Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween 2008

Tomorrow will be a busy day. What with work, the elementary school having parade which I must attend, and other festivities thrown in, tomorrow will be too busy for me to post anything. Here are the pics from our little goblins, our FHE pumpkin carving efforts, and the first day of school. (I know that is a random addition, but I forgot, so here they are!)

This is the boy. Handsome devil!

This is my junior high girl. What a beauty!

Sav has to dress up for a drama production she is in this year called "Scream III"

This is her scary face.

This is the boy who wants to enlist in the Army. I'm pretty sure I'll be discouraging that. But, if he does enlist, I've got my vote for Marines, they have a dang nice uniform.

Ignore the "Old Navy" print. He will have a jacket to wear for the actual event. This is him dressing up for a cub scout activity.

Mackson picked this one, Harold ended up carving it.

Sav decided to do "Wicked" this year. She found a pic online, had Harold blow it up, and designed the carving herself. I'm sorry this pic isn't the best, but you get the idea. We have an artiste on our hands!

When Sav saw this design she said, "Who would want to carve something so boring." Little did she know I had already decided this would be mine. I wanted to carve something, but I just wasn't up for a ton of effort this year, so this is my emoticon pumpkin giving all my readers a Wink!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Aftermath

My report on Harold's 39th birthday is as follows:

He woke up, went to a church meeting and came home to find me sick as a dog in the bathroom. I had to play the piano for the primary program. I thought I was sick because I had eaten too much on Saturday night, but after the program I was miraculously better, so the real stomach bug was my nerves. Harold was ultra supportive and gave me lots of reassurance. It didn't help, but he was kind enough to give it.

After church we came home and I proceeded to make his requested meal. Simple really: Hamburgers and potato salad. He also requested white cake, white frosting w/ coconut.

I had forgotten to buy a cake mix, and that was okay with me because I wanted to have a cake that would hold up a little better under the frosting and so I made a homemade white cake. The batter was beautiful and fluffy and I had high hopes. I also made the frosting from a recipe that a local wedding cake designer gave me.

The cake report: Icky. I didn't like any of it. Poor Harold. He said it was "okay." Which in translation meant, It could have been better. And that is the truth, I am not just being hard on myself. After the cake last night I decided cake isn't my favorite dessert any more. I prefer a fancy dessert from a good bakery, like a fruit tart.

The presents: Sav burned H. a CD from the musical Wicked. She got the idea by herself, and despite the fact that the CD is illegal, she was being thoughtful and sweet and H. loved the gift. Mackson got H. a magazine called Airways, about airplanes. He loves it. I got him a 6-month subscription to the same magazine. And H. got a sweet little picture from his mother of H. when he was 8 years old and played Tommy in the play Aurelia. The picture is with the playwright and H. is looking young and sweet. He brought the pic into work to display on his desk. H. also got a birthday check from his in-laws.

I think his birthday went well. Oh, I forgot to say that I used 93/7 hamburger for his meal and there wasn't nearly enough fat to make a tasty burger. Bummer.

This is my truthful account. I hope Harold had a good day because he deserves the very best from me and his children. He is a wonderful husband, and excellent father, and a most amazing man. I love you Harold!!! Happy Birthday plus one.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Yesterday I got last-minute permission to escape the dulldrums of being at home and took off with a friend to a few stores and the mall. I can't say exactly where we went due a certain someone's birthday coming up.

We had such a good time. Amazing what 2-1/2 hours away from home will do for a girl! We went to a few stores that stock "women's" clothing and headed straight for the clearance racks. That is what I do, I head straight for the clearance racks no matter where I shop, from Wal-Mart to Dillard's to Macy's, etc.

We were at Macy's, rifling through the racks, laughing and cracking jokes when my friend lifts up a jean skirt and says, "I look at this skirt and it seems so big that it could circulate the earths atmosphere at least twice and yet when I see the tag I realize it isn't big enough to circulate my butt."

I started laughing so hard I had to bend over. Then the saleslady walks on by and comments on us having a good time, to which my friend says, "We're high on freedom."

Again, with the bent over laughter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

(Birthday) Suggestion Box

As many of you know, October is my favorite month of the year. The weather is great, the pumpkins (I've already gone into that), the colors (I believe I dedicated an entire post to the color red) and I do love orange, and it's Harold's and my birthday month.

Harold's birthday is this Sunday. He is turning 39, can you believe how old he is? Wait, I'm turning 39, too! Crud.

Here is my problem: Money is tight. We like to do a "get away" around this time of year and we were researching different places and different deals and came up with the best deal we could find, Chez Johnson. That's right, my parents are going out of town on October 31 and will be gone until November 2. Perfect timing!

