"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Eviction Notice

Went out to visit my garden today and noticed a whole bunch of these lovely critters on Marcus' rose bush.

I am not happy!  I like a lot of things from Japan, but these beetles are not some of them :-(

Apparently I'm supposed to hand pick them off of the bush in the morning.  Well, that will be fun!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Brush With Fame

Otherwise titled "They May Not Know My Name, But They Know My Friends and They Know Our Moniker."(well, kind of at least)

Interesting night last night was...but first, a little story....

You all know I will soon be trekking down to Oklahoma to see Mumford & Sons perform.  What you don't know is that I am meeting up with some dear, dear friends there.  Dear friends I have never met in person, but with whom I have skyped, talked on the phone, emailed, exchanged many laughs, gifts, etc.    I met this lovely bunch of ladies on the Mumford & Sons fan forum.  We're an "older" crowd, so we made our own little subgroup on the forum (meaning we're the fans that don't want to marry one of the band members, we'd rather mother them).  Our little group of eight is pretty tight knit.  Four of these lovely ladies have already met in person and done that concert thing.

Here's the story...

Last year, four of my Mumford friends (we call ourselves the Sisters of the Road - SOTR) went to Nashville to see a few Mumford & Sons concerts.  While hanging out in Nashville they happened to have a few conversations with "the boys."  During those conversations, it came out that my friends had met through the band's fan forum - this surprised and pleased the members of the band GREATLY.

Fast forward to last night.  What should my friend Donna put out on Facebook, but a little clip from a recent Q magazine article....

Apparently, even a year later, Marcus remembered talking to Donna and what she shared about our little group (even if he got the name our group wrong).  If you want to read Donna's first hand account of all this, you can find it here.

As excited as I am for the concert in Guthrie, I am even more excited to finally meet, face-to-face, these wonderful ladies who are my Sisters of the Road!!  I am absolutely CERTAIN I will come back with stories to tell!

You Be The Judge


I got my hair cut this morning.

When I arrived my friend/stylist Amy declares, "I have an idea...."

Now, Amy has been cutting my hair for about two decades, so she knows me and knows that my motto when it comes to hair is, "It will always grow back..."

I trust her.  When I don't know what to do with my hair, I just tell her to come up with something.  She's never steered me wrong.

After a little cutting and bleaching, she completed her masterpiece.  I arrived home a short time later to show off my new do to my kids.  At first glance, Nina declares, "You look like an Asian pop star!"  She then assured me that that was a compliment.  I thought for comparison sake, I should find some pictures of Asian pop stars, so you all can be the judge of her accuracy.

Here's what I found....

Not sure which one of these gentlemen she thinks I look like (maybe a combination of the five), but here's what MY hair looks like...




I think I'll go record my first pop record now....

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Little Haircut..

So, I'm getting my haircut tomorrow....

Stay tuned...

Not quite sure what a hair cut will look like for someone who's chosen a style that's longer than her current style...

We shall see....

She's Back!!!

Sorry for the quiet on my end of the blogosphere.  It was a busy weekend, primarily because MOLLY IS BACK HOME!  Oops, sorry, I didn't mean to shout that!

I'm just really, really, really happy to have my Molly back!  ANd here's the picture to prove it.

It struck me though, while I was waiting for her plane to arrive on Saturday, that across the ocean, and in said plane, there were many people sad to see Molly leave.  Reading posts on Molly's Facebook page brought me face-to-face (so to speak) with those that will miss her terribly (and she them).   So, while I'm skipping around enjoying my Molly, in the back of my mind, I'm sad for those that are missing her and those she is missing.  Ahhh, life is so full of mixed emotions!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's Not So Different

Some people periodically rearrange the furniture in their living room, I periodically rearrange the flowers in my perennial garden.  A lot.  I find it very therapeutic.

We've lived here about nine years, and every year I rearrange the flowers out there.  I still haven't come up with the perfect arrangement...but I'm getting closer.  This year, I added a little walkway and patio,  which will one day have a little chair and table on it.  I also want to add an arbor at the entrance of the garden with some clematis climbing the sides of it.

I'm creating my own little peaceful, secret garden!

(ignore those pesky weeds.  I'll take care of those on another day)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Miss This Face!!!!!!

