Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Count Your Many Blessings Name them One By One"

The opening song in sacrament meeting today was Count your many blessings, so I'm gonna... (but just today's blessing 'cuz this is gonna get long)
  1. Sis. Levi smiling when she sings this song. It made me giggle because I don't see her smiling when she conducts very often. Maybe I'm just not usually looking.
  2. A little CTR 6 girl that always waves wildly as she passes by us and sits a few seats in front of us.
  3. My husband being a worthy priesthood holder and his friend inviting him to the circle to bless their new baby.
  4. The sacrament and my opportunity to renew my covenants with my Heavenly Father each and every week.
  5. Youth speakers who give short talks and look up briefly, probably because their mom told them to or they learned it at school.
  6. A talk on obedience. "I will go, I will do, the things the Lord commands." I'm back in that place, after a short sabbatical.
  7. Colored pencils. They don't mark on beautiful dresses like markers do.
  8. Sweet babies reaching over the pew to pull on my shoe.
  9. Funny toddlers laying on the floor and eating a gummy that I believe had been there at least a week. (I didn't tell his momma)
  10. Standing to sing a patriotic song. I giggled again. What's wrong with me?!
  11. Bishop Randall and his awesomeness. (If that is not a word, it should be and it would list him as an example.) Ask and ye shall receive: I asked him for a copy of his talk and he emailed it to me. I'll get to that tomorrow morning.
  12. Email and working computers. (we only have one that works, but I like it)
  13. Talks that bring it all together and make a lot of sense, at least to me. I must have a youth mind, because Duclos is in charge of the young men now and this is the first time that what he's said has really hit home with me.
  14. 16 cable channels.
  15. Movies.
  16. My husband realizing that the grin on my face has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that "da Bears" just got a first down because although I was looking at the TV, I wasn't actually watching it.
  17. Fresh pinto beans that actually get soft once they are cooked.
  18. A daughter that can follow a recipe for cornbread and has almost mastered the cleaning up part as well. Yum.
  19. Sad 4 year olds that actually let them hold you when they are upset.
  20. Christmas trees with twinkle lights.
  21. Dishwashers and the "dish fairy" that comes and empties the dishwasher.
  22. Harry Connick Jr. He is just plain talented. How can I possibly know it's his song just by the introductory instrumentals? Nice voice, and not too bad to look at either.
  23. Cheerful people that dot their i's with little hearts.
  24. The temple. (so sad that it will be closed for 2 weeks, what will I do?!)
  25. Temple lights. Who wants to go?!
  26. Blackberry pie... even though I haven't had a slice. I'd like it heated with real vanilla ice cream, on the side.
  27. Choir practice, directors, songs I can sing, sectional practice, and fun. I got the giggles again! It must be something about the music.
  28. Tithing.
  29. Bishopric.
  30. Cell phones.
  31. Good friends.
  32. Resurrection.
  33. Christ's birth.
  34. Forgiveness.
  35. Repentance.
  36. Prayer.
  37. Faith.
  38. New York.
  39. Tempe.
  40. Family, my mom especially.
  41. Old people.
  42. Young people.
  43. "In between people."
  44. Sleeping babies that sleep on me even though I'm not their mom.
  45. Relief Society.
  46. Primary.
  47. Fun service projects and making plans to get together with friends to sew, sew, sew.
  48. A husband that realizes that you are at your wits end, sends you off to choir practice an hour early, lets you come home an hour late, AND makes you a pizza-dilla for dinner.
  49. Snoopy.
  50. Sleeping children.

I'm gonna stop here though because this is just getting out of hand. Count your own blessings, it will put a smile on your face, and might give you the giggles!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

More answers...

1. Man, this dude's got dogs. I don't do dogs. The Italian Job
2. You're a flat, lying, curd dog. Pure Country (George Strait really can't act, but he sings well and isn't too bad on the eyes)
3. You're killing me Petey! Remember the Titans (we use this quote a lot when we can't believe what someone said or did.)
4. You mocked me once, never do it again. Princess Bride, of course. (I say this to Bill a lot)
5. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Finding Nemo (this is good if you are doing something over and over and want to forget that it is a really boring task)
6. You broke THAT jaw? Tango and Cash
7. My boyfriend likes them because they make his junk smell like pie. (Juno, this movie is worth the watch just for the unbelievable banter between the characters)
8. No, what you heard was the President's girlfriend telling her boyfriend that she had a bad day. An American President
9. Who else would order lettuce and tomato without something like tuna? Sleepless in Seattle
10. It-lee? What are you doing in It-lee?! Only You (Fisher Steven's character Larry says it)

The bonus quote was said by William Petersens character, Cecil "Stud" Cantrell in Long Gone. I'm ashamed to admit that I watched this movie about 10 too many times while I was in high school. My friend and I thought it was a riot. When Bill went to rent this movie about 5 years ago he could only find it in one teeny video store in Scottsdale. He stopped by on his way home from work and couldn't believe it was only available on VHS and was cheaper to buy the dang thing than it was to rent it. So now we own it if you want to borrow it. But like I said, don't judge me. It's a baseball movie, what can I say? I love baseball.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Near Perfect Day to Begin the Season

My mom is the best and I don't do enough for her. She will be 75 this year and is still working so hard. There are a million pine needles laying around her house in Forest Lakes that need to be raked up so she can have peace of mind come summer time and the fires are a blazin'. Every year I intend to go up and help her but never seem to make the time. This year I decided to enlist some help and asked Crystal if I could take her 2 oldest kids with me, thinking that they would help Kyra to work a little bit. Well, to my surprise, the whole Lee family asked to come up for the day. Of course you can come, silly people, the more the merrier. Then I told my mom. My mom, the worrier. My mom, the worrier, that watches the news and the weather reports and drives me insane with her constant obsession with what could happen on the roads when there is anything other than a sunny day.

Fast forward a week and we make it to this Friday...

Bless the Lee's for taking Tasha in their van for the drive up to Forest Lakes! What a delightfully argument-free road trip that was. I can even deal with sitting in the back seat while Cyrena was carsick because I did not have to listen to the smallest little bit of whining from either of my children. Aah, sweet peace, even sweeter with the addition of a wonderful Christmas CD that Crystal gave me right before we left. Gotta love me a little Harry Conick Jr. Yes, yes.

But the biggest surprise of all was SNOW!!! There was snow on the ground at my mom's house. Not just any snow either. Snow that could be rolled into a giant snowball to form a snowman. Snow that could be packed together to build the wall of a fort. Snow that made the best snowballs that I have ever thrown. It was perfect 35ish degree weather, the sun was shining, and we had great friends with us to deflect some of the arguing that would have undoubtedly ensued had they not been there. The kids built a snowman first thing, but then sacrificed it to build their wall larger. We launched snowballs at each other throughout the day and the kids didn't do too much whining about being hit. The adults had to be careful with our aim, so it was probably good that it didn't get too competive. They then sacrificed their wall for the sheer fun of destroying it. Silly kids that never see snow! We had lots of wet clothes, used the dryer a few times, and they enjoyed some hot cocoa to warm their little bodies. I was sweating just watching Cyrena drink her hot drink, inside, with her coat still on. My mom got to play with Brandon a little bit and witnessed Tasha's absolute obsession with that little boy. She also learned that Ethan just really wasn't going to respond when you call him Nathan.

We had some lunch, played some cards, raked some pine needles, put up my mom's Christmas tree, played some bananagrams, ate some dinner, and did a lot of laughing. If you know me, and like me, you like my mom. I learned to laugh from my mom. Not only do we appreciate a good joke or a funny situation, we both know how to laugh at ourselves and things that others might be offended by. Things like "oxygen day". Wednesday at Fry's is what Crystal has named "oxygen day" because they give a discount to senior citizens and all the old farts are wheeling around with their oxygen tanks in tow. Now I know my mom, and I know that she would appreciate this new term, but the Lee's don't know her as well. I don't know how the subject came up, or who said the term first, but it was out there and they went immediately into defensive mode trying to make it sound a little less anti-old people. Again I say it, my mom is the best. She thought it was a riot and there was no tension whatsoever.

