Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another chance to be on the most wanted wall of BYU security

Ok peeps hold onto your horses, hats, or hosiery, because do I have some amazing beyond belief news of a shocking, well actually stalking nature.

Today I attended Women's Conference at BYU. In past years I have been content to just take pictures of my favorite General Relief Society and Young Women leaders. I have listened to these sisters talk and laughed and cried at the messages they have shared. And almost like blogging friends, I have come to feel that I really know them.

And so today when I went to a class about Hope taught by Sister Susan Tanner's husband and daughter, and I noticed her sitting in the front row, well I unabashedly went up and asked if she would take a picture with me. She suggested that perhaps we should not do it right at the very front, but could move over to the side out of the lime light. I suppose she didn't want to start a stampede of others wanting to follow in my ways.

And so here I am with my new BFF Susan W Tanner. She is just the cutest thing ever and I just adore her and her testimony. I told her how much I loved the talk she had given 7 years ago. After I had sufficiently scared her, I let her go back to her seat and watch her husband and daughter give wonderful talks.

After the afternoon session, I went way down to the very bottom of the stairs right next to where all the important people walk out. And after many shots of the back of Sister Beck and Sister Dalton I managed to flag them down and call them over to where I was nonchalantly hanging over the railing.

So look how cute I am with Sis Dalton. She can make anyone look cute. Now I am BFFs with her also. I had the nicest conversation with her, where I told her that I loved the story she told about running over her daughter with the car. Her daughter was in Kindergarten and it was very snowy and so her daughter was not even hurt, but she did have a tire mark on the back of her snow suit. We laughed about how life as a mother is just kind of crazy like that.

And then the cherry on top of the Sunday, Me and Sister Beck. How cute is she. What to do with so many new BFFs. We also shared a nice conversation about how much we love Relief Society. I love these woman of faith and have been so blessed by their testimonies.
And finally because my heart was racing from the excitement of meeting and picturing with my idols that I needed to see the EMT guys. I felt kind of light headed and rather faint. They were very kind to pose for a blog picture and even offered to do CPR on me for the good of the blog. How cute is the one with his mouth open in excitement from meeting me.
It was an amazing day and I have way more blog fodder that will have to wait for another day. I need to get to bed so I can get up early and get a good place in line for tomorrow.
So much stalking to do, so little time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on my Way to Women's Conference

Oh my goodness, oh my helk, oh my gadness even. I have so much to write about like how I saved $185 dollars at Albertson's last Friday, or how Jared went on the trek, or my shopping trip to help Diana buy a new bathing suit, but all of that will have to wait for another day because yesterday I met up with some of my favorite blogging friends in real life. Yes and all of them were even nice women, no dirty old men looking to kidnap me or anything scary like that. No axe murders. Just wonderfully friendly and funny bloggers.

It came to be, because I finally decided that I should attend women's conference. I know this is usually one of the highlights of my life and I haven't missed for the past four years, but my oldest son who never sang one word of any primary presentation his whole 9 years of primary is performing in the high school musical THIS WEEK, of course. Because why would it be another week, when I didn't need to go to Provo and stalk my favorite leaders of the church.

And so I have debated with myself back and forth about whether or not I could just attend the dress rehearsal and be OK with just that. And then just last week I found out that the play will be performed next week also. This was very happifying because I could leave and not miss out on all the fun.

And then to seal the deal I read on April's blog that she, and Shelle, and T were getting together for lunch and so I would be driving right by where they would be eating and why wouldn't I stop and meet up with them. And of course I invited myself right along.

There was a bit of stress getting my stuff in the car and leaving by 9:00. I did the dishes, shredded a pork roast from the crock pot and put barbecue sauce on it for sandwiches while I was gone, ran around and threw various miscellaneous items into my suitcase, in case I needed them, cooked 3 fried eggs and waffles for Jared for breakfast, dropped Diana off at school, wrote a note for Trent so he doesn't go over the allowed absences and loose credit and not graduate, stopped by the pharmacy, filled up with gas, and dropped off a copy of Norton Anti-virus to a friend whose lap top had frozen.

