Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008

Oh the annual Christmas letter; time to write about all the good stuff without exposing any dirty laundry.

We finished construction on our house and made the move in March. It has been so fun.

We know we are now Country folk based on the following statements that have all been said this year

“Honey, whose goat is that on our back porch?”

“You know those chickens roosting in the attic? The dry wallers have drywalled them in.”

Neighbor calls: “Can you look out in your pasture for my horses?”

Me; “Why are those so many dogs howling at the same time every night?” Rod; “Those my dear are coyotes” (In that case ignorance could’ve been bliss)

Joseph (11) and

Luke (8); “Mom we found a rattlesnake at the creek, but don’t worry its dead!”

And my personal favorite; “There’s a scorpion in my shower!”

Rodney (22), Elyse(21) and I went to New York in February so that Rodney could experience NYC without being a missionary, Elyse could shop and be the trivia dancer on Regis and Kelly, and I could see Wicked. Trip was a success, all was accomplished.
Elyse and her new BFF Kelly Ripa:

Elyse doing the 'trivia' dance - shake it girl!

Rod, Rodney and Kyria(18) had the opportunity to go to Hawaii this summer. Rodney and Kyria had 2 weeks on the north shore checking out BYU Hawaii. Those left behind were really jealous.

We had the chance to take 2 trips to work at orphanages in Mexico; Over Spring Break we built a wheelchair ramp. In August we went with three other families and helped build a recreation building. We had the kids leave all their electronic devices in the United States. Which in and of itself was life changing. Both trips were a great experience for us and we hope to return annually. (Rod has the hook up, so if you’re ever interested you can certainly come along)

Not sure why these picturess are so little

This year marked the year when we have $$$ 3 kids in college $$$. All in Utah, two at BYU and one at UVU. (BYU Hawaii was not able to lure any of our children) We are the Utah economic stimulus package!

This year Rodney and Kyria live in the same dump, I mean Apartment complex. They are having a blast together. They are not happy I didn't have something better to say about them. Since the gag order is in effect for the really juicy stuff, what more can I say?

Elyse spent the summer selling pest control and spent fall semester in Texas.

Nikka (15) started her sophomore year at a new high school. No more riding on older siblings’ coattails. She has a great attitude, made new friends, and plays on the JV basketball team. With only 3 left at home she is the oldest around the house now. We love to watch the kids evolve as the dynamics in the family change.

Joseph and Luke discovered La Crosse and air soft guns this year. Who ever invented La Crosse had way too much testosterone. I’m hoping it’s a fad and they go back to tamer things like football or basketball.

Rod killed a wild hog for our food storage this year! Laying pavers pays the bills, he also is partnering in a new high tech venture. I am a Realtor in between being the Mom and teaching Seminary. We had some fun short trips, we miss the corporate days when our vacations were paid for. (Rod reminds me we can go to presidents club every year, we just need to plan and pay for it) My Mother moved in with us this year, she seems to enjoy Texas. When she gets restless she flies out to visit one of her other kids.

With so much gloom in the news lately, we are ever grateful for our faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. May the peace that comes from His life, and Atoning sacrifice envelop us all as we celebrate His birth.

Thanks for being part of our lives and reading our sappy Christmas letter. The Dial Family

Here's some pics of the new house, still a work in progress but we it is fun!

Our cool red barn in the background; Rod has his office out there

We put a washer and dryer in the master bath. Brilliant! I have a friend who told me she had two seperate toilets; I might trade the washer dryer for that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Two weeks with two Moms; now its time to decompress

So my Mom, the one with Alzheimers, the one who gets around new strange men and goes into sexual innuendo mode. She is here most of the time now. The last 2 weeks Rod's Mom came as well. Believe it or not it is easier with both of them. Serving my Mother-in-law gives my Mother something to do. My Mother-in-law is constantly entertained by my Mother, especially the sexual innuendos.

It took me all day, but with the help from Pam-my I got both of them on 2 different planes this evening. Mom is going to Utah to play in her old band for the Christmas season, Beth is going back to her daughters home where she lives. My Mother-in-law asked 12 times on the way to the airport; "where is my plane ticket" at 79 years old trying to imagine ticketless travel is unfathomable. My Mom asked 12 times; "where am I going?" Oh and once she asked; "how am I related to you?" She also asked mother-in-law if she wanted one of her yellow happy pils, she said : "Its as good as smoking a joint!" If all this wasn't crazy enough, some insurance guy calls me while I'm in the car with all this craziness and asks me my height and weight! I said it like I was saying a phone number so noone would know what I was saying. So lets say for example, or actually in my dreams; I'm 5'8" and weigh 125. So I said "581-25mumblemumble" See it sounded kindof like a phone number.

