Thursday, January 28, 2010

up to my elbows

in flour.

did i mention we are cooking the "team dinner" tonight?

as in: the BASKETBALL team?

YUP, we are. It is something we all (the parents) "get to do". Don't get me wrong. I am happy, thrilled, ecstatic, overjoyed AND giddy to take my turn!

I just keep thinking about 13 boys.

13...very tall, very hungry boys. Coming straight from practice. To eat. Food. Lots and lots of FOOD.

i am on my 4th hour of mixing and baking and cursing.

did i mention we are making pasta? and two kinds of sauces? and i VOLUNTEERED (volunteered i tell ya!) to make homemade bread sticks for the dinner too.

and homemade peanut butter cup brownies.

what was i thinking? SERIOUSLY? SERIOUSLY!

that comes out to something like 100 (million) bread sticks and several dozen brownies.

one family made Pulled Pork sandwiches (in the crock pot) with rolls (NOT homemade, but amazingly enough from the GROCERY STORE!! --that is me YELLING!)

that family, the pulled pork one, they are looking like freakin' geniuses to me right now.

off to make some more dough. it will ALL be worth it if the boys are happy!

well that, and if they eat. every ounce, every drop, every noodle, every brownie and every breadstick!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

happy birthday gracie girl...

Happy Birthday Grace Catherine Nielson! Born January 27, 1997 @ 4:30 PM.
She is officially a TEEN AGER TODAY! no comment....
Grace came into the world with a thick head of gorgeous baby hair and it just kept growing!
Some of Grace's favorite things are:
Ice Cream: Mint chocolate Chip
Candy: Peanut Butter M&M's
Smell: BOYS (something about Josh's friends, cologne, don't ask me)
Vacation Spot: Calif. or NYC
Thing to do: TEXT (not shocking, considering her amount of texts sent/rcv'd. last month)
Grace is VERY social and a great friend. She loves to be surrounded by people that love her and that she loves. She tries very hard to be nice to everyone and say "HEY" to everyone at school.
She is a loving kid who still gives hugs to her mom and dad and tells us she loves us (not sure how much longer that will last, but we will enjoy it while we can).
Happy teenager birthday~

Friday, January 22, 2010


That would be the number of texts my darling daughter Grace sent in one month. She is looking to break the world record sometime soon.
me: holy crap!
kyle: well, at least she has lots of friends.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

6 update

well, we are now 6 months into unemployemnt. can you belive it? (i can!) somedays it feels like 6 years. the one thing about this, that has been the hardest, for me, at that "it" never goes away. meaning you wake up, spend all day and go to bed with the stress of money, and everything it touches, swirling around your head. you wouldn't believe how many things in life money is connected to. make a list sometime and you'll see what i mean~

a few people have asked how we are doing it.

i thought i would give the abbreviated version to give you a taste of the good life~ (wink wink)

first off, every single penny we make, we pay tithing on...we are counting on the Lord to uphold his end of the whole "opening the windows of heaven" bargain and so far so good.
if i did NOT have a testimony of paying my tithing before, i most certainly do now.

we have cut out every single "extra" expense. that means no movies, no going out to dinner, no lessons for the kids, no milk delivery or cable (we did not have these before, but they would be gone if we had). we have trimmed literally to the bare bones of neccessity. LUCKILY for us, we have received a few gift cards for dinners, and movies and so life doesn't feel quite so barren. AND i do allow the $1 RedBox movies to visit whenever the kids want....i look at it like $1 in the end will not make or break whether or not we make our mortgage payment AND they deserve to have a fun time too.

i have worked hard at my ebay business (the one i have been running for the past 10 years or so). these funds have been used for gas and grocery money (it used to be "fun money") and so far, every single week i have sold enough out of my store to pay for our own gas and groceries. Groceries have also been trimmed and i have used my money wisely (i hope) to stock up on basics at the case lot sales that our Utah grocery stores offer. we even eat left overs now.

kyle has worked LITERALLY almost every single day since loosing his job. his "madd skillz" (did i spell that right?) as a "handyman" have paid off big time for us. He does everything from plumbing to electrical to tiling to painting to, well you name it, he does it. It has been a huge blessing for him, and us, to fall back on these skills.
#1. it has made our "ends meet".
#2. the man does NOT know how to sit still and this has been a blessing to him to be able to work hard. if there is anything good about my husband, it IS that he is a HARD worker! he will give you HIS BEST. i know that if it were NOT for this, he would probably be in a major depression.

the interviews for "real jobs" have slowed to literally nothing--although a few kind souls have kept him in mind for positions and given him a call. however, a $10 to $12 an hour job is LESS than he is making as a handyman and leaves him no time to look for real work. we are so grateful to friends and associates who have thought of us during this time and have decided to keep going forward, with faith, that a better job is still out there. (this is VERY hard to do! believe me!) and in all honesty, one cannot support a family of 6, with a mortgage and groceries and bills, on a $10 an hour job. do the math. we wish it were possible, because he could have had several jobs by now. so forward we go!

