30 December 2008

Trying to be a hero.

Okay, so, I have become obsessed with Guitar Hero for Nintendo DS. I have been trying to justify my addiction by telling myself that it would improve my, overall, digital dexterity. And, consequently, this would inevitably make me a better wife and mother, right?

I mean I can think of a million things that stronger, more nimble fingers can help you do, like, knitting (I, actually, don't know how to knit or crochet), dialing a phone or texting or typing (I haven't come up with how this relates to wifely or motherly duties... yet), changing diapers (there's one, but we are currently potty-training Rosie, so that will be short-lived, I suppose), using the remote (I guess that just promotes TV viewing, hardly superior parenting), using the Wii remote (I just see a vicious cycle here).

Alright, so, my theory just totally blew up in my face, didn't it?


Wait just a nose-pickin' minute...fitter fingers would totally make putting those darn, microscopic, rubber-bands in Betsy's hair much less complicated. I bet it would even speed up the process. Maybe, I should grow out the boys' hair, so that they can share in the fruits of my Guitar Hero labor. I mean, they would look wicked awesome with a man pony-tail!

I'm thinkin' that Miss Dion should start playing Guitar Hero.

But, who I am to judge?
Although, I think in this case, it really wouldn't hurt...

Bye, now!

28 December 2008

Ridiculously long Christmas re-cap.

Christmas Eve was celebrated with my mom's side at the hall at my Grandma Mary's nursing home. We eat, play 'rob your neighbor', the kids run around, eat some more, and just have a good time. This year my Grandma was very sick, so, the general Gubser splendor was a bit dim, but considering the circumstances, it is understandable.

Santa came to visit the whole family Christmas Eve. It was super-duper because we were all able to get family photos with him; all eight families. I don't know where Santa gets his patience. But, come on, the guy is magic, right?

In this photo, lil' Miss Kate wasn't havin' it. Sam did his best to get her to pose and smile, but, oh well. That's how it goes sometimes!

Christmas morning the kids tore into their gifts.
Having little ones makes Christmas so magical. It is truly awesome to watch them experience Christmas magic.

This was my favorite present that Santa brought. Betsy got these little people. I think that Santa enlisted the help of Etsy seller Too Cute. She even threw in an extra little baby. These will inspire many moments of imaginative play.

Then we went to Jake's folks' house. More presents. More excitement. But then...

disaster struck. Betsy barfed all over the table. Jake brought us home. She then proceeded to chuck about 12-15 more times. Merry Christmas, Betsy! Needless to say, she was absolutely pathetic.

Finally, I will leave you with an image of the iPod that my husband so generously bestowed to me.

What can I say?

I will attempt to articulate my feelings on this one. First off, I must tell you that I am a psycho-obsessive, lover of music. All kinds, but mostly indie stuff. This is my first iPod so, naturally, I am amazed at it's capabilities, and stunned with awe to finally have one. It is even orange, my favorite.

Second, I should share a little background. The family joke around here is that all of the women in my family keep a certain part of their spouses anatomy in a jar. Meaning: we are in charge. Generally speaking, I guess this is true. Okay, so, I know this is true. Anywho, my dear husband got the back of my trusty iPod engraved. Some of you may be horrified at the inscription, but I am mostly impressed. It's one thing to put, 'I love you', or 'you are the music in my heart', or something equally lame, but he came up with something personal, hilarious, and, for us, quite endearing.

...'til Tuesday

26 December 2008

Mary Nell Gubser * July 1930-Dec. 2008

the eight Gubser kids
my mommy is 3rd from the left

My maternal grandmother passed away just before midnight yesterday (December 25). The old girl held on for one more Christmas.

While standing in her room at her nursing home on Christmas Eve, I was struck with how ironic the word 'mom' is.


Such a small, tiny word for such a big, profound job.

My grandma embodied that small word. And in her small, sick, frail, 95 lb. frame, lying there in that big bed, surrounded by her legacy, I thought about what an immense woman she was. One that took on the biggest job you can have in this life on earth. And she did it with fervor.