I forgot how much time my mom spent coming to our ward last spring after she had foot surgery. She knew Crystal as my "short, dark-haired friend" from Relief Society and said she always appreciated her comments during the lessons. (The "short" is in reference to her hair and comes with a hand motion above the ear because my mom can't talk without her hands.) She also knew Jared and was used to seeing him on the stand with the bishopric. My mom said she enjoyed talking with Jared and was surprised that they knew some of the same people from the same small little town. The funniest part though was when she said he was such a "typical man". This has to do with the putting up of the Christmas tree. I was busy with Tasha so I didn't see or hear the whole thing. All I know is my mom told Bill and Jared how the 3 piece tree was supposed to go together, they didn't listen and did it their own way, then they took it apart and reassembled it the same way my mom said it needed to be done. Typical men.

All the kids did really well most of the day. Tasha had a moment when Derek and Ethan were playing together and she felt left out, but I think hunger was taking over then. Cyrena was a bit sad when all the kids went inside and she wasn't done in the snow. Ethan and Tasha annoyed their mothers as we tried to help them play a game that was way over their heads. The real meltdown came when it was time to leave. We were making seating arrangements in the vans and Tasha just lost it! I don't know how Ethan and Derek faired through the final decision (each family rides in their own van) because I was inside with Tasha screaming and running at the door as I deflected her little 30 pound body back into the living area. All I know for sure is that had I not just spent the whole day with Crystal I would not have handled the situation nearly as well. She has this calming influence on me that allows me to let things roll off and act more like an adult. There would have been a lot of yelling (on my part) and crying (from both kids) and my mom would have been devastated as we left with 2 screaming children. As it turns out, I never lost it, both my kids calmed down, we found an amicable solution for everyone, and were all able to hug and kiss my mom before we left. When I called her later she didn't even mention the incident, so I know she isn't dwelling on it.

So, for all her worrying and fretting over icey, snowy roads, my mom is just going to have to live with the fact that we had a safe trip and no harm came to any of us. I'm sure to use it against her in the future. We'll laugh about it, and she'll keep on worrying. Worrying is one thing that I did not inherit from my mom, and it drives her crazy! You're the best, mom, and Bill agrees. He said it a few times today.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tis the Season

...for a survey on your holiday traditions. Thanksgiving is officially over, I had turkey with Bill's family at 6:30ish this evening and the kids are now tucked safely in bed. The livingroom has been cleaned and rearranged, ready to put up the tree. The navity is set out and the stockings are hung. So here goes, feel free to copy and paste and add it to your blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like to wrap the packages and not label them to keep the kids (and Bill) guessing. I have a way to tell, but they don't know until Christmas day.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, I'm allergic to pine
3. When do you put up the tree? Whenever we get around to it, but before Christmas Eve
4. When do you take the tree down? Whenever we get around to it, hopefully before Valentines Day
5. Do you like eggnog? About a 1/4 cup per year. Eggnog shakes on the other hand... yummy!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? A pom-pom making kit that I did while my grandpa drank coffee and the rest of my family slept.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My nephews as they grew up and had everything they could possibly need or want
8. Easiest person to buy for? Kyra
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Starbucks coffee, from a student. (It's the thought that counts!)
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Miracle on 34th Street (I believe!), Charlie Brown is also good, and I like to watch When Harry Met Sally even though it's not really a Christmas show.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Black Friday, if I'm lucky
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Last year I found a car sponge that we had put in Bill's stocking the year before and he hadn't used it. We put it back in his stocking and he said, "didn't I get one of these last year?"
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Peppermint bark, but I'm off chocolate this year
16. Lights on the tree? of course: some twinkly, some solid, a bubble strand, and some gingerbread men (I try to pick up a funky strand at the after-Christmas sales)
17. Favorite Christmas song? Angels We Have Heard On High (I can almost sing the alto line without help!)
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Whatever it takes. Next year we'll be at Disneyworld!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Probably, if there are 8. (plus Rudolph, and Olive)
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? An angel until Christmas Day, then the new star appears
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning Santa leaves a gift unwrapped for everyone and the stockings are fair game, then we open the rest together.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Bell ringers, they make me feel guilty
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? it varies from year to year
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Christmas Eve we have chili and tamales that I helped assemble
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Peace on earth, financial security, good health, a happy family, and good friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

$5, the Mean Girl, and I've been slammed!

What is it about getting a $5 rebate in the mail that makes you want to jump for joy? It's not the $5, even if you do really need to buy butter and milk (which I already had). I think it's the fact that when you read the ad you were excited that you could get such a good deal. You went to the store, bought the specified items, tore off the proof of purchases, copied the sales reciept, enveloped it up, and sent it off... doubtful that you would ever get a response. But wait! Low and behold, just when you had given up because it was the end of the "9-45 week processing" time, you receive the check in the mail. WooHoo! 5 bucks, whatever shall I do? Maybe I'll frame it to prove that rebates do come through.

I was walking past the livingroom, listening to the girls argue with each other about nothing in particular. I said, "Hey, mean girl?" and Tasha answered, "what?". Are you laughing? I was.

Then I open an email that was in response to an email that I had sent earlier that day. We'd been debating back and forth for a while and I wasn't making much sense for who knows what reason. I think I ususally make sense, but today was an off day. I finally found a quote that totally summed up my thoughts and sent it away. The response I got? Here goes: "That is a coherent, well-thought out statement.Where'd you quote it from, cause I know you didn't think it up." OOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUCH! I actually said that out loud. The kids asked me if I was alright. I think I'll be fine. What a riot.

Now I'm going to go enjoy a scrumptious turkey pot pie that I actually cooked all by myself, from scratch. Well, the crust was sort-of by scratch, and looks atrocious, but it all smells delish!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Garden...

Oh, just kidding!
This is what I am greeted by as I walk up to the school that I tutor at. Aah, what money and free time can buy you. They were all transplants, probably from a posh, uptight, and overpriced grower in North Scottsdale. That's what I'm going with anyway.

OK, here's my real attempt (sorry if you're bored with movies by now)

Yes, they are easy. So the rule is (at least for #4 and #5) that you have to answer with another quote from the same movie.

1. Man, this dude's got dogs. I don't do dogs.
2. You're a flat, lying, curd dog.
3. You're killing me Petey!
4. You mocked me once, never do it again.
5. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.
6. You broke THAT jaw?
7. My boyfriend likes them because they make his junk smell like pie.
8. No, what you heard was the President's girlfriend telling her boyfriend that she had a bad day.
9. Who else would order lettuce and tomato without something like tuna?
10. It-lee? What are you doing in It-lee?!

The bonus quote that only Bill will get. Don't judge me, it was a memorable line:

"When God made man, he made 'em outa string. He had a little left so he made that little thing. When God made woman, he made her outa lace. He didn't have enough so he left that little space. Thank you God!"

Hint: The actor played a lead role in one of the CSI's and he was very young in the movie. In CSI his character really loves bugs.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Date with Joshua

I had the sweetest breakfast date with Joshua this morning. Bill better watch out, because Josh says and does all the right things. Move over babe, a younger man is taking your place!

I went to visit Elizabeth in the hospital this morning. She's doing great and taking the whole diabetes (type1) thing in stride. She chatted about all the different places that they had poked her and was very at ease with the whole thing. She had to eat up all her breakfast within a half an hour and then they counted up carbs to determine how much insulin to give her. Sheesh!

