Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Abiento October!

The month of October has come and gone. Abiento means good bye in French. I only know about it because of my favorite mystery heroine Amelia Peabody. Yea for literature expanding your vocabulary. I first picked it because I thought it was "obiento" and we all know how much I love aliteration. But alas when I looked the word up, I discovered my mistake. I still think it sounds better then just plain good bye. But I digress. Over all October has been a pretty good month. There have been some highlights:
My birthday
A new record for number of posts in one month by me
BYU Football team coming to Vegas
Purchase of my new, glorious camera
Beautiful weather
Unexpected financial windfalls
New bra, new haircut, new eyebrows, and perhaps new attitude

There have been some low moments:
My birthday
Nine year anniversary of the day we lost Camille and moved to Vegas
Yucky head cold
Diana's "Projects"
School copiers
Car troubles
Cat Stalker

By far the good has outweighed the bad and for that I am grateful. After all, we must have opposition in all things right? And so I bid a fond, farewell to October, see ya again in a year.

The rest of the story, well the picture anyway!

So I finally got new batteries for my camera. Whoo Hoo! Yesterday, a kind friend called and offered to come over and take a picture of the blue ooze in my freezer. I declined since I could take my own now that my camera is operating again. So here it is. I think this may be a case of fiction being better than the truth. It doesn't look so bad does it? And it is green instead of blue. Sorry. Because I was waiting to take a picture of it, a carton of ice cream was placed on the green slime. Yesterday afternoon I found a big green smear on my kitchen table. It took me a minute to figure out where it came from. Well we used up the rest of that ice cream carton last night when we made banana smoothies. I think I have got all the green out of the freezer but I am not quite sure.

Ghosts of Halloween Past!

So I thought it might be fun to look at all my old Halloween pictures. What do you think? I even found two pictures from my chilhood. I remember how much I loved being Mary Poppins, as she was/is one of the people I would like to be. My mom did her best with the costume and even if no one else could tell who I was, I loved it. I had an umbrella that is not in the picture.

It is a bit sad that my boys have faded from the past few years of pictures. But hey, I think that has been purposeful on their part. Also at fault seems to be the fact that I haven't taken any pictures at night for the past few years, so they weren't there when I had the camera at school for Diana.

In 1998 there is the picture of Jared as Spider Man. Some of you might remember that year as when we moved to Las Vegas on October 31st. In the process of packing the house in California, we/I lost Jared's mask for his costume. This was of course the end of the world for him, but he survived and will probably only require a few years of therapy to recover when he grows up.

Another noteworthy costume, would be Diana's Little Bo Peep. There are 10 yards of lace on the pantaloons alone. This was back in the day when I actually used my sewing machine for more than a place to store my dirty laundry. The first year she wore it, I only made the pants and hat because we had the dress. The second year she wore it, I made the dress to go with the rest of it.

Also notice that I have been very guilty of/good at recycling costumes. Several of them were used multiple years and for multiple kids. Ah, good times.... once they are over and you can look back at them. I guess like most worthy things it does require some effort and stress to make these things happen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wild and Crazy Guy!

I was looking through the pictures on my computer and was rather surprised to find this picture of Trent. The reason for my wonderment was that I did not take this picture. Trent tells me all the time that he is a bit different when he is with his friends. I guess now I have proof. It is delightful that he shared this picture with me that he took with his phone. And in case you are wondering, I did receive permission from him to publish this picture. He asked why would I want to put it on my blog and I said "Hey, it is entertainment."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Science project gone wrong.

We had no school on Friday in celebration of Nevada Day. It was a nice relaxing day, but of course this means the kids have extra time on their hands. Diana did have some friends over in the morning which provided her with a nice diversion. Marion was working on an electrical job up north a bit and he got done about 1:00. Diana and I went up and met him at my favorite restaurant "Sweet Tomatoes". I had a coupon that will expire this week and so we had a fun, yummy lunch. After that I sent Diana home with Marion and I went next door to my favorite store JoAnns where I also had a coupon. I may be going broke saving all this money with coupons. JoAnns was having a midnight madness sale in honor of Halloween. I can't remember the last time I went there, but I spent a good hour drooling over the many craft choices they have to offer. I spent most of my time in the scrapbook section. Ignoring common sense that tells me I have enough scrapbook paper to scrapbook for my entire ward, I gave in a bought a fun Christmas paper stack. How can you pass up 180 pages of Christmas paper for $12.00? Obviously I could not. Perhaps when I die, I will have to buried with all my paper, because there is no way I will ever use it all up. It is kind of a good news/bad news situation. I have replaced my fabric addiction with a scrapbook supplies addiction.

Friday night Marion and Jared went on a scout camp out. I went to a very fun adult only Halloween party. Thanks Shauna, I don't when the last time was that I laughed that hard. Probably, at girls camp.

