Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Today is my mom's birthday. I want to send a shout out to her. I love and miss her so much! Happy birthday Mom!

Tap-tap-tap-tap.... Major updates!

I finished my second semester at school and this was the first semester I took a full load. I took five classes and just got my grades back last week. Four A's and one B. YAY me! I'm kicking myself over the B, because it would have been an A, but with Thanksgiving weekend I forgot to take two online quizzes and that brought my grade down a lot. One of the classes I took this fall was Environmental Science. It was a shortened class packing 16 weeks into 10, it was a class I found very challenging and also had a lot of disagreements with my teacher on some public opinion things. I was just hoping to pass the class and didn't hope for the best grade. I was very surprised to find that I'd not only earned an A, but also that only one other person did better than me on the final exam, and everybody else scored less than my 92%! That felt really good.

I am taking four classes the next semester and they all start the first part of January, so I'm hoping that my load won't be as heavy as this last semester was. I am taking an introduction to Special Education class that I am very much looking forward to. This, I am hoping, will help me sort out which range of kids I want to work with. My education will not be all encompassing and at one point I will have to choose between:

a- development and physical disabilities
b- learning and emotional behavior disabilities

I really wanted the development and learning, but the school has them split up, so at some point I will have to choose one or the other. At this point I am leaning towards choice a, but I think Jaeden falls in choice b, and I was hoping what I learned would help me help her. During their Jr. High years I am hoping to home school at least the girls, if not Josh too (he's already begging me, but I think he just thinks it's an easy ride).

Buddy is doing a little better. He's learned his name. He's still biting the kids a lot. For the first few weeks we would close his mouth and scold, "no biting!" But that didn't work. He is very mouthy, chews, bites, eats everything. He's just a puppy and learning about the world, like babies do, putting everything in their mouths, but he should be past that stage by now. So now we are shaking his scruff while we scold and pinning him down on the ground until he submits, which he does, but it's not stopping the biting yet. I really need to take a video of Joy disciplining him, it's kind of hilarious, she's such a brute. Josh and Jaeden are much more timid and afraid of his biting. So far it's not hard biting, but it needs to be stopped before he gets older and his grown up teeth come all the way in.

We had a good Christmas. The children traded presents from Joel and me for the puppy, but we did get them a couple of things, and of course Santa stopped by and spoiled them too. I got a really comfy computer chair that I am loving sitting in right now.

Jake had his wisdom teeth out on the 23rd and is still on ibuprofen, but he seems to be healing pretty well and hasn't shown signs of dry socket yet. I got that the last time I had a tooth removed and I'd rather have pushed a baby out than go through that again! It was the worst. His face hasn't swollen up too bad either. Tomorrow it will have been a week. I hope this is the last major thing his body goes through. He's had so many broken bones and teeth removed and braces and such. It's time the kid got a break!
My preventative medicine for migraines seems to be working really well now. I hardly ever have to take Excedrin. I am so happy! I was in so much pain before, every day. I do think the pills make me more tired than usual, but I'd rather deal with that, than be back on so many pain meds. Also my stomach is much happier.

Monday, December 6, 2010

One more week of classes and then winter break. YAY! And also bah! Although I'm happy to have some of these classes end, I'm a little sad to know some people I've met, I may never see again. Every class I have I have made a friend and wish that I could have more classes with them. One gal, in my psychology class is so cool. She's a little older than I am (and how sad I am to know that I'm going to be one year closer to 40 next week, boooo!) and she totally reminds me of Sarah Palin, only smarter, and a lot less annoying. I'm going to miss her.
This is Reiley, she let me take her picture last week when we were performing a water/acid rain test. My stupid Blackberry takes horrible pictures (I'm spoiled by my Canons), but I think she looks adorable, anyway.

She's in my biology class.
Speaking of turning 39.... I never, ever, ever thought I would live this long! Seriously. If some of you know me, and some of you do, you know that for many, many years I was not living in a way that was kosher with living a long happy healthy life. I know I'm getting older, and this week I was reminded that my eyes are getting older too (stupid biology project), but I still feel like my mid 20's and so it's really hard for my mind to grasp my actual age. I mean, it's not a big deal to me, but it's still a mind boggler.
Buddy is still living with us. He's a chewer and a biter. I'm finding myself hooking him up to a long leash for hours every day and controlling every move he makes. The vet said I should do that, that he should be in puppy boot camp and can't make a move without my permission. That's what I'm doing. So far he's mastered "sit" and a little bit of "stay" and "lay down". And he's totally mastered the kisses and cuddles. I need people to come over so I can socialize him and make him sit nicely when people come in the house.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Puppy Love

And they called it "puppy love"... Ooooo la la.
I am so in love with this little guy. He reminds me a lot of our old dog Scout, who was the best dog ever.
This little guy got named Buddy when we brought him home. He is a 4 month old manchester terrier. At this time he's a little under 9 lb, about the size of a grown cat. He's a little under nourished. I can tell he hasn't lived in a home, he was scared of a toilet the first time it flushed and now he tries to see what's going on in there when he hears it. He also doesn't seem to like other dogs, as he growls really ferociously at the neighbors ugly little furballs. They deserve it for being so ugly. He is excited to look for rabbits when ever we go outside and almost doesn't want to take time out of rabbit hunting to potty. He's a very sweet little cuddler and I love that so much! I've missed my little Scouts cuddles.

Black Friday

I love Black Friday... why does it have to sound so dark? I know... bringing the businesses out of the red, into the black with sales, but still... so dreary sounding for the shoppers.
Last year we waited for hours for a sweet deal on electronics, and it would appear that maybe electronics will be on the list again this year. Last year we were in line with a really cool guy that talked our ear off in his southern accent and told us entertaining stories of his life. I hope we end up next to someone cool again this year.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday I forgot to post on here, but remembered on Facebook:
Today I am thankful for being blessed enough to live in a country that allows me the opportunity to participate in the process of chosing our leaders!

And, today I am thankful for the much needed rest I got last night and waking up without a migraine this morning. (however one did show up around 10am :( booo )

Monday, November 1, 2010

Today I am thankful for the hour I got to spend with Joyanna coloring and reading. I miss her so much!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Keyboard

Can I just say how much I love love love typing on a brand new keyboard and the sound it makes when it's not crunching crumbs under it's keys and how nice it is to not have to press each key more than once to make it work and also that my 0 key pops back up after I press it. Love it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mom, this one is for you :)

Click on the arrow to play, if it doesn't show up....

I knew you'd enjoy it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday's Wedding

On Saturday I felt really lucky to second shoot a wedding for Dominique again. I love shooting for her, she gets such unique clients with amazing venues for their weddings. This one was in Red Wing at the Round Barn B&B. Click on the link to watch a video tour of the place.
On my way there, my GPS took me through Prescot Wisconsin, and then back over the river into Red Wing. BIG MISTAKE! I got stuck in the middle of thousands of bikers and felt very awkwardly out of place in my baby blue mini-van. There was a Fall Flood Run and I'm not kidding when I say thousands of bikers. Eeeeks! Luckily I got out of there without hitting anyone with my van, as they would just pull out onto the road willi-nilly and never used blinkers.
It was a cool fall-feeling day, the ceremony was out in the back yard by a trellis of flowers. The bride was so adorable! She reminded me of my neice Carla, but her disposition was more like my sister DeAnna. Often she would catch the attention of someone and say, "Thank you! I don't know what you are doing, but I just know you are doing something!" She was so generous with her appreciation to everyone who was making her wedding day happen.
After the ceremony we moved into the barn for the reception. The barn is amazing! They seated everyone upstairs and each table was an eclectic gathering of vintage-looking centerpieces and each serving plate, water and wine glass was different from any other. After the dinner and toasts there was a space cleared for dancing and boy did they dance up a storm! I was downstairs running a photo-booth that Dominique wanted to try out, and I could hear everyone stomping at the same time to Cotton Eye Joe and I thought the place was going to fall down on me!
Later I went up for some dancing pictures because the photo booth was running dry and they did some jewish dance holding the bride and groom up in chairs and breaking glass, while playing Hava Nagila, even thou' the ceremony seemed to be Christian. But they all had good fun.
Luckily I got some great directions to get home a different way and avoided the bikers.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Mine is not excellent these days. Especially since I have had children. I really do believe that they suck the brains out of expectant moms, we just have yet to prove it. My memory was horrible while pregnant with each child. My recoveries have been less and less each pregnancy.