Scott and Sara seem to be doing pretty well with all this new information. I guess Scott has blogged about, but I haven't read that yet. I'm sure I only got a glimpse of how drastic life will change while I was visiting them. But anyway, back to Joshua...

Josh had said a couple of times while I was there that he was hungry and both his parents wanted to take him down to get something to eat. They did, however, need to stick around to talk to one of the 3 different people I saw come in to give directions in their new quest. It's not like Josh was starving or anything. In fact, he was pretty matter-of-fact about the whole thing and distracted by Handy Manny on the TV. (A bonus about staying in the hospital-unlimited TV time!) So I offered to take Josh down to the cafeteria for them and Sara was happy to let me. He was hesitant at first, but I had him take the money from his mom so he could pay.

Sweet Boy!! He held my hand all the way to the cafeteria as we looked for signs pointing us in the right direction. We passed a couple of bunnies and he said, "What are they doing here? Bunnies don't live in Arizona." We talked about how the Smith's had bunnies but he told me they died. See that? A man that is secure enough with his emotions that he can talk about a sensitive topic. Then we came to the train tracks that they are putting up. We looked and looked, but could not find a train for those tracks. We determined that the tracks must not be done yet so they couldn't let the train on. We followed the arrows and the word cafeteria and made our way down the hallways. Then we could smell the food. That was cute.

After we checked out the limited selection of breakfast items, we ended up over by the grill in line for some sausage. He still held my hand, and the money. A doctor smiled at us and said to Josh, "Oh, how nice. Are you taking your mom out to breakfast?" I clarified that I was not his mom, but indeed he was my date for the morning. The doctor talked with us off and on while conversing with the nurse next to him, and taking at least one phone call and answering a page. During this time Joshua and I were trying to determine what exactly he would like to eat. One sausage, two? Eggs? A Pancake? He definitely wanted some pudding and I'm not his mom so I can let him have a little, right? It's got milk in it. It's almost our turn to order so I asked him again what he wanted, "One egg? One or two sausages?" This is where the sweet manners of a kind date kick in. He clarified, "Two sausages, one for me and one for you. One egg. One pancake. Two drinks, one for me and one for you." Aaah, is your heart melting yet. I wasn't really planning on eating anything other than a little fruit, but who can resist that sweet boy?!

We got out grill stuff, I put some chocolate pudding in a 2 oz cup and Josh topped it with a grape. Lime Gatorade for breakfast, really? If I told you that was one of the better choices would you be surprised? I seriously couldn't find where the good-for-you drinks were. No milk or juice that I could see. Gatorade seemed the lesser of 2 evils, right after soda. I couldn't even see the water button on the soda machine. Of all the cafeterias I've been to (it's not many), hospital cafeterias seem to be lacking in basic nutritional choices. Should I be surprised at this, or is this exactly what is wrong with our society. I didn't bring any of this up with Josh though. I didn't want to get too political with him since it was our first date.

The doctor made another comment to us and the cashier was very helpful with his obvious lack of experience in money management. We "ate" a delightful breakfast with some more good conversation. The talk was mostly about his family and I could tell his thoughts were still with them. He didn't eat much, mostly pudding and some Gatorade, so we put a lid on the leftovers to take back to the room with us. This was not until he made sure I ate my sausage and offered me the other half of his pancake. He also expressed his concern when I had not had any of my drink yet.

Then he held my hand all the way back to the room.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Movie Answers...

Yes, I'm lame. They were all from You've Got Mail. Here's who said what in case you care:

1. I'd send you a bouquet of sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. (It is in the first email that Tom Hanks sends to Meg Ryan, she repeats it later that morning.)
2. (Steve Zahn says it to Meg after she is stood up and the rooftop strangler is reported to have been in the area she was)
3. I was eloquent, sh**! (Tom Hanks when talking about how he compared his bookstore to a giant can of olive oil you can buy at Costco)
4. Take the gun, leave the cannoli. (Tom, quoting the Godfather)
5. A hundred and fifty two felony indictments. (Tom, while discussing what the handle NY152 could stand for)
6. My mother loved to twirl. (Meg, in the little bookstore)
7. Oh Birdie, what should I do? (Meg, re: if she should sell the bookstore)
8. That caviar, is a garnish. (Meg, to Tom as he is scraping the caviar off the perimeter of a plate of food)
9. That nut from the Observer, you know, the one that's in love with his typewriter. (a customer to Meg, talking about Meg's boyfriend)
10. F.O.X. (Tom's nephew spelling his last name... F.O.X.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Beef, it's what's for Dinner

Our family doesn't eat a whole lot of red meat. In fact, there are very few times that I can say that I want it. Don't get me wrong, I love me a big fat juicy hamburger, or even a little tiny "flame broiled" burger, but for the most part I'm a chicken gal.

Here is one exception to the rule, it's "Aunt Pattie's Italian Barbeque". No, I don't have have an Aunt Patty, it's the name from the crock-pot cookbook. I do have a cousin Patty, but I don't think she's ever made this. Anyway the best part of this recipe is that the meat starts off frozen. That means that Sunday morning, 5 minutes before you have to leave for church, you can decide to make this for an early dinner if you have the 2 ingredients: a pot roast and a package of dry italian salad dressing mix.

Here's what you do:
  1. Grease your crockpot if you want less gunk to scrap off the sides when you're done cooking. If you forget, no big deal, I do all the time.
  2. Pull a 2-3 pound roast out of the freezer, peel off the plastic and styrofoam, place it in the crock pot.
  3. Sprinkle one package of dry Italian salad dressing mix over the top.
  4. Put the lid on, cook it on high for 6 hours (ish), or low all day.
  5. Once the meat is cooked, shread it up with 2 forks.
  6. Serve as is or on rolls. (homemade wheat ones taste yummy but distract from the delishish taste of the meat!)

I actually cooked this meat too long a few Sundays ago because we ate later than I thought we would. You can add some water to make the meat more moist if this happens, but typically the frozen roast creats enough juice to keep the meat moist. You can also cook it a shorter period of time if the roast is not frozen but then you definitely want to add some water when you start it cooking.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My attempt at movie quotes

1. I'd send you a bouquet of sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.
3. I was eloquent, sh**!
4. Take the gun, leave the cannoli.
5. A hundred and fifty two felony indictments.
6. My mother loved to twirl.
7. Oh Birdie, what should I do?
8. That caviar, is a garnish.
9. That nut from the Observer, you know, the one that's in love with his typewriter.
10. F.O.X.

"You Say It's Your Birthday...

Buh-nuh-nuh-nuh...It's My birthday too."

Last night my mom pointed out that somehow I get to celebrate my birthday all week long. Yep, that's right. I know how to do things right. And because the week leading up to your birthday sometimes means more than the actual day itself, these are the fabulous things people have said that I remember...

Things that were not really compiments, but made my each day a little better:

"I realize now that I wasn't focused on myself because I needed to help you."

"I'm sorry that had to happen on your birthday." (empathy from a 10 year old?! WOW!)

"I love you." (by many people)

"I miss visiting teaching with you."

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to Hche, happy birthday to you." (Sung a few times. Am I really this annoying on everyone else's birthday?)

"We'll just have to agree to disagree." (sometimes real friends just have to let you have your own opinion)

"...Thankfully, some choices are easier than others" (from a store bought card! How perfectly fitting.)


"I love that you care so much about people... big people, small people, in-between people." (there were a lot more great things in this note, but I loved that line the best)

"You're one of the most incredible people that I know."

And then, of course there are the lines that made me laugh. I'll see if I can remember what they were in reference to next year:

"Let me smell your legs."

"What am I, a circus act?"

The laugh had at my expense because I know nothing about snow. Snow blower, road grater, "snow grater"... whatever it takes. Sheesh! I grew up in Tempe, I'm just making this stuff up. Thanks for the run-to-the-bathroom-I'm-gonna-pee-my-pants-and-spit-out-my-cake laugh.

