Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Santa Dilemma

I know most of you have probably been following this breaking story, but apparently, Justin Beiber grew up with his mom telling him there was no Santa Claus. (*Shock*Gasp*) She didn't want him to one day realize he'd been lied to his entire childhood, then consequently not believe her when she told him about God.

I don't know, it kind of makes sense. So how do I handle the whole Santa thing? Well, I don't shoot Sammy down when she asks about Santa, ("He's not real, okay! Just don't tell your preschool buddies...") but I do preface everything I tell her with: "Legend has it..." or, "The story goes that...." For example, "Tradition has it...that Santa will bring you presents in your stocking!" I don't think she knows what a legend or tradition is, but someday she will and realize that I have not in fact lied to her about Santa, but have carried on a fun tradition of our forefathers.

Aside from focusing on semantics while talking about Santa, I have also been trying to teach Sammy what Christmas is all about. We add a magnet to our magnetic nativity every morning and read a scripture and sing a song about Jesus. Every night, we cut a link off our chain that has something about Jesus written on it and we tape it to our window. We've watched videos, read books, etc. about Jesus. So a couple days ago, we had a little conversation about Christmas--I was mostly curious what Sammy had absorbed about Christmas this year.

Me: Sammy, do you know what Christmas is?
Sammy: It's when Santa comes and brings us presents and stockings!
Me: And when we celebrate Jesus' birthday!
Sammy: And when Santa comes!
Me: And when we celebrate Jesus coming to earth as a little baby!
Sammy: And I get presents from Santa!
Me: He's not real, okay! I'm the one that shells out for those presents! It's Jesus' day. It's about Jesus!

Okay, so I didn't really say that last part. I wanted to, but I didn't. I think she just might be too young to really get the reason for Christmas. But you know what? At least I'm not Jewish. Have you ever tried to explain Hanukkah to a 3-year-old? I have. Let me tell you, those Jewish mothers have it even worse than I do.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

That's Just the Way the Cookie Crumbles

I've had a couple of embarassing incidents this Christmas season--there was that time I walked around church a while before I noticed the french fry sticker on my ankle, and then Sammy shouting out "Mom, I need to go pee!" during the middle of her preschool Christmas program. However, the Cookie Incident tops everything.

I spent hours last week baking and icing and decorating 4 dozen star cookies for a recipe exchange group. (I was going for the first time and wanted to impress people with how tasty and beautiful my Christmas cookies were. Normally I don't spend that much time on cookies.) The idea is that a bunch of women go to someone's house, trade cookies and recipes, and go home with a nice variety to give to the neighbors for Christmas. I think it's a great idea.

Anyway, the night of the exchange, we were running late getting home from seeing Christmas lights, but I figured I would go anyway. I glanced at the address on Google Maps and jumped into the car. The only problem was, when I got to the subdivision where the house was located, no one had their lights on and I couldn't see anyone's address. Fortunately, it was a small subdivision, and there was only one house with all the lights on and 15 cars parked in front of it. Bingo! There was a little sign taped to the door, "Come in,"  so I trotted on in with my dozens of beautiful and tasty cookies. 

As I stopped in the entry and tried to figure out how to take my boots off while holding 4 dozen cookies, I started looking around me. Strange...there were a lot of little kids running around. I thought this was a girls' night out sort of thing. I took a few steps toward the kitchen to set my cookies down and started looking at the grown ups sitting around talking. Also strange...quite a few men were there mingling with the women and I didn't recognize anyone...Oh no. Oh crap. Wrong house. RUN FOR THE DOOR! I was inches away from freedom when a nice man holding a baby came around the corner and smiled cheerily at me. "Hi, how are you doing?" He seemed a little confused as I detoured around him and reached for the doorknob, still holding my umpteen beautiful and tasty cookies.  "Great!" I squeaked. "I, um, forgot my cellphone--um, I have to run out to the car to grab it." I made a hasty exit.