So that brings us to Saturday. After soccer I told Diana that we could make sugar cookies. I figured that it might be easier to get that project done on the weekend, instead of after school. So with her eager help, we mixed up the dough. At one point a friend called her and she was trying to talk on the phone and crack eggs with one hand. I think only a few shells fell into the cookies. So what I hoped would satisfy her craving for kitchen activities only wet her appetite. I was attempting to restore order to the kitchen and rest of the house. Taking leave of my senses, I left her concocting an experiment in the kitchen. She was raiding my cupboard for ingredients. Perhaps I should have been concerned when she asked for a canning jar, but naively I filled her request. I didn't pay much attention to what happened next, but it involved a lot of food coloring and sprinkles. In fact I decided that a short nap would be nice. So while I was laying down, she decided to move onto a new project called "Let's paint a rock from the front yard to be a Halloween decoration." She has been complaining all month that we do not have enough decorations in the front yard. What a rough life to be stuck with a mother lacking in Halloween spirit. So I wake up from my nap to find that she has cleared off the craft table in my room and covered it with a towel and an entire roll of paper towels rolled back and forth over the table. I am less than thrilled with this and ask her why isn't she doing this down on the kitchen table or not at all for that matter. She doesn't have a good reason. A little while later, another friend came over to play. I was now absorbed on the computer with the project of trying to print out my blog. So Diana has Alison make a science project also. They then decide that they are going to paint some more. I tell Diana to help find some painting clothes for Alison and figure that they are painting in the kitchen. I then had to leave and take Jared to his last Lacrosse game. That went well and I returned home and go upstairs. I find Diana in my room with about 10 paper plates covered with paint. There was a lot of paint on the towel on the table, the light switches, bathroom floor, and my bathroom sink looks like something Picasso would be proud to call his own. Also two additional towels are covered in paint. Oh Mylanta! I throw all the plates of paint away and get most of it cleaned up. Unbelievably there doesn't seem to be any paint on my carpet so I make it through one more day of keeping the commandment "Thou shalt not kill". I think I am going to throw all my acrylic paints away. Why store dynamite near an open flame, right? But chances are if you throw out all your paint, some kid will need it at 11:00 pm to complete some project for school that will determine his grade and future success in life. Good thing Wal Mart is open 24 hours a day and is just a mile from my house.

So Saturday night about 10:00 pm Jared asks if we can make sugar cookies to take to his priesthood lesson the next day. Normally I would have shot this idea down, but the dough was already in the fridge, so it was his lucky day. I did have to make a late night trip to the grocery store because as fate would have it, we were out of powder sugar. Inconceivable! I also made some cookies for my class as well.

Sunday morning, we were hurriedly frosting the cookies and guess what I don't have any food coloring left to make orange for my pumpkins. Good Grief! Oh well, they still tasted good no matter what color the frosting is. But it would have been nice if my brain was functioning and I had realized this would be the case. Then I could have bought some more the night before. Oh well maybe that will be on the list of banned substances for my house. On Sunday afternoon, I was cleaning the kitchen, AGAIN, and it occurs to me that I have not seen any canning jars filled with disgusting colored liquid anywhere. With a feeling of dread and despair, I question Diana about the location of her "science project". She gladly shows me that they put them in the freezer. Oh, of course, where else would it be. So now we get to experience the law of science that says that a liquid will expand when frozen. We also learn that frozen water is stronger than glass and will crack a jar. This then means that blue ooze will run down over all the frozen food in the freezer. So right now I could be cleaning out my freezer, but it is so much more fun to be writing about it so all of you can share in my adventures. And the batteries on my camera are dead and I have no new ones yet, so sadly I missed this photo opportunity so you will all just have to use your imagination. And perhaps I need to be better at supervising my child, huh.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I've got the school copier blues!

Today I innocently walked into the school and signed in to be a parent helper. If it was a TV show, ominous music would have played, foreshadowing trouble looming on the horizon. Perhaps the copiers have become alerted to my Thursday afternoon routine. Probably, they have met at night in secret meetings to conspire against me. If they had arms and hands they would rub their hands together with glee, knowing that I was coming back for them to torment me yet another time. The other problem is that the teachers have lulled me into a false sense of security by giving me a smaller copy load the past two weeks. So I show up unaware that my copier karma is at an all time low. (Any of you now familiar with copier karma, see my first post on this blog)
First of all the teacher gives me a mountainous pile to copy. Then the darn copier proceeds to come up with every error message I have ever seen before and even a new one I have never seen. I wasn't even finished by the time the bell rang. After finding Diana, I tried to finish up but the confounded machine kept jamming. Finally with 2 double sided copies to go, I decided to call it quits. Sometimes that is the best thing to do, just walk away. Sadly I had these 6 piles of copies that I usually put in the teachers room. The teacher had left and locked her door. We don't have school tomorrow and everyone cleared out of there fast after school. So I had to squish these big piles into each of the six third grade teacher's boxes. If I calculated it correctly I used about 2300 pieces of paper. Most of those were double sided copies, so I ran most of those papers through twice. Also at least half of it had to be hole punched. Whew! What a big job. Is it just me, or does my picture portray a copious amount of copies? Next week I have a doctor appointment and I told them that I can not come. But at least I persevered today as long as I did. I feel victorious, if only in my own mind.

