Friday, December 28, 2007

Little Update

I haven't had a chance to write very much this week. We had a very nice quiet Christmas. I have some pictures to post, but they are in Las Vegas on my computer and I am in Spanish Fork, so I can't post them right now. We drove up to Utah, yesterday. Happily it was a very quiet uneventful trip. It is kind of disconcerting to watch the temperature drop as shown on our car thermostat. When we left Vegas it was 47 degrees. At some point past Cedar City it was -12. Marion kept saying "Are you sure you want to go where it is going to be so much colder." The answer is "No", but sometimes we make sacrifices for family we love. Here is Spanish Fork it is about 20 during the day and it was 5 when we pulled into town last night. We will be here for several days so that Marion can help my brother with some electrical work in his basement.
Last Sunday, Diana threw up for about the second time in her life. I heard her running to bathroom and went to check on her. Bad news, good news--she didn't make it to the toilet, but the boys had left all their towels on the floor after showering, so clean up was a breeze. As I was helping Diana back to bed, she said me "Boy I sure am lucky I live right next to the bathroom," She didn't feel well for the rest of the day, but then she woke up on Monday and informed me that she felt better and wasn't sick any more. Knock on wood, none of the rest of us have gotten sick, yet anyways. I am sure now that we are on a trip, it will start. Isn't that the way it always works.
On another topic, I was noticing that I have 37 posts this month. Go me!! So this will be 38, maybe I can post twice more and make it to 40. That would be very exciting.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Diana's Christmas Concert

Last Wednesday was Diana's Christmas Program at school. They did a play based on the Nutcracker Ballet music. She has been learning this music for several months and was very excited to finally be able to perform. The choir director sent home a note stating that all the singers needed to be in concert black. Diana did not have a black dress or even shirt and pants. Thank goodness as I was running through Target buying last minute presents, I found this adorable dress. It was even on clearance. You gotta love that. So here is her pose before she went to school. Somehow we were actually awake early enough that morning for me to fix Diana's hair. Here is a shot of it
from the back. I was very happy with the way it turned out. Hooray, for lots of hairspray. Here is a picture of Diana with her choir teacher Miss Friend. Aren't they both just a picture of cuteness. All the parents think Miss Friend looks like she might be 12 if you stretch her age. Actually she is closer to 30. Her personality matches her name and all the kids just love her. The kids performed the show once at 10:00 for the lower grades. Then again at 2:00 for the upper grades. And then finally at 6:00 that night for all the parents. I went to the 2:00 and 6:00 show. I took some video at both. Because I was not quite happy with how the earlier video turned out, I tried again at the night show. Diana decided that she wanted to take her hair down for the night show. At the first show, I accidentally hit some button that turned my video black and white, so I couldn't use that. Also I held the camera sideways and that can not be changed when you edit it. What a relief that I had two chances to get good footage. I have edited them both together so you will see her hair will change. Once again I have tried to make it as short as possible. Sadly it is still 5 minutes long. Perhaps no one but the grandmas will be glad to see so much of it. I loved some of the faces she made. All in all it was a huge success.

Lamentations of Laundry

Today I am going through the normal day after Christmas stuff. Trying to dig myself out from my house that is trying to eat me alive. I wasn't very good yesterday at taking trash out so there is quite a lot of garbage trying to take over my house. Think "Sylvia Stout" a la Shel Silverstien, you know that girl who wouldn't take the garbage out. So after getting some of that out of the way, I am working on the laundry. We are supposed to be driving to Utah tomorrow and so it might be nice to have clean clothes to pack in our suitcases. Normally I am very competent at doing laundry, but something seems to be amiss in my brain today. First I went to change the loads, and realized that I had not turned the dryer on, because I was talking on the phone. Apparently I cannot talk and turn on the dryer at the same time. Rats. So I turned the dryer on and went to do something else. Later I returned to find that the task was completed. So I put the clean clothes in a basket and put the wet clothes in the dryer. Then I reloaded the washer. It was at this point that I looked for my nice dry, clean clothes so that I could fold them. They were nowhere to be found. I accused Jared of trying to bug me by moving them. He claimed his innocence. After a few minutes of thinking that I was going crazy, I realized that I had put the clean clothes back into the washer. Aye Ca rumba! So maybe we will not be taking any clean clothes with us after all. Or maybe the second time will be the charm. Wish me luck. Why didn't Santa bring me a new brain for Christmas?

