Monday, December 27, 2010

There's room for one in the downstairs family room

There were three things Jack wanted for Christmas: Legos (as always), a camera, and an iPod touch. Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. No iPod this year. Santa's pockets aren't quite that deep, so Jack will probably have to buy his own like Taylor did.

I had worked really hard to try to convince Taylor she wasn't getting anything at all because she's been bad, but since she has actually not been all THAT bad, Santa came through with a few things, including the iTunes gift card, which was the only thing she had said she wanted. She also got a beautiful cedar chest that my dad built for her.

Addie wanted it all: Barbies, American Girl dolls . . . more barbies, more dolls . . . and a Snuggie. Our Santa is a sucker for a deal, so she got a knock-off Snuggie and a knock-off American Girl doll. She's too young yet to read/care about labels, which is just as well since our Santa isn't much for labels. She also got a scooter, which she promptly fell off on her way to her friend's house and skinned her knee. She is not the most graceful child in the world.

Jack got one of those paddles with the little ball on a string, which kept him and us quite entertained all morning, since he is not good at it. The little ball lit up when it got hit (it didn't light up a lot since Jack was mostly flailing about rather than hitting it) but it looked pretty cool.

The kids even played a board game nicely together . . . for a little while. Before the game ended Taylor got bored and quit. Her punishment for ruining it for everyone was that she had to clean it all up. I guess she didn't learn her lesson, because she pulled the same stunt the next day.
Me . . . well, I was just happy to stay home all day in my jammies. I didn't shower. I didn't even brush my hair. I refused to let the guilt of family obligation get to me about going out for the traditional round of visiting. I stayed home and ate chocolate, played with my kids, laughed at Jack when he hit himself with the paddle ball thingy, enjoyed the fire in the fireplace (a real wood fire, not a modern gas fire), took a nap, and made the very un-Christmas-y dinner of Navajo Tacos. It was as perfect a Christmas as I have ever had, as an adult at least. The only thing thing that could have made it more perfect was if that nasty snow snorm of Tuesday could have come on Christmas morning. A snow storm quickly changes from nasty to beautiful when you don't have to go out in it.
And now that Christmas is over, I have the itch to get it all put away quickly. That's tomorrow's project. And then I'm off to Walmart to see if I can find a screamin' deal on Christmas Tree #3.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finally . . . pictures

Primary Children's always has the best trees. Lots of the people who buy trees from the Festival of Trees donate them back to the hospital for the children to enjoy. This one is right inside the front doors, just outside the cafeteria. If it doesn't show up well, it is Horton (Hears a Who) climbing on the tree, and the tree is bent over from his weight. It is so cute and a great way to greet all the children (and adults) who come through. We took these pictures on Monday, the 13th, when we were there for a regular appointment. Although I had my camera on Cath Lab day, I failed to take a single photograph.

Everything went perfectly well at Cath Lab on Monday. The cardiologist opted to not close the fenestration after all, since the clots appear to have dissolved and the pressure in her heart was slightly elevated (the fenestration helps keeps the pressures lower). Since they didn't close that up, the procedure only took an hour. They are keeping her on the coumadin a little while at least, and at our follow up visit in February they will likely prescribe an additional medication to help with the pressure in her heart (she's already on one) or put her on oxygen at night.

Addie is not a good waker-upper from anesthesia. As soon as I was able to be with her she was crying and wanting to go home immediately! The anesthesiologist had given her some anti-nausea medication and she was able to keep her juice down for a change, and then moved on to some graham crackers, which she also kept down. As soon as she had eaten a few crackers she perked right up and asked for pizza! So we ordered her some pizza and sprite from the cafeteria and she ate all of my fries (Lane went and got me a cheeseburger) while she waited. She then proceded to eat her entire pizza and goldfish crackers before we left at 3:00. She was in a much better mood after she ate and was back to her usual Ray of Sunshine self.

Another tree by the elevator.

This what happens when you don't download pictures from your camera for a long time. This is Tree Decorating Day, which was apparently a Sunday. I chose this picture because it shows off how tall Jack has grown.

Tonight's dinner. I can't resist photographing a lovely, golden piece of chicken. This is called Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken (or something like that). It was really good. Recipe below. And remember, chicken must always be served with carrots. I'm pretty sure it's a rule.

3/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/8 t paprika
1/4 t garlic powder
1/8 t onion powder
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 t garlic powder
3 T lime juice
In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, 1/4 t garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley. Sprinkle generously over both sides of the chicken. Heat butter and olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with 2 t garlic powder and lime juice. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce.

Another old picture from November. Jack did this pizza all by himself - dough included. He's getting to be quite the chef. If only I could get Taylor to cook something besides Ramen and baked potatoes . . .

Monday, December 20, 2010


So while we wait today at PCMC, I thought I might as well make good use of my time sitting here doing nothing.

For anyone who has never had the opportunity to come to PCMC for a same day surgery, the whole process of simply checking in can be quite an ordeal.

We got a call this morning to come as soon as we could since the first case had been cancelled. We were already on the road by the time of the phone call, but still in PG city limits. Luckily both traffic and weather cooperated and we were here by 8:15. I had anticipated that since they were waiting on us, the whole check-in process would be expidited. I was wrong. First you have to check in on a computer and take a pager (there are never any pagers). Then wait for your pager to beep, or your name to be called (still don't understand the pager concept since the check in desk is about 3 feet away). We waited 20 minutes to check in, even though I told them that we had been summoned early. Once called to the check in desk, Lane and I both get stickers with Addie's name on them and wristbands, also with her name on them. Then we go back to the waiting area and wait some more.

Eventually, our name gets called to go to a pre-op room. Addie gets weighed and measured and her vitals taken. She changes into hospital jammies. Then we wait.

After a while the surgeon or doctor comes by to visit and re-explain what they are going to do and answer any questions. Then we wait.

Then a nurse practitioner comes and explains everything again and answers any questions again. When she is done, she takes us to the OTHER pre-op room. And we wait.

The anesthesiolist comes and speaks to us in Pre-Op #2. Today we were blessed with an exceptionally personable anesthesiologist. He was very thorough and spoke as much to Addie as he did to us. He even offered her the choice of going to sleep with the mask on (which she HATES!!) or having an IV placed. She chose the IV, and I wasn't surprised at all. She has had that mask on so many times and I think it is actually the scariest part of the whole experience for her. They have never given her a choice before. The anesthesiologst went to order the IV placed, and when he came back he said that the nurse practitioner didn't give her a choice because "what 8 year old child would want a poke instead of a mask?" Well, like the anesthesiologist said, kids who have been through a lot of this sort of stuff have been poked a lot and it isn't nearly as scary as that mask, with which they are not as familiar. I was so glad that she got to choose. I think it is very helpful in this sort of a situtation, when the child feels that everything is being done TO them, to let them have some control. I think it helps them feel not so helpless.

