Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dental Dilemma

Beren is experienceing a rite of passage often associated with six year olds of losing your baby teeth. Necessary this may be, but it is also cruel to a young man who only likes corn when it is on the cobb. (Note the rows of missed kernals---tis like a poorly gleaned field!)

Baby Fat Lard

I have recently uncovered this baby pic of myself and have thus proven once and for all the my inclination towards mild chubbiness is genetic and has nothing whatsoever to do with my adult food intake choices.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What am I demanding? Justice? Consistency?

Today at the store, I really needed relief for my sore throat, but I knew I still had to purchase my prescription later, so I thought it would be ok to take just the one, and then buy the box with my purchase. We've all done that before, right? I've seen others do it many times. I've done it myself more than once.

Well, for some reason, I wanted to be extra up front about it so as to not make anybody feel nervous if they happened to see me break into a box I hadn't purchased yet so I asked the lady.

"Would it be ok if I took one of these now and payed for the box with my prescription that you are filling?"

"Yeah, sure, you just need to pay for it now."

OK... First of all, the answer is No, which is the opposite of "yeah, sure". Secondly... consider this, Mrs. checkout lady... Someone comes in to pick up a prescription and hands you an already opened box of lozenges as if to pay for it as well. How would you react in that situation? No reaction at all, perhaps? Certainly you wouldn't hand them over to security or even give them a lecture about what they've done.

Why then, is this situation really that much different? Sometimes I feel like people are running on some kind of script and are otherwise totally incapable of thinking even the simplest things through without a backup script that fits the situation.

You may say, well, she can't condone that, she would be responsible. Would she not also be responsible for turning in a known "thief" when they attempt to purchase goods which they had previously stolen?

OK, so maybe it's not the lady at fault, but the store policy that thwarts honesty and does little to nothing to catch actual law breaking.

Either way, I lose and the people who aren't so considerate win (in addition to those who are actively trying to steal... as if a thief would ask permission first).

Anyway... just wanted to rant about that. Cheers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Berenisms summer 2009

Mom turns on a CD in the van while family is driving down the road. Beren starts tapping away and humming. A minute later, Dad turns it off.
Mom: Hey! Beren was listening to that!
Beren: It's okay mom. It's not a major crisis.

Sometimes I make Beren remove his shirt if dinner is messy and the probabililty of spills is high. Anticipating the giant pan of red sauce chicken enchiladas, I said, "Beren, you'd better take off all your clothes. Get buck-naked for this one." I was only joking, but when I turned around, Beren was seated at the table in his underwear. His father, eyeing him with amusement, picked up the ball and ran with it. "Son," he admonished, your mom said buck-naked. Why are you still wearing your undies?" Beren, surveying both of us through slitted eyes, balefully replied, "Best I can do."

As part of my new seminary calling, I made a slide show type presentation of photos set to catchy music to introduce myself to the students on the first day. If I was looking for praise from my son, I was sorely disappointed. After viewing the video, he turned to me and inquired, "Are you sure this music is appropriate for church?"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Beren's Summer Activities and a Berenism

Beren has become a business man. When I asked him what he wanted to do this summer he said, "Run a lemonade stand and go camping. (We're camping next weekend). We set up our stand in front of a business near our neighborhood (with permission, of course). We hoped to hail passing cars, but they were all going too fast. Fortunately we did get a good showing from friends who'd I'd sent an annoucement email to. Beren made a little over $20.00 and got to practice his customer service and change-making skills. Next time, I'll let him enjoy the full full experience by teaching him about gross and net. This time, I just didn't have the heart. He was so tickled with his little hoard of cash; kept running around with it and giggling like a maniac.

Beren got to go to a very cool birthday party on Monday for his friend, Madeline. It started with a tour of a fire station and ended with lunch and games at Chucky Cheese's.

It was morning. The child was moving like molasses. I was frustrated:
Mom: Beren, get dressed.
Beren: I keep getting interrupted.
Mom: (exasperated)By yourself!
Beren: Yes. My imagination and brain.
Mom: Well turn it off!
Beren: I can't! I don't know where they hid my off switch!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

First Berenism, or for that matter, any post at all in a really long time

Beren: Beren no wike it.
Mama: Why are you talking baby talk?
Beren: It's one of my languages.
Mama: Oh . . . how many languages do you speak?
Beren: I don't know. Wait! . . . four.
Mama: What are they?
Beren: Um . . Dogspeak, Meowish, English and baby talk.
(He then proceeded to demonstrate them all--I couldn't really tell how fluent he was, but the cat seemed gratified at least)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


For scripture study in the morning, Beren and I read about Lehi's vision of the tree of life. Beren was so enthralled he wanted to continue learning about it that night at family home evening. Fortunately, I had a folder of cut-outs representing each symbol in the dream. As I laid them on the table, I asked Beren what each one was:
“What is this?”
The iron rod.”
“And this?”
“The river of yucky water.”
“How about this one?” (the great and spacious building)
“Oh! I know that one! That's the “Tower of Mock!”