Monday, December 24, 2007

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

life's blessings gave to me a TWELVE PIECE NATIVITY SET for REMEMBERING. Of course the twelfth day has to be about the best reason for the season, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There are many nativities around my house, but I chose this one for today. It is special to me because Marion and I painted it back when we were at BYU and ceramics was one of our hobbies. I love the sweet faces on these figurines. If you look closely you will see some cracks in Mary. One year she was a fatality in a Christmas morning nerf gun fight. Marion was able to glue her back together pretty well. At first I was very upset about this, but really, what is more important a thing or the fact that the boys were having fun together. Isn't that what Christmas should be about anyway? I remember another year when Jared was about 4. Every time he would go by the nativity, he would rearrange everything so that everything was in a circle around baby Jesus. Every time I went past, I would put them back in the "proper" way so that it would look nice and everyone could see the front of the figurines. After doing this for about the hundredth time, I realized that perhaps Jared's childlike perspective was better than mine. Surely it was most important to have the Savior in the center of everything, and not just have it arranged the way it looked the best to the world. How grateful I am to know that my Saviour was born on this earth, that he died for me and that he knows and loves me. I hope all of you have the very Merriest Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas...

life’s blessings gave to me ELEVEN GAMES A WINNING. WHOO HOO!!! GO COUGARS!!!!!!! Ok, when I first planned this whole 12 days of Christmas thing, I said to myself that of course number eleven would be the BYU football team. There seemed to be no question that my Cougars would win their bowl game and have eleven wins at the end of the season. Well, any of you who watched the game last night, know that I came so close to being foiled in my plans. BYU barely won the game when UCLA’s last second field goal was blocked. A friend called me to say that I must be living right, and I have to say that it is probably the whole BYU team that is living right. After the game I felt as if I could use some oxygen or a sedative. Not since the Utah game have my nerves been so stressed out. I did not attend the game in person. If I had really wanted to go, I could have driven down to the stadium and found some tickets at the gate. The cold is one big reason I chose not to go, but I was also very tired and enjoyed just watching at home in my PJ's.
However, I did attend the fireside on Friday night. And again it was one of the best things I have ever been too. The fireside was awesome, Brian Kiehl, Jeff Allen, Holly Mendenhall, and then the Coach spoke. The spirit was very strong and I loved being there. Then the best part was after the fireside. I had put all my pictures from October in a scrapbook. With my scrapbook and pen in hand, I managed to run around and get almost everyone whose picture I had taken, to sign my book. On the right is the picture of "Me and the Guys". On the left are those seven players signatures. I am sure that I have my "crazy, fanatical, fan" award all wrapped up. As I went up to each of the guys that stood with me in that picture, I asked if they might remember me. It was pretty humorous to me, that each one did remember me. I guess that there are not that many psycho stalker ladies going around asking for pictures with the guys. Then I had pictures of many of the players giving high fives at the end of the game. I got those autographed as well. On the right is Manase Tonga and Brian Kiehl. So even though I didn't get to go to the games, the fireside was just as good if not better than the game to me. Thanks Cougs, for the early Christmas present. I don't need anything else.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

On the Tenth Day of Christmas....

life's blessings brought to me a TEN PIECE SNOWMAN TEA SET. I chose this because well frankly, I am running out of ideas. And I do absolutely love this little tea set. One year I bought it at JoAnn's in the after Christmas deal. It seems like such a hard time of year to shop. There are such great deals that I am dying to take advantage of, but I am always out of money by the time the day after Christmas comes around. So I remember deliberating over this purchase, but in the end I gave in to the fact that I just loved it too much to pass it up. I especially love the two little spoons that go in the cups. Something about their faces reminds me of cats. :) Then there is the cute little
tea pot. There must be a part of me that still has not grown up and wants to play tea party. Some of you may be wondering how this is ten pieces. There is one platter, one creamer, two cups, two spoons, one teapot with lid, and one sugar bowl with lid. Every year when I get this out it brings a smile to my face. I think it is one of my favorite decorations. Diana also has a fascination with it. In past years I have worried when she has actually used it for her tea parties. Selfishly I haven't wanted to share. But it has always survived unharmed, and I should really let her enjoy it. That way she will always have fond memories of it as well as me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

On the Ninth Day of Christmas.....