After all that craziness it was if someone opened the door to my hamster cage and let me off the wheel. Well not quite yet, because I was 20 mins later leaving than I wanted to be and so I sped as much as I dared between Vegas and St George.
But no worries I didn't even get a ticket and I was the first to arrive. After a stop in the bathroom, there was another woman speaking with the hostess. We eyed each other and finally she said "Are you Pat" and I said "Are you Tonya". After she said yes, I opened my mouth and made my signature screaming face, and then of course she recognized me right away.
We decided to go ahead and be seated and then of course needed to get the bottomless chips. We started right in visiting and soon April called me on my phone to ask where I was. I replied that she needed to get right over there and get some chips while the getting was good.
Here is the group shot we made the waitress take. And of course she had to take it with four different cameras. If you look at the edge of the table you can see some of them waiting for their turn. April is sitting next to me and Tonya is right across, and then Shelle next to Tonya.
Shelle snapped a shot of me and April.
And here I am teaching April of my screaming ways, she is a quick learner, don't ya think?
And Tonya took one of Shelle, April, and me. I think she did that on purpose because she doesn't really like to be in pictures.

I know they say imitation is the best form of flattery, but I am not so sure in this case. What do you think? I think they each carried off the crazed look in the eyes that totally makes the look. Good job girls.

We laughed and talked and seriously I don't know why people keep saying that they met someone they didn't' know when they meet blog friends. When you read some one's blog you KNOW them. And I totally agree with what Heidi said on her blog, meeting blog friends is so much better than you think it will be. As funny, smart, clever and witty as people are in writing well magnify that by 100 and that is how fun it is to be around others you have so much in common with.

It got me thinking that as fun as lunch is, it would be so much better to go on a blogging cruise. Crash will you get on that and get it organized. You can play the part of Richard Simmons on our cruise, or may be that part should go to Kristina P. Look to it.

And as if it wasn't my best day ever, I continued up to my sister's in Spanish Fork and of course stopped at the cheese factory in Beaver. I departed from my usual plain Jane vanilla and instead got lemon custard. It was sooooo yummy, I almost went back for seconds even if I was 10 miles down the freeway.

And besides the ice cream, the scrumptious ever delightful cheese curds. Here I am trying to show off the big bag I bought, but it still didn't show.

So now I am in Spanish Fork until Sunday with my 3 sisters. For the next two days I will be at BYU eating up as much knowledge and mint brownies as possible. I will be on the look out for blogging fodder. Not sure if I will harass John Bytheway this year, been there done that. But we shall see.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dramatically Diana

Thursday was take your child to work day. Diana was so excited to go with my husband, but he told her she couldn't go, because it was his busiest day. She of course was devastated by this horrifying news. But then the next day he called home and turned her frown upside down with the news that his school was planning a day filled with activities for all the kids who showed up. She was ecstatic as only she can be. I was ecstatic because it meant I didn't have to take anyone to school or pick anybody up. Simple pleasures, I tell ya.

For any of you who are not aware of my husbands occupation, he teaches Chemistry at the community college here. Yes, I did say Chemistry. I know EWWW. When I had to take Chemistry at BYU, I made him do my homework and then I bluffed my way through the tests. At least that is the way I remember it.

Anyway even if the budget cuts are going to limit the amount of extra classes he can teach, which by the way we count on for a few of life's little amenities like food and housing, at least he has tenure. And so until the government fails, which may be sooner than later, he will at least have some job. I am very grateful for this as I see so many others facing unemployment.

And due to the success of Diana's first video presentation, I have decided to make it a permanent feature here on the Hamster Wheel. In my obsession with alliteration, these little video diaries will be titled "Dramatically Diana". Those of you who know her in person will agree that this fits her to a tee. Maybe some day she will like to look back and see how she saw her everyday life. If we still have electricity, that is.

