Saturday, August 30, 2008

Weekend plans

It's the big Labor Day Weekend! What are my plans? Nothing. Richard is giving several big presentations in the coming months, the first of which is next week. So he's doing nothing but working on that. So my big plans for Labor Day were to take advantage of the gym being mostly empty and try not to go crazy. Then last night Richard starts to bemoan the fact that it will be hard to work in the house full of kids (What? They're distracting? You're kidding!). So I, having much sympathy, offered to leave.

My sister-in-law Chelsea (Richard's brother Roger's wife) offered to take me in. It went something like this: I call and say "Hello? Can I come to your house tomorrow and bring my three kids and ruin your weekend? Yes? OK, see ya tomorrow." See how generous she is to think of me?

**OK, OK, this whole post so far is riddled with sarcasm. My family will probably read it correctly, but the rest of the world will probably not get it.**

Anyway, the kids and I are driving to PA today to spend some time with some other Worth's. We'll be back Monday night. But in the meantime, you must go check out Wordle. It's so cool! I fully plan to print several and put them all over my house. Check it out at http://wordle.net/
Think of the possibilites! One with church words. One with inspiring words for pre-gym. One with nursery-rhyme words for the play area. One for Christmas to frame and give out as gifts. (Ooops - I shouldn't have told you that idea...what will I give you now?)

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

All gussied up and somewhere to go

I'm driving home from Target this morning when I mentally slam into this thought process:

Did I brush my teeth this morning?

*thinking back and retracing the morning*

Oh, whew. I did brush my teeth. Sheesh. That's embarrassing. I forgot to put any jewelry on but I guess there are worse things. At least I did my hair. ...

Oh my goodness, did I put on makeup? Nope. And it's so much worse than that - I never removed yesterday's makeup either! I just sauntered through Target for 35 minutes with raccoon eyes and a ghost-pale face.

*checking in mirror while driving down the road*

Yep. It's bad. At least I didn't see anyone I knew. Just that very nice checker-lady who kept looking at me and smiling. Now I wonder if she was being sympathetic and sweet or thinking what a mess I was. Ugh.

Ahhhh, motherhood. But at least I got the basement cleaned up a little this morning!

Monday, August 25, 2008

He can walk!

Finally!!!

video

Yep. That's right folks. At 15 1/2 months old, Isaiah is finally starting to walk. And he's off and going at a pretty quick pace! He caught the desire finally when he took a few steps at the reunion last week and got quite a round of applause from his audience of several Aunts and Uncles. Now he's walking more and more every day and loving it more and more.

(For those reading this through the Worths.org blogreader, click through to see the video attached.)

It's what's inside that matters

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

I found this quote on a post on Chocolate on My Cranium (my favorite blog-from-random-person-I've-never-actually-met). Her post was about inner beauty but when I read this quote I thought of all the thoughts floating around in my head. ...I guess that is a lot to do with inner beauty... Anyway, specifically what I was thinking about was when my children do something naughty and I think something like "I wish I could take the "will" out of that child, swish it around in the toilet just to be gross, and then throw it out the window so hard that it splats on the window of the house next door." That's not really a nice thought. And I would never do anything like that (especially since taking the "will" out of someone is kinda of not possible in one fowl swoop like that and because I wouldn't really want to take Asher's...I mean any child's...will out anyway).

The question is, how do I stop those thoughts? And, really, I know the answer - slowly but surely I have to replace them with other thoughts.
There was a time in my life when I found it hard to smile. I wanted to smile. I just honestly think I had spent so long in the teenage-angst phase that I had forgotten how. So I told myself that I was just going to fake it until it was real. So I started giving these (what felt like) cheesy grins to people. And, sure enough, pretty soon it was easy to smile for real! I loved it when people smiled back at me. Now I really, really love to smile at random people and try to get them to smile back. It makes me feel good to think that maybe I helped them snap out of a funk or think a happy thought. Or, maybe they just think I'm loony - but I feel good either way. (Just writing what I just wrote makes my old self want to gag a little at the cheesy-ness - but it's honest.)

So I stop those bad thoughts of mine by just cutting them off and thinking of good things instead. But man is that hard! Angel faces and memories of sweet sleeping-baby moments only get a Mom so far when one of her children throws a fit for the fourth time that day. But I guess that's why we have repentance and mercy. Whew.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why Ashurst's Should Try THE BIG HOUSE

Why The Ashurst Family Should Try Going To The Big House in 2009:

The house is 5 stories high, has 10 bedrooms, 2 big kitchens, 13 bathrooms, 2 hot tubs, 1 indoor pool, a sauna, a pool table, air hockey, 3 big screen TV's, an elevator, wireless internet access, a TV in every bedroom, 3 laundry rooms, 3 huge living areas big enough for all of us to gather in.