So she got her IV placed, and off we went to the cath lab. She started to cry a little bit when we reached the part where we can't go any further with her. The nurses were so sweet and let her hold her babies that we had brought with us.

And now we wait again.

We didn't have any breakfast this morning since Addie was fasting. We figured we would eat after her procedure started. We walked away from her at 10:02.

The cafeteria closes from 10:00 to 11:00 to make the change from breakfast to lunch. Naturally.

And so we wait.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

About $15 for a good one

. . . and back again we go to Primary Childrens. I got a phone call today from PCMC to schedule Addie for cardiac catheter lab on December 16. I'm glad they could fit us in before the year was out since our out of pocket max is just about met. So we have a regular follow up appointment on Monday, and then back we go again on the 16th for cath lab. Although I knew we would have to do cath lab, I had somehow forgotten about it - probably due to all the other stuff going on in recent months.

Whenever Addie goes for an echo, Dr. Day always goes "Hmmmm. That's weird." And it's pretty much the same whenever she goes to cath lab. "Hmmm. Didn't expect to see THAT." Dr. Day always shows us the film (?) from the cath and last time he showed 2 films. Silly doctor, he said to us "See that?" (Yeah, it's like looking at an ultrasound - nothing recognizable). "Uh huh," we always say. And then he goes on to explain why it is out of the ordinary. It happens every single time and we've just come to expect it as our normal.

I have reached Full Blown Christmas Panic early this year, as I expected I would. I should be able knock off quite a bit of it this weekend, or at least that is my plan which is sure to be foiled. It is the constant and unexpected foiling of my grand master plan that has put me in this position of Full Blown Christmas Panic a full week earlier than usual. And my Christmas cards aren't even mailed yet!!! One of these years I'm just going to go buy Christmas Cards like everyone else. What is wrong with me that I self-sabatoge with too many projects? I really should seek professional help.

I am in the middle (and by middle, I mean almost the end) of my quarterly pricing review at work. This means that I have to research all of my assigned items and verify that the published pricing is still accurate from the previous quarter. For the most part, I have items to research that are fun to look up - dishes, cooking and baking stuff, home decor, massage items, Christmas trees and decorations, . . . you know, fun stuff. I even have to do research on things like blood pressure monitors and bathroom scales that, while not exactly fun, isn't objectionable. Good stuff. Fun times. I also have really awful stuff (by my own infalable estimation). Baseball cards. Hospital beds. Handheld urinals. Yes, that's handheld urinals. Not so much fun. Not fun at all, in fact. But I can tell you when you are, or are not, getting a good deal next time you need to buy one. 'Cause you just never know when you are gonna need one.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cruise - Part II

We took another trip to Tulum. When the ship docked at Cozumel, it was raining. When we went to meet the ferry to take us over to Playa del Carmen, it rained even harder. It let up some once we got over there, but rained again as we drove to Tulum. Happily, it stopped raining for exactly the amount of time we were at Tulum. When we left, it started to rain again, and contined to rain as we crossed on the ferry. (NOTE: Take Bonine before taking the ferry at Cozumel.) We were among the first getting off the ship, and almost the last getting back on. It make for a frantic day of rushing around and we didn't even get a chance to shop for a single souvenir in Mexico.

Although we had scheduled to go again with Helaman, we were instead met by Helaman son-in-law, Carlos. He did a good tour for us, which was different enough from Helaman's tour of 3 years ago to make me feel like it was all brand new. Tulum is still breathtaking, not only in the ruins themselves, but also the way it sits up on the cliff overlooking the ocean.

These stairs down to the beach were washed out on our last visit from a recent hurricane.

The next day we had a day at sea, so I killed some time trying to get a picture of me and Lane. He kept pulling faces - but none so funny as this one. I laughed and laughed until I cried. The ship photographer took a pretty funny one of him at dinner one night, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay $20 for it. We laughed thinking about what the cashiers reaction would have been if we had taken it up to purchase. Still - it wasn't as good as this one. I don't care what anyone says. I'm blowing it up and putting it on my desk. It makes me laugh every time I look at it.

Yep. That's champagne. One of my frustrations this cruise was that instead of giving away their "Ship on a Stick" trophies like they have in years past to winners of various games, this year they only gave away champagne. I'll have to write a letter to Carnival about that because I refuse to believe that we were the only 6 non-drinkers on the entire ship. And I wanted another trophy! Anyway, I have a bottle of champagne now (yes, we brought it home), and my friend Jennifer has one too. We would have had a 3rd if not robbed in one competition! It still hurts.
The other good thing about this picture is photographic evidence of Lane in a Hawaiian print shirt. He actually has 3 of them and he will only consent to wearing them on the cruise ship. He does it under duress and only to please me. But whatever it takes, you know?

Cruise - Part I

Oh, the silky, soft sand of the Carribbean islands. Our first stop on our trip was at Grand Cayman. We've been there before, 2 years ago, and we did the Stingray thing. This time we visited 7 Mile Beach and paid nearly $40 for a mediocre lunch. The day was warm enough, not hot, and we enjoyed a long walk on the beach and some souvenir shopping around town. There were 4 cruise ships there that day, so it was crowded downtown and the streets and sidewalks are narrow and the car traffic is always heavy so getting around town is a bit frustrating when your life-long philosophy is that crowds should be avoided.

Please don't notice that I still have old nail polish on my toes. I'm so ashamed.

The silky soft sand of the Carribbean islands is accompanied by crystal clear water. It's my Happy Place.

The water is too shallow for cruise ships to come all the way in to a pier, so they anchor a ways out and transport passengers in and back by tender. This is Lane and I headed back to the ship on the tender. This is also one of the few decent photographs of Lane before he decided to be non-cooperative in photo-taking.

This is our ship as we approached it on the tender. And we were one of the smallest ships there that day. You can see another tender alongside the ship.

Looking back over the back edge of the ship. I'm surprised this turned out this well since the sun was bright in my face and I couldn't really see what I was doing.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Addie was baptized on Saturday. How is it possible that 8 years have passed since those early, scary days of her life? We went through weeks of agony, wondering if we would even be able to bring our baby home, and now here we are, 8 years later, with a beautiful girl who is too healthy for her own good. You would never know there was anything wrong with her - and sometimes we manage to forget. What a blessing she has always been to us.

So it was with great pride and gratitude that I helped her change into her white clothes to be baptized. She, too, was very excited about the whole thing. She smiled at everyone who came to share her special day, and listened reverently to the speakers.

When her turn came to be baptized, I walked with her into the changing room, and opened the door to the font, where her dad was waiting. It was at this point that she fell apart. I don't know if she was overcome by the magnitude of being baptized . . . or feeling the spirit . . . or just plain scared. But she cried. And cried. I hugged her tight and told her how much we love her. Finally she nodded that she was ready, and off she went to be baptized. Poor Lane - it must have seemed like an eternity that he was standing there, wondering what was going on.

It is sort of a sad thing to have the last one baptized. It is such an exciting day: a day they are old enough to always remember, a day they have been anticipating since they were in nursery.

