Here’s an illustration I meant to get done before Christmas, but, you know, life.
It’s finished now, and was great fun!
Here’s a detail.
I love drawing so much <3
In unrelated news, I realized yesterday that I made the coloring contest deadline on Sunday, April 13th. There is no Sunday April 13th this year. This is yet further proof I shouldn’t be allowed near numbers.
Anyway, the coloring page deadline is now Wednesday, April 13th. Wear those crayons to the bone, my friends.
My mom is pretty much perfect.
…Except last week she set the house on fire.
(It was an accident.)
She’s not quite sure how it started, but here’s what we think.
In my mom’s kitchen, she has a cupboard she keeps small appliances in, like bread mixers and toasters. It has an outlet, so the toaster always stays plugged in.
The cupboard also has a sliding door.
Anyway, mom was cleaning the kitchen (as she does every hour or so), and made this cupboard good and squeaky clean.
What we think happened was the door caught on the toaster lever and forced it down.
Here’s a diagram. (I know this is fascinating.)
So however long later, mom was tucking my niece Sarah into bed for naptime. (My mom’s been watching Sarah while Katie’s in for a bone marrow transplant.) (Update on that at the end of the blog post.)
The fire alarm went off.
You know what the weird thing about fire alarms are? They go nuts whenever you try to boil water, but for some reason don’t go off when things are actually important.
They’re just jerks, that’s all.
Anyway, mom got downstairs to find:
MY MOM DOESN’T MESS AROUND!
She grabbed some hotpads, threw open the cupboard door
Grabbed that fire
Shoved it onto the floor
And started batting it out!
Meanwhile, on the porch:
(That’s the UPS man. In my family, we affectionately call the UPS guys the Brown Santa Claus. Except they’re even better, because they come every day.)
The UPS man saw all the smoke and beeping and RAN INSIDE TO SAVE THE DAY!!
He threw on the faucet and began pouring cups of water on the fire!
He was. I hope UPS makes him Employee of the Year!
Things settled down a little. My mom’s next-door-neighbor came over to help out (West Point, UT is Niceville, USA. I’m not even making this up, my family moved when I was 11 and we were like, Why is everyone here being so nice to us?? I haven’t met one mean person yet.) (Granted, I don’t ever leave my house…but still.)
Anyway, the neighbor was like, “We should probably call the fire chief, I think it’s regulation or something.” The phone call went kinda like:
NICE NEIGHBOR: We had a small fire kitchen fire here, it’s out now, you don’t need to send anyone, but we thought you ought to know–
FIRE DEPT: Really???! You had a fire???!?!
NICE NEIGHBOR: Well, it’s out now–
FIRE DEPT: HOT DOG!!!
They sent aaaaaall the firetrucks with alllll the sirens!
Everyone had a good time.
The demolition crew came and removed her burnt-up cabinets. They were also, oddly, quite impressed with her china (which I’ve only seen once in my life.)
My mom was having a hard time with it all. She was mortified by the whole scene it caused, sad about her kitchen, worried because my dad was gone on a business trip to the Middle East and she was alone to take care of everything, and to add to all that, she was scared to death of the insurance adjuster because he’s kind of a crab.
And then, suddenly everything was okay….
My mom says she’s not going to give up her hopes…but I follow her on Pinterest and I’ve never seen so many nice kitchens in my whole life:D
In other news: My sister had her bone marrow transplant on Wednesday!!
Here’s my sister, the donor:
(She’s okay! The Okayest!)
It’s really interesting how they did it–they gave her a big shot every day for five days in a row, then stuck a needle in each arm and pulled blood from one side, sorted it, then put it back in the other side. Somehow they were able to get stem cells from this. Crazy, huh?
The transplant went wonderfully :)
The doctors and nurses all came in and gave her a balloon and birthday card, because it was her Bone Marrow Birthday. This means when she’s 60, she’ll only be, like, 20!
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers…right now she’s recovering well, though these next few weeks will be dicey. We are so grateful for all your help!
My friend Joe once told a story of his screenwriting class.
In screenwriting class, you workshop the scripts your classmates have written. The class each gets a copy, you read it aloud, and then you “discuss”. Joe’s class had just finished reading a script written by a guy named…Sean. I think his name was Sean. Anyway, in Sean’s script, there was a scene where two women are sitting on a bed, in their underwear, eating chocolates.
They weren’t dressed in Victorian underwear, though. (My mom reads this blog, sooo…)
It was time to “discuss”. Joe, who was married and also had a bunch of sisters, began to “discuss”:
And Sean was like:
He obviously didn’t know what girls did when guys weren’t around. Because if he did, the scene would’ve been a girl sitting on the toilet, browsing Pinterest. For like, an hour.
