Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Junior High School

Tonight I accompanied my daughter to an orientation at the junior high she will be attending this fall. We walked into the cafeteria where the program was already in progress. The program consisted of the band, orchestra, drama club and choir performing which was an opportunity to show the new students what their options are in regards to elective credits.

Things my daughter is worried about prior to starting junior high:
1. Getting the booster shots required.
2. Not having friends (even though she has several friends who will be attending the same school.)
3. She would prefer to stay in elementary school.

Things I am worried about prior to my eldest daughter starting junior high:
1. Boys.
2. Badly behaved boys.
3. People who will try to influence my daughter in a negative way. See #1 and #2, but also add mean girls to the list.
4. Losing my innocent daughter to the world.
5. Teenagerness.

I am freaked out, I admit it. I am only 7 months away from this horrible event and if I had any sense about me I would start looking into home schooling. The thing is, I would stink as a home school mother, really, really stink. I have a friend whose son comes home and tells her all kinds of horrible things that happen at this school including girls pulling out condoms from their pockets and offering to use said items with this boy. This boy is very, very shy and innocent looking/acting. What? How do girls get this forward and distasteful? I would call her irresponsible but she was offering prophylactics. OH MY!!! This girl is the epitome of that which I am afraid.

Clearly I have some serious talks with my daughter in my very near future. I want her getting her information from me and her father. I want her to know she can talk to me about anything and I want her to have enough self confidence to walk away from evil influences. I will be praying harder than ever. If there is one thing I learned from my parents it is to pray for your children, be specific, and the Lord will reveal things to you.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

President Gordon B. Hinckley 1910-2008

Today is a sad day in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our beloved prophet Gordon B. Hinckley has died. Though he meets his wife Marjorie Pay Hinckley after years apart, we are left to grieve over our dear prophet who has brought so much joy, laughter, love and inspired guidance to us all. President Hinckley has been our prophet since 1995 but has been involved in church administration for 60+ years. He was a powerhouse of energy and faith. I for one will miss his genial smile, lately the way he raised his cane in farewell when he would be leaving General Conference, the self-deprecating way he would poke fun at himself and the way he inspired me to be better, always striving, to be the VERY best I could be. He was like a loving grandfather who knew we had more to give and lovingly chided us to do so. All my love to you President Hinckley and to your family.

Strep Throat

I don't know what it is about our family, but we pick up strep like gum on a movie theater floor. Poor Mack has it and he is miserable. We started him on some leftover antibiotics. I know, I know. Our family alone is creating supergerms that will eventually kill mankind by not finishing off the full antibiotic course. But what would you do at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night when it is either start the leftover penicillin or go to the ER? I dare you to tell me you would take your kid into the ER and pay $100!

The rain and wind have kicked in here and by tomorrow the weather reports are saying anywhere from 4 to 10 inches on the valley floor. This kind of weather has me thinking about Anaheim in May. If I just close my eyes I can feel the sun on my back and the smile on my face as my family and stand in a very short line to ride Space Mountain.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Spelling Challenge

I have always considered myself a good speller. I have a bit of trouble with a few words, but overall I would rank myself pretty high up there.

However, I took a spelling challenge, 100 misspelled words and got 86%. HARSH.

How will you do?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Car (Ann, this post is for you!)

Okay, so I have about 150 pages left to read of Little Women and Young Men and Fire before school tomorrow and I have been inundated with work, my finance class assignments that are due, getting my Disneyland travel planner sheet faxed in (Poor me, I know), etc. But my poor friend Ann is stuck at home with five kids, one of which is a brand new baby and she was feeling desperate for something to read, so here I sit, composing a new blog entry. However, we do have blog-worthy news to share! We got a new car this week. As most of you know from a previous post late last year our Geo basically blew up on the freeway. It still sits outside our house, covered in snow, waiting for the day that Harold calls either the Kidney Foundation or the we-take-junker-cars-off-your-hands-for-quick-cash hotline. We were planning on not buying a car until I am done with school but the van makes bad noises, needs new brakes and tires and Harold really shouldn't be driving the van every day. We went to our local dealership (owned by our former bishop whom we love and trust) and found a new car. Here are the pics!

Our 2006 Hyundai Sonata

The dashboard

Of course these aren't pictures of our car, but the flashy pictures published by the PR firm that handles Hyundai.

This is not a new car, but it is new to us and is the newest car we have ever owned.

I haven't seen the car much. I drove it the night we bought it and Harold insisted that I be the one to drive it home that night (a five minute affair). But since then our lovely new vehicle has been Harold's companion. Harold has the guilts about buying something so nice. In fact, his exact words were, "This car is too fancy for me." Is this a possibility? There are houses that are too fancy, clothes that are too fancy, and possibly parties and restaurants and hotels that are too fancy, but a too-fancy car? NEVER!

