Sunday, March 31, 2013

And YOU Didn't Want To Come....

Easter was really low key here, the kids are getting older and it's a holiday that we don't make much of a fuss about.
 We hid some plastic eggs in the family room and invested all of five minutes in the hunt. The kids just wanted to make sure they got plenty of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs and Whoppers- the traditional Easter food of my people, apparently and that we watched the new episode of Doctor Who.

(We miss you, Amy and Rory, but we approve of Clara.)

Last  night we had the funnest time.
Kyle and Rebekah had an adult Easter egg hunt-in the dark.
What a riot!

Couples were to bring one white elephant gift and each person was to bring one good gift. There were over 200 eggs hidden and each egg had a number written on it, so that numbers could be drawn for the prizes. There were three golden eggs hidden, which would get a big prize. There were also eggs filled with birdseed. If you found a birdseed egg, you could smash it on another person and steal one of their eggs.

Everyone grabbed their flashlights and went in search of the coveted golden eggs. We prepared Olson style and not only didn't bring baskets, the grocery bags we scrounged up were from the dollar tree. 
No need to hide your jealousy.

Some people were very serious about finding their eggs, I remembered seeing a few in the front yard when we walked in, so I headed there and got a nice supply of regular-non prize eggs. 
Matt and some of our friends went to town smashing birdseed eggs on each other and getting the bigger prize eggs. 

You were only allowed to have two big eggs in your basket, and Matt was having much better luck than I was, so he swapped out two of my small eggs for some big ones. I sure did luck out with that sweet husband of mine.
I escaped being a target of birdseed with my strategy of staying away from the group and acting like I still didn't have any good eggs.  I was a bit of a wuss, but it was a strategy that worked for me. :)

We had so much fun, this ward really does love to party. 

By pure co-incidence, the good prize Tara gave came to me and the good prize I gave went to her. It was perfect because we both gave scrapbooking related gifts. That's kizmet, my friends. 

As a white elephant gift we gave an ice cube tray that makes ice in the shape of dentures along with this book:

Matt and I received these treasures.

It's sad to realize that in 10 years, we'll both probably be buying these products by the case at Costco.

I think Tara got my favorite prize:

Chester and Heidi are always hilarious. He teases her relentlessly and is such a crack up. As we were all laughing and talking, he jokingly says to her loud enough for everyone to hear "and YOU didn't want to come..." 

Their daughter in law, Luisa, was so excited for the egg hunt. I guess this was her very first egg hunt and she and her husband were having a total blast.
 I just love her. 

I love all of these people. They are a constant source of love, caring and hilarity. 
Thank you so much, Kyle and Rebekah (and the rest of you!) for your friendship and the fun time we had at your home last night.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thrifting Again

We didn't have anything big planned for today, Matt was working from home and we considered going to the city to see a Game of Thrones exhibit, but we had friends coming over in the evening, so we just stayed here in Springfield.
I got it in my head that I needed to buy new curtains and then bring them home and hand paint chevrons on them (thank you Pinterest.) I headed out to the discount store to buy curtains, it is next door to Unique, my beloved crap store.
I never picked up curtains because you know how that thrift store pulls me in.

I saw and considered this:

Even with a new paint job, it's not quite interesting enough to pay 30 dollars.

These caught my eye:

 ..but I have no use for them. 
The clock has potential, but it's price tag was stupid for what was essentially a wooden box and a four dollar clock mechanism screwed into the back. 

The next thing I was drawn to was this:

 Solid wood, midcentury with only cosmetic damage.
13 dollars?

Yes please. 

It had a matching end table, too.

We don't need any end tables, so we were the cause of a furniture divorce.
We skipped the end table.

The desk is wonderful, I'm already so madly in love with it that it inspired me to reconfigure two rooms in the house.  I'll show pictures when it is all finished because I created a monster with this simple phrase "What if we swapped Greyson's room with the craft room?"

I browsed the aisles of the thrift store as I do each time, making sure they didn't get any of the spendy rugby shirts that are the only thing Zane will wear in, and 99% of the time, I do not find one- at least not in his giant boy size. 
I did find a two pack of these:

 Fake buppies. 
They look like chicken breasts and even though it was a pair, they were two different shades of skin color.
One to wash and one to wear? 
What interesting stories the things that get donated to thrift stores would have to tell. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Romy Takes Manhattan

Each of the kids got to choose how we spent one day of Spring Break.
 Grey and Zane chose to do nothing and wear sweatpants all day while playing Minecraft and eating chips.
Wish granted, boys.

