Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Son is Nick Arrojo

For those of you who don't know, Nick Arrojo is the stylist on TLC's What Not to Wear. This morning, I was laying in bed like a slug (as I usually do on Sunday mornings), when Brandon crawls onto the bed armed with a comb or two and the announcement: "I'm going to comb your hair to make you/it beautiful."

He actually did a good hair pulling or anything! It also brought back fond memories of when I would lay on my mom's bed and play with her hair.

Then, I took a bubble bath this morning, and Brandon kept smooshing bubbles on his hair and asking me to smell his hair. He also put mousse in his hair and asked me to smell that, too.
Being a stylist may not be my first occupational choice for my son, but hey, Nick charges $500 a haircut. As long as he doesn't compromise his manhood, I'm okay with it.
Although later today he took my temperature, gave me a shot, took my blood pressure, and listened to my heart with Alexis' doctor set. He has said on more than one occasion that he would like to be a doctor. Hmm, maybe that's my preferred career choice for him, after all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Okay, Maybe I'm Feeling Better Now

I hate to whine, I really do, but I need to vent. I've been sick for two weeks now with an endless stream of maladies, including strep, a bronchial infection, etc. After two trips to urgent care, a trip to my regular doctor, two visits to an ear, nose, and throat specialist, and a trip to the ER to be re-hydrated, I am finally on the mend.

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to hug or kiss my children for the next four-and-a-half days to make sure that I don't infect them. It's amazing how much I miss their little love and affection. So be sure to give extra loves to your babies tonight.

However, I am so grateful to my most divine visiting teachers for their dinners and ceaseless babysitting vigils. I'm also grateful to my parents for helping me out so I could have someone come and keep the house from falling down around our ears.

I'm also grateful to my fabulous hubby who has been playing nurse, babysitter, maid, and chauffeur. Bless that boy.

My only goal now is to get well enough to post Halloween pictures before Christmas. :-)

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The upside of being sick

Okay, you must think we have spent the past six weeks standing wistfully on the porch watching the Masons drive on to a new life in New Mexico. Well, we have felt sad and do miss them, but as you can tell, they are well and happy and enjoying that which we Oregonians have very little of this time of year...sunshine.

(Although, I admit it was so nice to hear a diesel engine roaring at the back of the neighborhood this past week and realize that could be Mitch's truck since he was in town for a training meeting. It was also nice to have him borrow cleaning supplies and for he and Lester to go see Quantum of the Menace, or Solace of the Quantam or whatever the new James Bond movie is called.)

But when we finally pried ourselves from the porch, we enjoyed the most excellent October weather EVER, including Halloween. Pictures on that later, probably around Christmas time, hee, hee.

But lately, we have been sick. Not just sick, but super sick. The kids with strep and myself with strep and a bronchial infection. I will not describe the gory details, but seriously, there is a certain level of sickenss one sort of enjoys, you know, the kind that you can curl up on the couch in your plaid pajama bottoms and an old sweatshirt and sip hot soup and watch old romantic comedies. I was not at that level. But I am feeling better enough to tell you the positives from this experience:

1- My husband. It was the beginning of his weeklong Thanksgiving vacation. I'm sure he wished it wasn't. But he cheerfully did laundry and dishes, straightened the house, fed and cared for the kids, made beds, took us the doctor multiple times, became best friends with the Rite-Aid pharmacist, soothed my fevered brow, and otherwise rocked. You can't pay for loving service like that.

2- Alexis falling asleep under the piano and muttering in her sleep, "Go, Ducks, go." I think she was referring to the food drive at school between Ducks fans and Beavers fans. This, from the daughter of Cougar fans? Still, in the case of hunger, we can all be winners.

3- I lost EIGHT pounds in FIVE days. I know when I inhale Thanksgiving dinner, however, all those pounds will return....each bringing a friend, I am sure. Sigh.

4- Darilyn who called to see if I was going to our ward's monthly potluck for mothers with noisy kids. When she discovered I was sick, she asked if I need anything. I asked if she could pick up some OJ. She cheerfully arrived with two huge things of FRESHLY SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE. She even wouldn't let me pay her back. Darilyn, you rock!

4- Visiting teachers who have already over-served me. But, at one pathetic phone call from me, delicious dinners arrived at our doorstep last night and tonight, with HOMEMADE BREAD. Bless you, Sarah and Diana.

5- Two worthy priesthood brothers coming last night to give blessings to our entire family. When they entered and during my blessing I could feel the Spirit so strongly. Thank you, Julie and Brenda, for lending your wonderful husbands to us on a Monday! I am sooo thankful for my membership in the Lord's true church.

6- Finally, I am thankful I am feeling well enough to feel thankful that I am getting better, if that makes any sense.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear friends and their families!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Good-bye, Mitch and Mahina...and Nani, Kale'a, and Kawena

It was with great sadness that I saw Mahina's Chevy Tahoe go up the hill away from our house yesterday afternoon for the last time. She was followed by Mitch in the super-loud diesel truck that hauled their fifth-wheeler.