I'm learning about memory in my psychology class this week and it's been really interesting. It's also been a little irritating. I really think that they should just stick to the facts when teaching people. For example, nobody knows exactly what deja vu is. I mean we all know what it is, but they don't know exactly what causes it. The book I am reading from is very vague about what people think, but the explanation they give definitely doesn't fit my experiences of it. For example, I have remembered exactly the first time I saw the scene as it was happening the second time around. I have at times remembered the exact day I had dreamed it first, or day dreamed it first, when it was happening the second time. However, the book explains it as if I were to meet this guys mom, brother, sister, kids and then meet him and have that feeling that I've met him before (because of the similarities he has in looks and mannerisms to his family). But that's not deja vu, that's just feeling like something is familiar, which is entirely different.

It also fascinates me how they think the brain works. I had to take some tests online for the class and apparently my brain is not typical because I didn't get the same results as they were expecting from the average person. Most of my results didn't bother me, except for one test. I had to stare at a + on the screen and then 9 letters would flash really fast (like 1/100 of a second) in front of my eyes, and I was supposedly supposed to be able to see them all, however, my eyes didn't. The computer program wasn't very patient with me and told me several times that I needed to try harder, or concentrate better. Rude. I wanted to wring it's little wires. Other tests gave me a string of words and supposedly I was supposed to be able to remember only the first and last words, but my eyes didn't see the first few flash in front of them and so I mostly remembered the middle ones because by the end is when my brain had a traffic jam.

The other day I had forgotten to put a new can of shaving cream by my tub, and when I went to shave, I realized I didn't have any and used soap instead. I was thinking to myself, "I know I am going to forget to put a new can out when I get done here, how can I remind myself?" Then I noticed the lid for the old can, and thought, "I should toss it over by the sink so when I go to throw it away, I'll remember to put a new one out. Brilliant!" But that is where my memory goes blank. Later, when I'm at the sink I get out my deodorant and the lid looks very similar to the lid of the shaving cream and I think to myself, "Oh yeah, shaving cream! I forgot to throw the lid, but thankfully this deodorant lid reminded me." As I go to get a new can of shaving cream out, I see the lid to the old can on the floor by it... but, I have NO recollection of throwing it! NONE. So weird how the brain works. So eerie I don't remember tossing it after thinking about tossing it.

I'm telling you, I'm losing my mind, and maybe my eyesight too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"No" is not a word I use very often with people (besides my kids). I hate asking people for something, so when I know someone has the courage to ask me, I try to say yes if I can. Sometimes this gets me in over my head. Like when I wanted to help out on the neighborhood association, but also wanted to help out photographing the wrestling team for the high school.
My friend Michelle, the other day, helped me work through some feelings I was having about not being able to say no. I really have to work on it. As I do, I hope people don't get mad or feel offended, but I really have to practice saying "no" more. Starting today.
If you have a problem with it, take it up with Michelle. Hee hee.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beginning a new chapter

I feel like I'm beginning a new chapter in my life, a really big one. This is the year all of my kids are in school. I'm older and moving onto the mommy of older kids stage. I love babies, so don't get me wrong, but when I watch the mommies of young babies, I am so glad to not be chasing kids around, carrying baby seats, being sleep deprived, wiping butts, taking everything but the kitchen sink in a bag every time I leave the house, carrying babies all day long, etc. anymore. I'm happy to be moving onto this next stage. Someday I will enjoy grandbabies so much, but for now, I am enjoying my kids being older and all the things they can do.
I'm excited for the new school year and anticipate excitedly all the places they will go and the things they will learn, the art they will make for my kitchen wall, the songs they will sing to me, the books they will read, the math they will grasp, and yes, I refuse to feel selfish about the free time I will have. It won't be much because of my studying, but after 17 years, I have earned a short rest each day and I'm going to enjoy it and make the most of it!
And secretly, I do look forward to the day I will have tons and tons of grandbabies :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hey! I've had a lot of comments from people that they are waiting for me to update my blog, but I am just not feeling in the blogging mood lately. If you'd like to know what's going on with our family you'll just have to call us and find out!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The best laugh I've had all week!

If it disappears for you, like it does for me, just click on the little arrow in the corner of this post, it will start playing.

I am surprised that last picture turned out. I took that with my phone! I also took the next couple of pictures with my phone.

Jaeden's yellow shirt really attracted the butterflies at the butterfly garden at the zoo.


The butterflies weren't the only ones loving Jaeden that day. When we were leaving she held a door open for us and a man and his little curly blond haired son, who was maybe 2, came up behind us and the little boy just reached over and gave her the biggest hug! Jaeden just stood there giggling and let him. It was super cute :)

While the boys were getting ready for a week long hiking trip, Joy got her stuff together in hopes of tagging along. Love the outfit she put together.


The kids and I are getting ready for a trip out to Utah as soon as Joel and Jake get back. I could have left earlier, but I really wanted Jake to come with too, so we've been waiting for his return. Jaeden will turn 7 while we are out there, so we also have to have some family over and birthday cake before we take off.

All week long the kids have been asking me questions about their family in Utah. We were out there in '05 and '07, we missed last year because of Joel being laid off. Only Jake, Josh and Jaeden remember much. So Joy's been the most full of questions. They keep asking about the house I grew up in, because they keep forgetting that their grandparents don't live there anymore. I will take them by to see it. I'd love to see it myself. I miss that house, and often dream about living there still. It was a great house and neighborhood for a kid to grow up in.

If everything goes as planned we will be meeting up with my good friend Michelle, from Idaho, at Lagoon for a day of fun in the sun! I am so excited to finally be able to meet her face to face! I wanted to meet her last time, but Joel was worn out from our trip to Utah and not in the mood for socializing anymore. Booooo. But this time I get to call the shots :)

Also the kids are way excited to visit another ward. They are in awe that church is the same here and there. They were asking me questions like, "Will they sing the same songs we do here?", "Will we have the same lessons?", "Do they believe in Jesus and Joseph Smith too?". It's so cute to see the stuff they worry about. But now they are excited to see it be true.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Six little monkeys at the zoo today. It was such nice nice nice weather out today! I wish the beautiful temperatures would stay, it was perfect!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I saw that my teacher graded my paper today and I ended up with an over all score of 88.8%, so I'm happy with that. It was a frustrating class and I am so HAPPY to have it over! The grade on my last paper was a bit of a let down. I worked really hard on it.
Thanks to Michelle, I now know how to better search for a professor that will suit me. Thanks Michelle!!!
I am looking forward to my fall classes, especially now that I've dropped a Communications class that was being taught by someone I'm sure would have had me in tears. And I'm looking forward to the Humanities class I picked up instead, and a stain glass class. I'm also going to be taking Introduction to Art History and General Psychology. I think all four classes will interest me.

Monday I have an appointment with the school secretary to begin the process of trying to get Joy into full day Kindergarten. I'm going to apply for a child care grant, and hope that they give me enough that I can put her in for the full day. This way I can take classes whenever I need and study while the kids are in school. Then I have their time at home to help them with work and have family time. Jacob did full day Kindergarten, I don't understand why they don't do it at every school. Seems to me most kids are in daycare anyway, might as well have them learning instead.
So, other than that meeting and couple of oil changes, and this last week of t-ball, my schedule is wide open for 4 weeks! Wahoo!!!! I have some fun plans for me and my kids during those 4 weeks, that we are all excited about.

Friday, July 23, 2010

One good thing

One good thing about going to college is that I have a college identity card and got to use it today to get 25% off my entire purchase at Old Navy, even on clearanced items! I cleaned the store! Well, not really, but I did come home with several bags of clothes for my kids for school! They were very excited and loved what I brought them. YAY me! I was excited that they got NEW stuff for less than thrift store prices!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Update

Sorry my posting has been so sporadic! I talked to Mom yesterday and she commented on when my last post was. I didn't realize it had been that long. Whoops!

