Monday, May 25, 2009

The Girl in the Yellow Dress

I have something new for you that I hope you will enjoy...

It's a new blog, but it's more than just a blog, it's a romance novel co-written by Jespy Espy and Landeelu Landerson, without any collaboration or discussion between the two authors. We think that it's full of passion and hope and cliches and indulgent nonsense... but we don't know for sure since we are making it up as we go along.

What we do know for sure, is that we will post a new chapter every day, and we will be inspired by the television programs we watch, the books we read, and bloggers... like you.

Our goal is to make you fall in love, and spew Diet Coke all over your keyboard.

So, add this blog to your bloglist: The Girl in the Yellow Dress

Or even better, add the above picture and link to your sidebar.

Here's what it's about...

19 year old Kris... has a crush on... is in love with... has a soul that yearns for a girl he has never met. All he knows about her is that she wears a yellow dress, and that... she is the one that he wants... she completes him... she is the oxygen he breathes into his lungs, which is then carried by blood platelets directly to his heart...

Co-written by two authors through email, with absolutely no collaboration other than the above idea, and with no clue in which direction their co-author plans to take this, The Girl in the Yellow Dress is a ground breaking experiment in organic plot development. It will have readers laughing, crying, and dancing in the isles.

What the co-authors are saying...

"Characters may die," co-author Jespy says with a shrug, "I mean, if I can make a secondary character die in a fun and creative way, I think readers would love that."

"I write because I breathe. If I ceased breathing I'm sure my writing would suffer as well,"
says Landee, co-author & conspirator,"Oh, and if Jespy kills someone I like, I'll bring them back from the dead, no prob."

Friday, May 22, 2009

This kid...

...owns the stage.

We went to see Cord's play last night, The Bold Buccaneers. I knew he had it in him, to completely command a stage like that, but I was still a bit amazed. Maybe because I was so incredibly shy at his age. When I was 12, I was in a roadshow play and I had one line: "Very funny gnarly dude." (<--said like a valley girl.) I was shaking in my lacy high-top boots, my side-ponytail quivering. I was so nervous, I could barely eek-out my one line.

Cord, however, ad-libbed in about a dozen extra lines for himself.

At one point in the play, another kid pretended to spit on the deck near Cord's feet, and Cord leaped back and yelled, "C'mon! Those are me new shoes!" When it was over, I said to Cord, "Funny that you had a line in there about new shoes, since you ARE wearing new shoes." (we had literally stopped by a shoe store on the way to the play and bought him a new pair). Cord goes, "Oh, I wasn't supposed to say that." And I asked, "What were you supposed to say?" And he goes, "Nothing." He then preceded to tell us all the lines he added in for himself. Tony and I could not stop laughing. Luckily, his drama teacher seems to love him, and was very enthusiastic about his performance, ad-libs and all.

We didn't take video, we just ordered the DVD instead and we won't get it for a few weeks, so I put together a video montage of the pictures Tony took.


(1:53 is right when he said that line about his new shoes)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Bold Buccaneers

Cord's about to go on stage. He's capt'n. Ahoy.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Baseboards Were Buggin

I was tired of looking at my dirty, scuffed up baseboards, so I made a deal with Tony: if he would go get primer and paint, I would touch up all the baseboards real quick.

Before (and this was not the most offending area):


They were really dusty and dirty, so I had to wash them before I could prime them, and I had to prime them before I could paint them. That's a three step process, in case you lost count. I had planned to do all the baseboards in our whole entire house, but I think I either underestimated the project or overestimated my brilliance. I only ended up getting through the worst areas of the downstairs before I finally stopped... seven hours later.

Yes, I spent seven hours doing this, as if I had nothing better to do, and we all know that isn't true.

Anyway, I was REALLY achy by the time I finished. Apparently, I can't hunch over and crawl along the floor for seven hours without experiencing a little soreness afterward, despite my young age. I took four Advil, but I was still really achy and sore. Especially my left hand, for some reason. Then I realized that my hand looked like this:

What the...? Why is my hand all swollen up like this? Diagnosis please.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jean-Bags (<--who coined that term? Can't remember)

We've got jean-bags up the ying-yang here. In fact, we made so many, we ended up giving some of them away (don't you want to be my neighbor now?).

Iron-ons. Love them.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's too late ta ppologize

Cutting of the Pants

I don't know what season you're in, but it's definitely summer here. Time for our annual cutting of the pants ceremony.

Homer's looking very "Lord of the Flies" here, don't you think? Hair hanging in his eyes, no shirt, trapped in a choke hold...

I think I'm gonna make bean bags out of the bottoms of their pants. What do you think? I only have to stitch up two sides, and there's just something about bean bags made of jean. Everybody loves jean bean bags.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Circle of Life

I hope all you mothers out there had a Happy Mother's Day, especially my own special mother, Mrs. Mary Morgan.

Love you mom!

I have mixed feelings about mother's day. I always have an impossibly high expectation of how my day should go: lounging around the house in my pajamas, reading, not lifting a finger, being waited on hand and foot, receiving praise throughout the day for being such a wonderful mother, the house completely spotless at the end of the day...

Yeah, I set myself up for disappointment because that never happens. (If your mother's days are like that, don't tell me.)

It seems that Tony usually has to work on mother's day--I can only remember having two, maybe three, mother's days together. I try to coax my kids into taking care of everything for me, and they are certainly willing, but there is only so much they can do.

My consolation is that Tony and the kids show me lots of appreciation throughout the year, and I even get the occasional "day off" from time to time.

As far as gifts go, I don't expect anything beyond a handmade sculpture or an "ode to mother" poem or a coupon book. I would rather save the money.

The other day I was cleaning out my office, and I found an old coupon book that Tony made for me many many years ago when we were desperately broke. There was a coupon in there for him to make dinner, one for him to do the dishes, and one for him to vacuum the house. I immediately tore those three out, ran downstairs, and cashed them in. You should have seen the "are you serious" look on his face. He was like "I think those are expired" and I was like "there's no expiration date on them." And then he goes "those can't all be used on the same day" and I go "it doesn't say that on the coupon."

I think he'll think twice before making me another coupon book.

Oh, funny story. One year, Tony gave me a mother's day card with a twenty dollar bill inside. It's unusual for us to have cash on hand, so I asked, "Did you get this twenty from my wallet?" and he said, "yes," with a shrug. And I was like, "OK. I'll just go put this back." I was annoyed at the time, but I also wanted to ruffle his hair and give him an ice cream. I mean, that was my grocery money.

Anyway, this mother's day was nice. Not perfect because Tony was gone, but it was nice. The kids did pretty well on their own. Tony went all out in the gift department. He got me me tickets to see...

After getting over the guilt of having that much money spent on a mother's day gift, I got really excited about it. I can't wait to see it!

It was also my sister Erin's birthday, so I took her to see Star Trek (she's a total Treky). She wants to see Land of the Lost next!

Chakka no like this blog.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Scout Day Camp

Check out my Easter Island statue thingys. Uncanny resemblance to the real thing, don't you think?

PS. Here's the "real thing"...

SEE??? Told you. They look exactly the same.

Turns out, he's not gay, you gize...

Told you. Open-mouth kiss. And dare I say... tongue?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Park of the future

I took the kids to the weirdest park on Monday. There was this red cup-like thing, and the moment you sat in it, it would start spinning. In fact, pretty much everything at this park would spin when you sat on it.

This picture below is Homer sitting in the red cup thingy. He was screaming because it wouldn't stop spinning and he couldn't get out, but I got a picture real quick.

Here's Gus, standing on another spinning thingy.

And all the kids on the spinning merry-go-round.

I wish I had taken an overall picture of all the strange contraptions. Very futuristic. I imagine that this is how parks will be when we all live in outter space, year 2020.

I'll be busy with cub scout day camp for the next few days. I thought I was ready, but I just remembered a bunch of other stuff I was supposed to do. I have two hours. I need to get decorations--supposed to decorate my "area" like Easter Island. Um. Drawing a blank. And also, anyone know how to say "hi" in Easter Islandese? Two hours, people. C'mon. We can do this!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shorty Pants Esplin

Last Friday was field day at the kids' school, and parents were invited to come picnic with their ragamuffins.

Here are my boys with their cousins, Maddie and Frances, who all go to the same school.

What struck me about the above picture was everyone's height. Cord, who will be starting middle school next fall (don't ask me how I could possibly have a child old enough to start middle school. don't ask. it's personal. teen prego.), is roughly the same height as my niece, Frances Beck, who is in first grade. And see Maddie Beck standing two feet taller on his other side? She and Cord are both starting middle school together, same grade.

Is this normal boy/girl development stuff, or is my child freakishly small?

Cord has always been small, that's no shocker, but I think the gap has been widened more recently, due to the fact that his peers are starting to go through puberty.

On Thursday, we attended orientation at his future middle school, and it was clear that a good 90% of his peers were deep in the throes of puberty. Cord looked like a new born babe, compared to the rest, and factor in his extraordinarily young mother (ahem)... and it looked as if he should have been registering for second grade instead of sixth.

But don't count this kid out yet...

I don't think there was a more confident middle schooler at that orientation. It was chalk full of pre-pubescent awkwardness, and Cord walked in like the owned the place. I'm not saying he was cool--he was far from cool--but he didn't seem to notice or care. First, they announced that the principle was going to stand up and speak to the new sixth graders, and Cord jumped up and started cheering and clapping ("wooohooo! go principle whatsherface! sixth graders rule! woohoo!) and MY face went beet red because Cord was the ONLY one cheering and clapping. The auditorium was dead silent, except for his cheering and clapping, echoing off the walls. Awk. Ward. Then, when the principle was done speaking, he asked if anyone had any questions, and I saw Cord's hand shoot up from the corner of my eye. I tried to swat it down, telling him, "no, no, just parents ask the questions, not kids," but he scooted out of my reach, refusing to put his hand down. He asked his irrelevant question with complete confidence. When it was over, Cord leaped down the bleachers to personally introduce himself to the principle, while I waited by the exit with Gus and Homer.

This scenario repeated in every meeting room, with every faculty member that got up to speak. Cord would cheer and whoop and holler when the speaker was announced, and then his hand would shoot up to ask an irrelevant question ("So, if I sign up for guitar class, will you be my teacher?"), and then he would leap up to meet the speaker when it was over.

So I decided I'm not worried about Shorty Pants Esplin starting middle school. Through all of that, he seemed to have the respect of his peers--maybe because they were so painfully awkward, while he displayed absolutely no fear.

Yesterday, Cord and Gus brought home their class pictures, and I saw to my relief that there is a boy in Cord's class who is smaller than him. Phew.

"Nice smile, Cord," I told him. And he said, "They told us to say 'Pepsi!'." And I imagine that he said "Pepsi!" with all the enthusiasm that he could muster. Which is quite a bit.

This is Gus's class picture below, and after seeing it, I realized for the first time that he too is a shorty pants. For some reason, I thought he was more average height. But he's the shortest in his class.

"I didn't know you were the shortest in your class, Gus," I told him. And he said, "Yeah, but I have the most friends." (<--said like Patrick Starr) Our only hope for a little height around here may be in the hands of our padawan, Homer.

PS. I did another one of those brilliant podcasts with iLandee the other day. We discussed such interesting topics as freak show magic tricks, fake legs, what would happen to Big Ben if there was no one alive to wind the clock, etc. Click here if you wanna hear.

The Albion 50

Here are my pictures from our family "thing" last week up in Albion, ID.

I have to say, you must go to there. Albion is super awesome/creepy. We stayed at this old abandoned college campus, a la Scooby-Doo. One dorm was remodeled very nicely, and that's where we slept and ate and played games and such. The surrounding buildings were un-remodeled, and Creepsville Kentucky.

We rented these banana bikes for a day and rode them all over the extensive campus grounds. Here's me...


And lil Homer tore it up...

The lil ones spent most of their time playing on this "beach," as they called it...

This was the biggest of the abandoned buildings. Life After People, indeed.

The building had been taken over by chickens and roosters and turkeys and such. That's Brigg (Annie's oldest son) being attacked by the leader in the background. I love how the chicken's wing is up in karate chop mode...

OK, so they let us go into one of the abandoned buildings, even tho it was clearly unsafe. It had been the old performing arts theater. The windows were all boarded up, so it was very dark. Up on the stage, we found these creepy legs, you gize...

(Sorry, no flash). I think we were all fascinated by them. "Did you see the legs? You must go see the legs on the stage."

Here's Katie, standing inappropriately behind the legs (per my request)...

The next day, they opened up the campus history museum for us to tour. The place was blanketed in dead fly carcasses. Loved it. Also, we got to see more creepy dummies, which was the icing on the cake, baby. Icing...

"Come hither, child"

Markie begged me to take his picture with the dummy...

(Eva wanted a picture with a dummy too, so it worked out perf!)

And just look at this dapper gentleman...

He reminds me of Mathew Cuthbert in his Sunday best, except his mustache is a bit too low.

Nerdy apothecary stuff...

And a creepy chair...

Cristin had to leave right after we toured the museum...

Cristin and kids preparing to leave (don't worry, she came right back)...

Here are all the cousins (Sam filling in for Megan).
Katie, Sara, Manic Mandy, Annie, Amy, Cristin, me, Megan (er...)

Sam, Shel, and Meg, saddening us with their early departure...

So, Tuesday night turned out to be the funnest! I wish Annie and MM could have stayed a few more hours, they just barely missed the fun. But we did get Cristin back, unexpectedly (due to her car accident, which brought her back to Albion an extra night). I'm sure she was pleased.

We all wanted to watch American Idol Tuesday night, so Amy called up the local bar and asked if we could watch it on their TV. They were supposed to be closed for the night, but decided to keep it open an extra hour, just for us. Quite exciting. A bar, you gize!!! But in deference to my mother, I shall henceforth refer to the bar as a "tavern."

Mom and grandma in the tavern...

Here's Markie. Note how Slim Jim he's looking...

Sara, acting out that one scene in Twilight on my arm...

Sara, making that one face that Adam Lambert makes...
(Note Markie in the background, trying his darnedest to vote for that guy who got voted off. Can't remember his name anymore.)

I told Katie this was a weird pose, but she kept dunking down like that, afraid she was blocking Cristin.

Look at all that alcohol we're not drinking!!! I wonder if the tavern wench would have kept the tavern open for us if she had known we'd be having Diet Cokes all around?

Anyway, thanks for the good times. I had tons of fun, and it was good to see all you peeps that I don't see often. Wish I had gotten more pictures.

PS. I didn't make it all the way up to Boise on this trip. I totally would have called you Le Bois peeps if I had. Hopefully this summer!