Sunday, December 28, 2008

Darn It

I'm told by the mother-in-law that this is not darning. It's stitching. Darning is a more complicated process of stretching the sock over a lightbulb or some such item, performing an unraveling of the upper portion of the sock to acquire matching thread, then stitching tiny connecting stitches to secure the complex weaving motion of the darning art.
Hey, I think that anytime I am stitching together socks that have a hole and making them wearable, even using the son's heel as the lightbulb, I'm darning. Five pair, all wool, all fail in the same place, all within one week of wearing! What a waste! Too bad I tossed the wrapper or they would be returned. (Which is what the manufacturer is counting on! As I have related before--it's a conspiracy!)

So, I'm darning! At least I'm not damning!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Okay I tried to upload a video here, can't manage to pull it off. So I'll keep trying...

For those who love Santa... I personally find him creepy,

Try this one instead

Here's the link, look it up yourself. It's cute and funny and the song will remain in your head for hours.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Ills

Wanna read what happens in a Christmas long past when the mom gets the flu? I just tumbled over this in my Christmas cleansing, and it's pretty funny.

More Ice

I'm sitting home doing nothing but breathing and wishing I could finish Christmas, but we're iced in but good here. I'm going just a trifle stir crazy. The children are out out school again for ice day. Cross those fingers, toes and eyes for a full day of class tomorrow. As it is, finals have been moved to the new year and Ian's choir concert is postponed. Jingle Bells sung after New Years is just freaky. Piano, TKD and the cub scout caroling are cancelled and cabin fever is rampant.

The free form Christmas chaos is heightening. I've been reviewing my journal and thought it might be fun to review a past-year's Christmas letter. Here's 1997

Joyeaux Noel, Frolic Whynotten, Fleas on a Dog, 1997
and all those other wonderful holiday salivations.

Here we are again. Seems like just last year that I was writing this same letter.
Actually, it’s been a fabulous year, a challenging and most interesting ride. I’m still holding on only by the tip of my nails and screaming as I go.

The children seem well (adjusted), in spite of the fact that David says there is no lack of material for their next installment of Mommy Dearest. Diondra is loving second grade and her life in general. Her interest to be an actress waned after she perfected her Howie Mandell “Walk like a Man role and now she wants to be a veterinarian that plays flute concerts at lunchtime, acts, but only in the evenings at the neighborhood theater, and looks forward to becoming a firefighting rock-climber on the weekends.

When I last wrote, the cat that was seeking another home to stray to--has adjusted by developing multiple personalities. As a dog, she growls and bites strangers. In her monkey phase she gets stuck weekly on top of the house, and runs up and over the unsuspecting. But, she pulls her own weight and though declawed still brings birds and mice to the table regularly.

Ian, at five, still finds his best buddies are rocks and thinks kindergarten is just a sideline to a real life. He has discovered that computers have this wonderful world behind the screen that can speed it up and slow it down and he make it say little things that scare Mom and Dad, like general system error.

We’re pretty sure Dave still lives here. I wonder about the cot at work but his clothes are still in the closet, so I can’t get him for desertion! He’s loving his second life in Oklahoma and we are sure his family there must miss him also. But it’s better than the alternative. . . us there too!

Still loving my full-time job as Mommy. For a person that hates repetition, it is replete with challenges. How many different ways can you think of to make vacuuming exciting? I’m up to 10 (and Dave says that is the sum total that I’ve ever used the vacuum!) I am sure the whole house could benefit from a match struck in the moldering laundry room, rife with methane gas.

I’ve been reading up on the new Madge Stewart’s, “Scarcely Living during Holidays”, or something like that. I thought I’d pass on some of her ideas.
I’m sure it will put all of us in the holiday spirit.
On package wrapping, beautiful tapestry materials I don’t have, so I took a couple of cloth diapers (clean and in good condition (of course) and finished the package with a little duct tape on the edges. Voile! Fits in well with the silver and white of this season and it’s beauty on a budget! Ribbon is never a problem, because I save all the bits and pieces from the previous year. I just iron them up a little and tie coordinating colors together for a lovely package finish.
Outside decor dilemma? Blow up reusable ziplocks- and spraypaint, of course.
Makes a sort of luminary. . . sort of. . .
Ideas for evening entertaining...presentation is always a challenge, so I'm borrowing from Erma Bombeck. Use the husband’s shoe, spraypainted-of course -to make a lovely gravy boat. And tree decorations, Ian’s ball collection filled the bill perfectly.. marbles to baseballs and even a basketball. And ya know, a little gold spray paint never hurt nobody.