Plus it was priced right, a middle of the road car, more bang for our buck. The dealer said that the exact same kind of car in a toyota or honda would have cost us 10-15K more. So I am feeling very middle class at the moment.

Now we can take our road trips with peace of mind.

I am off to read. My YA Lit prof decided to give us a 3rd pop quiz in a row and I had been banking on him NOT doing that and I failed that quiz miserably. I am so very embarassed that he is now grading my quiz and pondering on why I am such a slacker. I have vowed never to let that happen again. Forced reading can be fun, right? Actually, both books have been quite interesting/fun so far.

Happy trails! Vroom, vroom, vroom.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Self Esteem

Is your self esteem tied up in your house? your car? your kids? your body? your husband?

I wonder sometimes why we make our self esteem something that is controlled by things or people that most of the time are out of our control.

For the most part I have always felt fairly good about myself. I like my personality, I feel good about my intelligence and my efforts at living a good life.

But there are times when I get jealous and catty about other people and their lives. When I compare my life to theirs...would I trade lives with them? No, absolutely not. Then why compare my worst to their best? Why does anyone do this?

Comparing ourselves to others is a tool of the devil. That is my take home message today. Don't do it. Don't get trapped by it. Don't take the most horrible parts of you and compare them to the most wonderful parts of your neighbors, friends, siblings, parents, etc.

I like the good in me. I would like certain things to improve or change but overall I know that Heavenly Father loves me and He loves you too.

To all my friends and family, dear readers, I love you too. May the loving arms of Heavenly Father wrap around you and may you feel the love He has for you today and every day.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Men In Capes

If you have ever seen the movie The Incredibles you will know that there is a problem with super heroes who wear capes. The capes ultimately lead to the superhero downfall by either getting caught in a turbo engine, by a tornado, an elevator or a rocket launcher. This movie pretty much turned me off ever buying my superhero hubby a cape.

So Friday on campus while I was minding my own business (my own business referring to the fact that while I walk I try to stay out of people's way by not making eye contact and just forging ahead, thus making them move out of my way. I am the older person mind you)there was a young man in a cape standing off to the side. This was one of those capes you see in either Star Wars (although this cape was not as cool as something that say Ewan McGregor would wear, and this is coming from a non-cape person), nor was it like Harry Potter's cape (again, a cool cape). I know there are also some druid type people who sport capes as well as possibly Hobbits and a lot of other characters in fantasy literature. This guy was just standing there, staring off into space, with a book bag by his feet. I thought, what is it with strange guys in capes? Don't they know the legends? But, I promptly shuffled the sight of this boy into the back of my brain for future blog material.

Fast forward to two hours later on campus. I am walking along the same quad at school, minding my own business (wink, wink) and lo and behold there stands cape boy again. This time cape boy has decided to sing a solo for the enjoyment of the group. Somebody get this kid a job!

My first instinct is to run over to this boy and cover him up, like he is standing naked on the street corner. But he isn't naked is he? But I still want to throw a sheet over him and corral him into a car and drive him off to his father who needs to spend some more quality time with his young son.

See, when I tell my children to express themselves this cape-wearing isn't exactly what I have in mind. I am all for funky clothes wearing girls with short, dark hair and dark colored glasses wearing thick multicolored tights and layer upon layer of nonmatching clothes. Or the trendy looking guy who wears a jacket with a fur collar. And I never mentioned that I saw some scrubby looking young men on campus the other day who were clearly NOT students, even them I didn't write a whole blog entry about. But the cape people have to go. Really they do.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Don't Try This At Home

This is our new couch:

This is our new couch on drugs, oh wait, it's Harold who is on drugs. But doesn't he look better while doing drugs on the new couch?

Harold has a sinus infection. Ick. He actually blew air into his cheek tissue while trying to unplug his ears. His left cheek and chin are all puffy and when you push in on them they have a quiet popping kind of feel to them. Ultra Ick. Now he is on Augmentin and some kind of decongestant that requires identification and registration at our local pharmacy. Nice.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Happy Birthday to the best Daddy in the whole world.

Dad, I am so grateful that Heavenly Father gave you to me. Thanks for being the still waters, the rock, the steady hand, and the bravest of all men. I hope your birthday is amazing.

All My Love!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Persona (Sung to the tune of My Sharona)

Today in my closet, up on Harold's side of the closet I found an interesting tool called "Persona." I didn't know what it was so took the package down and realized that this little device is an eyebrow shaving/shaper thingy.

I have never had an issue with my eyebrows as they aren't exactly bushy and don't go over the appropriate lines suggested by experts everywhere. Occasionally I find a stray that is either very gray, or very long and I deal with those little rebels on a case-by-case basis.