My only disappointment is that she is a bit shy in front of the camera and does not exhibit the same passion in the telling of exciting things. But still you get some idea. And so for posterity here is her report on her day at work with her Dad. Well not with her Dad, but her day at the place where her Dad works.

I loved that she explained that she did not build the plant, but instead that she just planted it. And who ever heard of a dental muesum complete with George Washington's teeth and a necklace of teeth made by a dentist who gets his paitients drunk so he could pull out their teeth. Now there's some education for you, huh? Also loved the part where she outed me for making her share. So funny. And so true that she bears the brunt of me since the boys will have no part of performing for the blog. Sorry dear, it is your fate in life, might as well embrace it.

And any day where you get to see George Washington's teeth has to go down as one of your best days ever, I am sure.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Winds of Change

It seems that the winds of change are blowing over my life and it is a good thing. Perhaps it all was started with April when she held the contest for the Wicked ticket. I think winning that has changed my life for the good. At least it seems a bit easier to get out of bed and face another day each morning.

The first Who Hoo producing event would have to be my husband's release from being Young Men's president for the past year and a half. Too bad I was in Utah the Sunday he was released and I could not jump for joy in person. Although believe me, the Happy Dance was happening in Happy Valley.

It is interesting that the term used is release, something akin to being released from prison. He has been really good for and with the boys, but let's be honest any youth calling is extremely time consuming.

Over the past few months I could not help noticing that he would be more available to help me with Jared, if he were not serving the other Young Men in the ward quite as often. I pointed this out to the Bishop and apparently the Lord agreed with me.

I feel a little like Abraham who has been spared from sacrificing Isaac. Of course I was willing to keep supporting my husband if it was absolutely necessary, but I feel a great sense of relief, joy, gratitude, and less stress. A huge burden has been lifted, and I can sense the polar ice caps that have formed over my will to live beginning to melt.

I love this lesson in the scriptures, that sometimes the Lord only requires that we be willing to sacrifice it all, not actually suffer the pain of sacrificing it all. Sometimes we can be spared pain. I suppose in this case the Lord knew when enough was enough. Yea I think there is a scripture in Corinthians 10:13 about that.

Last Sunday was the first time in probably about 6 years that my husband did not have to go to early morning meetings. He has been ward clerk, then High Priest Group Leader, then we moved and he was ward clerk again, and then Young Men's president. Having him home in the mornings will be a big change for us, and it is nice to have some back up in getting kids moving to be ready for church. Again something that should not be a big deal, but it will be easier now.

The other big change for the week would be Jared's hair. I know I have spoken of it before, how I was not the biggest fan of his choice of hair cuts or rather not cutting it. But considering his limited choices, I felt this was one thing he should be allowed to have control over.

Sometimes he has been the proud owner of the FRO.

And here is a shot taken on Monday before I took the clippers to it.

I offered to take him to a professional, but he said he would rather have me do it. Then I offered to try cutting just a little bit off. I figured he could see it a little bit shorter first and then if he didn't like it, I could always cute it shorter. But he would have none of it, he wanted it all off. Oh mylanta the pressure. And here are all of his lovely locks lying forlornly on the floor.
Of course he refused to pose for the after shot. He was willing however to show just his hair. See it is definitely shorter.

And here is another shot of him dodging the camera. Dang digital cameras that take so long to snap the picture. It is a nice look at the back though, don't ya think?

I have to say that as happy as I am with it being cut, it is quite a change. I think it has been about a year since he has had a real hair cut. I suppose I saved lots of money. Oh wait I always cut his hair, never mind.

I think it is definitely a step in the right direction. He even went to seminary twice this week and he will be going on the Pioneer Trek tomorrow with the stake. He won't be doing much trekking, but the boys practiced pulling him in the hand cart the other night. It will be good for him to go to normal activities.