Ever since Mahina welcomed me to the ward and neighborhood four years ago with a basket of fresh fruit, we've been good friends. The joy and convenience of having a close friend just up the hill (and what a hill!) has been amazing. It got to the point she'd just say "hi" on the phone and I'd know who it was. We did so many spontaneous things together, and had countless play dates and babysitting swaps with our kids (who fought only a few times a week).

I've cried with and laughed with and teased and confided in Mahina, which should be Hawaiian for "loyal friend," instead of "moon goddess." Personally, I think she made the "moon goddess" definition up, but don't tell her that. :-)

I will miss you, Mahimas.

PS: Don't ask me what the sex of the baby is, because I don't know. Believe me, I have tried many tricks to find out, but that girl is too sneaky for me!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

7 Weird/Interesting Things

My friend Tonya tagged me and said to list 7 weird or interesting things about myself and then to tag other friends.

When I told my husband I couldn't think of anything, he laughed and laughed and reeled off five things that, really, only fit in ONE category, which I will list first.

1- I hate, no, ABHOR, anything mint-flavored and anything related to oral care. I hate mouthwash, toothpaste, breath spray, mint gum, etc. Don't get me wrong, I brush my teeth twice daily and floss (with non-mint-flavored floss). I just don't like it. And when it comes to brushing my kids' teeth...ugh!

2- I hate food that is sprayed on. I can tolerate non-stick cooking spray. But when Lester sprays fake butter on his veggies, I have to shudder.

3- I have written a book. It is a young-adult romantic comedy that took me five years to write. Now I am editing it to submit for publication, which is a whole other journey. But it has been a fun book to write.

4- My nickname when I was a child was--blush, blush--"Buff." When things would get hard and I would whine, or if I wanted to do something I couldn't, my dad would say, "Tough stuff, Buff." Isn't that sweet?

5- I am starting to like classical music. That may not seem like such a shock, but I truly am an '80s music girl. However, I have been spending a lot of time behind the wheel, and I find listening to classical music is very calming. I think I am more cultured than I thought I was. :-)

6- I love anything with a tomato base: salsa, catsup, spaghetti sauce. But my favorite is GUACAMOLE (even though that has nothing to do with tomatoes)!

7- I'm with Tonya on the hubby thing. I LOVE my husband. He has been at my side through a lot this past year, and there is nobody I love more in this world. He makes me laugh and accepts me for who I am. I, too, have seen the hand of the Lord in bringing us together.

I tag my friends Ashley, Bridget, Brenda, Chelle, Melissa, Sarah Cook, and Sarah Smith.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Ultimate Irony

As I mentioned in an earlier post, our car was among the victims of an apparent attack on inanimate objects in the Dimit household.

I was without my beloved Maxima for nearly THREE weeks. Special thanks to my good friends Bridget, Brenda, and Sarah for helping with preschool carpools during this stressful time.

Finally, I get word that the car has been fixed. Lester is in Japan, and my wonderful aunt Deslie has flown in from Utah to help me out for the week. So Deslie, Brandon, and I cram our bodies into the Talon for the ride to Forest Grove to pick up the car.

At the corner of Rigert and 185th, the Talon dies. On my way to pick up one newly fixed car, the other one quits. It doesn't sputter, it doesn't lurch, it just stops running. After turning the engine over thirty times, it finally roars to life and off we go on a wing and a very fervent prayer made at the stoplight of Farmington Road and 209th.

Deslie says she should drive the Talon ahead of me on the way home to make sure she isn't stranded in case of a breakdown. I heartily concur.

We arrive at the auto body shop in Forest Grove only to be told two things:
1- The Maxima needs a new battery...NOW. The mechanic had to jumpstart it to bring it from the back.
2- While the Maxima is idling, the mechanic informs me it needs to be filled up...NOW.

So instead of safeguarding Deslie in the Talon, she is my wingman, making sure I arrive at the gas station and Les Schwab's without incident.

Three hours after starting out, we arrive home safely with both cars and our sanity intact (sort of).

I really despise inanimate objects.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whose Beach Is It, Anyway?

On Saturday, the Masons invited us at the last minute to go to the beach with them. But it was not just ANY beach, it was HUG POINT!

You see, Lester and I got engaged at Hug Point. He picked me up after work one Friday evening, and drove me to the beach. He brought a duffel bag which he set by a driftwood log while we took a walk. He kept looking back at the duffel bag until finally he suggested we turn around.

"Why" I asked.

"I don't want the sea gulls to make off with my duffel bag."

Okay, I was young, and I was naive, but I believed him.

Little did I know that contained in the duffel bag was dinner, roses, and my engagement ring! No wonder he kept looking back at the bag!

