Friday, June 27, 2008


Sav and I heard about an essay contest in which we can win tickets for 4 to the Miley Cyrus concert here on July 4. We both entered and the website features Sav's essay online, here is the link...

Check it out! (She is listed as Savannah Q. and I am Jeanna N.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Humanities at BYU" Magazine

I knew the day would come, I just knew it. I am officially famous. I have my picture and part of my life story in a magazine with a circulation of thousands. I was waiting for the story to be available online, but I just can't hold it in any more.

I am featured in the Humanities at BYU magazine, Spring 2008 edition, pages 6 and 7. During graduation there was a small piece of paper at the sign in desk where the graduates were asked if they were interested in participating in a survey of graduates to be featured in the magazine. If so, we were to email the editor of the mag. I emailed him, told him why my story might be semi-interesting to the public, and he in turn sent back numerous questions for me to answer, with instructions to be real and funny, if possible. No problem, right? I answered the questions and sent it back. A few days later he emailed me and asked for pictures, saying that he wasn't sure if they would use me or not, but they might use ONLY me. Okay, no prob. I sent the best pics of graduation that I had. The one was me in my ALUM shirt that I posted on this blog, the other was the four of us on graduation night with me in my cap and gown.

Late last week the editor emails me and says the magazine is out and would I like a few extra copies? Sure I say and give him my address.

Then on Sunday a lady in our ward says, "Jeanna, I saw you in the magazine today." Really? I was so excited. I hadn't received my copies yet so she had her daughter run her copy over to me. I am pretty happy about the way it all turned out. I felt like I was pretty eloquent, I mean, when am I NOT eloquent, right? :)

As soon as the mag is published online, I will provide you all with a link. In the meantime I will just bask in my glory, alone, with the thousands of other humanities majors at BYU who receive the mag. I see this as my one final Hurrah! after graduation.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ode To Public Transportation

On Thursday of last week
my children and I rode the bus,
From Payson to Provo.
Number 822 North.

We were the first to board,
followed by a loud lady
who smokes,
and the bus driver herself,
who didn't.

Next we picked up another lady
who announced
she is a former meth addict.
Apparently so is the smoker,
a former meth addict.

The spoke loudly of their triumph
over the evils of drugs.
I was proud of them.
But my children were scared.

See, we had taken the bus
in order to pick up our vehicle
to get to Highland
to do a little housecleaning for my mom.

The bus driver suggested we de-bus
at the location closest to H's work.
It turned out it was the juvenile court/jail.
And my kids were scared, again.

By the time we reached grandma's house
to clean,
the kids were feeling pretty motivated
to earn money

To fix the van.
Which requires $900
to fix the oil pump,
That doesn't include registration fees.

I appreciated the bus that day.
It helped me to see
That my children need to appreciate
Private transportation

And what it costs
To maintain a vehicle
And that private means
Not being scared.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ever Heard of Cha Cha?

I found out about it online, a way to make money by answering questions that people text into ChaCha (242 242).

I logged in and asked to become a guide. Then I had to read some training material and take several tests. The first test was a basics on ChaCha. The next was a typing test, speed and accuracy of course. Once I passed those tests I took the Simulator test where I answered mock questions. It was so fun.

I found out today that I am now an official ChaCha Guide. I make a whopping .20 cents per answer, so the possibilities of becoming rich, or even well off, are nil! But I have been having fun so far.

The questions today so far were: What are the chances that Heath Ledger would win a posthumous Academy Award? Are there any rumors about the Knicks? What should I do? Does the Mennen have free skate day tomorrow in Morristown, NJ?

See, lots of variety, and I learn something new.

The latest thing I learned was that "pomology" is the study of fruit and fruit trees.

Penny Pinching

I started officially pinching pennies quite a while ago. I wanna say it was last year in Jan or Feb, but it could have been the year before. I am entirely unsure at this point. Anyway....

I get 5 copies of the Sunday paper every week so that I have 5 sets of coupons to collate, clip and file. While I was back in school I completely neglected my penny pinching resopnsibilities but I swore to Harold that once I was done with school I would be back on the bandwagon.

I still resisted. I can't help it. I look at those papers every week and just cannot bring myself to do the work. After our D-land trip Harold got the previous four weeks of papers and brought them into the house. Together we spent about 2 hours re-starting or PPing.

