Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I searched and searched at my parents' house for an old picture of me in a dance uniform because it was going to be the perfect addition to my {yet to come} Halloween post.  I didn't find it.  But maybe what I did find was even better.  It turns out that my second son, Alex, bears a striking resemblance to his mommy!  We've always said he's our Casdorph baby and that he looks a lot like his Uncle Jack, but the correlations between Mommy and Alex are truly just spooky. 

Two of the pictures below are the originals.  Two are doctored to switch the faces.  Can you tell which is the correct Alex and which is the correct little-girl-Andrea?

Friday, October 29, 2010


My mom makes a soup that we call Chicken Stew.  Kirk used to try to push my buttons by explaining the physical differences between soup and stew and pointing out that this is clearly a soup.

He {mostly} stopped when I explained to him the significance of our stew.

My grandmother, Kirma Nelson, passed away in 1977, having fought an eleven-year battle with cancer.  Since I wasn't born until 1981, I obviously never got the chance to meet her.  Since I was a little girl, I always answered the question, "Who is the person you'd most like to meet," with the simple answer, "My mom's mom." 

A couple of years ago, I got the chance to put together a book of her life which included stories and memories written by her children.  I learned that apparently her genes were strong, and she passed them directly to my mom, who - hopefully - passed at least some of them to me.

I know I "inherited" her skills at the piano.  Okay, I practiced a lot, too, but we have that in common.  Grandma Kirma was a concert pianist.

She had high expectations for my mother, who set high expectations for me, and now I'm definately that way, too.  My aunt said of her,

"Mom was firm, with high expectations for herself, her family, students, and others.  This could at times cause a little stress.  When then expectations weren't met, she would try to find ways to motivate others to reach higher.  Many times those around her would rise to the occasion, and what a grand sight that would be.  But a few times I remember her being sad that she was not able to get others to the level she had imagined it could be.  In music, this would disappoint her, bus she would just try again.  When I let her down, she would be forgiving and give me another chance."

She was also a school teacher and a music teacher, occupations both my mom and I have pursued.

But despite those connections, sometimes it's hard to feel like we have her here with us.  For those times, there is chicken stew.

For this year's ward Halloween party, I signed up to bring soup.  Adam begged me to bring chicken noodle, which fit in perfectly with my plans to try - for only the second time ever - my hand at the chicken stew.

It's nothing fancy - no secret ingredients or hush-hush directions.  Just a whole chicken boiled down and shredded with the water used to start the broth.  Insert carrots and homemade noodles, season it up a bit, and that's all there is to it.  I think that's what I love so much.  No fancy (read: gross) stuff to worry about picking around.

Thanks to some help from my hubby, the noodles turned out beautiful!  I guess his 6'3" frame gets excellent leverage on the rolling pin while my measly 5'3" sometimes feels like I can barely reach the counter.

Tonight, we'll share our chicken stew, and I'll know that at least a little bit of Grandma Kirma lives on in me.

If you're interested, here's the book I made a few years ago.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SO Not Ready for This...

We rummaged through the winter clothes and found all the necessary items for each kid.

The model on the left is wearing last year's boots and coat, mom's old gloves, Kaleb's handed-down snowbibs, and a hat he's had since he was three.

The model on the right is wearing too-big handed down boots (apparently a size 7 would have been perfect but we only have 6 and 8), last year's coat and hat, Adam's old mittens, and Ryan's handed-down snowbibs.

Both coats are getting small, so if Santa brings a new coat for boy #1 and then we shift all coats to the next smallest boy, hopefully we'll stay in snowy-weather business!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lessons Learned

Subtitle: Does This Shirt Make My Face Look Fat?

I always take the kids to JC Penney Portrait Studious for their milestone pictures -- not because I love their pictures, but because I love their prices.  I usually spend less than $25 for the 3 required 8x10's (our house and both Grandma's houses) and a small assortment of 5x7s or wallets just because.

So far, I've had pretty good luck.  But let's face the facts:

- Dylan's overall redness makes him hard to photograph
- Dylan's even-tempered personality makes it hard to get him to smile
- Dylan's eczema and tendency to get flushed when warm often make his face extra red

So I should have known we were bound to get some less-than-great pics eventually.  All of the above - coupled with a less-than-enthusiastic photographer - made for some pretty awful 9 month pictures.  So awful they never made the grandmother's walls or even the blog.  So awful that anti-confrontational little me even sent an emailed complaint.  (I promise, this is a big deal in my world.) 

JC Penney handled my complaint like a champ and sent me a voucher for three free sheets of photos.

So I tried to learn my lessons well and prepare better for Dylan's one year pictures

- Carefully selected clothes to bring out blue eyes and red hair - check
- Brown background to minimize overall facial redness - check
- Air conditioner blowing full blast the entire ride there - check
- Comfy clothes and teddy bear to help Dylan feel happy and comfortable - check
- Older brothers with instructions to get Dylan as crazy as possible - check
- Change of clothes to try to capture a more formal picture - check
- Vouchers for free portraits PLUS a note in my customer file that I had once complained - check

The only thing that missed my radar this time was that button-up shirts apparently make Dylan's face look really fat.  But, like Kirk pointed out, it only looks fat because it is fat, and now we have the pictures to remember it by!

It turns out all my preparation really paid off, because the session was great!  I ended up spending $50 this time because there were too many pictures I just couldn't live without.  See for yourself...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lest I Forget

A few weeks ago, Adam's school sent him home with a Disneyland brochure.
Sidenote: How does this happen?  Why is Disneyland allowed to advertise to my child at school?
Anyway, as we were driving, Adam started telling me all about why he wanted to go to Disneyland again.  I agreed that it would be lots of fun but tried explaining to him that a trip to Disneyland would be very expensive.