It was sunset and it was so romantic to get engaged at HUG POINT, and so I was so happy when Mahina suggested going there.

But when we arrived at the beach, this is what we saw:

- A couple of guitarists crooning in a cave

- A canopy set up from which dangled a black flag with a white skull and crossbones. This canopy belonged to a group (coven, congregation, herd, whatever) of people dressed in pirate gear.

- A small wedding party. The photographer was my hero because she pulled Brandon from a deep tidal pool in which he had fallen. Gasp!

- A large wedding party (A note about the large wedding party. We were playing happily in the sand near some waterfalls when we were asked to pack up and leave so they could hold the wedding! Of course, we said yes and left, but I mean, really! As Mahina says, if you want to hold a wedding there, you stake out your spot a few hours early so people don't have to pack up five kids and endless beach toys on a moment's notice.

Of course, after all that, could I remember the exact spot that Lester proposed?

I could not.

Although I have a suspicion it was where the pirates were hanging out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Matter of Perspective, part 2/An Answer to Prayer

Okay, I've been bumming around the house today, feeling kind of sorry for myself because I don't have a car and I have kids who want to be constantly entertained and I'm not feeling super great, blah, blah, blah.

So I knelt down and said a prayer, asking Heavenly Father to help me out.

Well, I got the answer to my prayer by coming across an update about a beautiful mother named Carol who delivered a baby girl (their second) and she had the most HORRIBLE things happen afterward. Her story, however, is one that inspires me and helps me be grateful for healthy kids and a healthy body and the fact that I can run stairs for exercise (even if I don't want to).

Check out Carol's story.

In other words, Heavenly Father was telling me to get a reality check and be grateful for my many blessings!

I feel humbled now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Matter of Perspective

I HATE inanimate objects (except chocolate, of course).

That's because in the past week or two, the following inanimate objects have broken. This list is not necessarily in order of importance.
- DVD Player
- Microwave oven
- Dishwasher
- Car (AGAIN! But this time I was NOT driving, and so I don't care as much as I might otherwise. No one was hurt, except our car (and the other car).

So far, the rest of our appliances are still ticking (cross our fingers and keep our repairman on speed dial).

BUT, none of this really matters when I have a sweet daughter who waves to me from the bus and a son who gives me bushels of dandelions. He even filled a plastic cup with ice water for the dandelions. I loved it, even if the dandelions didn't.

And as a funny postscript. I told Brandon he had to go to bed. He had his favorite "circle blankie" tied around his shoulders and informed me that "Superheroes don't go to sleep. They stay awake." Maybe I was just over-stressed from dysfunctional appliances, but I about died laughing.

Thank goodness I get to keep Brandon and Alexis and Lester forever, and I can ditch the appliances.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

This is the guest blogger, Lester, making a quick blog entry. As some of you may know, I like to follow the news, especially political news. Some would say I'm a political junkie (I like watching the Sunday news shows, West Wing, etc.). So I wasn't surprised when Alexis started taking an interest in politics. She started by following the Democratic Presidential primary, rooting for Hillary Clinton because "she is a girl and she would tax our schools" (I think that translates into she would raise taxes to send money to schools). Anyway, once Hillary was defeated in the primary, Alexis' political affiliation quickly switched to John McCain. When a Barak Obama sign went up at our neighbor's house across the street, Alexis had to have a McCain sign. When Daddy didn't move fast enough, she took matters into her own hands. When I got home from work one day, I discovered the following sign posted in our yard:

Brandon, not wanting to be left out, got into the act as well. I would definitely vote for him, but I am biased ;-)

So, as you can see, we will have a very interesting fall at the Dimit home following the presidential election.

Many thanks to Adriana Dominguez for making the signs for the kids.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

EW! What is that smell?

For weeks, I passed through my laundry room (make that laundry hallway) and would catch a whiff of something truly foul. It was like stinky feet sitting in sewer. The thing is, the smell came and went, so I would tend to forget about it.

Finally, however, I uncovered the culprit. And what do you suppose that culprit was?

1- Laundry? Since I do my laundry with some regularity (I'm no Martha Stewart, but then she has people do her laundry for her. I'll bet in prison, she had someone launder and press the zippers on her orange jumpsuits. But I digress.) No, the laundry was not the smell.

2- Garbage can? Again, I empty the garbage with some regularity (at least before the trash reaches the ceiling), and I have been known to spray Lysol in the can before replacing it with a clean bag.


It was not this exact one that was the culprit, but something similar. ROTTEN POTATOES. Not having a pantry, my wonderful husband who is perfect in every other way stores our 5 or 10-lb. bag of potatoes on the DRYER. (Or maybe I put this bag on the dryer). Anyway, since potatoes fester in heat, and what is hotter than a DRYER, the leftover potatoes decomposed into a smelly, slimy, festering mess.