Look Ma, No cavities!

So today Diana went for her six month check and a very out of the ordinary thing happened. She did not have any cavities. Hooray! I think that this may be one of the first times for her to have a good check up.
When it was time to go, I went to take her picture and the dentist wanted to be in one with her. That struck me as funny, I don't know why. So that is one of us that will not be funding the dentist's next summer vacation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Every October and April, Marie Calender's does this awsome thing called "every pie is $5.99". After reading a friend's blog about the joys of pie, I couldn't resist going and getting a few pies for our family. Somehow my car just turned into the parking lot on its own. So here is Diana modeling the lovely pumpkin pie, which she picked out. I myself am partial to the double lemon, which I can never resist. We also got a banana cream for Marion. Since my birthday is October, I usually get pie for my birthday, but I hadn't gotten any yet this year. What are the chances we can eat all these pies before next week when the sale ends. Oh yea, remember the hoard of locust that lives at my house, I don't think we'll have a problem. Then when these are gone, I would like to go back and get a chocolate satin pie. There was also a raspberry cream one that looked rather tempting. Hooray for pie! And Hooray for pie that it is on sale!

Take your reptile to scouts day!

Currently the scout troop is working on the reptile merit badge. Last night they were all invited to bring their reptile to scouts for everyone to see close up. Jared brought his two corn snakes. One of these two snakes is the culprit that bit me last spring. I am not sure which one it is but it doesn't really matter does it? The scout master brought his red tail boa and two cute little turtles. The boys seemed to enjoy this activity. Next week, Marion has arranged to go on a field trip to the college. One of his colleagues in the biology department has quite a lot of snakes that he will show to the kids. I am just glad that I am not required to be present.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cannery Candids

So today I had an exciting adventure called going to the cannery. Not even being able to remember the last time I went, I figured it must be time. In the event that we had to live on our food storage, it might be good if we had more than a case of macaroni and cheese. The sad thing about my current food supply, is that I really have no idea what or how much I really have. It is all tucked into various and sundry places and I have not kept a good inventory. So I figured that I couldn't go wrong getting just a little bit of several things. And hey, any day you get to wear a hair net is a good day, don't ya think? My most exciting purchase was a case of apple slices. It was hard not to eat them all, while I was canning. Now if I can just convince Jared and his friends that these apple slices would be a great snack choice. They have entered the "hoard of locust" phase of teenage hood. It seems like all I ever hear from Jared is "I'm hungry" and "What can I eat?" Now I will have something else to suggest instead of "Go make yourself a dang Quesadilla." He and his friends seem to devour what ever there is around here. I also got some oatmeal because I love it in cookies. The other thing I got was a case of wheat. I don't think I have much wheat because Marion is not a big fan of wheat. He had enough of it when he was growing up to last him a lifetime. Which may not be that long since he doesn't eat whole wheat. Any way now I have a case that I can look at and feel good knowing that at least I have it. We had to can 11 bags of powder milk and that was kind of a pain. We do have a lovely, large, new canning facility that was just opened 6 months ago. So after about two and a half hours we had finished the task. We started for home, but the three of us in our car all agreed that we were famished. So of course we had to stop at In-N-Out for a little lunch. This is my friend Teresa showing off the lovely lap pad they give you so you don't spill on your lap. What a great day... hard work, yummy food and time with good friends.


Well, those of you who are well acquainted with Diana and her quirks, will know that she is very opinionated about how she looks. It cracks me up how she is able to fix her own hair. In fact at times when I try to help her, she takes the brush from my hands in an exasperated tone says "Let me do it." So I thought I would document her hair style yesterday. I had hoped that you could see how perfectly she did her part and then swept it to the back, but the picture didn't turn out that well. (I need to figure out how to turn my flash off. Maybe I should Google that question.) And then she clips it up. I asked her how she learned to do that and she said she didn't know. And we have been doing pretty well with remembering her glasses. Yeah!

