Sunday, December 30, 2007

i bid thee farewell

Today marked a joyous occasion...our final Sunday of 1:00 pm church. Oh how I look forward to next Sunday, with the early rising and meetings done by noon. Somehow I know my Sundays will become more productive and meaningful in 2008. If only I could say goodbye to unruly Sacrament meeting behavior next year, too!

Friday, December 28, 2007

it works!

This afternoon I went out to my van to run some errands, only to discover that one of the back sliding doors had been left slightly open and my battery had died. As I attempted several times to turn the car on, a funny thing happened. Our built-in DVD player ejected The Jungle Book 2. This is funny because I haven't seen this movie since about June 2007, when this same DVD player stopped working. We really wanted to fix it before we went to San Diego, but I just couldn't justify spending the money on it. To be honest I had forgotten that we had one in our car. So, out pops the movie and suddenly the DVD player is working again. It's like finding a $20 bill in your coat pocket. A nice surprise, even if we had to push the car out of the garage in order to get it close enough to another one to jump the battery.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

white christmas

Just like the flurry of snow that we awoke to on Christmas morning, this last month has been a blur! I can't believe that it has been so long since my last post! As such, this post will be a flurry of random. Here goes.

Thanksgiving came and went. We had a great time with my family. All of my siblings were here with the exception of Marcee, who had to work. I hosted the meal at my house, but had considerable help with the food from my mother and sisters. All I really did was make the desserts!

Gracie has been growing so fast. Several days ago she began to stand really well on her own, but being the delinquent photographer that I am, my memory card needs to be emptied and as a result I have no picture of her feat yet. That will soon be rectified. She is also the proud owner of her two front teeth, complete with what seems to be the trademark wide spacing for our girls. She has also become ravenous. I don't remember either of my first two children being so excited about food at this age. She loves it!

Derrick and Abbie performed in their class music programs last week and did a wonderful job. Abbie loves to sing, and we recently discovered that for the first part of the month she was singing the following..."Goat, tell it on the mountain." It seems we have all picked it up.

Abbie is very big on crushes. The current object of her affection is a little boy named Reed. I find his name written in various locations. We saw him at McDonald's one morning for breakfast and she is clearly smitten.

Christmas was wonderful. The highlight seems to be the Playstation that Derrick and Abbie received from my parents. In particular, Guitar Hero is a hit, especially with the adults. We had a jam session last night, pictures to come as soon as I empty the aforementioned memory card!

There is so much more I'm sure I'm forgetting to post about, but my brain is mush. As the new year approaches with the promise and hope of changing for the better, I look towards getting back on track here as well. More everyday stuff, less "catching up" in brief snippets.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


So today Jon was sustained and set apart in his new calling. He is the new Elders Quorum President of our ward. He actually received the call three weeks ago, but between selecting counselors and Stake Conference last week, things weren't ready to proceed until today. He has always been in Young Mens and Primary callings, so this will be new for him, but he has counselors with some experience in the presidency, and there is no better stake president or bishop for him to learn from than the ones we have. I know he will do a great job.

I must now gear up for Thanksgiving dinner at my house. Lots of cleaning to do over the next two days. We're excited to have visitors from both sides of the family coming in to town to celebrate. Then, it's all about Christmas preparations. So much to do, I think I need another list!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


I'm just coming off a very busy couple of weeks and seem to be having a rough recovery. Here's the rundown.

Monster Concert was on October 24th. We had two days of practice at the venue on the 22nd and 23rd. Aside from some ruffled feathers, things went well and we got a good response.

Parent Teacher Conferences came and went. The kids are doing well. Our biggest concern is with Derrick. He is rather advanced for 1st grade, his teacher thinks he is reading at about a 4th or 5th grade level. She has begun the process of evaluation to determine exactly where he is at intellectually. There has been talk of moving him up a grade, but we would probably say no if that winds up being the recommendation. While we have no doubts that he could handle it both academically and socially right now, we have to look ahead to when he is in high school and not dating or driving at the same time as all his peers. And, I'm definitely NOT interested in sending a 17 1/2 year old off to college!

We had to speak in Sacrament on October 28th, so I spent the days leading up to it preparing talks...yes, I help my husband write his! Things went well. My topic was a hard one, but the bishop actually asked me to email him a copy of the talk afterwards, which made me feel good. Afterwards, Jon had a meeting where he received a new calling, but it won't be official for a couple more weeks, so I'll have to zip it until then.

I then spent a couple days pulling all nighters making Halloween costumes. Yes, I bought the stuff over two weeks earlier and waited until Monday night to start. I wore myself out and promise never to do it again (the waiting, not the making!). But the end result turned out pretty good. We were a couple of birdwatchers, keeping an eye on our birds. I only made Derrick and Abbie's costumes.

I was also responsible for Derrick's class "Fall" party. That's right, we can't call it "Halloween", even though it was on Halloween and we are allowed to do Halloween themed activities. So stupid.

I was supposed to have jury duty on November 1st, which fortunately got cancelled, because that is when I started getting sick with a yucky cold. But, the highlight of the day came when I sent the kids to the dentist with Jon for a checkup, and Derrick ended up having to stay to get 3 sealants and 2 cavities filled. Remember about six months ago? Turns out we should really have made him get x-rays then, even if he was scared, because tomorrow I have to take him back to have 4 pulpectomies (baby root canals) and 4 crowns put on. Don't count those chickens. Which brings me to today. My house is a disaster, I'm still sick, and I need about $500 to pay for rotten teeth. If only all those leaves in my yard had fallen from a money tree!