Beren was at the table writing names of friends on birthday invitations:
“Mama, can you guess who I will choose to do first?”
“Yeah! How did you know?”
(a few moments later)
“Who am I gonna do now?”
“Hmmmm . . . Aiden?”
(looking at me with perplexed awe) “It's like there's a little one of you inside my head!”

This morning:
B: “I can't believe we had “Writer's Workshop” yesterday.
M: “Really? On a Monday? It's usually on Wednesday isn't it?
B: “Yeah.”
M: “What did you write about?”
B: “I don't remember.”
M: “You don't remember? It was only yesterday!”
B: (with great patience) “Mama, you know what happens when I go to sleep. It's like my chalkboard gets erased.”

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tea Party Cast List

(clockwise from left)
Jamie Bowlsby as "Charlotte Philomena"
Holly Blanchard as "Katherine Henrietta"
Kathy Raymond as "Savannah Abigale"
Elana Nordstrom as "Constance Sophronia"
Becki Brallier as "Mildred Sarah"
Heather Mowrer as "Edwina Winnifred"

A Dream Not Deferred

I have finally fufilled my dream of hosting a Victorian tea party. It took 33 years, but hey, better late than never. For my birthday this year I gathered some dear friends and took the plunge. Special thanks to my mother-in-law, Mary, who was our server (maid) and also the person who made my costume and gifted me with the tea paraphernalia over the years once she found out I wanted to do this. My guests created their own hats at the party (it was glue-gun madness!) and drew Victorian names out of a hat to use during the party. I don't think there was a favorite "tea," but the cheezy-bacon pinwheels definitely took the cake for most beloved savory. The ladies actually called it back out of retirement in the kitchen after we'd moved on to another course! I'll post the recipe for any interested parties. To sum up, it was a ton of work (did I mention redecorating my living room to provide ambiance?)but is was fun. I hope it made a nice memory for everyone who came and it's one more item I can cross off my list of things I want to do before I die.

Cheezy Bacon Pinwheels

1 8oz pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 C cooked, finely chopped bacon (we used real bacon bits)
2 TBS finely chopped onion (green onions good for color)
1/4 C cheddar cheese
1 can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except rolls in a medium-sized bowl. Separate crescent rolls into two rectangles. Spread cream cheese mixture on each rectangle and roll it up like a cinnamon roll, starting at the longest side, and then seal the edge. Cut each roll into 16 slices. Place the slices, cut side down, on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 32 pinwheels

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Berenisms (the pic is from when he was 3; don't panic)

On the way into the house after school I had several bags of groceries in my hands and also the keys. Beren tried to take the keys from me to open the door, but I declined because it takes him forever:
"Thank you Beren, that's very nice of you, but I think I'd rather open it myself."
"I wasn't doing it to be helpful, Mom," he informed me coldly. "I just want to get into the darn house."

This morning Beren was playing a game on the computer called "Microbe Combat" which sparked a discussion about diseases and how our body fights them. Eventually, the the topic of vacinations came up.
Mom: So that's why I take you to get shots. To let your body have a chance to develop a weapon against serious illnesses before it has to send its white blood cell soldiers to fight those germs for real."
Beren: Well, I get it, but I don't like shots at all. If you're gonna take me to the doctor, I want surgury. Like when I broke my arm. They let me have a popsickle that night in the hospital. You know, I kind of like medical places!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Brady Marshall Blanchard has arrived!!!

My new nephew is finally here. He is dang good looking (like all us Blanchards)and very strong and alert. His parents think he's a keeper. Baby was 8 lbs 3 oz. and 21.5 inches long. Beren is tickled to have a new cousin. We only do this once every 3 years in my family, so it's a big deal.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm Never Playing Settlers Again Without This Card

You Might Have Noticed

As you can plainly see, the blog is going through some changes. New template. New colors. New Sidebar stuff.

I'm messing around with the title section, trying to find a good background to go in there. Also, I've discovered that blogspot supports polls, so please participate in our fist ever poll (on the right). The outcome could change the future of this blog.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

No dog unless it's this one

On the way home from the gym:
Mom: Oh Beren look at those cute little doggies! They have sweaters on.
Beren: Awwwww . . .they are cuties. Oh, don't even talk about it. I want a dog so bad I can't take it!
Mom: We're not getting a dog until you are old enough to help take care of it in a serious way and I don't mean just feeding it. Dogs have to be bathed and taken for walks and you have to pick up their poop . . .
Beren: Ew! No way! That's your job. I'm not going anywhere near poop.
Mom: And that is why we're not ready to have a dog.

Maybe this one.

Who thinks we should have a puppy? I want you to look deep into his eyes and ask yourself.

Yes, He's a Gamer, Folks!

After informing Beren that he wouldn't be able to play Portal yesterday, he asked if he could at least watch me play. That sounds like something I would have said at his age (and probably did say). He's fizzled out on the board games a little bit, but I'll take what I can get!