Today my head is aching. I spent pretty much all day yesterday, except when we had my in-laws over for dinner, working on my last paper. It's a position paper, which also has to be between 7-9 pages long. I was up until nearly 2am working on it. Joel went over it with me this morning and we corrected some things my Office isn't catching that his is, which is strange, because we both have the same Office 2007. I have a few more things to add this afternoon before turning it in before the 11:59pm deadline. The final draft is due on the 21st, and then I'll have survived my first semester! One down and about 12 more to go!

Today my extended warranty wore out on my computer, so I pretty much expect it to crash within the next week or two, especially when I have a crunch editing session for a wedding. Yup, that's about par for my computers.

On Friday I am second shooting a wedding for a friend. I am looking forward to seeing her again, it's been ages! I love working for her, she has such great clients. And also, I love that I don't have to edit, hee hee. Shooting is really my most favorite part.

Jake and Joel just recently survived a very big hike with the scouts. That's all I will say about that matter here. Family can look forward to a longer recap in the family newsletter I sent out at the end of the month.

The local farmer's market started a week ago, and I'm headed there this afternoon after I take the rugrats to the library. I love, love, love the farmer's market! I also love the farmer's stand by the Mermaid, that is so easy to run to and has better stuff than the stores. Summer is so great for food.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

T-ball.... or dirtball?

I was Joy's designated driver/cheerleader on Thursday evening, and for once it wasn't raining, so I brought along my camera.
If there was any doubt she was related to Jacob, let all doubting cease. If I had pictures of Jake playing baseball, they'd pretty much look like this too. Only, add in some pictures of him chatting with friends, on the bases.


Sand is great for the glove...


Playing third base...

Playing shortstop


She's a bad influence...


But, she wasn't the only one tempted to stir up the dust, this little guy dragged his feet around all four bases...


He reminds me of Peanut's Pig Pen in this one...

Maybe next year instead of baseball, I'll sign her up for sandcastle building.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It's time for a little update, isn't it?
Well, the kids have been out of school for a couple of weeks now. I'm still trying to figure out a schedule that lets me get my study time in, them get their mommy time in, get my editing wedding pictures time in, and all of us get our sleep time in. It's not an easy juggle.
They are bored already and I feel bad because I haven't had the time yet to really help them do much out of the house stuff, except for t-ball nights and a couple of play dates.
Jacob has to have his bottom wisdom teeth removed, and that's been scheduled for July 8th. I hope he's feeling great by August for the High Adventure camping trip the scouts are planning on taking up by the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. That's a trip he is not going to want to miss!
We had his yearbook pictures done last week so that he wouldn't look swollen in them. I will be doing his graduation announcement pictures next spring. I prefer to have his images fresh and new, than ones done the year before, like some people do.
I have a horrible cold today and I'm taking things easy. Lucky for me I got a big paper out of the way before I came down with it. So I have a week to do some smaller assignments while I take it easy.
Lucky me, also, that I have Jake who can drive and take care of some things for me while I am not able to. Joy has a birthday party to go to tomorrow and so Jake took her out shopping for the present. He's so sweet! And I got to stay on the couch, still in my pajamas.
I finished up a math refresher course and begin a new one in two weeks, it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be, whew! But I think the next one might be.

Monday, June 14, 2010

So true...

I read this today...
"Be a best friend, tell the truth, over-use 'I love you', go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense, don't let those prayin' knees get lazy, and love like crazy."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yesterday I shot my last wedding. I don't have any more booked after this.
It was a rainy day and much colder than I had planned on it being. The weather man told us that it would be upper 70's but I think the high was only 63. I was freezing. I'd worn suit pants and a short sleeved thin top, and as a last thought threw on a short sleeved sweater vest, but I should have grabbed my sued dress jacket!
I met up with the bride in the morning at her hair and make-up appointment and the weather was still dry when we left, but as I approached her house it began to rain and rained all morning clear up until the ceremony which was an outdoor ceremony scheduled for 5pm. They decided to go ahead with it around 5:30 and just after the bride walked down the isle the rain ceased for the rest of the evening! ARGH!
So pretty much it rained all through the portrait session times. I was sad because they had a beautiful 10 acre farm for us to use, and also her uncle's property as well as a horse drawn carriage! And because of the rain we only got to do a fraction of what we'd talked about doing, the night before.
Today my body is aching and hurting all over and I've had a migraine I can't get rid of, though I've taken a lot of pills to try.
I'll be putting up pictures on my business blog sometime this week.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When Eggs Freeze

Poor things, they didn't stand a chance once the bowl touched the side of the fridge.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

We've had the flu going around our family since two weekends ago and I haven't had my turn yet. I'm worried it's going to hit me this weekend when I have a wedding to shoot. If I ever had to hope to get sick, it would be today.

The kids have one more day of school Today they were supposed to have an all school peace march but rain came and I am secretly happy about that. The kids wanted to do it, so I was going to let them, but I wasn't crazy about the school having them walking off the school property and having them participate in a march out in public for any reason, worthy or not.

The downside of the rain it that baseball was cancelled for the kids today too. Boo.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Got Fabric?

Right now I am supposed to be going through my coupons and setting up my shopping list for tomorrow, but I keep having something on my mind and decided to share it with y'all because I think that anyone who reads this blog has to have a fabulous mind and can appreciate the absurdity of the story I am about to share with you.

Yesterday my husband and I went out in the morning to run a few errands. We stopped at the church's garage sale the young women are having to raise money for girl's camp and scored Jaeden a new bike, yay! Then I took Joel over to Best Buy to pick up his birthday present, a new laptop to replace his that died a couple months ago. It was a little before 9am and they let us in the store anyway. We were in and out in 15 minutes. Then I drove across the parking lot to Jo-Ann fabric store to purchase some material to make my swim suit more modest. There was maybe one other customer in the store when I got there. I wasted no time in finding the fabric and color I wanted and was at the cutting table in two minutes.
Hmmm... no employees were around. I saw a ticket dispenser, but reasoned they had just opened and I was probably their first customer of the day so I didn't need to take a ticket and waste a piece of precious tree. I scooted to the end of the table and then I could see an employee stocking a shelf with items. I walked over to her and asked her politely if I could get some help at the cutting table. She was not happy with my request, and I could tell by her voice and face that I was bothering her. "Go over there and take a ticket and I'll be over in a bit to help you."
Okay, thanks.
So I go over to the table and notice the sign next to the ticket dispenser says something to the effect that I should take a ticket and continue my shopping and someone will call my number when they are ready to help me. Serious?
So I take ticket number 26 and stand around for a whole minute before "Pam" (yes, I read her name tag solely for the purpose of blogging about her and I find no shame in not changing her name) comes over to the table. Standing not more than three feet from me, she picks up a phone and announces over the speakers in the store that she is "now serving number 26 at the cutting table."
It took everything I have to not bust out laughing. I really should have walked out of the store at this time.
After composing myself I blurt out, "I am SO blogging about this."
She looks at me as if I am the one gone mad and sputtering out incoherent words.
Then I see she has caught onto my assessment of the situation and begins to explain to me in a very bored tone that this is the new way they are going to be doing things and she is just trying to follow protocol and get customers used to the new way.
I said, "I'm the only one in here".
She said, "We've had lots of people in here today."
I must have missed the 9am - 9:10am rush.
I asked, "in the last 15 minutes?" She informs me that I will be thankful for this when it comes Christmas season and the lines for cutting get long.
Uh, okay. Note to self: Buy Christmas fabrics at Hancock Fabrics.
She asked me about my project and we begin discussing how hard it is to find a swim suit that covers all the things we want covered. And the conversation is pleasant after that. She cuts my 12" and I'm on my way over to the registers.
The cashier is also stocking shelves but notices me on the way over. For explaining purposes I have created a diagram of what I can remember of the register area of the store. She is in green and her path is in green, I am the red "Me:)"
The cashier greets me and asks if I am ready to check out, "yep" I tell her. She then asks me to go around the shelving (diagrammed with red arrows) to the back cash registers as she cuts through them to get to her register to beat me there and greet me again.
Are you kidding me???
In my head I'm thinking, "What, is this to prepare me for the Christmas shopping season when I'll have to stand in long lines???"
As she checks me out the cashier asks me if I am on their mailing list, I assure her I am but also in my head I am thinking "I know what I'm lining my bird cage with this week."

