Friday, November 30, 2007

Never a Dull Moment With the Girls!

A girls' night out can be successful with a few main ingredients, fun girls, good food, topics of interest (like my sister divulging her secret that she has been dating someone for the last month) and great husbands who encourage this behavior while they stay home with the kids. As you can probably guess this particular girls' night was a huge success! I have the funnest sisters and sister-in-laws and Mom and niece ever. We all get along so well and laugh so hard when we are together. P.F. Changs always provides good grub, and is one of those restaurants that accommodates sharing. Anyone who has been out to eat with me knows that I love to share. Why not have half of a really good salad and half of another delicious entree'. I think people who don't like to share are just plain crazy. I would like to give an official shout out to all my friends who oblige in my sharing habit with know who you are! Back to the girls' night...we had great conversation, with the most prolific topic being my sister, Hilary's, dating life. She had confided in me about this great guy she had been dating for the past few weeks, or rather I had forced the information out of her, but no one else in the family knew. Before arriving at the restaurant I called Hilary to see if she was going to spill the secret, and she said that she would not bring it up but if someone happened to ask if she were dating anyone new then she would divulge. I had to do my sisterly duty and very nonchalantly (not really), during a lull in the conversation, ask her if she had any men in her life. I felt a bit guilty as she was bombarded with questions, but it was such fun watching and listening that the guilt quickly subsided! As far as the last ingredient necessary for a successful girls' night out...great husbands...they were plentiful. Steve is always so willing to send me off and he even encourages me to go out more often. That's one of those qualities I didn't know I was getting in a husband when I got I consider myself very lucky.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hopefully Grandpa's work ethic is genetic!

Grandpa Dicker has always been a very hard worker. My father-in-law's real name is Richard, nickname Dick, but all his kids and grandkids call him Dicker. He can barely sit still long enough to watch 30 minutes of the local news. He retired from his career as an economics professor at Boise State 3 years ago and is finally appreciating his new life. One of his favorite things to still do is work, but rather than spend most of the day at school he now spends most of his hours mowing, raking, shoveling, gardening, and any other manual labor that he can dream up. It would make his week if one of his boys called him for help on a project. He also loves it when the grandchildren want to help work. The day before Halloween Maxwell and Sophie, and some of their cousins joined in raking the neighbor's yard. I guess I forgot to tell you that Grandpa Dicker doesn't just do manual labor at his house, he has taken care of the yard of an elderly neighbor named Sylvia for 30 years. Actually, Steve and his brothers did it for many years, but they have since moved on. Not only does he take care of Sylvia's yard, but he also checks on her several times a day to give her medicine and to make sure she is eating her meals-on-wheels. He is quite a guy. Now that I have bragged my father-in-law up I will let you enjoy the pictures of the kids hard at work! Doesn't the red hair of my niece and nephew just sparkle? I love it.

Battleship Anyone?

Maxwell's new favorite game is Battleship, which he borrowed from Grandma Smith. I am happy that he has moved to a new level of gaming, beyond Candyland and Chutes and Ladders, because I actually like to play Battleship...and I play to win! Max would play this game many times a day if he had his way but I just can't fit it into my schedule sometimes. The other day he decided to play the game by himself. I heard him in the living room calling out coordinates and then saying "hit" or "miss" with great enthusiasm. I was wondering how this game was going to play out. Was he taking turns hitting and missing each player? Who was going to be the winner? I had to hold in the hysterical laughter when I saw how he was working it. Notice all the reds (hits) are on one board and all the whites (misses) on the other. I wonder if a psychologist could tell me a little about how his brain works from this outcome!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Deep Dark Secrets

I have been "tagged" two times now, so I am wondering if I am meant to have a moment of introspection. Maybe I'll discover a talent I didn't know I possessed, or more likely, maybe I'll discover that there's nothing new to discover. I'm not sure that I can conjure up six new things to tell people about, because I am an open book...and more importantly, because I talk too much so everyone probably already knows these six things about me. Regardless, here goes:

1. I have become very picky with food in my old age. I am not picky in the sense that there are many things I don't like, because I actually like almost all types of food. I am picky in my quality of food. If I am going to eat it, it has to be good. I have been disappointed at restaurants lately. I don't make casseroles because usually they are made with cream soups, which I don't find very appetizing in my old age. I could go on, but I don't want to continue offending people who like cream soups!