This was especially important to me because Addie never had a Blessing Day. This was her first Big Day in the world of Mormon milestones. She was blessed the same day she was born. Lane and his dad gave her a blessing and they were the only ones in attendance. We had received permission from our bishop to give her the blessing there at PCMC because her prognosis was so precarious, we wanted to get her on record . . . just in case. They couldn't even put their hands on her head - they had to do her foot because it was the only part of her tiny body not hooked up to something.

Well, after some pretty scary days and nights over the course of those 7 weeks in November and December, we were able to bring her home and she has thrived and been amazingly healthy. I think she only ever had 1 ear infection and rarely got sick (other than a few occurances of RSV and croup). She still doesn't get sick with all the stuff going around as much as the rest of us do. There is no logical explanation for it - we were told she would always be small-ish and sickly looking. My faith tells me it comes from the words of the blessing given that Halloween afternoon, 8 years ago; words of a blessing I never heard with my ears . . . but felt with my heart.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Christmas starts in 3 days. Oh, I know, there are some of you out there foolish enough to think that we still have Thanksgiving. We do have Thanksgiving, but just as the Bloomin' Onion is the tasty appetizer for a terrific steak dinner, Thanksgiving is the tasty appetizer for Christmas.

So as I gear up for my favorite time of the year (if only someone could do something about the dreadful cold and snow!), I share my top ten favorite things about the Holidays:

1. The busy-ness. I like to be, shall we say, anxiously engaged in a good cause. I love making gifts, even if I typically take on too much. It all gets done in time. Despite my best efforts, there always ends up being "just one more thing" and somehow it gets me all jazzed.

2. 24 Hours of a Christmas Story. Yes, I watch it over, and over. Or at least it's on in the background while I clean up the schrapnel from Christmas morning and slip into my Christmas Day Goodie induced coma.

3. Being able to freely use the phrase "Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins" and have people knod knowingly instead of looking at me quizically.

4. Christmas Trees. We have graduated from 1 tree to 2, and I'm seriously thinking that we might just need 3. Yes, I'm almost possitive that we need 3. Christmas trees must always have multi-colored lights, and lots of 'em. Not a big fan of the clear/white lights. If your tree doesn't have AT LEAST 6 strings of lights on it, you're not trying hard enough. Get it together. You shame yourself.

5. A Charlie Brown Christmas. It almost makes me cry every year. I love his Christmas tree.

6. Getting out the Christmas stuff. My kids still think this is tremendous fun, and it is, because they have been around now for enough Christmases that the ornaments and other decorations have meaning to them too. We have to discuss almost every ornament before it goes on the tree. Lots of memories there. We are getting so many ornaments now, that a 3rd tree perhaps could be a necessity. See how I rationalize?

7. Christmas Cards. I love the newsletters. Keep sending them! I know some people don't like them, but I do. I read them all, and after Christmas they all go into an album. Except the 2009 cards, which are still in the cardholder on the entryway table where they have sat since last Christmas. Don't worry - they'll get into the album eventually!

8. Video Games. There aren't a lot of video games that I play, but I will play at Christmas because once the gifts are open, there isn't a lot to do. The void left in my life from 2 months of Christmas Panic needs to be filled, and mindless video games seems a good way to fill it.

9. Our collection of Christmas books. It all began with one of our most treasured Christmas items: A lovely hardbound copy of "Polar Express," a gift from Greg and Tara many years ago. It has a special place under the Christmas tree, front and center, with nothing stacked on top of it. Over the years, mostly thanks to Scholastic Book orders coming home from school, we have added and added to our Christmas book collection which goes under the tree with, but NEVER on top of, Polar Express. We get at least 1 new book each year but I have become more discriminating in recent years and get nice ones from Seagull Book. Who knew that such a simple thing could turn into one of our family's most important traditions? This, more than anything else, has shown me that traditions are mostly not planned things; they just happen accidentally, and that's what makes them so precious.

10. Christmas morning. As we all stagger in on Christmas morning, eyes not fully open and no one quite able to walk in a straight line, it's fun to see how everyone reacts. Taylor is now old enough that she curls up on one end of the couch and pretends she's going back to sleep. Jack sits as patiently as he can, acting like he doesn't care much one way or the other, but in the end unable to contain his own excitement. Addie is still young enough that she just bounces non-stop until we have the camera ready and can begin the official Present Opening. Everyone is in their brand new cookie pants that were a gift on Christmas Eve, there is a fire in the fireplace, and Christmas music is playing.

I can't wait.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where is that ship?

I finally got the last of Addie's medical bills paid off tonight. That was almost $900 I wasn't planning on spending this close to our vacation and Christmas, but we got it paid and it's good to have that over with. We meet again with the cardiologist on December 13 so we are hoping that if he needs to do anything else anytime soon, he can do it before the end of the year so we won't have to put out much more money on her this year. I didn't opt to use the insurance offered at my job during 2010 because it didn't make much financial sense to, but because of the increase in out of pocket expenses in our plan for 2011, I think I'll opt in. Hopefully the one will pay whatever the other one doesn't. I really do hate to complain much about the cost of insurance and copays/coinsurance, because we take out lots more in benefits than we pay in to the system. We're just glad we've always been blessed with really good insurance.

I got a little bit of Christmas shopping done this weekend (a few more checkmarks on my far-too-blank list) and have most of the Christmas sewing cut out during the BYU football game. I don't enjoy the cutting out very much, but it is nice to have it out of the way so I can just sew and sew and sew. Until I run out of thread and have to make a trip out. Only to come home and realize that I was also out of elastic. So I run out again. And the I discover that I don't have enough interfacing. So I run out again. Hopefully I have averted this disaster by buying extra elastic and thread when I purchased my fabric and made a special effort not to plan on sewing anything that requires interfacing. But there will still be something, and I will have to run out to Walmart for that one stupid thing, and stand in that long line, and listen to the unknown and unseen child in the distance who always seems to be screaming.

The September-ish October weather has rudely changed to October-ish October weather. I expect there will be snow soon and I have to drive in it now all the way over to 800 North. Bleh. If there is anything I hate more than driving (and believe me, there are few things I hate more than driving) it is driving in snow. I really need to have my ship come in so I can hire a chauffeur. I've been waiting for that dang ship for a long time now, so I think I'm due. Overdue.

Will trade cupcakes for driving service.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I have nothing of any consequence to blog about (do I ever, really?) but since it's been a week since my last post I feel compelled to say something. So here's the rambling musings of Lari:

I made THE. MOST. GORGEOUS tomato sauce ever on Saturday. So pretty, in fact, that we are not allowed to eat it. It's only for display purposes. Everyone who makes the error of coming to the house is forced to admire said tomato sauce while I gush about it's absolute lovliness. It happened by accident, to tell the truth, but there it is and now that I know I can make gorgeous tomato sauce I will only make gorgeous tomato sauce even though it took the whole live-long day to simmer and I only got 2 quarts. I don't care. Totally worth it.