I'm off to find some coupons I can really use!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fool that I am

What was I thinking??? Oh my word. Ok, I got in over my head this week.
I had no idea what school was going to be like. It started on the 1st and I had five assignments due by the 4th. One was a room descriptive essay, which I will share with you at the bottom of this post.
I just finnished writting when all my essays are due and I can tell I'm going to be a very busy person for the next two months. Good thing I didn't take any more classes than I am.
I finished up my last session today and I have a wedding on the 12th and then I'm done with photography for clients. It's been painfully obvious to me this week that I cannot do both photography and school and be Mom all at the same time. It would be a different story if my kids were being watched by someone who would play with them and keep their minds going while I work on pictures. But they are not, and it's my job to do that.
I do feel good about this decision. I know at some point I may ache for a client, but I know I cannot do both. I just don't have those skills right now to toggle family, work and school.

Okay, now for my first essay.

Where My Heart Rests

Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home, for there the heart can rest.
-Henry Van Dyke
If you were to come to my home, the room that you would be greeted in is the room that I love most. This is the room where our family is introduced to family and friends alike. I spend hours each day in this room because all of my favorite things are kept here and I love that it stays the cleanest. Rarely does the clutter and toys of the children reach this far out of their rooms.
As they enter into my home the first thing that most people notice is our large family portrait that hangs over the oak fireplace mantel and the black wooden letters spelling FAMILY under it. This portrait was taken two Octobers ago at a visit to an apple orchard in White Bear Lake. We are dressed in reds and browns and are situated near the ground in front of an old red weather beaten fence. Our oldest son, the tallest in the family, smiles from the center of the family wreathed around him, his perfectly straight teeth hidden behind closed lips. Our youngest, a squinty eyed red head, sits on his lap. The other two children, a brown haired playful boy and a blonde sprite of a girl, flank his sides. My husband and I are situated behind our little gems leaning over them reaching our delighted grins into the picture. A picture of family harmony.
On the mantel below our portrait sits one of my treasures, a framed picture I took on one summer visit to my parents home in Utah valley. It's a black and white image of their hands entwined, holding onto each other with my father's hands taking a guiding position. This image speaks more to me of their love for each other than any image of them smiling at me would.
The floor in this room was a project we undertook a couple of years ago after having water damage from a leaky dishwasher. Hours were spent with my husband and I on our knees measuring, cutting and pounding the oak colored wood laminate slats together for three of the rooms in this house. I love that it looks clean even when it isn't and I love the way it complements our oak fireplace mantel and the wood trim around the doors and windows. I also love the time we spent together working on this common goal and we have something beautiful to show for it.
The oversized avocado green suede couch to the right of the doorway is still new and hasn't suffered the wearing abuse the children have doled out onto the other furniture. Often I will sit sideways on the soft fuzzy cushions with the southern facing windows behind it open and savor the sunlight that flows in through the white wood blinds and warms my skin. I will snuggle my back into the yielding cushions, close my eyes and meditate for the few short moments I can steal during my busy day, sometimes catching the faint scent of the old cinnamon apple pie air freshener baking in the outlet across the room. Sometimes my daughter practices her spelling words on this couch, sitting upside down with her legs dangling over the back of the couch and her head hanging down towards the cranberry and beige shag rug. Perhaps she believes that letting the blood rush to her head will make her brain remember.
From the corner you may hear a chirp, a chatter, or perhaps if you are lucky you will hear a wolf- whistle from my cheery little cockatiel, Rocky. Her home sits in one corner, a tall black cage with the door open and wooden playground on top. A beige cloth drapes over the back and will cover her cage to prevent drafts in the night hours. During the day she wanders freely over the cage using her beak to guide her way. Her wings are clipped so I never worry about her wandering too far. Her day is spent on the highest perch either chewing up the wood or chirping for me to come give her a ride on my shoulder while I perform some menial task such as folding laundry. She loves to hiss and attack the clothes as I spread them across my chest to fold.
In the dark corner on the other side of the fireplace some remaining photography supplies are beginning to gather dust. A pink fluffy bean bag chair used to cradle sleeping newborns, a roll of arctic white paper resting against the wall, a bag of black packaging boxes and silver elastic bows. I don't know when or if I will ever use them again. My dreams of photographing my life away slowly fade as I undertake this new adventure called "college".
Next to the front door is a little wooden tile painted in cream and gold with words saying, "Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." Pictures of my children dot the room, on the table, on the mantle and on the shelf.
A large vaulted ceiling creates tall white walls across the room from the couch with tall open doorways leading into the kitchen and family room, creating a great circle for the children to run races and play tag through. In the middle stands a pale white blank slate wall waiting for "the masterpiece" I plan to create. A lofty goal I have set for myself, I know. The black and gold rocking chair, camel recliner and honey oak table with cranberry and black iron lamp resting under this space only make the white space look even bigger and more empty. I want to create a wonderful image of my children, in a field, with warm and rich colors to display in this space. I want to create a work of art that makes one step back and realize that it is not only an art piece but it's also a portrait of the children who live in this home. Someday I will create this masterpiece but until then the wall stands blank.
On the fourth wall stands a faux aged cream colored armoire filled with all my computer things that I need and work with on a daily basis. On the top sits an old wooden red rooster with spindly black legs, a woven basket full of pens and pencils, and a fake ivy plant drapes it's dusty vines along the top and down over the edges. This is the one plant in my home that has not had several near-death experiences. Often the children are found sitting on my black rolling computer chair in front of the armoire, gathered around the computer screen and chattering directions to each other on what action to take in some game they've found on the internet.
On the wall next to them is a large picture of the LDS temple in Salt Lake City. It's granite spires lit in white with the golden sunset reflecting on the Great Salt Lake behind it. The temple is central to our family and religion. I have this picture in this room to remind, or rather reassure, myself and our children that our family is forever.
This room is where we greet friends and family and bid them to come in and sit for a while and visit. We share friendship, laughter, love, games and joy in this room. It's filled with my family even when they are out in the world and far from me. It is the room I find rest in and the first room my children enter when they come home and shrug off the world at the doorstep. They are greeted with safety and love as they enter this room and reminders that they will always belong. This is the room I love the most and where my heart rests.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

kare11.com | Twin Cities, MN | Rainbow-colored streak seen across Twin Cities skies

kare11.com Twin Cities, MN Rainbow-colored streak seen across Twin Cities skies

Here's my picture of it

On the side of the news article is a video they made of it. They show a plane making a line in the sky. I had suspected this one was made from ice off a plane, not a cloud. I might be right!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I did end up telling him I was feeling under appreciated and he said he was sorry. He tried to say that I should have asked, but I reminded him how I keep the house pretty clean and taken care of and when you see dishes in the sink and the house is a mess... red flags saying "Jen needs help!"
He said he was sorry a few times, went into our room and started getting ready for bed, but then came out and started folding the basket of laundry in the family room. I guess that was his way of saying sorry.

Teacher Gift

This is what Joy and I came up with for her teachers at School Ready. We hope they like them!


Yesterday I just ran all day long, took Joy to meet up with Peggy in the morning, let her play at the playground for about an hour, went to Menards to buy a plug for the tub that was broken for two weeks before anyone bothered to tell me about it (Joel knew about it, but didn't bother to replace it), made Joy lunch, sent her to school, 30 minutes later met her at school for a party, took her shopping for teacher appreciation gifts, made dinner, Got Jake off to trip with youth, took Josh to scouts, came home, made teacher gifts, got a text to bring Joel a drill left in the car, took that to him instead of doing dishes that were piling up in sink, got home after 10:30, cleaned up my mess from gifts, went to bed with dishes in the sink still. Woke up this morning, dishes STILL IN THE SINK, old man sitting on chair all morning >:(
He wants to know why I'm not so cheery this morning.
Did I mention the basket of laundry he sat next to without folding, as well?

