (sorry kids)

today: swim
tomorrow: swim
next: free movie, swim

i've got to get my summer on...and quick!!!
bootstraps up.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Dear Sarah,

You are such a good friend.

Remember when you invited all of us mommies and our 4 year olds to your house for an Easter Party? It was wonderful. We had a lot of fun.

Remember when we colored eggs? The kids loved the painty q-tips.

Remember when I found those eggs? No?

Well, I did.

In my car.

One month later.

Thank you for putting them in a ziploc bag!! You saved my upholstery.



Dear husband,

I'm sorry for all the times I called you crazy...above and below my breath. I know you weren't just smelling things.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

things don't look good

we made stir-fry last night...complete with fortune cookies.
here's what rolled out

I will "soon reach perfection"
Blaine's "worst of times is behind him"
Payton "will inherit a large sum"
Taylor's "life will get interesting"
Macy "will move to a new house within the year"
Reily "will be surrounded by good friends"

LaChoy you're a creepy lot!! You don't put those sorts of things in the cookies of a crazy woman's family!! Do you know who my mom is?!?!?

Sounds like a good week to stay inside.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

full immersion

I saw a billboard advertising a "Full Immersion Spanish Preschoool". Non-stop...Spanish and children.

I am in the throes of a "Full Immersion Spring Break". Eat, sleep, drink...entertainment and children. I even find 1/2 of them in my bed in the morning! Non-stop.

Mrs. Hannigan's song is apropos for this "Little girls, little girls night and day I eat, sleep and breathe them."

Full Immersion.

I'm drowning.

On the bright side: My son cleaned his room...without being asked...what?! He didn't even ask for anything afterwards. I don't know what it could be. But, I'm not willing to meet my deductible to find out. If we all keep really quiet, maybe it will happen again. Don't hold your breath...just keep quiet.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Payton and I were enjoying conference today.

That's right

by my side

snuggled up

feet propped

good moment

Elder Robert D. Hales gave a great talk on connecting with youth.

I asked Payton if we were connected...If so, was it by USB?

He said, "By wi-fi. Not USB."

Is that good? I'm gonna hope so. Wi-fi is a lot better than USB. I guess that means I go wherever he does.

I'm gonna love that moment forever.

Monday, March 22, 2010

f . h. e .

family home evening
every monday
It has been said.. "the only fight that begins and ends with prayer"

Reily was in charge of the song tonight.
She chose "We Will Rock You".
Taylor scratched away on her makeshift turntable.
Payton brought the percussion.
Macy danced in the background.

no fight.

Are we doing this right?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Giving up on nice


I was doing a good Sonic (All good deeds should come from Sonic). This deed was in the form of a Rt44 Diet Coke for a friend.

I decided to repay my Rt44 debt.

My good friend will be pleasantly surprised when I show up with it. coke, diet limeade and a slush for the little one.


"Sorry ma'm your card is not going through"
(BTW-after calling the bank, I found it was Sonic's fault... Just sayin')


No cash.

The sweet little Sonic server let me go with a promise to repay my $4.79.

Turn the corner.

Rt44...on the floor.


Sip limeade.

Not limeade.


later that day, I repaid my debt...for 2 drinks...that were not even consumed


Another incident:

We were taking warm rolls to a funeral dinner.

lost for an hour and a half.
(BTW - the stake center is really only 15 minutes away. I am that amazing.)

cold rolls

ran out of gas


got rear ended.

It's just the end of nice.

Sorry folks.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Table 1 Mom 0

So, the Huz is at another conference for a few days.

I calculated. I stocked up on necessary supplies...fabric, paint, and big ideas.

What is it?

I think it's because we can count on Uncle Tyson and Auntie Ore Ida providing dinner each night at a variable time. 5:00? 6:00?

I think it's because my dishwasher can get started just before bed instead of right after dinner.

Anyway, I usually tackle some looming project...usually forbidden...or at least shot down.

Last night it was the table. The one I got an, "I told you so" after painting it peacock blue and watching the paint peel right off. This time, I was strippin' it and sandin' it. It would be an amazing work of art by the time I was finished. (despite the gaping particle board hole)

The end product will be "Nickel" in soon as the black and blue disappear.


Who does this to their foot while refinishing furniture?


Talent. Pure talent.

The table is coming along nicely. Now that it has taken its anger out by dropping its leaf on my "Mango get 'em" pedicure.

It goes both ways. I'm turning it into a craft table instead of a work of art...

Take that you big, solid, heavy piece of wood!

Friday, March 5, 2010

raising an ulcer

we're planning a day at the beach.

Macy insists she needs her suitcase.

Mom: "Why do you need to pack a whole suitcase for a little trip?"

Macy: "I need my
swimming suit
sun block
beach towel
beach ball
umbrella - to protect me from the sun
a floaty
some fruit for a smoothie
flip flops
a surfer dude - to keep me company
a surf board
coloring book
gold earrings
a bucket
a shovel
my diary"

this is the girl that lulls herself to sleep at night with the Tiffany jewelry catalog.


and a suitcase

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Huz is out of town

Of course.