Epilogue: Highly confused, I drove around the subdivision one more time and actually found the right address. Strangely, even though I was only 30 minutes late, the house was dark and everyone was gone. I gave up on my attempts to be social and drove home slowly in the dark, my dejected tears dropping one by one onto my perfectly iced cookies. Each lovingly placed sprinkle melted softly into...okay, okay, so it wasn't that big of a deal. Our neighbors just got tins of star cookies, no variety added. I went home and looked up my invitation to the recipe exchange group and saw that they had actually met two days earlier. Am I discouraged that I made all that effort to go the recipe group only to get the date wrong? No. Sometimes mistakes happen. Sometimes you go to total strangers' Christmas parties. Sometimes, that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Sob Stories

Christmas time is here! It's nice to be home. Inside, the house is festooned with Christmas lights and garlands and bursting with joyful activities like gingerbread house making,

while outside, our welcome bear shivers in the cold.

I'm thinking of writing a Christmas story. It's about a sad, lonely little orphan bear who is shivering in the snow on Christmas Eve, when suddenly a nice family pulls up and gives him warm clothes to wear and 15 large boxes full of toys and goodies to take back to the orphanage. If this is sounding familiar, it's because it is. Most Christmas stories tend to fall into formulaic and somewhat maudlin patterns. You can quote me as an expert on that, because today I read around 90 short Christmas stories online to find some worthy of putting in a binder and reading as a family at Christmas time. I would say about 86 percent of them started with someone dying, someone missing a loved one who has died, or a mention of the Great Depression. The other 14 percent were about orphans.

Yes, as a writer I turn up my nose at Christmas stories. And yet, as I read story after story, I would start sobbing as poor little Billy bought those Christmas shoes for his dying mother, or the lonely old man gave the beautiful doll to the deserving girl who was only thinking about her crippled brother, or the single mom of three kids who didn't know how she was going to provide Christmas for her family was given gifts by kind strangers. The pile of Kleenex grew and my kids looked at me like I was crazy, but I kept reading and sobbing my way through all 90 stories. I think my heart grew 3 sizes today. Or I'm turning into my emotional father. Both medical impossibilities, yet I know something changed today. Despite the predictable cast and the sentimental writing, I'm starting to like Christmas stories.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Perilous Yoga

At Thanksgiving time I was chatting with my sister-in-law, who told me she was taking a yoga class in addition to her super running. It piqued my interest--we've established that I'm not motivated enough to run but I've been wanting to do something in the mornings at home to get the day jumpstarted. I figured I could just check out some yoga videos from the library for some free exercise. Plus, Sammy would probably like to do it with me.

Now, my sister-in-law did say that she was taking her yoga class at a gym with babysitting, and that her kids were a little underfoot when she did yoga at home, but I brushed that aside. My kids are pretty mellow; Sammy doesn't like to over-exert herself and Cici usually just follows Sammy around.

 They look so peaceful, don't they?

Unfortunately, something about the sight of me stretching to soothing New Age music mysteriously whips them up into a frenetic swirl of activity. Mom is standing on one foot? Let's grab onto her leg and try to make her fall over. Mom is doing any stretch that remotely resembles a tunnel? We must crawl under her and run around her. Mom is lying on her back with her eyes closed doing relaxation exercises? We should drop books on her face!

This morning during the latest yoga movie, I was lying on my back listening to someone chant Relax! Breathe! Heal! over and over in a soothing voice when I heard a familiar voice exclaim, "Mom! You're a boat!" followed by the painful whump! of a three-year-old plunking herself onto my relaxed stomach. My eyes shot open and I gave Sammy The Look while Cici giggled in the background. Yogi-like, I calmly went back to Relax! Breathe! Heal! while unbeknownst to me, Sammy circled around for round two. "Mom! You're a bed!" I snapped into defensive mode. Sammy likes to jump on the bed. "Alright," I sighed in defeat. "Yoga time is over." Who would have thought that such a peaceful looking activity could be so dangerous?

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

As many of you may know, "The Happiest Place on Earth" is...Disneyworld!!! Is this true? No. But should I use this phrase to describe, for example, my ridiculously comfy bed with a good book and some chocolate sitting next to it, I have no doubt that I would be quickly set upon by Disney's trademark infringement lawyers. Setting the misleading advertising aside, (Florida was cold, I don't like being cold, ergo Disneyworld, being in Florida, is not the happiest place on earth) let me tell you about our trip.

We went to St. Augustine, billed as the oldest city in North America. It was very historical--the city includes the oldest fort, oldest house, oldest schoolhouse, etc. But did we visit any of these? No. We went to a chocolate factory instead. Our guide burst in singing "Come with me, and you'll be, in a world of pure imagination," etc., a la Willy Wonka, which is always a good sign that the chocolate tour will be good.

