Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Conversations

"So, Joseph, how in the world do you think Santa gets down the chimney--seeing that he's so chubby and all?"

Joseph, (pause, thinking), "Well, I think he just puts a little bit of that dirty black stuff on his nose, says 'ho, ho, ho' and then just goes down the chimney."

"Just like that?"

Joseph, "Mmm, hmm."

That was easy.

Yesterday, Savannah had to turn in a snowman that looked like her. As I was helping her, I accidentally got a little glue on the snowwoman's upper lip. meep. "Oh Savannah, I am so sorry." Savannah, "Oh well, but why does everything I turn in have to look dirty?" Annie chimes in, "Savannah (said in big sister fashion), it doesn't look dirty. It just looks like your snowman spilled hot chocolate on itself as it was drinking." Savannah sighs, "Okay." (I have to giggle. This is so typical of a big family.)

Also, the three youngers and I were reading this week when Joseph spotted a little black boy on a Barney board book, "Look! It's President Obama!" Well... this book is pretty ancient. Yes, I can definitely see a resemblance. President Obama & Barney--that'll put a smile on your face.

Erika is walking. She is too cute for words! Such strong opinions for such a little person her size. She and I stacked wooden rings on their stand over and over again today. very sweet and simple. I love that part of my job description. The simple teaching, the sweet moments.

My three olders have their piano recital this weekend. I've heard their pieces many, many times. Kate is playing The Little Drummer Boy. I especially love it when she plays and sings.

Do you want to hear a neat story?

Last night, Adam came home from work stressed. I have to say that that is one thing (among many things) I admire about my husband...he usually is stressed and has usually had a very full day, but doesn't show it when he gets home. I don't know how he does that. I'm nothing like that. Anyways, full day at work, tithing settlements and other needs at church all night, and he said he had to type this memo to the hospital board by noon the next day that kept looming over his head. That night, after he got home from church, I encouraged him to just go to bed and wake up early the next morning to type it out. He was so beat, he agreed. Early the next morning, he came and told me how much he loved one of his VPs. "What happened?" I inquired. "Well, he (his VP) was going on a trip with his wife last night. His flight was a red-eye and the airline he was on was trying out their new wireless network. He said he had the time and HE TYPED UP THE ENTIRE MEMO FOR ME. He said it was a draft and I could make changes if I needed to." I could see the weight lift off my husband's shoulders and a smile enter onto his face. A Christmas miracle. I thought about that the entire day.

I don't know if there really is a difference in people or I just simply notice more...people's true goodness at Christmas. I love it. I love that we get to feel this every year.

Sweet dreams...maybe a few sugar plums?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Tis the season

Look where I got to go yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning! Simply breathtaking. I'm always amazed how peaceful I feel when I enter onto the temple grounds...never mind that it is located smack dab in the middle of Santa Monica Boulevard. After my visit to the temple, I felt refreshed, refocused, and renewed...a blessing from a mericul Heaven. The Christmas season is off to the perfect start. Hope yours is too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I am thankful for...

...Derma-bond--the surgical glue that is holding my little Austin's finger together after it was slammed in the door this morning.
...the kind lady who screeched to a stop yesterday and rescued my Austin from getting hit by a car as he was darting onto a seriously busy thoroughfare after church and I had no idea (I have the shivers still as I write this).
...Austin. dashing and wonderful husband who is the man of my dreams and is the ultimate daddy (and his bidding # was 007 at the latest hospital fundraiser dinner thingy...we laughed and I secretly thought it was very cool). Annie's giggles, obedience, brain-power, and intensity. Savannah's big heart, big eyes, and hula-hips. Kate's whistles, singing, and nurturing nature. Joseph's dimple, tickles, and cheerful, "Good morning!" Erika's determination, cuddles, and desire to be close to her mama. comfortable home which is more often than not choatic, messy, loud, but fun?! I love living within these four walls with these seven people.
...nice people.
...second chances.
...warm smiles.
...Trader Joe's and their feta, spiced cider, cinnamon almonds, and peppermint JoJo's. mmm...
...fresh fruits and vegetables...sweet potatoes, oranges, red peppers and every other produce item that is jam-packed with vitamin C. We've been consuming these suckers by the truck-load lately.
...sunny California (even though my children say they are "sick and tired of blue skies" hmmm..) iceberg roses that bloom year-round.
...Thanksgiving Day meal shopping.
...joyful laughter.
...electricity and indoor plumbing (and Huggie's diapers). patient and loving parents who gave me the best start in life including piano lessons...bless them. music...happy music, calm music...(by the way, just so you know, the best song to do housework to is Beyonce's All the Single Ladies. Just try it, your laundry will be folded before you know it! and I don't usually like that...type...of music)
...BYU. family--brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, in-laws...I have the very best.
...America. I love being an American. I cry everytime I've traveled abroad and land on U.S. soil. friends, new and old. Life just wouldn't be the same without them.
...Holy Temples.
...the Bible and Book of Mormon and the peace I feel when I read them. Savior, Jesus Christ, who has been my steady companion throughout life.
...hope. amazing life.
I could go on and on and on...I have so much to be grateful for. God is very good to me.
Thinking of each of you this week, especially. Thank you for being on my list...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Peace like a River