Yesterday I spent another hour or so doing the past few weeks worth of papers because Harold had seen the deals and wanted in on the action. We have a website we go to where they pretty much do all the leg work for us. They get all the ads, figure out which coupons go with which ads at which stores and they rate the deal from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the best. It is amazing what adding a sweet sale and a coupon will do. I used to buy off brand cereal for about $2 per box. Then when I started PPIng, I would NEVER pay over $1 for namebrand cereal. NEVER. This time we paid about $1.20 for the namebrand stuff. This wasn't the best deal, but with the current market I was feeling pretty good about it.

Last night we went to Albertson's and to Wal-Mart. We accumulated about $150 in groceries for about $90, and that is my low-ball estimate. If I were to really look at what they charge for namebrand cereal, toothpaste and deodorant that figure would be way higher. The thing is, I never pay full price for that stuff, never, ever, ever. We were able to stock back up on cereal (Yay!), yogurt, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and deodorant, among other things.

Anyone who saw my bathroom cupboard before knows we had a seriously sweet stock of toothpaste and deodorant, shampoo and toothbrushes. After almost 1 full year of not PPing, we had depleted our supply. The good news here is that we actually had about a 1 year supply of these items.

I actually got quite a high out of my shopping trip. Knowing the time we spent with those dang coupons, looking at the website, printing off this week's bargains, marking the list, figuring how many of each, pulling coupons, spending so much time in the aisles to make sure we were getting the best deal possible, and coming away with so many items for so little, I was thrilled.

If you want dollar amounts, we spent an average of $1.30 per item. This includes all our items. If I took out the CPK frozen pizzas we bought for $4 each then the average would go down to less than $1 per item.

The sweet taste of victory, over high prices and raging gas prices. We won, We won!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Before I met Harold I had never been to Wyoming. In my mind I pretty much had no conception of what WY would be like. H invited me to his aunt and uncle's cabin in August of 1994 for a family reunion and off we went. It was at that reunion that I met some of the most down to earth, wonderful people I know.

This past weekend we visited with two of my favorite people: Mike and Kathy. I love M&K because they are so easy going, friendly, and super nice! I always feel at ease with them. We went for a visit because every time we see them we talk about visiting, but we NEVER visit. It was WAY overdue for us to get in the car and make the 2 1/2 hour trip.

We got there around 5 p.m. on Friday and left pretty quickly to go fossil hunting. That was fun. Kathy showed us what to look for and off we went. The funniest thing about the fossil hunt was that literally everything I picked up was pretty much just a rock. I didn't find anything that was remotely a fossil or Indian remains. The kids, however, were quite successful. I'm thinking its because they are closer to the ground than I am? Anyway, Savannah even found part of a broken arrowhead. Its pretty sweet and she was thrilled. Harold even found some sweet rocks with what looks like clam shell imprints on it. I NEVER knew that WY was once under water.

I am not much of an outdoor person, but this weekend was so enjoyable. We didn't have to pay any money to just roam around and enjoy the scenery and fossil hunt.

We also enjoyed a campfire with hot dogs and smores (MMMM)as well as some sloppy joes (I love sloppy joes, and I don't eat them nearly as much as I should, but Kathy had a homemade recipe with stuff I have on hand, so I am going to start homemaking them instead of those dumb packets that I usually buy!)

And for the first time we went to Ft. Bridger with M&K as well as Brent and Collette, et al. Their kids are super cute by the way. I was hoping I could win Bridger over, which I never did, but he looked my way a lot. :) The fort was interesting, and reminded me a lot of the park up in SLC with the old homes of Brigham Young and his family. The weather was cooperative, a little warm and we got a little sun, but nice and breezy. I could live in WY just for the constant breeze. I love wind, I do!

On to personal matters: We are still gearing up for our home visit to get ourselves licensed to foster. We bought first aid kits as well as a fire extinguisher (we have two, but they aren't big enough). I am starting to feel extremely nervous about the prospect. Every time I talk to Harold about it he insists we keep moving forward, so we are. Faith is a difficult thing, isn't it?

Sav gave an excellent lesson last night for FHE on fighting our own Goliaths. Her lesson was taken from the most recent issue of The New Era. We talked about how small David was, and how big Goliath was. We talked about having the Lord on our side and how that makes all the difference. Faith in the Lord. A constant internal struggle, despite evidence that supports faith at every turn.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Assisted Living..... For Mothers.

If you are easily embarrassed by the needs of women, stop reading now.