Monday, October 22, 2007

i need a time out

At least that was the title of the post I intended to write before I left town. I spent this last weekend in Denver with a group of 10 women from the 3 wards here in town. It was nice to take a little break, and even better because I went out on Wednesday with Jon to spend a few extra days with him. We are on the last week of his Denver training. He should be coming home on Saturday, that is unless I can get him tickets to the Rockies World Series game that night. It's been all about the Rockies now for weeks. Anyways, back to my weekend! The conference was great and I enjoyed spending time with some friends. The most memorable part was our dinner at The Melting Pot on Friday night. The conference ended at 9:30 pm and I didn't get back to my sister-in-law's house until 1:00 am. It takes between 2 and 3 hours to eat there, is super expensive, and probably not something I would do again. It was worth going, though, because of all the laughs we had. Apparently the building is the 2nd most haunted in all of Denver, there was even a paranormal group there setting up to take readings the night we were there. The best part came when several in our group went down to the women's bathroom, which happens to be one of the more "active" spots, and my visiting teacher Nanci was trying to scare what she thought was her sister in the next stall. Hillarious.

Friday, October 12, 2007

hey, hey mr. policeman

I so wish that I could find Mr. Policeman by Brad Paisley to add to my playlist for this post. If you haven't heard this song, it's a riot, as are many of his songs. We had our own little version of this song on General Conference Sunday. It was in between sessions, and Jon came up to the front of the house to tell me that there is some strange guy walking around in our back yard. Our yard is not fenced, but that doesn't mean that it is public property! Anyways, Jon watches him walk along the side of the house towards the front, then the guy sees a car on the street and comes back and hides behind a corner of our neighbor's fence. We're just thinking that he's playing some stupid game of hide and seek with his friends. By this time we were both watching him through our living room window, hoping that he'll glance over and notice the perturbed look on our faces so we don't have to go outside and tell him to leave. Then, all of a sudden he turns around and hops over another neighbor's fence, breaking it in the process, and takes off through their yard and hops another fence. Then we see a police officer come running along the side of our house after him. I panic and we both run to lock doors. I immediately grabbed the phone to call my friend Teresha who lives right behind us and asked her to make sure her doors were locked, too, since he had originally come from the direction of her house. The police officer disappears and we just keep thinking how crazy that was. We watched for a few minutes and then suddenly the strange guy comes back through the second yard towards our house. I'm freaking out because the police officer is no where in sight, but the the guy jumped a third fence in to a different yard right next to us and started walking in the opposite direction. This whole time I'm on the phone with Teresha relaying what is happening. A minute or two go by and then I look again to see what appears to be a couple police officers with the guy on the ground. I went to the front of the house to watch them bring him to the police car, only to find the normal police car along with 3 sherriff's vehicles parked in front of our house. There were about 5 more officers standing around, too. Jon notices the first police officer come back through the yards and goes out to make sure the guy has been apprehended. They pat him down out front and I let Teresha know that everything was OK. Not a minute later her husband, Nick (who is also our bishop) comes from their yard through ours to see if he can find out what was going on. Apparently he was a shoplifter! I guess that makes me feel better, knowing that he was probably not very dangerous. Could have fooled me with the police response, though! It must have been a slow crime day, although running from the police is never a good idea. Maybe he had something else besides the shoplifting that he was worried about being caught for. Who knows, but it was crazy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

family photos

I realize that I've been blogless now for about two weeks. I could say that a lot has been happening, which isn't necessarily untrue. However, the main cause would be that I finally cleaned up the office/piano room and moved the laptop in there instead of the kitchen. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. Anyways, plenty to blog about but not much time at this second. I did want to post the following link, though, for any who are interested in viewing the proofs from the family photo shoot that we did at the beginning of September when we went to Utah for my brother's reception. Maybe I'll blog later tonight about the police chase through our yard. How's that for a teaser?

Family Photo Shoot - September 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

eight years

How time flies. My grand plans for a special post on this day have fizzled to a few poorly scanned pictures! However, I just couldn't let the day go by without taking a minute to remember.

Friday, September 21, 2007

i should be committed

Somehow I have managed to commit to A LOT of big things lately. All are good things, some are things I wouldn't even want to say "no" to, but almost all of the them require significant advance preparation. I spent my morning completing this.

As part of our local music teachers association, I was responsible for designing an advertising poster for an upcoming duet recital that we will be having in October. I've put it off since the beginning of August. I'm only entering 3 of my students in the recital, but that means I need to get them prepared. Plus, as a teacher I need to learn 4 duets that the upper levels will be playing (in case I need to fill in) as well as the teacher encore.

While we're on the subject of music, my mom was running over stuff for my new calling as Stake Music Specialist with me last night. I now have 1 song to learn for Stake Conference and 2 to prepare for Christmas. Our stake displays nativity sets and presents a musical program during the beginning of December. Over the years it has become a pretty big deal and involves a lot of people in the community. A couple of days ago I agreed to be responsible for decorating one of the rooms in the church where the nativities will be displayed.

I am Room Parent for Derrick's class during the 1st Quarter, so I have a Halloween Party to plan as well as helping to distribute the products sold by his class from the fundraiser that we just did.