When I uncovered the mess, there was oozy brown and green slime on the dryer, on the bottom of the blue laundry basket on the dryer, and at the bottom of my laundry detergent box. My friend Mahina was over watching a movie with me at the time. Like the true pal that she was, she fed me paper towels and various housecleaning products until I banished the smell (mostly) from my house.

We opened windows, lit a scented candle, and sat down with a bowl of Tillamook Udderly Chocolate Ice Cream covered in Magic Shell and finished our movie.

Case solved and noses happy.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Alexis, the Newest Star of the Food Network and Lover of Strawberries

This is Alexis's very own recipe for Strawberry Cake and Strawberry Cupcakes

1 T. Milk
5 cups sugar
10 c. Plain cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ tsp. salt
10 Strawberries
Fireworks food coloring
Rainbow sprinkles

Mix the ingredients for 10 minutes. Bake it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. It has to be thick.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Who Are the Nicest People in the World?

The Masons! The Masons! The Masons!

Why, you may ask, are they the nicest people in the world? Well, if you know them you don't need to ask. However, I do have a specific reason for blogging about their essential niceness. They helped us do that most abominable of chores...yard work!

They had a family home evening lesson on service and arrived this evening with kids and tools and gloves. Our yard is a wasteland of dirt because Lester pulled out all the old grass and is re-seeding. A lovely mountain of topsoil that smells like ammonia has been residing on our driveway for two days next to a pile of rolled-up sod and dirt waiting for a trip to the dump.

So, while Lester and Mitch hauled "rotten horse poop," as Mitch put it, from the front yard to the back yard, the kids ran around, helped, and ran around some more. Mahina methodically weeded the bottom of our hill while I pulled out dead tulips and tackled the area below our rock wall.

To correspond with their lesson on service, the Dimits had a lesson on gratitude. We were all prepared to thank them with dessert, but no, they even brought treats!

Now, isn't that nice?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

He's all, I mean, boy!

I had to do some work on-site at a client's this week, and Mahina helped me out by watching my kids...and a few others! It was quite the party at her house.

Unfortunately, Brandon, who is still being potty trained, had an accident. Here is what happened, in her own words, as copied from her blog:

it was a very exciting day and this little guy didn't want to miss out on any of the fun. the problem is, as most of you know, we have no male offspring in our home! so, when a cute little boy has a "little accident" in our home, he doesn't have many choices outside of pink! so this is what you get:

i was very pleased with lala's willingness to share her clothes with her friend. she excitedly took him up to her room and was so thoughtful in her choices. you see, these pink pants were the perfect choice for brandon because the bottom of the pants zip off to make capris. brandon is shorter than lala, so all she had to do was zip the bottoms off and these "capris" became the obvious best choice! (INTERJECTION: Yes, Lala was very sweet, and those pants were a great choice!)

who cares that they are bright pink and he is a boy! apparently, he is secure enough in his "manhood" to not care! at least she did let him maintain some dignity by giving him a blue shirt, just don't point out the cute little pink flowers along the bottom!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cheerios in my Salad

Tonight I tried yet another trend in cooking. Lester bought this delicious Asian Sesame salad dressing that just cries out for those crispy noodles. Since we were out of the noodles, I thought Cheerios might make a suitable substitution. However, those toastly little O's looked quite odd when nestled among the cherry tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese, and iceberg lettuce that constituted the rest of my salad. Needless to say, the taste was as odd as the appearance. So let that be a cereal in your salad!

On another note, the other morning I was being a good mom (a.k.a. sleeping in) as Mahina noted in her blog. When I came downstairs, I discovered a winter wonderland of sugar adorning my kitchen floor. The kids had wanted to "sweeten" their Golden Grahams cereal.

Alexis got the broom out of the garage to try and sweep it up. We have a childproof gadget on our door to the garage, but did that stop Alexis? No! She opened the sliding glass door, went into the backyard, through the gate to the side yard, and entered the garage door code and brought the broom in! Kudos to her for initiative. It also taught me that we should probably dispense with the childproof door-thingamabob.

Later, when I looked in the sugar, there were a few squares of Golden Grahams.

Cereal and our family just don't mix.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Observations from the Backseat

Yet once again I had inflicted damage to our poor little Maxima by inadvertantly ramming it into the posts at the Beaverton City Library book drop off. You know the ones...they're supposed to keep you from running into the building. See, they work. I didn't run into the building.

Anyway, so the kids and I followed Lester to the auto-body shop in Forest Grove yet again. He was driving his 1995 lime green Eagle Talon, a.k.a, the Lima Bean. I, of course, was driving the damaged goods. Here are some comments from the kids about Daddy's driving:

Alexis: "When we go 45, he goes 55! When we go 55, he goes 65! When we go 65, he goes 75! And all the way up to 95 mph."

Brandon: "Daddy go super fast."

Daddy had gone so fast, he had to pull over to the side of the road to wait for us. When Alexis noted the Lima Bean at the shoulder of the road, she said: "Daddy must have had to go to the bathroom."