With our combined forces, we will be unstoppable. We will have our Wii.... oh yes... we will have it (and a puppy... maybe... though Heather seems to actually be talking him out of that... which is weird, because I'm like "It's a puppy! What little kid doesn't want a PUPPY?!!").

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dang! The kid can read.

Beren's kindergarten teacher sent home a booklet today with Beren that he was supposed to read to us. The booklet is designed to match whatever reading level they've tested him at: Level P. Whatever that means. Nevertheless, we were impressed with the results. Mind you he just got the book this afternoon. He also got something in his eye during the video, but he kept plugging away ;).

Friday, January 9, 2009

A new hat!

My mother-in-law, Mary, got me a cool new cloche hat for Christmas. Not only is it stylin' for its own sake, but it is also characteristic of the time period of the character I played in my show. Snazzy, eh?


The day after Beren's Blanchard grandparents returned to Las Vegas, he emerged from the bathroom holding a paper cup with grandpa's name on it:
Beren: I want to keep it.
Mom: Uh . . .well Bear, I think Grandma said that Grandpa had a bit of a cold so I'm not sure if you should use that cup.
Beren: I don't want to drink out of it, I want to keep it! Like as in a museum.

A couple of weeks ago when I came into the kitchen after rising I saw a paper towel on the counter covered with with a huge mound of rainbow goldfish crackers.
"Beren, I said, "What is this?"
"You don't know?" he asked, incredulous.
"No," I affirmed. "You wanted a snack?"
"No. It's for Santa."
"Um, you know it's not Christmas yet, right?" (The fish were covering the writing when I first looked)
"Yes. I wanted to do it early. I thought it would entertain me."

We made it! We made it!

On December 26, 2008, Eric and I celebrated our ten year anniversary. I know, we don't look that old, but it is true:). We took a break from family time and went off by ourselves to commemorate this milestone. I wore the same dress to dinner that I wore away from my wedding for nostalgia's sake. We also went out to eat at Olive Garden which is where we had our post-wedding luncheon and where I told Eric (5years later on a separate occasion)that I was pregnant with our son.

Christmas 2009

One of our favorite present opening moments this year involved the "tie-chain" my mom ordered for my dad. When he pulled out that giant piece of bling I almost wet myself! Mom swears she will never order through a catalog sight unseen again.

No one says "no" to Mrs. Santa. No one!

We had a new Christmas breakfast this year called breakfast pizza. I will be eternally grateful to Melissa's family for passing along that tradition. There is no such thing as bad pizza anyway, but this took breakfast to a whole new level! There were no dissenters.

Melissa, Theona, and Ashley Prepared a tub of sugar cookies to die for. Beren did his best to eat his share.

We all gathered at Reid and Melissa for the big day. Fortunately,Santa found us all.

My Return to the Stage

After 12 long years I finally was in the right life situation and had summoned sufficient courage to try out for a show again. Gresham Little Theater was doing auditions for their Christmas offerings, one of which was "The Gift of the Magi." My dad used to read me that classic story when I was younger and I always loved it, hence I was thrilled to be cast as Della. We lost 4 of our 9 scheduled performances to the snow, but many friends and family were still able to come. I enjoyed myself more than I can say. It is so satisfying to reconnect to a part of yourself that you haven't seen in awhile.

Let it snow . . . and then let it quit!

Wow! I've never seen anything like it in all my 32 years as an Oregon resident. Snow that came and kept coming, and then came some more. It was not a singular event this time around. In some ways it was so cool, but by the end I could no longer raise even a weak cheer when the little alabaster flakes began fluttering down once more. At least we had some handy shovelers snowed in with us.

Raquetball Rules! Heather Dominates!

So yeah, I love raquetball. I learned the basics a couple of years ago, but decided to take a class at Mount Hood Community College this fall to expand my skills and have a ready supply of partners. Beren went to kindergarten at just the right time so it was meant to be.

Thanksgiving at Amy's

We traveled to decidedly un-snowy Utah this year for Thanksgiving. Beren was extremely happy to see his cousins and aunts and uncles again. The poor guy gets lonely knocking around our house with no sibbies. Eric's sister, Amy, prepared a lush feast which we were happy to scarf. The popocorn kernals were tied to a story of what the starving pilgrims had during one of their hard winters. Compared to the bounty we were enjoying, it was easy to be thankful.


We used Reid and Melissa's house at our base camp this year. We had a lot more adults than kids, but so what? One of the reasons I had kids was so I could reclaim some of the awesomeness of childhood that I was too complacent to appreciate the first time around. Anyone of a similar mind is welcome to join me in whatever right of passage Beren is currently journeying through :). True to form, Landon's question after every house was "More candy, Mommy?" Beren's comment was, "My feet are getting tired, mom. I've got enough candy. Let's go back to the house."

Pumpkin Patch!

Holly and I teamed up to set our sons' feet on this important ritual; the choosing of the pumpkin that will become the hallowed out jack-o-lantern carcass.

Grandma of the Year

Well, my mom just couldn't take it and got on a plane after only a month and a half to come see us. We were glad to have her close by for all the halloween doings and she definitely improved Beren's quality of life.