The Christmas music came out today. I know it's only November, but I just couldn't help myself. Lately, I've been thinking about relationships, about peace, about sincere, unwavering love...and who sets the perfect example of how to have them all. Jesus Christ. I had a "moment" last week where I realized that I don't think nearly enough of Him, I don't talk nearly enough of Him, and especially after I was about to majorly discipline my children in not such a nice way (I was way past jumping jacks), I don't live enough like Him.

However, somehow, some way, He always takes me back. Somehow, some way He still "reaches my reaching." I continue to stand amazed at the way I feel His peace, His consistent, unwavering, satisfying, consuming love. I'm amazed how He lifts the weight and burdens I feel, so that it's just not so heavy anymore. And I am happy. He is worth being in my every thought and action.

Last weekend, after spending such a beautiful and special time with my family, I once again had to board an airplane. I grew up flying (my dad was a pilot); however, lately I'm not as good at judging how much time I'll need...passing through security almost sends me right over the edge. So, at 5 a.m. I thought I had plenty of time to make my 6 a.m. flight. I stood in line at the ticket counter...5:10, 5:15, 5:20...the line wasn't moving. My blood pressure started spiking. The man in front of me said I could go in front of him. Then, there was this big group of older men who all looked like a different version of Willy Nelson. Since they would be boarding a later flight, I asked if I could go in front of them. They just simply ignored me, continuing their raccous conversation. The man that had let me go in front of him muttered under his breath, "That's not right." I just resigned myself to missing my flight and thereby missing my other 2 connecting flights. Then, this man behind me embodied the bumper sticker "Practice random acts of kindness." He turned to this group and said kindly, "Good morning. this young lady is in a pickle and is trying to make her flight. We've all been in this situation before. Do you think she could go in front of you, so she can make her flight?" They all said, sheepishly, "Sure, sure, no problem." I cried. I was overwhelmed by this stranger's kindness. Instead of turning away, he helped me. I made a solid mental note to be just like him to someone else...especially when it isn't convenient.

Thank you for hearing my thoughts. I hope I can remember these things. I know as I think more of Him, I can be more like Him...just like this kind man in the Houston airport.

On a lighter note, Erika turned ONE a week and a half ago! She is such a delight! We finally celebrated tonight with steak and potatoes (it wasn't quite her pick) and cupcakes. The older girls numbered her different milestones and announced that she has traveled to Utah 3 times, Texas twice, Arizona, and Hawaii. We laughed...all she cared about was the chocolate frosted cupcakes in her fist.

And life marches on. All is well.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Rager

I'm flying out to Texas in the morning. Dorothy passed away on Monday and it's okay. Actually, it's better than okay, it's good. Of course, she will be missed and thought of, and hopefully, through lots of stories, my children and my children's children will come to know and love this lady like I do. She's irresistible.

As I mentioned before, she loved flowers, plants, anything alive...animals (in fact, she was nicknamed "Dogorthy Cherdogsky"--yes, it's true) name it. So, my lovely sister, Adrienne, will be singing "Consider the Lilies" at her funeral. I've listened to the song all week. My kiddies keep saying, "Why are we listening to this? It's not even Sunday." I know my dears, but it's so beautiful and it reminds me of her.