(I’m sorry you had to see this. I’m sorry I had to see it, too. The truth hurts.)
(Side note: I have over 1800 recipes pinned on Pinterest. 1800! Guess how many I’ve made? 3. Not only am I a digital hoarder, but when the next giant solar flare hits, I’m up a creek…all those delicious recipes, sacrificed to the sun god. It breaks my heart (and my tummy) just thinking about it.)
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about poor Sean-who-knew-nothing-about-girls lately. At first I thought this was pretty funny…
Until I realized that, having been single for most of my life (minus that 1st grade fling with Gage), I don’t really know much about guys.
I am Sean.
Well, okay, not entirely. I once talked to a boy, so…I like to think I have a pretty good idea of what guys do when girls aren’t around.
And I am about to tell you.
The typical day for a man begins at 6:00 AM. Because guys grow beards while they’re sleeping, they have to shave in the morning. I don’t know a lot about shaving but I believe it’s done with an ax.
They then go and lift heavy things.
Men love lifting heavy things!
I can’t lift heavy things so I’m kind of jealous.
Oh my gosh…it’s just…I’m…this may have been the dreamiest picture I’ve ever drawn I need to go take a cold shower.
After that, most of the day is spent taking car engines apart. (Something I also cannot do.)
Hot sauce with names like: “Land of a Billion Tiny Black Peppers”….”Sweet Sweet Salsa Muerte”….”Melted Boiling Heart Cockles”….”Virgin Viper Kisses on Hot Asphalt.”
(I could do this for hours. I’m thinking about starting a hot sauce-naming company.)
And then…men put masks on, grab baseball bats, and go out into the city TO FIGHT CRIME!!!
Whap whap whap whap whap
Whap whap whap whap whap
Whap whap whap whap whap whap whap whap
After crime has been eradicated (around 11:00 or so), men like to get in touch with their soft-side by watching a feel-good chick flick. (Men love feel-good chick flicks.)
And then they aaalll go to bed…so they can do it again the next day!
Now you know. The secret life of men has been exposed. I’ve done you all a service. Thank me, shake my hand, leave a comment…but most definitely do not tell me that what men really do is just wander aimlessly around the aisles of Home Depot.
Don’t destroy my dreams.
I had someone ask me for another Mary Poppins coloring page…and it reminded me that we haven’t had a coloring contest in a while! Well it’s high time!! Mary Poppins is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Here are the rules:
- Save the image above, or you can click here to download it from my DeviantArt page.
- Color it!
- When you are finished, take a photo or scan it in, then email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the words “Coloring Contest” in the subject line
- Deadline is Sunday, April 13th
- Sit back and wait for the prize money to come rolling in!
The entries will be sorted by ages 0-11, 12-19, and 20+, and won’t be judged by me, but by other artists who will see which ones stand out the most. Each category will have a main winner ($10 Amazon gift card prize), and two honorable mentions ($5 Amazon gift card prize).
Entries are open to international submissions. I can’t wait to see all the beautiful pages!
I’ve had lots of people ask me how my sister Katie is doing.
If you haven’t met Katie, or are new to this blog, I have a sister who’s spent the last 4 years kicking a very rare, fast-growing cancer–leiomyosarcoma–and now she’s fighting leukemia, too. If you want to learn more about her, you should watch this video:
Here’s a recent picture of her family:
Aren’t they the sweetest??
It’s been nearly a year since the fundraiser–which turned out amazing (here’s the blog post about it)–and it’s been a rocky road getting the stars to align. The doctors were insistent that she not have any new tumor growth for 6 months, and even if that happened, because the odds weren’t great, we didn’t think the insurance would cover it–and without it, the bone marrow transfusion would be over a million dollars (!!!!!!!!)
Around Thanksgiving last year, the doctors broke some bad news.
Katie’s leukemia was getting pretty bad. She would have to have some intensive chemo for several months in the hospital.
She checked in Thanksgiving Day.
She couldn’t see her family much because if anyone of her kids brought a cough home from school or something, she might catch it and she wouldn’t have an immune system to kick it.
They all missed each other.
Katie’s not the type to lie around though.
Every morning, she’d get up and walk the halls, up and down. She counted and realized going up and down 7 times = 1 mile.
The doctors got nervous about her wandering the halls like that, so they got her an exercise bike to put in her room.
She learned the harp.
She taught piano to her kids via skype.
She crocheted some seriously awesome sock monkey pants.
Katie was able to come home and be with her family for Christmas, and guess who got those seriously awesome sock monkey pants??
They are the best thing I’ve ever owned. I’ll post an instagram picture sometime.