Last night my mom and I started making plans to have Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year, AND my bishop called and asked Jon and I to speak next Sunday when he is home. I think I need at least one more thing. ;-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

on my own again.....just can't wait to be on my own again

OK, so that's not the truth. Jon left again this morning after several days home from Denver. It was so nice to have him here, although I think he was a little dismayed at the state of chaos in our home when he arrived. I tried to be pulled together but it just wasn't happening. Hopefully he'll be back again in another two weeks. I'm hoping to be more efficient by that point. Speaking of efficient, my mother gave me a little nudge towards weaning Gracie yesterday when she pointed out that I don't seem to function as productively when I am nursing or pregnant (which has been a good portion of our married life!), so I had better get Grace weaned so I could be more efficient. Jon thought it was hillarious. So, today is the day to buckle down and just do it. My child is going to be starving until she relents and drinks from a bottle or sippy cup. I've got my Advil ready for when the pain kicks in later, which will probably be at the PAC (Parent Action Council) meeting tonight. I sure know how to time things, don't I!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

so proud

Apparently I need to revisit some basic rules with Abbie. For instance, only in rare emergencies do you ever go to the bathroom anywhere but the toilet. I'll spare you the details. We'll just say it involved looking out the back window to find my 5 year old daughter with her church dress up and her underwear down. It was one of those moments where you are mortified and have trouble containing your laughter at the same time.

On a side note, it sure is nice to know that my Heavenly Father knows me. For the last few days I have been having numbness and tingling in my arms and hands. It feels like they are on the verge of falling asleep all the time. I've been a little worried, after all I teach piano and I need my hands in working order, not to mention just being able to function normally! I'm not sure what is going on, my suspicion is that a change in medication I had last week may be the cause. I plan to call my doctor tomorrow. However, this afternoon I was being set apart for my new calling as Stake Music Specialist, and in the middle of the blessing the high counselor actually blessed my hands, that they would work well and I would be able to continue teaching and playing the piano. He of course had no idea that I was having problems. Amazing. I feel better now.

Monday, September 10, 2007

new calling X 2

I had my meeting and I now have two new callings in two days. I will be a Stake Music Specialist. Totally fine with me and it shouldn't interfere with my other new calling. Plus, my mother has this exact calling as well, so it should be easy to get it done. I will basically help assist the Stake Music Chairman with any needs that she has. It will probably get a little crazy around Stake Conference and Christmas, but otherwise should be pretty low key. My only reservation is that the Stake Music Chairman scares the pants off me! Well, as a pianist, anyways. She kind of expects you to read her mind and be ready to go even though she hasn't told you where she is at in the music. Maybe this is another way to force me to learn how to play the organ...they are so sneaky! ; )

Sunday, September 9, 2007

new calling

We've been in our new ward now for almost two months and today I finally got a calling. I'm excited because it's a new one for me. I'm going to be the Mia Maid advisor. I haven't been in Young Womens since I was one. It has been about 10 years of Primary with a little Relief Society mixed in here and there. Jon is excited because it means that I still get to attend Sunday School with him, that is after he comes back home! I'm waiting to hear from the YW President now, I'm assuming that I will start teaching next Sunday. I can't wait, unless of course my inaugural lesson winds up being on chastity, which is always a fun way to get to know the girls! On a related note, I also get to meet with a member of the high council tomorrow evening. He called Jon in Denver to talk about it before making the appointment with me, so Jon already knows what is going on. Don't you hate not knowing why you are meeting with someone? I always spend so much time trying to guess what it could be. All that deductive reasoning I used in school has come in handy a time or two as I have correctly guessed some callings, but I've got no clue on this high counselor one. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 7, 2007

birthday girl

Today my Abbie turns 5 years old! Has it really been that long? I honor of my beautiful girl here are 5 things that I love about her.

1. She has spunk. Sometimes this spunky child can become a sassy pants, and sometimes this spunk makes her hard to argue with, but it also makes her the girl we love.
2. She loves to sing and dance. Hannah Montana is a favorite.
3. She has the most beautiful blue eyes. I still don't know how that happened.
4. She loves fashion and shopping. I ALWAYS know when she loves my outfits...and when she doesn't.
5. She loves her brother and sister. I hope they are always good friends.

Happy 5th birthday, Abs. I love you.

Looking fancy in my new outfit from Grandparents M.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


To answer your question, Em, yes my kids did fall asleep, and no I didn't fall asleep at the computer. I have been struggling with the fact that I am about to break some hearts. We brought home our new dog last Monday, August 27th. The kids were in love. Everything was great until we noticed a lingering smell. Not just a normal doggy smell, mind you. It was more offensive. We figured he needed a bath. He got one quickly. It didn't last long, and I'm talking hours. So, I began to research and ask questions. Turns out...scent hounds in general have an odor that emits from the oils in their coats. And, it turns out, there is not much you can do about it but learn to live with it. Unfortunately, I'm not really capable of doing that. To top it off, Jon's new job required him to go to Denver for 8 weeks of training. He left on Monday, September 3rd. Not only do I have a stinky dog who has to be inside because our backyard is not fenced, but I'm functioning as a single mom for who knows how long before I see him again. Not wanting to admit defeat too quickly, I'm also unwilling to "stick it out" in hopes that it will get better, only to end up doing what I knew I would do all along. What I'm saying is that I'm getting rid of our new dog. Calling the breeder tomorrow to see if she has anyone interested or wants to take him back to sell on consignment for us. I approached the subject with Derrick last night, and there have been tears in his eyes ever since. I'm afraid that his heart is actually broken. And it's my fault. The extra hugs somehow seem less sweet when they are comforting a sadness of my creating. I'm not sure when he'll get over it. I hope he forgives me.

