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Monday, August 31, 2009

Autism Walk Recap

autismwalk state fair 017

The Nebraska Walk Now for Autism was on Saturday and it was quite the family affair!  Here are the kids and Carl on the walk portion of the day. 

For me, the day started early.  I was at the stadium by 9am to help get the volunteers in order.  I was starting to get worried a couple of weeks ago that we weren't going to have enough volunteers.  But we ended up having more than enough!  That was a good problem to have!  Thanks to those of you that were able to come out and volunteer!  It was much appreciated!

autismwalk state fair 008Some readers of this blog might recognize a few of these great volunteers!  

autismwalk state fair 007 Caleb was so excited to see Audra!  She's one of his primary teachers and he talks about her all. the. time.  In fact, I don't think he's been this obsessed since the Carliles.

I was busy volunteering so I didn't get to see the kids too much except for during the walk.  I was glad I gave Carl my camera to capture some of the fun. 

autismwalk state fair 016 I mean, who wouldn't want to see a picture of their kid coming out of something like this?  I jest.  They love that caterpillar bounce house.

autismwalk state fair 012 Looks like Caleb loved all the bubbles and activities in the sensory tent.  Check out those Husker tennis player volunteers!  Thanks, guys! 

autismwalk state fair 021 After the walk, a few of Carl's scouts came to help with the cleanup.  They worked so hard but we rewarded them with snow cones, popcorn, Subway sandwiches and free t-shirts! 

Thanks to all of you that helped us raise money!  Our team was able to raise (as of right now) $490.  That was a lot less than my goal (darn economy) but we were excited to be able to raise at least that much!

autismwalk state fair 019 Until next year!


Edited to add:  I forgot to add the link to the news story (it is in the right sidebar- you'll have to find it in the small thumbnails because I can't get their popout player link to work) about the event.  Nothing like getting interviewed after working outside for several hours! 

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Some Sunday Thoughts

I live in extremes.  This morning I was hit, kicked, spat upon, peed upon, yelled at, and my clothes were ripped and stained.  This afternoon I have been told that I am beautiful, the best mommy ever, and I have been hugged and kissed repeatedly.  I've also had to break up very few fights. 

It's not easy living like this.  There really isn't much of a middle road with my kids (especially Caleb).  He is either a complete angel or a child with a rage that I can't bear to see.   It is an emotional roller coaster that really takes its toll. 

Our third hour lesson this week at church was all about teaching children.  I really enjoyed it and came away feeling that even though I don't think what we're trying to accomplish with the kids fall on deaf ears, I need to keep at it.  Here are some of the quotes used in the lesson (Marion G. Romney, “Let Us Set in Order Our Own Houses,” Ensign, Jan 1985):

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22:6.)

This counsel is prompted by the conviction that training our children is the best antidote to the materialism, irreverent secularism, declining morality, adult and juvenile delinquency, increasing crime, and general disregard for the laws of God and the dignity of man that so plague our present world.


No wise Latter-day Saint parent, with an understanding of the power of prayer and the irreligious trend of our society, will fail to train his or her children to pray. No person has a stronger weapon against the power of evil than he who with unbroken regularity goes night and morning on bended knee before our Heavenly Father in sincere and humble secret prayer.

Furthermore, I hope that parents do not underestimate the power of their own daily prayers in behalf of their children. It was the prayers of Alma in behalf of his wayward son and his son’s companions which helped bring them to repentance.

I came away from church feeling uplifted and more motivated.  I consider this afternoon one of those tender mercies that I can put away in my mind and remember it the next time I'm in the midst of mortal combat with my kids. 

When I blog about church, I'm referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You can go to or email me if you have any questions about our beliefs.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Can You Spare a Dime?

Or maybe 50?  This is my last minute call for donations to Team Caleb.  Please consider donating!  The walk is tomorrow and I've spent more time volunteering to make the actual event happen then I have fundraising and it is showing. 

If every one of my blog subscribers donated $5, I'd be super close to reaching my goal.  If only half of my twitter followers gave me just $1, I reach my goal! 

What do you think?  Are you in?  Can you help? 

The button above only accepts donations greater than $20.  You can use the paypal button on the sidebar to donate in smaller increments.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

CoverGirl Outlast All Day Lipcolor Review

Here's another review for all you lipstick afficionados.


I reapplied it after I filmed the last part of the video and it lasted really well the rest of the day.  Not bad.

You'll need to check out Robyn's response to yesterday's video.  She's got some lipstick that it looks like I'll need to try out after CoverGirl sends me my $8 for that lame lipstain!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain Review and Experiment

I wanted to try this CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain out.  I did an experiment.  Here are the results.