The gift I almost bought myself, but was given to me today.

The gift that was more about the other person than me, which cracks me up.

The gift of no gift. Amen.

Silly and thoughtful posts.

Thanks for making my day!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The 10:30PM Doorbell

Ding-dong. Was that really the doorbell? Seriously, it's 10:30 at night and we're all in bed. (That was odd for me to be in bed that early, but I'm glad I was!) The lights are out, inside and out. I shove Bill.

"Babe, I think someone just rang the doorbell."

He hops out of bed. OK, "hops" might not be the word for it, but he did get up rather quickly. OK, "quickly" might not be the word for it either, but he did get up faster than he does when his alarm goes off. (I think I'm going to get in trouble for these comments)

He heads out to the livingroom noticing that EVERY light in the house is OFF. (except the dimmed hall light so the girls can make it to the bathroom at 2am) The livingroom door is open, but the screendoor is closed and locked. There is a man standing outside and he speaks.

"Hey big guy, It's James from across the street." Yes, one of our friendly neighborhood homeless guys came ringing in the middle of the night. Somehow this guy gave Bill a pet name and calls him "big guy" which is interesting because this man is taller than Bill and a bit long around the middle too. Whatever, I was relieved that the man behind the door was someone that I knew.

"Do you have a blanket I can have?" At this point I'm already into the livingroom and I tell Bill that I will get one. While I'm in the back room getting the pathetic raggedy quilt that I just took off our bed the previous week, James tells Bill that it is really cold out there sleeping at the bus stop. (The park closes from midnight to 6am) He also faintly apologizes for waking us up and not realizing that we were asleep. Again, there we NO lights on! No TV on! No movement whatsoever!

James, I'm not really mad at you like this may sound, just appauled at your shortsightedness. But then again, maybe if I couldn't sleep because it was cold and the bus stop bench was a hard metal that didn't even begin to be long enough for my body I would understand. Bring the blanket back in a week or so and I'll wash it for you. I'm sorry you were cold.

Monday, November 17, 2008


We did it.

Enough said.

The kids are asleep.


NTS: Don't Shop at Costco While Hungry

...especially if it is before they put out all the samples.

...especially if you've been up for a while and have only had an apple.

You will buy a 32 oz container of hummus that sounds really really good and realize that nobody else in your house likes the stuff. So I guess somebody needs to host lunch this week, I'll bring the hummus and pita chips!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

From the mouth of a CTR 6

"My mom has my baby sister in her tummy!"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How to Beat Satan

1. Leave church in a pathetic state on Sunday because he beat you to a pulp and you don't want your primary children seeing you like that. Have a picnic on the lawn of the Temple, have Heavenly Father send you a miracle, and have your husband forgive you for something you never intended to do.

2. Send an email to a friend asking a simple question that Satan planted in your head to doubt yourself and your church leaders. Have the friend harass you until you fess up to what's really on your mind, fess up, and then get some pretty darn good inspirational thoughts from said friend, along with a few compliments that pull you out of the gutter.

3. Study your scriptures. Listen to what Alma says. Snuggle your husband and make him repeat everything that you need to hear, just listen this time, he's telling you the truth and he loves you.

4. Study your scriptures some more. Go to the temple. Pray. Listen for an answer, but realize that just because Heavenly Father doesn't give you the answer doesn't mean he isn't there. Maybe he just trusts you and your judgment and that is the real answer to the question.

5. Open a sweet email from your friend. Realize the friend cares a whole lot and has listened to your frustrations with calm and patience. Be thankful that this friend has probably said a few prayers on your behalf because she's that kind of a person.

6. Study your scriptures some more. Or just read them. Then study them.

7. Invite your friends over for lunch, feed them, then ask one of them a question. That friend won't answer the question you asked, but instead will answer a different question that you didn't ask but needed the answer to. This will be very helpful and you will use this knowledge to your advantage in the near future.

8. Scriptures.

9. Invite yourself over to a friends house a couple hours early. Ask this friend a question that she swears she doesn't have a good answer for. Listen to her go on about how she doesn't know the answer, and in doing so she's given you the answer. Brilliance or inspiration, I don't know, but this was the answer to the prayer you said at the temple in step number 4.

10. Now that you've got it together, go back to the temple, fold some laundry because you got there an hour early, and then get a priesthood blessing from an uninformed yet inspired priesthood holder. This is the advice you got in step number 7 and it will assure you that the Lord is talking to you. Whew.

11. That should have been the end of it, but apparently you're not done. What happened to the "everything will be OK" blessing that leaves you in complete peace and contentment? Heavenly Father wants more from you and only time will tell. Satan will try to wreak havoc on your family by infecting your husband with a virus, but you won't get mad because he's tried this tactic before and it didn't work then either.

12. Go back to church the next week with your head held high. You're surrounded by family and they won't let him get at you again.

Clarification on Theatre 4301

I guess my sarcastic wit and sheer love for hippies was lost in my last post. I should clarify, not just for my readers, but also for posterity sake and the chance that I don't remember what I was trying to say a year from now.

The best analagy I can give that most people will relate to is this: imagine you are around a campfire, holding hands with your dear friends, singing "Koombaya my Lord, koombaya...Koobaya my Lord, koom-bie-ya..Koombaya my Lord, koombaya...oh Lor-ord, Koombaya." Now do you get it? You're swinging back and forth and the feeling of complete peace has filled your body.

As for the rest, I'll try to explain...

There was an eighth grader that was amazing as he was singing on stage. I couldn't really tell if he was sincere in his enthusiasm, or if he was just hamming it up. Either way, it was charming. I'm not really in love with him.

I think nose rings are cool. I'd never get one because of the nasty nasal drainage that could really cause some infections and possible injury with blowing. I used to have 3 piercings in one ear and 2 in the other, and if the Prophet hadn't spoken up about one piercing only I'd probably have several roaming up to the top of my ear by now. A nice, thick silver band on the side of my left ear would be nice.

I think tatoos are kind of sexy. Again, I'm sure I'd never get one because of what happens to your skin as you age, but still, they're cool. I went to Las Vegas once and a friend and I almost got temporary ones to surprise our husbands. The problem was they were tatooing you up in the middle of the street and I could never stand for random strangers staring at me. This was the same trip that we rushed the stage of a fake Beattles band just to be obnoxious because we were bored.

Does this help? I'm a freak and now you know it. I think SOMEONE we know had a belly-button ring though, harass her.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Theatre 4301

I'm in love an 8th grader. (no, not the previously mentioned whore, it was a guy)

I'm getting a tatoo. Not sure what or where yet. I'll probably change my mind.

I'm getting a nose ring. A nice diamond stud, but I might wait until runny nose season is over and then change my mind on that one too.

These are the results of attending my first ever DMS school-wide assembly. Complete and utter peace of mind, body, and spirit. Aah, sweet eurythmia, take me away.

NTS: Don't let your 8th Grader Wear Eye Makeup

... she'll look like a whore.

Reflections on the Morning

I'm having a bit of a lazy morning. I woke up at 6 (that's late for me this week, early for any other week this year) and rolled around the bed for half an hour until Bill's alarm went off AGAIN. Then I tried to kick him out of bed so I could really stretch out but he wouldn't budge. My favorite position on the bed is diagonally and I just can't get there with somebody else on the bed. Several minutes later I ended up as a "mom sandwich" as Bill and Kyra both squished me. Not what I had in mind, but surprisingly I didn't mind too much.