All that means there is enough space to be together and enough space to be alone in peace.

The house is at the top of a mountain. Step out the door and you have hiking, biking, climbing. There are ski slopes on the mountain that I bet make for great biking. Drive a short drive and you have rafting, waterfalls, tubing, horseback riding, hot air balloons, petting zoo, national parks. - More than you could do in the short time we'll be there, but it sure is fun trying!

For $125 per family per day we can use all of that glory for 3 days on a weekend. OR for $90 per family per day we can use all of that glory for 4 days mid-week.

Next year there is a Benac reunion to be held in/near Washington DC so some or all of you would be here for that anyway. To tack an Ashurst reunion on only makes sense.

See the website here.

What more could we ask for? I know it's not camping, which is one of the things our family has talked about. But camping wasn't unanimously agreed on. It doesn't make sense for some of us to pay for a house big enough for us to gather in and for some of us to pay less to camp only for the campers to come and take advantage of the house and all it's amenities for free. We'd have to check if The Big House is even available the correct time next year, but maybe we should try. Mom told me to sales-pitch this to you guys and then ask for feedback, so take this as a family assignment. Ashursts, cast your vote and leave your opinions in the comments!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Big House

We're back! We, as usual, had a great time at "The Big House" Worth family reunion. The highlights were swimming in the pool, letting the kids run loose in a safe place with their cousins, Asher being old enough to make some new friends, Naomi's hula-hoop performance in the talent show, Richard's video-gaming with his brothers, watching the Olympics with such a big group, delicious food, great company, amazing West Virginia scenery.

This house is 5 stories and we counted 80-something doors. It's huge. But it's all a safe environment so the kids could really let loose and not be right next to us. Naomi is kind of a "check-back-in-with-Mom-every-once-in-a-while type of person but Asher really loved just disappearing. He had no concerns at all about being 3 stories away from us. We had to go looking for him every half hour or so to make sure he was up to good, not bad. But he was usually up to good. He made good friends with his cousin Ashby, which is funny since she is actually just older than Naomi. I think they have similar spirits - active, funny, free. I found Asher on the bottom floor once, sitting in the middle of the pool table surrounded by a group of kids at least two years older than him and joining in like he was one of them. What was really amazing to me was that the older kids accepted him!
Isaiah had a great time and became sort of the pet of several people. If he escaped from my attention for a minute it was always easy to find him because a trail of people would tell me which way he had gone. His cousin Sidni seemed to especially love him.
Naomi did a great job of blending in (something that she sometimes struggles with) and mostly stuck with her cousin Avery who is a Princess-at-heart like Naomi. She says her favorite part was "ballet and hula-hooping and gymnastic-ing".

Richard's family is wonderful and we love them all. It was so great to see everybody and get to know them again. My favorite part of the week was the talent show. The Worth's are very talented. We had magic tricks, juggling, singing, speech recitals, acting, skits, joke telling and more.

We were very sad that Richard's sister, Nancy, could not come. She was about 6 months pregnant and her blood pressure was dangerously high, so she didn't get to come. We were all very bummed about that. She stayed home, but her husband and three kids came anyway. Chris, her husband, did a great job with the kids. It must have been amazingly stressful for him traveling with them and handling them alone all week. Yesterday Nancy drove herself to the hospital and ended up having an emergency c-section. Her baby boy was born at just over 2 pounds. We are praying and hoping and praying that he will be alright. He seems OK now, but it's never really great when babies are that small. Nancy is doing well. We are so glad that she wasn't in a remote house in West Virginia when this happened. We're thankful to our Heavenly Father for leading her to be in the right place and to follow the promptings of the Spirit so Baby could be safely born. Nancy, our prayers are with you and Baby. (Hurry up and name him so we can call him something specific in our prayers!)

Pics are on Richard's computer, so you'll have to wait for those!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A tie is so anticlimactic

But it's true. Richard and I tied in our weight-loss competition. Technically he was slightly ahead, but since he is a kind and loving husband he is sticking with the "that's within the margin of error of the scale and therefore it's a tie" answer. It was actually funny when I weighed in this morning. I was thrilled to see a one-pound weight-loss since the day before and ran downstairs declaring myself the winner. And I would have been... were it not for the fact that the scale was wrong. Apparently sometimes our scale gives a false reading on the first use of the day. So when I went back upstairs moments later and I stepped back on the scale because I wanted to see those low numbers again - I got a higher reading. And being an honest girl I had to go tell my husband and we re-calculated and declared it a tie. It was all really funny actually. Anyway, as a compromise, since we both kind of won, I only got a limited shopping trip of one hour today and only bought a certain item of clothing that I really needed - no "just for fun" stuff (OK, fine I bought one pair of shoes just for fun but they were on sale and I had a coupon and they're super cute so I totally couldn't pass them up!)