He will get his last cast off his leg next Tuesday. That will make 7 weeks in a cast and with out a real shower. Yikes. Sponge baths are better than nothing, but not the same. His leg is all the way straight and he is actually walking/limping around with out any crutches. It is something of a miracle.

In my pessimistic way, I am waiting for the cast to come off and for them to say now he can't bend the knee. There has to be something right? He can't just be well and normal again. Hopefully I am wrong about that. Stranger things have happened.

Maybe that bright light making me squint, is the light at the end of the tunnel and not just the glow from the Stip. One can hope. Amazing, I wondered if I would ever say that again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tale of Blood and Guts

Diana came home from school today just brimming with joy and excitement. She proceeded to tell me about the source of all her enthusiasm. She told the story so well and I found it very enthralling and made her repeat it for posterity and family who live so far away.

Happy Birthday, Lisa!

Ok any of you who know and love Funny Farmer like I do, it is her very special Birthday today. Everyone go over and leave a comment in her last post. K.

Happy, Happy Birthday!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Festivities Continue

Okey Dokey Artichokey, I am pretty darn sure this will be my last post of pictures from our spring break extravaganza with my family in Utah. But you never can tell. I suppose one of the hazards of digital camera is the ability to take a billion pictures in one week.

The first night we were there, the girls all had a blast playing dress up. My sister rescued all of these clothes from the DI bag at my mother's house.

I think it is funny how my nephew wanted to be with the girls, even though he wasn't dressed up.

And here is another shot, with everyone facing forward. The pink dress on the end was once my prom dress. My mom did some altering to make it work for little girls.

Diana is modeling my old ballet costume. I made this for a recital when I was a junior in high school. I am surprised that it is still in such good condition. Diana must have sensed it was mine, because she was always wearing it.

And here my nephew is the victim of older sisters and cousins. Luckily his dad was there to save him from needing any lasting therapy.

After the dressing up, all the big girls slept over with Diana in my sister's basement. Her new house has this coolio built in loft that the girls set up camp in to sleep.

I wonder what mischief Diana is planning here?

This is Funny Farmer's daughter demonstrating her mad cross eyed skills. I have to say it is a bit disturbing.
Later in the week we had my cousin and his cute family over. I have come to be friends with his wife because we read each other's blogs. So fun. And here is a shot of me, my sister, and my cousin.

My cousin has an adorable new baby boy. Diana was thrilled for a chance to hold him.

I love this great shot of my niece taken while she was sitting on my lap.

One of the days were there, it was actually warm. Thanks to my sister-in-law we ended up at the park for a picnic. The girls had fun on the swings.

There was a pond complete with ducks. Fortunately no one fell in.

After our lunch and play time, we had an egg hunt. Don't you love the attitude with the hand on the hip of the youngest one?

And finally the three amigos hangin out with the computer. Diana is so lucky to have such good friends as cousins. She loves to visit them and wonders why we don't get to live in Utah.

Oh well, we will just have to settle for visiting often.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fantastic Fabulous Friday

If you somehow missed our antics at the BYU bookstore or us frolicking with the football team, check out the past two posts. Who am I kidding? Of course you didn't miss those fun times.

But just like a commercial for Ginsu Knives, wait there's more.

There was a bad accident on the 15 at Springville and so we were forced to find refuge at my favorite Italian restaurant La Dolce Vita. We found this place when we lived there 20 years ago, and it is one of the things that is still like I remember it. Well actually they have remodeled, but the food is just as good.

Here we are at a wonderful table for two.

I got my all time fav, the spinach calezone. I am always tempted to try something new, but I just love this and so I always get my regular.

Diana tried a mini ham and pineapple pizza. Just her size.
After a delicious meal, we still needed to kill some time. Where else would we go but the mall.

First stop Bath and Body Works to try on some lip gloss.

Boy my lips hurt real bad.

And to round out the days festivities, a stop at the mall picture machine. I find it hard to believe that I have never participated in this particular mall ritual. Now I feel so with the in crowd. Whoo hoo.