Only three more days until my Molly comes home!!!!  I can't wait!

A Perfect Day

For a little Bastille. In celebration of their album being released in the US on September 3.  Go preorder it now!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Brilliant Idea

Not sure why it took me so long to come up with this idea, but I'm glad I did.

Not only will the pile of dishes by my sink become smaller, I may become rich in the process!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Colorado Adventures

The adventures of the non-flat portion of the family were more varied and exhausting than those of our flat members.  We spent two days on the road, arriving in Rocky Mountain National Park around 6:00 pm on Sunday.  Because of a little navigational snafu, we entered the park on the opposite side as our campground.  This afforded us a complete tour of the park.  It was stunning, albeit a bit foggy at times. 
 Nothing like navigating hairpin turns along steep embankments, pulling a trailer in the fog!  Ah, great fun!  No vapor lock this time, for which we are EXTREMELY grateful!

We finally arrived at our campsite around 8, and were welcomed by some mule deer wandering through our site.  We explored Estes Park and hiked around the park for a few days. 

I found this sign at the golf course in Estes.  Who knew that elk could be mean?  Not me.  All the elk we saw seemed quite friendly.

We ate lunch on this lovely rock, about halfway up the mountainside.  The views can't be beat!

The end destination of our hike.  Let me tell you, the altitude really makes me feel out of shape!

I found this strange "cage" on the hill behind our campsite.  I decided to lock the littles up for a little while.

On Wednesday we headed south to the Colorado Springs area, but we had to make a stop at Red Rocks on the way.  I was hoping to stand on the stage, but alas, they were preparing for a concert there that evening :-( It was beautiful nonetheless, and I have decided that if Mumford & Sons ever does another concert there, I will make the 16 hour drive to be there!

A fair amount of this type of activity was going on all week.
While in the Colorado Springs area we visited Garden of the Gods.  It was spectacular!  I strongly suggest visiting it in the late afternoon.  The lighting is amazing!

We also spent some time at Focus on the Family, as Raelea was beside herself with excitement to go to Whit's End.  Even my big kids had a great time there!!
Other activities for the week included going down in an underground gold mine, visiting Cripple Creek, and paying a quick visit to the Air Force Academy.

 This was our home away from home for the week.  The camper served us well on its maiden voyage.
Despite the moments of Forced Family Fun ("Do we have to go on another hike?!!!!"), I think everyone really enjoyed the time there.  We were all very happy to sleep in our own beds again, though. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Adventures of Flat Evan and Flat Molly

If you weren't able to follow the adventures of Flat Evan & Flat Molly on Instagram, you can see all of their adventures here.  Let me know if that link doesn't work, okay?  I made it a public album on my Facebook page, so you should be able to access it...I think.

Oh, we're safely home, btw.  I will be posting non-flat pictures of our trip soon.  It was beautiful, as you would expect from Colorado.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Big Week For Evan

Got engaged in Sunday.

Got a job offer in Wednesday.

Stood on stage at RedRocks...kind of.

Not Forgotten

My dearest Blog Buddies, I have not forgotten you while on vacation!  It's just that Internet and cell phone coverage is sketchy, to say the least, in the mountains. Flat Molly and Flat Evan are having a great time. I will post pictures here when I can, but if you can't wait (and have an Instagram account), you can see them there under #flatevan and #flatmolly, or just look up my account, barbiscrazy.

We just spent three gorgeous days in Rocky Mountain National Park, and we were sad to say goodbye to the peaks this morning. We are currently headed to Colorado Springs, with a stop at Red Rocks on the way.

I will try to post pictures later today....once the laptop is charged. I'm poring this from my iPod, while Chris drives. Ahh, technology!

Friday, July 12, 2013


Flat Evan and Flat Molly!

Seeing as Molly is in Northern Ireland and Evan is, well, doing what Evan does -  working, hanging out with friends, etc. - they are unable to accompany us on our vacation to Colorado.

I was really hoping to have our Christmas picture taken at Red Rocks.  Their absence presented a problem!  We thought of photo shopping them in, but then we came up with an alternative, and brilliant, plan!  Bring them with...in flat form.

