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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Raccoon Free

I got the chimney tops capped off this morning. Brillo keeps running to check on the basement fireplace and I'm pretty sure we are raccoon-free! My Dad sent these pics and said..."Be glad you don't have a bear in the chimney!" YIKES!!!

I'm a Proud Mama!

Dexter's 4th Grade Science Fair Project
Boy or Girl? Feet are Feet!
Can you tell someone's sex by just looking at their feet?

Out of the whole 4th grade, Dexter won Best of Show! They gave out 2 ribbons per grade and Dexter won! There is a little more info on Dex's blog. John and I tell the boys, do good at the Science Fair, but not so good you have to go on to Regions...luckily they don't go on until 5th grade. Whew!!! (We are so bad!...I just don't want to do the extra work...one science fair a year is plenty!)

Thanks to all the relatives that were able to come out and see Dexter's project! Grandma Worthington, Grandma Beach, Aunt Erin, Aunt Haley & Cuz'ns Thomas, Ella & Aaron, that was so nice of you!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

There's a WHAT??? in the chimney???

Most of you know Brillo, our dog (he's the one in the middle being loved on):
First you need to know that Brillo never goes downstairs without someone, especially not in the dark! He is always by our sides (underneath us) and follows us around. Brillo wants to be where the action is so he doesn't miss a thing...like going on a walk. He knows what's going on around our house and is a great watch dog.
Well, last Saturday he started growling and barking at the fireplace downstairs. We all thought, "Brillo, you're a dork, knock it off!" But he didn't. So later in the day I went down with Brillo and moved the fireplace grill so that he could get up into the fireplace area and fully check out the situation. He was growling again and sniffing up a storm and he seemed a little freaked out because his hind legs were shaking.

This is a gas fireplace so it is very clean, no ashes, you can see underneath it and all around. We never use it cause the gas makes this high pitched annoying sound. I asked John if he thinks there is a mouse or something back there..."Nooooo!" (in an annoyed you are so stupid, that-is-the-silliest-thing-I-have-ever-heard-kind-of-voice)
The day goes on. John and I are outside taking down allllll the Christmas lights (I really should blog that...Christmas, that is) John's on the roof (near the chimney) taking down the lights, I'm gathering all the extension cords, etc. etc.

Brillo is still irritated with something in the fireplace. We settle down that evening, John and I are watching TV. Around 8:30pm Brillo cannot take it anymore and goes downstairs and camps out in front of the fireplace barking. BARKING NON STOP FOR AN HOUR!!! Around 9:30pm Parker heads down there to put a stop to it. He takes a flashlight and decides to look up the flue of the chimney. John "KNOWS" there is nothing wrong, Brillo is just a freak.

Now imagine a Blood Curtling scream and a white-faced Parker screaming: "There's a RACCOON in the chimney. REALLY! I'm not kidding I saw it's face!!!

Of course John still does not believe it...Nooooo, there's not...
So we all head to the basement to check this out. Parker is staying waaaay back, I'm half way and John is completely sitting in the fireplace, opens the flue and shines the flashlight up there. "I don't see anything, I can see all the way up and outside." John gets up and hands me the flashlight. I gingerly sit on the edge of the fireplace and lean ever-so-slightly down to shine the light up and on the way up the light catches a lot of fur AND IT IS M O V I N G!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!! (by the way Heather is on the phone for the entire experience laughing her guts out, cause all she can hear is screaming)

The raccoon IS there and it is off to the side and I'm realizing how lucky John is to still have a face and how glad I am that it is not a snake. Brillo is now looking ever-so-proud-of-himself and wagging his tail, knowing that he was a good doggie and a treat is sure to follow and has that smug "I told you so" look on his face.

Parker and I really want to see the raccoon again so up to the roof we go! No, really we did. As we carefully shined the flashlight in I saw more fur and the a little hand with long black claws push itself back to where it could not be seen.

Now you know me: I "GOOGLE" Everything! I googled the words: "Raccoon in chimney" and read all about how to rid your chimney of "guests". I found a picture of my chimney on the website, well, one that looks exactly like it from the inside, minus one or two raccoons.
Okay, this post is getting long, sorry.

I found out online that raccoons love chimneys because they are warm and dry and out of the elements. Baby season is March-June. They don't like bright lights or loud sounds. They will only move their babies when they are old enough. Animal Control does not take care of the situation, it's pest control, costs $500 and they kill the animals. Being nocturnal animals they love to sleep during the day, so making their den as uncomfortable as possible is your best bet.

