Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brett Dennen

is the guy who is singing many of the songs I have playing on here. I discovered him while watching Ugly Betty. I am so loving his voice and many of his songs speak to my heart. But also, there's another reason to love him... look at that hair! Looooove it!

Don't judge me

I caved. I'm sorry. You don't have to watch me use it. I prefer to call it a personal nasal irrigation system. It sounds more clinical that way.


Jake's been hitting the pavement this week trying to find a job to help pay for the insurance for him to drive, and also to save for his mission. I forgot how it was to be that age, trying to get the same job that every other teenager in your school is trying to get. Only for Jake, it's worse. Now he's not only trying to edge out the other teens, but he's also going up against displaced workers for the same position. Poor kid. I hope he's able to find something that will give him a great first job experience.
I remember my first job I had. It was at McDonalds. I don't remember much about it, it was over 20 years ago, and man that makes me feel so old to say that! My most favorite job I ever had was working for a movie theatre. I had a blast with the people I worked with.
I wonder what my next job will be.

Monday, March 29, 2010

So glad it's done!

You have no idea what I have been through this last week and I am so glad it's done!
Now I can move onto other things, like portrait sessions and blogging and cooking and shopping and cleaning and all that other good stuff :)

Today I am going to work on a sample Accuplacer test to prepare for an upcoming one I have to take at the college next month (which really begins this week).
This morning I applied and sent in my application fee and also set up an account with the school.

I'm so nervous!
I worry that my family won't be very helpful while I go to school. I think Jake will, but I know the three little kids are going to be harder to get to work on making less work for me.
I'm nervous that I won't qualify for much help and have to take out huge loans.
I worry about the last three years of going to school that our finances will be ok without me working. I can do weddings in the summers, but I will have limited time for session during the rest of the year. I'd like to take on all I can, still.
Jake will be on a mission in two years, which will mean my last two years will be completed without him being here to help.
I'm more worried about not going and not taking the risk and chance to make our lives better.
A long long time ago in a land far away a little girl named Jenny had been expelled from the land of High School and sent to another far away land called Alternative Learning Center, otherwise known as ALC. In this land Jenny had a locker and one day someone left the poem below written out on a piece of paper in Jenny's locker. She never found who this mysterious person was, but she felt a connection to the poem as if someone had been watching her from afar, yet knew the deep thoughts of her heart.
Recently Jenny came across said poem and felt a need to post it on the "Hear Ye! Hear Ye!" board.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So Excited!

I have a new product I am going to be unveiling on my JensPortraits blog very soon!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks-
masks that I'm afraid to take off
and none of them are me.
Pretending is an art that's second nature with me
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake, don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure
That all is sunny and unruffled with me
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name
and coolness my game,
that the water's calm
and I'm in command,
and that I need no one.
But don't believe me. Please!

My surface may be smooth but my surface is my mask,
My ever-varying and ever-concealing mask.
Beneath lies no smugness, no complacence.
Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, in aloneness.
But I hide this.
I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my
and fear exposing them.
That's why I frantically create my masks
to hide behind.
They're nonchalant, sophisticated facades
to help me pretend,
To shield me from the glance that
But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only salvation,
and I know it.

That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
and if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself
from my own self-built prison walls

I dislike hiding, honestly
I dislike the superficial game I'm playing,
the superficial phony game.
I'd really like to be genuine and me.
But I need your help, your hand to hold
Even though my masks would tell you otherwise
That glance from you is the only thing that assures me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.

But I don't tell you this.
I don't dare.
I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me, that you'll laugh
and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing,
that I'm just no good
and you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game
With a facade of assurance without,
And a trembling child within.
So begins the parade of masks,

The glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that's nothing
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying
Please listen carefully and try to hear
what I'm not saying
Hear what I'd like to say
but what I can not say.

It will not be easy for you,
long felt inadequacies make my defenses strong.
The nearer you approach me
the blinder I may strike back.
Despite what books say of men, I am irrational;
I fight against the very thing that I cry out for.
you wonder who I am
you shouldn't
for I am everyman
and everywoman
who wears a mask.
Don't be fooled by me.
At least not by the face I wear.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


