Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Okay, so now that you have that song in your head, I was just wondering why all of us usual bloggers are posting, like, once a week now (except Becky who seems to have way too much time on her hands! : ) ) I seem to be running out of time at the end of the day, running out of energy to blog and running out of good blogging material. My children need to do something brilliant or funny so I can post about them. : ) I do have a few blogs in my mind, but that darn writer's block is still prevalent. Next week I'll tell you about the awesome After-Prom Party that I chaperoned last Saturday/Sunday and the upcoming Women's Retreat I'm going on in two days. Until then...

Friday, April 25, 2008

If You Give Christine a Duster

All I started to do this morning was return my hats to the ceiling-high shelves in our bedroom. Of course, while I was up there on the step-ladder I had to dust. Then I had to dust the dresser that the other dust fell upon. Then I had to rearrange my bedroom... I was retelling my morning to my friend Cora on the phone and she said, "Do you know what this reminds me of? The book ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.’ You should write a story about this and put it on your blog."

And so, here is the story (all of it is true):

If You Give Christine a Duster
By Christine A. Hodge

If you give Christine a duster
she’s going to want to dust the ceiling-high shelves in her bedroom.
And when she dusts up high, the dust will fall to the dresser below
and she will have to dust the dresser and everything on it.
When she removes everything off of the dresser and onto her bed
she’ll notice that the bedspread doesn’t match the new motif she wants for her room
so she decides she will go shopping next month for a new bedspread.
That thought causes her to look around the room and see what else doesn’t "fit"
and she starts removing paintings and plaques from the walls.
Standing back and looking at the bare walls, she notices they are dirty
and goes and gets a wet cloth and washes them.
When she turns to throw away the dirty cloth, she sees all of the stuff on her bed
and realizes that she needs to put things away
and so she takes the things that no longer "belong" to the hall closet.
Looking inside the closet, she notices an empty box that would make a perfect little table for the girls’ bedroom.
She takes the box into the girls’ room, sets it upside down and realizes that it needs a tablecloth.
She remembers saving one of the girls’ little baby blankets and goes to retrieve it.
After putting the "tablecloth" on the "table" she thinks it still looks bare
and so she gets a few play dishes and sets the table.
Then she remembers that she never finished putting away her bedroom things
and returns to her room to finish the job.
As she puts her great-aunt’s china doll back on the dresser,
she wishes she had a chair for the doll to sit upon.
While she is brainstorming, she suddenly remembers a wooden doll chair
that her daughter recently got rid of
so she retrieves it out of the "garage sale" bag and puts the doll upon the chair.
Standing back and looking at her finished project
she sees the duster that needs to be put away.
And you know that if you give Christine a duster
she’s going to want to rearrange the room!

The hats that started the whole project!

The new "table" in the girls' room.

The finished project (for now!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Princess Tea Party

Last Saturday, one by one, the little princesses arrived at the Hodge Lodge, dropped off by their parents who would return for them three hours later. The first thing we did was take individual pictures of the little ladies in the studio I set up. Then all eight girls (ranging in ages from 4 to 6, I think) gathered in the tea room for The Princess Tea. We had cucumber sandwiches and quiche, and for dessert we served them brownies, muffins and scones. We put a candle in one of the brownies and sang "Happy Birthday" to Amber.

Then we moved to the dancing room where the princesses danced to classical music. Then I read to them "The Princess and The Kiss" (an excellent story). The girls were captivated. I also told them a story I wrote about "Giuseppe the Blind Hat Maker" and each girl got to wear a different hat from my hat collection. More pictures. More dancing. Opening gifts. And then the final event on my agenda: coloring princess color pages. It was all going so smoothly, so according to plan. And then I looked at the clock. It was not quite 1:00. The parents were not returning to pick up their little princesses until 2:00.

I thought everything that I planned to do would take three hours, no less. So, I had to do some improvising. I had decided ahead of time that Amber's room was off-limits because eight girls in one room equals fighting. So, they watched a 20-minute video "Strawberella." They put together a giant floor puzzle. More dancing. And when all else fails, dog-piling on Eric. It was one of the little girls' idea.

Next, someone suggested musical chairs. Yes, musical chairs. I don't know who suggested it, but it sounded like a great idea. We set up the kiddie chairs in the living room and started the music. When the music stopped and some of the girls did not get to sit in their original chair, we had a meltdown, then another and I decided musical chairs was not a good idea, after all!

I was saved, however, by my friend Lisa Hester, who had stayed for the party. She used to be a preschool teacher and she led the girls in a non-competitive, really fun game/dance that lasted the duration of the party. I really don't know what I would have done without her.

The party ended with the goodie bags. The girls received purses and gloves and got to take home their real china cup and saucer (I bought them at a thrift store). It was such a fun day. I am seriously considering professional party planning as a career when my girls are grown up and out of the house. I just have so much fun giving parties. The girls had a lot of fun, too!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Yes, Autumn, putting four pairs of your sister's underwear over your head does have its downside.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We have a winner!

Gina won my first blog contest, which does not surprise me because she is ultra competitive. Yes, it was an Antheraea Polyphemus moth. And yes, I did not even know the species until I looked it up on Wikipedia. But what I can't figure out is how she knew that from the front view of the moth. No where on Wikipedia does it show a front or head shot. So, Gina, you are one smart cookie! Below is a picture of the moth in my front yard and below that is a pic of the same moth shown in Wikipedia. My picture was taken on our tree in the front yard, and the poor thing had a missing wing. He was alive, though, and he was gone later, so he must have been able to still fly (or he became a bird's next meal). Anyway, it was so cool to take such close-ups of his fave because it's rare to have any creature sit still long enough to take pictures! I am glad y'all enjoyed my first blog contest. Gina, find me at church and I'll give you your prize! Congratulations!