So, my boy is stepping foot on the short road to delinquency. We call it "juvi" around here.

While we were away, he filled all the (newly filled) soap dispensers in the house with food coloring. Lots of food coloring. Enough to dye your hands every time you wash.


He said he was getting a start on St. Patricks Day.


He was being a naughty leprechaun. Thank you public school system for teaching my children leprechauns do not leave chocolate gold, they run through your house ransacking it and causing mischief. Yep, thanks.

Kudos for getting a jump on the St. Patty season, Buddy.

So, we dumped all the soap down the sink...the slightly clogged kitchen sink. The slightly clogged kitchen sink that drains its refuse into the dishwasher. That one. The one that was going to be fixed when Huz got back.

Flash forward. Morning dishes. Dishwasher...clogged with 24oz of backed up hand, hand soap.


Here is the beginning of the end product of St. Patty's gone wild.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Internally yours.

So, Rei was still suffering from some tummy aches; and I just couldn't continue our infectious cycle and take her to the gym.

Another day at home.

I've got cabin fever...B.A.D. Two weeks of puke, laundry, lysol, puke, laundry, and lysol has not made me a better person.

So, I loaded my ailing daughter into her stroller and we took the dog for a good walk.

Now, I imagined a lovely internal dialogue with myself...all runners enjoy this...right?! I have a hard time being with myself. But, I was going to give it a try. I usually love being distracted by the TV or ipod while I'm exercising. I just work better when I don't know what's going on.

Anyway. The internal dialogue ended up being quite external.

Good dog.
No dog.
What do you need Reily?
No you can't. You'll backwash in my bottle.
walk, walk.
back to internal dialogue.
No, no puppy. Stay away from the wheels.
I don't know why the road has paint on it.
Yep. We're almost there.
back to internal dialogue.
Nope. Not yet.
I'll let you know when we pass the park.
No, we can't go swimming today. It's too cold
No, puppy.
Hang on.
back to internal dialo..
I promise we're almost home.
Hang on another minute.
You too, dog.
Everybody will get a drink when we get home.
walk, walk.
Oh yeah. Internal dialogue.
We're home.

I guess I'm not the conversationalist I would like to be.
Where are my earphones?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stuff Martha will never teach you...

Slippery table cloths?

Smear a good blob of jam (preferrably apricot) on your table, allow to dry to a tack, place new table cloth on table and set as usual.

Crumb ridden floors?

A dog will do. Let him loose in the, usually forbidden, dining room. Floors will be crumb free and salivatically spot mopped.

Stains on carpet? (i.e. Triaminic flu medicine, bubble gum in flavor, BRIGHT RED in color)

If clorox clean-up doesn't get it out, just leave it...along with a larger, slightly bleached, spot. Rearrange furniture.

Tornado warning and a norovirus famdemic* the same time?

Pray it doesn't take off the roof. Because all you want to do is stay in that lovely bed...the one that you gave up your child's dance lessons for? ...yep, that one.

*Thanks Kelly Bryson. Not for the bug, the term. Love it*

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to start your day...Griffen style.

Are you guys watching for the bus or playing with the puppy?
Kids play with puppy.
Is that the bus?!?!?
Kids mosey to the door
Kids frantically run out the door.
Kid runs back for umbrella.
Other kid runs back for lunch and back pack.
Puppy runs out the door.
Mom runs out the door, no shoes.
It's wet. It's rainy.
Paper lunch sack breaks in the middle of the cul-de-sac...the wet, rainy cul-de-sac.
Kid yells from bus steps...she forgot her backpack.
Bus driver waits.
Mom runs inside, no contacts, searching for a backpack in the dark.
No findy.
Bus driver waits.
Mom grabs un-cool unicorn lunch box to re-pack lunch in the road.
Still barefoot. Wet gravel hurts cold toes.
Bus driver waits.
Mom runs lunch onto bus. She'll bring the backpack to the school.
All that before 7:00am!

Little had her friend over for a play date.
She threw up right after her friend left.

Blessings counted:
Good man for a bus driver.

This day will come to an end.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I've given "all y'all" your well deserved gold stars. But this video is wonderful!!
I'll admit, I'm smiling...and a bit teary. I have a bit of my mother in me : )


Sunday, January 10, 2010

This is 12!

Yep, 12!!

Payton celebrated his BIG day on


with a wii partay.

What do you do at a boy party? Ummm....anything and everything. For the most part, the hit of the party was "Super Mario Smash Bros. Brawl" (I think I got that right). They just played and goofed...yep, "goofed". His friends are so very similar to him. I didn't know so many peas could come from that pod. But, I am grateful. They were all great guests and good friend. What more could you want for your kid?

This video SCREAMS 12!! Well, the "harnessing the powers of the universe" is definitely 12...or Napoleon Dynamite.

After the pizza, they played ninja, nerf guns, and football. Boys.

12 is a big birthday. He's finally a deacon; and so excited. He had his first trip to the temple last week. So many new and wonderful experiences. I've tried to get a picture of him in his white shirt and tie...looking all deacon-ish; but those church clothes do not stay on long enough. Maybe someday.

Happy Birthday P-dawg!!