So, in her honor, I had to post this first picture of the two of us in Italy. She took me there right before I was married. I love this speaks volumes. First of all, I'd like for you to notice the massive 5,000 lb. bag I'm carrying. This was her "purse." Frankly, I have no idea what she carried in there (a small person could have possibly fit), all I saw was hot pink/red lipstick, kleenex, and a nail file come out. I never did figure out what was so heavy. But, she carried her "purse" everywhere. Also, take a close look at that hat she's wearing. I have many beautiful pictures of our trip to Italy, but I had to have this one on here. We were in Pompeii and it was so bright and hot that she insisted on getting some shade. The only thing she could find was an Italian vendor selling baseball caps with sports cars on the fronts. So she wouldn't miss too much of the tour (so like her), she quickly grabbed the red one to match her outfit...never mind that it had a hot red Ferrari on the front. I couldn't stop laughing. Even to this day, it makes me laugh.

The second picture is of Papa and Dorothy with Annie when we lived in Santa Barbara...very sweet and very like them.

In hearing me describe Dorothy, our dear friend Adam B. replied, "The party that awaits her on the other side...I bet it's a rager." Yes, a rager indeed.

Monday, October 19, 2009


October is such a delicious month, don't you think? It is full of my favorite sights, flavors, and smells. I love it for many reasons, but a couple of them in particular. My baby baby Erika lou-lou was born , nearly a year ago this month (sheesh, where does the time go?!) and her namesake was also born this month, only 93 years earlier...Dorothy Louise.

Dorothy is my grandmother, and I wrote about my last visit with her down in Texas last December. I love Dorothy...everyone does that knows her. She is THE poster girl for a positive attitude and a par-ty animal. She's like a lightbulb that can brighten even the dullest of days with her twinkly eyes and smiley, dimpled, wrinkled cheeks. I had the incredibly good fortune of living in the same town (a rather large one) as my grandparents, Papa and Dorothy. Papa and Dorothy have always been such a huge part of my life...and all of their grandchildren's. It's evident in the fact that almost all of her grandchildren flew in from the four corners of the earth to celebrate her 94th birthday.

She can't sing "Once der was a pretty little girl and her name was a Alecus Rumsey," take care of all the flowers and plants in her yard and her neighbors', she can't volunteer at M.D. Andersen Hospital like she did for about 40 years, she can't play bridge, speed, or dominoes and beat her daughters and grandchildren like she always did, she can't travel like she always loved, she can't tell you a story about her growing up days in Luling, TX or West Columbia, TX, she can't cook her famous chocolate pie that still lives on in all of our Thanksgivings...but, she can still sing the University of Texas fight song, "The Eyes of Texas."

I'm sorry this post is a little disjointed. It's after 11 p.m. and my brain is short-circuiting. Two weekends ago, we all flew to Houston, Texas to see my grandma, Dorothy. She had a stroke about a month ago, so she can't talk anymore, she only mumbles and sings the UT fight song (totally cracked us up--she's a UT alumni and has always been a fan). It just about tore all of our hearts up to see her in a nursing home, in hospice. She would try to communicate, but it only came out in mumbles. Several times, she would just stop mid-mumble, look and smile at us, and then just wink. She knew we couldn't understand her mumbo-jumbo, but we could understand her smile.

I'll never forget that weekend. My children will never forget that weekend. Our hearts were full of happiness and love for this dear woman who has been a ray of sunshine in all of our lives. I think about her everyday. If she were more alert I would tell her this story and she would laugh(I'll tell you instead). Today, my Joseph kept getting into my Costco-size Nestle chocolate chip bag. I kept telling him, "Joseph, get outta that bag!" Finally, in a last-ditch effort for one more handful, he exclaimed, "But Mom, little boys LOVE chocolate chips!"

Love you Dorothy. Hope you had a very Happy Birthyday!
(And a huge thank you to my dynamo sister-in-law, Natalie, for scanning that second picture for me, as she was two days away from moving...thank you Nat. loves to you)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


From the very beginning of our marriage, Adam and I have referred to Thursday evening as "Christmas eve"...we like Fridays just that much. We cherish our weekends; however, usually we have back to back most of you I suspect. I love empty calendar weekends. The kind that you can do whatever whenever--blissful.