Finally, we're all gunning down River Road, and this final observation from Alexis: "It's a sports car. He has to go fast."

If he is the one going so fast, then how come I'm the one getting in all the accidents?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Some Alexis Funnies

The things that come out of the mouths of our children are truly hysterical:

1- When Darilyn asked Alexis's Primary class to name a few of Jesus's miracles, Alexis's hand shot up. "Jesus healed the 10 leopards!"

2- When asked who she would vote for for President, she said, "That lady."
"You mean Hillary?" I asked.
"She will fix our schools...I think."

3- We were driving down the street the other day and we saw an old wooden silo. Alexis said, "Only daddies can reach up there. But Mitch (Mahina's husband) is the tallest daddy."
So when Lester and Mitch stood side by side, I compared their heights. Maybe Lester was just having a bushy hair day, but it was pretty close.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Top 5 Things I Missed While In Utah

I just returned from Salt Lake to an amazing writer's conference. Before I jump into the top 5 things I missed while in Utah, here's the top 5 things I got to do in Utah!

1- Have a one-on-one meeting with an editor from NY who looked over the first five pages of my manuscript. After my nerves recovered, I was grateful for his feedback.

2- Meet an agent face to face. I told her about my book and she said it sounded "cute" and "marketable." Considering the uber-competitive world of book publishing, I'll take it as a positive sign!

3- Sift through old pictures of Lester's childhood at my in-laws. Some of them will make for great blackmail, but they're all adorable. :-)

4- See my wonderful parents who drove 300 miles from St. George just to spend Saturday evening and Sunday morning with me.

5- Meeting with other fellow LDS writers and authors. They are an awesome, creative bunch of people.

NOW, the top five things I missed.

5- The kids' last days of T-ball, swimming, and music class.

4- The Easter egg hunt at the Vial farm.

3- A fun day at the Children's Museum.
("Look, Daddy, I'm a Lamanite!" Alexis painted her face all by herself!)

(Daddy painted Brandon's face with a mustache and beard. Like father, like son!)

2- The finding of Tom Worm. The kids and Lester were weeding in the front yard. They found a worm they named Tom. Lester put the worm into the flowers. A few minutes later he noticed Brandon throwing dirt at the flowers. He asked Brandon what he was doing. "I'm feeding Tom Worm!"

1- And the number one thing I missed (but not really), was the beginning of potty training Brandon. The quote du jour on this one (uttered when Daddy requested Brandon use the potty): "But, Daddy, I don't have any pee-pee in my p****!"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Prayers and Tears Come Easily Now

By now everyone knows about Ross Barfuss, who is being called a hero for giving his life trying to save that boy. You can read the latest updates here.

Deanna, Ross's mom, is my visiting teaching companion. I've grown to love and admire her spunk and spirituality. I especially admire her request to pray for the other boy's family.

I also am in awe of our ward family who spent all yesterday combing the beach in search of Ross.

My heart is sad for this wonderful family, but my prayers will go on.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Teal Cake, Be Gone!

I have finally redeemed myself. I had a hankering to make something with Dutch cocoa, since I had a whole new can of it. Mahina recommended trying the Texas sheetcake recipe on the Pioneer Woman's blog.

As a side note, I discovered my baking powder had November '98 stamped on the bottom of it! I am blaming the teal cake fiasco partly—okay, mostly—on the ancient baking powder. That sounds better than admitting I'm not a so-great chef. :-)

So with the teal cake disaster fresh in my mind, Alexis and I tetatively whipped up the sheetcake. Several positive omens were in our favor:

- I had to borrow sugar from Mahina. Between the two of us, I EXACTLY the right amount.
- I did not attempt to use food coloring.
- The recipe did not call for baking powder, fresh or otherwise.

We peeked into the oven as our sheetcake was baking. It smelled and looked divine, except for one small problem. It was higher on one side than another. But being a sheetcake, the difference in height was not too noticeable, especially when slathered with chocolate icing.

But most importantly, it passed the taste test! Everyone who tried it loved it. And it even looked like the picture on the Pioneer Woman's blog:
It's nice to have at least one recipe I can make well.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

279 Pieces of Candy

Oh, wo is me.

We attended the Cub Scout's annual Blue and Gold dinner. They had a count-how-much-candy in the jar contest. Lester and I, with unusual self-control, said we weren't going to guess. However, Alexis did. She wanted to guess 78, but I told her there were way more than that. I wrote down 307 on her piece of paper, and she put her name on it.

Guess who won?

Guess which household, in addition to leftover Halloween candy, Valentine's Day candy, AND potty-training-reward candy now has an additional 278 pieces of candy? (Alexis ate one already.)

The only thing that made it worthwhile was the look of sheer joy on her face when she one. Oh, for a camera. Oh, that I were Mahina who practcially has her camera surgically attached to her hands. The closest reaction I can show you is the one she had two years ago when she got her Dora dollhouse for Christmas:

Maybe I should just remember whose candy it is.