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season. Our motto for this year:

If you just can’t do it all. . . don’t.

Love, The Darcey Family, David, Terina, Dia and Ian

Friday, December 12, 2008

See more beautiful pictures of OK Icestorm at

A preview?

Monday, December 8, 2008

2008 Christmas Letter

Our family wishes yours...
Happy Holidays & A Happy New Year
Today’s paper revealed the secret to happiness. The article says happy people surround themselves with happy friendships. Our thanks to those of you who happily spread it around and we rejoice in knowing friends who live in this elevated state. Read on!
Our family is evaluating its happiness factor and our ability to exude happiness for our friends.

Let me elucidate! The children are brimming with happiness. Dia loves college, her five roomies, and her classes. She fleetingly considered a career in mediocrity, after expending every brain cell graduating valedictorian, but she is feeling the benefits in year one of college. She and Ian invaded Europe this summer, Ian as the historical tour guide and she as the interpreter and map reader. Her happiness is the frigidity of Utah and ten aunts right up close and personal who succor her and supply her with leftovers. Dia’s hope for happiness in the New Year is finding a major! And her Father’s happy that Dia is finding no steady guy.

Ian is sixteen and an Eagle scout, YAY! He can drive! YAY! He can date! But his current happiness is achieving his 3rd Dan in Taekwondo, world history, particularly the Mongolian era, wars, and weapons. He still exults in trivia (on the Latin Certamin and Academic Bowl teams). In the New Year, his hope for happiness centers specifically on choir, (he's a bass at his best), avoiding the piano, Master Swords and his martial arts weapons class.

Aidan is our happiest family member (as evidenced by the photo inspiring this letter). He turned 10 yesterday and has yet to come down from the birthday high. He lives for the newest edition of How Things Work. He tells me that today he is happy about “Washday boogie”, (piano) which is pure evidence that Aidan lives for now! Being present in today is what makes him happy! “And getting presents,” he clarifies.

Sorry to add felines, but a happy home wouldn’t be complete without the joy and anticipation of WWF (World War Feline). The day after Christmas last year, we rescued a tail-less month-old kitty from the backyard depths of the snow in Utah. The little one spent days warmed and coddled ‘neath sweatshirts only to emerge into the bleak and stark frigidity of the 14-year old mistress of mayhem (Yes, Socks is still alive). The little one (Scrabble) hones defensive and covert battle tactics and her hope for the new year is to discover that tails really are toys.

Dave is still the Cub Scout Bear den leader and loves the challenge of nine year olds. He finds those meetings an interesting juxtaposition with board meetings at Williams. He is still running marathons, (his total is 30 or 40 or something) and his happiness in the new year hinges on a mild winter so he can still bike 30 miles to work three or four times a week. The mild winter would also aid in his other hope for happiness, avoiding another year of cleanup from the chaos and detritus of last year’s ice and hailstorms.

Our happiness together is that we are still too young to retire and live off the dregs of our stock portfolio.

If I could have my happiest heart’s desire, it would be that today I would get all these sent off before it is too late to wish everyone a Happy Holiday instead of just a Happy New Year sometime late in February.

Our true joy is found in the depth of the Saviors grace and His love evidenced in our family’s lives. We are truly blessed and hope for the same for you. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Anniversary Ice Storm

The backyard.The front yard.

The neighbor's yard
The neighbor's side yard.
The driveway.
The dead tree.
The waiting child.
Neighbors tree.

The driveway The dinner. Frozen milk and catsup, delicious!
Frozen berries
Frozen trees

From above.

From below.

From the front door.

