Tuesday, March 30, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Post with No Pics

Forgetful...that's what I am! I get so caught up in the "doing" that I neglect the "remembering"...the part where you record your efforts so that, years from now, all will pay homage to your work, your sacrifice...Oh, let's just face it: I got busy; I forgot to even get out the camera; I even forgot that I forgot...till over a week later. So, you get the "unillustrated" version of St. Patrick's Day 2010.

Morning: that sly leprechaun had entered our house, and, as leprechauns do, committed mischief and mayhem. Our milk was green. Our water in the fridge was green.


Sadly, teenagers and college students - mind you, they were on Spring Break, so neither was up very early- were not too pleased and complained incessantly about the vulgarities of cereal with green liquid. They did finally look at the table, where that dear leprechaun had adorned our table with gold loot: Rolo's, Almond Hershey Kisses, Twix, plus Leprechaun Loot Bags with green footprints all over the outside, and the above said loot...and mint Oreos...inside. That sweet leprechaun even left a bag for Nate's friend, Keely, but, since they had no weight lifting/conditioning that morning, she had to wait till the next day for her loot.


Day went on as usual...no surprises...Except for when visiting son Doran grabbed an Oreo out of the dish...Ugh! Mint!!! (Obviously not a fan of mint oreos...NOTE TO SELF: BUY MORE MINT OREOS...MAYBE ALL RICE BOYS FEEL THE SAME AND I CAN HAVE GUESTS ACTUALLY EATING THE GUEST GOODIES. jkjk, Doran...I love it when you guys come and search for edible treasure, and "guest candy" as Ethan refers to it!


Dinner that night, our monthly Nano meal, was corned beef, cabbage and red potatoes, salad, green jello, and sugar cookies with green frosting.


That was it...no drama...just a little fun. I hope your imagined scenes were as good as they really were!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Belated Birthday

I thought about him all day yesterday. In Sacrament Meeting number one, I remarked that, exactly 26 years ago at that moment, I was in labor. At Sacrament Meeting number two, I was thinking that they were getting me ready to deliver, and I requested that we finish before "Guiding Light" (yes, many years ago, I loved a soap opera or two...but that was long ago. Now, I am not really even a t.v. fan...especially since we stopped Dish Network (so no more HGTV)to save money). Anyway, the computer was off when I arrived at home, Dee had much to do on it later...so, I am now writing my birthday tribute to now. Heck, he was officially due on March 23rd, and NONE of my babies ever came early, so this could actually be considered not late, but in anticipation!!!

My third miracle, Doran Charles Rice, III, was born on March 21, 1984. It was also his great uncle Loyd's 50th birthday. I had encouraged my mother in law to, of course, attend his celebration, for my babies never came early!!! Doran, as he has always done, came into the world quietly, without fanfare (that is, until Grampa- Doran Charles Rice I, saw him perform a bodily function in the nursery at a great distance, lets just say...I heard about my sweet baby's urination abilities from all, including the sweet lady that came and emptied my trash can two days later!)and left a mark that makes him so special. Yes, our second son was the namesake, though, at first, we called him "DJ"...works well, huh??? with dad being a disc jockey. It would have remained so nice, and less confusing at family parties, with there being Grampa-Doran, hubby-Dee, and son-DJ, but that sweet little boy wanted "Doran" to be his kindergarten name, and then it became, as hubby says "which Doran do you want...the handsome/cute one, or the younger one?"

I know people think that, when you have a large family with many children that they are all alike, but, oh, wouldn't that be easy!! You could make your mistakes on the first, or the second one...and have it figured out by then. But, oh, how different they can be. Doran weighed and measured exactly the same as older brother Ethan, but clones they certainly are not! Doran is very patient, very easy going. He is very intuitive about things. I used to take Doran and Ethan to the orthodontist at the same time...they would be amazed that these two were brothers: Ethan would be trying to reconfigure every light and instrument while flirting with every assistant, while Doran would say nothing at all. They were amazed, and I would remark that, if you mixed these two together, you would actually get a "normal" teenager! Doran loved the same things his brothers did: sports-played baseball (could hit the ball a mile, but just wasn't driven to achieve...he was more interested in what the after game treat was), art (he actually took classes in high school and did very well...the drawing and creating art. He couldn't do poetry like Morgan could, and didn't cartoon like Ethan could). He always helped at Dad's dances, liked music and getting speakers. He loved his car and always took care of it...we used to tease him so much about the exact fluid levels and how much he had, or didn't have...we would laugh as we would see him, within a few hours, re-changing that fluid to make sure everything was just perfect. He never was a perfectionist when it came to school work... we learned that "spell check" was created just for him!...but as he has aged, and developed a passion for certain things, like his own vehicles and making sure they operate well, look good, and last a long time...we see the "Rice Perfectionist Syndrome" show up...no paint job is ever good enough!! Doran does many, many things well. We missed him so much when he left for his church mission...there was just no one that did the yard as nicely, and that included mowing, edging, and making sure all the watering systems and timers were operating well...a very important thing here in the desert!