So there's the anticlimactic end of that saga. But it's not really the end - we'll do another competition since neither of us actually reached our goal. But give us a week on that. My goal for the reunion week is just to not gain all that weight back!

I'll post pictures of Richard and I's new buffer, thinner physiques sometime - but today I must run off to the next task on my list.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just a little busy

I guess I haven't been very bloggy this week. But let me just fill you in on the schedule for this weekend and maybe you'll understand.

Friday:
My Mom flies in this morning. We'll pick her up at the airport (not the one closest to my house), have a fun day playing with her, and go on a picnic this evening (assuming it doesn't rain). Then we'll pack up all Ruthie's stuff and cry.

Saturday:
Mom and Ruth will leave to drive back to Texas first thing in the morning. (We'll miss having Ruthie around!) Then I'll clean and re-arrange the basement where Ruth has been staying to get ready for our next guests. I have my best friends baby shower from 2:00-4:00pm. Then more cleaning and re-arranging, grocery shopping and planning for our up-coming trip. We'll drive to Richard's parents house to celebrate a little cousins birthday that evening. At midnight or so our next set of house-guests will arrive. Richard's brother Carl and family.
(Oh, and somewhere in there we find out who the winner is of Richard and my weight-loss competition and the winner is supposed to get a shopping spree.)

Sunday:
I'm giving a talk in church (which I've kind of researched and thought about but not written yet). Hopefully we'll get some good bonding time with Richard's brother's family (Carl's wife, Stacy, is someone I truly adore and love). More packing and planning for our trip.

Monday:
All Worth's mobilize and head to West Virginia for a 5-day reunion in "the big house" (a 5 story ski lodge that we rent with an indoor pool, big screen TV's and other fabulous amenities).

So...that's all kind of a big fabulous whirlwind of activity which I'm looking forward to and yet I'm sure will be exhausting. So I'll hitch-up my too-loose pants and enjoy every minute of it (while wishing for some down-time and a nap).

I'm sure I'll blog about who wins the weight-loss competition... as long as it's me who wins. So I guess if you don't hear from me Saturday you can assume Richard won and I'm busy fitting "pouting" into our crazy schedule.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monday Cuteness

There is a surplus of cute photos on my camera. That must mean it's time for a photo post:



Family Home Evening kite flying:






Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympians

I could be an Olympic Gold Medalist in:
Washing the Hands of an Escaping Child
Nap Assignments
Speed Diaper Changing
Accessorizing
Clothes Shopping
Giving Praise When Children Do Nothing Spectacular
Oreo Eating
Repeating Instructions Daily

I could be an Olympic Silver Medalist in:
Speed and Efficiency Baking
Being a Good Friend
Jewelry Making
Optimism

I could be an Olympic Bronze Medalist in:
Patience Keeping
Healthy Eating
House Decorating
Clever Blogging

And I would finish dead last in:
Healthy Cooking
Stamina Dealing with Whining Children
Laundry
Bathroom Cleaning
Dealing with Confrontation

How about you?

Down to the last second!

It's a race. A competition you've been training for non-stop for a long time. All your energy and thought has been poured into it. Every "non-related" decision that you make all day every day is somehow tied to this - what you'll eat, how late you'll stay up, what chores you do and how you do them. It has cost you money and sweat and tears. It has changed who you are...hopefully permanently. And it's almost time to see who wins. You are going for the Gold. Silver is second and NOT good enough. But you still have to keep working. You have exactly five days of this competition left. .... What? You thought I was talking about the Olympics? Nope. I was talking about the battle/competition that is going on in my own home.

Richard and I have been having a weight-loss competition for the last four weeks or so. We each set a goal for ourselves individually. The deal is that whoever looses the greatest percentage of weight by next Saturday morning, wins. What I win... ooops, I mean.... what the winner wins is a shopping trip for new clothes while the looser stays home with the kids. In addition to that prize we decided that if we both reach our goals we'll get some big thing for us as a couple. We keep going back and forth on what the "big thing" is. But that's OK since it's pretty much irrelevant now. I have a good shot at making my goal, but Richard set a much loftier goal than I did and there's pretty much no way he's gonna reach it in the next week.