On a happier note, things are going well with Jon's new job. I hope this one is a keeper. It's hard to be without him, though. We'll be glad to know what his schedule is going to be, because the next 2 months are kind of up in the air right now. I don't think I'll get around to sending out the more detailed email that I promised to a couple of you, so in case you're still wondering, Jon is going to work for Target again. They are building one here in town, and one thing led to another. Before we knew it, he was offered a position as the Executive Team Lead responsible for Asset Protection and Loss Prevention. He is excited because is it completely different than what he has been doing up to this point. It's nice because he doesn't actually report to anyone in this store, it is more of a district position. The salary offer was also 20% higher than what he was making. He gets to write his schedule, too, which a huge plus. It opens a lot of doors for him to branch in to the company beyond the retail side of things. I'm crossing my fingers that we've found a good match this time.

Time to run. Tropical Storm Clutter turned into Hurricane My House is a Disaster earlier today. I've got to pull it together. Then again, I have just enough grapefruit scented bubble bath left to calm my nerves before I officially break my son's heart tomorrow. Hmm...what to do.

Monday, September 3, 2007

crazy busy

Our life has been crazy busy for the last couple of weeks. I have so many things to post about, but don't want to do it all in one post. Here's a list to help me remember.

vacation diary, volume 2
first day of school
new family member
wedding adventures
new job

Many pictures will surely be included. I hope to start tackling some of these tonight after the kids are asleep.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

vacation diary, volume 1

Things are sunny here in San Diego. Our travels up to this point have been a little less so. Don't get me wrong, we are enjoying being here, but it has definitely had it's share of challenges. We left the house by 6:30 am on Sunday morning, only a half an hour later than we originally hoped for. When we arrived in Grand Junction we decided that we needed to grab a bite to eat. I'm aware that it was Sunday, and yes, we broke the Sabbath, which is probably why we had problems. Anyways, we stopped at McDonalds, because if you know our family you know that we love a McDonalds breakfast! I ordered the usual for the kids, pancakes with orange juice. The kid at the register says nothing. I seat myself and kids, and a few minutes later Jon peeks around the corner and asks me if I ordered apples for them. Um, NO. Don't get me wrong, I like apples, they have just never been an option at breakfast. It turns out they had informed Jon that they weren't doing pancakes anymore for breakfast, which is stupid, but whatever. Now I'm wondering what else they planned to give me in the kid's meal and why the guy at the counter didn't tell me that when I ordered. Then, the people behind Jon walk up and order pancakes and they give them to them! Jon asks what is going on and they tell him that they still make pancakes, but they aren't serving them to kids anymore because some dietician said it wasn't good for them. OK, that is a bunch of you know what. First of all, who is McDonald's to tell me what I can or can't feed my kids? Second, that can't possibly be a new McDonald's policy because we had just had them for breakfast the day before with grandma and grandpa. Thirdly, do they think that a better option would have been a sausage patty and biscuit? Because that is about the extent of their other options. And, what's to stop me from ordering a regular meal with pancakes and just giving it to my kids? As it turned out, Jon got our money refunded, two orders of pancakes, and OJ for the kids. I guess I can get over it now.

The rest of the drive to Las Vegas (our pit stop for the night) went really well. Gracie slept so well and Derrick and Abbie just watched movies. We made really good time and were pleased with the hotel that we booked on Hotwire at the last minute. What we forgot is how disgusting Vegas really is, and it just seems to get worse, especially when you have your kids with you. This was our first visit with any of our kids, and will probably be one of last unless absolutely necessary. We really wish we had just stayed in the hotel room once we got there. But, we had to eat. I've learned that I don't like the Rainforest Cafe. I've also learned that just because a hotel looks like it is only a couple of blocks away, "block" on the strip are bigger than you remember. The only thing I care to see on the strip are the fountains at Bellagio, and I made the bad decision for all of us to walk down there. It's not that my kids were traumatized by seeing something they shouldn't. They were just exhausted and I shouldn't have pushed them. By the time were got down there, Abbie wasn't even interested in seeing them anymore. It was a long walk back to the hotel, but the kids crashed really quickly. Needless to say, we got on the road pretty early in the morning.

Monday's drive in to San Diego went well, except we could tell that Abbie just wasn't quite herself. She was really lethargic and had told us she felt like throwing up in the middle of the night in Las Vegas, but then nothing happened. When we stopped for lunch, Derrick broke out in hives again, so we had to stop for some Benadryl. Gracie was perfect up until the last 45 minutes before San Diego, which felt like 2 hours. Anyways, we checked in to the hotel, which is really nice, and then walked with everyone down to Seaport Village. We had a great time walking around and spending time with my family, until Abbie threw up during her dinner. Seeing how she was not feeling well, I guess the carousel ride was probably a bad idea! Anyways, after an interesting walk back (Derrick got his elbow stuck in an elevator railing), we ditched out on ice cream at Ghiradelli's because now Jon wasn't feeling great either. We had an early night.

Today's excursion was to Sea World. Abbie didn't even want to go this morning and we had to rent a stroller for her at the park. We were able to see some of the shows. Derrick, Gracie and I got soaked at the dolphin show (I let him choose the seats and we were on row 2)! I would probably sit just on the edge of the soak zone next time, as it took me at least 3 hours to completely dry out. I'm exhausted, so I should go, but not before I leave with the icing on the cake. As you can see, I'm doing my best to earn the mother of the year award the last couple of days. This ought to do it!

Yes, I left the hotel without sunscreen and burned my baby! My sister arrived shortly after us and we lathered them all up, but it was too late. The damage was done! I'm just hoping the preemptive Tylenol kicks in and keeps her comfortable through the night. I hope we make it to Saturday, although I think that red is a part of the wedding's color scheme, so maybe we'll be OK!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

what time is it?'s our vacation!