For the last few years I've gotten seasonal depression. This has been a hard winter on me. One of the reasons I haven't blogged much. I hate blogging negative stuff and it seems lately everything is negative. I really want to be positive and uplifting and my natural self likes to look at the lighter side of things.
I'm feeling better this week with more sunshine and I've been taking some vitamin D that I think might be kicking in now. I'm feeling more antsy to get out and play and have contact with people again.
Last night Joel and I got out on a date. Bad us, we skipped the adult session of Stake Conference. I considered us on vacation, even though we weren't actually out of town. We went to the eye doctor and got Joel set up with a prescription and glasses. I think he picked out a pair that will look good on him and be functional as he needs bifocals.
Then we went to Red Lobster for their Lobster Fest. We started out with a hot lobster dip and tortilla chips and both had steak and lobster. The tails were huge compared to what I got at Outback Steakhouse. I still have to say my most favorite place to get surf n' turf is a little Mexican restaurant in St. Paul called Casa Veja. Their steak was so tender, even though it was well done and the lobster tail was seasoned really good and the dipping butter was great.
We then went and saw Alice in Wonderland in 3-D. I think the 3-D effects were pretty good throughout the whole movie, but I was really disappointed that the colors didn't show well through the dark glasses we had to wear. So we basically had to trade in the wonderful colors of Wonderland for the 3-D effect. Boooo. The movie was good and I think it was a lot less scary than Where the Wild Things Are. Our kids are going to like it when they get to see it. We ended our date with a trip to Cub Foods for ice cream, hot fudge and children's Tylenol.
I like getting out with Joel. We don't have a lot to talk about when we are, but it's nice to just be with him alone.
Tomorrow Jake is going to try again, after school, to get his driver's licence. Wish him luck!


Joyanna in the kitchen peeling zucchinis for me. Jake comes into the kitchen.

Jacob: What are we having for dinner tonight?
Me: Soup
Jacob: What kind of soup?
Joyanna: Bikini soup!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I had my hair done yesterday by (and I'm so excited I can call her this now because I've been growing out my hair for the last 7 months for this day and it's been painful to wait) My Stylist Kristy! She is so talented with what she does. She has a great eye for what looks good on people, and style and fashion. You should check out her blog if you haven't yet.
I made an appointment on Friday with Kristy at Phatchellies Hair & Skin Salon in Hopkins for one of the Kerastase treatments, after feeling my hair she decided on a treatment, and I can't remember which one she picked, but whatever it was it was RIGHT ON. She said it would make my hair like butter and she was right. It's so soft I can't help myself, I keep running my hands through it.
She also gave me a great new cut. This is the second time I've ever had a razor cut. My first one I loved so I was excited to have it done again. She did an amazing job.
A couple of years ago I grew out my bangs and later decided that I didn't like my face without them, so I have been gradually adding them back in.... VERY gradually. I'd been wanting to add more bangs, but was afraid to take the leap. I'm glad she gave me the push because I'm loving them!
Thanks Kristy I LoVE my hair!!
I am loving up this sunshine! It is so distracting to me, however. I'm supposed to be preparing a talk and two lessons but all I can think of is laying on my couch (because it's too cold outside to set up my hammock) and soaking up the sun! Shame on me.

I was trying to get our family out of town for the weekend too, but that didn't pan out. Two kids had swimming lessons this afternoon and I just couldn't find anything I thought would be fun to do in the cold. So I ditched the out of town idea and now it's just going to be date night for the husband and me. I hope that at least those plans work out.

Jake is retaking his test on Monday, I hope he gets his license! So many times this week it would have come in handy, like the night I thought I'd ran out of Crispix cereal right in the middle of making puppy chow or the night he went to Wild Buffalo Wings and I wanted him home at 11 but he had to wait until a friend could drop him off because he wasn't driving his own car. I hope he passes this time!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


My nephew just got his mission call to Poland, I LOVE it! I'm so excited for him. I know he's going to be a great missionary and the people of Poland are going to love him.
Congratulations Alex!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I saw the title today

for my life.
Actually it's the title for a book, but it sure could apply to my life. The book is called-

"The other great depression : how I'm overcoming, on a daily basis, at least a million dysfunctions and finding a spiritual (sometimes) life" by Richard Lewis.
I'm not reading the book, I just happened to come upon the title when doing a search for something else.

I wonder how many people I know can relate on some level to this title.

So, in a recent post I complained about this body I have. Life is ironic. Now, at the end of the month, I get to give a talk at church about what a blessing it will be to have this body for forever after I'm resurrected. Oh how bitterly funny life can be. Although this body may become perfected, I on the inside will probably not. The topic: The Resurrection of Christ Gives Us Hope.

In other news: Jake did not pass his first time taking the driver's test. He is very mad about it. At the end of the test the instructor told him, "Well, you passed, except for this one turn you took from the wrong lane which means an automatic fail. Try again in a week."

I took him back to the intersection in question and I don't know how it is that he made a turn from the wrong lane, the lanes are clearly marked, so the fail is unclear. He'll try again next week, poor kid.