Chocolate Pretzel Machine

Also we got to wear hair nets.

We forgot to take them off after the tour and wandered around the gift shop for a little while with them on. Well, we are a good-looking family--we can pull off any look, right?

After St. Augustine, we went to Orlando. Austin landed us in the Waldorf Astoria, so it was a luxurious vacation.

This is the only picture we have of the room, but trust me, it was really fancy. I loved getting room service and made sure to get--wait for it--the Waldorf salad. We went swimming in the huge pool/lazy river, even though it was hovering around 50 outside (Austin made us!), and the breakfast buffet included an elaborately carved watermelon, so as you can tell, we were living in the lap of luxury.

As far as Disneyworld went, I made us get there before the park actually opened in the morning, so we were first in line to get in on our first day (Yes, I was a little excited). The crowds were slim because it was a chilly morning so we ended up completing most of my intensive 2 day touring plan in about 3 hours. We then went back to the Waldorf and took naps. It was awesome.

This is a picture of us after we sneaked into the park before it opened the second day. There was a line for people with breakfast reservations to go in early, and we had breakfast reservations (in Cinderella's Castle!) but they weren't for until a couple hours after the park opened. Should we have gone in? Well they didn't ask us what time our reservations were for and we breezed through the line. We wandered the empty streets of Disneyworld and gazed at the Saturday holiday crowds massing outside the ropes  until a uniformed man came up to us and asked if we had breakfast reservations. When we said yes, he asked what time they were for. Ummm....

It turns out, he was just checking to see if we had enough time to go meet the princesses! Since it was one thing I hadn't yet checked off my touring plan, we of course agreed and Sammy got to spend 10 minutes with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Belle by herself, twirling around and soaking up the princess overload.

I feel that the moral of this story isn't what it could be, (Sneak into Disneyworld, get invited to do cool things!) but we all lived happily ever after, so it's still a good story. We probably won't go back to Disneyworld for a while, but it was definitely a magical vacation.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Costa Rica, Baby!

Ahhh, babyless in Costa Rica. Just Austin and me and wait...our two 17-year-old brothers! With two teenage guys along, this was an adventure-filled vacation. It was so fun that I didn't have a chance to regret that there wasn't a lot of soulful gazing into each other's eyes on the beach at sunset.

I got lots of pictures of the wildlife,

lots of pictures of Austin gazing off into the distance,

and lots of pictures of trees/jungle.

My favorite activity was the one I really didn't want to do at first...crawling through a water-filled cave.

I mostly didn't want to do it because of the spiders...and yet I ended up with this picture.

I think this was my favorite thing because it was not something you could do anywhere else...most caves I've been to in the U.S. have handrails and a uniformed guide and strategically placed lighting. At the Venado Caves we got to touch the wildlife and the cool formations, we each had a flashlight  and our un-uniformed guide just took off in the darkness and told us to follow Spanish.

Costa Rica was beautiful...I'm so glad we went!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to get to the LDS church in Quepos, Costa Rica

 This post is for anyone out there googling this, trying to figure out how to go to the Mormon church in Quepos.

[May 2015 Update: "Thanks to your blog post we were able to find the church in Quepos.  I work for the Church (in an unrelated department), so immediately upon return from my vacation, I made sure that the LDS Maps was corrected.  The Branch was begging me to do so. The site is now fixed."
--Thank you, Joel!]

We wanted to go on Sunday during our vacation but all the website said was that it was by a furniture store. (False). We asked locals throughout our stay there and no one knew where the church was...Saturday afternoon loomed and it was our last trip into town and our last chance before Sunday to figure out what time the LDS church in Quepos met and where it was located. Of course, I had been saying little prayers the past few days to just find this place already, and as we drove around the block in Quepos that Saturday afternoon, who should we see, but two very conspicuous Mormon missionaries! (I know, this sounds like it should be a story in the Ensign or something.)