Christmas is coming. Coming soon. Coming very soon. Have I made the prototype of my Christmas card? No. Do I even have a design in mind? No. Have I made the list of gifts? Kinda sorta: the list is made with all the names of people I need to gift and a few, very few, even have notes by their names. Even fewer have checkmarks next to them indicating the gift has been made or purchased. October is nearly gone - Christmas Panic will be coming early this year. I may start to freak out the day after Halloween when the Christmas music starts. In fact, I think I will plan on freaking out, that way it won't come as a surprise.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finally - my 15 micro-seconds of fame

KSL news was at my office recently to do a story in conjunction with the Herriman fire insurance claims. Unbeknownst to me, I made it into the clip. Well, the back of me made it into the clip. I was probably the token female since there are only 2 of us on the entire 4th floor. But here it is - it sort of explains what my company does:

In other boring news, we are anxiously lasting out these last 5 weeks until our cruise. We booked it a year ago, so it seems like it has been coming forever! At the 30 day mark I start piling clothes, etc to go into the suitcase and make lists of lists of lists so I don't forget anything. It seems like a long time coming this year, but hopefully that will make it even that much better. So while you are are cold and miserable here in November, think of me fondly while I am soaking up the sun in the Carribbean.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It only took me a year

Since it's been a full year since Jack left Cub Scouts, I thought maybe it was finally time to organize his stuff into a display. I decided it had been sitting in a neat pile in my sewing room long enough. So I finally went and got a shadow box to put it in, and then left it sitting all neatly arranged ON TOP OF the shadow box for about 2 weeks in my kitchen. So in the spirit of family service as mentioned in Conference today, I finally got it done. No, it isn't well centered. Yes, I probably could have arranged the Webelos pins in a more balanced fashion. Yes, it would probably look better if I had spray painted the frame navy blue. No, I don't think that's all his belt loops - he was forever taking them on and off his belt so I'm actually happy we have retained this many. Yes, I am proud of my former Cub scout and his achievements and glad that we have a visible reminder to those 3 really fun years.

In other musings, despite my last posting, I really do consider myself a reasonably intelligent person. For the most part. Early mornings excluded, of course. I can get around a computer fairly adeptly. I understand most of the computer jargon. I can figure lots of things out through trial and error . . . and error . . . and error. I'm not my mother who firmly believes she can singlehandedly bring down the entire internet. I'm not my sister who recently learned how to open an email but still can't send one. Nor am I the compuer whiz that my father, brothers and other sister are. But I do ok. I manage. And I have chosen to surround myself with family and friends who know how to fix what I break.

But that blasted iTunes is seriously the bane of my existence. I'm pretty sure the program changes format every single time I access it. There is no other program that I have ever used (and I'm running Vista on this computer, people!) that befuddles me like iTunes. I worked with PeachTree accounting software at a job a long time ago that was pretty messed up. But seriously, iTunes confounds me. Even my more-techno-savvy-than-me kids hate it. LOVE the iPod, DESTEST iTunes. Surely there is someone out there that gets it - surely there are a lot of people out there who get it. One of you needs to volunteer to come to my house once a week for iPod maintenance.

"Will trade cupcakes for iPod servicing"

Maybe I should hang a sign in my front window. But then some 8 year old child would show up, get everything perfectly synced and running and charged in 5 minutes and then my feelings would be hurt.

And I am a really good pouter. It's an art form mastered by Walkers. Lane knows when it's coming. He'll say, "Oh great. Here come the Walker eyebrows." I don't know how to explain it because it isn't a learned behavior. It's a gift. Addie has it. I don't think I've seen Taylor do a good Walker pout. Jack doesn't pout because he's pretty much happy all the time. The best Walker pout I've seen belongs to Calvin's daughter Marissa. She had it mastered as a two year old and has refined it since. Luckily, no one has seen it in a long time because she is quite smitten and recently engaged so she smiles all the time.

How did we get here? Oh yeah. iTunes.

Did you see at the end of conference today the app mentioned? It's called Mormon Channel (this is probably old news to everybody but me. I don't browse iTunes/App Store because of the aforementioned iTunes hating). But I did download that today which is handy because it has audio sciptures and all the Ensigns, not just the Conferece editions like my other LDS app. Plus it's FREE. I love free stuff.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Wanna know how stupid I am? Well, figure how stupid you already KNOW I am, and then know I am even stupider than that.

I go to work at 8:00 am. For a few days I have been expecting a new computer, and the IT guy came and delivered it this morning. I don't remember what time, but somewhere between 9 and 10. So he got the new computer all hooked up and I began resetting my personal settings, such as wallpaper (a tranquil beach scene) and transferring my personal files from the network.

As the morning wore on, I was stunned at how slowing it was going by. I was plenty busy, time should not have been dragging. I was starving by 11 and I don't usually eat until 1. By the time 1 finally rolled around, after what seemed like the longest morning EVER, I went to the break room to cook my lunch and was surprised that no one else was in there. There is usually at least one other person in there cooking their lunch. So I cooked my lunch and went back to my desk. I read my book while I eat and was surprised when I was notified of a team meeting in my supervisor's office. Again, I was surprised that a meeting would be held during the hours between 12 - 2, since that's when people have their lunches . . . but whatever. I left my lunch on my desk and went to the meeting.

When the meeting was over, I went back to my lunch and my book and then back to work. Later, I sent an email to a co-worker and he never responded. AGAIN I was surprised because he usually responds pretty fast. Hmmm . . . I thought. He must have gone home early today.

I leave work at 4:30. Today I needed to be sure to leave on time because Taylor was at home watching Addie until I got home and she wanted to go to the JV football game and I needed to take Addie to American Fork hopsital for another blood draw. So at 4:20 I was winding things up . . . completing the days work so I could leave right on time. It was at this time I got a curious text from Taylor: "Where r u?" What the heck was she taking about? I had told her this morning that I would be home at 4:45.

So to make a long story even longer, it was at this time that I decided to look at my watch instead of the time on the computer. While the computer clock showed 4:20, my watch showed 5:20!

Suddenly, the whole day made sense. I didn't eat lunch at 1:00 as usual - I ate lunch at 2:00! No wonder the morning had dragged on for so long! I never look at my watch at work, since it's handier to look at the clock so conveniently placed in the lower right corner of my computer monitor. So I raced home and got Taylor to her game and Addie to the hospital, where I was pleased to find out that we didn't have to wait at all. And, the silver lining to the whole thing is that I can leave early tomorrow!

Except that knowing myself as I do, I will forget to change my computer clock and I'll still end up being there an extra hour! I am so stupid!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We won't die immediately

The fruits of my labors.

What sort of demented world do we live in that I actually ENJOY canning? There was almost no worse chore in kid-dom than the annual canning. It was truly excrutiating. The kind of chore that parents invent for the sole purpose of torturing children. I'm pretty sure that's the only reason my mom did it.