Blessings from Heaven

Well I would be very ungrateful, if I didn't write about the multitude of blessings that have come into my life recently. Amazingly enough, many of them have been financial in nature. About a week ago I got a call from my insurance company telling me that they were sending me a check for $450. This was because of my accident in the rental car. According to them, I was eligible for rental car coverage, and because I did not use it, they were sending me the cash. I was shocked to think that they were paying me for the accident. Of course I did have to pay my deductible, and I have paid much dough over the years in premiums, but I feel grateful and undeserving anyway. Then there was the great deal on my camera, that has become the source of much joy and entertainment to me. The same week I got my camera, a friend gave me 3 free tickets to the BYU game. Yesterday I received a check for $750 from my credit card company. This was my reimbursement for my deductible. So I think that I may have come out ahead from my car accident, although it doesn't feel that way to my nerves. Selling that awful Honda would also count as a blessing. And after not having any electrical jobs all summer, Marion has been flooded with requests. He just finished a job that took 24 hours to complete. And he has 3 more people on his waiting list. I credit all of these astonishing and unexpected events to tithing blessings. Also in Sunday school we had a lesson a few weeks ago about the book of Romans. In Romans 8:28 it states "all things work together for good to them that love God." At that time none of these things had happened yet, but this scripture spoke to me and gave me comfort. I realized that I did believe the scriptures and so why shouldn't I have more faith that eventually all these terrible things that had happened would work out for my good. Surely I would be counted as one who loves the Lord. And now as I count my blessings one by one, I am surprised at what the Lord has done. I do feel that the windows of heaven have poured out more than I could even receive.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Queen of Denial!

Ok, so I don't think that we own any cats, but these pictures seem to prove me wrong. Yesterday I was sitting out on my patio, and the cat kept coming around. I told it in no uncertain terms "You DON'T live here" It just looked down its nose at me like cats do. The look on the cat's face seemed to say "You go ahead and think that lady, if it makes you feel any better, but I know differently." I guess if I really don't want to have a cat, I am going to have to be more proactive about it. Not wanting to expend any effort to de-catify myself, I have been hoping that they would just go away. You see how well that is working for me? We still are not feeding it, but it must be finding food somewhere. And it does get a fair amount of attention, ie holding, petting, and rides on the slide, so maybe that is enough to keep it coming around. Not to mention it has taken to napping on my patio furniture. Aye carumba!

Lessons learned from the hard knocks of cars!

1. If someone offers you a car for $100, realize that something that sounds too good to be true, is, and run screaming from the scene.
2. Cars are the spawn of Satan designed to suck your soul and will to live, if not your entire checkbook balance. I'm just saying.
3. Car repairs seem to be like Whinnie the Pooh, in that they are never satisfied or ended. They just ask "Is there anymore?' and take and take from your checking account.
4. At some point you just have to cut your losses and quit putting good money after bad. Walk away and never look back.
And that my friends is what I did yesterday. Some guy stopped by to see if I wanted to sell my Honda. He probably conned me into letting it go for a ridiculously low price, but something is more than nothing. And at least it is gone. No more do I have to look at it sitting in my driveway, mocking me for idiotically trying just one more repair to get it running. So long, farewell, and good luck to the next owner/sucker that sits behind the wheel.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Pink Panther Returns

I can't really remember which Pink Panther movie has a guy in a gorilla suit driving all over town, but here is Trent's reenactment of that part of the movie. And here is a picture of his cute car. He probably wouldn't appreciate me describing it that way, but I think it is cute. Trent has wanted a gorilla suit for several years, but they have always been too expensive for my budget. I found this one at Target for not too much. How sad, it will be the last costume I ever buy for him. I imagine he will get lots of use out of it and not just at Halloween. He told me he wants to go to the grocery store wearing the costume and buy some bananas. What a crazy kid!

Time for a change

I decided to try a new format for my blog. Don't be alarmed, you are in the right place. It just looks different. I think the darker color makes the pictures stand out better. What do you think? Also back by popular demand, the funny pictures I took of myself the first day I got my camera. Don't ask why.

Wax on, Wax off!

I got my eyebrows waxed for the first time last week. The experience was not as painful as I had thought it would be. Whenever I watch, "What not to Wear", I always wonder what Carmandy would do to my bushy brows. So last Friday, I was having one of those bad hair days when I was very tempted to shave my head. It had been several months since my last hair cut and I was way over due. As I was walking into super cuts, I noticed a place next door that said "Eyebrow waxing $10". After putting my name on the list at the hair place, I popped next door to see if they could squeeze me in. Shockingly, they could. That usually never happens. So what do you think? I wish I had taken a before picture to compare it with, but I did not have that foresight.

Library Follies

Many of you may know this about me, I have a terrible time returning my library books on time. I am not quite sure why this is the case. A big reason would be that much of the time when I look for my books to return them, they are lost in the Bermuda Triangle that lurks at my house. If I earned $5 an hour for all the time I have spent looking for lost library materials, I would be rich. There is a very exciting thing invented called e-mail notification. Where was this for all the years I have been accruing fines?