I've got an iPod that will connect to the internet and fit in my pocket.  Can't someone make a lipstick that will stay on all day?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Best of Both Worlds

This morning I was getting a little work done online.  Eva was in the kitchen and I was at the kitchen table.  She had the radio turned on and was listening to a cd we got from the library, Hannah Montana.  She started singing "The Best of Both Worlds" at the top of her lungs.  The 4th time through I decided to record it.  She was just as enthusiastic as the first time.  Enjoy. 

I couldn't help but ponder the fact that I really do have the best of both worlds by working at home.  I love all my jobs!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lifelong Learning

I just wrote and erased (on purpose) a big long post about why I think college educations are important whether you think you are going to use them or not.  I was thinking about it because I was reading through the visiting teaching message and thinking about this back to school season.  Instead I'll just leave you with a quote from the LDS (Mormon) prophet on the subject. 

President Thomas S. Monson: “Beyond our study of spiritual matters, secular learning is also essential. … I urge you to pursue your education—if you are not already doing so or have not done so—that you might be prepared to provide if circumstances necessitate such.

“Your talents will expand as you study and learn. You will be able to better assist your families in their learning, and you will have peace of mind in knowing that you have prepared yourself for the eventualities that you may encounter in life” (“Three Goals to Guide You,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 119).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bad Mother. Good Mother?

IMG_2469Caleb wouldn't get on the bus this morning.  He was running away from me.  When I did get a hold of him I was hit, scratched, and kicked.  He flopped out in the driveway and screamed like a banshee.  Five minutes.  The bus driver helper finally got off the bus to tell me that even if we got him on the bus, he probably wouldn't be able to ride if he won't keep his seatbelt on.  Did I mention that Carl left to go to work early this morning?

IMG_2478 He didn't want to go to school today.  He can't tell me why.  It breaks my heart.  But not enough to let him stay home. 

I drove him to school (once I bribed him with some cookies to get into the car).  He got out kicking and screaming.  He laid down on the sidewalk and yelled and kicked some more.  It was quite the spectacle.

A teacher came up to me and asked me if I needed help. 


She helped me get him in the line.  A line helper kept him occupied.  I turned to leave and heard him yell for me.  I couldn't look back. 

I got into the car and drove up and down the street to keep an eye on him.  They finally let him in the school early and I hope that calmed him down. 

IMG_2479 I've got my phone in my pocket, ready for a call.  Just in case.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1st Grade


Monday, August 17, 2009

Swimming Lessons

I signed the kids up for another week of swim lessons to build on the momentum built from the first week.  Eva was so close to passing the class the first time that I knew for sure she would do it this time around.  I wasn't so sure about Caleb.  He was so timid and wouldn't jump in without help the first week. 

Well, what a difference a week makes!  Check him out here!

Eva did a great job, too!  The video of her jumping off the diving board was so funny that I was laughing so hard I didn't even get her in the frame.  This one was funny, too, but I kept her in the shot the whole time.


They both passed so next time they can be in Level 3.  They both improved so much this summer!  Last time I took them to the public pool Eva was doing handstands and flips.  They'll soon be swimming circles around me. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rock of Ages Winner

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-08-14 14:55:33 UTC


RANDI!  Congrats!  I have your address somewhere but you better email it to me ( for good measure and I'll have them send your Rock of Ages cd. 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

If It Kills Me

I've had a really long day today.  The kids have been super wild and all I can do is count down until school starts.  It probably didn't help that I found Caleb's morning meds on the table still untouched at 4pm. 

The day started off great, though.  I woke up super happy.  I had an amazing dream where I was friends with Jason Mraz and we were on vacation.  We kept running into all sorts of people that I hadn't seen in years.  I hadn't had a dream feel that real since the one I had where I was married to Patrick Swayze.  I have no idea where that came from and it was probably 8 years ago when that happened.  I just remember waking up and totally expecting Patrick Swayze to be right there. 

Back to Mraz.  This dream was so real that all day I've been thinking that we we really are best buds.  Now that I'm typing this out I realize that I may need some medication or some sort of intervention.  I mean I don't *really* think that Jason (we're on a first name basis now) and I are best friends.  It was just such a vivid dream that they feel like actual memories. 

Where am I going with this? 

I guess what I want to do is share one of my favorite songs.  This is If It Kills Me.  The version on the album is nice but the peppy background takes away from the feeling of the song (in my opinion).  This acoustic version is so much more powerful.  In fact, it is the same version they used on SYTYCD.  I get so emotionally involved with this song and all I can do is hope that he gets the girl. 

I usually have to listen to Lucky immediately after this song so I can imagine that it is part II of the saga. 

I don't usually spend my days obsessing over my favorite singers, but on a day like today, it was a welcome diversion.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Passing Out

If you follow my twitter or facebook feeds, this is old news.  Eva fainted yesterday.  Then she puked.  It all happened while I was getting interviewed for Silicon Prairie News

I got the call as I was getting home.  I thought the most stressful part of my day had passed.  Not the interview.  The fact that I left my iPod Touch in the Buffalo Wild Wings bathroom!  I had taken it out of my purse to check the calendar and left it by the sink.  Luckily, not many women eat at Buffalo Wild Wings so it was still there an hour later.  Phew.