But, then again, what parents have never helped themselves ("steal" is such a strong word) to the kids' candy after they were safely asleep?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Singing the Red Velvet Cake Blues

Happy late Valentine's Day to everyone! We had an adventurous holiday, as you will see. My goal was to bake a red velvet cake for Lester...from scratch. Not being a baker extraordinnaire, the results were interesting.

Alexis and I went to Winco to get the ingredients. They were out of red food coloring, so Alexis opted for blue. That was fine with me. Blue is Lester's favorite color, so a blue velvet cake, while not appearing very appetizing, would taste the same.

We started to make the cake. The recipe called for 1/3 cup of shortening. Not having shortening, I substituted butter. However, I thought that a stick of butter was only 1/4 cup, but as you all know, it is 1/2 cup. So, instead of 1/3 cup of shortening, I added 1/2 cup of butter.

The yellow butter and blue food coloring turned my cake batter teal, the exact shade, I kid you not, of our Maxima. Plus, the batter was thick and gloppy. Only somewhat daunted, I poured it into two cake pans and let my two teal cakes bake for 28 minutes.
That afternoon, we made the cream cheese frosting. The kids wanted it to match the cake, so it ended up a bright turquoise. We finished the damage by sprinkling it wth blue sugar crystals.
Here is the result:

(Er, thanks...I think.)

Lester said, "At least it came from the heart." I think that is his tactful way of telling me it didn't taste very good. But I really appreciate that he appreciated my effort. :-)

Here are a couple of cake close-ups.

(Put your sunglasses on for this one!)

(Note the eerie resemblance in color to our Nissan Maxima.)

The cake, however, was consumed eagerly by two little kids who, as far as treats go, don't have very discriminating palates.

(I can't decide if I like this or not.)

(See, Mommy, all gone!)

To be completely honest, after mixing the cake with Double Fudge Brownie ice cream, the cake wasn't so bad for the adults, either.

And this is what my thoughtful hubby got me. After what I went through this Valentine's Day, I deserve it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Goodbye, Yoggi

Lester took the cat to the vet last night and was told he was shooting clots. Basically, he was having the same problem that people have when they suddenly have an aneurysm and die without warning. The vet said there was nothing we could do, so after eight-and-a-half years with our beloved kitty, we had to say good-bye.

Here is a tribute to Yoggi, in pictures:

A relaxed Yoggi, BK (before kids)

No, really, people, you can't have my autograph. A picture is sufficient.

When I had my girlish (or boyish) figure, I could squeeze into tight places.

It's hard to say who's more relaxed...Yoggi or Alexis (Spring '02)

The staring contest
Um, hello, people, can I get down now?

I mean, really, how many pictures do we have to pose for?

Caring for Brandon is hard work!

We love you, Yoggi. Rest in peace.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Now My Cat is Broken

You've all read about my broken car. Now, on the eve of taking our car to be repaired, Yoggi breaks down. He meows and pants and he drags his right hind leg. So, after a few calls to emergency vets in the area (they are few and FAR between), my wonderful hubby stuffed our fat cat into his ancient cat carrier and is going to TUALATIN for me.

Just a word on cat carriers. Growing up, we did the cat-in-the-pillowcase trip to the vet. Now, however, there are some DELUXE cat carriers, such as this gem:

- It has a base that you can buckle in (I never even used a seatbelt as a kid.)

- An attached feed tray (My attached feed tray is my hand.)

- Small top door for feeding, comforting, or leashing your pet. (That would be the equivalent of someone sticking their hand through my moon roof, patting my head, and throwing me an animal cracker.)

- And last, but not least, a padded waterproof mat (If I need to go that bad, I will make a pit stop. Seriously, this could be a useful feature.)
No, our poor cat is in the cat carrier equivalent of a Ford Pinto. The color is even similar.
But no matter what poor Yoggi has to ride in, I just hope he comes home in good health (and that he doesn't cost too much to fix).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's No Contest...I Have the Sweetest Kids in the World

I had a late night. At a fabulous baby shower at Bridget's for Jen Crosby, someone referred to the Pioneer Woman's blog and how they enjoyed reading her love story. Then I came across the same blog on Darilyn's blog. So, needless to say, I was hooked.

After some fishing through the Pioneer Woman's blog, I found the first chapter in meeting the Marlboro Man and steadily read through the next six or so chapters. The clock on the computer kept ticking toward midnight, but I just couldn't stop!

I finally went to bed but couldn't sleep, so it was probably close to 1 a.m. before I succummbed to slumber. Anyway, I got up about 8:15 and fed the kids and the cat and tumbled back into bed. A persistent voice in my head said I should stay up, but I was SO tired.