I love many things about Doran, but the most wonderful thing about him is his quiet willingness to do for others. He is the ONLY child I have that I can whine in just a certain way, and he would do ANYTHING that I would ask of him. (I tried this just last night with Kayty...she assured me that the whiny voice would not work on her either!! He is the one that would cut my wood for me, would move heavy things for me. He, to this day, still looks out for me and makes sure that EVERYTHING in others behavior is done to make me happy (though he still hasn't stopped the mess making thing...oh, well, he still is only 26!) Doran drives up to the house, and asks his sister about the fluids in her car...and makes sure oil, water, and red lights are all taken care of, without being asked. He is always interested in his sister in Vegas and how they are getting along, and has served many times as our Phoenix to Vegas transport! He drives his brother to pick up strange car parts, digs through junk yards looking for a radiator, takes a younger sister prom dress shopping, picks up truckloads of river rock and delivers them for dad's projects, paints cars, and all with that winning "Doran Smile". That is what is amazing...Dad always called him "Mr. Smiley", for he always has a smile on his face! When we received a call when he got to his mission area in Tacoma Washington and asked how he was, the sister said he was there, smiling ear to ear! Mr. Smiley...or, then, Elder Smiley...always. You just can't be sad around him! He faces trials with a smile. He faces challenges with a smile. The only time he didn't have a smile is when he had been with his dear, sweet wonderful Danyel as she labored for days, and lost their sweet Charles. I know, though, that our sweet Charles watches over all of us, with his Heavenly Father, waiting for the day we can all be together. He now is so excited waiting for the 24th of April, when he can be sealed for time and all eternity to his mommy and daddy! Then, our sweet Doran will have the biggest smile yet...only yet, for, with the wonderful young man that he has grown to be, there will be many, many more smiles on that sweet face.

Big families; lots of kids...and, dear sweet Doran, you have made our life so much better. We would not have been complete without you, even with the few antics: Miss Caviness' phone call, and that time you got stuck in the sand and had to have MANY people help you, to name a few. Yes, dear Mr. Smiley, you have made our lives so wonderful, so happy. Thank you for the gift you gave of coming to us, letting us make mistakes while raising you-and forgiving us, at least, we hope you have. Thank you for bringing sweet Danyel back from the cold, rainy weather of Washington. Thank you for loving all of us! Happy, happy birthday to you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Leprechaun Mayhem

There was a time when my children eagerly prepared for St. Patrick's Day...searched high and low for 'green stuff'...set their own traps (with 6 kids trap setting, this made our home a mine field, I assure you!)Green was grabbed by our leprechaun friend, and gold loot (rolo's and hershey kisses with almonds) were left in the empty traps. Strange green footprints were found...green spaghetti or mashed potatoes for dinner...fun.

Now, the remaining children are too old, apparently, for the fun of St. Patrick's Day...no traps were set last night! So, when our leprechaun friend came a calling last night, to his disappointment, there was no fun for him...sooooo he got us! We found green milk, green scrambled eggs for breakfast...he had even separated out the green Fruit Rings cereal out of the bag (someone had waaaaaaaaaaaaay to much time on their hands!!) He did leave treats: bags of loot for all (including Nate's friend, Keely...must have thought there was weight lifting class this morning!)filled with mini Twix, rolo's, almond Hershey kisses, and mini Reeses...and mint Oreos! Dinner is Corned Beef, with cabbage, carrots, red potatoes, rye bread, salad (for me!) and green jello (not a fan of jello am I) and sugar cookies with green frosting! Dad's lunch had even been "leprechauned"...he got a couple candies (chocolate and hubby don't do well) green kiwi yogurt, pistachios, and his wonderful snow pea and chicken Chinese food that he makes sooooo well! Plus, we have a ton of snow peas to eat from our garden!) It will be very interesting to see what is in store for lunch??? Hopefully, Miss Kayty-the ever asleep on Spring Break college student-will get a peek!
Happy St. Patrick's Day from the O'Rices!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

She's With Me

Facebook: a social network, a high school reunion without having to lose a ton of weight, a place to rejoice or to cry with others who care, and a place to think, and to be inspired. I found this in a post by a dear friend from the past, and I had to share...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Finally...My Condition Has A Name