I just read Emily's post, hence the title for this post. Tomorrow morning we leave for California and a week of family vacation before my brother's wedding next Saturday. I'm excited to go, but hate the last minute craziness of packing and wondering what it is that I'm leaving behind. The day after we get back happens to be the kids' first day of school and the day that we are getting our new dog. We just love to pack it all in at the same time!

As a side note, today is Jon's last working day at his old job. For those who have expressed curiosity, I'll send you both the info as to his new position...sometime soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

i love my teeth!

Today I had my first dental appointment in over seven years. Seriously. Both Jon and I had a check-up right after we got married, then it has just not been a priority unless our teeth bothered us, which they never really did. It wasn't always because we didn't have dental insurance, either, because we have had it off and on during the last 8 years. I have just been lazy in keeping up with it, until recently. Our dental insurance kicked in and so I made sure to get all of us in, especially the kids. Poor Jon didn't fare so well at his appointment a few months ago. I, on the other hand, am the queen of teeth! My streak remains unbroken, 29 years with no cavities. Sure, I needed a good cleaning, but the hygienist was surprised at how clean my teeth were, all things considered. Yippee for me!!!! She even told me I could probably get away with only yearly cleanings, but I have vowed to be better so they'll be seeing me again in February 2008. Speaking of teeth, I sure hope Gracie starts to pop some through here soon. I'm ready to turn the drool faucet OFF.

Monday, August 13, 2007

good news

After an anxious wait over the weekend, Jon got some good news early this afternoon. The previously mentioned job opportunity came through and we are very excited. He will put in a 2 week notice at work tomorrow. Because of our prescheduled vacation to San Diego, he won't even be here for about half of that time. It's always exciting to make a change like this, but the transition can be a bit stressful. It sounds like he will be spending a good deal of time in Denver for about 2 months, so I'll be glad when November rolls around. In any case, the pay increase and other benefits will be worth it.

We did so much other stuff today but none of it really seems blog worthy. I'm trying to finalize my piano lesson schedule for the school year and figure out which of my students will participate in the Monster Concert that our local music teachers association is putting on in October. We will have 10 pianos on the stage with up to 20 students playing the same duet at one time, involving all skill levels. It will be so exciting, but is tons of work. I have to design the advertising poster in the next couple of weeks. I'll be glad to get back to a normal schedule once school starts. Some parents tend to be a little more forgetful about lessons during the summer months and it can be frustrating.

My brain isn't functioning very well, so I'd better stop trying to think. Good night to a good day. : )

Saturday, August 11, 2007

desktop fun

Just a quick FYI for everyone, there are really cute desktop templates out there that you can get for free and just add your photos to. Here's a look at the one I put up for this month and the one I had up last month. I found them at Shabby Miss Jenn and the Shabby Princess blog, in case you are interested (see my sidebar). I'm sure there are even more out there yet to be found. Enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2007


The real countdown has begun. In one year I will no longer be a twenty-something. So far I've enjoyed some lovely gifts, several phone calls, a nice lunch, and a birthday cake. The rest of the day will be quiet since Jon is at work. I tried to think about what I did for my birthday 10 years ago, at 19. That was the year that Tori and Sierra organized a surprise party at Brick Oven with some friends and people from the summer ward. I remember a blindfold and the shock of almost sitting on some guy's lap before they took it off! In some ways it seems like yesterday, but a hundred years ago at the same time. Birthdays mean a little less these days. I'm not waiting to turn 12 so I can get my ears pierced, or 14 so I can go to stake dances, or 16 so I can date and drive, or 18 so I can be an adult. Now getting older just means I should feel like more of a grown up. At what point do you turn that corner where the teenagers start thinking of you as old? I'm pretty sure I always used to think of anyone over 30 as real grown ups. Seems kind of funny now, because in a lot of ways I still see myself as a kid. My youth is wasting away! Jon's 30th is coming up in December, I think I'll focus on that now. ;)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

week(s) in review

I just realized that it has been about two weeks since my last entry. This is due to a number of distractions, most importantly the complete crash of the hard drive on our new laptop. Fortunately, our system is still under warranty so I promptly put in a call to Gateway technical support, and after a lenghty process it was determined that we would be sent a new hard drive, no charges for anything as long as we returned the old one to see if they could repair it. I asked specifically whether or not it would come installed with Windows Vista and everything I would need to get back up and running, minus any extra programs I had installed myself. The promise was made, we waited three days for it to come, and when I went to install it, NO OPERATING SYSTEM. I called again. I'm told that I need a System Recovery disk, which is free, but their policy is that I need to pay a $20 shipping and handling charge to get it. Not happening. I very politely explained that there was no way I was going to pay anything to get this disk when they had just sent me the hard drive free of charge but forgot to do it right. My fee was waived, but I had another three day wait. I just barely got my computer up and running again yesterday. Now I'll have computer anxiety for a couple of weeks, fearful that I'll click a seemingly innocent button and it will crash again.

At least I had other distractions during this time. The kids and I traveled to Utah to help my mother and sisters throw a bridal shower for our soon to be sister-in-law. Things went well even though we were running a little late that morning getting ready, but my lovely brother was there to bail us out by ironing table cloths and running last minute errands to insure the gathering for his love was a success. I can't believe that the wedding is just over two weeks away! We are leaving again in just over a week for San Diego. I'm really excited to go and spend time with all my family and have a true vacation with my hubby and kids, but I'm already tired. It will be great, though.