So, I dozed off and on for a while. I kept hearing the microwave door slam shut. So I told the kids to stay out out of the kitchen. Then my annoying alarm clock beeped at 10 a.m. (I know, some of us have the rough life). The sun was streaming through my window, and I KNEW I should get up. But you know how it is when you sleep too long. You just feel gloggy and groggy and totally NOT wanting to get out of bed.

Then who should appear but Alexis carrying a cookie sheet with an almost-empty glass of milk (two-thirds spilled on the stairs, but I didn't care), a bowl of cottage cheese, and a bowl of oatmeal! It was breakfast in bed! My goopy, lazy bedhead feeling fled because of the goodness of my sweet little girl.

I love her so much!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Moment for Reflection

Yesterday Letser's stepfather passed away from health complications. Coming on the heels of President Hinckley's death, my mind has been somewhat consumed with deeper things. I only saw my step-father-in-law a few times during our marriage, and I never met President Hinckley in person, but their deaths make me think about my own life:

- Where do I focus most of my time and energy?

- Do I treat my husband and children with the same respect I give to perfect strangers?

- Do I make time in my life for real prayer, scripture study, and reflection?

- How will my children remember their mother? Bridget was laughing the other night that now her kids are at the stage that they can remember their childhood, so she needs to be a good mother. B, I think you're the best mom! But you did bring up a valid point!

- Do I make time to laugh every day? Mahina's my laughing buddy. Good thing I see her a lot! :-)

- Do I take time to share, like Sarah Smith?

- Do I take time to be grateful, for things like all my other blogging buddies, my family, my talents, my health, my warm house, my five senses, my cat, dark chocolate, and the gospel?

Whoa, it's getting deep in here.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I love nothing better than the pure, unadulterated joy on my children's faces. Today's cause for such joy: Sledding down the Mason's driveway (prime sledding territory, let me tell you!)

Even Mommy got on the sled a few times. I had a talent for finding the slushiest landing places however, as my sogging wet jeans will testify.

But what fun!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Hate My Car and I Love the Smith Family

This morning I awoke to rain. Little did I know this rain had a hidden, dangerous aspect: it was freezing rain.

I slipped on my heels and skirt and headed out to a baptism at the church. Going up 185th, the car seemed to lose some power, but I kept driving. When I turned from Gassner onto Grabhorn, my brakes seemed to fail me. Up ahead I saw a silver Acura parked diagonally across the road and behind it a white Jeep. Frightened my brakes wouldn't stop me in time, I chose to slide into the ditch. I jammed into the muddy bank and got high centered on a ridge. Fortunately, I was not hurt, but I could not move the car.

The driver of the Jeep saw me, backed up, and who should pop out but Sarah and Nathan Smith, also going to the baptism! They cheerfully stuffed me and my two bottles of Sprite into the front seat and drove me to the church. (See Sarah's picture. She's not only beautiful but saintly and helpful! So is Nathan, but I don't have a picture of him. :-)

Later this afternoon, Nathan helped Lester yank the car out of the ditch. The use of what Lester calls "brute force" caused the front bumper to disconnect from the body of the car. Plus, I sort of smashed the front quarter panel when I collided with the muddy ditch. Sooo, now I will list the damages to our poor car:

- 1 disconnected front bumper

- 1 smashed front quarter panel

- 2 dented rear quarter panels (from other incidents I shall not name at this time)

- 1 broken passenger-side mirror (I was driving down Gassner a few weeks ago from church and a rock or something jumped out of the ditch and shattered the mirror. I swear that is the truth. However, I finished off the job when I accidentally hit a post in a parking lot. That is when the frame fell off the mirror and now it is swathed in plastic. A lovely ornament to my car.)

I will not post a picture of the damage because I prefer to let my poor car suffer in the dark silence of the garage until we can get it to the body shop next week.

Can someone say EXPENSIVE?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Beets and a Big-Boy Bed

Every mother knows of the eternal struggle between children and veggies. Lately, much to my delight, Brandon has shown a liking for raw broccoli.

Tonight, he scarfed down FOUR (4) servings of a veggie disdained by every other member of the family....BEETS! Granted, they were topped with salt and butter, but hey, he's a skinny kid.

Finally, for his birthday, we bought him a big-boy bed, complete with drawers underneath and bedding from the movie, Cars. It's a little big for him now, as these two pictures show. Note that he fell asleep in this position.
Sweet dreams, my little one!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Working Vacation

This is Elizabeth's other half, Lester, doing a guest blog entry. Many of you know that we spent my 2 week Thanksgiving vacation painting our living room, dining room, kitchen, and kitchen cabinets. It was a pretty big project, bigger and more time consuming than I thought it would be. Elizabeth was a huge help keeping the kids out of the paint by taking them out and arranging play dates. There were also numerous meals eaten at Wendys ;-). While I did finish the bulk of the project during those 2 weeks, I still had a couple of minor finishing touches I needed to finish (installing cabinet hardware and under-cabinet lights). Well, I finally finished the project this past Saturday and I wanted to share the pictures. I love doing before, during, and after pictures. So, enjoy!