So that's why last week when I inexplicably gained back three pounds that I had lost I was pretty darn mad. That's why when I re-lost two of those pounds it was still depressing - not happy. And that's why I'm going to the gym today even though I have loads of other stuff to do. Richard and I really are pretty much neck-in-neck as far as the percentage of weight-loss so far. The competition is tight! But you know what's not tight? My pants!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Do I Smell Something?


Naomi:
Do I smell something?

Daddy:
I don't know. Do you smell something?

Naomi:
I don't know.

Daddy:
What does it smell like?

Naomi:
I don't know what anything smells like. &hellip Except poop.

Daddy:
Does it smell like poop?

Naomi:
It smells yummier than poop. It smells better too.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"Drop Dead Drunk" Birthday Party

***No alcoholic beverages were consumed in the blogging of this post. Or during the party last night. We're good girls. We don't drink alcoholic anything. All these drinks we're talking about are just our best guesses as to what they are like going off recipes we found online. We substituted Sprite for any alcohol called for.***

Last night was Ruth and my big "Drop Dead Drunk" birthday party. It was a total blast! We spent all afternoon prepping food and the house and ourselves and it was all rewarded with a fabulously memorable and good time.
Here are the deluxe cupcakes that we made. I spent a lot of time researching how to get a huge pile of frosting on top like they do in the fancy bakeries. I got a tip to use a marshmallow underneath but that didn't sound all that appetizing to me. So I just put a small pile of frosting in the middle and then piled more frosting on top of that using a pastry bag. Then Ruth did the sprinkles. You can't see it well in these photos, but the top cupcake has the shape of a martini glass on it.
Here is Ruth and I wearing out "Birthday Girl" sashes.
This is my friend Monique enjoying a "Margarita".
Me with a "beer".
Richard with a "cervesa".
Here is a shot of our "Jello shots". They were a lot of fun. In the background you can see our "special brownies" (they had mint leaves in them) and our disco ball.
Here is Ruth with some of her friends. This was also kind of a "farewell" party for her since she goes back to Texas next weekend.
Here is most of the group of girls that was there. There was only one boy who came (other than the two men who accompanied their wives).The party was definitely a success. We had the Olympics Opening Ceremony going in the background. We played drinking games, chatted, ate and drank a lot. If there had been any alcohol involved in this party, we would all have been very drunk. Let me list all the drinks we had for you: Jello shots, Margarita's, Mojito's, Strawberry Daiquiri's, Pina Colada's, Beer, Ale, and Cervesa. (I think that was all...) I think my friend Monique had at least a dozen drinks!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It's all over now

That's it. It's all over for me. Finito. The end of an era. The end of being able to get cleaned and dressed fully in the morning. The end of a bit of peace each morning. The end of ever Etsy-ing in the morning. The end of bragging to my friends about how both my boys nap twice each day at the same time.

That's right folks, Asher has officially declared that he is done with his morning nap. For good.

*sigh* How am I ever going to take a relaxing shower again? The boy is just not trustworthy enough to be left to his own devices for 20 minutes. I may have to actually start waking up before the kids to get dressed! Eeek!

I can't think of any happy spin on this to put at the end of this post. So I'll just end it here on this heavy, depressing note. Sorry.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tunes

Today I went to the gym with my new MP3 player for the first time. I totally got into it! I worked harder and further and was happier because of it. I've always been a fan of the tunes, but I didn't think it would make that big a difference. I was wrong. The endorphins were pumping, I was burning calories, and I was having a good time. And then I stepped off the treadmill. And almost fainted.

Ooops. I guess I worked a little too hard.

My body has always had a hard time regulating my body temperature in the heat. I have actually fainted in the heat twice. But now, in my older and wiser days, I've learned my lesson and am always prepared at those super-hot times. I drink plenty of water because if I don't drink, I don't sweat. And while that may seem like a really cool thing, not sweating is what leads to the fainting. And I'd rather not be known at the gym as "the chic that passed out". So I drink. But today it wasn't enough apparently.

Richard says I need to drink something other than water. But Gatorade and all that just seems like such a waste of money to me. It tastes like Cool-Aid and I don't enjoy it.

Anyway, tunes are good. I need more of them though. Here's my Workout Playlist so far:

Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood
Better Life by Keith Urban
Black Horse & a Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall
Buddy Holly by Weezer
I Will Survive by Cake
Independent Woman by Destiny's Child
Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson
My Baby Loves Me by Martina McBride
Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
Survivor by Destiny's Child
The Distance by Cake

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

an un-noticed interlude and TWINS!