2. I am much more critical of my husband than he is of me...but I'm working on it. This sounds really terrible, and it is, but you must know that my husband is one of the most accepting people I have ever known. He is totally fine if there is no dinner planned when he gets home. Cold cereal or a sandwich is just fine with him. He was never one of those single guys who ruled out dating girls who had fat potential (thank goodness) because it honestly never crossed his mind. He does not think any differently of me if I don't do my visiting teaching occasionally. Really, I can get away with so much in this relationship! He inspires me to be a better person not by asking for it, or even expecting it, but by loving me for me, and treating everyone with respect.

3. I love playing sports. I played basketball and volleyball in high school, and I was on the championship intramural basketball team at BYU two years in a row, which is more competitive than it sounds. I had a mean hook shot. Most of you probably don't even know what that is, but I had it. I now love to play golf with Steve. I also love to rollerblade and used to be quite the daredevil on them. I would even go down small flights of stairs. I really enjoy snow skiing, but have learned in the past few years that I am a cold weather weenie, so I only like to ski now when the weather is relatively mild.

4. I loved the "Twilight" series, and have read all three, but started getting a little bored with all the mushy stuff by the second book. My sister-in-laws informed me that that disqualifies me from being a hopeless romantic. I would have to agree, and am just fine with that. I still love the storyline and will read the next one right when it comes out. Everyone who has read the books has a favorite guy, and I have decided that a mix between Edward and Jacob is perfect.

5. I am not a sentimental person, or rather I am not attached to things. Other than pictures and video footage, I would be okay if my house burnt down, as long as I was given plenty of money to build a new one, buy new clothes and redecorate. I am not attached to my scriptures, so I would be okay buying new ones. I would miss the small amount of memorabilia from my childhood and youth, but I only look at it every few years, so I could move past that pretty easily. Further proof of this is that I gave my wedding dress to D.I. several years ago, and have had no regrets, except when a friend makes me feel cold and heartless for doing so!

6. I have never made a budget, but I am still good with money. I could make and stick to a budget if I really had to, like really really really had to, but if I don't really have to, then I won't. I always know how much money we have because I am the bookkeeper in our family. We rarely pay interest, with the exception of our mortgage and student loans. I consider myself smart with money and will do the necessary research, so our money should be growing well. But, I'm not a strict "rules" person, so strict budgets do not lend themselves well to my personality. Is that a great excuse or what?

I am supposed to "tag" six more people to tell six things about themselves. Don't feel any pressure, just know that it's quite interesting to think about yourself for a few minutes! I tag Alexis, Abbie, Jamie, my Mom, Michelle Ray and Brooke Romney (who has probably been tagged several times, so get on it).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Contemporary Traditional Eclectic...Whatever!