life's blessing gave to me NINE DELICIOUS DELICACIES. Today I decided to pay tribute to my favorite holiday goodies. These are things that I love to eat during the Holidays. Each one brings a special memory and you always know that it is Christmas when one of these treats are being served. So here they are in no special order. I don't have time to post the recipes right now, but if anyone wants one, I would gladly share. Just let me know.
1. Divinity- This is a yummy sugar confection that tastes like fluffy heaven. I have even managed to become proficient at making the stuff. Usually if I do not go home, I try to ship some to Seattle. Not this year, sorry guys.
2. Peanut Brittle - I pretty much adore the peanut in any form. Toffee is also one of my favorites, hence peanut brittle is an awesome mix of two of my favorite things. This is another candy I enjoy making. Another great toffee thing is almond roca. I am lucky to have a sister who makes this every year and shares.
3. Artichoke Dip - Artichoke hearts, cheese, and garlic...need I say more. This is a mouthwatering recipe that I found in the Desseret News and it is scrumptious. One great thing about this is nobody else in my family likes it. This means I get to eat it all by myself. I love this stuff so much I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never be tired of it.
4. Reese's Peanut butter cup Cookies- These are the most addictive, moreish kind of cookie, I think I have ever had. I got this recipe from a cookie exchange when I first moved to Vegas. As long as you like peanut butter, you will love this cookie baked in a mini muffin tin with a peanut butter cup pressed down in it once it is done cooking.
5. Brie cheese & French bread - My parents lived in France before I was born and learned to love bread and cheese. This was always part of our Christmas day smorgasbord. I love this and eat it all through the year, not just at Christmas. The luscious, soft cheese spread on the crusty bread, yummy!
6. Sugar Cookies - Of course no Christmas season would be complete without sugar cookies. Sometimes I run out of energy for this project, but I remember always doing it as a child. My recipe has lemon extract in it and I find that to be quite enjoyable.
7. Spinach Dip - I first tasted this recipe at a New Year's eve party in Riverside. Years later, I am so glad that I asked for this recipe. I would have to say that I make this more often than about anything. It is so good and great for baby showers. It is so simple, I will put this one on here: 1 box frozen spinach thawed and drained, 1 can water chestnuts chopped, 1 box Knorr leek soup mix, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup mayonnaise. Mix all together and serve on sourdough bread cubes or crackers.
8. Honey Candy - This is something my Grandma Nelson would always make for us when I was growing up. The other day Diana was looking through my recipe box and pulled this one out. I do not remember ever making it. Just thinking of it, brought back fond memories of pulling the candy once it was cooked. My Grandma Tanner would always send these special shaped suckers to us in her package. I have good memories of those as well.
9. Cinnamon Rolls - This recipe is from my Aunt Shauna. They are known as her famous cinnamon rolls because they are so delightful. It is interesting because they have mashed potatoes in the dough. How exquisite to have tempting sweets to eat on Christmas morning.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On the Eighth Day of Christmas...

Life's blessings brought to me EIGHT PLACE SETTINGS for DINING. One of the sure ways to know that Christmas is coming is to look in my china cabinet and see my Christmas china staring back at you. For several years I had looked longingly at Christmas china sets, but never felt justified in buying one. In our ward in Upland, they had a tradition of having a formal Christmas dinner/dance. People were asked to host a table and bring their nice dishes from home. It was quite a big production. The first few years we just went and sat at someone else's table. Eventually we were asked to host a table and hence the need for Christmas china. I have to admit to being secretly thrilled that it was necessary to make this purchase. At the time, we thought we would be doing this for years and years. As one of life's ironies, we were living in Las Vegas by the next Christmastime. This does not stop me from enjoying my the china with my own family. Perhaps it will be a memory for them when they grow up. Sometimes we use it more than just for Christmas, but some years it only gets used once. I do like the way it looks just sitting in the china cabinet.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh, Boy, Another Christmas Concert

Last night was Jared's Orchestra concert. It went really well, although I was hoping it would be a bit shorter so I could get to young women's. What is it with these music teachers that go on and on. I think she talked longer than the kids played. You know blah, blah, blah, the kids all worked so hard, blah, blah, blah, thanks to everyone who made this possible. Of interest to some would be the fact that the kid sitting on Jared's left is also named Jared. He is in our ward. You will see him in the video. Is it merely a coincidence that two kids named Jared both picked to play the cello? I wonder. Jared makes quite a few of his famous, unique faces during the video. Before the concert, I tried several times to get a still shot of him. Shockingly, he refused to cooperate, so I have about 10 shots of his blurry head. Finally he gave me this delightful pose. Thanks, Jared for not making this face during the family photo shoot. In the video, Jared does a great time of showing his nervous face before he has to start playing. I found this funny so I left it in the movie. Hope you enjoy. All kidding aside, good job, Jared. You are really sounding good. He is even going to play with some other kids in our ward in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Keep up the good work.

On the Seventh Day of Christmas...

life's blessings gave to me SEVEN SEATS OF FRIENDSHIPPING. My patio furniture is one of my favorite things. One morning a week, my patio is open to anyone in the ward who wants to come over and play and visit. Mostly people with toddlers come. The kids love the swings and the trampoline. The grown ups enjoy a chance to friendship each other and relax in my comfy chairs. When I had small children, I benefited from such kindness shown me by older sisters in my ward. Now I figure it is my turn to give back what I once received. And truly, I benefit as much if not more from these kind, fun sisters who visit my home each week.
I love how attractive this furniture looks when I look out of my kitchen window. It had been a dream of mine for years to have a covered patio where such furniture could live. The patio is one of the things I loved about this house when we first looked at it. The patio sat empty until one day I followed a prompting to stop in at Goodwill. When I walked into the store they were just putting all this furniture out on their floor to sell. It was brand new, the cushions were still in the plastic. I happily bought all of it, paying about 25% of what I would have paid at Target. You gotta love tithing blessings. Surely I am truly blessed to have such a place for friendships to be strengthened.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On the Sixth Day of Christmas...