Being a mom.

That small, tiny word.

Not only did she do it in a big way in a literal sense; she had 1 terrific husband, 6 daughters and 2 sons, 17 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and 1 on-the-way, any day.

But she did it big non-literally, too. She devoted herself completely to her family.

Sure, she made mistakes along the way; stepped on toes, hurt feelings, maybe she hollered too much. But she produced 8 pretty darn, good people, if I do say so myself. Heck, raising one that turns out alright is a challenge, but 8?!

Now that I am a mother, I understand and empathize with some of the mistakes I am sure she made along the way. I get it, that sometimes what you think is such an inconsequential decision or action, can deeply affect your child for their whole life. Every choice we make as mothers can leave a profound mark on their little minds. It is truly a balancing act, and it is our children's tender souls that hang in the balance.

Sweet Mary Nell must have been one of those tightrope walkers that can juggle daggers while teetering on the line because what she left behind is pure magic.

We are all less than perfect, to be sure. It's not always grins and giggles, wine and roses, best friends forever. But we love and laugh and dance and sing and joke and cry and mourn.


The one thing that meant the most to her; that she devoted her life to, that she tried to give her best to, even if on some days, it just wasn't good enough; was the one thing that was her masterpiece.

Her family.

And I am so grateful to be a part of what she started, and only hope that my continuation of the chain ends as beautifully as it began.

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas to all...

and to all, a good-night!

23 December 2008

the 'comfort' of holiday baking.

baking continued today...
pumpkin bars.
can you deal with that?
best part,
they have bourbon in them.
a little for the bars,
a little for me.
now, isn't that 'comforting'?
after looking closely at this picture,
i am wondering what the needle-nose pliers is for.
maybe i sampled a little too much of the ingredients.
and, please, don't judge.
the kids are on winter break!

now, do you really believe I drink liquor
while caring for my children
in the middle of a tuesday afternoon?

...maybe so, maybe not.
i'll let you decide.
for recipe: go here

Yeah, it's almost that time!

It's almost here! I love this time of year!
I hope you do, too!
Bye, all!

22 December 2008

8 of these 'moes' later...

image taken from Joy the Baker.
...and I am starting to know why
I have a large pocket of gelatenous goo
that is beginning to hang
over the top of my jeans.
I am convinced that
holiday baking is a
conspiracy created by the
diet/exercise capitalistic machine.
But, I guess I could always try
an ounce of self-control,
or a couple of crunches. Whatev.

21 December 2008

the butcher, THE BAKER, the candlestick maker.

I am really trying to refrain from posting on Sunday, but I digress. I just couldn't keep this to myself. I'm pregnant (woo-hoo, baby #5 on the way!)...just jokin'.

What I really wanted to tell you all is that my baking proweress has vastly improved, as of late. Joy the Baker has inspired me. I am, generally, NOT a baker. I really enjoy baking, it is just that I usually don't yield the results that I am after.

Tonight, is truly the exception to the rule! I have been following Joy the Baker's blog for some time, but this is the first recipe that I have actually tried of her's. And, uh, hello, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Introducing, BLACK & WHITE COOKIES (not that the institution of Black and Whites needs an intro, but the ones that I made do).

Enjoy your B & W with a tall glass of candy-cane milk.
What a Christmastime treat!
Bye, now!

20 December 2008

Hit me with your best 'SCHOTT'!

Tonight, we ordered Schottzie's carry-out for dinner. It is dirty, loud, smokey, and generally, just a dive. But, hot damn, they have some good food!Lately, I am preoccupied with the size of my rear, which, is highly unusual for me. I normally don't care what my arse looks like, or any other part of me, for that matter. But, tonight I must not have cared too much about adding another dimple to my already riddled cheeks (did you just throw-up in your mouth a little?). Because, not only did I eat an entire pound of mustard wings (to taste them is to love them), I ate the girls' leftover fried clams with tartar sauce (or was it tartar sauce with a little clams?), the boys' leftover mini-tacos, AND a house salad. A salad? Well, that's healthy, right? Uh, not with homemade CREAMY garlic-parmasean dressing! All I can say is, I guess my new perscription must be working, because there are lots of things that I have ceased obsessing about. The enormity of my a** is just one of them...