A big holdup in all this was the leukemia doctor. When he saw what cancer Katie had, he refused to approve a bone marrow transplant…he didn’t believe for a second she’d be able to fight it, and he even told her so (!!!)
And Katie was like, well my plan is to get the bone marrow transplant and kick this cancer!
And that darn doctor was like:
It was a fight for months. That doctor couldn’t believe how well Katie was responding to all her chemo’s, and he kept dragging his feet in approving that bone marrow transplant.
My mom–you know she’s someone you don’t mess with–started praying for this doctor, and even put his name on the temple prayer roll.
(My mom has unshakeable faith. She really is an amazing woman.)
Only a few weeks ago, this doctor had suddenly changed his tune:
And ever since then, he’s been firmly in her corner!
He was the one to pitch Katie’s case to the insurance.
…along with a lot of other doctors!
It didn’t seem like there’d be much of a hope that the insurance would cover it…Katie’s leukemia was pretty far advanced. But I’ll be darned…we got news just 2 weeks ago that the insurance was gonna do it!!!!!*
*I have absolutely no doubt my mother’s prayers had something to do with this.
SHAMELESS MONKEY PANT DANCING
Now we just had to decide whose bone marrow it was gonna be!
I was a match…and so was my sister…and so was my other sister. (The perks of having a big family!)
Well sister #1 is training to be Zuster Dixon in the MTC…so that’s out. (She heads to the Netherlands in just a few weeks…we have a whole list of distant relatives there for her to convert mwahahahaah)
So then it was me, my sister, and our thumbs!
Katie left just a few days ago for the hospital, where she’s now prepping for the bone marrow transplant. On the morning she left, we heart attacked her lawn!
This was Katie’s face when she saw it:
It was a good moment :)
Katie has a long battle ahead of her. Right now she’s in a hospital prepping for the transplant, and there’s have been some rocky days already.
Any prayers or thoughts you could send her way would be deeply appreciated…She’s a fighter. You watch and see :) :)
Just when you’ve got life figured out
(And sleeping in ’til two)
Stork comes along and drops a bomb
That “free time” thing is through!
So long the nights of peaceful sleep!
So long the unclogged toilets!
So long the hours o’ steaming showers
With no one there to spoil it!
Who knew that babies never slept?
(And cost so much to feed?!?)
Tho sleep-deprived, you’ve kept it ‘live
…So then it starts to breed.
Babies babies babies!
On the ceilings, on the chairs!
Their little selfs are are the shelfs!
There’s babies everywhere!
They climb onto the light fixtures
They tinkle on the floors
Your blood and sweat is their swing set!
And what exactly for??
A thousand baby giggles
When you tickle them at play
A thousand baby cuddles
With a yellow-weed bouquet
A thousand baby kisses
Planted sweetly on your cheek;
A thousand happy baby sighs
When nodding off to sleep
A thousand babies running
When you open the front door
Our heart’s in knots! We love these tots!
We hope we get lots more!!
Side note: I’ve tasted formula before. I figured since it was so expensive, it must be delicious.
I was wrong. Poor babies.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the craziest day Of My Life. OF. MY. LIFE.
It began at 4 am, when I ran a Star Wars-themed 10K in Disneyland.
I’d been so nervous about it, I hardly got any sleep the night before. In fact I kept on having nightmares that I had to stop in the middle of the race so I could finish household chores.
It didn’t help that at the seedy hotel where we stayed, I was sharing a bed with my sister. (The Taylor Swift one.)
(She really did say that.)
Anyway. While it is crazy that I did any kind of outdoor activity, the REALLY crazy thing happened that night!
It turned out my friend, Christina (who’s as obsessed with Mary Poppins as I am!) was helping out at a Vantastix concert in California that same weekend!
The Vantastix is the acapella group that sings with Dick Van Dyke!!
And she asked if I wanted to come along!!!
I said yes…of COURSE!
I helped set up at the booth in the theater lobby, with CD’s and books and DVD DVD’s and things. I also met Dick Van Dyke’s wife, Arlene.
She was really sweet, and on the ball too. In fact, she hosted a Dick Van Dyke art show a couple of months ago! I’ve heard rumors there’s going to be another art show soon–all you artists who read this blog, get your Dick Van Dyke artwork gussied up!! I bet there’ll be a call for entries soon!
When the concert began, the stagehands even found me a seat, so I could see Dick Van Dyke himself in concert!!
I loved it when he told stories between the songs.
He told about when he was filming Mary Poppins, he also played the Elder Mister Dawes. (You probably already knew this.)
Sometimes, when he was still in costume, he went out on the studio lot where buses full of tourists were being taken around the studio to sightsee.