During (thank goodness I didn't have the kitchen torn up on Thanksgiving Day ;-)


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Just one of those days...

I must blog about today so I can cleanse my soul emotionally.

I KNEW it was going to be a crazy day, but still...

AM routine:
- Bathe Brandon and strip my sheets because he's in my bed when his diaper chooses to leak.
- Feed kids waffles
- Help kids empty dishwasher ("It's soo heavy, Mom!") and do vocabulary words with Alexis.
- Let kids watch TV while I am on a business call for 42 minutes (feel wretchedly guilty about the electronic babysitter, but what to do?)
- During said call, "MOOOOom, I'm starving!"
- At conclusion of said call, Alexis appears with peanut butter and jelly smears on her pink pants. Inspection downstairs revealed she made her brother a PB & J and had set out all the ingredients for her requested turkey sandwich. I was quite proud of her!
- Get another phone call from another client asking if "now is a good time to talk." It was somebody I REALLY needed to speak with, so sure, it's a good time. I barricaded myself in the study. A few minutes later, "Moom, I need two clean sheets of paper." I slide them under the door.
Client's cell phone dies. "Mooom, can you write the word 'name' for me, so I can copy it?"
- Happy to comply. Client e-mails with request to call office line. 15 minutes later, conclude call.

Arggh! It's almost time to catch the bus. Stuff kids in shoes and coats, throw a coat over my PJ's and march to the bus stop.

PM Routine
- Shower...finally! Am in big rush to get Brandon to Bridget's by 1 p.m. because of 1:15 doctor's appt. Fortunately, I realize appt. is not until 2:15. Whew, I have a little time.
- Load Brandon in car. CAR DOES NOT START. I have a dead battery! .
- Go get neighbors. At one point, I'm on the phone with Lester, I have my neighbor, her teenage son, her friend, and myself trying to figure out how to start car battery. After Lester's threat to hold a car clinic on Saturday, we have liftoff!
- Go to doctor, pick up Brandon, race to VT appt. No one is home.
- Go pick up Alexis from friend's house. No one is home.
- Go to store with Brandon. Return to friend's house, pick up Alexis.
- Pick up babysitter, return home.
- Sort of work for 1.5 hours.
- Babysitter leaves; help hubby prepare dinner for kids.
- Return to office. Do blog.

Okay, I have purged my soul. Now I can work. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ahh, the routine!

Finally! The Dimit family seems to be back in a routine. It is with great joy I sent Brandon off to Itty-Bitty Warriors at Aloha High School this morning with Lester (after checking the school district Web site for closures/delays). I mean, there was like, a quarter inch of snow on top of the fence in our backyard. Major blizzard conditions, I'm sure.

It will be with equal joy that I let Alexis board the bus at 11:56 a.m. today. We were tired of being cooped up in the house, so we went on a little walk yesterday afternoon to a spot that overlooks the valley. We could see the kids at recess at Errol Hassell. How happy she will be to be a participant, not a wistful onlooker.

By the way, I am falling into the therapeutic lure of blogging. It seems like if I don't get my daily (almost daily) post in, I feel like I can't start my day. Is blogging the Mormon woman's morning cup of coffee?

Monday, January 14, 2008

An odd birthday phenomenon

Hello, people. Mixing bowls are for mixing birthday cakes in, not for catching birthday cake vomit in. But, apparently, my former mixing bowl is now the new vomit-catching bowl. Good thing I bought new mixing bowls at Bed, Bath & Beyond a couple of weeks ago.

Alexis turned 6 yesterday. Last night she woke up vomiting.
I'm really, really glad there are no more birthdays coming up in our immediate family.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Poor, poor Brandon!

Brandon often wakes up crying in the middle of the night, but he usually goes back to sleep on his own.

But the night before last, he woke up screaming. I went into his room to find my adorable, newly turned 3-year-old sitting on the edge of his bed in his brand-new Cars pajamas covered in vomit.

Poor little guy.

So he spent the rest of the night in bed with me (we sent Lester to the guest room), alternately dozing and puking into a plastic bowl that he has come to despise (who can blame him!). Every time he woke up to throw up, he would scream. Alexis would yell from her room, "I can't sleep!" and then go back to sleep.

He slept all day yesterday, had a fever, but the vomiting seems to have calmed down.

Now let us hope it doesn't spread to the rest of the family. :-)

And maybe someday I will catch up on my laundry.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Family Pictures, Finally!

Mahina, the photographer extraordiannaire, took out pictures at Rood Bridge Park last month. Here are a few of the highlights!

Ahh, aren't they adorable? :-)

When they're not fighting, they really love each other!

Somebody LOVES his circle blankie!

Ole' Mom and Dad don't look too bad in black and white!

Like father, like son (well, sort of).