Monday, May 17, 2010

On Saturday I got the rare opportunity to visit an old workplace. For 5 years I worked at The Northwestern Casket Company, doing various jobs during my time there. I started out at the cutting tables, did a little sewing (but I must have sucked at that because they didn't keep me there long) then moved to tying caps and shirring material, then the last couple of years I did embroidery. When I left (at 5 months pregnant with Joshua) they replaced me with a computerized embroidery machine. When I did the embroidery I had to use a very old chain stitch machine. The company has since moved and for a while I heard rumors of the building being sold and demolition being planned for it. One time when I drove by it they were replacing windows, so I knew they wouldn't be tearing it down. Later I found out they put studios in the building and rented out their office spaces to artisans. They changed the name of the lot to be The Northwestern Casket Art District and made it part of the Minneapolis Art District.
JoAnne went with me for the Art A Whirl which is where the Minneapolis Art District open their doors for a weekend to allow people to come in and see their wares. It was pretty fun and interesting! Some art was yucky. I had dreams that night about all the stuff we saw. I should have gone back to one artisan who had some pretty dangle earrings with stones that I liked. Maybe next year.
We ran into a few interesting photographers, one even has an office in the room I used to work in. I'd never been in the basement before. It was interesting to see the stone archway doorways and we took some pictures of the old pipes.
We also visited some other buildings on the lot that I'd never been in before either. I don't remember the silos at the end of the road. Once I have some time I'll post pictures that I took. I want to send some to my old manager Dorothy.
I just want to know why there has to be so much nakedness in art? Hahaha.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Total Brownie Points

This kid is going to get away with anything this week, and perhaps longer :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's so frustrating watching someone mess up their lives. It's more frustrating when you don't know the whole story, but there doesn't seem to be any good reason for it and it really sucks watching selfish people hurt everyone else around them and it sucks even more when everyone else around them have no spines and treat that person like everything is fine, when really, that person needs a boot to the head! And if I did happen to lodge my Sauconys at them, I know I'd be the evil non-understanding one.
Yeah, my heart is black and I'm not getting into heaven, deal with it, I have.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wow.... just wow

This week Jake has been working on two talks for his speech class. He only practiced one in front of me.
Tonight he had to finish up a merit badge on public speaking and tie it into his assignments at school, so he dressed up in a suit and went to mutual, planning to give his speeches. I had to go to the church tonight for a scout committee meeting and so I traded the cars with him and he took Josh, who was also done with scouts, and the girls back home.
While I was in the meeting my phone kept telling me I was getting a bunch of emails. Later on my way out of the church I saw that it was our Young Men's leader sending me a bunch of video clips, but my phone wouldn't open them. When I got home I asked Jake why Brother Gray was sending me videos. He said, "I told him not to send those to you!" I suddenly became very curious about this speech he gave and started questioning him. He finally spilled the beans that he had given a talk about ME! My eyes are tearing up right now just thinking about it. Finally after getting my phone back from him, because he had grabbed it and was going to delete the emails, he reluctantly agreed to let me see what was taped on his video camera. I was in disbelief. He said the most nicest wonderful things about me! I had no idea he believed I had that much influence on the person he is today.
People tell me all the time what a great kid he is, I myself am in amazement, and readily tell them that he's like that all on his own. I didn't do anything special. Listening to his speech he gave, maybe I did have a little something to do with it. Here come the tears again. That was the bestest Mother's Day gift he has ever given me! And to think, he tried not to!

Books, books, books!

I have in my possession now my first books for school! YAY!!!
I am way to anxious about this first semester. I know because it's a summer semester that there will be a lot of cramming and need to comprehend the subject quickly. I wanted to get the books ahead of time so I could read ahead, I'm glad I did, the book we are reading requires me to understand the various parts of a chapter when it comes time to use them. I can't wait to see the syllabus.
These books are almost as intoxicating to me as an office supply store is ... so much goodness inside!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This rain is so dreary

It has been raining for a couple of days now and I'm starting to get tired of it. I've had to reschedule one session because of rain and shoot through it for another. In Jen's World I would have it only rain at night with just enough lightning to make me feel safe. Funny, huh? Lightning makes me feel safe as long as I'm not camping or standing outside with an umbrella. I'm pretty sure nobody is going to try to break into my home during a thunder storm, so those are the nights I sleep the best. Snow storms are another time I sleep well.

For many years I have admired and coveted my mother-in-law's Peonies. They are beautiful. Round and full and fragrant. The only thing I don't like about them is the dozen of ants that accompany any boquet she gives me, but I'll endure them for the sweet smell and beauty they add to my room. About 10 springs ago she was going to give me my own starts in the fall. That year we had a horrible hail storm that took out her plants and it took a few years for them to get back to being healthy and big again. Instead of starts that year I got a candle that was supposed to smell like them. Two years ago she gave me 3 plant starts to put in my yard. Last spring I was so happy to see the plants survived the winter! And this spring I am delighted to see that one of the plants has buds on it and I will very soon have my very own peonies blossoms! This makes me so happy! I can't wait to take pictures of them and share them with you too.

There is an art exhibit going on in Minneapolis starting on the 14th. I soooo want to go. I might just have to take Joy out with me and bribe her with a bag of candy to walk around with me and see the sights. The Northwestern Casket Company building I used to work in is part of the art district now and I think it would be fun to visit during the Art A Whirl. Anyone want to go too?
Link: http://www.northeastminneapolisartsdistrict.com/

This would be fun!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My luck was short lived :(

Joy started throwing up at 2am. I asked Joel to get up to take care of her, reasoning that he can snooze on the recliner and let me sleep, after all he gets to sleep all day long after the kids go to school in a few hours anyway.
He got up, but then said, "It's only 2 o'clock!" Which I took to mean- "why are you waking me up already?"
That made me mad and I didn't go to sleep very well after that and had angry dreams. This morning he says he didn't mean anything by it, but too late, I had an unrestful night already.

Today I see that my school has the books in stock that I need. But I don't get to go pick them up until Wednesday because of Joy. Boooo. I tried to pick them up last week, because I can't wait to dig into them a little so I know what's going on when the semester begins, but they didn't have them. That was kind of a let down.

My tummy is feeling rumbly, I hope I'm not getting sick too because I have a Senior Session tonight and I need the money for that for Joel's birthday present. We've already had to reschedule twice because of weather and then because of his job, and I had to reluctantly agree to shoot this kid tonight. I try to only shoot on Friday or Saturday and then edit during the week. My weekdays are too busy to try to fit in a session anyway. I hope I'm feeling ok by tonight.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I am such a lucky girl!
Not only do I have an amazing mom, but I also have amazing kids.
My mom is such an inspiration to me. All my life she has been there for me, even when I was a rotten little creepy kid, she still loved me. She also was strong enough to not let me get away with crap. She is amazing and now as an adult I wish I'd seen that when I was a kid. I have so much respect for her. Thanks Mom for all you do and have done for me! I love you!

I also have four amazing kids. They are so sweet to me, especially on days like today. Joyanna made me a bazillion cards shaped like hearts and has been giving them to me through the day. She has something else in store for me, but I don't get it until tonight. Josh and Jaeden are old enough to write more specific things they love about me on their school projects. I get a kick that both of them say I make good food for them. I wish they'd remember that each night when they ask me what's for dinner and I hear groans. At church today the little kids sang the primary Grandmother song, but sang Mother instead... the one that goes, "I wish every kid in the whole wide world had a Mother just like you." The girls made me candles in primary and Josh made me a pillow that says "Worlds Best Mom" on it.Jacob didn't make me anything, but he is in the kitchen tonight helping Joel make a dinner of won tons and rice, so I give him credit there. Both of them actually, because neither know how to make them, and they are giving it a pretty good shot! Joel made French Toast for breakfast for us and he also bought a cake and brought me flowers last night. My family is good to me :)

We visited my mother-in-law today after a short (WAY TOO SHORT) nap, to wish her a happy Mother's Day and chat for a few hours. I contemplate writing about this on here, because I love my mom so much, I don't want any hurt feelings, but at the same time I think that she would be happy to know that I feel like I have a pretty great mother-in-law too. I've been a part of my in-laws family for half my life now. At first things were hard, as I imagine it always can be, trying to fit into a new family that does things different and you're not used to them. But today I really love my mother and father-in-law. They are such good people. They've always been good to me and my children and been there for us. I feel very blessed to have two sets of wonderful parents who mean the world to me! I know a lot of people don't have that in their lives and so I know how lucky I am. I hope my daughters end up that lucky too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm not really there

Argh. I hate this. I had to reactivate my Facebook account because there were several people I had to get into touch with that I didn't have any other way, other than Facebook. So even though I'm on there- I'm not.