So two weeks ago, I got one of these coolio things, telling me my book would be due in just 3 days. This made the book due the day I had traffic school. I thought it nothing short of miraculous when I actually returned my book the day it was due. I was kind of disappointed when a band did not appear, balloons did not fall from the ceiling, I was not given a gold medal, academy award, or something akin to that. It was a red letter day for sure. I celebrated all the way home until I found the last cassette to the book still in my tape player. Yikes! My exuberance left me like the air out of an untied balloon. Oh well, surely I get an A for effort. Maybe next time I will actually manage to return all of the book on time.

Yesterday, I stopped by the library quickly to return a book and get a new one. I also gave the missing tape back. Somehow they had not noticed that it was missing, and so my account was unscathed. Then last night, Diana talked me into taking her to the library. She hasn't been for a long time, which is restful for me. Quite honestly, it is usually her movies and tapes that go missing. One time after going through everything in her room, I found a movie under her chest of drawers. Another time, she lost a veggie tales CD. After going through the entire house and waiting several months hoping it would show up, I even ended up paying an outrageous fee. Several months later, I was going through some DVD's and found the darn CD along with two other DVD's in the "My Big Fat Greek Weeding" DVD case. Good Gracious, why hadn't I looked there first?

So when I got to the library last night, I wanted to see if the book I had checked out earlier was available on tape. Not paying enough attention, I tried to use the computer for self check out. This did not show me the library catalog, but it did show that I had 3 items checked out. This shocked me, because I had only checked out 2 things earlier. It showed that I still had the book "The Falcon at the Portal" checked out. That was the name of the book on tape I returned earlier. Full of indignation, I went to the front desk and demanded justice. The librarian went and looked in the back and sure enough, found the book I returned. She profusely apologized and took the item off my account. Diana picked out several movies and CD's and we went home. Imagine my dismay when I went into my room and found the book "Falcon at the Portal" laying on my floor. Apparently I had checked out both the book, and the book on tape. So the computer was right after all. Now I get to go back to the library and eat humble pie. When I found this sitting on the dining room table, I may have discovered my problem. Perhaps it is my missing brain.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah, Gooooooo Cougars!!!

We went to the game yesterday and the tailgate before hand. It was the best thing, I have been to in a long time. I met the cheer leaders, got my face painted, and won a hand towel by throwing a football through a hoop. Trent, Jared, and I planned to go, so I ordered 3 tickets. Then last Thursday a friend asked if I wanted 3 more tickets. So Trent brought 2 friends, and Jared brought his friend Tanner. Marion stayed home with Diana. He would rather sit comfortably at home and watch a game on TV, so that worked out well.

Here is me with Robbie Bosco, the quarterback for BYU in 1984. He led BYU to a national championship by winning 13 games that season. One of my favorite parts of the whole night, was after the game. Jared, Tanner, and I went down to front row. We were able to high five the whole team one by one. It is a little bit sad that I was elbowing little kids to get to the front, but hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Now I can say that I have given a high five to Max Hall and Brian Kehl as well as the rest of the team. It was awesome!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Well most of you might not know that the BYU football team is in town to play UNLV tomorrow night. Remember my Christmas card? Us Hammonds are BIG BYU fans. One great thing about BYU's football coach, Bronco Mendenhall, is that he has a fireside before each game. No one else in my family wanted to go, so I went alone. The fireside was great and very inspiring. It is hard to describe the spirit when all these young, strong football players stand and sing "Armies of Helaman". I loved hearing everything that was said, and Max Hall the quarterback. even walked right by me when he went up to sing. Afterwards, I wondered around and listened and watched everyone visiting. There were several little boys with their footballs and they were getting autographs from as many players as possible. I wondered why I hadn't thought of that, but then wondered would I feel silly standing in line with a bunch of young boys? Possibly. OK maybe not. But there will always be a next time in two years. Anyway even though I had my camera in my purse, I was too shy to pull it out inside the building. Finally, I decided to go out to the car. Just outside there was a large group of players waiting to get on the bus. Somehow I managed to gather my hutspa and asked if they would mind being in a picture with me. They quickly agreed, one of them was perhaps camera shy because he quickly volunteered to take the picture. If any of you recognize anyone in the picture let me know, because it might be interesting to know. I think the players might have wondered what kind of crazy old lady would be such a fan. Then I walked around the corner of the building, and there was Coach Mendenhall and his wife Holly. So I got a picture with them also. I am taking my stalker status to a whole new level.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In case you can't tell, I am loving my new camera. Yesterday, I had it in my purse so I could play around with it while I was waiting for Jared at various things. I kept saying to him, "Can I take a picture of you as I check you out of school early?" Or "How about while you are going into the orthodontist?" And at the bank "Maybe you would like of picture of you getting your first bank account?" Or perhaps "Can I take your picture as you walk into lacrosse practice?" He kept saying that no, he did not want a documentary of his day. Finally, he did agree to pose in his lacrosse gear. He just started this new sport this fall. He is really loving it and enjoying doing something more than just soccer. So far he has scored in both of the games he has played in. One good thing about lacrosse, is that it is a pretty new sport to Vegas and so not that many people play it yet. Our high school team has been really hurting to find enough people to play. So next year when Jared goes to High School, he will have an easy time making the team.