Chez Johnson has 3 qualities that we like in a getaway:
1. Nice size TV.
2. Nice tub.
3. It isn't OUR house.

Of course the best quality is #4: It doesn't cost us a dime!

The getaway is the big plan for the birthdays, however, I feel that the kids should be involved in the celebration so I like to have a little cake and a couple of small gifts.

I turn to Harold and tell him about my plan and he agrees. Then I ask him what smallish gifts he would like. His response: Nothing. Come on, there has to be something that you would want, that you wouldn't necessarily buy for yourself. Harold: Nope, nothing. Really? Because I like getting lotion this time of year to gear up for the dry weather, or a great pair of slippers for around the house during the winter months. There has to be something. Harold: Nope, nothing.

ARGH! A little help would be nice, a little hint.

Are all men like this? Do they REALLY not care about gifts like women do? This is a hard concept for me because I adore gifts. I don't need pricey, large, out of control gifts. I like thoughtful gifts, a remembrance really.

One of the best gifts Harold gave me was a small frame with 3 small old-fashioned looking keys inside. With the gift came a letter about how I as his wife and the mother of his children hold the keys to all their hearts. Now that gift was thoughtful and beautiful and cost very little money. It was the time and consideration that made the gift so beautiful.

I need help here. I might have an idea for a gift after all, but all gift suggestions will be given equal consideration.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Journal Jar

Years ago at a RS meeting we were handed a Mason jar and a journal. Inside the jar are little strips of paper with ideas or suggestions on what to write about in your journal. I have decided to adapt my journal jar to this blog. I will pull a question out every now and then and address the subject here on my blog. This way I can write down what I want my children to know in the future, give my reading audience a further glimpse into my life and I get to feel good about keeping a "journal."

Today's question: Describe your yard as a child. Did you help with yard work?

When I was about 7 years old my family moved to Hathaway Court in San Jose, CA. The subdivision was new and our lot was located at the end of the court, creating a bit of an odd shaped, small front yard. Our backyard was a nice size and at the age of 7 I was pretty sure we owned half of Africa. I have no idea how long it took my parents to get the back yard "done." But in those early years the weeds grew up to my waist and I would go out in the back yard and play explorer. I don't remember who I played this with, probably other siblings, but I can't remember. I would hack my way through the bush and find amongst other things a metal swing set. I don't know if we got that set new or used, but I know we brought it over from my parents first house on Sandpoint Drive in SJ, CA. The slide was tilted, the swings were a bit wonky and there was a little carriage where you and a friend could sit and face each other and rock back and forth. When I was a kid I didn't care that the swing set was metal or wonky. I just loved that thing.

My brothers got the brunt, if not all, of the yard work, I'm not sure why the girls weren't required to help out there, because the boys were required to do housework as well. Well, I'm not complaining. Two out of three of my brothers are pretty allergic to grass, so you can imagine what they must have looked like while they were mowing. In a word: Miserable.

Every spring my parents would have a yard work day, or weekend, depending. The kids would have a day or two off school and my parents would promise a fun family adventure if we spent the first half day or first day of the two-day break cleaning up the yard. I always escaped this, too. They started this when I was in my mid teens and by then I had a job. Oops, sorry, gotta work!

Our front yard was really a postage stamp. For years we had an olive tree out front. I liked that tree, but my mother hated it. Olives, olives everywhere. Purple juice squirting underneath the shoe of a hulking teenager, being tracked into the house. Not good. Eventually my parents cut that down. I missed that tree.

My parents were pretty meticulous about their yard. It was always in good repair and well manicured. In the later years of owning that house, after Matt moved out, my parents hired a gardener. For a while there was a masculine woman named Tiger, I think, working on the yard. That provided some fun discussions! (And no, my cat is NOT named after the gardener!)

Now Harold is my gardener. He loves to work out in our yard. We have spent very little money on our landscaping, but Harold has done his very best and sometimes our yard looks fantastic, other times he has to dump the oil from the lawnmower somewhere! and we end up with a patch of dead grass here or there.

I am so allergic to grass that it is hard for me to enjoy the outdoors. In my own personal heaven I'll get a nice swing and Harold and I will enjoy many a sunset allergy-free.

Friday, October 10, 2008

You're Hired!

Now that it's official at work, I can post about it on my blog. I got the job I interviewed for on Monday. I am now a QA/training specialist for Intermountain Healthcare. I have quite a job description which varies from reading LOTS of medical reports and assessing them for errors, tending to the "pend" file, the virtual computer file that holds jobs that haven't been properly matched with patient encounters, and training MTs (medical transcriptionists) on QA, style, etc.