While in Utah, I had one of those great restaurant moments, which is bad enough when both parents are there, but even worse when you are the lone ranger. Fortunately Jon's sister was with me and quick to help. We were eating at Olive Garden, and nearly finished with our meal, when Derrick announced that he needed to use the restroom. In the process of getting out of his chair, he informs me that it is too late. What?!? He is 6 1/2 years old, so I usually get a little more warning than that! I look down to see poop running down his leg into his crocs (thank goodness for crocs with no socks!). We are literally at the table farthest from the bathroom, and he is just standing there making puddles on their carpet. I felt so bad! I'm not quite sure what to do because Gracie is fussing, I have Abbie, and now Derrick needs to rush to the bathroom before it gets worse. Thankfully Kim jumped to the rescue and took him to the bathroom, while I stayed behind to handle the mess and get us out of there as quickly as possible. Our server was so understanding and helpful. I laugh, though, because he kept telling me that I would be surprised at how often this type of thing happened. Somehow I doubt that, I'm sure he was just trying to make me feel better.

Our last week has also been consumed with the prospect of a new job for Jon. It's no surprise to some that he is fairly miserable at his current job and has been seeking new opportunities for some time now. It turns out that he might go back to work for a company that he worked for during college. I don't want to go too in depth, just in case it doesn't work out. I will say that he has had three interviews up the chain in the last week and we feel pretty confident. I hope it works out because I haven't seem him this excited about work for some time.

You're out of town for a few days, do you know what your husbands are doing? Well, I left town and my husband bought this.

Not a total surprise, I will admit. But, we had talked about getting a dog after our trip to Hawaii in January, not quite this soon. Fortunately, the breeder agreed to keep him until after we get back from San Diego. He is a basset hound, we've named him Bauer (thanks to 24 we've had this name for a while), and he'll be just over 11 weeks when we bring him home. I hope this time is better than our last dog attempt!

Finally, here are some of my favorite pics from our adventures over the last few weeks. Enjoy!

Abbie always finds her way to Aunt Kimmy's lipstick!

My bugaphobic boy with a caterpillar on his arm. It tickled!

Tea party fun with Aunt Katie and cousin Allie.

Drinking the proper way, pinky a-flying!

Not to be left out of the fun, the boys had a Hot Wheels party!

Sitting on my own.

She fell asleep this way. I couldn't resist!

Sweet potatoes make the perfect accessory!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

curse of the hives

I've been in a Harry Potter induced seclusion for the last several days.

Thanks to all who have offered sympathies for my mono scare. Fortunately, it was a false alarm. If you are wondering why I even jumped to that assumption, I must take you back to February 2004. I went in to InstaCare for a bad sore throat and was put on amoxicillin, the standard 3 pills a day for 10 days. On the ninth day of treatment I broke out in head to toe hives. I'm not exagerating either, they were EVERYWHERE. If it wasn't so miserable it would have been funny. I went back in to InstaCare and although I had never had problems in the past, it was decided that I was allergic to amoxicillin. I stopped taking it, went home with 2 new prescriptions to help with the hives and itching, and after several days began to feel better. I had a couple days where things seemed good, then I felt like I was getting an ear infection. I assumed that because I had stopped the treatment early that the bacteria has survived to fight another day. So, I went back in. My ears were not infected, but they were killing me, I even had them flushed out to be sure that we were getting a clear look inside. Nothing. After several trips in and out of my room, the doctor returned to inform me that she thought I didn't have strep or an ear infection, but mono instead. It was the last thing I expected. Apparently if you have an active case of mono while you are taking amoxicillin, the combined result is a horrible, itchy rash! After performing blood tests, her suspicions were confirmed. Fast forward to last Thursday night, when I start to feel itchy on my ninth day of amoxicillin and you can see why I got nervous. So, I finally get in to the doctor around 4:00 on Friday, they do a test and I'm cleared of mono, so they decided that I must be allergic to amoxicillin. They sent me home and I started taking Benadryl, which helped a TON but made me really sleepy. Funny thing is that I'm pretty sure I had several hefty doses of pennicillin in the hospital while in labor with Grace because of Group B Strep, and nothing happened. Supposedly I would be allergic to both. Then, on Saturday Derrick had a couple bouts with hives on his arms so I have NO idea what is really going on at this point. At least Derrick gave us a good laugh during Sacrament meeting on Sunday when we heard him snoring while sleeping sitting up. I had given him some Benadryl that morning!

On to Harry Potter. Jon went out and got it on Saturday morning for us. I finished reading around 5:00 PM today. My house has been neglected for the last couple of days, but I decided that I just needed to push through and finish the book so I wouldn't be distracted any longer! For those who haven't yet joined in the craze, you really should. I'm proud to say that I'm one of those who was in it pretty much from the start. Some of those who made fun of me back then are now more obsessed than I! No spoilers here, though. Some surprises, and some suspicions confirmed is all I can say. What I haven't decided is when I'll let my kids start reading them. They're definitely too young now, and probably for several years to come.

