Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gift Du Jour

the cold hard stats:
Every Mormon chick in the western hemisphere owns a glue gun and feels compelled to goop together bows, flowers, clips, and small gardens on top of their babies' heads.

the Dilemma:
No darling spot to showcase the fruits of their glue-gunning.

Enter these little doo-hickeys.

Handmade by the ever-talented friend patty.

$15 for a custom made bow holder?


Limitless fabrics and colors.

Your daughter might be getting one from us.

{Sorry if I ruined the surprise}

Oh, and Patty-Bob, I need some more.
I'm out.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

28th Summer

Two Grandparents (my parents). Five children (one is me) . Nineteen grandchildren.
Several aunts and uncles from Hoopes side. Numerous cousins and second cousins.
28 consecutive years at the iconic green and white Beach Cottages.

That are like 100 years old.
Room 210 {where my parents stay} hasn't changed much since I was 13.

(Above: Cousins and a little "Eenie Meenie Minie Mo")

Above: Aunt Nancy Killian and sis Megan parasailing. We also went with Aunt Cindy, cousins Beth, Bree, & Sarah, Sisters Meg and Sus, nieces Madeline, my Jax and Caroline, and my mom. My only regret is that I didn't smuggle a camera in my shirt pocket somehow to get some shots from the bird's eye view. It was so peaceful and surprisingly silent that high above the ocean. Worth every penny.

(Above: The Puffy Sue)

(Above: Caroline and I parasailing)

(Above: Bro Gav and SIL Ashley)

(Above: BIL Howard and Sis Susan)
They got rich finding all the Rolex watches and authentic Spanish gold dubloons with their metal detector.

(Above: Mom and Dad)

(Above: My Ellison)

(Above: Beautiful Sis Megan)

(Above: Jax and my mom)

(Above: My mom and Jax paragliding)

(Above: Dad)

(Above: Jax and Sammy)

(Above: Ale and Caroline @ San Diego Temple)

(Above: Jax, cousin Dalton, and Caroline in Surf Camp)

(Above: Cousins Dalton, Jeffrey, and Jax zoning out on Sunday afternoon)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Slurp it on Blurb

If you are on the fence about transferring your blog posts to a tangible hardcover book, DO IT.

It's called slurping your blog. It's how I justify blogging these days. At least my posterity will have something of perceived wit and self-aggrandizing charm from their Great Great Great Grandma Karen Louise Hoopes Tobler. Either that or they will think I was some useless fluffhead.

I would have loved to know more of my ancestors' insights/perspectives/challenges/thoughts. About anything.

McFullOfSurprises slurped my blog for Mother's Day. Love that guy. He and sidekick Jax had a great time choosing the posts and photos for it. I love the format, and the weight/quality of the paper is heavy. first class. I have no idea how they actually did it, but there's more info here.

Charlotte needed very little convincing as to the wit/charm of her mother.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Schoolhouse Rock

My sister Susan answered the phone this morning with a resounding "Woo Hoo!" And it was loud and hurt my ear. School had apparently started in Yuma, too.

I found myself cheerfully whistling "Conjunction, junction, what's your function?" all morning. Yeah, I know what your function is, alright.
To keep my kids happily learning all day so I can catch a nap and perhaps run get a dark chocolate Sprinkles cupcake and read a book on the couch all day! How about for one day at least?

In preparation for her elementary school debut, my darling Kindergarten girl, Ellison, lovingly laid out the outfit she would wear that first exciting day. It took me almost an hour to talk her out of the Dora pajama set she'd chosen. She's also chosen to wow the future class of 2021 with a hot pink patent leather belt--worn as a hair accessory.

Ellison's quote of the week: [after she almost had to get stitches from a head gash from a picture frame falling off the mantle onto her head Sunday]: "Mom! I get to have red highlights in my hair for kindergarten!"

From the blood.

Caroline has been very anxious for the past few days. After all, this is her third school in four years, bless her heart. I give her a week to be friends with almost everyone. After she found her teacher {who very much resembles Tipper Gore} on the playground, she stoicly whispered: "Bye mom. Your work here is done."

Dismissed by my 8 year old. Happily so, frankly. I had stuff to do!!

And I don't know how Jackson actually felt because he never verbalized much. When I asked him "How was your first day of school?" he replied "Mom, that's like my least favorite question." So I tried different angles. "Tell me your favorite thing about your first day of school." "Tell me ANYTHING about your first day of school." "Grunt if you liked your teacher." or "Blink your eyes once if you liked the hot lunch, twice if it was lame." We'll get to do our talking later tonight when I get some one-on-one time before bedtime. Fifth grade boys are awesome.