We took the kids to see How to Train Your Dragon today. We didn't see the 3D version. The kids don't like wearing the glasses and Joel and I found that the only real 3D experience worth the extra money is if you see it on an IMAX screen. We saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D at the theatre on a regular screen and it just wasn't the same effect. We didn't feel like anything really jumped out of the screen at us and we didn't feel like we could reach out and touch anything. The IMAX really does give the ultimate experience. I remember seeing some under the sea show there in 3D and it looked like kelp was growing out of the guy's head in front of me or schools of fish seemed to be inches from my face.
Back to the dragon movie... Most excellent. Really liked it a lot. The kids loved it. I do have to complain about the theatre we were in however. I've been to the Carmike Wynnsong 15 in Mounds View several times, and lately they seem to be becoming a dump. The last time we were there they barely had enough help. It was the school district's spring break and we were there for an afternoon showing of Diary of a Wimpy Kid shortly after it began running. At the point we came into the theatre the same guy that sold us our tickets ran back to the counters and started working the popcorn stands. Today there was not a decent bathroom in the whole place. Joy made me take her out of the movie at the really exciting part where Hiccup is supposed to kill a dragon. The first bathroom we went into had one full stall and one stall with waste and toilet paper all over the toilet and streaming all over. So we ran down the hall to another bathroom which also had water all over the floor around a toilet and several unflushed toilets. GROSS!!! Come on people, that's just disgusting. If I have one more bad experience there I'll have to do my movie viewing at another theatre. The one at Rosedale mall seems to be pretty decent still, I believe it's an AMC.
I can't wait for How to Train Your Dragon to come out on DVD!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Where is the common sense people?

Why should wearing the American flag on your shirt get you sent home from school? Unbelievable that people have come to this. LINK
Slowly our rights as Americans are being stripped away because someone is afraid it will offend someone else. People need to chill and stop getting offended so easily.

First of all, Cinco de Mayo has changed it's meaning a lot in the last few years. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza SeguĂ­n.

According to Casares: “The holiday, which has never really been much of one in Mexico, crossed over to this side of the border in the 1950s and 1960s, as civil rights activists were attempting to build harmony between the two countries and cultures,”.

So if you want to celebrate your heritage, fine, but stop stripping away everyone else's right to do the same thing. That just tears down the harmony between the two countries even more, imo. Where's the love? Can't we all just get along? Why do we have to hide what we are or how we feel to keep the peace?

Link: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/06/california-students-sent-home-wearing-flags-cinco-mayo/

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

If you've been living in a cave...

or didn't realize you were (that is the case with me) you didn't hear about the Tylenol recall. Click on this link to help you find out if you have any recalled products. The bottom of that page has links to different products you may have and you can do a Lot # search to see if your actual product has been recalled.

I can't believe this has been going on since September and I didn't hear about it! I guess that's about the time I stopped listening to the radio and news, anyway. That'll teach me to be uninformed and ignorant.

Also, the next time I am missing something... like, oh, I don't know.... a library book, I'll be sure to dust the house before going to the library to pay for it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just One

Ok, I worked really hard today and got a lot of editing done for the engagement couple, so before I went to bed I decided to allow myself to play with one image that I took this morning...


Besides, I needed to empty the memory card for another session I have coming up this weekend.
The rest of Joy's will have to wait until I am done with the engagement session.

Okay, maybe one more, but then I really have to go to bed...

Well, last night the bread turned out so yummy! Then my husband tried to ruin it by asking me if I could put some wheat flour in it too? Um, NO. Why ruin it?

I saw the sun shining this morning and so I took Joy out to the spot I'd discovered the other day, just to find out that it was all ruined. Boo. So I took her over to another spot and we played. I have to finish the last engagement session before I can work on Joy's pictures. Darn. But I must exercise discipline, customers before fun!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Potato Bread

I have been trying for the last few years to find a tasty white bread that compares to the one I grew up on. Until this week, the only bread that has come close is Rhodes, and let's face it- Rhodes isn't exactly "home made". No matter how wonderful it is.
I gave it one last shot last week and guess what? Failure.
I finally caved and asked my mom for her recipe. I don't know why I didn't ask before, it wasn't that hard. She answered right away, thanks Mom!!!
So today I made my first two loaves of Potato Bread and I am oh so happy! It was just like I remembered it! It also happens to be the most easy dough I have ever made. It came out perfect! I put in the flour, left to help my daughter and was surprised when I came back to find my dough wrapped around the hook, the bowl wiped clean and the dough was soft and perfect!
If you'd like to make some of it yourself, here's the recipe.

Potato Water Bread (4 loaves or half everything for 2 loaves)

*My mom's note: Generally when I make this bread I start by peeling a potato, cutting it up and boiling it in about as much water as it takes to cover it and then I osterize it along with the water when it's done. (20 minutes) If you boil potatoes for dinner sometime you can just save the water from cooking, refrigerate it and use it when you are ready. I used my food processor to mash the potato with the water after boiling it.

3 cups potato water (or if you boil the potato like above just add water to the 3 cup level)
1 cup milk
4 Tbs sugar
5 tsp salt
2 pkg yeast (or 2 Tbs)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
4 T Crisco shortening (my mother used to use Lard)
12 cups white flour (approximately. you may want to start with 11 cups and add the last one if needed.)

Combine lukewarm water and yeast and set aside to dissolve and start working. Melt crisco in hot potato water if desired and add all other ingredients together except flour. Stir together and then start adding flour and knead. I have a bread hook so I just dump it all in the mixing bowl and turn it on for about 5 minutes. Let rise 1 hour and divide into 4 loaves. Let rise again about 45 minutes. Bake 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Brush tops of loaves with butter after you remove from oven.

My loaves after rising, before baking.

I kinda like this one from Saturday's engagement session....

Click to see larger image.

The wall was the Guthrie's red wall at their entrance. I added the flowers.

Here's a sock JoAnne and I found at the playground last week...

Click to see larger image.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I had an amazing engagement session last night! We met at the Dunn Brothers in Minneapolis and used a lot of areas around the Guthrie and the Stone Arch Bridge. The weather was questionable all afternoon and we almost didn't follow through with our plans for the session, but we just decided to go foreword with it and by the time they got into the city the sun was starting to peek out, after the session started the wind died down and we had great weather for the rest of the session! As soon as we were done the clouds came back in. The couple I met with are amazing. I'm shooting their wedding in June as well. This was their free session that comes with their wedding package. The groom was not camera shy or uncomfortable at all in front of the camera and so it made it a wonderful session. He was very comfortable with posing and cuddly with her. I know she's going to love her images.

I have a spot I'm dying to get Joyanna out to, to do pictures, I hope I have some sunny days this week to chose from. I might go back on Saturday too. The boys are going camping on Friday and so we will have our "girl party" where we buy new Bon Bon nail polish colors and rent movies and have junk food and sip soda through licorice straws. Then on Saturday morning I'll take them out again and do pictures like I did last time. Tradition :) I look forward to my time with just the girls. It only happens once a year, if I'm lucky.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


For any of those interested, I have deactivated my account with Facebook. Part of my decision was based on previous experiences with people not being ok with me voicing my political opinions and part of it was also because of the temptation to spend time on there, especially when I have access to it on my phone all day long.

I do not know that I will be back.

But at this time I need to be spending my time doing other things and breaking away now before my life gets even busier is a good thing so then it's not so hard when the time comes.

Happy Graduation!

Joel's graduation ceremony was on Friday evening. It was fun to have a final ceremony to celebrate the obtainment of his degree.

We also took pictures of the kids in his cap. We did this for his other two associate's degrees too, but I think I lost some of them in my computer crash two years ago. We plan to use these on their own high school graduation cakes. Jake went into the house before I could get one of him and then Joel and I took off and I forgot to get one. Sadly that is one thing I am guilty of, treating him like one of us grown-ups and not like he's still one of my kids. For that, I suck.

I probably will keep editing this for a while...