But somewhere along the way, when it became MY fruit and MY food storage, it wasn't quite so bad. Even back in the years when I didn't have kids to help me (and by help, of course I mean complain).

I remember the peach canning of 2002, when my mother-in-law and Lane's grandma showed up and my front porch unexpectedly and unannounced because they thought I might just need some help with the canning. And did I ever! For whatever reason I had a huge crop of peaches, no help, and was 6 months pregnant with Addie. My feet and ankles were swollen so huge that the skin actually hurt, and my MIL pointed out that I could peel the peaches sitting down. Hmmm . . . what a concept. I had never thought of that before and it worked great and kept me off my giant, elephant feet. I will never forget that peach canning episode because of their kindness in helping me. I doubt I would ever have gotten it done alone, and even if I had, it may not have been a good thing, since I was put on bed rest shortly thereafter, followed by Addie's far-too-soon arrival on Halloween.

But I digress. Every single time I lift the sealed jars out of the water-bath canner, it warms my heart because everything looks so pretty. There is almost no color as gorgeous as the golden color of freshly processed peaches. And my heart warms even more when the jars are cool and I move them onto the shelves and say out loud to myself, or anyone who happens to be wandering by, "We won't die immediately."

Sometimes I just go in and look at it. Okay, I frequently go in and look at it. It is all really pretty on the shelves, even prettier with the knowledge that we, in fact, won't die immediately. With all the peaches, tomatoes, applesauce, and purchased canned goods, we would linger for a few months, at least, as long as we were careful.

At our old house, I kept close track of some things, such as toothpaste, shampoo, and other non-food items to make sure we always had a years supply. I don't know where or when I got off track. Maybe it is just a simple matter of having more kids . . . or older kids . . . or not paying attention . . . but we don't have a years supply of anything anymore. Except salt. I'm pretty sure I have a years supply of salt. What can I say - it was on a screaming deal at Maceys once. I do love me a screaming deal.

So since I haven't tortured my kids sufficiently with the annual canning (they think I have, but I'm pretty sure they are WRONG), for Family Home Evening this week we are evaluating our years supply. I attended a really great class once and the book has a chart for calculating food and non-food storage, as well as recipes that use typical food storage items. Again, way back when I was a better woman than I am now, I used to make at least one of those meals every week so we could learn what we liked and what we would rather die than eat. I found out we don't like lentils. I don't recall what I did with all those lentils I had stored, but I no longer store lentils. I think that given the choice between lentils and certain starvation - well, let's just say that it would require some careful consideration.

I have again gone off on a tangent (look! something shiny!). Since I bought a juicer last year, I juiced my grapes this year. I have always given them away before, but manned up and juiced them for once. I should have bought a juicer years ago! What a wonderful little contraption that is! (Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, I know these are not new and my mom used to borrow my Aunt Della's to do the grape jelly. However, that memory, as mentioned above, is still somehow associated with childhood abuse and torture.) The beautiful purple color of freshly processed grape juice almost rivals the golden color of the peaches. If you take 1/3 cup of the grape juice (concentrate? I guess?) and add it to a full can of ginger ale - that is one tasty treat. It may just replace my "cocktail" of 1/2 freshly squeezed lime mixed with a can of ginger ale. So since grape juice is so good, and I was terribly bored of bottling peaches, I figured, Hey, lets just toss the peaches in the juicer and see what happens. I did it with apples last year, although the apples didn't produce a lot of juice for the work invested. But since peaches are juicier, I decided to give it a try. I haven't tried out the peach juice yet, because at 1/3 cup at a time, we are still working through the open quart jar in the fridge.

I don't do stewed tomatoes anymore, just tomato sauce and it has changed my life. I don't enjoy the whole blanching process very much and my kids are freaked out by the fibrous, stringy tomato bits that wind up in soups and chili over the winter. So I sauce them. It's a much better way to go.

So to sum up: enjoy the canning . . . won't die immediately . . . a thousand points of light. . .

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On my Honor

On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Whew. That's a lot longer than the Cub Scout Oath. If my Webelos have to learn it, I will learn it.

I don't understand why people don't want to serve in Scouts. It is, in my humble opinion, the best job there is in the church. Sure, it is challenging if you have a ton of boys, but for the most part it is just the best place to be. I have spent time in all 3 dens, but my experience so far in Webelos is the best one yet. My boys are the best, and I hope they enjoy their time in Webelos as much as I will.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Birthdays, Cupcakes & Clots

We had a family barbeque in honor of Lane's grandma's 80th birthday. We had the REAL big family do at the family reunion in July, but this was her real birthday so we wanted to do something. Of course that meant that I had to bake cupcakes. I tried out a new one - Sour Cream Blueberry - which turned out pretty good, but again nothing to write home about. The looked pretty with the fresh blueberries, though.

I tried again with the Rootbeer Float cupcakes, this time using the good, expensive Root Beer, not Shasta like last time (what was I thinking?) They definetly turned out better than the Shasta ones, but I'm still not loving them. I'm thinking of trying it with different sodas. I'm not a root beer lover, so maybe that's the problem.

Jack had his birthday on Thursday. He got new Legos and fishing stuff for his weekend fishing trip with his dad. Apparently, they had a great time fishing and caught lots. Earlier in the week, Jack had his interview with the bishop and will be ordained a Deacon on Sunday, the 18th. PLEASE everyone say a prayer that he doesn't drop an entire tray of water on someone's lap. PLEASE!! I am actually begging.

Then today we had our follow up appointment at PCMC. To catch up, Addie had her regular check up on August 30th. She was scheduled for an echocardiogram, which always makes us nervous because every time she has one, the doctor says "Hmmmm." And then we have something new to deal with. Sure enough, at this echo, the radiologist said "Hmmmm." And then they said that Addie might have a blood clot. They were almost sure it wasn't, but just to be sure they wanted to do another procedure called a trans-esophogeal echocardiogram where they put her under general anesthesia and then go down her throat to get a better look at her heart.

So she came through the TEE today like a trooper, threw up once coming out of anesthesia - she's done that before. Then our cardiologist came by and said that the good news was that what they had seen on the first echo WAS NOT a clot! Whoo hoo! That's one less thing to worry about, right? Nope. They found two other things that probably are clots. So given that blood clots are not unusual for someone with Addie's history, and given that I have had blood clots and both of my parents have had blood clots, I'm thinking it's a safe bet that it's clots. We are waiting for blood test results tomorrow, but probably they will have to start treating her with coumadin since the daily aspirin isn't doing the job. I'll have to start wrapping her in bubble wrap to send her to school - she is very clumsy and falls down a lot. Her teacher will just love it if she starts spurting blood every time she skins her knee!