life's blessings gave to me SIX ORNAMENTS WITH MEANING. For today, I have chosen some of my favorite Christmas ornaments that hang on my tree each year. First, I chose one of my oldest ornaments, one that we got when we got married. I like this one because of its cameo nature. On the back it says "Each moment spent together is a special celebration."
Second is this cute gingerbread ornament. This was made by a dear friend of mine from when we were in graduate school. Every year when I put this on the tree, I remember the great times and friends we had during that time in our life. There are days when I miss those simpler times.

Third is this precious ornament from Trent's kindergarten teacher. The picture on this ornament is one of my all time favorites of Trent. He is smiling and is just too cute. Is there anything cuter than a little kindergartner? I want to just eat him up! It is fun to remember how cute teenagers used to be and this can be a useful coping tool at times. :)

Fourth is an ornament with Jared's picture. This was made at the mommy and me preschool that we attended. Again I love this delightful picture of such a sweet brown eyed boy. Each week we spent 12 hours at this preschool and made lots of new friends.
Fifth is this adorable ornament with Diana's picture that she made in nursery. What can I say! There really are not words to express how much I adore this child. She is such a joy to me even though she tries my patience at times. What a blessing to have such a daughter!
Lastly, I chose this ornament I bought two years ago. It is a Mary Englebreit ornament. I love anything she does and bought it just because it had her name on it. I love her pictures and the cute sayings she puts together with them. Every year I always hope that one of her calendars will be under the tree for me. Each year, I love seeing these ornaments who feel like old, treasured, friends.

Monday, December 17, 2007

On the Fifth Day of Christmas...

life's blessings brought to me FIVE FINE FACES. By now most of you should have received my Christmas card. Hence I will go ahead and post a copy of it here.
I think that Trent at least looks pleasant, which is the best I can hope for at this point. Jared did smile because he was bribed with Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I have been receiving cards from many friends and their cards are so cute with matching clothes and exotic scenery in the background. Of course most of those are from people with small children who still wear what you ask them to wear. I am very grateful for each of these faces and the love and joy they bring to my life.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

life's blessings gave to me FOUR DRIVING WHEELS. I am especially grateful for the wheels on my car. How wonderful to have a car to get you where you need to go. And a added bonus is that it is an automatic instead of a standard. Another four wheels I am grateful for are the ones on Trent's car. It has really lightened my load of driving, with him being able to take himself where he needs to be. How glorious to have less things on my list of places to go. And finally, I am appreciative of the four wheels on the school bus, Jared takes to school. Even though I only had to drive once every five weeks last year, never having to drive is less isn't it. So I celebrate the fact that all of these wheels have made my life better and easier.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sticky Surprise

Last night I was cleaning under the couch in my family room. I realized that this does not happen as often as it should. When I pushed the couch back I found a gooey, sticky surprise. Not a good sticky surprise like carmel popcorn or crispex mix, no this was a bad sticky surprise called a melted, hardened Popsicle. Since I highly doubt that the Popsicle walked out of my freezer and went under my couch to melt into a syrupy blob, my guess would be that someone put it there. My money is on Diana. She is always saving food to eat later. I don't know why? Perhaps she'll die. Who knew laminate flooring would turn out to be a lifesaving device. But tonight it did just that. Hurray for being able to mop up the sticky mess.

On the Third Day of Christmas....

life's blessings/cursings brought to me THREE FRENCH CATS A VISITING. Ok well they might not be french, but yesterday I wished that I had said two turtle gloves so I am making up for it today. Oh well. The three cats seemed to have taken up residence in my back yard due to the fact that I don't have a dog. No I don't think I will get a dog just to get rid of the cats, that seems silly to me. Here is a picture of two of the cats playing with Diana's jump rope. I happened to look out in my back yard and notice that each one had a hold of one end of the rope. They were pulling it back and forth. The picture does not really depict how funny this looked. Last night there was a terrible howling noise in my back yard. When I checked it out, I scared two cats away. Some of my friends were talking about scheduling a cat catching activity for Young Women's. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

On the Second Day of Christmas...

life's blessings brought to me TWO GLOVES. Notice a "warm" theme happening here? These gloves are also precious to me because they live in the pockets of my wonderful coat. That means that they are always there when I go to get them. Also I love that they have fur cuffs like my coat. (Very fashionable, although they are fake fur and no animal had to give its life for my vanity.) Nothing cheers you up like warm hands on a cold day. Another great thing about them is that they can be shared. Sometimes at church I am sitting next to someone who also is cold like me. Unlike me, they have not come prepared for such coldness. So this is where I can say, "Here wear my gloves just for this class". I can give them my gloves that are already warmed up by me. It never fails that the person will say to me when they give the gloves back ,that they are surprised how much warm hands helped to warm the rest of their person. I love this ability to share warmth. And who knows maybe I have made a "warmth" convert who will bring their own gloves next week. Sometimes I say to people "Follow me, and I will teach you to walk in my ways of warmth".