For those who have curiosity about my digital scrapbooking layouts, I've made a link list on the right now that will take you to some of the sites that I have found useful as I've started this new adventure. My software of choice is Adobe Photoshop Elements, although I have yet to purchase it because I have been checking out trial versions of several programs first. Photoshop Elements seems to be one of the more widely used programs, although I also liked ACDSee Photo Editor. I'm going with Elements mainly because Photo Editor has a glitch with changing text colors if you happen to have a dual core processor, which I do. Plus, Elements seems to have a lot of tutorials out there to help you learn how to use it. Anyways, I'm linking my favorite sites for info and supplies, both to buy and for free. I'm by no means an expert, but am happy to answer any questions on what I've learned!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I think I have mono, AGAIN. It's a long story, but if my fear comes true and I wake up in the morning with head to toe hives, I promise to elaborate. Until then, here's the update. The move went well. We got in a few days earlier than planned so it was less stressful. We officially turned our old place over to the landlord today. I have to say that I have never rented from someone so picky about the checkout cleaning. He's been really great to us, so I won't complain too much. I'll just say that we had some family and friends help us clean on Tuesday and we put in at least 12 hours between all of us, but I spent another hour over there tonight cleaning up very specific small crayon marks on the walls and sweeping off the garage shelves. Oh well. Gracie is starting to stir so I'll finish with my first official digital scrapbook layouts that I did last night. Kendra, if you read this I need you to send me a picture of Porter to add to the Easter Egg Hunt layout, I didn't seem to have one. Hopefully more layouts to come soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

family fun

WARNING: Lengthy picture post to follow!

We returned yesterday from our family vacation/reunion to Fish Lake. It was the first time that Jon's family has all been together in over 4 years. We had a wonderful time, although I was sick with a nasty sore throat and head cold from the moment we got there. Memorable moments included Carter's enthusiasm for the 4th of July parade, ping pong ball launching contests, and seeing a moose right outside the cabin three separate times. We are pretty tired and my house is a disaster. But, with our move coming up at the end of the week, I have no incentive to get it too pulled together. The chaos is about to hit and when I come back up for air I hope to be a more organized, creative, relaxed person. Moving is insane but cathartic in a way. It's like a fresh start or the beginning of a new year. When the dust settles, I'll be back. Until then, enjoy some of the pictures from our week.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

the giver

Last week my mom organized a book group for my 11-year old sister and some of her friends. On their list of books recommended by the librarian is The Giver by Lois Lowry. Having never read this book, my mother sent it home with me to read. It came highly recommended by several people, including my Schwan's delivery man who noticed it on my counter last week. I finished it this afternoon. I'm not sure what to think about it. What I do know is that I'll be thinking about it for a while to come. Perhaps my unease comes from the fact that I have such little ones and it was hard for me to suspend my disbelief without thinking of them, especially with the "release" of the twin newchild. If you haven't read it, that will make absolutely no sense, but for those who have read it, am I the only one who had a hard time with it? To be honest, I'm surprised that I made it throught school without having read it. It seems like the kind of book some of my English teachers would have LOVED.

Lately I've been checking in to digital scrapbooking. The more I learn, the more I think that it is the path for me. I love to shop for supplies, but I have a closet of things that I never have time to use because I fear the chaos the mess would create. Any thoughts, recommendations, or favorite sites?

Today we went to Ridgway for the afternoon with the kids. It turned out that about six other member families were all up there, too. Here are some pictures from the outing.

Monday, June 25, 2007

can you say OCD?

So it may be a slight exageration, but am I the only one who has to go back and fix misspelled words and incorrect grammar when I read back through my previous posts and notice the mistakes? I know I'm the only one who probably reads them more than once, and I know that no one else probably even notices. I just bugs me to no end, especially because I usually proof each post a few times before I publish it. It's funny how some people care about that kind of thing and others don't. I used to work with a girl who would send out office emails and memos without a second glance and they always had the most obvious errors. The rest of us used to joke that if it made no sense, then Adrienne probably wrote it. My favorite writing error happened when I was working and needed to hire a new Office Manager. I got a resume from a guy who wrote the following sentence in his cover letter..."I pat attention to detail." Really? Of all the sentences to screw up, that was not the one. His resume went directly to the "Nope" pile. Too harsh? I think not. Anyways, I hope there are no errors in this post!

This morning we started our second week of swimming lessons. Derrick and Abbie are both doing great. Abbie is still a little timid and won't stick her head under water, but she is in the Preschool level so there is very little pressure. Derrick is quite the little swimmer and listens to every instruction. I'm so proud of how he is mastering the torpedo.

At this very moment here is a picture of what each of my brood is doing.

Derrick, very concerned that without his help the Green Team will definitely lose the Disney Channel Games this year, is busily playing computer games to earn points for team captain Dylan Sprouse, aka Zack from the Suite Life. All will be lost without his help!

Gracie is taking a much needed nap in her carseat. The shade offers a bit of protection from her nemesis, who at this moment is...

Outside in the backyard mixing up bowls of who knows what with her friend Jill. To be honest, the mixture somewhat resembles a gourmet salad, although I would definitely not eat it! I hope the bushes and trees survive the afternoon.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

not so pleasant memory

So, my sister just called because she thinks that her little girl may have a dislocated elbow or shoulder. She called me because, yes indeedy, it happened to us a few years ago with Derrick. How pleasant to remember that we let him go for almost half a day before taking him in to the doctor. How pleasant to remember the fear that we were going to be reported for child abuse and have our children taken away. After being told that dislocated joints are actually rather common childhood injuries, we still didn't feel any better. How quickly the picture comes back to mind of the pitiful look on his face while he sat there protecting his little arm without crying. And how easily the trauma of it all was forgotten the second the doctor popped it back into place, at least for Derrick. Now it's Karin's turn. From what it sounds like, her little one is experiencing the same thing. But that's what is frustrating about dislocated joints. It's so hard to know because they just act different. Of course these things always happen after normal office hours, so should she take her to the ER if Instacare isn't open? How do you make that call? All I know is I hope not to experience it again, and I'm sure we'll hear about this trauma first hand soon!