Finally the traffic had cleared and we returned from our day's seven hour adventure. Wow, it is hard to believe that one day could be so fantastic.

And last but not least we felt in necessary to take pictures of us wearing each other's hats. Got to love the cougar.

I am so lucky to have such a great daughter to share good times with. So glad you came and blessed my life Diana! Thanks for a fabulous funtastic Friday!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter Festivities 2009

Well, I have safely returned from Utah, even though I didn't get home until 9:00 pm last Monday night. Why is it that you come home from vacations feeling like you need a vacation? What is up with that?

I have been rather busy this week working. There has been some blog worthy fodder, that I may post about some day.

In the mean time, I will subject you all to a family slide show. Just imagine you have stopped by for a short visit and I have chained you up in the living room with the slide projector. Today's torture will be Easter celebrations in Utah.

To begin with we have the obligatory egg coloring. I read about some mother who has her kids color eggs naked in the bath tub. That does sound like genius, but we opted for the slightly less X rated boring version of just carefully sitting around the table.

But before the eggs, we needed an activity to keep the kiddies occupied while the eggs were boiling. Nothing like pipe cleaners and beads for hours of cheap entertainment.

Finally it was time for the dying of the eggs. It all went rather smoothly considering the number of kids and their young ages. Of course the nappers were left out of the fun. Snooze you loose.

Here is a naked egg waiting to be colored.

Everyone is hard at work. Diana is using the every popular wax crayon to decorate her egg.

On Sunday, I was lucky enough to attend Easter dinner hosted by none other than our long lost friend Funny Farmer. And when I say lucky, I mean niner niner niner, you missed out on some way yummy food. So here is a picture of just the two of us. What a great trip I got pictures with two blog friends. He He He.

Funny Farmer is alive and well, but she is keeping occupied with real life and friends as opposed to just sitting at a computer all day. She says no offense, and none is taken. But we all do miss her witty ways and snarky comments. Lucky for me I know her in real life and so I still get to be real life friends with her. Some day she may be back. We'll leave the light on for you FF.

And if FF wasn't enough, look here is Old Boat guy surveying the spread. Cool huh? The ham was better than a Honey Baked because Funny Farmer put her own delicious spiced topping on it. Yummo! And she made funeral potatoes from REAL POTATOES. Who ever heard of that? Boy its nice to be related to someone from Idaho. And Pioneer Women beware, you ain't got nothin on my FF.

I loved this dinner so much because we all brought something and it made it so much easier. It is the first Easter Dinner I have been with my family for a very long time, if ever. It was great. Although I ditched out on my husband and two sons. They had to suffer alone in Vegas. Poor things.

Besides all the yummy food, there was a boat load of small children running around and having fun together. So much fun.

A shout out to my niece Susan for all the outside shots. She was kind enough to take over my camera as photographer, while I laid on the couch in pain from eating too much.

Tell me this little girl does not just melt you heart.

And here she it checking out Funny Farmer's chickens that did not get butchered for dinner.

Love this pose.
And check out the attitude. You go girl!

And how about this little cutie patootie?

The boys are greatly outnumbered by the girls and so these two stick together.
This is my nephew who thinks he is a dog. So funny how he claimed this spot and wouldn't even move for the real dog.

Here is a shot with my two brothers, my dad, and my sister. This is half of us kids.

And a shot of Diana with Grandpa.
Time for Grandpa to go back to Seattle and the good bye hugs.

No one wanted him to go. So sad. He practically had to pry them all off his leg so he could get out of the door. It was nice that his business trip coincided with Easter weekend, or he wouldn't have been there.
All in all we had a great time while in Utah. Believe or not, there are still more pictures for me to post about. I know I still haven't finished the Fabulous Friday of Fun we had last week. I need to scan in the pictures we had taken at the mall. Maybe tomorrow.
Thanks for enduring my slide show and not throwing too many tomatoes.