From the warmth of the bed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Slime Day

Birthdays at our house are a week long. Not like we drag out the festivities and celebration, but more like we don't usually have time to celebrate in the middle of the week, so we try to put it off until the weekend and talk it up all week.

In truth, it seems like we have a halfhearted birthday (one that mimics the real parties when I was a child) on the actual day. We pull out a cake, light candles, open a present and sing.

Early on, Aidan figured out that when we said, "We'll celebrate and have a party for real on the weekend," that truly meant, "We'll probably be too busy then too, and we'll just hope that you'll forget." He was five when he began planning his own parties. Two years ago, we told him we weren't hosting a party with kids, so next thing we know, we are at the pizza parlor, celebrating Aidan's 8th birthday with three high school seniors that he invited from Dia's study group. They brought presents too!
This year, the day landed on Wednesday. We invited a friend to go "rock hunting" on his birthday (I needed rocks for a church prayer rock project.) Back at home we started each boy on a sugar rock crystal experiment and we served G/F cake and icecream after! A lovely party I thought.
But, the weekend rolls around and at precisely two o'clock, Aidan looks out and announces that his friend is here for his birthday party. Nicholas came and with his little brother JT, we had a slime party. We made two kinds of slime, and explored the chemistry of polymers and then we made slime pudding to eat and I sent them home with party packages of slime (a flarp can, bloonies, and modeling clay.) To see Slime Recipes see post that follows.

It turned out wonderful, there was minimal planning and fuss. The perfect party!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Slime Recipes

Septic Space Slime

Measure 7 Tbs. water and stir in 1/4 tsp of Guar gum, stir well. Set aside for 3-5 minutes
Measure 1 Tbs. water into another bowl and stir in 1/4 tsp. of borax. Stir 2-3 minutes.
Slowly add 1/2 tsp of the borax solution to the guar gum solution, stirring as you pour. Let stand several minutes until it thickens. (We accidently added all of both containers together and it worked fine.)

Schlop Slime

Cornstarch and water. Measure 1/2 cup into a bowl, slowly add water and stir until I reaches an interesting consistency. Stir fast, stir slow, try to pick it up or handle it. Fun.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Uncle Gary Gift

Thanks Uncle Gary in Kwait for Aidan's Present

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

USA Today Article

American's still have a bias against Mitt Romney. Persons who profess to know "Mormons" yet fail the short test of LDS attributes are the group who will vote against Mitt. Those who really know a Mormon have less bias. (Wish you could see the graph.)

USA Today says "the country would be better off if there were no "stained glass ceiling" in politics for members of any religion or no religion at all."

The article ends with the idea that it would break barriers for all of us to really know all the other kinds of "saints" among us.

Santa Skeptic

No, No, No,

I will not, will not,
Sam I am,
Not in a train,
not on a truck
Believe in Santa?
You're out of luck!

Well, okay once,
I'll stop the pout.
If he brings a wwii
I'll again not doubt!

This madcap, insane
retail scramble,
Is Santa's work!
His fault, I'll gamble.

If I weren't crazily
running 'round
spending wildly,
credit bound,

I'd have some time
to try to find
the spirit sought
for peace of mind.

But, without a reason
to buy a gift,
could I, would I
even think of it?

Or would each day
continue past
just like my own
self centered last.

I need more than a
fat old elf
to remind me daily
to give of self.

It's deeper then,
I'll become more mild.
I give more charitably
by remembering the child.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Quiz

Because I know that you aren't frantically busy running about procuring all the parts of Christmas...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
2. Real tree or Artificial?
3. When do you put up the tree?
4. When do you take the tree down?
5. Do you like eggnog?
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
7. Hardest person to buy for?
8. Easiest person to buy for?
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
12. Favorite Christmas Movie(s)?
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
15 .Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
16. Lights on the tree?
17. Favorite Christmas song?
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
22. Favorite ornament theme or color?
23. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
24. What do you want for Christmas this year?

If your husband has any brains at all he will find the years worth of trolling your site worthwhile for just this last response.

I have thought carefully about all these answers and in the spirt of ease and flexibility that I constantly live under, I have answered them all with one response.