Hit and Run

Yesterday morning when I took Diana to school, this is what I saw as I backed out of my driveway. This is shocking because the night before there was a perfectly good wall where there now is this mess. I do not even know how this happened. Who hits a wall and then just drives away? It is not anyone of the cars in my family, because none of our cars are crunched in the way a meeting with this wall would make happen. One possibility is the garbage truck, because it was garbage day. Would they just leave and not do anything about it? Perhaps. Another possibility is my neighbor, but his car seems unscathed as well. Then of course maybe it was some random maniac driving through the streets. It seems unlikely because we live on a cul-De-sac not a through street. So now we are left with a bit of a hole in our wall. Bummer.

Christmas Orchestra Concert

Trent had his concert last night. He looked especially handsome in his Tux that I did manage to take to the cleaners. Yay me. He is in three different orchestras this year. The chamber orchestra is smaller, only about 15 kids. Next, is the advanced orchestra which has about 30 or 40 kids in it and is the highest level of orchestra. This year for the first time, his high school is having a symphony, which is strings, percussion, and wind instruments. Trent is in that as well. He really loves it.

I was excited because for the first time since he has been in High School, I managed to get some video of his concert with my new digital camera. It is not quite as good as a video camera would be, but it is better than nothing and you can get the idea. Also I am using my new skills as a movie producer. This is a very new exciting thing I have discovered on my computer called Windows Movie Maker. I hope this video is not too long. I tried to cut it down, but it was hard. I attended the concert for an hour and a half, so three and half minutes is very condensed. Also I don't have much video of the Symphony because I was out of memory and the last shot I took the focus was having a problem. I left it in the movie, because you can still hear the sound. I hope you enjoy it.

On the First Day of Christmas

Ok, I came up with this great idea to do the twelve days of Christmas on my blog. If my math is right, I should have started yesterday. I did post some stuff, but my turn on the computer ran out before I could get to this. So today I will just do two days to catch up. These posts will just be random stuff in my life that I can manage to squeeze into the number categories of the song. Cut me a little bit of slack as I try to make this work, OK.
So on the first day of Christmas life's blessings gave to me.... ONE DOWN JACKET. Those of you who live around here know that I pretty much worship this coat. Last year I was at Savers one day and saw this coat for $10. It was not in my budget that day, but I could not pass up a deal like that. And boy it is the best $10 I have ever spent. From the fur lined hat and sleeves to the warmness of the down filling, I adore this coat. And believe me that if I am cold enough, I wear that hat, regardless of destruction to my darling doo even in church. It gets lots of use at soccer games, church, and even just out shopping. So hurray for feathered friends who sacrificed their well being for me. I don't even care that I am allergic to feathers. The warmth is worth it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jared Sings a Christmas Carol

This video was taken in November at our ward camp out. I was unknowingly visiting with a friend in her tent trailer . Because my kids are so old, I wasn't really supervising them. Perhaps I should have. Jared is sitting in the car playing on his PSP with the car light on. This could not have been good for the battery. Two of the girls in the ward are encouraging Jared to sing for them. They used my camera to record this beautiful rendition of "Sleigh ride". Jared was watching the movie ELF on his PSP on the way up and I guess that put this song in his head. In fact he is reading the words to the song off of his PSP while he sings. I wondered how he knew all the words. Now you can all experience a little taste of what we all were treated too, during the camp out. Jared sang this song pretty much non stop. Also I did receive his permission to publish this video. Thanks Jared for spreading the joy.