After Rod's mothers annual visit; he buys me something to show his appreciation for me caring for his mother. (Its actually a funnier story then that, ask me sometime) here is what I chose this time.

So now I will retire my 30 year old bosch that I bought 15 years ago at a garage sale in Fredricksburg for $15. I'm a little attached though, it may just go in the garage.

And the best news is I will spend the rest of the week decompressing, I'm really not this snobby, even though this will sound snobby: I am getting a massage tomorrow. Wednesday I'm going to Houston to hang out with Elyse and shop, shop, shop. They have Sam Moon in Houston now. And sometime in there Sandy has promised to paint my toenails burnt orange with longhorn signs on them. That must be done before Saturday so I have them ready to match my shirt. Hook em Horns!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

World celebrates win and a house divided

That's the Dial house is divided. 5 members of our immediate family are old enough to vote. We didn't all vote for the same candidate for president. No hard feelings though. We had some good discussions. And when our younger kids voted in their school election, they didn't all vote for the same guy either.

I'm surprised today; many black people have commented that they finally feel like anything really is possible for African Americans. One comment from a black man; "My Mom told me I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up - except president" Really? I thought we were past that? I know there are crazy racist groups, but I thought as a society we had finally reached a point where we are color blind. I guess now finally we really are.

My Grandpa was a racist in his early days, I don't think he knew better. When I was in 8th grade I brought home a boy I liked. This boy helped our family clean out the garage, probably why he didn't stay long. My parents acted a little strange when he was there. (Sadly now I can't remember his name) I do remember he held my hand on the bus once. It wasn't until he left that I learned why my Dad had acted strange, he never thought one of his daughters would bring home a black boy. It never occured to me that the color of his skin should be an issue.

Everytime one of my kids dates someone of color I think: "Oooh they'd have beautiful babies"

And so while I understand the immense pride the African American community must feel today. As a color blind white person it saddens me how many needed this election to validate their worth and potential.

I read this book 'Three Cups of Tea' it changed my view on a few things; specifically how we respond to the world and the war on terror. The headline; 'World celebrates win.' gives me hope. Maybe Barack can help our image in the world and build better relations while still protecting us from crazy terrorists. He sure has a cute family, and his wife seems real. I look forward to seeing what she wears all the time, and what kind of puppy they get the girls. Important issues that will shape our nation.

Barack, Please don't let politics make you nasty, please don't cheat on your wife that's all I ask.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Jewish man, the Mexican, and the American

Now that we are down to 3 kids we can do random things like decide to go to a nice sit down dinner at the last minute. Friday night it was just 2, the little boys. And this is a slightly dated picture but I love them in their little hispanic shirts which reminded me of something else. But the something else later, I digress.

Anyways, we went to check out this new restaurant that had been recommended; Traxx. As soon as we sat down Josey did what he normally does, checks out the kids menu for steak. He loves to order steak. Its his favorite. He was so excited, they had steak and he was ready to order. The waitress came over and he volunteered to go first since he knew what he wanted; "I'll have the rabbi steak medium"
Waitress: "Excuse me?"
Josey: "I'll have the rabbi steak, medium"
HotRod; "Let me see that Josey"...."Do you mean ribeye?"
Josey: "Yeah isn't that what I said?"

Then we remembered when someone once ordered the bootie pasta. Mmm yummy. They meant bowtie.

When the waitress left Rod asked Joseph if he knew what a rabbi was, he didn't so we explained. A rabbi is similar to a bishop in our church. The man in charge of the congregation. A good man, someone we should respect. He then realized what was so funny.

He didn't like his 'rabbi' steak too much, he said; "This rabbi is a fatty"

Now mexican shirts; tonight we attended a dear friends parents 50th wedding celebration. They are hispanic, or are they mexican? I don't know and I don't know which is politically correct. Anyways these are some of our best friends and they always include us in their fiestas. So much so that Nikka who is turning 15 on Monday wants a quinsenera (sp?)