Why must my mouth always get me into trouble?
Already I've butted heads with someone new in our ward who I don't see eye to eye with. I ended up removing her from my friends list because I found that I didn't even want to be nice to her anymore. That's not usually like me. I'm usually an easy person to get along with and let a lot of crap slide before I say something.
Some things I feel very passionate about, like securing our borders.
Some things others feel very passionate about, like open borders for everyone.
And these two passions cannot co-exist in my world.
Also, I don't like liars. She said she could handle my different view, but wanted to share her experience with me to help me better understand where she was coming from. But since she deleted my calm, rational comments to her posts, it's apparent she can't handle someone else having a different view and can't hold a conversation with someone of a differing point of view. She just wants to be heard, and not listen to someone else.
I can co-exist with other non-compatible passions, as long as someone doesn't introduce hysteria and cut off my voice of reason. Which is what happened today.
Someone from our ward who I've butted heads with this week over the new Arizona law wanted to post outlandish articles about people being asked to show their citizenship just for walking their kid to the ice cream store. And earlier in the week she posted a video saying that police were going to profile shoes to determine who was illegal. I simply can't just leave that stuff alone and posted comments. To the video I said this was fear mongering and trying to use fear to keep a law from being enforced. To the ice cream article I explained to her that the police had to first detain the person for another reason first, legally make contact, and then ask for identification. If the person cannot show ID, they could be considered a possible illegal alien. I gave her the link to the new law and asked her to read it and educate herself on it before spreading the mass hysteria.
She deleted it.
I guess it doesn't surprise me. When I first posted about the law and cheered the Governor for signing it, she sent me a few long letters about how unfairly her husband has been treated by police and how she'll never take her children to Arizona because of the law. I think she was upset that her sad story didn't persuade me to feel more sorry for them than for the Arizona rancher who was murdered, or the police who are shot at every day, and the kids who are innocent victims of drug traffickers violent crimes, and all the American kids who are addicted to drugs and all the victims of terrorists who are supported with the drug money of our American kids and stupid druggies.
When she deleted my comments, that's when I knew this person was not a nice person, and had to delete her from my friends list.
I just cannot co-exist with people like that. They let their emotions get in the way of their heads and then do drastic rude things to justify their means.

Friday, April 30, 2010

"It's ok to not do it all"

~Dove Chocolate Candy

Thank You! I needed that.

Last night I was craving chocolate and selflessly let the oldest child have the last scoops of ice cream topped in chocolate topping. I did not cry. I texted. I texted Joel how much I was craving chocolate. I must be coming down with a cold. I only crave chocolate on two occasions. "That time of the month" and when I have a cold and my throat hurts and I can't taste it or enjoy it because it sticks to my throat and makes me feel worse. So unfair.
This morning when I woke up there was a gift of Dove chocolates bequeathed to me on the bathroom counter where a loving husband knew I would find it as soon as I woke up and it would brighten and cheer up my day.

I love that they have tiny little messages printed on the inside of the wrapper just for me.
Oh, they have them for you too?
I thought I was special.
Anyway, half of the fun of eating Doves is reading the message inside and I know each one was picked especially for me. Today I needed that message.
Too often I feel like I take on way too much. I bite off more than I can chew. I've accepted the position of drummer for Spinal Tap.... Well, maybe not that drastic.
The other message I got was, "Live every day up to your expectations, not others." Dove is so wise. I think that one goes hand in hand with the first one, don't you?
I feel a tickle in my throat coming on.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Short Notes

Well, it wasn't that bad. It didn't cost as much as I thought it would either, yay for that!
The hygienist told me after cleaning my teeth that if that's all the plaque I get after two years I can most definitely be put on the yearly visit list. She said she's seen people get that much plaque in two weeks. YAY me! This excites me because I had so many years of bad bad dental problems and finally I have my mouth under control and the teeth I have left are healthy and strong and are looking good. I hope my dental worries are over for several years, at least for my mouth. My kid's mouths on the other hand...

I can't believe there's only 6 or so more weeks of school left for my kids! This year has flown by so fast for me. Every time I feel like I have time to catch my breath, off we go again on a new adventure! Joy will be finished with her school a few weeks before the other kids, that will be nice to have our whole days to ourselves. Her parent teacher conference went well. She's doing good and she's a very good student and friend. She loves to help and is never pushy or rude. I love hearing good things about my kids, especially the social stuff.

I just signed the kids all up for t-ball. As much as I whine about having to drive around every Tuesday and Thursday evening, I sure do love watching the kids play the game! I love that at this age it's ok to root for kids on the other team too because they are our kids friends at school.
I like sitting with my mother-in-law chatting about "things". It's great fun. I think that it will be one of those things I will surely miss when my kids are grown. I hope that they have their kids in baseball and invite me, their grandma, to all of their games. I would love that!

Joel's official graduation ceremony is Friday. I also love all the pomp and circumstance of that whole thing. He worked so hard and did so good all 7 years. He was always striving for A's and very rarely came in close behind. It's a big deal and deserves to be celebrated! He's been an inspiration to many people who know him, especially me. Congratulations!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I hate going to the dentist. I just know every time I go I'm going to get a huge bill for it. I've had a history of horrible teeth. They've been much better since most of my molars are now fake. Just kidding (kind of). They've actually been much better since I stopped drinking pop and only chew sugar free gum.
Today I have to go in for a cleaning and x-rays and I have to have them look at my bridge that got a chip off of it this winter because of a cough drop. It's not noticeable to the eyes, just the tongue.
Last night I dreamed an old friend came back to visit me, or at least I thought she was here to visit me, but all she wanted was her shoes back. She came, she took them and left. Didn't stay to chat, didn't have time to bother with me anymore. She looked younger, skinnier and tanner.
I wonder what this dream means. Too bad they don't have a class at college called Introduction to Dream Interpretation.
Today while I was going to the store I got a phone call from the school nurse at Joy's school. She wanted to touch base with me on the situation with Joy's eyes. Last year when Joel was laid off the program "Gift of Sight" helped us pay for her exam and new glasses. It's been a year and she was checking up on the situation. That's fine. What I hate is when I have to talk to professionals and they try to get me to call this or that place to see if my kids qualify for low cost health insurance or such. I don't have extra money for insurance, not even low cost insurance. Don't you think if I did, I would??? Sorry people, but we live off of one man's income and we have student loans we are paying back and groceries, clothes, sports and gas cost an arm and leg. There is just no money at the end of the week for anything extra. We have a great doctor that has worked with us and charges less than she should for our visits and we don't take advantage of her generosity. But every time I turn around they want me to sign up for this or that, or contact this person or that for my kids health care. Sorry. My kids are pretty healthy and don't need a whole lot of extra care.... LEAVE ME ALONE! As of right now, I'm not breaking any laws paying my doctor cash for our visits. Obama would like to change that, but we'll see if that ever happens.

I finally got all the kids rooms cleaned up. I just have to dust Jake's and go through the endless piles of videos and DVDs to figure out what ones are mine and where the covers are for the disks and the disks for the covers.
My body aches all over from all the bending, squatting and kneeling I did.
I went over to the college yesterday and registered for three classes next fall. I will be doing 10 credits, 12 is full time. I will be doing Introduction to Art online and then at the school campus I will be taking Introduction to Speech and General Psychology. I think this will be a good work load for me to start after taking one class this summer (along with a math prep class). I'm actually going to be doing two math prep classes in the next couple of months, the first is Elementary Algebra (I feel so dumb about this one) and then College Math prep class. These should get me up to place on a test into the higher math class that I need to complete to get my Bachelor's.
Jake is thinking about transferring to my college. He had better get a move on it if he is going to. YIKES! I was just thinking he had to get his application into the college he is at now by April 1, last year. It would be great if he could be at the same school as me, maybe we could have some classes together, and I understand how things are done at my school more than at his.
I saw a bunch of PSEO kids at the college yesterday when I was registering and I kept feeling like I should have been one of the parents there too, not the student. It's strange to think of myself going to college at such an older age, but I think there are a lot of people there that have at least 5 years on me, so I don't feel quite so odd, just a bit.
I need to get Joy out of the house, I've been ignoring her too much the last few days with cleaning and errands.

Monday, April 26, 2010

When I got up this morning I had a bunch of energy and frustration that made me attack my kids rooms with fierce cleaning power. The frustration was the product of a missing remote control that had failed to appear in the last 24 hours, regardless of the entire family searching.