Our cardiologist said that they will probably also have to do another procedure if she is prone to clots, but it is just done in the cardiac catheter lab, not technically a surgery, so we'll see about that one when we get blood test results.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Company Party

My company had a summer party on the 21st up at Sundance. I've never worked for a company large enough to have a summer party like this so it was quite a treat. They had crafts going on for the kids, horseback riding, mountain bike riding, inflatable bouncy things, and we could ride the ski lift. So we rode up the ski lift, it took about a half hour to go up. I rode with Jack and Taylor and Lane rode with Addie. Evidently, Addie found the ride to be very scary and cried most of the way up. Once we were up there, we looked around some and followed a trail around a little bit. I took some pictures of the kids and the scenery and found out today when I downloaded the pictures that I had the camera on the wrong setting. Luckily, Lane discovered my mistake when I handed the camera off to him, so only the first few pictures are bad.

Coming back down the lift I rode with Lane and Addie, and sent Jack and Taylor ahead of us. This calmed Addie down quite a bit and she had fun on the ride back down. It seemed to be the really steep parts like this that she found upsetting. That's Jack and Taylor right ahead of us. Or should I say below us?

They had a whole bunch of the inflatable bouncy things, and Jack and Addie bounced forever. Taylor finally had to give in and bounce too, but I was under strict orders that that there should be no photographic evidence of it. We should have known better than to let Addie bounce so long. It was so hot and she did too much, and when we went to have dinner she didn't feel good, and looked even worse. As she rested and cooled down some, she felt better. Sundance catered a nice barbeque for us.

For the final event of the night, Xactware had Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band do a concert. It was so good, and everyone had the best time! What a great company I work for!

Back to school and Baking Day

The first day of school! It's the most wonderful day of the year! Again, Taylor didn't want her picture taken, but the other two think it's the best thing ever to have "The First Day of School" picture taken.

I was lucky enough on Saturday to get to have a baking day. I baked 2 dozen rolls, pretzels, and 6 dozen lime cupcakes. I love baking days! The cupcakes lasted until Monday evening, the pretzels lasted until Sunday afternoon, and the rolls were gone by Saturday night.

I also rounded up a few tomatoes from a friend, and managed to get 4 1/2 quarts of tomato sauce done. My tomatoes are mostly all still green, but even still my garden just didn't produce as well as it has in years past. If you know of surplus tomatoes, I will gladly take them!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Raspberry Lemonade & Pink Velvet

This is my regular pink lemonade cupcake, but I decided to be a little crazy and add raspberry extract to the frosting. It was ok . . . pretty good I guess, but not nearly as spectacular as it was in my head. I think I'll try it again, a different sort of way, and see if I can make it as spectacular as I think it should be.

This is my pink velvet. I make it from scratch and it is so good! It's not at all heavy or dense like some scratch cakes are. I think I've shared the recipe before, but in case I haven't:

Pink Velvet Cupcakes:

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/8 t pink paste food coloring (I have also used regular food coloring, but now that I have some paste, I like it better)
3 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (I NEVER buy buttermilk for anything - shhh, don't tell - but you can quickly sour milk by putting 1 T vinegar in a 1 cup and adding enough milk to fill it. Yeah, I cheat)

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and food coloring until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately wth the butter milk and beating well after each addition.

Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 until done. (The recipe says 23 - 25 minutes, but that's just crazy. Mine are done in 15-17 minutes.)

I have frosted them with white chocolate mousse frosting as well as plain whipped cream. I believe that all cupcakes need to be sprinkled with something, so I used sugar crystals, and then white chocolate chips just to dress it up and because there must ALWAYS be chocolate somewhere.

I found a shirt at Kohls that said "Cupcakes make me smile," but unfortunately it didn't come in size fat so I had to take a pass. Bummer. But one of my aprons is all cupcaked-out - like my blog wallpaper, so I guess it's ok.

Monday, August 9, 2010

White Trash

We live on White Trash Lane. So after 6+ years here, I have decided to truly embrace my own White Trashiness and watch Wipe Out. It has become a huge pasttime for us around here, thanks to the beauty of the DVR. We get our popcorn, chips, soda and bunch up on the couch and laugh until we cry, or wet ourselves, whichever comes first. So much do we enjoy our Wipe Out time, that I found a Wipe Out game for the Wii that everyone has had a great time with. Sometimes they have to pause the game for a minute to catch their breath from laughing so hard. Me - I don't play the video game. I watch and I laugh, but I don't play. I was not blessed with the gift that would allow me to play video games that require 2 controllers. Can't do it. I'm far too spastic, I guess. But everyone else is having a great time. I'm having a great time too, just in an observational/supervisory role.

I sit here tonight $200 poorer. That's what it cost for Taylor's high school fees. And she isn't even doing anything extracurricular! That's just all the regular stuff! Oh, I know, I complain about it every year, just as my mother complained about it every year, and just as my kids will complain about it when they are the parents. $200 is actully less than what I was expecting, so I guess it isn't so bad, and that does include her yearbook. I still have her school shopping to do; Jack and Addie are both done.

And speaking of Jack - I took him to Kohls to get his clothes, and after much wandering around finally found the "young men's" department. Yeah, everytihng was too small. So off we went to the MENS department. MENS?!? Are you kidding? He isn't quite 12 yet! The pants in the boys/young mens dept fit his waist but were too short. The pants in the mens dept were too big in the waist but the right length. There is no inbetween. I managed to find him 3 pairs of pants (because that's ALL THEY HAD with a 29 waist), but he will have to wear a belt or the will quite literally fall off. I teased him about being too thin and too tall, and he respoinded with "What do you want me to do? Eat non-stop and just sit around?" I told him that's pretty much what he does now, and it doesn't seem to make any difference. I expect I will have to go back to Kohls at Christmas and completely replace the 3 pairs I bought. I don't think they will still be long enough by then. I need a 28 waist and a 31 lenghth, if anyone knows where I can find such a thing. The shirts I got for him are Mens Medium and fit perfectly. Again, he's 12. ALMOST.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I really adore summer thunderstorms. Way back in the olden days when I was a kid, we all would go sit on the front porch, (which faces west) and watch the storms roll in from the south. The view of the lake was somewhat less obstructed back then, and watching the lightning dance over the lake was a real treat. So whenever the thunder begins, some one in the family says "SHHHH!" an then we listen to the thunder, and then in something resembling unity: "Ooooooh!" It's weird, but it's what we do.

Occasionally, there is a storm in the middle of the night - like last night. Ok, maybe not the middle of the night, but if I'm still sleeping, it's "the middle of the night." Around 5 it woke me up. My first thought was, wow! that's good thunder! That was followed by, No . . . that can't be thunder. There isn't any pause between. So I went to investigate. (It is important to note that my bedroom is in the basement.) Not only did it prove to be thunder, but it was THE BEST thunder, accompanied by THE BEST lightning. It was HUGE bolts of lightning, seeming to touch the ground over in Saratoga Springs, and the accompanying thunder crashes were so loud! The whole sky would light up when the lightning would strike, and the thunder just rolled and rolled . . . like one on top of another. It was a thunder storm that hasn't been equaled by these eyes in quite some time. Eventually the skies opend up, and did it rain! I sat and watched all this majesty for about 45 minutes and then went back to bed, only to get up again a half hour later to get ready for work.