Romy wanted to go and spend a day with Mom in NYC, shopping and being city folk.
We parked the car at the post office and caught the bus into Manhattan.
How awesome is it that there is a bus that takes us right into the heart of the city that you can catch just a mile away from our house? 

Romy in front of the Statue of Liberty....well, the street performer version at least.

We went to Candlyland at the giant Toys R Us so that we'd have plenty of sugar for our day.

We walked to the Ed Sullivan Theater and then back south to Macys/Herald Square.

We had considered looking into getting a ticket and seeing a show, but there was no way we weer messing with that line/crowd. As the day wore on, it just got bigger and bigger. No way am I ever going to do that just to save 20 bucks or however much it is. 
Ticketmaster may be run by the devil, but at least there isn't a line.

She's a cutie, though, isn't she?

There is a food stand in the square that sells fancy 9 dollar lobster rolls- whatever those are- and they also sell Doughnut Plant doughnuts. They only have 3-4 varieties, but one of them is always the coconut cream.
Romy was thrilled and ate her doughnut and half of mine.

You can't have doughnuts without hot chocolate.

After the hot cocoa warmed out frozen bodies up, Matt met up with us and warmed our hearts.
He left work early so we could spend some city time together.

He's a cutie, too.

While in the city, Romy discovered why shopping in New York City is superior to shopping anywhere else around. The stores are huge and the big chains have everything they carry in the stores, all of the sizes, all of the lines, all of the colors. they carry more inventory than any of the regular retail hubs have and even though shopping in NYC isn't cheap, you can get some great deals is you're willing to look through the racks that are packed.

We spent almost 2 hours in the four colorful floors of Forever 21.

I bought some costume jewelry and Roe chose a romper that she was so in love with that she was willing to promise me she'd help with chores if I bought it. 

Yeah, I have been surrounded by cuteness today, for sure.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Summer Song

The Cicadas are coming again this summer.
They are nasty and gross and leave huge cicada corpses clinging to the trees, but I am looking forward to them.
For 17 years they stay in their eggs and in the ground until they all hatch and spend their brief life busy chirping night and day, making sweet Cicada love and laying their eggs. Then they die and their song goes silent for 17 more years.
The first summer I lived in Arizona was a Cicada year.
That sound, along with the smell of lemon trees and feel of flip flops on my feet worked it's way into my soul. I may not have been born there, but  I am Arizona girl through and through. Arizona is always with me, even though I do not wish to ever live there again. The desert is in my veins and I can still hear the cicadas, buzzing day and night as they have their glorious summer and it makes me feel so good inside.
I am excited that they will wake this summer and my children will experience this home with the same soundtrack that I did when I was about their age, in a new place with a new life and I made new forever friends and found people that were not related to me by blood, but were absolutely family to me.
 Friends that I never knew I was missing so much until I found them here on Earth and my soul remembered them and my heart overflowed with that strange kind of joy that it does when something lost was found.
It does not change the love I have for the family and friends who are not here with us, it doesn't lessen the hurt of so many miles between us, but it does help me to see just a peek at how we are all God's children, how we are all his family and we are all together, after all.
I don't know if the Cicadas are going to sing in Salt Lake, I don't know if they are going to be singing in Gilbert, but I know that they will be singing in New Jersey and for me, their song will have a melody that I know and love.
I have been blessed to see the threads that tie my life together. Sometimes it is as thin as spider's silk, but if I look , I can still see it. It is connecting the places and people and even the events from my 40 years of whatever-ness.
  This summer, the thread will be strong and I will feel that connection to so many valuable people and events in my life as the soundtrack of my summer will again be provided by the pesky bugs. I hope that the sound of the singing cicadas will work it's way into the hearts and memories of my children, just as it did to me so many years ago.
If you haven't ever had a summer of Cicadas, I found this on youtube. It's a half hour of the evening song that some guy recorded.  I can practically smell the orange blossoms and the still in the air as the heat radiates from the sidewalks and the evening promises a show when the monsoons blow in.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Food shopping here is always interesting.
There are seasonal, ethnic foods that fill the shelves alongside the Wonder Bread and Cheese Whiz.
There are so many foods I have just never even heard of.
There are so many foods I will never try as well.
I'll stick to my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
Matt told me today that Twinkies and Ding Dongs will be back soon, they sold the company.
My super healthy Raspberry Red Zingers had better come with them.