Introducing a brand new concept in Assisted Living......Assisted Living for Moms! We offer similar services as AL for the aged such as 1. Incontinence Care. 2. Medication Management. 3. Dressing Services. 4. Dining Assistance. and 5. Bathing Assistance. For further information read out booklet below:

1. Incontinence Care: Ladies, do you sometimes run out of pantiliners? If so, can you even function during the day of you don't have one on? You feel you are safe from even the slightest bit of incontinence and then hay fever season hits and darn if it isn't that third and last sneeze that gets you every time? We offer a delivery service every 25 days or so of a new box of pantiliners so that you NEVER run out. We would be happy to increase the absorption rate of your preferred brand of pantiliner as your need increases.

2. Medication Management: Are you on some type of hormone replacement that secures mood stabilization? Do you accidentally forget to take your medication? Do your husband and children sometimes wonder why you cannot stop from crying only to realize it has been at least 4 days since the last pill and another 4 days before that for the one before? If this sounds vaguely familiar to you (and who can blame you if you cannot recall having taken your medication because without estrogen your memory slides further and further down a big black hole). Just for you, we offer a friendly phone call once a day, you choose day or night, to remind you to take your meds. This service also applies to antidepressants, antihypertensives, antihistamine blockers, etc.

3. Dressing Services: We know as busy mothers that you run out of under garments before you run out of days of the week. We will come in and do your laundry once per week to assure you the cleanest, whitest laundry on the planet. We know your family would never dare sort clothes, let alone clean them, dry them, fold them and put them away. Our service takes the guess work out of pulling underwear from your drawer and wondering if you are down to your last pair or not.

4. Dining Assistance: Does planning meals 7 days a week get you down? If so, we can take whatever food you have available in your kitchen and prepare you and your family a gourmet meal. If you don't have enough ingredients we will order your dinner from a local restaurant of your choosing. Stop the daily fuss about dinner and just relax, we'll take care of the rest.

5. Bathing Assistance: Do you remember the last time you shaved your legs? If not, we provide a friendly calendar that you can install in your shower wherein you can mark the days you shaved your pits and your legs. There is also a blank spot wherein you can log other areas that need shaving. We do have a magic wand service that can be utilized once per month where you can wave the wand and you are magically ready for the day....showered, shaved, makeup, teeth brushed, lotion and deodorant applied and hair done. Use of this service more than once per month will cost an additional fee per use.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Full Dis"clothes"ure

I toot my horn a lot. I guess I need constant reassurance. But today I needed to show you what the next project is and why it needs immediate attention:

Pretty bad, right? Well what anyone knows who has visited my home, EVER, is that I almost always have a pile of clothes on top of the futon in my room. I have tried to talk Harold into selling the futon because we could get about $100 off of it, and that would help us get our van fixed, but he insists we have a seating area in our room. As you can see, we never have a seating area in our room, it is always overloaded with clothes that need folding.

And if you look real close at the first picture you will see a small, orange lump at the top of the pile. Who could it be?

Yep, Tiger the cat. I can already hear the groans from the non-pet lovers out there. How SICK that they have an animal on their clean clothes. Seriously? Who cares. It isn't like there are 10 of them and it isn't like he gets hair all over all of our clothes, just a couple of items. And he looks pretty cute lying up there. So phooey on you-ey and you know who you are! Besides, Tiger needs his sleep. He stays out all night long playing with other cute cat friends (who he sometimes brings home and they try to sneak in) and during the day he has to rest up for his next adventure.

I won't be getting to this pile today, unless I find some serious motivation between now and 4:30 when I have to leave for our final foster care class. I guess I have a few hours, maybe I could get on it. And then I will have a place to sit in my room other than the bed, at least for a day or so until more clean clothes arrive from the Laundry Region of Nichols Country.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More Checks On My Checklist

Yesterday I had pretty much done nothing all day. Well, nothing productive anyway, other than buy myself a much-needed bedside lamp. One of my big complaints at night is that Harold insists on NO overhead lighting, ambient light only. And he is the only one in our room with a bedside lamp, so when Harold is done for the night, so am I, like it or not. The other night I was sitting in bed reading, overhead light on, enjoying myself, when suddenly ~SNAP~ lights out. ARGH! So I bought a little $9 lamp for myself. I haven't used it yet, but as I look across the room at my lovely little lamp, I smile.