I got up and made Kyra some oatmeal. Third time this week with the breakfast thing, sheesh! I began booting up the laptop so Bill could check his emails before he left and our other computer definitely has some sort of virus. (Darn that hallmark postcard) I packed her a lunch, complete with salad, and sent her and Bill on their way. I grabbed me a juicy red grapefruit (aah, sweet ruby red, how I love you, let me count the ways), and got comfy in my chair to see what my friends were up to.

I guess by many standards (mine included) this does not appear to be a lazy morning. This was all done by 7:30. Now comes the lazy part. It's after 9am now, and I have not moved much. I periodically stop typing and stretch. Not just a little stretch. A great big stretch that starts with a yawn and both hands behind your neck, is followed by the reach for the sky and an arched back, and can end with an audible sigh. You can't fake that kind of stretch, it's real, don't ask me to reenact it for you. Tasha used to do these stretches when she was an infant and it was so adorable. It would take her 10 or more stretches and a half an hour before she would open her eyes some mornings. I took pictures, I should find them but I'm lazy.

Tasha finally got up at about 8am, watched a little "TB"(she's saying TV, but it just sounds like a B when she's still half asleep), and then asked to play her computer. She hooks it up to the TV and the batteries are flashing in the dang thing, but I'm too lazy to get up. It seems to be working fine so we're all good.

To get the full understanding of this next line of Tasha's you have to imagine yourself trying to steam up a mirror. Get your minds out of the gutter and hold your hand to your mouth. Now exhale a big gust of hot air into your hand as if you were trying to steam up a mirror or window. "HUH". Get it? Now read on...

Tasha is typing away and she always likes to type in people's names. What name did she start with? First she asked how to spell "Amaya", a girl from her class. She quickly took that name back and said, "no, no, how do you spell Larry?" Sweet girl, I need to do a post on him. She types that, then her own name and says, "Mom, we have the same letter in our name. H-H-H-Huh-lena, and Tash-Huh!" She's such a letter guru. I'm laughing because we just had a converstaion in the van yesterday in which she spelled her name with 2 S's and I pointed out that her name would be "Tas-sha". Very difficult to say, try it.

Anyway, she went about typing mom and dad and Kyra and then got back to Amaya and again asked me how to spell it. She misunderstood M and typed in an N. At first it was funny because I told her that would be "Anaya" and she thought that was funny.

"I don't get why I'm so silly this morning," she said. Then she was all annoyed because she would have to start all over and that made her mad. Dumb computer. Yada, yada, yada, low batteries, yada, yada... she threw the keyboard on the floor.

It's a good thing that I didn't realize then that I was quite cozy in my chair because I hopped up and put it away. She ran screaming from the room, eventually calmed herself down, and snuggled into my bed to watch Word World. This is the point at which I changed the title of this post from "Tasha is so funny" to "Lazy Morning." I've stretched at least five times and just avoided having to get up and make jewelry with Tasha. I knew I would just have to get her through the commercial break and then she would go back to the bed. How awful is that?! Really, I'm going to get up once I'm done with this post and check in on a few more friends blogs.

But here's how the TV is not evil... Tasha just cam in asking for an apple. After much discussion on where she would find said apple, since I of course didn't want to get up to get it, she pauses to tell me, "I'm sorry, I saw this (holding up a gigantic red apple) on the TV and thought it was really yummy with skin on it." A paragraph or so later she came back in with 2 teeny bits out of the skin and said, "mom can you get the skin off this, I don't like it." In my laziness, we went through a few options (the 2 best ones included me getting up), and she eventually decided that I could just bite the skin off. Amen, I can do that sitting down.

As I have typed several of Tasha's quotes I realize how very influencial Kyra has been in her life. She mimics her older sister and has definitely picked on her phrases. The following are Kyra phrases for sure, because niether Bill or I say them. "I don't get..." is something Kyra says all the time. "I don't get why Tasha does that", is her personal favorite. "I'm sorry, but..." is another one that is usually followed by the reason she's doing something. It's never an excuse or anything, just a simple way that she is pointing out why she is doing something, and it's usually something silly. Which brings to mind that fact that April has taught me the word silly. She uses it all the time in reference to her children, and it certainly has brought a smile to my face when I think about my own children. Thanks (little sis' who acts more like my super-intellegent-holy-crap-how-do-you-know-that sis'!).

It's pushin' 10am now so I think I really better get moving. As soon as this next show is over Tasha is going to harass me with a whole 'nother slew of questions and bog down my brain. I guess I don't have time to check blogs, I better make a run for the shower. I also think this post went way past laziness so I better change the title again. (OK, I never really typed a title in, but I'm going to now)

No worries, it's just maggots!

Yesterday morning it seemed like I spent an eternity scooping dog poop outside. Since the poop bucket is next to the compost bin, I decided to stir up that yummy sludge of veggie scraps and grass clippings. It also had two pumpkin carcasses in it. As soon as I tossed the bin to the ground to rotate things around the pumpkin guts came oozing out and they were full of grubs! AAAH! Little miny grubs just swarming around in juicy rotting pumpkin ooze. Gross. My worst nightmare has happened and my entire compost bin has been infested. I would have been devastated, but then I thought to myself, "well, if I've got grubs I must be doing something right." There was seriously not a dang thing I was going to do with those nasty little beasts right then so I sifted things up, stabbed a few of them with the end of the pitchfork, and went about my business of laundry.

Later that afternoon I was discussing my grub plight with April. I knew she would sympathize because the Sauers are King and Queen of Grubs (long may they garden!). But oh the enlightened one matter-of-factly informed me that they were "probably just maggots." Probably just maggots. Hmm, I think I feel better. Well, I know I feel better. As long as I don't have to spend all afternoon digging nasty fat grubs out of a pile of stinking rotting vegetables, I'll be fine. I was trying to come up with a way to bribe Ryan and Justin to come over since they seem to like the grubs. No worries, it's just maggots. Gross.

On a less disgusting note, Tyler was dusting my end table and I was mortified by the layer of dust that was there. It was like a light layer of dust had just settled and when he wiped away what was in his reach there was a nice white coating left in the corner. Who has that much dust?! No worries, it was just flour. I had ground some wheat a few days earlier and had been too lazy to take it outside. Even though Crystal gave me her extra filter, it apparently did not do such a good filtering job. I do remember a haze of white in both the kitchen and living room that evening so I'm going with flour dust and I'm stickin' to it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Music to my Ears

I'm sure I have a sleep disorder of some sort. Bill will tell you that I definitely have a sleep disorder. He doesn't know the half of it though because he wakes up, recognizes that I'm up, tries to convince me to go back to sleep, and then goes back to sleep himself all in about one one-hundreth of the the time it takes me to fall asleep. It sucks really, but I'm grateful that he is able to get the rest he needs. There's nothing he could do to get me back to sleep anyway, so one of us might as well wake up refreshed.

The last few mornings I have woken up around 4 or 5 am with thoughts swirling around in my head and nagging me to get out of bed. "It's a bit annoying actually" (name the obscure movie and/or the annoying thing going on!). Tuesday morning wasn't such a good morning. In fact, it was so stinking crappy of a start to what was supposed to be a fun day that I can't believe I snapped out of it. Well, yes I can. I would not have snapped out of it without the help of a good friend and a loving husband. Heavenly Father has really blessed me with people that care; Satan really has no chance, I wish he'd just go away. Yesterday, was kind of weird. But today, THIS morning, one half of an hour ago...

AAAH, music to my ears! The sweet, sweet sound of the train whistle tooting it's large and boisterous sound throughout the MarilynnAnn Neighborhood. You think I'm joking but I am not. I grew up listening to this sound. My first apartment was near this sound. When I moved away I had no idea the part of my life that was missing until, alas, I moved back to hear this sound.