Austin and I made our little brothers jump out and flag them down--the American missionary seemed pretty happy to hear someone speaking to him in English--and they walked us to the church because they said it would be too hard to tell us how to get there. Well, if you don't have a convenient missionary to walk you to the LDS church in Quepos, here are some directions as of August 2012:

"It is now on the main road coming in from Jaco/Pocares/Damas right on the edge of town. If you are traveling towards Quepos it is on the left hand side next to "Los Horcones" Hotel and Restaurant. It is across a little canal/river."

Church on the right in picture

Church still starts at 9:00, sacrament meeting is first. When we went it was the Primary Program which was really fun. We felt a good spirit and were glad we went!

Feel free to email me at if you have photos, anything to add to directions, etc.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Monster Post

I might not be posting for a little bit due to upcoming travels. (My house is fully equipped with a nerve-shattering alarm system, so don't try to camp out here while I'm gone.) Anyway, here are a lot of pictures for you to look at while you pine for more posts.

To kick off our Halloween festivities, Cici cast a spell of cuteness over us all...

We painted pumpkins instead of carving them this year. Is that a cop-out? It was a lot faster and a lot less work for me. Plus Sammy could actually participate. Note: must utilize bobbypins more while growing Sammy's hair out.

Sammy was a ghost for her preschool party. Costume #2 wasn't finished at this point. See below.

Costume #2 was begun when I had too much time on my hands, and promptly abandoned as more interesting projects came up. However, after some marathon sewing a couple days before Halloween, it turned out in time:

I really think my adorable toddler may have a future as a child model. She draws heavily on Derek Zoolander for inspiration.


Cici was a squirmy fairy...

And a wormy apple...(there was a little worm on her apple costume, fyi. It was, however, a cute worm.)

I was crafty and made skeleton cookies from Sammy gave them demonic red eyes. Although I was crafty for my kids, I really wasn't crafty for myself in terms of finding a cool costume. I have nothing against adults and teenagers dressing up. I will freely give you candy if you come to my door, but only if you have a cool costume. If you're throwing on a wig just to get candy, may I advise you to go to Target the day after Halloween and spend 5 bucks on 50 percent off candy to save yourself the hassle. 

And if you wait another couple of days, it will be 75 percent off. Although the selection might be slim.

And with those words of wisdom, I will close mine epostle. Hasta luego!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm a Working Mother

On Friday we went to the insurance agent while the kids were at Mom's house to get our new coverage figured out. The insurance agent started going through some questions. "Do you work?" "No, I'm at home with our girls," I answered. Wait a minute. Back up. "Well, it is work," I muttered out loud...but we had moved on to other questions at that point. Our agent listed my occupation as "homemaker."

This was not really a big deal, but I think the way we talk about working and raising children has led to the devaluing of the amazing role a woman can play as the center of the home and creator and shaper of human beings.

These days, if a mom works and gets paid, she is said to "work." If a mom works (yes, all moms don't sit around and eat bon-bons while they watch soap operas, some work hard in pursuit of a happy family) and doesn't get paid, she "stays home." I don't mind the term "homemaker," because despite some negative connotations it's been given, it is one of the best descriptions of what I do. However, I do mind having to tell people I don't work to describe my job. How to remedy this without sounding obnoxious when I talk to people?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Mystery of the Mysterious Money

Last week, my parents received a mysterious missive in the mail addressed to me--well, addressed to me under my maiden name, Anocha Herding.  It was a typed statement from a credit union in Illinois that I haven't had an account with since I was 12 years old, saying basically this:


Amount of Item: 450.00
Status of Item: Returned

Question 1: Why is the Department of Education sending me money? Question 2: Why is it sending the money to my closed account? I knew that these would be hard questions to answer. But 450 dollars? Someone is trying to give me 450 dollars? Well for that amount I can make a few phone calls.

I called the credit union. After being put on hold, I found out that since my account is closed, they don't know anything about the statement they sent me. I called the U.S. Department of Education. After being put on hold and bounced around from department to department within the Department, I was informed that I had never had any student loans (wow, thank you for that info!) and that I didn't owe them any money. (Anona: No, I'm not trying to pay you, you're trying to pay me! Surely you must have a record of that!) I called the credit union again to find out who exactly sent me the money. (Could it be the Illinois Department of Education? Nope, it doesn't exist.)  I got put on hold and told by "Nicole" that she had to talk to the bookkeepers and that she would call me back. Ha. I wasn't born yesterday. This is called the "get rid of the weirdy" tactic. But lo and behold, I was called several times by this gal for various pieces of information and finally told that since my account is closed, they know nothing about who was trying to send me money.

