Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Contest and Giveaway reminder!

Just a friendly public service announcement to remind you to enter the Random Things & Kite Strings First Official Contest and Giveaway!! The contest is only open until midnight tomorrow (Halloween). So enter right away!

And now back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Back from vacation and a slew of teaser photos

Mr. Perfect and Most Happy Girl spent the last eight days (from Sunday to Sunday) enjoying the fun and warmth of Southern California. We visited with family, spent two days with the Mouse, traveled Pacific Coast Highway 1 (affectionately known as PCH 1) from Monterey to San Diego, played on the beach at Newport, and managed to put over 1500 miles on a really fun rental car (gotta love free upgrades because they've run out of the cheapie one your reserved).

Here are some pictures, just to wet your whistle:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The bedroom is getting there

The moved wall has now been fully covered with sheetrock! Go us! (Actually, go Mr. Perfect. He did it.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (on Friday)

First official Contest and Giveaway!!!

Random Things & Kite Strings is celebrating reaching its 10,000 official view (based on the blog counter). A very big THANK YOU to all my faithful readers.

So, here's the contest part:

Add a comment to this post and let me know which past post is your favorite and why. See, I promised it wouldn't be hard.

The contest will run from today (October 19, 2012) through Halloween (October 31, 2012) at midnight, the Witching Hour. The winner will be randomly (how else?) drawn from a hat by me or Mr. Perfect. Once a winner is picked, you will be highlighted on the blog with information on how to reach me so I can reach you.

And the giveaway part:

The winner will receive one of the following (chosen by the winner):
  • A copy of one of my all-time favorite books: Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
  • A copy of my favorite cookbook: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (you know, the red and white checkered one)
  • A personal visit from me with a dozen homemade cupcakes -- your choice of flavor (you must live within 25 miles of me to choose this one)
And that it! I so excited, my giddy is showing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beautiful Heartbreak

A sweet family in our ward is going through a very difficult experience right now. The father was diagnosed with cancer a couple weeks ago. This week, he started the long, hard process of treatments. When trials and difficulties hit us, we don't know why we have to go through them. We have to believe that Heavenly Father is aware of us and knows each of us and what we need in order to return to Him. The Gospel is simple. Living it isn't always easy. The more we follow Heavenly Father's way, though, the easier it becomes.

I have friends with little or no understanding or patience with faith or God, who may think that I'm naive or brainwashed. Only I know the experiences that have brought me to my beliefs. I can't share that with anyone else, but everyone can have their own experiences. It is what makes faith so amazingly wonderful, and also so hard for skeptics to accept.

If anyone is interested in participating in a 40-day fast for my friends, please check out Fasting for the Philpotts on facebook.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The kind of guys all girls should date

Thanks, Sweet Cecily!

The blog is close to a milestone

A couple of days ago, I posted about Little Big Sis hitting a big milestone. Well, the blog is getting close to a major milestone in the blogosphere: 10,000 hits. I know that, because of past issues with blog counters, chances are that it's actually already hit that milestone, but I don't have a way to verify it, so we're going by the current blog counter.

And when it hits that milestone, I want to have my first official contest. I haven't decided what to give away yet, but there will be a give-away. And I don't want to reveal what the actual contest is yet, either, but it won't be hard.

Some of my ideas right now for a give-away include a copy of my current favorite book, a copy of my current favorite cookbook, the chance to write a guest post, or something similar. Heck, if you live close enough, I might even show up on your doorstep with a dozen cupcakes (homemade, of course). If you have any great ideas, please post them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Genius Child #3 comes home from Massachusetts

It's so strange that two years have passed so quickly. It seems like only a few weeks ago, we were sending Genius Child #3 off into the mission field to serve the Lord in the Massachusetts Boston Mission. And now he's home.

This picture is from Genius Child #3's farewell. I hope to have an updated photo soon.