I still remember the first morning that Bill and I woke up in this house. I was giddy with delight and Bill was looking at me like I was the angel of death. OK, not death really, but the angel of are-you-kidding-me-I-got-absolutely-no-sleep-and-you're-bouncing-around-like-it's-Christmas-or-something. Very interesting, now that I think about it. He really has come a long way since I dragged him away from his Scottsdale haven. That's another story though. That morning, just over 11 years ago, he was sleep-deprived and hopping mad that he had been woken up by a train. "Did you hear that thing? It was soooooooo loud! Does the train go through our backyard?" Well, no dear but pretty darn close. Sorry I didn't mention that when we were moving, but I had honestly forgotten. But now, oh sweet music! Sweet music to my ears! They say that smells can evoke memories and I know that is true. This is one example of how music can bring back all those warm fuzzies too! I can almost smell the soot landing on my pillow. Aah, sweet trains.

Now don't get me wrong or anything, I'm not a "foamer". Those guys just crack me up. I can't imagine going out just to watch trains. That's weird. I picture it like a tailgate party or something. A couple of foamers back up to a railroad track, pop down the tailgate and hop up to sit with their little legs dangling off the end of the tailgate swinging back and forth with delight and anticipation. "Ooh, here it comes. Do you see it? I heard it a mile away. How long do you think it will take? Wanna place a bet on that? Ooh, ooh, do you see it's light way off in the distance?" Funny foamers, that does sound like fun, I'll bring the hot cocoa.

Maybe I can get back to bed now, or maybe I'll just stay up and make Kyra and Bill some breakfast. I don't know. I do know that my sweet little preschooler crawled into bed with us before I got up and is so super snuggly in the morning. There is not a single ounce of me that resents it when she wiggles her way inbetween Bill and I early in the morning. Sometimes she'll wrap her little arm around my neck and breath her cute little kid morning breath on me. Sometimes she coos or lets out an enormous sigh. Sometimes she thrashes around trying to get comfortable and steals all of my covers. It's one of my favorite times of the day... snuggling Tasha in her slumber while listening to train horns. Aah, sweet music to my ears!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FHE: With a Veteran's Day Twist

Typically (for the last 5-6 years), our family (me and the girls) visit the veterans we know (mostly church members) on Veteran's day (or the day before). It's fun and we get to chat with these old guys that crack me up and kiss my cheek and their wives spoil my children and we smell like old people by the end of the day (but it's the good old people smell 'cuz we don't know any dirty old people). The planning (done by me) for this event (the visiting with a small token of our appreciation) usually begins well over a month before the big day of November 11th (that would be the beginning of October, or maybe 2 weeks, or even the week before Veteran's day). I have the girls make something cute out of red, white, and blue (something original and not too tacky), bookmarks are a favorite of mine. Well, this year did not work out so well. I've had a rough, emotionally draining, and spiritually challenging month or so. I feel really lame that I didn't recognize any of my good old boys this year. Not even the homeless guy at the park that served in Vietnam. Brad, I'm sorry! I wanted to bring you a sandwich but then the cops were at the park and Kyra came home, and Tasha needed a nap, and then you were gone. I hope they all understand, even though they gave more than I can ever imagine and never did complain that it was rough, emotionally draining or spiritually challenging. I hope they forgive us and know that they are absolutely, positively, 100% not forgotten. They are loved, cherished, admired, and prayed for on this day, and many other days during the year.

Here's the one Vet that I was able to thank today:
He's "papa". Rex, my mom's husband, my step-dad, and the girl's grandfather. They love him and adore him, even on a grumpy day. He is retired Air Force, served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and in the Air National Guard. We had him (and his wife, my mom) over for dinner. Two hours before (that's a new, all-time calling-it-close record) they came over I had the girls sew the 2 stars that you see in the picture above. As we were sewing I explained to the girls that this would be a different kind of Family Home Evening tonight (I felt cheesy just letting the night slip by without making mention of it since I knew very well I was going to count this as FHE). I told them that the important thing about FHE was to be with your family and we were lucky to have Momo (my mom) and Papa over for dinner. We were even luckier that Papa had served in the military for us and that we should honor and thank him. Surprisingly, no argument from Tasha. Even when I explained that there would be no prayer-song-lesson-treat-prayer thing going on. Things went well, even though he can hardly hear a stitch, and I am so grateful to Bill for being able to talk with him. Rex even told a funny story that he pulled on my mom. He needs to laugh more, he takes life too seriously.

Thanks Vet's, We Love Ya!


I think you might be a farse. I think you might be some sort of virus that is trying to embed yourself into my computer. I think that I should have looked you up on before I started typing this email but it's late and I'm getting tired and maybe one of my friends knows about you.

I have received many an email from you claiming that someone I know has sent me an email postcard. Just click on the above attachment it says to open the love and joy that has been sent to you via our company, from one of your closest and dearest friends. Aah, computer love. But wait, the zip file won't open and then it goes all widjitty on me and I worry that the whole dang computer will explode. DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!

So now, my dear email postcard company, I just delete instantly upon receiving your correspondence. It is sad, I know, but I have to do it. There is never anything there and I can't take the rejection anymore. It's like a dear friend calling (because the caller ID says so) and then I get nothing but static. So sad. I fell for it time and time again, but now I just live knowing that nobody will ever be there.

If your intent is to send peaceful or inspiring messages to the world it is not working. The links at the bottom of the email don't work. I can not reply to the address you supply. Now, I will just ignore you, delete you, and hope that if there ever really was someone that loves me at the other end of the postcard they will contact me in another way.


Monday, November 10, 2008


A friend forwarded me an email claiming that I could get a free laptop for my child just by forwarding it to 8 friends, plus the email address provided. Knowing that it was a fraud, I checked out your site on the topic just for kicks. Imagine my surprise when I realized that you were just as annoyed with this stupid topic as I am. You always answer the claims in a fairly forthright manner, void of any opinion, and always full of proof of the true or false status of the claim. After you proved the free laptop offer to be false, you ended with this:

"The bottom line is that no matter what incarnation of this silliness one receives, the principle is the same: there's still no free lunch, and big companies aren't going to hand out fabulous vacations, $1,000 bills, free trendy clothes, new computers, cases of candies, wads of cash, or new cars just because someone with a functioning Internet connections does them the favor of forwarding an email. Though at first blush, participating in such pie-in-the-sky wishfulness appears perfectly harmless, such participation serves to only clog up already overtaxed resources. Oh yes, it does one other thing: it gives the idjits that cook up these frauds a great big laugh at others' expense."

So my question is this: what if someone offers me a set of used tires, or a pair of worn jeans? Maybe if I forward an email to 1 person I will get 1 shiny new penny. I'm just kidding with my silliness. I appreciate you trying to make light of the ridiculousness of newest form of chain mail. You made me laugh, although I believe that someone that really believes in this stuff won't understand what "no matter what incarnation of this silliness" means. They will forward the next one on, and the next, provided it isn't exactly the same as the one you prove false. I'll try not to feed the "idjits" laugh track and end them all in my inbox.


PS. If you read this post on a blog and post it on your blog and 10 other people post it on their blog then nothing will happen.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


for all your laughs and


Now I'm feeling a little more like this...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why I don't read the paper...

We used to get the paper (mainly for the Wednesday ads) and I would sit down occasionally to read it. I have a very difficult time not reading the whole dang thing because everything sounds interesting. Then, even if it's a stupid article, I have to finish it because I've already invested some time and hope that maybe the author of the article has a point. Maybe I finish the article just to prove to myself that the author is, in fact, an idiot.

So obviously I read the paper. One article. I'm irate. People are idiots. Seriously don't know what this woman is talking about. I was going to title this post, "Dear___" but I feared someone googling her name and ending up on my blog. So instead I will just quote her ridiculous statements and argue against her without any chance for her to rebuke. She doesn't care anyway, she's an idiot.