Adam: Well, how much money, Mom?

Me: I don't know, honey.  A lot.

Adam: No, Mom, a number...

Me:  Ok.  Like, maybe $100.  But that's $100 for you, $100 for Alex, $100 for Mommy, $100 for Daddy, and $100 for Dylan.  So that's like $500 for the whole family, which is really a lot of money.

----- silence -----

Adam:  Oh, Mom, I have an idea.  Maybe if Daddy didn't want to go, he could just stay home, and then maybe Dylan could stay with him.  So then it would only be $300, right?

Me:  I guess that would be true, but even $300 is a lot of money.

----- silence -----

Adam:  Mom, how about this...  Sometimes, when you buy me food I don't like, maybe that costs $100.  So if you don't buy any of the food I don't like, maybe we'll have enough money.

Seems like I'd better start saving my pennies!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grrr.... *Updated

Have you seen my blog today?  Does the universe hate me for posting about my success in fixing it before?  Apparently, all the hosted images have now been removed, so I'm going to have to take some time to create my own and find somewhere it can live on the internet so I can direct the html to it. 


Please enjoy my messed up blog for as long as it takes for me to address this issue.


I spent over an hour this morning fixing it... again.  Hopefully the random background images I found scattered around the internet will stay functional.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I'm currently playing in the orchestra for the Draper Historic Theatre's Footloose!, which it turns out I'm enjoying thoroughly.  I've even made some new friends - or at least acquaintances - including the bass guitarist and the drummer, both girls in high school. 

I overheard them talking the other night.

Drummer to Guitarist:  Hey, so can you come with me to that party tonight?

Guitarist:  No.  My dad's a Nazi.

Drummer:  Really?!  That sucks.  Why is he being such a Nazi?

Guitarist:  Well, I'm failing math...

Drummer:  Yeah?  What math are you taking?

Guitarist:  Pre-calc.

Drummer:  Well, that's totally why.  I would fail pre-calc, too, if I was taking it.

Hmmm... sounds like a total-Nazi-dad is definately the problem here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We've Been Boo-ed

Thank you to whichever nice neighbor included us in the Halloween fun.  This morning, we were treated to a plate of adorably decorated (and incredibly tasty) sugar cookies.  The boys ate ghosts, while Kirk and I enjoyed the pumpkins.

After a post-primary discussion about keeping the Sabbath day holy, we decided that baking cupcakes as a family would be a great Sabbath activity.  I didn't initially realize that between the baking and decorating, it would actually fill most of our afternoon, but that ended up being a good thing. 

Daddy handled the base-frosting while Mommy and the kiddos mastered the piped frosting.  We all sat/stood/gathered around the island for over an hour - talking, joking, working, enjoying family time, laughing as the boys repeatedly referred to the mummies as mommies

As in... "The mommies aren't allowed to talk; that's why they have x's over their mouths." 

Yep, Daddy loved that one!

So thanks, again, for including us in the fun.  Not only did we get great cookies, but we made some great memories -- and a few monsters and mommies -- too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Quick Fix

I'm patting myself on the back right now. 

I love my blog background and have no intentions of ever changing it.  This background and I are a perfect match.  I can't see wanting more than this background can give me.

Plus, it was hard to find, complicated-ish to install, and I swore I wasn't going through that again.

So when one of my source images disappeared and was replaced by a pastel-and-white button that read "tinypics: this image is no longer available," I was heartbroken.

No longer.

All by myself, I ventured into the frightening html of my beloved background.  I copied and pasted source image url's into a separate browser, testing each until I found the offending link.  Once identified (in four separate locations) I replaced it with the url of a functional link.  I apprehensively pushed the "preview" button, afraid I had somehow broken the code, despite my careful copy-and-paste techniques.

No error messages! 

No awkward pastel buttons where cool, graphic, black-and-gray bars of leaves belong.

I fixed it!

The balance of all that is good has been restored.

Yep, patting myself on the back.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Growing Up

I've noticed something about my perspective with each child.

With Adam, I am always so excited to see him grow up; each new stage is fun, and new, and exciting.

With Alex, I thoroughly enjoy the age he is at the moment, because (thanks to Dylan) I can easily see the trouble he just grew out of, and (thanks to Adam) I can easily see the trouble he's about to be in.

With Dylan, I am sad to see him exit each stage, because it may be the last time one of my kids ever {insert milestone here}.

When Dylan brings home his kindergarten picture, maybe I'll cry, remembering the baby he'll never be again.

With Adam's picture, though, all I can see is the man he's going to become.

Well, that and the need to start saving now for some potential dental/orthodontic work.  :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Great Grandparents

All children, biologically speaking, have great grandparents.

Some children are lucky enough to having living great grandparents.

My children are lucky enough to have six living great grandparents, including these great grandparents:

Thanks, Great Gr. & Gr. Casdorph, for coming to visit, for never once complaining about the noise our circus makes, and for making the boys feel like a priority while you were here.  They are so lucky to have you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Breakfast Buddies

I've tried. 

Really hard. 

I've failed.

It seems breakfast will never be a time to just eat your food
With three kids, there is always ONE to act up and TWO to laugh. 
Giggle.  Cackle.  Scream.  Verbally encourage.

So I've given up.

Given in.

Put away my "Boys... please just eat" and gotten out the camera.

Laughed along.

Apparently there's just something about a redhead that this momma can't resist.

Day 1:

Day 2: