Friday, June 27, 2008

Jolie's Guide to Identifying your Daddy

This was my exact conversation today with our 4-year old, while looking for Jack on campus.

"I'll look for Daddy."


"What color is his shirt?"


"LIGHT blue or DARK blue?"

Light blue



"And what kind of tattoos does he have?"


Someone is no longer allowed to watch the evening news.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Here's To...

* Living in Santa Barbara

* Drilling in ANWR

There's No Catch!

If you go to and select your cell phone, they will send you a free hands-free headset (you pay $3.95 shipping). California's headset law goes into effect July 1st.

There. Now no one can say this blog is useless.

Drive safely!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Putting it Mildly: Jack Loves Sports


I grew up with a dad and brother who loved nothing more than watching sports. So, when I married Jack I felt very prepared. I don't start conversations during Game 7, I barely notice when he's yelling at a ref on TV and, frankly, I expect him to spent entire Sundays watching 18 holes of golf. I get it.


Yesterday while taking a nap, I was awaken by screaming. Screaming. Like, Eli Manning just threw a touchdown pass in the final moments of the Super Bowl screaming. I ran into the room, certain that either (1) We had won the lottery, or (2) The Lakers had been given some kind of second chance against the Celtics, and had won. By one point. With a three point shot. In the last second of play.

Instead, I found Jack watching

a European

SOCCER match




Huh. Who knew he was such a fan??

While I'm here....All my friends blogged touching tributes to their husbands on Father's Day. Does this count?

I love you Jack. I really hope Turkey goes all the way.

SIMPLE Party Ideas

Last week, Jolie invited a few neigbors over for what she called a "Dream Come True Party." Because our budget is called "Daddy's a Grad Student," I came up with a few inexpensive ideas. The girls loved them, so I thought I'd share...

1. Paper Clip Pendants - First, guests dug through sand to find magical jewels. I bought a package of flat-backed rhinestones from the craft store, then hot glued a paper clip between two of them. Voila! Dream come true pendants

2. Jolie Memory - I let Jolie choose pictures from the internet to print out and make into giant memory cards. Then I glued pictures of cupcakes onto the backs, and taped them to a wall. Guests took turns flipping the cards up and looking for matches. Dream come true game!

3. Jack's off the Hook Treasure Hunt: We love treasure hunts. It's usually Jack's job to draw the clues (he's very good at it), but this time we simpified...I took Jolie outside with the digital camera, and let her snap pictures of hiding places. We printed them out, and voila! Dream come true clues.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Buckets of Aspirations

This week the movie Bucket List is released on DVD.

I haven't seen Bucket List, but this got me thinking...What do I want to accomplish before I die?

I must be living a pretty satisfying life, because I swear I scoured the recesses of my ambitions and was only able to come up with four unchecked items. They are, in no particular order:
#1 Tour a post office. I'm talking back room, ALL access. (How does my mail GET there???)

#2 Be on a game show. Since $10,000 Pyramid was canceled (moment of silence), I will settle for any game show. Ideally, I would be the first grownup to appear on Kids Week Jeopardy. Admit it - There's nothing better than tuning in to Jeopardy, and realizing it's Kids Week. I can buzz in circles around those little geeks.

#3 Travel to Atlanta, Georgia for the Gone With The Wind tour. I want a costumed guide. I want civil war reenactments. I want to learn how to make a green velvet dress out of curtains.

#4 Become a novelist, preferably a New York Times bestselling one. I have yet to work out the details of my plot but oh my gosh, you will not be able to put it down.

Anyway. Here's to having dreams.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

For the Simple Girl: Online Photo Books

Let me preface by saying that I have nothing against scrapbooking. I think it's a darling & productive hobby, and I love to look at the amazing pages that my friends create.

It's just not for me. I get too overwhelmed by the embellishments, the punches, the stickers. The storage, the messes, the trips to the craft store. Frankly, I'm terrified by the commitment of gluing things together.

Still, something must be done. My girls deserve to grow up with the kind lovely books that line the shelves of my patient, talented scrapbooking friends. Surely there is a solution for those of us who are neither patient, NOR talented.

Enter the greatest invention of all times. (aside from the Vita-Mix blender, which - mark my words - WILL be mine)

I have been organizing our photos into books using (I also recommend - see below).

*No cutting
*No gluing
*For me, No tearing up and RE-gluing
*No swiping my debit card at the craft store
*No messy kitchen table.

Just a simple click, click, click, done.

Here are a few samples from Leah's book. If you're a simple girl too, see below for suggestions.

The two best sites I have found are Shutterfly and Picaboo. My favorite thing about Shutterfly is that everything is done online. They store your photos and your pages. No downloading (no risk of loosing work if your computer crashes), and the site is quick. Picaboo, on the other hand, has to be downloaded onto your computer. You store the photos, pages, etc, which means it can eat memory, and the program sometimes CRAWLS. I've done books using both, and if I had to choose, would recommend Picaboo (Leah's pages were done with Picaboo) if for no other reason than their background paper selection is amazing. When you're designing a page with Picaboo, click "More backgrounds online." Make time, though - It's SO fun to browse the designs - Like shopping for free! Also, Picaboo lets you design pages in any order & sort them when you're done. Shutterly is linear. I got so frustrated using Shutterfly, as I would occasionally design pages out of order and have to delete them and start over. On the other hand, I do like Shutterfly's cover design better...Ah, life is a series of compromises.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Well THAT wasn't very nice

This morning I got up at 6:00 and spent 2 hours baking. According to my plan, everyone (we're at the Brackens - that's 10 people) would get up around 8:30, the house would smell like homemade cinnamon rolls, and I would be sort of a hero.

At 8:30 everyone got up.

The house smelled like homemade cinnamon rolls.

And then I remembered it was fast Sunday.

Because I can't fast, I ate my homemade cinnamon roll and enjoyed it very much. So much, in fact, that my altruism was quickly forgotten. Besides, I don't want to name names but some people (Jack) ate one anyway.

On a brighter note, Aileen bought Jolie & Hallie matching dresses for Church.

A Brother Like No Other

(Written by my mother Susan Foutz, who would like to clarify that she actually has two brothers like no other ) If you lived in Arizona in t...