You probably didn't even notice I was "gone", but I was. I guess technically I posted just yesterday. But it was hard. Tearing myself away was difficult. You see, the new book, Breaking Dawn, has had me pretty busy since Sunday. (If you haven't read these "vampire books" you are seriously missing out!) I've been reading in every spare moment. I even took it with me to the gym yesterday and got a seriously good workout because I wasn't even paying attention to how long I'd been pedaling (40 minutes), how high my heart rate was (too high), or how absolutely dripping with sweat I was. I was just READING. (And apparently burning calories too.)
*********************************************
I've been meaning to post pictures of my sweet Isaiah for a couple of days now. While Richard and I were gone this weekend he got his first haircut, courtesy of Auntie Ruthie. He looks adorable - as ever. But now I can really see why some people have a hard time telling him and and Asher apart. Before this it has always seemed to me like "Give me a break. One of them is a BABY. How can you not tell them apart?" But suddenly Isaiah looks a year older and so much like Asher that it really is freaky even to me. As soon as Isaiah starts walking regularly I think the question "Are they twins?" will increase. (But seriously, all you folks who have already asked me that question, how could they be twins if one of them is walking next to me and the other can't even stand up?)

So you tell me. Can you tell who is who in these pictures?






Whoever they are...they sure are cute!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Floating down a river is a lot of work

Richard and I had our "getaway" this past weekend. Saturday we woke up in our hotel and headed about an hour away for some tubing down a river. I was really excited about it. Richard had tried to convince me that we wanted to go White Water Rafting instead, but I was sure that tubing would be much more relaxing and more up my ally. And I'm sure it would have...had the river not been so low and slow that there was hardly even a current. We did a one mile trip and spent most of that time paddling with our arms or legs. But it was still a wonderful time. We went tubing, then had lunch, shopped, and had dinner (it seems like there should be a lot more time in there somewhere - I guess the other thing we did was drive. a lot.) We didn't see our kids at all that day! By the time we got back home that night, they were already in bed. It was a wonderful day filled with new memories just for me and my sweet hubby.

One sweet thing that I will always remember is that Richard carried my water bottle. We each had one drink that we were just carrying on our laps as we went. It was kind of cumbersome since we spent a lot of time flailing around (otherwise known as paddling). I even almost lost the bottle a couple of times (which would really only have been tragic because of the littering, not because I was dying for water). So Richard carried my bottle for me. And his. It's a a small thing - but it was just such a sweet thing to do. There. So the secret is out. I'm a little bit of a sap. I love that kind of thing - it makes me feel very loved.

This coming week is a busy one with some little thing going on pretty much every night. Somewhere in there I have to finish reading Breaking Dawn (which shouldn't be too hard since I read half of it yesterday). **I'm gonna guess that I won't be the only one at the gym today jogging while reading that book.** On Friday Ruth and I are throwing ourselves a big birthday party. We invited all Ruthie's single-friends and some of my couple-friends. It should be a blast. We're going to have a fully stocked bar. Margarita's, Beer, Bloody Mary's, Champagne, and whatever else we can figure out how to make virgin. We'll also have "special brownies" and some other goodies. People keep asking if Ruth is turning 21 or something. She's not. We just thought it would be a fun party theme. We're calling it our "Drop Dead Drunk Birthday Party". Wanna come? You can! Come on over!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Giveaway Winners!

And the winners are:

Michelle and Susan! Michelle won the Purple Link bracelet and earrings set and Susan won the Amethyst chips earrings. Both ladies look like very deserving woman. Enjoy!

And for the rest of you: there's always Chic Made to buy your jewelry from. It may not be free, but apparently it's well priced (or so many of you commented). And don't forget that I'm always up for little changes to existing items or custom-creating jewelry.

A big thank you to everybody who stopped by and gave me feedback. FYI - I will not be using human models for my earrings any time soon. Most people seemed to be of the opinion that it wouldn't matter to them, but the fact of the matter is, some people really do care. And if I could potentially loose one customer from doing that, then I'm not going to do it. But don't worry - all my earrings are displayed next to a ruler for size reference.

Now I'm off for a fun weekend getaway with my dear hubby. We're headed to our favorite hotel tonight and then off for an adventure tubing down a river! Have a great weekend everybody!

(I think I'm really going to miss having tons of emails every time I sit down to check! I'll feel so lonely next week! Comments really are very nice.)