Most of you know that I love to decorate, and if you don't you will find out soon enough because I talk about it more often than is appropriate or necessary! I have no idea what to call my decor style, other than...whatever I like at the time. I definitely lean toward more clean lines and contemporary feel, I love to display family photos, and I love being different, which means my Goodwill and garage sale finds are real treasures to me because most likely, no one else will have what I have. The zebra chairs were a MAJOR find. I'll tell you why - I wasn't even shopping at the time. When my friends, Brooke and Kelli, were in town we were out for a Saturday morning run/stroll when we walked past a garage sale with none other than zebra print chairs. You must know that I had been eyeing black and white bold patterned chairs on for quite some time, but could not justify them in the budget yet, so these chairs at $50 each were like a dream come true for me...and I mean that seriously. The amber glass lamps were from Goodwill, along with the green velvet throw pillow and the white octagonal mirror in the entryway (with more to come, I'm sure). I have actually seen two ward members (yes Kim, that includes you) at this, my new favorite second-hand store. Sadly they were each looking for costume items, while I was looking for long lasting household goods! The pear painting was done by none other than Kelli Jelinek, an artist on the verge of greatness! I will have you know that she whipped that painting out in about 45 minutes. I found the two little pears on the mantel at Pier 1, which mirror the painting. Clever isn't it? The big round amazing mirror on the mantle was a housewarming gift from Sam and Hollie, my brother and his better half. I know, I don't deserve it, but I couldn't be rude and not accept it! I seem to be saying "I" a lot in this post, when infact, I should be saying "we" much of the time. My most fabulous friends, Brooke and Kelli, were the other two thirds of our dynamic decorating trio (I know that should be duo, but it wasn't a duo). We stayed up until 3 am one night rearranging furniture, placing accessories, and brainstorming for what I was to complete after they left me high and dry. It was a night that made many great memories, including Kelli's famous words "I need more wood here" and Brooke breaking out as a decorator in the making. She finally realized that fashion is much like home decor, so all the hours she had spent reading InStyle magazine were becoming useful! I have three things left to do before the room is officially complete. I want a sunburst clock for one of the walls in the living room. I still have to mat one more family picture that is sitting on the shelves, and I want to buy a piano to replace the sofa table that sits between the two zebra chairs. The piano is on a little bit different monetary scale than the other two, especially in the eyes of Steve, but a piano will be there at some point in the future. Much thanks to the contributors of this frugal masterpiece, and if you want to see it in person...I love visitors!

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm a Dork!

I really don't even need to address this title, because you all know this about me, but I will just give you one more reason why I'm such a dork. Steve took the kids out trick-or-treating while I stayed home to man the front door. Right after he left I got this sudden surge of Halloween spirit and decided to download some Halloween songs to my ipod and play them on my ipod player on the front porch. Steve happened to be right across the street when I started blaring "Ghostbusters" and he signaled for me to turn it down, while our neighbor was yelling for me to turn it up. He can be such a stick in the mud sometimes! Really, who doesn't want to hear Ghostbusters at 8 pm on Halloween? I turned it down, but just a little bit, and then sat on the front porch to greet trick-or-treaters. As I was looking around at our street and noticing no one else with such great holiday spirit, it hit me, "Lyric, you're a dork". This realization comes to me quite often, and I am secure enough with myself to be okay with it.

The Smith (my maiden name) household seemed to be the breeding grounds for cool dorks. I know it's an oxymoron, but it's true, at least I think it's true. Maybe only we thought we were kind of cool, but really that's the most important thing for a teenager...self esteem. I had the brother who wore the blue 70's tuxedo to prom and still looked good. Most of the 10 of us went all out for spirit dress-up days in high school. I think all of us love to dance. Not all of us look good doing it, but we have spunk, and we don't care who's watching. I actually have a couple of sisters whose dance skills could hang with the brothas and sistas, if you know what I mean! My 17 year old sister just dressed up as Pokemon's friend (Pikachu) for a Halloween party, while all her friends wore cute and flirty costumes. This same sister just had my mom use a big full skirt from another sister's prom several years ago and transform it into a full dress. Sounds kind of like Pretty in Pink doesn't it? I'll stop there, but I must admit that it is a fun family to be a part of. There is never a dull moment.

I have posted pictures of Maxwell and Sophie, and their cousins, from this most spirited Halloween. Sophie was the cutest pirate ever. She even wore big hoop earrings! Max chose to be a muscled power ranger. We stood in the costume section at Target for nearly an hour before he officially decided. Actually he chose the power ranger costume right away, but I spent an hour trying to talk him into being a pirate (Jack Sparrow), so he and Sophie would match, but to no avail. There's no swaying this kid. Funny thing is we went to Target today to buy half off costumes for next year and he let me buy him the Jack Sparrow costume. What a dork (obviously it runs in the genes)!