On a happier note, I want to start jotting down little things to remember about each of my little ones. Things that are funny/unusual/sweet that I may not always remember.

Derrick loves to read ZooBooks.

Abbie loves anything sour. Especially lemons. She always steals the lemon wedge from our waters at restaurants and eats the WHOLE thing, rind included. We try to get her to stop, but it never works.

Gracie loves to blow bubbles. That's how I know she is done eating.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

bits and pieces

Yes, it's true. I haven't blogged since last month. We've had a lot going on and it's just not been on the top of my priority list lately. But, I intend to get back on track. First, I must recap our goings on for the last few weeks, in no particular order.

Three kids, 14 days, and three different road trips makes for a very tired family. After we returned from Richfield on Sunday, May 27th, we made a last minute decision to go to Provo for my uncle's wedding. We left on Friday, June 1st and came home on Sunday, June 3rd. We had less than 24 hours to get pulled back together before we had to get back in the car and drive to Denver on Monday, June 4th. Jon had 3 days of training so the kids and I spent some time with his sister. We came home on Friday, June 8th. We've had a couple weeks of down time, but in another week and a half we load back up for a week at Fish Lake in Utah with Jon's family. Jon will have more training in Denver towards the end of July, but the kids and I will stay home that time. Then I will take the kids back to Provo for the first weekend in August because my mom, my sisters and I are throwing a bridal shower for my soon to be sister-in-law. Then we have a couple of weeks before we trek to San Diego for a week to vacation and do my brother's wedding. WHEW! The more I think about it, the more tired I get. The kids have been pretty good travelers so far, but I'm really afraid that we're going to be pushing our luck this summer.

About a week ago, we gave our 30 day notice to move in the middle of July. We will be moving to a larger house that is really close to Jon's work. We are really excited, but I HATE the whole process of moving. I wish I could pull an I Dream of Jeanie and blink my belongings across town, clean the old place, and get settled in the new. If only. Fortunately, Jon loves to pack and move. This will be the 13th place we have lived in in less than 8 years and I can honestly blame him as the instigator of almost all our moves! Anyone want to come and help?

Gracie is growing so fast. Last week she rolled over for the first time, just a few days past her four month mark. Now she does it so easily. I've forgotten the excitement that comes with reaching each of these milestones. It's also hard to realize that each of these firsts quickly passes us by. I miss the newborn small that she used to be but love the personality that comes more each day. Giggles and ready grins are the trade-off for cuddles and 3 hour naps.

Last week our desktop gave us a scare which resulted in the purchase of our first laptop. Yes, our FIRST laptop. We may be a bit slow in reaching this milestone, I realize. However, we now have set up wireless internet access to make up for our tardiness in reaching this stage. So far things are going well. We even replaced the CD drive in our old computer all by ourselves, and it actually works! We plan to make the old computer a place for the kids to play games and go online.

We have been putting a patio in at my parent's house and are almost done. Just a few more things to do, but spending time over there keeps me from getting anything done around here. Laundry piles up, fast food is the meal of choice, and a vicious cycle is set in motion. To add to the craziness, I have moved all of my piano lessons to morning time slots, and we started swimming lessons this week. I get ready in the morning, teach piano, spend an hour and a half at the swimming pool, attempt to feed Gracie somewhere in the middle of all of this, and then make it home in the early afternoon where I proceed to argue with a brick wall about keeping the house clean, but eventually decide that I'm too tired and so I give up fighting. Why not, the wall doesn't listen anyways! I also attempt to keep our personal business under control while keeping on top of the financial stuff that I do for Jon's dad's business. And then I read other people's blogs and wonder why I haven't been able to blog, because so many people seem to have more on their plates than I do and still manage to keep up. Oh well.

I hope the rest of the summer won't be so crazy. Here's to hoping!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

memorial day weekend

SO, Emily so sweetly reminded me a couple days ago that I have been MIA for about a week and a half now. I return with a mostly picture post and recap of our Memorial Day weekend. Every year Jon's family descends upon the town of Richfield, UT over Memorial Day to remember their loved ones that have passed on. Jon's parents grew up in the area and he has fond memories of time spent in Richfield when he was growing up. We have been married now for almost eight years and have made an appearance in Richfield EVERY year for this weekend except last year. The family all comes in and stays at the same hotel. The days are filled with eating, shopping for the women, golfing for the guys, eating, visiting with each other, swimming at the pool, eating some more, traveling to the various cemeteries to raise flags and lay flowers on grandparents graves, attending family reunions, and eating. Did I mention eating? In fact, there is a pattern that is usually followed with specific restaurants/shops at specific times. This pattern has changed somewhat, but you can always count on a trip to Ideal Dairy and Christensens. Occasionally, the carnival happens to be in town at the park across the street from our hotel, as it was this year. My children enjoy being a part of the ritual of visiting the cemeteries, helping to lay the flowers and water them. I hope someday they will understand the meaning of all that we do on this weekend. It's always great to hear his parents, aunts, and uncles tell stories of their parents and grandparents. I learn so much this way. This year we made a trip to a cemetery we had never been to before, to see the grave of his ancestor who helped rescue the Martin and Willey handcart company. My children are blessed with great heritage on both sides! Anyways, on with the pics.

As a side note, Jon came home with a slip and slide a couple of nights ago. Here are some pictures from our first attempts. There are sure to be more as the summer progresses!