I'm not clear if this article was supposed to be about Proposition 102 or about all the propositions. She writes 4 paragraphs about 102, one on 100, one on 101, then makes this ridiculous statement: "The other five ballot measures appeared to be showing the effects of voter disgust with lengthy ballots. All were trailing as election results piled up." Then she writes 4 paragraphs about 102 again, two on 100 again, and one paragraph each about the remaining 5 ballots.

I have a lot to say to this woman who obviously gives no credit to the voting public for actually making a decision not to pass a law, but I will only focus on one of the issues. Let's say that Arizona voters weren't "showing (their)...disgust with lengthy ballots" and actually passed proposition 105. (Please note the sarcasm here!) Let's say that ironically Arizona passes the last proposition that it will ever pass with a "yes" vote because with it's passing it will be impossible to pass anything else. Yes ma'am, the Arizona voters were just bored with their ballots and decided that only the top 3 get any attention, then we turn the rest down. That's my new plan, the "no" plan. Vote 'em all down I tell ya, why bother reading 'em?!

Is there any possibility, perhaps, that the Arizona just didn't want to pass Props 105, 200, 201, 202, and 300? I think so. That quote has to be the most ridiculous statement that I have ever read. That folks is why I don't read the newspaper.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Is it time for assignments again?

A while ago I passed out assignments as suggested posts for people. All I really want right now is for people to make me laugh. Crystal, you win first prize without even trying. Rachel, your dummy trick-or-treater was pretty good, a 7 minute video was a little much but good none the less. You both are off the hook. Everyone please please please find something funny to post because I'm drifting off to sad land over here and it's affecting my profile...

I'll look like the Lorax for the rest of my life if you don't snap me out of it. Jaylee, do you have something on chicken feet or something?! People please find me a short video of somebody doing something stupid. Tell me funny joke. Post an email that was meant to make you pee your pants (does anyone have that one about a firey hot chili contest in Texas?).

I'm done being so dad-blasted serious. I don't want to look like the grumpy Lorax, and I certainly don't need all that facial hair!

Help me... I'm drowning... save the Lorax and his truffula trees... oh nooooo.... help me...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

FHE: 10 down, 42 to go

Right before FHE this evening I thought to myself, "this is what it is supposed to feel like, everyone working together to get the job done." (Yes, I'm singing it to the Bob the Builder tune) Seriously, Tasha and I had made the treat early that day; Bill had made dinner since I was gone and he got off early to vote; both the girls volunteered to help clean up the dishes; I was off preparing the lesson. And by "preparing" I mean that I knew what I was going to talk about so I went to my bedroom, knelt in prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for bringing us together this night. I was amazed and knew it was going to go well. I guess 10 is the lucky number!

Kyra really really had her heart set on playing Bingo tonight. I'm not really sure why, other than they played it at school today. She was adamant about it and she's not really like that. She said, "what if we skip the song or the lesson or something?" I didn't even have time to reply because Tasha piped in (tapping her pointer finger on her open palm for emphasis on each point), "No, first we have a prayer and then a song and then a lesson and treat and another prayer." I love it when they correct each other in a nice and respectful manner.

When we take turns reading scriptures I usually whisper the words into Tasha's ear and she repeats what I say. It's quite cute because some of the words come out really funny but nobody cares because they all have their own scriptures that they are following. Tonight she said, "can Kyra help me read them?" But of course sweet girl. We made them do it twice because I just had to capture it on film:

What a totally fun night we had! As we were eating our muffins I thanked them for being so great and asked if they wanted to play Bingo. We laughed and made animal noises as we ate the M&M Bingo markers and finished up our night. I LOVE MY FAMILY!

"NTS: Don't approach Crystal in Her Car"

If you know Crystal and haven't read her post on Toyota and fertility, go do it and then come back. If you don't know Crystal, you won't be able to get on her blog and you can just stop reading.

After reading her post on Toyota I was laughing so hard I had to run to the bathroom to stop from peeing my pajama pants. (On the way through the livingroom I told Bill to go read it.) I was curled over laughing so hard that my back hurt and my neck ached. Do you know what that feels like? When you are laughing so hard that your whole body hurts because it's about to go into a spasm? Deep breath in, deep breath out. Breathe with me here, my neck finally feels better. Seriously, the only two people that have made me laugh that hard lately are Bill and Sara, mostly because we are both laughing so hard we just feed off of each other and can't stop. What a riot. Hmm, I think the Lightburne's get us busting a gut too sometimes. Well, you get the point... I was laughing h.a.r.d., really hard.

Bill had already read the post didn't think it was that funny. (He would have if he had read it WITH me, and not before I had) He wasn't offended or anything he just simply said, "don't you women get that some things shouldn't be bloggable?". NOPE, we don't. In fact he later gave me the title to this post (which is why it is in quotation marks). So the "NTS" (note to self) is actually a "note to Bill" since on many a sunny Arizona day I might actually want to jump into Crystal's car and air myself off.

So my real question to Crystal is this: When can I borrow the Toyota?!


Monday, November 3, 2008

These Judges are OUT!

Typically I go through the list of the Judicial Performance Review and look at how the judges have been rated and if the commissioners believe they meet or do not meet the performance standards. This is where I started this evening and then I did a little googling, got completely frustrated, and after way too much time (2 hours at least!) I have fallen back to my original stance on the judges up for retention in Arizona. I'm only worried about the ones inMaricopa county so here goes, these are the ones I'm giving the boot to:

(Judges are ranked on Legal Ability, Integrity, Communication Skills, Judicial Temperament, Administrative Performance, Settlement Activities, and Administrative Skills. I consider anything less than a "B" poor for a judge, and certainly a "B"avg across the board is of concern. There are 29 commissioners that vote yes or no to keep them.)

Akers, Linda A. 73% on Judicial temperament and 3 commissioners voted no.

Ballinger, Eddward Pl Jr. I actually saw a sign on this guy saying to vote him out. He has high reviews, but this website quotes a lawyer that says, "If he doesn't like your case, he's terrible."

Gentry-Lewis, Jo Lynn Mostly 80%'s, 78% legal ability, 6 com. voted no. She's very active in native American causes though so I'm not positive on this one.

McClennen, Crane 89, 84, 78, 60, 70, 80% with 17 commissioners voting not to keep him. This was a no brainer in my book until I read from the same website above that he was tough on sloppy attorneys and was one of the smartest judges on the bench. Then I thought about it again and again and discussed it with Bill and thought, "should a juvenile court attorney really be that uptight about the way his court is run?" Should we punish kids because their lawyers aren't up to this judge's standards even though they are fine in any other courtroom? I also thought should I believe 2 obviously conservative blog sites that tell me he should stay? What would a conservative judge act like in a juvenile court room? I don't know for sure but I have a few suspicions. Bottom line, I'm giving him the boot!

Oberbillig, Robert H. 85% JT, 79% Settlement, 4 com. voted no.

Padilla, Jose S. all the attorneys gave him 85-95% reviews, but witnesses ect. gave him 60-75%. He's a family court judge so these witnesses were probably very passionate. 3 com. voted no.

Steinle, Roland J. III 71% in JT, 4 com. voted no.

Seriously, I've given this 3 hours now and it probably won't do a bit of good. Judges are not elected into office and it would take a whole lot of us to vote them out of office. I guess that's why I kept researching. The judges are the ones that uphold the law and we really should watch what they are doing. It shouldn't be a club that they all belong to where nobody really says what they think. Maybe McClennen is being unfairly voted out because he wants things done right, I don't know for sure. I do know that I'm going to ere on the side of the kids.

Now I'm going to go join my husband and watch a marathon of Raising the Bar. A fake show that I can get even more riled up about lawyers and judges. La La. Maybe I'll keep googling on the laptop. The problem with google and blog sites is that you find people like me that don't really know what they're talking about. I'm seriously going to volunteer to be part of the Judicial Performance Review committee next go around. Maybe then I'll have a clue as to what really happens.