Since my early days of watching Martha Stewart, I would sit in awe at all the lovely dinnerware she had. I heard that she had her own special place to store all of her dishes. At first, I thought this was totally ridiculous! And then, the bug hit me. It began when we married...I had selected the pattern "Affection" by Noritake for our china. I ended up, thanks to moms, with a lovely set of beautiful dishes. Then, a few years later, I so admired my mother in law's Christmas dishes. The next year, I was surprised by my own set for my Christmas gift. My hunger for dishes has only grown, and now I search out every yard sale for dishes. I love to set the table, though my resources are not vast, and I have such a good time. I used to have a closet for my collection that had long ago spilled past the confines of my China cupboards. Then, I lost my closet...so much was rearranged so my dishes could remain inside. I told myself that it was time to stop...no problem, I thought. Then, hubby called me, while I was dutifully driving son to track practice...more dishes. No, I thought...but my mouth did not agree with that thought...and so he got them for me. Now, I don't have the resources to purchase full priced sets, so I only am taken by the extreme bargain, but it seems I cannot stop. I was reading tonight, and saw a blog, referring to my "condition"...yes, I am a dishaholic! Problem is, I don't want to be cured!

For Today

Outside my window... The sun is beginning to rise, and I see the wonderful flower bed with the daffodils and tulips sweet hubby bought for me. It just makes everything feel like Spring.

I am thinking... about ALL I have to do today: cleaning, a little grocery shopping before the ads end, getting Nathan his compression shorts for track. It seems when you are the one at home, your "job" entails so very many things, but that makes every day not boring!

I am thankful for... the fact that hubby still has his job, and that, though it has been hard to live for 6 years on no raise, and now more unpaid weeks in the future, we have been preparing for what might happen, so I am not afraid. We still have our health, the insurance to take care of Kayty's disease, and all can be handled.

From the kitchen... tonight we will cook up the chuck steaks hubby wanted so badly at Safeway last night. It is fine...they were on sale, and we haven't had "meat you can chew" as my kids used to call it, in quite awhile. I hope to make banana bread out of the leftover bananas tomorrow morning.

I am wearing... my typical uniform: jeans, a t-shirt, and my Asics gels shoes that kill my bunion, but I am not gonna get rid of them-they are barely worn!

I am reading... I have gotten back to reading the scriptures. I am reading the Book of Mormon, and am in Third Nephi...reading of the signs given to those living on the American Continent of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Such faith they had...they had the wonders that those near Bethlehem also had, though they only had the belief that what had been prophesied did truly occur. I have found that I get so much more done if the first thing I do is read my scriptures.

I am hoping... everyone in my house has a great day: hubby has a fantastically productive day at work, Kayty does well on her sight singing test, and Nathan throws that shotput and discus further than ever. A good day for the family means a happy evening here!

I am creating... St. Patrick's Day and Easter decorations...out of scrap 2 x 4's...I love to create! It is what makes me happy...after my work is done, that is!

I am hearing... the radio...I am a disc jockey wife, and I try to help by listening to what the teenagers listen to, though sometimes I wish I could cover my ears! Fortunately, things are bleeped out...but that Lady GaGa!

Around the house... today is dusting day, though it won't be as bad as usual. We have had rain...a rarity for Arizona...so that helps tremendously. I need to take some time to do some more organization in the pantry...hard to find what I have!

One of my favorite things... are my pictures and gifts from my grandbabies. My workroom: laundry, craft/sewing table, freezer... well, I have covered the cabinets with the pictures I have of them, the ones they have colored for me, the notes they write to me...they are my treasures!

A few plans for the rest of the week... I want to get things more and more organized, and make sure I eliminate all waste! I am trying to pay bills ahead of time, plus a little extra, in preparation for the April furlough with no pay.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Good Cookin' Kinda Day

Something happened that I didn't pursue, and would never have dreamed: I LOVE to cook! I have the best time trying new recipes out on my unsuspecting family. Challenges come in finding ways to use the surplus food I am blessed with every week, i.e. eggplant, Mexican gray squash, tomatillos, kale (haven't found a good use for that...yet! Family is kinda tired of boiled collard greens, boiled turnip greens, and spinach salad) When money was a bit more plentiful, I even would look up national food days, and adjust my menu accordingly! Anyway, if you would have told me years ago that I would look forward to filling out my monthly menu, keeping a freezer inventory (mind you, I am still a "work in progress" so only a small freezer is inventoried...not the chest freezer), I would have called you a lunatic. Now, I am not great at it...this cooking thing...I am still just trying out new things. Today, for instance. I found out it was National Peanut Butter Lovers' Day. This inspired a new cookie recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies...so far, a hit! And then, for dinner, I made a very different kind of enchiladas, recipe thanks to my daughter in law's blog, omitting any onions. Hubby loved them, and he is one tough cookie to please! So, it ended up being a good cookin' kinda day, and I had an absolute BLAST.

Now, thanks to Allison and her great encouragement, the Cafe Rio style pork meal was a great success with Kayty. Now, for my next challenge: homemade bread, without the machine! I will let you know how that goes!