Even though this weekend wasn't empty, it is still one of my favorites. It's conference weekend! We've got the cinnamon rolls ready to be baked in the morning, so we can all sit, take notes, and be every way. I look forward to this for a good six months.
This week, by chance, Adam and I came upon some good parenting tips from a lecture we watched on BYU TV. They were so good that I thought I'd share. Maybe it could help?
(They now have a permanent place on my bedside they can sink in better).

So, the speaker talked about how important it is to balance rules/consequences and nurturing in our families. We need a healthy balance of both. As most of us have a good rule system in our homes, it is important to know how to nurture our children. He gave 4 suggestions to better-nurturing:

1) Give your children words of affirmation, appreciation, and approval. Tell them, regularly, what a good job they did on xyz. For example, even if you've told them a million times to empty the trash, just take their hand and escort them to finally emptying the trash. When they do (even though you practically did it yourself), say, "Good job! Thanks for emptying the trash!"

2) Create a positive environment in your home at these 3 critical times in the day, the crossroad times: in the morning, when they get home from school, and when they go to bed. Instead of a "Get up!" in the morning, replace it with "Good Morning!"

3) Spend time together as a family

4) Give your children physical contact. It's so important...especially at those 3 times. Hug, kiss, pat them on the back. They did a study that waitresses who had even the slightest contact with customers were given more in tips. We all need a good hug!

So, that's it. Simple. Sweet. Helpful (at least for me).

Today, I found a cute little Jack-in-the-Box toy at the thrift store. Instead of a 'Jack' it's a bunny rabbit inside. Joseph, looking for the toy said, "Hey mom! Where's the 'Bunny-Get-Outta-There toy?" When I started giggling, he added, "I mean, the 'Bunny-Box' toy." I giggled even harder.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

"That's it!! No more craziness. No more late, late nights. I am producing a schedule that I will adhere to every day of my life. I am taking control!"
These were my thoughts about a week ago. I'll be honest, when everyone was getting their gifts in heaven, I did not get into the Will-Be-Organized line. Instead, I was probably off in some corner talking and laughing. dang!
So, here I am, always trying to make some sort of order out of chaos. I wrote the new schedule in my journal. Schedules stress me out. So, three days into it, I sat on my bed in tears, trying to explain my situation to my husband (while he was holding his iphone/planner in his hand, mind you. He was a good one and stood in the will-be-organized line).
"I feel like I'm in a box and I'm about to explode! I want to do something crazy a wall purple!"
"Or maybe hang some lime-green beads in a doorway!"
"Alright, I'll just go to bed."
Life can be very ordinary...same, same, same. But, while trying to get a little bit of order, I can find the extraordinary--like Joseph learning how to ride a bike this week! Extraordinary! Or getting candy bars, all around, at Target for 100% Spelling Tests. Extraordinary! Or writing in my journal everyday this week (thank you very much). Majorly extraordinary!!!
Hope you can find some extraordinary in the's just so much more delightful!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

real life

My day started really great. And then daily life just settled in. By the time the afternoon hit, the wheels were comin' off the cart. Homework wasn't getting done, piano wasn't getting practiced, shin guards couldn't be found, and my kitchen looked like a peanut butter & jelly bomb went off.
As I ran into Albertson's this evening to grab poppy seeds and frozen pizza, I looked down at my navy blue top. All I could see was a nice big banana shmear all over the front of me. I'm so classy. At least my shirt wasn't white!!

Craving Beauty

Meet Victoria, my new friend. I have driven by her house a hundred times, but it wasn't until last week that I finally noticed her garden. It took me back by surprise, the roses, the freesia, the daisies...I just couldn't believe my eyes! After turning around to admire the beauty again (and again and again), I decided to just go up to the door and tell the person so. Victoria answered her door and after me explaining that I just LOVED her roses (and also explaining that I wasn't a complete weirdo...maybe just a little one), she proceeded to explain and teach to me, in broken english, about each rose, its name, and how to care for it (by the way, did you know that if you plant a banana peel, all cut up, in the ground by the roses' roots it will be more fragrant?). I came back a couple days later with a notebook to take scrupulous notes. She's coming over in January to help me plant my roses. I can hardly wait! I felt so happy and uplifted. Why? I think our spirits crave beauty...and not the beauty offered at the MAK counter (although they have really great lipstick). This kind of beauty is created by God...the master creator. After admiring a pink sunset, a starry night, falling rain, sparkly eyes, a bright smile, a soft touch, a velvety rose we are uplifted and happy...the kind that lasts.