Halloween Preview

I wasn't sure about posting this picture before Halloween, but chances are that if you let a kid pick out their costume at the beginning of October, they will change their mind before Halloween comes. So this may not be the final costume. But as of today, Diana has decided that she wanted to be a witch, this year. I was at Savers and found this great dress for $6 and hat for $1. We added a wig from Smiths for $4 and stripped stockings for $2. So this was the dress rehearsal last night. Diana was very pleased with how it looks all put together.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Greatest thing since sliced bread!

Much to my shock and amazement, I bought a digital camera last night. Diana and I were at Target at 8:30, and I wondered past the camera display case. We were very much lagging behind everyone else and their digital cameras. I don't really know how we have lived this long without one. Especially since I have starting keeping this blog more faithfully, I have really wanted a digital camera. So there in the case was a great camera on clearance. Originally it cost $229, but it was marked down to $114. I asked about it, but was told they didn't have any more. So then I offered to buy the display one and was told that it would be an additional 30% markdown because it didn't come with any of the cords or manuals. Bottom line, I got an 8 pixel camera with video options for $86. I love a good deal and am beyond excited about this development. And the even more exciting part is that my computer has a port that I can put my memory card right into and so I don't even need the cables. Hopefully future posts will be full of wonderful pictures. Here is Diana posing with some of our halloween decorations.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Big Squeeze

I got my second mammogram today. Sadly for all of you it was a pretty boring experience with nothing too humorous to mention. For those of you lucky enough to be too young to need this procedure yet, I will tell you a little about it. Basically, they take your breast and flatten it like a pancake, between two pieces of metal. This is rather uncomfortable, but not really painful. It is rather amazing how flat they can manage to squish that protruding appendage. So I am sure that in a few weeks the results will come back saying all is well. Yay, that is done for another year. Don't you just love things that only have to be done once a year?

Pushing the Button!

I was reading through some of my old e-mails and found this one about a plane trip I took in March of 2000. Reading this made me appreciate my recent trip all the more. At the time I wrote this, Diana was 8 months, Trent was 9, and Jared was 6. I thought it was kind of humous and so I thought I would post it here.
"Diana and I had a pretty easy time getting to the airport and on the plane. Once I got on the plane I started thinking about how pleasant it was to travel with only an infant. For instance I actually got to push the elevator button myself. This is a simple pleasure in life, I rarely experience. Usually the elevator scenario plays out like something akin to World War III. It begins with a mad dash to the elevator with a fair amount of pushing and shoving. Then the winner pushes the button, and the unlucky loser proceeds to fill the air with wailing and gnashing of teeth that sound something like "Why did he get to push the button, I wanted to push the button, I never get to push the button, he pushed it last time, he always gets to push the button" etc. etc. I think you get the picture. Why does pushing the elevator button carry such importance that it is worth such great turmoil? Does it say somewhere in the rules of life "Try to push as many elevator buttons as you possibly can." Is there an unseen counter somewhere that will some day say "You have pushed the elevator button 300 times and so you win a prize, but sorry you only pushed the button 250 times and so you are out of luck?" Gosh you would think lives or money were at stake with the way these kids fight over "Who gets to push the button." Perhaps I am missing out on something and need to get in on the fight. If anyone has any insight on this phenomenon I would love to be enlightened.
And then once the elevator scuffle is over, we move on to the "Who will push the stroller" battle. I never seem to learn to "just say NO" to the request to push the stroller. So I stupidly watch as my precious daughter is rushed off for another adventure in a strange version of roller derby/bumper cars. the stroller bumps into garbage cans, walls, or worse yet an unsuspecting pedestrian. I am sure that most people walk carelessly down the airport corridors, with out even a worry that a child wielding a stroller is closing in on them much like a shark closing in on its prey. It is at this point that I chase the stroller down and relieve the offending child of his stroller licence. But this did not happen on this trip as I enjoyed the simple pleasures of pushing an elevator button and the stroller all by myself.
But the fun did not end once we were on the plane. A young girl about 19 or 20 sat by me and actually used the phone from the back of the seat in front of her. I had to stifle my first impulse to say "Do not touch that phone if you want to keep your hand attached to your arm." You see Jared is obsessed with those phones, and every time we fly I spend much of my time and energy keeping him from even touching, let alone using the phone. I say over and over and over "No you can not call your friend, or Dad, or anyone for that matter, because we would like to have some money left to buy groceries or pay for college or something like that." My sister informs me that you must activate the phone with a credit card, but I was not aware of this, and had been worried that just picking it up would incur some outrageous fee and I can not even explain the amount of energy I have spent keeping him from even touching the darn thing over the years. Perhaps in the future I will not be so worried about it, but in the past it has been a big concern and so you can see why it seemed such a luxury that the phone could be not only touched, but used and I was not required to say or do one thing about it.
I got to Seattle about 5 and got home just in time for dinner. My sister and her 2 kids came over as well. After dinner we were having a nice time visiting. There was a vase with pussy willows sitting on the counter, and my nephew, who is five, took one of the fluffy buds and put it up his nose. It only took 3 adults, 30 minutes to remove the thing. I was glad once again that I was an impartial bystander instead of the parent. And I did not have to wonder just how much the emergency room would charge to remove a pussy willow from a child's nose if I could not get the thing out by myself."