Once Elyse said while dating a hispanic boy; "I'd really like to marry into that culture, they have great get togethers"

That culture really is family oriented, they should be an example to us all.

Another observation; every fiesta has the same menu. And thats not a bad thing! Its expected and its always delicious. Beans, rice, some sort of meat and tortillas. No cheese or sour cream, thats American stuff. How would it be if everytime I entertained I was expected to make the same thing? Not vary my menu at all? That's awesome!

So happy anniversary Grandma and Grandpa Hernandez, thanks for including us gringos.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Good Deals are my natural caffeine

Why do good deals get me high? I felt so sick today. I had a crappy work day and I mean crappy. Crappier for my clients though and that is what makes it worse. Is crappy a bad word? Is Luke going to read this and think Mommy needs her mouth washed out with soap. Rod is my worst conscience, will he say its a bad word? Should I say cruddy instead?

Then I had the priviledge of a 3 hour middle school open house. 3 because Josey was so excited he led me to believe it started an hour earlier then it did.

This is a trick my kids have passed down to each other; tell Mom and Dad earlier so that they actually get there on time. Accept now I'm better so I end up showing up an HOUR early.

I come home late, dead, ready to sleep for 17 hours. But wait; my dear hot rod has gone to pick up my latest good deal - some furniture. And just like that I see it and start to do cheers in the kitchen to the astonishment/embarassment of my children since there were other people there as well. I'm no longer tired, in fact that was 2 hours ago and I'm still flying high.

I'm sure I will crash here pretty quick and tomorrow I will need another fix. Thank heavens for Target, if the fix doesn't happen - spending an hour at Target is the next best thing. Costco is the third best, Sams fourth, TJ Maxx or Marshalls tied for fifth, outlet mall, no let me clarify, the Coach store in outlet mall 6th........

PS: A little plug; today I also had a solartex skylight installed in my kitchen. Its small, 14 inches in diameter. And wala! I no longer needed to leave a light on in my kitchen, I had natural light! Money well spent.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Wake up and think; "Maybe today could be back to bed Tuesday"
Eat breakfast
Meeting in barn to discuss renovations
Take Luke to register for school, read sign;
"School closed until 11:30 for off campus meeting"
Realize they also 'close' from 12:00-1:00 for lunch. I'll come back after 1:00
Take Josey to the middle school to register
12:00 PM Schlotsky's; buy boys some lunch and a cool new sandwich for me
Austin board of realtors to get my new phone updated with MLS, want my sandwich
Payless shoes for Luke, try to convince him they are as good as the cool lime green nikes he wants. Not working, really want my sandwich
Back to Lukes school to register, right after this I'll eat sandwich
Get a call: friend of a friend are going to rent a house and its full of dog urine can you help? Forgot about my sandwich
Enlist daughters to babysit
Go house hunting and find house for client #1!
Paperwork at office
5:00 Finally EAT 1/2 my sandwich because I'm really trying to be good.
Fold laundry and sort bills
Shop online With Luke for shoes, how the heck did this kid discover Nordstrom kids?!?
Explain that NO $45.00 is not a good price for lime green Nikes.
Drop Kyria to pick up car
Drive out to Steiner to look at an estate sale preview I'm privvy to.
Check out a driveway Rod did.
Continue to copy home videos to dvd, I'm so proud of myself
Meet with client #2 who are also house guests at the moment, (don't ask)
Good news is they have become great friends!
Put boys to bed.
Meet with client #3 to write a contract. Also a great friend.
Sidenote: This is what I love about my 'part time' job.
I get involved with these clients and fast become great friends.
Check my email.
Visit with girls, nag Kyria about her college list.
Kyria nags me about needing a new phone
Chat with husband.
Just for fun check my phone, guess how many phone calls today? 72
Shoot! Remember one of those 72 phone calls was a request to lead music.
I forgot to call her back. (Insert guilt here)
Realize it was such a crazy day I just may have to blog about it.
Now I'm listening to the sounds of 4 teenage girls in the kitchen cooking and giggling and talking Gilmore Girls style (88 mph).
Love those sounds.
And finally now 11:00 PM my dream of back to bed Tuesday has become a reality.
After I join in on the Gilmore Gabfest.
Just the ordinary day in the life of a Mom. And here's why mine wasn't even that bad.
I did not get up last night with a baby and I did not change a diaper.
Shout out to Moms everywhere who's days are like this most of the time.
Good night.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I need that appendage back

Moms know; everytime a child is born its like growing an appendage. Somehow you are linked, they may cut the umbilical cord but somehow you are still linked to this life like an additional appendage. This by the way is a good thing.

Every scraped knee, cut off fingertip (yes I did this to my firstborn the first time I tried to trim his fingernails.) That was definitely MORE painful for me then him. I called Rod at work and was so hysterical he thought there would be a hospital and surgery involved. Anyways, we feel everything; burned hands from the stovetop even though you've said no-hot! 52 times, and splinter is felt as keenly by Mommy's as it is by their children. As well every proud; "Mommy I did it" is felt proudly by Moms as well.

As our babies grow up become children, then teenagers and finally adults there is one secret that all Mom's don't know. Maybe Moms don't share it with other Moms since it could be too painful to bear. Well... allow me to share.

Moving out; there I let the secret out. I never knew how sad it would be to one by one let my children grow up and go off to college until it actually happened to me. I actually accusingly would go up to 'older' women at church and say; "Why didn't you tell me" They just smile knowingly and shrug their shoulders. I guess no one likes to talk about it. It sucks! Your appendage has been put on a plane and ripped away with no anesthetic!

There is a good side to this story; the reunions, the coming home. And this weekend the stars aligned and we were all together. Now this may sound sappy but I don't care; I'm a happy person, life is good. But my true deep joy comes when all 8 of us are together in the same place. Its chaotic and loud and messy but its Joy, true great joy.

Today my girls were commenting that all my girlfriends were much younger then me. (Thats because I'm cool and young at heart, right?) So listen up my young girlfriends. ENJOY, enjoy every poopy diaper, temper tantrum, sleepless night, sore ....., you know from nursing, because all too soon it will be gone. And I know everyone says that but believe me this time, its true.

Which is why I'm a better Mom to the 3 still at home, I know to enjoy more and stress about the messiness of life less. If only I'd really listened to those Moms who told me that with the first 3 kids.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ode to Mo

Happy Birthday Elyse Mikel Dial, you are the bestest!
My first born was only 6 months old when I discovered I was pregnant with Elyse.
I suffered an accident while pregnant; broke my pelvis, fractured my femur, cracked a rib. Spent a month in a wheelchair. I was a wreck, Elyse was fine.
When she was born her 9lb 11 oz body broke my tailbone. I sat on a donut for months. She was healthy as can be.
Today; August 14th is her 21st birthday, I get emotional just writing that.
Where the heck did 21 years go? I remember her cute little speech problem. A friend suggested she try practicing her speech. She did and it always came out like this; “Wabbits Wun Wapidly” So cute! She is an amazing girl.
The first girl in a family of 6 kids meant she did a lot of babysitting.
Having a big brother meant she was tormented on a regular basis.
She remembers all too well the poor days and wonders if I’m spoiling her younger siblings. Probably, it’s called getting lazy.
Now she’s a bug girl. Yet I still have ants in my pantry! (See previous blog)
In spite of the ants; I’m very proud of her. She is strong, beautiful, disciplined, spiritual, cool, loving, sometimes a clepto. I could go on and on and on.
Now there is much I can learn from her. Sometimes she decides to not eat chocolate for a month, and she never cheats! I’d lose 20 pounds in a month if I did that.
Happy birthday Mo! I love you tons.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Alzheimer's causes weight gain

My amazing Mother age 69
5 children
Real Estate Broker
Founding partner and corporate vice president ConAm,
A fortune 500 real estate holding company (
In the 60’s and 70’s women were struggling for equality and power.
Mom already had the equality and power
Some of my best traits come from her:
She had so many best friends, everyone was a friend
Mom knew how to throw a party, everything needed to be perfect

Then Alzheimer’s came to stay and Mom asks;
How many kids do I have?
Me: Five but four living
Mom: You have so much going on! How do you know how to sell real estate and manage a home?
Me: I learned from you Mom
Mom: How are you going to entertain all those people?
Me: You always did the best parties Mom
Mom: I did?
Mom: Are you wearing a bra?
Me: (thinking) how the heck can you tell if I'm wearing a bra but can't remember if your parents are alive or dead?
Mom: Who am I married to?
Me: Dean
Mom: Why aren't I married to your Dad? He is the love of my life.
Me: You divorced him.
Mom: Well that was the biggest mistake of my life. (Mom always sheds tears here)

More bad news: When Alzheimer's came to stay I gained 14 pounds. 14 pounds I could not afford to gain! Don't worry about me though, myself and I have had a 'come to Jesus'. I'm on a program now, I won't be getting into my skinny jeans but I will atleast get my Alzheimers weight off. Which explains why I'm awake at 3:00 AM.
I'm hungry!