Anyways, let me step down from my soap box. I solved my no-window-in-the-laundryroom dilemna. I've been doing my laundry...outside. My dryer is busted, so my boys and I configured a new way (after spending time at the laundromat last week). I love my new way.

School is in session, AND I pulled them out to go to Disneyland with Adam's brother Peter and family. All had a great time. I didn't feel any guilt until yesterday Annie told me how lousy she did on her Science test "because we were gone when she announced it". Ah well.

Gotta run and wake everyone up for school. Now go and have yourself one beautiful day!!

One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year. He only is right who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded by worry, fret, and anxiety. Finish every day, and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Did you notice, A? Emerson.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

pouring rain

When it rains, it pours...

MAMA MIA (said with feeling)!!!

I used to like the little show, Ratatouille. Not so much anymore. In fact, it will be a good long while until it is popped in the DVD player at this house. (I hope none of you are eating, while reading here). We have had a serious mice issue. Did you know the food of choice nowadays for mice is peanut butter and cheese fishy crackers? Okay, I'll stop. Just be grateful you aren't developing a relationship with mice snappers and my husband.

And speaking of husband, my poor husband. We were in the ER last night...kidney stones. I've only seen him in this kind of writhing pain once before in our marriage, 11 years ago...kidney stones. I love taking care of him. I know having a husband as a hospital administrator doesn't offer perks like an all-expense paid, luxurious business trip or early evening arrivals from work; however, it does offer one very wonderful, very important perk. As I was driving him to his hospital last night, he picked up his phone and called the dr. on-call. He told him he was coming. We went through the back door, walked right in the room, and he was hooked up to pain meds in 10 minutes flat. We were in and out of there in an hour and 15 minutes. I need to remind myself of this perk, especially when it feels like I haven't seen my hard-working husband for days. A urologist friend called today to check on him. I could hear the dr. trying to convince Adam to come in for a CT scan. Adam said (while wincing in pain), "Oh, I'll be okay." Then I heard, "Okay Adam...good talking with you. Now, let me talk with your wife." Needless to say, he went in for a CT scan. He's sleeping right now.

California has fires. more fires. fires=Savannah's asthma flare-up

My grandma-Dorothy had a stroke last week. She's still in the hospital. I've been thinking a lot about her and her frustration in not being able to talk. I'm sad of that. But, the Lord is mindful. He always is. I have faith in that.

BUT, the silver lining is (and there always is one)...I have such supportive family and supportive friends. Friends that take my kiddies when I need to run off to the hospital. Friends that feed my kiddies. Family that calls. Family and friends that pray.

Life is busy. Life is good. With every shower, brings lovely flowers. I'm counting on it. (I'm almost finished with my laundry...a definite flower).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

a dream

testing, testing...123.

Excuse me as I brush off the dust from this computer here.

Hello everyone. feels good to be back in this soft chair again and see what's been happening in all of your lives over the past couple of months.

We have been moving children to different bedrooms...which is a function of having a large family I guess. So, no more office. Annie and Savannah have a new bedroom downstairs, which is in the making. yada yada.
Anywho, it's been busy 'round these parts. So, brace yourself...this will be a little longer than normal. If you want to check back in next week, I completely understand. (As I'm typing this, I can see my husband outside with a large flashlight, looking for mice. There is construction going on in our neighborhood, so we've had an infestation of vermits. ugh. My husband is obsessed. I'm actually very grateful for this obsession and hope that it comes to a close very soon).

Kate and Joseph's combo birthday party came off like a charm--complete with a "belly jumper" (aka: bounce house) and chili dogs.