Then it all started up again this afternoon. It rained hard again, with some hail, and the thunder was again magnificent. The lightning wasn't quite as good, but it also wasn't as dark. I love the storms! Our plans to go to the pool after dinner were spoiled, but that's ok when the trade-off is so worth it.

Taylor and Jack (mostly Jack) made tacos for dinner. I must say, it is pretty great to come home and have dinner at least started.

I finished another book. That makes 2. Oh yeah, count them, baby. 2 books. Since June. If you really want to be generous, I listened to "The Magician's Nephew" at work today. There are a few books (mostly The Lord of the Ring series and Harry Potter) on the network at work, but luckily they also have the Narnia series. I'm already getting tired of my music, and the network music, and the music . . . I just needed a change, and I do like the Narnia books so it worked out good. So if you count that, it's a whopping 3 books. I have 2 books loaded up on the ipod to listen to tomorrow. The book I just finished is "Gods and Angels" by Jeff Shaara. It was really good to begin with, but towards the end (the war chapters) it got a little too . . . um, what's the word . . . detailed? I don't know what I mean. I love the Civil War period as much as the next guy, but it just really seemed to bog down in military strategy, which I didn't care much for.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I really, Really, REALLY love cupcakes. Moreso even than cake - I know, it's weird. I have always loved cupcakes, ever since I can remember. And a truly great cupcake can make my heart leap with joy - again, I know, weird.

These are my Pioneer Day cupcakes. Nothing fancy, though, no time and no fancy ingredients. I did make the cake part into a funfetti and threw some more sprinkles on top so it looks more "gourmet" than it actually was.

Taylor had her birthday on Monday. 15. Holy crap - how did that happen? She is reading the Utah State Driver's Manual so she can go get her permit hopefully next week. HOLY CRAP!!! My baby?!? DRIVING!?!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wisdom Teeth and Bubbles

Taylor had her wisdom teeth out on Monday. She was all worked up into a dither that it was the end of the world, only to find out that it wasn't so bad after all. She has gotten along so far very well, no swelling or bruising, minimal pain. The thing that seems to pain her the most is that she can't have any popcorn! I'm glad that the teeth pulling won't interfere with her highly anticipated birthday on Monday. She's been counting days since about March.

Look what I get to do! My favorite days are days when there is decent fabric in Walmart's $1 bin. Now I can sew and sew . . . Addie has informed me that she only wants dresses for 2nd grade. I don't know about ONLY, but I can make her several dresses for about $3 each.

I got these cute lanters from Avon. They looked cute in the brochure, but they are even cuter than I thought. They don't give off much light, but they are fun when Lane and I sit out on the back porch in the evening with our coctails. There was 3 in the package and I have 6 hooks, so I need to order 3 more.

Addie ran out of bubbles, so she mixed dish soap in water in her bubbles container, and it makes the best bubbles! They are huge and don't pop very quickly. This one sat on the grass long enough for me to take 4 pictures, including me moving around between shots. I don't know what her portions are of soap to water, but I guess she's just a bubble genius. Jack is a paper genius, and I guess we are still waiting to see what genius Taylor is. She makes really good microwave popcorn . . . Does that count?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Farewell, Jake

He lived a good life. At least that's what I keep telling myself. He lived a good life.
We got Jake 12 years ago in May. He was a little black ball of fur, cuter than just about any puppy ever. We were homeowners, we needed a dog. Taylor was almost 3, I was expecting Jack. The little ball of fur grew quickly into a larger ball of fur and turned into a wonderful family dog. I remember when I had a job where I would type at night, I would let Jake in the house and he would just sit at my feet while I did my job. I'll never forget how he reacted when Lane took him to get fixed. He was so mad at Lane and wouldn't have anything to do with him for about 2 weeks. He was such a great family dog, and would let the kids maul him, climb on him, tug his ears and his stump of a tail with tremendous patience. And this dog was either to dumb, or too well behaved, to ever leave our non-fenced yard. We didn't keep him chained or kenneled - I guess he just didn't have anywhere else to go.
But of late he was getting up very slowly; his hips seemed to be arthritic. He had unexplained lumps under his skin. He could no longer hear. Sometimes he wouldn't get up at all when we were in the yard. He just stayed in the on the grass in the shade, or in the former flower bed where the dirt has, over the course of the years, become hollowed out in the shape of his body. We knew the end was coming, and had agreed that it would be cruel to make him go through another winter.
But yesterday evening the plan changed. We were in the backyard doing a little yard work, and I went to the front yard for the aforementioned herb trimming. As ususal, Jake followed me to the front yard, and then he just kept going. Jake never, NEVER, wanders off. He has been well-trained to stay close by, and he always has. He wandered down to the end of the driveway, and I called to him to come back, which of course he couldn't hear. I sent Addie after him, figuring he would see her and follow her back. He saw her, but kept walking away. I told Addie to go get Lane and I went after the dog myself. I wasn't wearing any shoes, and the dog had a pretty good lead on me. I finally caught up with him, and (foolishly) grabbed his collar from behind. This startled Jake, and he turned toward me, intending to bite. He didn't bite, but he startled me and I let go of his collar. I don't know how I would have dragged him back - I'm not strong enough. Lane came quickly and Jake had walked ahead again. Lane caught up to him, and he also statled him, causing Jake to show his teeth and growl at Lane. Lane, too, was quite shocked by this reaction, as well as the fact that Jake had wandered off in the first place. But Lane got Jake home, and safely in the backyard, and we realized that this was not a good omen.
I have frequently heard of dogs wandering off to die, and that's the first thing I thought of when Jake took off. We can't bear to tie him up after all these years of being free to roam, and we certainly can't have him wandering off again to bite someone or get hit by a car. We had to do the difficult thing. Knowing it has to be done someday, and knowing it has to be done NOW are two different things, and my heart was broken. Lane told me he would make the arrangements in the morning and he would get his friend to go with him, in case Lane couldn't do it alone.
I secretly hoped that Jake would die peacefully in the night, but I checked this morning and he was still alive. He was curled up in a ball, and didn't stir when I went outside, and so I had to look close. I went off to work with a sad heart.
Later in the morning I got a text telling me it was all taken care of, and then I broke down. I'm so glad to have a job where I don't have to talk to people, because it took me almost a half hour to pull myself together. The kids right now are doing ok, I'm not sure if they fully realize what happened. Taylor is at Trek and doesn't even know. I'm so sad. My head knows it was the right thing to do although my heart is aching.
He lived a good life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thanks Tonya!