Here's an interesting quote from John McCain's website on his judicial philosophy: When applying the law, the role of judges is not to impose their own view as to the best policy choices for society but to faithfully and accurately determine the policy choices already made by the people and embodied in the law. The judicial role is necessarily limited and one that requires restraint and humility. As he said to the Federalist Society at the 2006 Convention, "[Judges] should be people who are humbled by their role in our system, not emboldened by it. Our freedom is curtailed no less by an act of arbitrary judicial power as it is by an act of arbitrary executive, or legislative, or state power."

Bathmats should come with instructions

Bill and I have always had a disagreement over water in the bathroom. Seriously. You're laughing about water, but it is so bad that I moved out. I moved out of the bathroom and it saved our marriage. But it was a conversation that we had today with a friend that enlightened me on what the real problem was: there are no instructions on bathmats! If there were instructions, then we would have no problem. So next election year I'm going to propose a constitutional amendment that requires all retail outlets to give instructions with bathmats and towels, and that maintains that all new bathmats and towels be imprinted with the following:
  1. Place bathmat on floor next to the tub or shower.
  2. Place towel close enough to the tub or shower that you do not have to get out before drying off.
  3. Take your shower or bath.
  4. If you have long hair, wring it out before drying.*
  5. Reach your arm only out of the tub or shower and retrieve your towel.
  6. Dry off IN THE TUB OR SHOWER. This can be done in any order, but head to toe seems to follow the law of gravity.
  7. AFTER drying off the majority of your body you may THEN step out onto your bathmat.
  8. Dry off completely.**
  9. Hang up your bathmat to dry off. This can be over the tub or shower, but it should not be left on the ground.
  10. Hang up your towel. This is important to keep the musty, dingy, moldy smell out of your towel and off of your body. Definitely DO NOT let your wet towel sit in a heap on the floor.

*For extra-long or thick hair we recommend purchasing a separate hair towel.

**Anytime after drying off would be appropriate to get dressed. You can do this before or after you hang up your bathmat and towel, but not before you dry off.

What is this a list of?

I have a notebook that I keep in my purse for many reasons. I'll be in line or waiting for something with Tasha and she's bored so out comes the notebook to write on. I always end up at a talk or conference and need something to write on because I will never remember what someone said unless I write it down. Then I misplace the paper and have no idea where to look for it. I think of random things I need to buy at the store and know that I will never remember them if I don't write them down. I obviously have a memory problem.

I have the following list of things that I wrote down. Clearly they are things I saw but when, where or why I wrote the list is a complete mystery to me. See if you can figure it out...

  • Ch.Milk straw that extends
  • Man in the pin-striped pants
  • lady w/computer, earpiece
  • pregnant lady
  • Old man w/newspaper - young guy taking it.
  • 7 employees

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another Graduate in the Family

Bill officially finished the last class of his bachelors degree in August of this year. It was fabulous! BS in Business Management completed. No more b.s.! Except that now he wants to get the Human Resource Certificate to go along with it. Fine, fine. That's what he really wants to do, so be it. He's back in school, taking 4 more classes and almost finished with the first one.

But here's what he looked like the day his diploma came in the mail:

I think he said something like, "that's right baby!"

Is he the oldest graduate I know? Well, I'm not sure. My dad was pretty old when he got his degree and I know I went to school with some cronies, but I don't know that they graduated. Way to go babe! We're all so proud. And in case anyone wonders what took him so long, let's look at everything he's done since his graduation from high school... (drum roll please)...
  • moved to New York with his parents, stayed for one winter, hated it, moved back to Scottsdale to live with his best friend Larry
  • started school at SCC, worked at Prestige Cleaners, used a motorcycle to commute
  • BAM! Run over by a Jaguar, remembers being cold and waking up in an ambulance
  • in intensive care for 2 weeks, the hospital for a month total, and 12 months of rehab only to find out that the hurt leg healed 2 1/2 inches shorter than the other one
  • surgery on the good leg (to shorten it), 12 MORE months of rehab and the good leg hurts more now that the bad one ever did
  • started working for Paul's Hardware in Scottsdale, took a few classes now that his legs were healed, quit school, started again, yada yada yada
  • imported to New Jersey to get married to the wrong woman
  • watched the C-Section birth of his first (and only) son, and fell in love for the first time

  • helped re-merchandise a new store in Tempe that Paul's bought out, wore goofy overalls and completely ignored a totally hot redhead that worked there

  • got a divorce, raised his son on his own for a year

  • helped organized a co-ed benefit softball team with above mentioned redhead, started calling her constantly whenever he needed anything from the Tempe store, got hit in the shin by a softball she hit, started bowling on a team with her, and sabotaged her relationship with another man

  • courted and married the most wonderful woman he will ever know and love

  • left Scottsdale to live in the fabulous city of Tempe!

  • became manager of the Paul's Hardware store in Gilbert

  • watched the delivery of his first daughter, wouldn't cut the cord, and fell in love all over again

  • transferred to Paul's hardware in Fountain Hills, hated the commute and the people, ended up getting fired from the company all together after 13 years

  • became the "highest paid carpet cleaner in Arizona" (that's according to his friend and boss)

  • got baptized, then sealed to his wife and child a year later

  • tired of the long hours and missing his family he hurt his back on a MOTORCYCLE (duh!)and had to quit the carpet business

  • thanks to a great friend and a sad mishap for him, started work at Scottsdale Shea Hospital, 2nd shift

  • drove like a mad man to the hospital with his wife in labor, shushed his wife while in the delivery room and she was screaming in pain, immediately felt remorse, watched the delivery of his second daughter, cut the cord, and fell in love all over again

  • switched to the first shift at the hospital

  • started back to school after a lot of nagging by his wife and encouragement by his parents

  • lost his mom to cancer, watched his youngest daughter turn a year old the following week

  • was hired on at the University of Phoenix by a classmate, made more money, and better hours with a shorter commute

  • was traded to another "team" at work for an employee to be named later, and cash

  • had a short stint saving the earth by riding the bus to work, but had to switch to carpooling to get his daughter to school in the morning

  • has become known as the "It's Friday Guy" at work, if you want to know what that sounds like, call him at 9:30 am on Friday.


SOOOOOOOO, if you've made it this far you are now invited to celebrate with us! He walks THIS Saturday (Novemeber 8th) at 10am and we plan on having a lunch, at our house, around 2pm. RSVP by comment, phone call, or email. No worries if you can't make it!


If you look closely at Tasha you can see where she drew on some facial hair.

This was taken right before Bill shaved his beard off. It's the longest he's gone in a long time without shaving. "Longest" meaning that the last time I remember him with this much facial hair we were dating. It was winter time and he had gone to Minnesota for Christmas. I have pictures of him with a bushy beard and plenty of long hair (although slightly receeding), in a long sleeved plain shirt. He looked like a lumberjack in the snow. What a stud!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Crystal!

I guess with all this Harry Potter on the brain, I'll go with a good Sorting Hat tribute...

There's plenty hidden in her head
For all of us to find
She'll tell you here and there the facts
And juicy truths will unwind.

I'm not so sure the sorting hat
Could put her in her place
So many talents she does have
No one can keep her pace.

One thing we know for sure is this:
A Slytherin she's not
Any means to get her way is not
The way that she's been taught.

A Ravenclaw would welcome her
To sit and dine with them
Many topics she could discuss at length,
Her head's full to the brim.

And Hufflepuff could use a gal
Who stands beside her friends
Through thick and thin supports us all
Enduring to the end.

But Gryffindor, oh Gryffindor
"Where dwell the brave at heart
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart."

I think at times it may be hard
To figure out what's right
But with Crystal standing next to you
Everything will gleam with light!