I suppose I can't blame him after the whole "Foster Child" incident.

The Back-to-School photo op was dead in the water from the get-go. Jax would rather tie a cinderblock around his neck and jump in the pool than endure such abject humiliation. The next day at the bus stop, I was thus forced to whip out the telephoto lens and strategically position myself behind large shrubs. Hey, I don't make the rules.

Lastly, I dropped my carefree Puffy Sue off at preschool, happy and ready to attack the fingerpaints/glitter/playdough that awaited her.

THE KICKER--The euphoria and freedom quickly turned to melancholy. As soon as I was sans offspring, I immediately wished I could see their sweaty little red faces again. I miss my little chickens. Think I'll get over it?

[A grand thanks to my friend natalie for showing me how to use Photobucket!]

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This one's for you, lady.

(Top photo: Anita, me, Lonni, Sherri and baby Charlotte, Maria [sitting], last April)

{Me and Lonni}

My pal Lonni is laid up. In the hospital. For 70 days now. On bedrest. Pregnant. Unexpectedly. At 43 years old. Enduring a trial she'd probably rather not endure. Anticipating her baby boy (she has three girls), who is currently dubbed Spartacus for his tenacity. Who will arrive via induction on Monday. I wish I could teleport myself to Boise to talk to her in person. And eat some of the desserts her friends have been bringing her in a failed attempt to get her to put on some weight. And partake of blessed "Massage Day Thursday."

My p.m. girlfriends (pre-Marc, pre-marriage, or pre-McThanksForRescuingMeFromSinglesWardPurgatory) came over today with their kids for a playdate. Stacy, Sherri, Maria, Anita, Camille. We were talking tons about a certain conspicuously absent girlfriend. Who was laid up in a hospital somewhere in Boise. Maria even tried to call this girl Lonni so we could all reminisce a tad. (she was probably off galavanting around at her 75th ultrasound).

After they left, I was musing about the many things that we women have collectively gone through since becoming friends almost 15 years ago: marriages, divorce, miscarriages, infertility, adoption, years of schooling, loss of employment, physical ailments, surgeries, loss of a parent, disappointment, financial hardships, many moves across the country, agonizing over which school to send our children to, the joy of our children. We don't get together often, yet when we do, it's as if not a day has passed. We pick up right where we left off.

I practically begged my friends not to leave today. Stay a little while longer. I was just starting to get caught up over Diet Coke, deviled eggs, hummus, Sherri's cream cheese pineapple bars, and pigs in a blanket, but alas, naptimes and whines ultimately trumped adult conversation.

On an entirely unrelated tangent, it's entertaining to note that every single one of this group of girlfriends got married in our thirties (OK I was 29), which is like 72 years old in Mormon Girl years, or 11 years in dog years. We are all older moms, and occasionally find ourselves lost in a sea of stereotypical 25-year old energetic Barbie-esque moms at our childrens' schools. I get tired just watching them hop their lithe little top-heavy bodies into their Hummers with lift kits. Ho hum. [bitter spell is...over].

Our experiences weave a strong and unbreakable cord of commonality among us "vintage moms".

Random memories:
I was always impressed that Lonni was an investigative reporter for NBC (?) I loved hearing through the grapevine about her stories/stings/undercover stuff she was working on. Very Nancy Drew. For example, going down to Haiti (?) to blow some scam wide open about people faking their deaths and buying a body to bury and somehow pocketing the life insurance. I probably jacked up every detail about that story.

Lonni threw a birthday party at Anita's house for Teresa R. This is where I first met McDidn'tKnowHowLuckyHe'dTurnOutToBe.

I was insanely jealous of Lonni at Rebecca Reese's birthday party at Rosa's Mexican Cantina because she platonically leaned over and smelled Marc's aftershave at the table the night I set my sights on him. I almost beat her up.

Lonni hosted a ton of people (including my SIL Maren who wasn't my SIL Maren at the time) at her parent's house in Vegas one New Year's Eve, circa 1996.

Beautiful tall blonde Lonni.
With squawky hair.

We love ya, girl. I miss you. Can't get you off our minds. We're worried with you about your impending blessing/challenge/adventures.

Now if this video clip doesn't cheer you up a smidge, I got nothin'.