he meets weekly with people to network and practice interview and gather information. we keep hoping this leads to a "real job".

we now joke in our family...."remember back when dad worked?" you MUST have a sense of humor to survive this, or any tough spot.

we honestly should not be where we are today (mortgage paid in full, groceries purchased, bills paid on time) all on our own. we know that the Lord has been with us every step of the way on this journey. there is no way we could have done this alone and give Him credit where credit is due. that is not to say it is NOT through our hard efforts as well, we both believe that what it amounts to is WE try our hardest and the Lord fills in the gap. Someday, i have some good stories to share about gap filling. and phones ringing when the road before us was void of work, they are good ones.

so friends, we continue forward--with faith and hope in our hearts that a "real job" (you know the kind that is 9 to 5, monday through friday, one that has health benefits and all that jazz) is somewhere around the bend. at the moment we don't see it, meaning it is not in our line of vision, but are hopeful it is there! it would only take one phone call, right?

thanks for so many good thoughts and deeds, love and prayers for our family. we KNOW that is what has helped us to survive.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This is Grace.

This is Josh and Grace.

Not Josh, as in her brother.

But Josh as in Homer, the Gomer, Grace's "X-boyfriend."

Boyfriend is a relative term, especially when you're in 7th grade.

Mostly it means making "googly" eyes at someone and an abundant amount of


Apparently a month ago or so at the Jr. High, all the 7th graders filled out a survey.

One question was: "Who is the cutest couple in 7th grade."

Well, yesterday Grace (and Josh) found out just exactly who the cutest "couple" was.

The trouble?

They are not longer "a couple."

The names of Grace Nielson and Josh Homer were called over the P.A. system in

the middle of an assembly.

Both obedient children got up and were met by the yearbook photographer.

For a picture.

For the yearbook.

A picture of the "cutest couple" in 7th grade.

They stood awkwardly together, avoiding looking at OR talking to one another.

The photographer mentioned she heard they were not "a couple" anymore.

They validated her remark.

Well, since the vote was in, photo's for the yearbook were a must anyway.

They stood as close as possible without touching.

Or looking at each other.

Or talking.

The picture was snapped.

I am not even sure they were smiling.

So, look for Grace in the Jr. High yearbook under "cutest couple".

She will be there with her "un" boyfriend.

She stated it was certainly one of the most awkward situations in her young life thus


Lesson learned?

Breaking up is hard to do.

And can be overly awkward when posing for yearbooks.

Hope you had a good laugh from this story...we all did.

They ARE a pretty cute couple though....

I would've voted for them too.

*(above photo is NOT the actual photo used for the yearbook . it was taken when they were still "in love". You can tell by the smile. Grace has moved on to greener pastures. I mean come on! The boyfriend/girlfriend thing lasted like 6 weeks. Probably a new record for 7th grade.)

Monday, January 11, 2010


today, for the first time in a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time, i had my hair done!

as in i got to get a cut, highlights(or in my case "low lights"), washed, styled, blow dried....well you get the picture.

with no job for Kyle, my hair cutting needs fall to the very bottom of any list. (wants, needs or otherwise) i am SO OK with that. i am a pretty low maintenance kinda gal anyway and not so very much into big hair or make up.

the reason i even got to be spoiled and fussed over was because of some pretty great friends.
they gave me a napkin for my birthday with a fabulous note written on it
(yup, a napkin and a HANDWRITTEN note ON said napkin, does it get any better than that? I think NOT!)

the note said something like, "go crazy, let your hair hang down, or cut it's sll on us! love your bff's"

so, i finally made the call and went to see the hair wizard (or should i say wizard-ess?) of the neighborhood.

she insisted, INSISTED, i tell you! that her orders were to give me highlights and a crazy cut or even a mullet if i dared. (didn't wanna do it! i just can't see myself with a mullet, can you?)

i, who actually happen to like my brown locks, chickened WAY OUT on all that dye and chopping and stuck with what i knew. (besides even if i was not paying, i KNOW what she charges and i want my friends to still love me when they see the bill.)

and i did not want to upset the balance of nature and go blond for fear it would permanently throw the universe out of alignment. although my hairdresser assured me SHE personally had yet to throw anything out of alignment. Universe or otherwise....and she's tried a lot.

after much hemming and hawing, i told her to "go crazy!" we settled for cutting off the dead ends and using a shade lighter than my natural brown for some "low lights".

i am trying to decide if i like it....

for some reason, it looks just like it did yesterday.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

i dreamed a dream....