Well, if we're bringing them with for the family photo, they out to be able to have some fun, too.  I am sure they will have lots of adventures on our little trip!

Sad, Happy Day!

Today's one of those days of mixed emotions.

Molly is leaving for a mission trip to Northern Ireland in just a few hours.  My Molly will be gone for 15 days - that's sad!  I will miss her terribly *insert pouty Mom face here*

Molly is leaving for a mission trip to Northern Ireland in just a few hours.  She is going to have an AMAZING time telling people about Jesus, making new friends and exploring a most amazing country - that's happy!  *insert pleased Mom face here*

Oh, I'm so conflicted!!

I love you, Molly!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Take care of her, God!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Epic Fail!

You know that Dawes concert I was going to go to last night?

Well, it appears that I actually bought tickets for TONIGHT'S show.

Would have been nice to have figured this out before we got to the venue :-(

*hangs head in embarrassment***

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No Surprise Here

Because you've come to expect it, I thought I would post the recently released official music video for Babel.  I wouldn't want to let you down and all!

A Musical Week

Some might argue that it is always a musical week at our house, but this week holds some additional musicality.

First, yesterday we were blessed to obtain six tickets to the Mumford & Sons concert at the Xcel Center in St. Paul!  This would not and could not have happened without the duel effort of Molly and our dear Mumford-loving friend, Ben (who has accompanied us on Mumford adventures in the past).  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ben & Molly!

Second, tonight Chris, Evan, Erin and I will be seeing Dawes play at First Avenue!

Third, Castlecomer's second EP will be released on Friday, on which you will find this gem of a song...

Wow!  It's like musical nirvana!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cabin Fun

Spent a few days at the cabin to celebrate the 4th of July.  The weather was perfect, the company was great, and the food was tasty.  All in all, a wonderful way to relax....except for that little fireworks incident at the neighbors....
Chris showing us how to relax

Emily brought a friend, Shevon, with us.  She and Nina relaxed by fishing.

Shevon caught her first fish...EVER!

Molly roasted the perfect marshmallow.

And then retreated to the hammock chair to read.  Btw, if anyone knows where I can buy one of these chairs, please let me know!!  I LOVE this chair!

Dad showing us how NOT to light off fireworks.

Watching showers of sparks being emitted.

The master of ceremonies.

Plenty of warm weather for a boat ride and swim.

We also brought along my "other" daughter, Bryn - one of those unofficially adopted ones.

Emily showing us why the lake is named Clam Lake.

All was perfect, except perhaps that two hour car ride with eleven people and two large dogs in a van with no air conditioning....

Thursday, July 4, 2013

And Now For Your History Lesson

Because every US citizen should read it at least once a year, I present to you the Declaration of Independence.  Fifty-six brave men risked their lives in signing this document.  I believe it is worth five minutes of our time, once a year.  Perhaps a little reading before your fireworks tonight is in order.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Is He Doing?

We've had to answer that question a lot lately since Evan graduated from the U.  After all, what does an English major DO??

Well, Evan landed an internship at a board game manufacturer, Fantasy Flight.  It really is his dream job (he's wanted to work there since he was 14).  Oh, I forgot to mention, it's an UNPAID internship.  He is REALLY, REALLY hoping that it will turn into a paid position once the internship is finished, but that has yet to be seen.

In the meantime, you can see what sort of things they are keeping him busy with here.  Apparently, he wrote the website description for a new game that is coming out soon called Winter Tales.

He's also still working at Games By James....which does pay him!

Monday, July 1, 2013

You Only Turn 80 Once

So what better reason is there for a party?

Although he has six more days of being 79, we celebrated my dad's 80th birthday yesterday!

As always when my family gets together, a great time was had by all!

The birthday boy with his sweetheart.

Some of the relatives that helped us celebrate.

Mom & Dad with all their grandkids (and one great grandchild)

My brothers-in-law doing what they do best!

Happy birthday, Dad!!  We love you tons!

What Do You See?

That's right!  You see  nothing!

Do you know the last time I had nothing on my calendar for a WHOLE day?  Me neither.  No soccer, no appointments, no lessons, no anything.  Blissful nothing!

I am so happy to see nothing on the calendar today.  Words cannot describe how happy I am!