Back to Eva.

Apparently, she was standing in the bathroom with some of the other girls that Mary watches.  Then she fell straight backwards and lost consciousness.  Mary revived her.  Eva's lips were blue and then she threw up.  They gave her some 7up and some Ramen noodle broth.  Then she called me.  Mary didn't want to interrupt my interview.  I told her that the next time anything like that happens, she can interrupt ANYTIME! 

I got to Eva in a few minutes and took her to Urgent Care.  Caleb was freaking out because he was going to miss swim lessons.  Lucky for him, Shannon was able to take him at the last minute*.  THANKS!  The only thing they did at Urgent Care was check her blood pressure, make sure she wasn't in immediate danger (after they made us wait 20 minutes to see a doctor), and then told us to go to the ER.

All of this was happening and I couldn't get a hold of Carl.  This made me mad.  He got a cell phone just for this purpose!  Turns out he was in a meeting and I couldn't have got a hold of him anyway, but still!  It stressed me out.

At the ER, we had to do a little more waiting.  Luckily, Eva was in good spirits.  The color was coming back to her face and she wasn't throwing up anymore. 

I signed on to the wi-fi and was extra thankful that nobody stole my iPod from the bathroom earlier in the day.  I started tweeting and facebooking (yes, they are both verbs!) updates.  It helped me feel better. 

In the end, here are the highlights:

  • no explanation
  • HOT ER Doctor!
  • Blood Work
  • EKG
  • Discharged

The best explanation they could come up with was that she was so sick from wanting to vomit that she passed out.  I guess we'll never know.  The good news is that all her tests came back okay and today she is totally back to normal.  We hope it was an isolated incident and that it doesn't happen again!!!!

In other news, today I sliced Eva's toe open with the library door.  No trip to the ER necessary but she is sporting some pretty sweet band aids. 

*Shannon also just delivered brownies to me.  Awesome.  I should be taking brownies to HER!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rock of Ages Review and Giveaway

ROA_album cover

I was so excited to get this CD to review from the One2One Network.  It's got Constantine (you know, the American Idol Finalist from a few years ago) and some of the greatest songs from the 80's. 

I really love the mashups.  They have some great songs together.  My favorite combo is:  Any Way You Want It/I Want to Rock.  And seriously?  Oh, Sherrie and Don't Stop Believing are definitely highlights.  I've been rocking out to these since I got the cd and I've even got my kids singing some of the songs.  Nothing makes this 80's child happier than to hear her child sing, We're Not Gonna Take It. 

You can buy Rock of Ages here or try to win it!  One lucky reader will get a copy sent to their house.  You know you want it.  Just comment and you're entered.   I'll draw a winner on August 14th.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I found out about Aurora when I was at BlogHer.  It was one of the things I was most excited about.  I have finally had an opportunity to play around with it and I want to blog about it before it is too late for you to take advantage of their coupon code (see the end of the post).

Here is where I admit that I can't use Photoshop Elements.  I got it for my birthday this year and have yet to figure out how to use it.  Okay, I've done a few things with it but they took me so long that I got frustrated and haven't really messed with it since.

IMG_2294 I saw a demo of Aurora in the Shutter Sisters Suite and it looked like just the thing I was looking for!  With just a few clicks, I can get some great results.  This after shot took me 4 clicks and about 1 minute.

IMG_2294_1_au Aurora isn't your thing if you want to add layers, text, or other goodies like that (the text on these were added in Windows Live Writer).  IMG_2283It is really just an easy alternative for relighting, some basic color manipulation, and cropping.  They also have a fantastic social media application where you can send your pictures directly to Facebook. 


Want to try it out for yourself? 

Aurora costs only $19.95 and is downloadable within minutes of purchase.  They are offering a code for a 20% discount.  Use the code: AURORA20 before Sept. 1st, 2009. 

Friday, August 07, 2009


I love the number 11.  It is my favorite.  It could have something to do with the fact that I was born on the 11th (of April).  Or, it could be my love of repeating numbers. 

Today is my 11th wedding anniversary. 

aug0808 069

To keep it real, I'll admit that year 9 was a bear.  Year 10 was all about rebuilding.  I'm looking forward to year 11.  We're off to a good start.

aug0808 070 *These photos were actually taken last year on our anniversary trip to NYC.  This year we're not doing anything so exciting.  We'll be celebrating tonight with dinner and a movie (Harry Potter, of course!).

Saturday, August 01, 2009

BlogHer Recaps


I'm posting my main BlogHer recaps over at  You can find Part I over there today and Part II will post tomorrow.