I'm beginning to suspect that this was either A.) A cruel joke perpetuated by the bookkeepers at the credit union, or B.) A cruel joke perpetuated by the U.S. Department of Education. Good-bye, 450 dollars. I will never know who tried to send you to me. I wish I had never known about you because now I regret your loss. Your brief appearance in my life will forever remain a mystery.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Just a link to a blog post about the whole Occupy Wall Street thingamajig, if you're interested. It's mildly profane and some of it made me think about tithing. Are you interested now?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Driving Mr. Daisy

Today I read this in the BYU student newspaper police beat:

Oct. 7 Officers responded to a possible fight at the ITB. A couple was arguing about who would drive the car home. The woman was upset because her husband wanted her to drive. No crime was committed.

I had to laugh. What sort of man argues with wife over who's going to drive home? What sort of man would willingly abdicate the seat of power that men throughout the ages have claimed as their macho right? What sort of man would commit this heinous crime against manliness? I will tell you what sort of man would do this: my husband.

This newspaper blurb reminded me about a short period of time after we got married. Although early in our relationship Austin always drove because, hey, it was his car, soon after we got married we went through this phase where he would want me to drive him around while he lounged about in the passenger seat. He didn't care what people might think about his masculinity; he figured that the joy of being chauffeured about was worth it. For a while it was like we were in an ongoing episode of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" with me featured as a lowly chauffeur who was constantly annoying her employee. Austin's lounginess was generally negated by the tensity brought on by watching my bad driving, so this idyllic period soon ended, I was fired, and I gratefully renewed my claim on the shotgun seat.

Last week Austin decided he would give his convenient chauffeur another chance. It didn't go too well. He's mellowed out with his passenger-seat driving tendencies, but I've grown more assertive in the seat of power, so the upshot of all this was that he ended up getting chauffeured to a pumpkin patch, which was not the ordered destination. I got my passenger seat back, (hurray!) but didn't foresee my quick demotion to pumpkin rearranger after the pumpkins started rolling around in the trunk. (darn.) However, I jumped out on the side of the road and bravely began hauling the dirt-encrusted pumpkins, thankful that Austin had picked the earthworms off before we put them in the car. I didn't even mind too much that my black shirt had now taken on a browner, dustier hue. At least I had my seat back.

You know, I think something about getting older makes you care less about appearances than you used to. Today I was out driving and saw an old guy shoot across the street right in front of me wearing roller skates and sporting ski poles. And just so he wouldn't be overlooked, he was also sporting a fluorescent yellow vest.

And speaking of overlooked, I just read an interesting article about some new technology that researchers are using to look through walls. Just thought I'd throw that in.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Edge of the World

My blog is not really a travel blog or a mom blog or a cute blog. I'm not really sure what category my blogging falls under, actually. It's kind of a potluck blog. On the menu today: road trip!

Cici drives us to the edge of the world.

We look around...

We play in the dirt...

We look around some more...

And rest up on the way home...

So we can party!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Joys of Planning Ahead

Well, I escaped the winter storms and am having a marvellous vacation with the family. (We'll pass over the little episode from this morning where I got locked in the playground with Sammy and Cici.)

When we went on family car trips when I was growing up, we would end up in some random town late at night, tired and grouchy from travelling, and we would stop at every hotel that looked promising so Dad could go in and ask how much it was. It always seemed to take fooooooreeeeeever. We kids of course, were rooting to stay in the most expensive hotel available, with its accompanying host of amenities, while my parents simply wanted to stay financially solvent with their 10 kids. We children would wait with bated breath to find out our fate for the night: Would we get one room or two? A pool, or no pool? A nice continental breakfast, or one with Tang and chocolate chip cookies from Albertsons? (And yes, I've stayed at places with those options.)

I know the Internet has probably (hopefully?) changed the way my parents find hotel rooms, but ever since I've been married, I've discovered the joys of planning ahead. I love that my husband makes plans and reservations and that we leave at a predetermined time and have a predetermined destination. Are we free-spirited travellers that embrace the road wherever it may take us? No. Do we embrace the place that we have told our GPS to take us, especially if it happens to be a fun resort hotel with 90 degree weather in October? Most definitely.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!"