So, since my to do list hadn't had any attention from me yesterday I decided to tackle a couple of smaller projects that kind of coincide. I cleaned out the trash cupboard/pantry thingy and the laundry room. The home study will require us locking up all cleaning products so I needed to get those organized and in their right places so we could get a lock installed and VOILA all done. I ended up throwing more stuff away and our garbage bin outside is mega full. Harold asked what we were going to do about that and I assured him that on Thursday night, when all was dark and quiet, that we would venture out to have a look-see in all the neighbors bins and we will fill them up with our stuff. Why not?

I threw away a bunch of little clothes that had accumulated in the laundry room but I hung onto two items. One was a little khaki green colored plaid shirt that Macky wore when he was 2 or 3. Another item was a small blue cordoroy vest that he used to wear as well. So cute, I got all teary eyed as I remembered how adorable he used to be when he was so small. I just could not throw them away. I will keep them forever if I must.

Another two checks on my to-do list. Yippee. I wonder what Harold thinks of my projects. He always seems to notice that I have worked hard to get these projects done, but he doesn't say much about my master list that I have posted on the refrigerator. Although he was VERY agreeable to being the one to clean out the garage. Thank goodness for that, spiders are not my friends and I have no desire to have a run-in with a black widow. Go Harold Go!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Home Study

At some point during the foster/adopt process we will be having a home study. You know, the kind where they come to your house, evaluate the safety and appropriateness thereof, and you receive a pass/fail grade. Because I have spent a lot of time ignoring my house due to school (there she goes again, referencing everything to either before or after school) there are a lot of parts of my house that have gone "to pot" (as my mother says).

Yesterday I told Harold that I would be cleaning our bedroom. I like to tell Harold what I want to accomplish in a day because then I feel the pressure to perform. These mind games don't always work, but they do sometimes. I had every intention of cleaning my room but when I was in the kitchen and had to lean over to get something out of the pantry due to the amount of CRAP in there, I decided it was time to do the pantry.

I started piling stuff on top of my countertops and the table and had the kids help. They hauled stuff to the basement (a bunch of old 2 L bottles with water in them), I filled up a couple garbage bags full of old, opened boxes of cereal, chips, and crackers. I realized my canned goods are old because I rarely use them and while cleaning the shelves and reloading, my sweet daughter accidentally dropped a can on my right foot. It hurt. A lot. I had to stand there with my foot in the air, trying desperately to control my rage. Okay, rage is a little strong, but I was in serious pain and I wanted to cry out, but when I am in deep pain (think childbirth) I have to go to a quiet place inside myself to get control. I now have a bruise and swelling on the top of my foot. This in addition to the healing blistered areas of my left foot from my new walking shoes, and the chronic pain I have in my right foot which is either some sort of stress fracture or my arch is falling. By the way, how do you know if your arch is falling/has fallen? This is a weird concept, but the chronic pain is starting to get to me.

We finished up the pantry and I stood back and felt pretty good about my project for the day. I have a list of rooms/places that need my attention before I welcome anyone in my home to critique it: Laundry room, cleaning supply closet, the van, the garage, the kid's bathroom closet, the kitchen cupboards. Now I have three items checked off: My closet, Sav's room and the pantry. Not too shabby.

Now I would like to discuss foster care/adoption. Why is it that when one starts to consider fostering/adoption one starts to hear all manner of horror stories? What about when I got pregnant? Did anyone feel the need to tell me that my precious child might turn on me? That she might one day leave the faith that I hold so dear? That she could very well become addicted to drugs and live on the streets? Or she might never be able to attach to me as her mother or she might become anorexic only after hoarding food? Or my personal "positive" story about the woman who adopted a sibling set of five of which two were killed, but the mom only turned to alcohol after the second death.

Okay, obviously no one warned me like that about my biological children. Then why do people feel the need to tell me all manner of nastiness about fostering children?

Harold and I are learning all we can about this process. We have no desire to go into this blind or stupid. We want to hear the worst case scenario. We have even had people tell us that we were the perfect couple for this kind of job because we are so "good," that we would be "perfect" for foster care because we are so "amazing." How about, "You are my hero for doing this!" I DO NOT want to be anyone's hero. We are going into this for purely selfish reasons. We want to have a larger family, we always have. Apparently we were not to have more than 2 biological children. And this is the only financial options we have for adoption. We may never even get a placement that suits both us and the child/ren.

And, I do NOT want to keep hearing that nothing good can come of this. I have to believe in my faith and I have to believe that no matter the outcome in this life, that if we do our best at what our Heavenly Father wants us to do, that these children will have a chance at eternal happiness and that we were a part of that process.