Monday, October 8, 2007

Every one needs a little support now and then.

Warning to any male persons reading this. This post is probably best for female eyes only. Today's news worthy event was my purchase of a new bra. This is something that has been needing to happen for months. Due to time and gravity, the "girls" were heading south for the winter. How come in all the informative how to TV shows I have watched, I have never once seen one on how to buy a proper fitting bra? I guess the closest thing would be "What not to wear". It seems they always talk about the importance of good support. My feelings of not being prepared with the proper skills necessary to obtaining adequate support make this activity one that I postpone as long as possible. Of course one thing that makes it so hard, is that I am never quite sure what size I need. Perhaps if I didn't wait so long, I could look at the label on my old one, but usually if there is any label left, it is just a bunch of see through threads barely resembling the tag they once were. So each time I go through the whole process from ground one. This involves trying on about a million different ones. Sometimes I get discouraged and just give up and go home, vowing to try again another day. Today I actually found one that I think will be good. Anything will be better than the worn out, sagging thing that poses as my bra right now.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I was going through some pictures to scrapbook and found these two. The picture on the left is of me. It was taken in my Grandma's kitchen. This house has since been remodeled, and this kitchen is completely different. I love that this picture reminds me of the way things used to be. So many great memories took place in that kitchen. You could always find my Grandma in the kitchen creating the yummiest food. Often she would have us grand kids help out. I don't imagine this was really helpful to her, but I am grateful for her patience and teaching at these times. From this picture, I wonder if I have been a closet cat lover my whole life.

Now the picture to the right is Diana, of course. When she was this age, she would always hold the kittens by the neck this way. Before the kittens could walk, I would always try to protect and rescue them. But once they learned to walk, I figured they were on their own. It is not like they didn't know what would happen if they let Diana get a hold of them. I wonder how many cats, Diana will have when she has her own place? Isn't interesting how similar these pictures are? I always knew we were kindred spirits. What a blessing that child has been in my life!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Traffic school graduate!

So today was the lucky day I got to go to my first traffic school. My class started at 9:00, but I needed to be there 30 minutes early to pay for the class and be seated. So I figured that I needed to leave at 8:00 in order to be on time. If only I was the only person in the equation of my life.

Of course, I woke up a bit late at 6:50, and was horror stricken to find both Trent and Jared were still in bed. This is a bit of a problem since Jared is suppose to leave for the bus stop at 7:10. I urged him to hurry. For once, he actually did hurry and was ready by about 7:15. I figured I could run him to the next bus stop and that would be faster than taking him to school. We ran out to the car.

Next was where I had heart failure, high blood pressure, and an aneurysm when I backed into Trent's car that was parked in the drive way. He usually parks on the curb, but someone was in his place last night.

I had seen his car the night before, but in my half awake, half crazed state of trying to get Jared to the bus stop on time, I didn't even look behind me or remember. Besides Trent should have been at seminary, for crying out loud. I wonder why he picks today to oversleep. Due I am sure to some angelic intervention, there was little to no damage done. Just five years off my life expectancy, but that's OK with me. There IS a white line on my black bumper, but I think it will come off with some elbow grease. Trent's car was fine.

So now I run back into the house and try to find Trent's keys, with no luck in the 30 seconds I spent looking. Now I am past hysterical and onto manic, but I find the van keys. After navigating the two block interval to the bus stop in about 1 minute, Jared was safely deposited at the curb. Perhaps I should have been offended when he bounded from the car with glee.

It would seem that he was glad to have escaped the mornings escapades unharmed. One would hope, that one could get up, get ready for school, and get to the bus stop with out near death experiences, but not when one has me for a mother.

Next we moved onto Diana. Cursing the system of higher education, I remember that it is picture day. Rousing Diana from her bed with the plea of "If you want to live to see another day, get up now and make yourself presentable" I continue to run around like a turkey with my head cut off. She of course is insistent on wearing one of her favorite shirts that has been missing for a few weeks.