My moth

Wikipedia's moth

Friday, April 18, 2008

What is it? (My first blog contest.)

I got this idea from my friend Becca who did this on her blog. Since then, I've been waiting for a photo op so I could do the same. So--here it is--my first blog contest. Guess what creature is in the following picture. I took the pic in my front yard. And that's all the hint you'll get from me. The first blogger to correctly identify the creature in the photo will receive a prize (even if you live out of driving distance--I'll mail it to you). Oh, and you don't have to be scientifically specific. Just tell me what it is in layman's terms.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Guess Who's Five?

Amber turned 5 today! Here are a few pictures of her big home and at preschool. Tonight we're going to Carrows for her free dinner and ice cream sundae. You wouldn't believe how excited she is about getting a free meal and dessert. I'm not sure she even gets the "free" concept because everything to her is free because we pay for it. Ha ha!

Saturday we're having a Princess Tea Party with a few of her friends. I'm sure I'll take a hundred pictures and have lots more to blog about then.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Hard-Working Man

Today was a record-breaking day for HodgePodge Mobile Garage. In one day, Eric did:
- 4 sets of brakes,
- 2 check engine lights,
- 2 ABS lights,
- 2 belts,
- 1 oil change,
- 1 transmission flush, and
- 1 heater core.
Wow! What a hard worker! Someone's going to sleep good tonight!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Amber & Tax Day

Today is Tax Day. Amber is turning 5 in two days. The dinner conversation tonight went like this:

Eric: Today is Tax Day. The post offices are open until midnight tonight.
Amber: Because it's my birthday?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Crop 'Til You Drop

This weekend I got to do my most favorite hobby in the whole world: Scrapbooking! And one of my closest friends in the whole world, Heidi, drove down from San Jose with her 4-week-old, Zachariah. Scrapbooking and hanging out with friends and getting to cuddle with a newborn...I'm speechless! (And that doesn't happen very often): ) We scrapbooked from noon-9 p.m. Thursday, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday! I finished an entire album. Whew! Below are some pictures of the weekend.

Me and Heidi
Heidi and her son, Zachariah Job

Me and Zach

Penny (who hosted Scrapbook
Weekend) and Zach

Heidi's scrapbook page (but I made Nemo for

her--I was so proud!)

The "after-scrapbooking party" at Carrows.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Amber's Wedding Day

Well, she did it! Amber tied the knot today and became Mrs. Aiden (heck, I don't even know his last name). I went to school to pick her up and she was married. *** If you are totally confused, read yesterday's blog .

This morning when Amber woke up, she was all giddy. "Today I'm getting married," she said with excitement. When we got to preschool and Aiden saw her, he came up to her and said, "We're getting married." Their teachers smiled and Miss Debra played along and asked Aiden about the ceremony. "Do you have a ring for Amber?" she asked. Aiden said, "Well, I know she likes purple, so it will have to be purple because we are doing whatever she wants." (Smart boy, I thought) Then I left for my morning of errands and laundry.

When I picked Amber up after school, I met Aiden's dad for the first time and he told me that he, also, had heard about the wedding all weekend. I introduced myself and said, "Nice to meet Amber's in law."

When I saw Amber, she said that the wedding did, in fact, take place. She said that she threw the flower case (bouquet) and Gracie and Calla caught it. Aiden's twin brother, Bryce, was the best man. Then Amber told me that after the wedding, Bryce clung to Aiden's leg and cried. Amber said she thought about also marrying Bryce, but she said, "You can't marry two boys. So I told Aiden that it's time for you to go to your brother and spend time with him. The wedding is over and we're married and your brother is sad. But Bryce still cried, mom."

I retold the story to Miss Debra who said that Amber was right. Bryce did have a meltdown--which she said was a long time coming anyway. You see, Bryce wants to do everything with his twin and when Aiden "got married" he was very upset.

I guess he got over it because when we left the school yard, Bryce and Aiden both gave Amber a hug.

On the way home, Amber said, "Bryce wants to have a play date, but I don't even know his phone number!"

And there you have it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tomorrow is THE BIG DAY

Tomorrow Amber Shea is getting married!

Last Thursday she came home from preschool with some big news...

Amber: Aiden and I made a decision today.
Mommy: What did you decide?
Amber: Aiden and I decided we are going to get married.
Daddy: Could I at least meet him first?

Aiden is the 5-year-old twin brother of Bryce who attends preschool with Amber. They've been preschool friends for two years, and I did catch them playing together when I picked her up Thursday. All weekend, and especially today, she has been talking about the big day--which is tomorrow. Thanks to my showing Amber my wedding video, she has plannned out every last detail of her wedding. The music...the rings...a white cake with a picture of the two of them on it...a slide show of pictures of the two of them to be shown at the reception. Then after they are married they are going to "get themselves a baby."

But my favorite thing Amber said tonight about the upcoming wedding was, "And we get to hold hands! That is going to be so much fun!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The two extremes of phone conversation

One play phone. Two very different girls.

Amber (my extreme extrovert who started talking at 18 months and has never stopped): Mommy, I'm going to call your friend. "Hi Gina. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Okay, Goodbye."

Autumn (my very shy child who doesn't talk much, except to say the word No): "Hi. Bye."