Using my googled raccoon evacuation knowledge we tried to make the den a very uncomfortable space, so before we left for church we set up a radio in the fireplace and blarred some Fergalicous and other loud pounding music up the chimney. When we got home John took a hammer and banged on the metal flue for quite a while. Parker brought in his stereo with speakers and added that to the mix.

Then the storm started to blow in and it was raining and then the snow started...then I started feeling sorry for the little bugger and told Dex to turn off the music. I didn't think it was very fair to force the poor guy out and expect him/her to find another home. John says, "It's a freakin' RODENT, don't feel sorry for it.

Around 7:30pm Sunday Night, Parker and I bravely opened the flue for a quick check. No raccoon. I think the hammer pounding did him in. I bought chimney caps from Home Depot today. Oh, we are suppose to tape newspaper over the chimney. If after 4 days the newspaper has not been torn, you are raccoon free. Here's hoping! Brillo doesn't check the fireplace every 5 minutes, but he still does check it and then is able to leave it. I really don't think it is there anymore.

Okay, if you have made it through this entire story and would love to read more. Here's a great one. It is from a real live preacher man! He is a great story teller and tells his 5-day ordeal! It's hilarious...especially when you've lived through it. Raccoon Stories Rush Limbaugh got rid of his raccoon!

Apparently, raccoons in chimneys happens all the time!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I thought we all (yes, even me, especially me!) could use this advice...when you've been married as long as I have (16 years in March!) I need some reminders & tips! And don't worry, they do have a list for being a better husband...but I wanted to start it! Enjoy and I hope you have a fun, sexy valentines day...cause I won't, John's at school tonight...but maybe tomorrow! *Wink*Wink*

10 Steps to Being a Better Wife
By Sharon O’Brien
Some guys might not realize this, but when most women get married they usually imagine cozy evenings by a fire, sharing their hopes and dreams with the men they love. Our Prince Charmings, however, sometimes turn into The Grinches Who Stole Romance, lying on the couch with a beer in one hand and a remote in the other. You may have noticed our displeasure about this on occasion. However, in the interest of your willingness to cater to our needs (see "10 Ways to Be a Better Husband"), here's a list for the women out there. Ladies, instead of trying to fix your flawed but lovable husband, why not start by looking in the mirror? These 10 steps will help you re-energize your marriage and renew your appreciation for the former Mr. Perfect.

1) Take care of yourself
Turns out that the best thing you can do for your husband is also good for you. Eat healthy foods, maintain good grooming, and exercise regularly. You'll look and feel better, and you'll continue to be the vibrant and attractive woman he fell in love with, no matter your age.
2) Say thank you, often
When researchers ask men what they want from their wives, appreciation always makes the list. Everyone likes to be appreciated, so remember to notice the things your husband does—for you, for the kids, for the house—and thank him. You'll put a smile on his face and a little joy in his heart.
3) Keep the romance alive
When was the last time you planned a romantic interlude with your husband? If you can't remember, you're way overdue. Be affectionate, write love notes, give him a backrub, plan a date, and initiate sexual play. Remind him that you still find him attractive.
4) Let him have "guy time"
Everyone needs time for themselves—to relax, enjoy a hobby, or socialize with friends. If your husband loves football and you don't, don’t bug him about it. Encourage him to cultivate friendships with other men. He'll enjoy the companionship. Studies show that people with friends tend to live longer, healthier lives.
5) Make your husband a priority
With the everyday stresses of work, home, and kids, it's easy to take your husband for granted. Make time for the two of you to reconnect on a regular basis. Take an interest in his work and hobbies. Let him know he's important to you.
6) Don't try to change him
Are you outgoing, but your husband is shy? Do you like a clean house, but he leaves towels on the floor? Behavioral experts say you can't change others, you can only change yourself and how you react—so look for ways other than nagging to handle these situations. Compromise on social activities by making them shorter, or go by yourself. Place a laundry basket in the bathroom. And when he attends a party or puts dirty towels in their proper place, thank him. Positive reinforcement beats nagging every time.
7) Don’t make him guess—tell him what you want
It's easy to assume that the person who lives with you every day also knows you well enough to know what you want. Not true. Most of us view the world through our own needs and desires, so don't be surprised if your husband thinks that what you want is what he would want. If you want something specific—advice, a hug, or a red sweater for your birthday—let him know.
8) Cultivate friends and interests outside your marriage
Once you’re married, it's easy to shrink your social network to revolve around your husband. But no one person can meet all your needs, and it’s too much to expect your husband to be your partner, your lover, AND your best girlfriend. Make time for friendships outside your marriage. You'll have more fun and bring new energy to your relationship.
9) Let free time be free
Just as you need time to relax and unwind, so does your husband. He may not define it the way you do, though; while your idea of relaxing after work may be talking over a glass of wine, he may enjoy being quiet for awhile, reading the newspaper, or watching TV. Find a compromise so both your needs are met. And give him time to recharge by not over-scheduling weekends with home projects and shopping.
10) Believe in your husband, and let him know it
Men can display a lot of bravado, but like us they sometimes struggle with low self-confidence and feelings of failure. And because men approach the world as competitors, they sometimes end up feeling like losers. When he comes home, your husband needs to know that the person he values most in the world believes in him—especially when he doesn't believe in himself.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Church Callings