I need your help.
Last night, I had a dream. Which in and of itself is probably not very significant as most people dream every.single.night. For me, on the other hand, dreaming IS considerably more meaningful. WHY? you ask. Well, for starters, consider the fact of how little I have been sleeping for the past 6 months or so. No sleep=no dreams. It seems that even when I do sleep it is very fitful and I am given to much waking. All in all it is a very bad combination for coming up with some good dreaming time.
So, last night I actually had something like a 5 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep time. I was thrilled, I was happy AND I had a dream.
Here's where you come in.
I dreamed of babies. (what is it with me and babies these days? I mean seriously people, there are absolutely NO BABIES in my future until one of my off spring produces a grandchild for me.)
But not just a few babies, I dreamed of 12 babies. In my dream there were 6 very tiny, very small helpless babies. Next to them were 6 very plump, very healthy, very chubby babies. Perhaps the strangest thing about all these babies was that they were in my hands. (not really possible, I know, but hey! it was my dream.) So 6 puny, scrawny, small babies in one hand. 6 plump butterball babies in the other.
Me, just holding them.
Anyone care to take a stab at interpreting that one for me?
And for what it's worth, I honestly don't take much stock in my dreams. I did google "babies" and "dreams" to see what it said. Mostly i think it just means I am crazy (which I already knew) and don't sleep enough.
But for the sake of fun, I thought I would let YOU GUYS give me YOUR interpretation of what it could possibly mean.
Have fun! and go crazy!
FYI: these babies are made out of marzipan. I am not sure why anyone would ever need a marzipan baby, but in case you ever do....well, here they are! (I guess for a baby shower? To top a cake? The thought makes me a little sick. Although they are VERY cute marzipan babies. I especially like the little one with it's feet curled up to its tummy.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

the good, the bad, and the ugly...

the good: josh (who turned 16 in October) finally finished up Driver Ed., passed the test and official became a Utah Driver today.
Drivers License and all! (or is this the bad?)

the bad: after calling our insurance company (and several others) and hearing the quote for covering him on our insurance which comes it at a mere $150 A MONTH (JUST FOR HIM, A MONTH! on ONE CAR!!! Kyle and I are just shy of $130 a month for BOTH of us on TWO CARS!) I proceeded to say my very first curse word of the New Year (after proclaiming to be done with cursing in 2010) Then I said a second and third one just for good measure.

Kyle then had to call 911 and and I had to be resuscitated by the paramedics upon receiving this information. I am still on oxygen as I type. I asked for something stronger than oxygen, but the paramedics just gave me a blank stare.

the ugly: with kyle currently "under-employed", we literally cannot afford to insure our son and pay for it at the moment. This made me weep with sadness and shame at our predicament. For good measure, I also gnashed my teeth--just so that I could say I had done it once in my lifetime. Then I cursed again. So Josh has his license, but he cannot drive at the moment. (maybe this is the good instead of the bad or ugly?)

now for the small print:
FYI people....that quote is for a kid who makes good grades and at the moment has no tickets or wrecks. I cannot even FATHOM the cost of car insurance for him in the event of bad grades and tickets on his record.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

a taste of hawaii

Our cute neighbors just got back from a 10 day
trip to Hawaii.
I cannot imagine why they would
want to spend 10 days in Hawaii, can you?
Seriously, who would want to be in a balmy, tropical, sunny climate for 10 days in December when SLC resembles a post apocalyptic world?
They already looked like super
models before they left--they came home looking like tan, relaxed, refreshed, glowing supermodels.
We had the pleasure (pleasure! I tell you!)
of remaining in SLC, shovelling their snow, and watching it snizzle for the 10 days that they were gone.
They said it was 82 degrees everyday in Hawaii.
We didn't crack 20 degrees the entire time they
were gone here in good old SLC.
They DID however bring us back one fresh off the
tree pineapple, and one fresh off the tree coconut.
Pure Joy! for our taste buds.
As we munched on pineapple and coconut today I
thought to myself, "Hey this is
practically (ALMOST!) like
being in Hawaii with them, right?"

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Olivia to Eliza: "Come on Lizzie, I'll give you $1 if you go swimming with me."

Lizzie: "I don't want a $1! and I don't want to go swimming!"

Olivia: "Okay, I'll give you $2 if you come swimming with me!"

Eliza: "I don't want ANY of your dollars!"

Olivia (in tears): "Come on Lizzie, EVERYONE loves a dollar! JUST COME WITH ME."
Who can argue with that logic?
"Everyone just loves a dollar!"

Friday, January 1, 2010


dang it!
i woke up this morning
and everything in my life
was exactly the same as it was in 2009.
what's up with that?
i'm going back to bed,
snuggling with Bompie,
and watching some Price is Right!
Happy New Year Everyone!