First I attacked the girls room and pulled out of there two bags of garbage, two bags of goods and an art easel to donate, and vacuumed a whole canister of garbage and dust! My goodness! Who knew two little girls could shed so much skin in 6 months??? No remote.

Later in the day I grabbed a hold of Joshua's room. I just have his dresser drawers left and then his room will be done. No remote. One giant bag of wooden blocks and a handful of baby books made it into the donation pile.

After everyone took a turn searching the parental unit's recharging station and the oldest child's bunker we resigned to the idea that we would have to pull out of our secret stash a backup remote that I had ordered a while ago when we thought the other remote was broken. Joel reluctantly got the backup remote out because images of his childhood days of painstakingly getting up out of his chair and reaching for a button to change the channel was more than he could bare nearly forced him into the fetal position. Good thing I had a back up plan and he can remain manly and upright.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sorry for yesterday's outburst, I still stand by what I said, but I probably should have used less colorful language and exclamation points.
Our country is in serious jeopardy of becoming just like any other country in the world and I don't want that. I don't want to be like Europe, for one reason it's not working for them, and another reason is that we have too many enemies to have open borders. Plain and simple.
Arizona's Governor had to take drastic steps to protect her state, which is a state that borders Mexico and is a state that is seeing extreme amounts of illegals and seeing the effects of having those illegals in their state. If the Federal Government won't do it's job, then the Governor of Arizona has to. It's her job to protect her citizens and to secure her borders.

Onto other topics...

We went to a baptism today for the son of a family friend. That was exciting. I love going to baptisms and feeling the sweet spirit there. I love seeing the person fresh from the baptism, so clean and pure. Other than being a newborn baby there is nothing else so pure. I love it! Congratulations Logan!

I'm having a hard time getting my head into my editing this week. I'm really behind what I want to be in getting a family's gallery up online. My Photoshop keeps freezing up on me and I keep loosing fun work I've done because of it. That's irritating and makes me lose my enthusiasm.
I better get back to work...

Friday, April 23, 2010

This just rips me up

This is my blog and I can write what I want and if you don't like it, you can leave, I'm ok with that. Really. I'm not one of those people who need the approval of others to feel good about myself.

I am sick and tired of this whole bleeding heart crap our country is into.
Subject of today's bleeding heart:
Oh, we can't racially profile anyone, because heaven forbid we might offend Jose who came here legally. However, it's ok for Arizona citizens, who are tax payers, who are protected by the Constitution of America to be raped, kidnapped, killed, etc. by illegals trying to get their drugs into America... oh yeah, that's OK because heaven forbid we make anyone feel a little uncomfortable about asking them "DO YOU BELONG IN THIS COUNTRY?"
Would an American be offended to show their citizenship status to a French policeman who's pulled them over for a traffic violation, to make sure they are in the country with a passport? Probably NOT! It's normal and even EXPECTED! But aparently we here in America can't do that to people in our country.
Also we should have our hearts bleeding money for the women who swim across the canal while in labor just to have their babies here, "to make a better life" for them. Hello? Do you know how many hospitals in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas have closed because the illegal babies ran their bank accounts into the ground? How is that better for ANYONE?????
I'm so tired of people wanting laws based on emotions instead of good common sense! Use your head people! They are here ILLEGALLY. Meaning, against the law! Meaning they are involved in criminal behavior! Coming here illegally is criminal whether you have weed in your pocket or not. Rules are rules for a freaking reason.
The US has laws about illegals being here... why are so many people against letting law enforcement enforce those laws? Arizona passed a bill today that makes it easier for their officers to check someone if they are a citizen. Did you know that most states have laws that won't allow an officer to make sure you are in the country illegally if they suspect you aren't??? Can you imagine going to any other country and their law enforcement not being allowed to ask you if you are there legally? You wouldn't dream of it! And you would never think twice when being asked for your visa, when they hear you speaking like an American. You wouldn't think "those dang racial French!". *roll eyes*.
Get a grip people. The law is the law, now let our officers and border patrol do THEIR JOB, which is TO PROTECT the US and it's citizens!
'Nuf said.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It was fun to see some of my work in print on Sunday when I went to church. This image was taken last year one evening. We had only a couple of minutes of light left to take a few images. Part of this image was taken 20 minutes before the choir showed up. I'm so glad I took that one image, because I needed it and it turned out beautifully.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Growing up in Minnesota you hear the word "hotdish" often. Any time people get together with food there's a hot dish in the mix.
Tonight I am craving something, can't put my finger on it. I think I've narrowed it down to hot dish, but I can't be sure, because I don't know that I've actually ever eaten a hotdish before. I googled "hotdish" and found this explanation in Wikipedia "Hotdish is a variety of baked casserole that typically contains a starch, a meat or other protein, and a canned and/ or frozen vegetable". Yup, that sounds like what I'm craving. Most recipes I found consisted of elbow mac, hamburger, tomato of some sort (canned, stewed, soup), spices and maybe corn or cheese. Okay, sounds like something I can make.... with a few modifications.
Jaeden just asked me what is for dinner. "Hotdish", I answered. "What is hotdish?", she asks. "A bunch of food mixed up and served in a hot dish", I answer. "What kind of foods?", she asks.... "Hmmmmmm", I think, "do I tell her the truth?". She wasn't happy about my answer. "Tomato!?" she cries. I hope she doesn't end up growing up to be one of those freaks that don't like tomatoes.
so now I'm debating what I want to put in my hotdish. Maybe if it works out I'll post the recipe here. Right now the hamburger is browning and I think I need to grate some cheese.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's official. I'm registered for classes starting this summer! I'm feeling smarter already :)

Gosh there is so much to think about and ducks to get in a row. Thanks Michelle for all your help!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

This made me laugh outloud

I got this in my email this evening...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back in wrestling again

Josh started a new session of free-style wrestling last night. It's a bit different. You get points, it seems, from every little thing. You want to wrack up as many points as you can to win each time period, or get a pin. As much as I whine about the cost of it, and the time commitment, I really do love my kids being in sports and being active and having fun. So it's really not as bad as I make it sound.

Usually I end up sitting alone and nobody talks to me, but last night I was in an unusually chatty mood and chatted with a lady I sat down next to. She has 4 kids of her own and is a single mom who also takes care of 2 foster kids at this time. Two of her kids are grown, one lives on her own, the other has autism and lives with her. He is not able to make the right decisions and is an easy target for people, so she lets him live with her so she can help him. She is about to graduate from college, I can't remember the degree she's getting, but she's having a hard time finding work too. She keeps getting messages from places she's applied that they've picked someone with more experience than her. Joel has been dealing with that kind of rejection for a year now. It's so hard to get your foot in the door now days in careers with so many overly qualified people being laid off.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Footprints in the Sand

Tonight while the older boys were at the Priesthood session of Conference I took the three little kids to play at the park. At first they threw a ball around, warming their arms up for the upcoming baseball season. Then they ran around the playground like maniacs and then finally settled down into a corner with their sand toys and tried to build sand castles strong enough to resist the damage of a tossed baseball.

As I watched my kids play and enjoyed the quiet chatter they made (they've been fighting like crazy lately) an older couple approached the playground with their teenage son.

I could tell that their son had recently had some sort of brain injury, his body looked as if he had been healthy until recently but for whatever reason he now had slow motor skills.I watched the father help his son onto a swing and proceed to push his son as a pendulum. The mother swaying in the swing next to him.

I imagined what this family may have recently gone through and was touched by the love and care these parents were giving their son. I thought about parenthood and how it really is a life-long commitment to another human being. Sometimes things go different than we plan and we end up taking care of our children a lot longer than we normally think we would. I thought about our Jacob, when he broke his femur. What a year long ordeal that ended up being and how much our family went through to take care of him. How thankful I was that his injuries weren't worse.

I looked at my children playing and watched them in wonder, what wonderful people they are and I was given a new persepective tonight, new gratitude, new wonder.

I watched the family walk down the path and out of sight, the son clinging to his mother's arm.

I guess we never really know the lives we touch, or the reflections we cause, when we are just living life the best we can.

The footprints in the sand under that son's swing will be gone tomorrow, but they will forever be in this picture, and probably in my head as well.