Also I am getting excited about going back to school. I bought a new bag for my netbook and a new calendar for keeping track of my schedule. My pocket one doesn't hold much writing and this new one does, but it's not too big to be awkward to carry around.

Tonight I re-watched the last episode of Gilmore Girls. I miss that show so much. I wish I lived in a town like Stars Hollow, where everything is in walking distance and everyone in the community had lives that interconnected. My neighborhood however, everyone hates each other and can't wait to see each other evicted. I am not ready to leave my home in this neighborhood yet, but someday we are going to bust out of here and find a nicer place to live and maybe take our home with us.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

He Lettered!

Wrestling is done for another season, and the new one starts very soon with weight training, conditioning, watching what they eat and practicing.

Last year my son decided to take up wrestling. At first I had the question maybe most parents have when their child first springs their desire to wrestle and then proceeds to ask for large monetary donations for it. "What?" and then closely followed with, "Why?"

Jake had friends who had been playing football in middle school with the same coach that pulled them into wrestling when they reached high school. Then the next year they pulled Jake into wrestling with them.

I wasn't so sure about this. Jake had tried wrestling when he was younger, I would say at about age 8 because I remember bringing his little baby brother to watch him practice. He never stuck with it.

This time he did. He had a difficult season, his first season. No pins, one take down. YIKES! This year he got 7 pins and at least 10-12 take downs. That's a 700% improvement! Or as he says, "Incalculable".

Last year Joshua expressed an interest in wrestling when we took him to a meet. He watched with wild amazement at the boys on the mat. This January he got a chance to try it for himself. He's a natural. He's small, wiry, quick and smart.

I got to spend a few of the days the high schoolers wrestled, taking pictures of the boys. I put about 1300 of them into galleries for the parents to download as they wish. I'm amazed to see how many people have visited the site today, since getting the link at the banquet last night. Yesterday the site got 327 hits, today so far 2007 hits.

I love how I gain new perspective with my photography. So often I feel a bond form when I work on a family pictures. I'm able to see more clearly the big picture of Heavenly Father's plan for families. It often ends up being a very spiritual experience for me.

In the case of the wrestlers I was so blessed to be able to see bonds with these boys form, where they became like brothers with each other. They would play with, support, comfort and teach each other. When one boy was broken, the team felt it. It was great to see them rooting for each other. One of the first meets I went to had me nearly in tears when our newest Varsity Heavyweight took the mat and as the match progressed the crowd began chanting, "Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!"

Charlie after his first big win, being congratulated as he left the mat

The JV boys helping at the Varsity Tournament

TWO!!! The boys cheering for two points on a move.

Even if a boy didn't win a match the other boys would offer their cheers for a best effort.

"Wrestling is a tough sport. If a boy fails he has only himself to blame," said the coach last night at the banquet.

I think these boys learned a lot more about life than they did about wrestling this wrestling season.

Like the coach said last night about why a boy who has friends that won't understand why they wrestle, "They'll never understand it, until they do it".

Monday, March 8, 2010

School Breakfast

Today I got to have breakfast at school with my kids. I was Jaeden's guest. On Wednesday Joel gets to be Joshua's guest. They both had cocoa puffs, Jaeden's with chocolate milk and Joshua's with 1%. I had an omlet with orange juice. Very yum!
It was fun to see their friends and kids they hang out with and also what exactly they are eating for breakfast at school.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The wrong body

I just know I was born with the wrong body. Nothing is right on it. My eyes should be brown. My eyebrows should be too, and thicker. I should be taller and thinner and my teeth should have been stronger. My legs should be thinner and my... well, my upper parts should be .... different. My ears should be smaller and my eyes bigger.
I'm all wrong!

It's so hard trying to love what I have got especially when things go wrong with it.

I'm having a terrible time with my throat. I'm a little worried. I've been having experiences with choking lately that have been horribly frightening. They usually happen after I've been sick and become dehydrated. I got a horrible cold this month that started before Jake's birthday (Feb. 2) and I lost my voice.

I can't say it's a choking episode, really. It's more like, something happens, I cough and my throat closes up and doesn't let me breath in or out. Or I can wake up from my sleep not able to breath in or out. It lasts for several seconds, feels like 30 seconds or so and then it slowly, slowly releases it's death grip... what ever it is.... I'm convinced it's my vocal chords. And slowly I am able to breath again, the episode lasting several minutes in all.

It's happened to me 5 or 6 times now in the last 3 years. The first time was after a bout of pneumonia.

There's still something wrong with my throat, even after a month it is still irritated and hurts when I swallow. It's not strep. My ear hurts when I swallow, only it's not an ear infection.