The good news; Alzheimer’s takes the bad memories too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ants in the pantry

Just returned from one of the best vacations we've ever had; a week at Newport Beach Marriott villas, then a trip to Mexico to volunteer in an orphanage with 3 other awesome families. But I came home to ants in my pantry! Ants in my brand new pantry! All I seem to want to rant and write about are ants in my pantry.

I really need to read 'Don't sweat the small stuff'

On a happier note, my firstborn flies in tonight. You know what that means?!? For a very brief time my family will be all together. It is the time I feel complete joy when all 6 children are back together with us. People always say 'it goes by so fast' but it really does go by WAY TOO FAST!

PS The baby in the picture is not mine, darnit! She is my cutest niece Sadie age 1

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Waxing; ouch, ouch, ouch and OUCH!

Maybe worse then the pain of getting my eyebrows waxed is what the lady says when I go;
"Why you no want your lip wax?" What wrong with my lip?
The first time I had my eyebrows waxed I was so not prepared for the pain. Mind you I've given birth naturally, I still think its right up there with pushing a watermelon out your bum, which is what natural childbirth feels like. After the first eye about got ripped off, I sat there with the other eye covered in wax and paper while 2 other women got their eyebrows waxed. I figured I could live with some paper on my eyebrow, anything to not have to remove it. I even asked the lady if she could pull super slow 1 hair at a time. My friend was quite embarassed, and I didn't wax again for many years.

Now I get my eyebrows done as rarely as possible, just before I get a unibrow, and I still hate it so much. So this trend towards waxing everything and I mean EVERYTHING is totally lost on me.

My hairy self finally feels vindicated; was reading recently that scientists believe the rash of quickie marriages/divorces that have increased in the last few years could be tied to waxing. Hear me out, this makes sense.
You know phermones, the scent or chemical you give off that determines if you are physically attracted to another person? Hence the term chemical reaction. Well phermones need a place to rest and they don't rest on the hair on our heads and they don't stick around on bareskin. So when we wax everything we are waxing our phermones right off. Hairless people are meeting other hairless people and they think they may be compatible but time goes by, a little hair grows, the phermones come out and WOOPS the chemical reaction is more like when I pour clorox bleach into clorox color safe bleach. Kaboom! No chemical attraction.

So glad my hairy self met my hairy husband when we were both hairy. Maybe thats why we've stayed married so long.

One thing though; If HotRod were to get a hairy back, I would beg him to go visit the "Why you no want your lip wax?" woman.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Phisherobilias and Mo

Shout out to phisherobilias! I like to read blogs. I'm amazed how many millions of blogs. Why do so many people take the time? So many good ones. Some get $$$, then I see better ones that aren't sponsored (no $$$). How does that work?

Then my daughter (nickname 'Mo") blogs, how did she get so smart? How does she know those big words? BYU education is paying off. Yeah!

She is dropping out, I learn from her blog. Nonetheless, her blog inspires me.

Meet Rachel, I read her blog. I am infatuated with her zest for life. And finally I decide, I could blog too. Funner then a journal. And how often do I go upstairs and dust off the old books? Um, never!

Three blind mice

HotRod's mantra when something is broke:
The mice ate it.Steering doesn't work in the boat, the mice ate the cable Wakeboarding Rope broke, mice chewed through it. Rear light on the boat out, guess what he told the lake police?....The mice ate it! Instead of peeing my pants,I just about jumped in the water to relieve myself. Too bad he hates cats so much, it would solve the problem - or does he want it solved? Maybe thats why he doesn't want a cat, then he'd have no excuse, who would he blame? Hmmm...
On the way home my one question: Why do we have this nice boat with so many things wrong with it? Why not just get them fixed?
Answer: Don't start.
Lessons learned in marriage: Learn when to be quiet. Ok I won't start