I did, however, go to a Mary Kay party years and years ago when I was a teenager and the overeager consultant informed me that I was in desperate need of eyebrow help which made me very self conscious and it took me years to realize she was off her rocker.

I do look at the eyebrows of famous women and notice that they, the furry creatures, are perfectly coiffed, shaped, trimmed, and colored. In an effort to emulate these airbrushed women I once had my eyebrows waxed. This was a ridiculous adventure as it didn't make much difference and cost the beneficiary (a family friend) about $10-12.

Today I saw the new instrument and decided to give it a whirl. I read the instructions which seemed simple enough even for me and after I showered I grabbed it and started "shaving." This little thing was SUPER cool. I took off a few strays on both ends of the eyebrows and did a little shaping. I have to admit that there isn't that big of a difference but the tool was really cool and without any official endorsement money coming my way, I highly recommend the product.

Now you might ask what the heck was this little guy doing on Harold's side of the closet? He has major eyebrow issues. He thinks his are too bushy. They aren't, but he thinks they are and I guess that is what matters. Unfortunately this tool is really a shaper, so I would prefer if my dear husband wouldn't use it because he would look completely weird if he did.

Honey, the Persona/Personae, are now mine. If you know what is good for you, don't go looking for it/them.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Homework update

After calling S's teacher the other day to ask about the 25 missing assignments I realized that having S make up the assignments would require some serious work on the teacher's part to gather all the worksheets, etc. that were needed.

I changed my tune and told S that in order to get past this she needed to write 1000 times the words, "I will turn in my school work in 2008." This took her 3 days of fairly constant effort and she finished yesterday in the early evening.

I also informed her that I would be checking online every day and if she got a 0 in anything for not turning it in, she would not be playing until said assignment was accomplished.

I am hoping that this new development will kick her rear into gear, and mine as well.

Today in my Young Adult Lit class my teacher gave me a gift for celebrating my 13th anniversary on the first day of class. He gave me a tub of Almond Roca. What a sweet thing to do! Unfortunately this gift isn't going to jive with my Weight Watchers plans so I gave the tub away to Dane when I saw him on campus.

In other school-related news: I am totally digging all my classes. My two English teachers are really great and I love going to class. My family finance class has been very informative and so far I am getting the math, shocker!

I had to ride the bus home for the first time today. That was interesting! Is it wrong of me to point out that most people riding the bus don't look like business men/women trying to save a buck? I have been on buses before, lots of them, but I was a little nervous this time. I was happy to note that my bus driver had an "11 years accident free" patch on his uniform, so I felt safe with him.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Parent Teacher Conference

I have tried not to write too many disparaging details about my children but today I can't stop myself.

I went to the new age form of parent/teacher conference that we have here in Utah called SEPs (Student Education Plan). These SEPs are a feel good kind of event where the children get to talk about what they do well and what they can improve and set goals that are touchy feely.

I realize that as a parent my responsibility is to support my children through school by being on top of their homework, monthly assignments, etc. I also know that there is a school website where I can access information like "missed assignments."

I have not been accessing this website this year because at our last SEP conference all was well. My children were up on all assignments and doing just fine.

Yesterday's conference was completely different in one way. My children were missing assignments, lots of assignments. M's teacher informed me that he was missing 6 assignments. This was disappointing but manageable. I could also find the assignments online and print them off for him to complete. S's teacher never said word one about missing assignments. The SEP was feel good as usual, with little blips about how S is struggling more due to social pressure to talk during class. I went home and today got online to see what she was missing. 25 assignments. Yep, 25.

Holy Cow!!! Why was this not mentioned???? I know I have my responsibility and I have been slacking off due to my own school requirements. However, doesn't the teacher have a bit of a responsibility to call this to the parent's attention?

I am dumbfounded and currently my children hate me because I have informed them that they are grounded from EVERYTHING until these assignments are finished, regardless of whether or not their teachers will accept the late work.

Weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Monday Night Getaway

Yesterday after my first day back to school on my very last semester at BYU I went to lunch with Harold. It was our 13th Anniv. and we really didn't have any plans so lunch it was. As we were walking into the restaurant Harold informs me that his new boss wanted him to take a day off for the big anniv. so he had Tuesday off. So we look at eachother and say, hey we can do a one-night getaway! So off to Priceline we went and got ourselves a room in SLC at the Hilton.

The room was a nonsmoking room on a smoking floor, but other than that the night was great. I don't know what it is about staying at a hotel that makes getting away so fun, but it was! We had dinner out and slept in and it was great. My parents watched the kiddos. The kids were thrilled to miss a day of school on a whim and to get to spend the day/night with their grandparents. We mosied around SLC until about 3 and then headed off to my parents house to pick up the kids.