I have a meeting I will attend once a week up in SLC, which is a bit of a commute, but anyone who has talked to me lately knows how BADLY I want to get out of my basement and be around people! I crave it, and I couldn't be happier about this new position that allows me to interact with the wonderful people in my department more regularly and face to face instead of with emails and IMs.

Of course, now that you all know that my job description involves making sure the documents we process are QUALITY documents, you all might start reading my blog posts with a fine-toothed comb. Don't. My blog is my world and I get to create my own style and my own spelling errors, punctuation missteps, and editorial oversights.

I'm so excited and want to thank everyone who wished me well!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Maybe I shouldn't have harassed the UofU staff with my BYU shirt after all. While convalescing at our home this weekend, my friend who had her gallbladder removed got suddenly and violently ill. Throwing up, super bad pain. We had to drive clear up to the U to get her to the ER (darn insurance!!!) Turns out the surgeon missed a gallstone. What? And I specifically asked him if he retrieved ALL the stones. I did. Here is how it went:

Surgeon: The operation took a little longer than normal. She had some stones in her common bile duct and the new piece of equipment we have to retrieve the stone wasn't sterile. We had to wait for it to be sterile, then got the stones out of the bile duct.

Me: Ok. Did you get ALL the stones?

Surgeon: Yes, we did.

Wrong Again!! She had to have an ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) yesterday. Basically, they put a tube down your throat, find the stone, and extract it.

Poor thing! On Saturday, we waited in the ER (she was pretty doped up) for 6 hours waiting for a CT scan. Then they finally tell us that it didn't matter what the CT said, the blood work showed elevated liver enzymes and bilirubin, which is suspicious for retained stone, so they were going to admit her.

You couldn't tell us that hours ago? They could have admitted her and I could have gone home.

As it turns out, I'm a pretty selfish person and sitting on a folding chair in the ER wasn't my idea of a good time. I wanted to go home so bad. We did, however, watch several fun shows on HGTV. I'm loving that station! I've heard about it, but never watched anything on it before. We also watched this reality show about girls trying out for the DCC, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. Craziness! Tight abs, tight bods, lots of blonde hair, but not exclusively blonde. Not my life, will never be my life, and I'm okay with that.

Yesterday: I interviewed for a new job within my department at work. The job is part of a new team wherein we do quality assurance for the department. This means reading through medical reports and assuring there are no typos, missed words, misspelled words, etc. This new job would put my degree to good use, and my natural abilities! :) And, I wouldn't have to type as much. Now that sounds good!

Friday, October 3, 2008

BYU v. U of U

Yesterday I accompanied a friend to "the U." She had to undergo surgery and I was her point of contact, shoulder to cry on, general friend indeed. I had to stay overnight Wednesday at her house because her check in time was 6 a.m. at the U. While packing for my little overnighter (which DOES NOT count as a girl's night by the way...Harold!) I opened my drawer and the first t-shirt I saw was my ALUM '08 shirt from BYU. I like that shirt, as you all know, and went to pack it and realized maybe that wasn't such a hot idea. I didn't want to be completely obnoxious by wearing my BYU shirt to the U. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized, "Hey, I AM that obnoxious." Actually, there is some guy who I think lives in the townhomes across from us who has a big ole' white truck with red streaks, two U flags flying from his front windows and he goes around wearing practially ONLY U of U gear. I find that guy obnoxious, so my little payback was to wear my BYU shirt up to the U.

When I arrived at her home on Wednesday night I told my friend about my plan. She was a tad worried that maybe she wouldn't get very good care if I was running around in my navy in-your-face BYU gear while at the U, but I couldn't resist, and I almost had her talked into wearing her bright pink shirt that also bears the BYU emblem, but no, she wanted good care. I had actually packed a couple of backup shirts, because I am that paranoid and that weird about packing for a 1-night stay. But, sure enough, after only 3ish hours of sleep, I made the decision to go ahead with my true-blue-BYU plan.

I only got one comment. Only one. But I did get a lot of what I call "looks." True dat. There were people staring at my chest....and I like to think it was because of the slogan thereon.

My friend's nurse made a comment about me graduating from BYU and I confirmed that I had, indeed, finally, graduated. She told me to gear up for more comments (which I didn't get) and that she was, indeed, a fellow BYU fan. ROCK ON U of U SISTA!!! Ha!! See, even the good nurse at the U has seen the light and come to the bright side.

Rise and SHOUT the Cougars were out!!!