And then, I dreamed a little dream. Or maybe it was actually real. Our family ventured off to a tropical paradise. I know we went because I have pictures. Everything was a dream. I remember the way Hawaii smelled and how it felt. I remember how much I loved playing with my family in the clear, warm Pacific (because our side of the Pacific is much too cold for me) and how course and soft the sandy beach felt between my toes. I remember eating plenty of shaved ice--Hawaii takes 'snow cones' to another level...we enjoyed that level immensely. I remember waking up with my kids (well, actually, my 2 yr. old probably woke everyone up. He was on a sleep hiatus) and driving all around the North Shore, checking out the beaches at 6 a.m. and then hitting Ted's bakery for some melt-in-your-mouth square doughnuts and chocolate coconut pie that I am still thinking about. I remember spending a couple of days at the Polynesian Cultural Center and watching my children watch the shows. While Austin observed the large, muscle-y Polynesian men banging on large drums and grunting loudly, he whispered without moving a muscle and taking his eyes off the show, "I wanna do that." Yes, along with every other man in this world. I remember walking around the Hawaii Temple grounds and being so happy (despite the fact that Annie was super sick with mono and yet was still such a trooper; and, a hurricane was headed straight for the island that week. Thankfully, she's doing better and the hurricane never showed. miraculous). I remember eating Giovanni's garlic shrimp served out of a little, crowded trailer and coconut shrimp served out of a dilapitated shack. Still, it was wonderful. I remember having my sister Adrienne with us and loving every minute of her cheerful, fun, laughing, easy-going self. I remember going to the swap meet in the rain and buying 9 Hawaiian t-shirts, some earrings, some sandals, and 2 ukeleles for my two eldest daughters (the poor Japanese man probably didn't make a dime off of my husband). It was a dream I'll always remember. And, to top it off, we gave up our seats on our flight (it was overbooked) to score 7 plane ticket vouchers to use within the coming year! It was the cherry on top!

Thankfully, we had such a trip because now I am up to my earlobes in soccer cleets and homework folders.

Tomorrow is Savannah's birthday. I'm thinking about my baby that is growing too fast. I love her freckles and her hula-hips. I love that she is our "Sleeping Beauty" and always has been. I love that she tells me how pretty I look on a daily basis-- especially when I don't deserve it. I love that she is always so concerned about the 'whereabouts' of her younger siblings. She is such a light in our lives. We love you sweet Savannah. You just keep getting better and better with each passing year (just don't make those years pass too quickly)!

I have over 100 lbs. of peaches that I picked two days ago (I know. I went a little overboard. I realize I have addictive tendencies. I'm just glad that it's peaches). At least when I'm peeling, I'll have plenty of thoughts to keep my mind busy.

Goodnight everyone...sweet dreams. Think: crashing waves and rustling palms, maybe some soft ukeleles in the background. heaven.

Monday, July 20, 2009

an epic journey

hello? hello? Is anyone there? Good grief. I have not seen the likes of this blog for quite some time now. Well, I take that back. I have, actually. However, I wasn't the author. Someone sneaky and generous (a little too generous I might add) has been here. So, thank you LOML and thank you dear ones for all of your birthday wishes and generous words. You are indeed too good to be true!

We have been travelling to and fro, here and there, over the river and through the woods...all the way to Grandmother's houses. Our adventures included a visit with Adam's family (there's a nice ring to that..Addam's family...hmmm). We slip and slided, shopped, ate lots of goodies, movie-watched, talked, and relaxed. They are very wonderful people who can patiently put up with this rowdy bunch of ours.

Also, we enjoyed our annual Grandma's camp in Salt Lake with my family. My mom has hosted Grandma's camp (nearly a week of fun-filled, cousin-filled, activity-filled, delicious food-filled fun) for, I think, five years now. Eventhough the stomach flu ravaged through our Grandma camp, everyone, true to form, remained chipper and undeterred. Even with some sleepless nights, we still had some serious fun climbing Ensign peak, visiting Temple Square and Heritage Park, rolling down the hill (instead of watching the baseball game), playing in the creeks, and having dinner picnics. Wowsers.

We took home some wonderful memories of both homes. Last night after we pulled in the driveway, we all were so beat that we just plopped on the couch and talked about birthdays. Kate's is this Saturday and Joseph's is in August. Joseph loudly exclaimed that he wanted a "belly jumper" at his birthday. We all looked at each other and laughed. Eh, sonny? Was that a belly dancer or a jolly jumper? Let's hope that for all of our sakes (and reputation) you meant the latter.

Glad to go, and definitely glad to be home. I better get off to bed so I can face my laundry tomorrow (and you know how that goes)...

night, night.