Earlier This Morning...

I'm currently reading a Shakespeare anthology--All of Shakespeare by Maurice Charney--and looking at whiteout conditions out my window. I'm trying to decide whether I should even try to go down the hill to take Sammy to preschool. At least Austin took the car that we put new brake pads on last night--I don't have to worry about whether we installed them right and whether or not I'll go careening out of control off the side of the mountain. Anyway, back to Shakespar, my book is not really an anthology, but more like a compendium of Shakespere's plays which makes for a quick read. It was during my college Shakspear class that I first knew that studying literature was my calling in life, and I've loved him ever since. Especially the fact that you can spell his name so many different ways and still be right.

So enough of talking about literature written hundreds of years ago in iambic pentameter. Shakesper aside, my other love is reserved for J Fiction books. A recent read I found that is easy to dive into, fun, and also at times insightful, is The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood. Whatever you end up reading, enjoy!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More Randomness, Please.

Birthday Fallout: So I went to the birthday party with Sammy. I think she had fun, which is the important thing, but now I am dealing with the fallout, which mostly involves policing a toy lightsaber and Austin wanting to join the foreign service so he can get a cool diplomatic passport. Say what?

GRE Joy:  I will neither go into that long story nor the story of why I just got done taking the GRE. If nothing else, it was a self-actualizing experience.  But I think I aced it. At least the verbal and writing sections. The math section bubble-marking went something like this:  A, B, C, D, A, B, C, D, etc. Good thing schools don't care about how good English grad students are at math. Anyway, if anyone wants tips for the writing section I came up with a pretty decent formula for success there. Also, I recommend having a Nana visit you and watch your kids so you can study.

Marshmallow Bed: Maybe due to the stress of test-taking, but our old bed was really bothering me. We bought a new bed that is super comfortable, but didn't realize how big it was going to look in our room. Not only is it a king, but it's like 4 feet high. I have to get a running start to get in bed at night.

Secret General Conference Fort: Where is the blanket from the bed, you might ask? Well it is being used for greater purposes. Many thanks to Kellie for the inspiration.

Super Cici: And somewhere in there, Cici has started walking! I know, this is a picture of her new hobby of playing in our shower, but much to my chagrin, I haven't actually got any photographic or video evidence of this new development.

That's all. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Few of my Favorite Things

Very Oprah-esque, I know! I was thinking about things I liked yesterday and made a little list. These are a few of my favorite things:

Peanut Butter Bars

I go in cycles of making these in great quantities. They just get better and better each day they sit.

Target Jeans

I have worn a lot of jeans from a wide variety of stores and in a wide price range. These are my new love though. The 3-5-7 sizing, (because I'm an in-between gal) the 1 % spandex to eliminate the awkward gap in back when you sit down for us skinny waist/bigger hips type, and the low, low price.

Online Dictionary

Remember when you were a kid and people made fun of you for mispronouncing big words? Well that's why I love this online dictionary. The layout isn't the cleanest, but by each word there is a button to listen to its pronounciation. I love looking up words that I've known for years but never used because I didn't quite know how to say them.

Spray Paint

I actually have a blister on my thumb from all the spray painting I've been doing this week. I am on quite the crafting kick and have come to appreciate the beauty of spray paint...the way it transforms things is like magic...I'm tempted to spray paint myself. Maybe I'll go open a window now...

My Husband

While I'm not bold enough to write scandalous blog posts  like my wild cousin or get all mushy-mushy, I will say I have the best husband! He might quite possibly be my favorite thing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Farewell Owls!

We may meet again someday.

"I love being a turtle!"

Turtles in a half shell!

Now that the pain of my slip-n-slide burn is fading, I can finally bring you the Dirty Dash report:

Basically it can be summed up in the words of the announcer as he was mocking people who came to the Dirty Dash in "serious runner" mode. "If you ask me what my finishing time was I WILL PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE, because I don't care, and you shouldn't either!!!" (Rousing cheers from bejeweled, bedazzled, and becostumed crowd.) In the true spirit of Team Turtle, we walked most of the way, when we weren't doing this:

or this:

or this:

A great way to spend a Saturday!

p.s. Thank you Sara (a.k.a. Splinter) for your great team captain-ing! I think we all had a great time!