Is that cake I smell?

Laugh. Cry.


a little background. I am intrigued with the Mormon faith. Most of my family and friends already know this. I can't say why, exactly. I just am. If you know anything about people of the Mormon persuasion, you know that, generally speaking, they marry young, and, contrary to poplular non-LDS (Latter Day Saints) peeps' belief, they take only ONE wife/husband. I think it is wonderful. That being said...

If you want pee-your-pants from laughter...I highly suggest clicking here.

this is worth your time, too. Maybe I'm just sick and twisted, (I don't really think there's any 'maybe' about it) but this made me bust my gut, too.


holy cow, read this, and then thank God for everything you have been blessed with, including, but not limited to, simply, waking up today.
Auf Wiedersehen

19 December 2008


It's over!
The pressure building up to the last day of school before winter break is tremendous. I think it could rival that of Mount Vesuvius circa 79 AD. (You all didn't know I was that smart, did 'ya?) I take on a lot, because I love the pressure. I love the build-up, the anticipation. I don't even think that I took casualities this year. Although, I may have to verify that one with Big Jake.

The boxes turned out nice; cupcakes, vanilla meringue puffs, icy-blue mint meringue puffs, milk chocolate fudge, and a handmade monogram ornament.

I am Pete's room-mother, and I have to say that I think the party was a raging success. Even better than Halloween. I don't know what I am going to do for Valentine's Day to top it. Any suggestions? It was nice to just relax at Jake's party; bingo, coloring, snacks, "hot" snowball.

Ahhhh, elementary school. It takes you back, doesn't it?

Good tidings of cheer!

18 December 2008

last night.

Last night it was Pete's turn to...

sing his sweet, little heart out.
(I use the term 'sweet' mildly.)

Okay, so, maybe he is sweet.
Both of my boys are.

not so much.
Betsy was still chowing down during the photo session.

Petey even got to mug with Mrs. J.

And the "bake" goes on for me, too. I am whippin' my oven into
shape with all of the goodies I'm concocting.

Here's a taste... Soon, all of my little packages will be done.
'Til tomorrow, then.

Rosie, tables are for glasses...

17 December 2008

and the nominees are...

the face of a winner

I was told today by Betsy's teachers that they are nominating her for the Rosemary Zander Award. This is the highest honor a student in the St. Louis County Special School District can receive. I was surprised, to say the least. Betsy's family surely thinks she's outstanding, but for the staff at her school, who work with her, to the think she is an inspiration...well, that's something else entirely. They must REALLY like her. I know they must, because her physical therapist was brought to tears when Betsy gave her a Christmas present today at the holiday party. This little girl has quite an impression on people. I am certainly proud of all of my children. What mother isn't? But today, I was struck with more of a "I-am-proud-overwhelmed-that-I-was-chosen-to-be-their-mother" feeling. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that one of my kids would touch so many people's lives in such a profound way. We all have hopes and dreams for our kids, but they are who they are, and their destinies are out of our hands. An astronaut, doctor, or child actor would be nice, but who gets to say they have a 'Betsy'?

Betsy has progressed so much over the last couple of years because of the care and attention her teachers and therapists give her. They have made all of our experiences with her school so wonderful, I wish I could nominate them for something just as grand.

Betsy's school is awesome!
a few reasons why:

GOOD decorations for a GOOD craft...'gingy' houses

homemade play-dough in Christmassy colors

teachers willing to haul in a Kitchen-Aid mixer for homemade icing

cubbies FULL of presents from the awesome staff
...jingle all the way!

16 December 2008


Our room is super clean (worked on it most of the morning). My new computer is wicked fast. And, I can, so why not? I have nothing else to do...shyeah, right!

Next, on my "want-to-do" list; watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas special on PBS with the girls (before Pete gets off the bus because he'll never go for that).

Next on my "need-to-do" list; where do I begin?
Gotta go!