These are some of the items that we did not pick up today at the supermarket:

Butter beans, ackees, large green boiled peanuts in a can and callaloo.
I have no idea.

  Yum! Irish Moss peanut drink!!

 Care for a chocolate digestive?
Matt says it's just candy from Great Britain.
Better make sure you have the jumbo sized container of oxtail seasoning......
There is a giant assortment of various brands and flavors of plantain chips, as well as every flavor of Goya fruit soda/drink on the planet.

Pineapple is my favorite.
 I am just starting to develop a taste for guava, too. Okay- guava flavoring and guava filling, but I'm getting there.

These are wafer cookies from Europe, they also come in about a dozen different flavors. They don't stock them all in the same place though so you can find different kinds in the cookie aisle, near the checkout and in they make seasonal flavors, too.

Plum Butter.
Who knew?

PRUNE butter.
Who cared?
Note that plum butter and prune butter were in  different aisles. 
Prune butter is seasonal, I think it's for Seder.

We didn't buy any of it, but we did leave the store with these:

Matt had them at work recently and said they were wonderful.
Matt was correct.
They're  bite sized layered cakes with a layer of lemon, vanilla and almond cake. The filling between the layers is raspberry jam and they dip the whole thing in milk chocolate. 

The first bite will give you a cavity.
The 400th bite will give you diabetes. 
Totally worth it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Is it spring yet? Is it spring yet? Is it spring yet?

Have I mentioned that I am SICK OF WINTER?
Only 100 times?

Well, I am.
It SNOWED on Saturday and Sunday. 

What kind of witchcraft is that?
Come on are so close!

Those evil squirrels totally missed more bulbs than I thought they did. 
We have the promise of about half the tulips I planted, but way more than I thought survived.

It's going to be so pretty.

We found out that we have at least a dozen giant rocks in the back yard when that tree blew over. Now we just need to get them in the front and side yard where I can get my curb appeal on. I never quite figured that out in Utah, but we have an itty bitty front yard here and I'm not so intimidated by it.

I don't remember what we planted here, but it grew in a big cluster. 
Maybe Romy or the squirrels put a bunch of bulbs there.
Any guesses, Blog Readers?

Remember these unfinished chairs I picked up that the thrift store last week?

Well, yesterday I was running errands and the crazy DIY voice in my brain kept nagging me to go back and see what was new at the thrift store. The cool thing about a big thrift store is that the inventory changes every day. Oh sure, there will be some stuff that is there forever, but there is always something new, too. 

There was the cutest bench and I came thisclose to buying it. It was only 25 dollars, and I even have a place for it. I didn't buy it. 
I didn't buy it because it would need to be sanded primed and painted and it would look great, but it would be a real project and I am trying to finish what I start these days and I have this vision for a casual fun dining room arrangement so we can play games with our friends.
As I walked away from the bench, simultaneously trying to talk myself into and out of buying it, 
 I saw two more clean and unfinished wood chairs.
They are a different design, but I had no intention of having the chair match in the first place, I just wanted cohesive. These are the perfect chairs to go with the other two. At 8 dollars each, they were coming home with me and I left the cute bench.
 Now I have four chairs, just waiting for me to love them:

And love them, I am.
The sun came out this morning and as soon as the kids were dropped at school, I threw on my paint shirt and got to work:

I may have also painted the grass blue.
That's right folks, Chris Olson is breaking up with tan and black as her signature color scheme. 

Okay, they will go in a  room that is primarily tan and black, but I'm working on it.
 I went so crazy with color in the first real house I owned and realized that there is a big difference between a pop of color and a house that looks like a circus threw up in it. I learned my lesson while painting over my neon orange and green Nickelodeon inspired kid's bathroom when I put the house on the market.
Eight coats of Kilz, folks.

Rainbow chairs are a safer choice.
The total cost for them is less than 50 bucks including the paint. I have some weathering to do on them and then a coat of clear gloss, but with the sun peeking out of the clouds and the tulips peeking out of the Earth, I am excited to have some color peeking out of my dark and boring dining room.
I am already in love with them.

Tomorrow is 25% off day at the thrift store.

 I am sure it will be gone, but I might just pop in and see if the bench is still there....