Diana's Decorated Den

This year Diana decided that she needed her own Christmas decorations in her room. I had this little tree that I let her have. Usually this tree gets little ornaments that are red, white, and blue and match my family room decor. Much to her delight, I bought her new ornaments that were pink and purple. She had spent quite a lot of time organizing her room. She had to shuffle a few things around to make room for her stuff on top of her dresser. Today she is making snowflakes that she plans to hang from her ceiling.
I still have not quite finished putting out the rest of my decorations. Every day I think I will get it done, and then other things creep in and keep me from doing it. Oh well, at least the tree is up and the living room is decorated.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Close Call Concerning Christmas Cards

After a whole week, I finally managed to get myself to Sam's club and order my Christmas cards. I was using the machine thingy to process my order. After I picked my picture and looked through the 260 choices of card type, I was ready to submit my order. On the machine was a sign informing customers to have a photo shop employee check your order before finishing it. I am a rule following person most of the time, and so I did ask an employee to see if I had completed my order correctly. She said "Oh, Dear, I don't think you meant to order 100 sets of 100 cards, did you?" Let's see 100 times 100 would be 10,000 if my math skills are still intact. No I guess I wouldn't like to order 10,000 Christmas cards, and especially I would not like to pay $2,500.oo for that order. So fortunately catastrophe averted. Now if I can just manage to get back to Sam's to pick up my order, compile my addresses on my new computer, figure out how to print my labels on my new printer, and purchase stamps, I will be ready to put everything together and get it in the mail.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wintry Warfare

Yesterday Jared had a soccer game. I knew that it would be cold and windy at the field because it always is this time of year. Such an occasion calls for drastic measures called thermal underwear. I pulled them from the bottom of the drawer where they live for most of the year. I was almost toasty warm between my nice down coat and my long johns. When I got home I didn't ever have the chance to change. And guess what? I was warmer in my house with those nice warm things on under my sweats. So today when I woke up and thought about how cold I would be at church, a brilliant plan popped into my head. Why not wear my long underwear under my dress. And so I did. No one even noticed and I was much warmer than usual. Even though my church building likes to do its best imitation of a deep freeze during the winter months, I am on a crusade to conquer its cold contrivances. Armed with my down jacket, gloves, blanket, and thermals, I may win yet. And yes I know that I am a sissy when it comes to the cold. Obviously there is something wrong with my circulatory system, because I am always way colder than anyone else. Until I figure out what to do about that, I will stick to my arsenal of warmth.

Santa's Newest Elves!

Holidays got you down? Feeling stressed and burdened by all that needs to be done this time of year? Well click on the links below for some needed comic relief.

Visit to Santa

Friday night was our ward Christmas party. It was a huge success. We had a nice program in the chapel to begin with and then went and ate a yummy turkey dinner. Then they had crafts for the kids and a visit from Santa. Here is Diana's cute picture with her good friend Camden. Jared had to bring his baby and that made quite a stir. Everyone was quite interested in it and it even started crying during the program. Luckily it was quickly silented with the key thing it comes with. Here is a picture of one of the babies in our ward, Andrew playing with Jared's baby. Diana had fun playing with my camera. Here is a beautiful picture she took of herself and her friend Taylor.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


My sister-in-law put this funny test on her blog. It will tell you what proportion of Nerd, Geek, and Dork you are. I thought it would be fun/interesting to take it. Here are my results. It is probably no surprise to those of you who know and love me that I am a pretty equal combo of all three. I am not sure what what kind of award, I will win for that. So go ahead, what have you got to loose? Only your sense of self esteem.


PAT's Score: Tri-Lamb Material

52 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 52% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd and Dork, earning you the coveted title of: Tri-Lamb Material.

The classic, "80's" nerd, you are what most people think of when they think "nerd," largely due to 80's movies like Revenge of the Nerds and TV shows like Head of the Class. You're exceptionally bright and smart, and partly because of that have never quite fit in with your peers or social groups. Perhaps you've realized, or will someday, that it is possible to retain all of the things that you like about being brilliant and still make peace with the social cliques around you. Or maybe you won't--it's really not necessary. As the brothers of Lambda Lambda Lambda discovered, you're fine just the way you are and can take pride in that. I mean, who wants to be like Ogre, right!?


I beg to differ with their assessment that I am brilliant. I must have faked those answers somehow.

Happy Testing!

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'm a Grandma, kind of

So here is a picture of Jared's baby. As you can tell it is not really alive, but it is part of a health class project. Baby "Jason" will be part of our family for the weekend. He came with a stroller and diaper bag. At random times during his stay, he will cry. Jared has a key thing that is attached to his arm, that he will use to stop the crying. As parents I'm am sure there are many times that we wish we could stop our babies from crying with just the turn of a key. This project is suppose to help kids realize how much work and even bother babies can be. It is not mandatory, but Jared wanted to do it for the extra credit, although I don't think he really needed the points. I had to sign a consent form that informed me that the baby could disrupt the sleep of my child and the rest of the family. I am not thrilled to know this, but hopefully it won't be that bad. Jared has to take it with him everywhere. That will include the ward Christmas Party, his soccer games, and I guess church. It could provide some interesting material to write about, so stay tuned for further adventures.

One down, three to go!