I am feeling ultra spoiled now and have to come back to earth because I have to read 100 pages by class time tomorrow and I haven't even started yet. Oops. Not a great start to my new semester. But I really did like my classes yesterday. Both English classes will be challenging with both the amount of reading to do as well as the assignments. I am glad I only have 9 credit hours and not more.

My first book in my Non-Fiction Lit class is Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. It takes place in Moab, Utah where he spends the bulk of his time alone in the wilderness. I have to say I am not exactly looking forward to this book. I am not a Moab fan (sorry) and not a fan of loner books either. I like dialogue and interaction between characters. Man vs. wilderness isn't exactly my cup o' tea. And he isn't even fighting wilderness, he is embracing it and describing every minute detail. ARGH! In the first 20 pages he most interesting part is a couple of paragraphs when he encounters snakes and mice. My thoughts were "KILL THE DANG THINGS, ICK!" But of course he isn't into killing animals and in fact says he would rather kill a man than an animal. Hmmm. See what I mean? This is going to be a very long 300 pages.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love 9 o'clock Church and another list of significance

1. Nap after church (despite the fact that I get ultra groggy when I nap and very, very cranky).
2. Hours and hours to enjoy family time.
3. Earlier dinner.
4. Piano playing stress over at noon.
5. Fast Sunday (see #3).
6. We have been on the 1 o'clock schedule for 5+ years and I'm ready for a change.
7. Due to meetings early in the morning, Harold will be ready for church and we will get there on time. (This is a change from when we had 9 o'clock church before when we would NEVER get there on time.)
8. I know this means one less day to 'sleep in' but I never sleep in anyway.
9. Keeps me on a tight schedule, which I seem to function better with.
10. See #1 and how this might apply to my two children.

Tomorrow is our 13th Anniversary. Lucky 13. Since I am making lists I thought I might add the top 13 reasons why being married to Harold is so much fun.

(The pic is dark, but you get the point.)
1. His infectious laugh.
2. Date Night, he takes me out EVERY week.
3. He knows when I am being lazy and still brings me things like slippers, pillows, blankets, etc. when I am lounging on the couch. (sometimes the kids do this for me too, but I can credit Harold for them as well.)
4. Back rubs.
5. He laughs at my jokes.
6. The look he gets when I have said something kinda irreverent and he thinks its funny but doesn't want to laugh because he is afraid to. (FYI to Harold: That look makes me want to keep on being irreverent.)
7. That similar look he gets on his face when I give him a greeting card with a swear word in it.
8. Harold is easy to please.
9. The patience he shows when I have a whole new stack of books from the library.
10. The way he looks in a suit.
11. The way his hair looks after he showers.
12. His choices in movies and music. (We agree on most of these and its nice.)
13. He loves me despite my size, my faults, my hangups, my quirks, my bad habits.

Happy Anniversary Harold, from one lucky lady.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Year of a Million Dreams

I just might be the happiest girl on earth. After hearing about a radio contest to win a trip for four to Disneyland I started madly entering, time after time after time. My kids and my husband thought I was a little insane and so did the neighbor kids. But I told all of them, how crazy am I going to look when I win this trip? Who is looking crazy now?????

This morning at 7:03 a.m. we got a call from 106.5 KOSY and were informed that I was the big winner for the day. I was overjoyed and jumping all over the place. I looked over at H who was in bed (which was where we both were when the call came, sleeping) and he had a surprised kinda smile on his face. After I got off the phone I went and woke the kiddos to tell them the good news. It's the third day of 2008 and where are we going to go? DISNEYLAND!!!

We really, really wanted to take the kids to D'Land this year but it just wasn't going to happen, again. So when I heard about this contest I was ALL OVER IT like big ears on Mickey Mouse.

Here is how I won: I went onto the radio's website. Then I had to locate the two radio talkshow personalities in the park. I had to click on both maps of D'Land and Cal Adventure. I finally found them in Star Tours (which is ironic because when we went to D'land 9 years ago, Sav went on this ride first and FREAKED OUT and didn't want to go and set the tone for a somewhat downer trip to D'Land). Once I found the two personalities in Star Tours, I click on them, click on enter to win, click on register and I did this as many times as Captain Jack says "Savvy" in Pirates.

Harold told me I would have to win this trip because he isn't "lucky." To which I said, "Hitch your wagon to this train baby, because I am going to win." AND I DID!

Harold also said that his motto for 2008 is Positive thinking in 2008. So, Harold, how is that new motto going for you?

Feel free to call and congratulate me as I want to tell the whole world just how excited we are. My kids are going to ask the bus driver if they can announce the news into the microphone on the bus. I called my mother right after I told the kids because I had to share the news.

We won 4 3-day Park Hopper passes, 2 nights at a D'Land resort hotel and two gas cards worth $106.50.

The winds, they are a'changin!