He looks good. He has that wonderful "just home" missionary glow. And he plans on keeping it. He was an amazing man before he left, and he has only grown in spirituality and understanding. We loved reading his letters. We were excited when investigators set baptismal dates. We cried with him when people just couldn't make the changes necessary to accept the Gospel as the road map for their lives now.

Thanks, Genius Child #3, for letting us share these experiences with you. We will miss reading your letters, but we're glad to have you home for a little while before you leave for school.

We plan on watching with joy and anticipation as he starts the next phase of his life. Watch out, BYU-Idaho. You have no idea what's coming your way.

Game Boy and the Cottonwood Theatre Society Officers

The Cottonwood High School Theatre Society Officers are apparently a fun bunch to be around:

On top of a really cool looking sweater:

there are additional perks to being an officer
  • Free entrance to all theatre products (though the chances of him not being involved in all of the theatre productions are pretty slim) 
  • Free tickets to shows when the theatre classes go to PTC
  • The ability to mug it up wherever you are and claim that you're rehearsing for your next show/audition/radio appearance
He is also in charge of the theatre society's blog, which he started this year and will be able to pass on to the next communications officer next year.

It's good to be an officer.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Little Big Sis hits a milestone

I'm not entirely sure I'm allowed to mention which one. Suffice to say, she will always be older than me (hahaha).

Happy Birthday, Little Big Sis! Love you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

And I thought re-doing the kitchen was traumatic

We received a notice in the mail a couple of weeks ago that our neighborhood annual dumpster date  this year is October 16. That's only one week away. We've been talking about getting the rest of the paneling in the living room and master bedroom down for months (maybe even a couple of years), and this was just the event to get us moving on it.

On the way home from work, Most Happy Girl stopped at Walmart and bought very ugly and very cheap sheets to cover the windows. Cheap because we know they'll get ruined in the next weeks/months as we work on this room, and ugly to inspire us to do it quickly.

Once home, Most Happy Girl tackled the world's ugliest drapery.

Then she noticed something that caused her heart to cringe. The windows, including the sliding glass door, were dirty. Not just dirty, but filthy. Out came the glass cleaner and paper towels and half an hour later, the windows were a thing of beauty. Of course, it meant that she had not stayed on task, so back to moving and shifting and all of that fun stuff.

The pictures all came off the walls, the golden disasters went out to the trailer to await their fate next week, bookcase next to the stereo was cleaned out, and couch was moved away from the wall.

When Mr. Perfect arrived home from a very long day at work, he helped with dinner (a yummy, made-up-on-the-spot chicken and pasta dish not to be missed), and then together they tackled most of the paneling until this is what remained.

It's amazing how much bigger the room feels with the drapes and dark paneling gone. It's also a lot louder. I think the heavy drapery material absorbed a lot of sound. Two places still have paneling: behind the stereo and T.V. (because we need to be more serious about moving and unhooking things before we can pull this down) and behind the piano (because moving the piano is always a delicate proposition that will take more then just the two of us to accomplish).

Next up: the final wall of paneling in the master bedroom. It's going to be a happy, full dumpster, courtesy of the M Family alone.

Monday, October 8, 2012

FHE and pumpkin cake

We had a Merrill Family Home Evening yesterday. (Just in case you're wondering what in the world FHE is, click here.) Soup was provided, and everyone was asked to bring a snack or dessert. I saw this darling pumpkin cake online and thought "Hey, I can do that!" Except I didn't have a bunt pan. But I did have $6.00 to buy a bunt pan! Huzzah! My grand scheme was a-go!

I think my favorite was when of the little, little kids came up and wanted pumpkin, but not so much chocolate. He was more interested in the green leaves and the stem (which was a chocolate cupcake, so I don't know how he felt about it once it was on his plate).

For the recipe and construction details, see Pumpkin Cake on the cooking blog. I have to admit that I cheated a bit and used box mixes for the cakes. But if you're going to do that, the only brand I recommend is Duncan Hines. Their cakes turn out so moist! (Mr. Perfect said it wasn't moist, it was wet!)

Monday, October 1, 2012


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