Last night Diana had her Christmas concert for the Clark County Children's Choir. It was titled "Do You Hear What I Hear". Everyone did a fabulous job. I love these things while I am watching them, but they seem to entail a lot of stress. Making sure that you have the right socks and hair and everything can be a bit taxing. And so I am glad to say that the first thing is done. Now Trent has his concert next Thursday night. I need to get his Tux to the cleaners before then. Jared's concert is on the 18th. He is probably going to tell me his shoes are to small 30 minutes before the concert. I should check on that sooner. Then Diana has a program for her school on the 19th. She needs a black dress for that. The miracle this year is that for the first time in about 3 years, none of the concerts are on the same night as each other or enrichment. What a relief that is. I really don't know how the stars have aligned to make this possible, but I am grateful for it nonetheless. And this does not include the program at the ward party tonight or the ward program on the 16th. Yay for lots of Christmas music this time of year.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Comedy

I found this somewhere as I was reading at my computer. It made me smile, so I thought I would share.

1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

3. Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

5. Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....

6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

8. Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?

10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells....

11. Oppositional Defiant Disorder-- You better not cry - Oh yes I will
You better not Shout - I can if i want to
You better not pout - Can if i want to
I'm telling you why - Not listening
Santa Claus is coming to town - No he's not!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Misadventure - Missed Milestone

It has come to my attention that my 100th post has come and gone with out so much as a celebratory or congratulatory word from me. This may not be a tragedy of enormous proportions, but still something that needs to be corrected. How amazing that I have reached that milestone that once seemed unreachable. When I first started blogging, I only posted about once a week. This fall I have stepped it up a notch. The credit for this would have to be my new camera. It is so fun to take pictures of everything in my life and then write about it. Just so you know, the hundredth post was my "Catapooloza" slide show of the kittens in my life. When TV shows have their 100th episode, it always seems like it is a really big deal and they pull out all the stops to make it really special. I guess unknowingly I did the same thing. Had I known that is was such a special post, I might have tried to think of something better, but the cat slide show was pretty good, so I am content with how fate dealt this special event in my life. So Hip, Hip, Hooray for a life worth writing about. Here's to many posts to come.

Some of my Best Friends are Flakes

Last night for young women's activity we made decorations for the ward Christmas party on Friday night.
We are in charge of the Santa room. Since there is no chance of snow in any other form, we made snowflakes and hung them from the ceiling. Very Winter Wonderlandlike. In addition we wrapped boxes with wrapping paper to help make the room look festive. The young men put together gift bags for Santa to hand out to the primary kids. Can I just say how happy I am to not be activities chairman this year. Instead of worrying about all the details of the ward party, I am spending the week trying to get my house cleaned up and my Christmas decorations up. I think I am about half way done. And yes I am glad to just have paper snowflakes instead of the real thing. Even though it is not as pretty, it is much warmer. Here is a glorious picture of me posing with one of our creations.

Much Ado about Nothing

Today I received my first call from the Dean at Trent's school. Actually I missed the call on my cell phone, because I was coloring my hair. So when I listened to the message and it was from the Dean I was slightly concerned. The message informed me that the campus police had noticed a gun in Trent's car which turned out in fact to be a toy gun. They called Trent from class and he let the police search his car and back pack. This search only revealed a gorilla suit. This led to another conversation. Officially the school could have expelled Trent. The Dean told me that because his record is completely clean and because he is in orchestra, they let him off with a warning. The gun was a bright orange thing from the dollar store. When asked why it was in his car, Trent said that a friend had used it as part of a costume at Halloween and it just got left in the car. Trent thought it was a bit ridiculous because the gun didn't really look that realistic. The Dean said that they didn't want to risk starting some kind of panic if someone started spreading rumors that someone had a gun in their car. But in today's world you can't be to careful, I suppose. Hey I couldn't expect a kid to go all the way through school without getting in trouble just once, can I? So from now on Trent will be sure to not leave toy guns in his car. And he better not pull any pranks in his gorilla suit, since he would be prime suspect number one. He keeps the suit in his trunk because one never knows when one might need such a thing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Card Character!

Here is one of the rejected candidates for our Christmas card picture. Nice face Jared! What was I saying about him being a good kid? We chose a picture with a different grouping and setting so you will be slightly surprised when you get my card, although our faces and clothes will be the same. As an olive branch to encourage participation, I told everyone I didn't care what they wore, they just had to show up for the photo shoot. A big Thank you to my friend/photographer Kristin. After last year, I am surprised that she agreed to come back again. So at least we can say it is over. We are all in the picture and with fairly pleasant looks on our faces. Sadly, I seem to be most disappointed by what I chose to wear. Oh well, maybe someday I will get everyone into a professional photographer. And maybe pigs will fly. But that is OK. You know as far as photo shoots go, this one was fairly painless. So yay for one thing done on my mile long list of tasks to complete before Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Truth is stranger than Fiction

So here is a lovely picture of a house in my neighborhood. It is actually a business. Until about a week ago, this house was white with red trim. Now it is the color of a giant pepto-bismal bottle. Holy retina-burners Batman.
In a competition for most house/yard decorations, this lovely house seems to be winning, don't ya think? Located across the street from my friend in the ward, every time I drive by, there is something new added to this house. Notice the lovely turret on the top of the garage. Apparently at night there is a light that shines through the stained glass windows. It reminds me somehow of the house in my "Big, Fat, Greek, Wedding." Click on the picture to enlarge it and see all the gaudy details of this yard.