The bus would stop to wait for him to cross the road…
and he would take…
Then, when he finally passed, the bus would get going and he would kick up his legs and race the bus, hightailing it past all the stunned tourists! Hahaha!
I wish I coulda seen that :D :D
After the concert I helped pack up the booth, and Christina was like:
We followed a stagehand through a bunch of double doors, and there, at the end of the hall with the other Vantastix, there HE was!!!
Dick Van Dyke!!
I GOT TO MEET HIM!!
By george, I got my picture with him!!
We went back to the lobby to finish packing up the stuff, but I was kind of in a daze and don’t remember much.
But WAIT. It gets even CRAZIER.
…Because as we finished putting cleaning up the last of the booth, Dick Van Dyke himself came out into the lobby!! Just chatting and milling about and having a good time!
I am not kidding!
He began to dance like this!!
He’s still totally, totally got it.
When everything was packed up, Arlene was like, “What places are open til late around here?” and the stagehand was like “Cheesecake factory is open until midnight” and Arlene to everyone was like
“Okay, let’s go!”
And lest my ears were deceiving me, Christina was like:
WAS THAT OK
I WENT TO THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY
WITH DICK FREAKING VAN DYKE!!!!!!!
I still am trying to process this.
All through the restaurant, everyone was going nuts.
People were taking pictures and selfies.
Even the Cheesecake Factory waiters were geeking out!
Heck, the waiters…I was geeking out!
In case you were wondering…he’s exactly like he is in all those movies!! It’s so crazy how full of life he is. Just so bright.
He’d just look around the table and grin and everybody!
At one point, the waiter set a giant appetizer platter in front of him, with tons of leaves and fancy lettuce sticking up, and Dick Van Dyke was like:
At the end of the night, I ordered a lemon raspberry cheesecake to go (their best flavor) because I wanted to share with my sisters.
But when I asked for the bill…
I found out that Mr. and Mrs. Van Dyke were already paying it!
(I probably would’ve only ordered a glass of water and napkin had I known this)
(But still…awesome :) :)
We all left the factory as a group.
Dick Van Dyke held the door open for me!!! (!!!!!!!)
Needless to say, it was an amazing night.
I showed up at our seedy hotel around 1 AM, excited to tell my sissies the story and to share our cheesecake…compliments of Dick Van Dyke :)
And we ate it up, every crumb.
Here’s my picture from that night:
It was…the best night of my life.
(I can only go downhill from here!)
BTW, if you share this post, be sure to tag The Cheesecake Factory. I’m trying to convince them to change the name of their lemon raspberry cheesecake to “Dick Van Dyke” cheesecake.
Right now I’m drawing this in a freezing cold house. It’s freezing cold because the furnace went out, and the company it’s under warrantee with can’t come until Monday.
We’re also experiencing the coldest weather we’ve had in years. (Go figure.)
I don’t mind though because it means I get to sleep in my fridge, which is very warm comparatively. Plus: FOOD!
Did you have a good New Years? Have you already made your yearly unrealistic goals?
Last year I decided to record everything I ate on my phone.
It was the worst week of my life.
The first couple days I did pretty good…until I realized that not eating at all was way easier than logging it in my phone.
So I didn’t eat.
It got to the point where I didn’t want to get out of bed and I was seeing black blotchy things whenever I lifted five pounds or more.
About a week in, I was beat. So much for that goal.
My little sister made that same goal this year.
She’s eaten an apple so far.
I’ve decided that this year I’ll be much more realistic with my resolutions. In fact, I’ve decided to make them UNresolutions–things I won’t do this year.
They might actually get done!
First off, I resolve to quit staring out my window at my neighbors at all hours of the day. (They’ve said it makes them uncomfortable. I think they’re being overly sensitive.)
The same goes for following them around in my car, parking in front of their house and watching them come and leave.
This was one of my favorite pastimes and I’m really bummed about this resolution. (I secretly think they like it when I do this.)
My next unresolution is to not spend a penny on groceries–the whole year!
…And visit my parents more often!
I live about a mile away from my parents. They really love it.
My next unresolution: I resolve to NOT run the presidential candidates and all their little minions over with a giant tank that has poisoned spikes attached to its treads.
This one will be hard. Really, really hard.
And then there’s this unresolution: This year, I won’t buy a little white puppy in a moment on loneliness and then realize I’m always at work and can’t take care of it so I give it to my mom.
This has happened the past several years. (Really.) Sorry, mom. (She loves it.)
I unresolve to never leave my home again.
And lastly, I resolve to not set my sofa on fire in a moment of broken-furnace weakness.
This one will be the hardest one of all.
(Time to go make my bed in the fridge).