Unfortunately, we found the darn thing the night before wedged down in the couch under a cushion. Why we had not thought to look there sooner, I don't know. We were actually looking for her glasses, which we never found. Yikes. I need those glasses to have a pager on them so I can get them to beep in order to find them.

The shirt was a bit soiled and wrinkled. Diana asked if I could fix it. Where is my magic wand when I need it? Oh yea it must be right next to my library books in the Bermuda Triangle that rotates around in my house sucking up unsuspecting things that I will need the next day.

So while Diana is finishing her homework and getting dressed. I try to fix the shirt with a bit of water and an iron. For those of you who don't know this about me, ironing is something I avoid like the plague. But this was a picture day emergency after all.

I wouldn't say that it was spectacular, but it was an improvement. Next we tackled her hair. Somehow while sleeping, she managed to wake up looking like her hair had been fashioned in a blender. This would not do. And yes the clock was ticking away to the deadline for my departure. I don't know how, but somehow thanks to my flat iron, I managed to flip her hair up at the ends. Diana thought she looked like Tracy Hornblat from hairspray.

Cursing the school again, I realize it was also library day for Diana. Geez these educators are really socking it to me today. Somehow now in third grade, she gets to check out 3 books. Good gracious, don't these people know me and my bad track record with library books? Obviously not. But as proof that the day of miracles has not ceased, all three of Diana's books were actually in her backpack. So after exerting my last ounce of energy, she was ready for picture day and went off to the neighbor's house.

I headed off to traffic school, about 5 minutes late. Wondering if being late was justification for speeding to traffic school, I hastened to the courthouse. Without too much trouble I made it there. It is an interesting bunch of people at the courthouse. From the armed guards, to many lawyers in suits, to us plain criminals there is much available for people watching. When the elevator came, I squished myself in with about 50 other people. Apparently, rather than waiting for the next elevator, people prefer the have a sardinelike experience. Of course I was in the very back corner and needed to get off on the first floor. I had to worm my way out with much apologizing. I paid for the class and was bummed to find out that I had to pay an extra $10 because I had to postpone my class when I went to Seattle. Next I found the classroom, which was essentially a large closet with 20 chairs and a TV. After we all waited silently, someone came in and started the movie. It was fairly interesting. The first part was all about wearing seat belts and how Princess Diana would still be alive today if she had worn her seat belt. At one point the video even says, tell everyone that Princess Di would be alive. Evidently, they think this fact alone will convince all of us to always buckle up. They did speak to others who were saved by seat belts or harmed greatly by not wearing one. The next part of the video was on anger management. They said that many accidents are caused by people driving too fast to meet deadlines, or being upset by others on the road around them. According to them it is not good to yell at other drivers and have feelings of resentment and revenge when someone cuts you off. These behaviors will detract from your health and could cause you to have a heart attack. Seemingly, I should never drive again. Once the movie was over, I was presented with a beautiful ornate certificate. Ok it was just a plain Jane document stating I had successfully completed the class. I would scan it in and post it here, but my new scanner is having problems and so you will all just have to imagine it. The best part was that the movie was only about 30 minutes. I hurried back to the parking garage because I had to pay $2 for every 30 minutes I was parked there. Wouldn't you know it if I wasn't there for 61 minutes and so I had to pay $6. GRRR! And the parking guy had to rub it in by saying "Oh you just missed it by one minute." I wanted to say "Hey I've got a paper cut would you like to pour lemon juice in it." I wish he hadn't told me, because I would have preferred to be blissfully ignorant of that fact. But hey, look at his life stuck in a parking garage, I am sure there is so little for him to look forward to each day. And so now I suppose I am to drive serenely off into the sunset. OH, MYLANTA!
Supposedly, I will now be transformed into a better driver somehow. Sadly it will take more than a 15 minute anger management video to help me change my sorry ways. My goodness how much of their advice had I completely gone against just that morning. Well, I will put "driving habits" on my list of things to change and hey maybe that will be my one and only time in traffic school.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Why couldn't I have been born before cars were invented?

I pretty much detest cars. Whether it be shopping for them, insuring them, fixing them when they break down, or even driving them around, I am not the biggest fan of all the trouble they can and have been in my life. Friday I took the van for its smog test. It didn't pass. Crikey, and it is due to be registered, tomorrow. So I took it in to my faithful mechanic. We are spending way too much time together, much to my dismay. Here is a picture of me shortly after my mechanic called to tell me how much it would cost to fix the van so that it would pass the smog. Honestly I could hardly breathe for about 20 minutes. But now the van has passed the smog test, and I can register it online. That will be so much preferable to waiting in line at the DMV for hours. Although imagine the entertaining faces, I will not get to make. So once again all is well that ends well.