Woot Newbie

Ok I have made my first purchase on the website Woot. For any of you who are unaware of this magical place, check it out at My sister-in-law first showed it to me about a year ago. It is a website that sells electronic stuff for radically good deals. They only sell one item each day until it is sold out. I know several people who have bought a lot of stuff from there. My sister and sister-in-law both bought a rumba from this fun place. Another thing this site does is sell something they call a "bag of crap" for $1. This is a random bag of stuff that sometimes has really great stuff in it. I have a friend who actually got a rumba in one of this cool bags that she only had to pay $8 for. So now I can say that I have gotten a great deal and yay for getting one more Christmas present out of the way.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bigfoot Sighting

The past couple of days Jared has been complaining that his shoes were hurting him because his feet have grown, AGAIN. So I took him to get new shoes. This 13 year old child is now wearing a size 13 in men's sizes. I am tempted to stop feeding him, so he will stop growing. Someone told me that 13 is that last size you can just run to Wal Mart and buy off the shelf. We did just that yesterday and yay for $15 shoes at Wal Mart. I will revel in the joy of that simple, cheap purchase, since it may be my last. Here is a picture of my smallish looking size 8 foot next to Jared's new shoe. Also here is a picture of Jared and I, back to back. He really is taller than me now. So I will have to look up to him literally and not just for his ability to be a great student, good friend, and all around good kid. Everyone sing together "Is this the little boy I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don't remember getting older, when did they? Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset. Swiftly fly the years." The breif break in this post has been brought to you courtesy of the musical "Fiddler on the Roof".

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Diana's Slide Show

Diana had a sleepover with her friend Allison last night. They had fun dressing up and taking picutres together. They wanted to make a slide show after they saw my cat one. Here it is:


After all this talk about cats and kittens, I thought I would make a montage to all the cats that have graced my life. Of course it all started with Hercules and Zena. They are the patriarch and matriarch of the great cat dynasty the reigned at my house for 7 years. Kittens really are such fun, but they are a lot of bother as well. We had the most fun naming them. At first we stuck with the Greek theme: Zeus, Apollo, Thor (my favorite), and Aphrodite. Then we moved on to Star Wars with Luke, Leia, and Vader. One of my favorites was the Phantom of the Opera theme, Phantom and his two sisters Carlotta and Christine. We had Phantom for a long time, he was a good cat. Then as Diana got older she helped in the naming and we had the princess kittens. One of the last batches had one named Piggy. As I looked through the pictures, I was surprised at how similar the kittens look through the years. We could always count on at least one grey stripey one that looked like Zena. Even though they looked similar, let me assure you these are not pictures of the same kittens, over and over. Zena had from 2 to 3 litters a year for seven years. I figure the it must have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 kittens. Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Yes we had some fun times with them, but really it is quite a lot of trouble, ie: peeing on the carpet, cats spraying, and males cats stalking the house when Zena was in heat. Not to mention the disruption to ones sleep. The kittens would often start off in my closet and I remember one time when they had gotten to the stage of pouncing. Let me tell you, it is not fun to be sound asleep and have a kitten pounce on your face. I did have a linen closet that was the kitten birthing room. Zena would insist that I sit next to her box when she was in labor. She would tell me in no uncertain terms that if she had to go through this, so did I. And who can forget the many breech deliveries I had to help her with. Thank heavens, her first few deliveries were normal, so I was only there for moral support. When the next one did not go like usual I could tell that something was wrong. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending of your point of view, I had read the books All Creatures Great and Small. The vet in that book, talks about many breech cow deliveries. And so I knew that I would need to help her get the kitten out. Somehow I managed to help her and with much complaint on her part, we got the job done. She probably had about 4 breech deliveries in all. One time I pulled too hard on the poor kitten's tail and actually pulled it off. Yikes! But he turned out to be such a cute little kitty and somebody took him willingly when we sold them. And so while there are some great memories from the "cat years" of my life, I am not ready to go back. So at first I picked the song "Bye, Bye, Bye" for the song to this slide show. But in order to have the song playing, I had to have an annoying little small video box at the bottom of my slide show. After further deliberation, I decided to just have no music, since I couldn't find the right thing. So listening to the message in "Bye, Bye, Bye," I will try to stay strong in my decision to be catless.