I'm a little worried.

Especially since I smoked for 10 years and 8 of those were a pack a day years.

I don't want to go to the doctor. Then they will find something wrong with me, or worse yet, nothing wrong with me and have to send me to a specialist for more probing and more digging into my wallet and right now the dentist has his hands in there.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hurry up!

I wish spring would hurry up and get here! I love this warmer weather, but I'm so hating puddles and mud. I want to take my kids to playgrounds again and just hang out outside in general. I'm tired of being stuffed up in the house and stuffy air.
Today Josh and Jaeden begin their first swimming lessons. Joy is far ahead of them in swimming. She's got no fear and is doing great. The other two I foresee are going to be chickens for this first lesson, but I hope they will gain confidence and courage as the lessons progress. I wish I could take pictures or videos, but the YMCA won't let me use a camera in the pool area. Dang it!
Last week we bought another car for our family, as we will have three drivers in the next couple of week, we hope anyway. We found a '96 Lumina that we feel was a great find and perfect for our needs. We expect and will be happy if it runs until Jake goes on a mission. We are not sure what we will do with it then, as we can't have it sitting around for a couple of years.
Joel was told yesterday by Account Temps that he will not be represented by them because of his DWI's he had 20+ years ago. This is really sad that mistakes he made as a young person has come back to haunt him in the way of employment after rehabilitation and years of making right choices, and not even so much as a ticket in the last 20 years. He's not the same person he was all those years ago. He's reformed. He's just finished 7 years of college, earning 3 degrees, while working a full time job at a place he's been employed at for 20 years and being the sole provider for his family. Yet, some people in society cannot pardon and forgive this man his youthful mistakes. Tragic. But no matter, he is not unemployable. The FAA pardoned him, and that's an even bigger entity than some minuscule temporary employment company. He recently has been hired as a flight instructor and as a tax preparer and someday soon he will be hired at some wonderful job who will know that he is going to be a great asset to their company.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I was looking up quotes tonight and ran into this little gem. It made me laugh so hard and boy do I need a good laugh.

"Let us observe a moment of silence in memory of Mom's sanity."

Caps for Cancer

My very talented friend Kate has taken up a really great and worth-while project this year and I would love to spread the word about it, in case I know anyone who would love to help her acheieve her goal.
Click here to see her latest blog post about her project
and then look at her sidebar for a way you can donate to help her meet her goal of 52 caps for cancer patients.


UGH. I am so frustrated!
I'm frustrated about a lot of things, so this just goes onto a great big pile of frustrations already there.
Let this be a lesson to you kids out there... what you do as a teenager has consequences that can bite you in the butt even 20 years later, when you are in your 40's trying to have a normal life like everyone else. Be careful about the choices you make. Any time in your life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ABC Meme

I got this from Mara and right now I am having writers block, but feel bad it's been so long since I've updated.

Age: Ugh.... do I have to tell you??? 38
Bed size: King.
Chore I hate: Folding socks. I'd rather clean a bathroom than fold socks.
Dog's name: We don't have one, but when I was a kid my dog's name was Bimbo and we almost shared a birthday, and then later we had a dog named Scout. I miss him. :(
Essential to start my day: Brushing my teeth (me too Mara!) and a multi-vitamin and calcium.
Favorite color: White- boring to some, I know, but I LOVE love love white.
Gold or silver: Silver.
Height: 5'4"ish I used to be 5'4.5" but two years ago a doctor told me I was shrinking... waaaaaa! I am: cooking dinner right now.
Job: Mom, wife, cook, accountant, book keeper, nurse, chauffeur.
Kids: 4 amazing kids
Living arrangements: A very big manufactured house, a very small home for 4 kids.
Mom's name: LeRae
Nickname: Mimo
Overnight hospital stay: when I had babies
Pet peeve: hearing people chew- gum or food.

Quote from a movie:
Westley: I mean, if we only had a wheelbarrow, that would be something.
Inigo Montoya: Where we did we put that wheelbarrow the albino had?
Fezzik: Over the albino, I think.
Westley: Well, why didn't you list that among our assets in the first place?

Right or left handed: Right.
Siblings: 4 sisters, one brother
Time I wake up: 7am
Unique thing about my car: Um... my unique bumper stickers?
Vegetable I hate: squash, well, actually most all veggies and especially if they are cooked.
Ways I run late: Usually it's because I have to get more than myself ready.
X-rays I've had: For a chiropractor.
Yummy food I make: lots of stuff! I love to cook.
Zoo favorite: Dolphins.

Anyone who needs to update their blogs but can't think of something to write.. TAG, you're it!