I currently have 2 church callings...one has always been my "Dream job"...and NO, it's not the Visiting Teaching Coordinator calling. I'm the LIBRARIAN!! I love it. I get to make copies and chat for 2 hours each Sunday, it's great! I do other things than just make copies so I don't go too crazy...at least I don't have to file. Well, I guess I have to file the pictures back in place. I started having a weekly Family Home Evening lesson that I print up and have copies for people to take. That keeps it fun and different each week.

We are currently getting ready for our Visiting Teaching Interviews with the sisters to see how things are going in their groups. Instead of the 2 companions going in to see 1 sister, we have Visiting Teaching Groups. This is a group of 2-6 sisters that all get together at once (as many as can attend) and have their lesson. Some go out to lunch, do activities or just meet at someone's house. My group is having a brunch on Saturday.

For Relief Society we have some pretty neat speakers coming in the next few months. For our RS Birthday Party on March 8 we are have Michael K. Winder, the author of Presidents and Prophets. In April, the other ward that meets in our church invited us to join their RS for Ardeth Kapp (Former YW General President), and in May the stake has planned for Liz Lemon Swindle to speak to us! Check out her beautiful paintings, I know you will recognize some of them. She is amazing! One of my favorites is The Holy Men. Our Stake Primary Presidency gave it to me for Christmas a couple of years ago. There are so many that I would love to have!

Any suggestions for the library or Visiting Teaching? What has worked for you? What has been your motivation to visit teach? What is/are your callings? I'd love to hear from you!

While on the subject of church, please watch this video of Glen Beck closing his portion of the CNN News. It is so touching, and I still cry everytime I watch it.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Thanks Haley!

Thanks to the Writer's Strike...and to Haley for getting me back "into" bloggin! There's not much TV, so what is a junkie to do? B L O G!!

Haley kept telling me that they added new features and that I really should "update" my blog. Well, I have and it has excited me to start it up again. I've added a poll and my favorite music and YouTube videos and my favorite line from a movie. Oh, there's just so much to do! I'm having fun and hope that you enjoy it too!

If you want to create your own playlist just click on the icon for it. It was really fun finding all the music and remembering songs from my past and looking to see if they had them...and they did! Check it out at Playlist.com. It is SUPER easy!!!

Parker has started his blog now too...Broncos RULE! He'd love to get some comments from you!....me too!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lost is BAAAaaaacccck!

LOST Returns! Yahoo! SOMETHING to watch! I have Singing Bee on TiVo...just in case there isn't ANYTHING to watch and John says: "You sure are desperate, aren't you!"

Yea! It's back and new episodes! The "reacquaint you" episode was great with the pop-ups! I'm glad I have TiVo so I could rewind it because I would get so involved with what was going on screen, that I would forget to read the pop-ups at the bottom...some of them were hilarious!

Of course we didn't find out too much information about what the HELL is going on, but like the millions of other fans...we'll continue to watch, won't WE!

I was sincerely grateful for Medium to come back...I love that show!...So I finish watching the 2nd episode and the announcer says: "A New Episode of Medium in 4 weeks!" FOUR WEEKS!!! Geeesh!!

Well, I'm off to watch tonight's episode of Lost. Boy! Do I love my TiVo!

The reason I have Bubbly by Colbie Caillat on my blog is because the words remind me of one of my favorite series of books I have read...The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers. http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/twilight.html

Erin got me reading the first book and then I couldn't stop! I loved the it! I wasn't so much in love with Edward as I was in love with the way he made Bella feel. I would put the book down and just *sigh* aaaaah! young love!

We read the first book for our Book Club and apparently EVERYONE loved it because we had 18 people there! The most ever!...and most everyone didn't stop with just the 1st book...they had to keep going! One comment was "I have been the worst Mom because I ignore my kids so I can read!" If you've read the series you know exactly the same feeling!

How Many Are There of YOU??

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We've been married for 18 years!

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You Are 68% Addicted to the Internet
In your opinion, life without the internet is hardly worth living.
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