Lane is the gardener in the family. I have great plans every April. I imagine myself dressed in overalls, holding a hoe, farming the backyard. No one is more enthusiastic than me when we go to the nursery to buy the plant starts. I am ready! Nothing can diminish my excitement. I oversee all the planting, frequently telling Lane what he is doing wrong (he ignores me) and shouting out orders of what we have forgotten to do, declaring that he better get his rear and gear so we won't forget next season. I diligently go and check on the plants as they grow, watch as Lane carefully waters everything and makes adjustments as needed. I am involved and helping . . . .

And then June turns into July. July is hot. Gardening is no longer fun - it becomes a chore, and I DON'T LIKE CHORES! Luckily, I had the good sense to marry a man who will do the chore, with a smile on his face. He enjoys the yard work, for the most part, and puts up with me telling him how he's done it all wrong.

There are 2 things that I do (sort of) take care of myself in the yard. One is the roses. I dead-head/prune the roses with some degree of regularity, although not often enough. And even then I don't clean up after myself. I leave all the cut stuff in a neat little pile on the grass for someone else, meaning my kids, to come pick up. The other is my herbs. I stay on top of them pretty well. That's what the THANKS TONYA! is for. I took Tonya's herb class a lot of years ago and have been hooked on fresh herbs ever since. There is nothing like just walking out in the yard and cutting fresh stuff.

But today, since Lane was home, he was kind enough to cut my dill and my cilantro for me. I bundled them up to dry so I can have them during the winter. (Have you checked the price of spices lately?!?)

I even found 1 cucumber in the garden.
After I took the photos I remembered the ones in the front yard needed to be cut, too, so I also have rosemary and oregano drying.
Taylor is gone off to Trek, and it never ceases to amaze me how the absense of just one person can be so noticeable in our house. I miss her. We went to the pool for a while tonight without her, which also felt strange. She'll be home on Saturday, and then Jack leave on Monday for a week at Clear Creek.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Catching Up

So it appears I have somewhat fallen behind in my blogging duties. I'm not altogether sure how that happened, but it did and I guess that means I have been busy. With what, I'm not sure, but somehow I have managed to stay busy.

At my new job, we have a team meeting every other Friday. It is with great pleasure and pride that I annouce that for the first time I finally understood ALL of what was discussed at the meeting. It was a terribly proud moment. The first meeting may as well have all been spoken in another language because I didn't have a clue what they were talking about. It's a good feeling to start to feel "clued in."

It's hard to believe that June is gone and July is slipping away so quickly. Kassie and Jesse's little baby is still the cutest little thing ever, and I'm sure I'm still his favorite. I'm trying to convince Kassie that they need to go on a date so I can have the baby all to myself. He's so cute!

I downloaded what few pictures I had on my camera tonight so here's what I have:

This is the Pleasant Grove High School band approaching on beautiful Main Street, Pleasant Grove during the Strawberry Days parade. Then, as my luck always goes, the batteries in my camera died.

We went to Lane's family reunion out near Duchesne. I CAMPED!! I was in a nice trailer with hookups, but still. . . . It was really a nice place. I would go back there. There was a really large group, about 120 people I'm told. The picture above is Lane playing a game, in which he beat his little brother. That's always a sweet victory. That's his little brother Greg next to Lane in the tan shorts and blue sweatshirt.

This part of a log, with leaves in it for "sails," kept Jack amused the whole time we were there. No kidding. I hardly ever saw him. He and his cousins just kept floating these "boats" down the stream over and over and over . . . Hey - whatever it takes to keep him amused, and at least he wasn't bugging me!
So far this summer we have made a lot of trips to the pool where the kids play and I read my book. Yes, still reading. I finished my George Washington book which has been returned to the library and replaced with another book by somebody Shaara who wrote the book I read at work during my lunch break. The one at book is about the pre-Revolutionary time period, and the one I read at work is pre-Civil War.
Taylor and I also managed to get all her sewing done for Trek. She leaves on Wednesday morning. She did 2 of the skirts and her apron and I think has discovered that sewing can be kind of fun. At least I hope so. She didn't complain at all, except when she had to unpick, and that didn't happen too often.
Tomorrow is Lane's BIG 40th birthday. He's not fun to tease about it because he doesn't seem to care all that much. But if you should run into him, be sure to remind him that he's over the hill now.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Peer Pressure

So the MP3 player I got stopped working after about 10 minutes of use. Not cool. So I gave in to all the peer pressure and went and got myself an iPod touch. Can I work it? Uh, no. I finally managed to get my music downloaded and I can listen to it, but somehow I got multiple copies of many songs and I don't know how to get rid of the duplicates. Also not sure how the Wi-Fi works. I guess the only thing to do is to ask all the young-uns (that would be ALL OF THEM) at my office how to work the thing. I'm stumped. But I must say, it is a fun little toy.
Taylor left for girls camp bright and early this morning, so she doesn't know about the new toy. It will be fun to rub it in when she gets back, by which time I hope to know how to work the dang thing.
I justified the purchase to Lane by telling him that I was only thinking of him and his needs. He can play games on it while we are on the plane to our cruise. Yeah - I'm a giver.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And Baby Makes 3

My neice Kassie had her baby today. He's so cute! He's a nice-sized healthy baby, only 3 days early.

Way back when I had my first baby, my sister-in-law Michelle was kind enough to go and get me some dinner since Taylor was born after the hospital cafeteria had closed. She probably doesn't even remember doing it, but it meant a lot to me. I had gone all day long with nothing to eat and that Subway sandwich that she got me tasted so good after such an eventful day. So today I got to repay that favor, albeit to another person. I had told Kassie about Michelle getting me that sandwich that day, and promised her that I would bring her whatever she wanted when her baby came. A burrito from Cafe Rio was what she wanted, and I was happy to deliver it to her - and one for her husband too.

How exciting a new baby is! I thought about them all day at work and couldn't wait until the day was over and I could go see him. He is just perfect - no misshapen head or anything. Kassie even looked pretty good and said that everything had gone pretty well overall. I got to stay and visit with them for about 45 minutes and hold the baby for a lot of that time. He was awake and so sweet and looking all around. If his face brushed against my arm just right, he would turn his face in and open his mouth looking for something to eat. It was so cute and touched my heart, remembering when my babies were that small.

"The best days are the days that babies come," said Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in "Gone with the Wind." Truer words were never spoken.

Congratulations to Kassie, Jesse and little baby Emmett.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Stuff costs too much. I know this because I am one of the cheapest people alive. Gas should cost $2.29 per gallon. I think that's a fair price. Ground beef should cost $1.49 per pound. I'm just sayin'.

I am on this kick again (or should I say still?) because I spent last evening on the quest for a new MP3 player. Despite everyone telling me I really, REALLY, need an Ipod Touch, I thought about it and decided I really, REALLY don't. Mostly because I really, REALLY can't bring myself to pay that much for a stupid music player. I know, an Ipod is much more than just a music player, but I really only NEED a music player. And when I can get what I need for $50-ish, why would I pay $200? I just couldn't do it. I tried - I really did. Lane even told me to go ahead and get one. Certainly Taylor was pushing me to get one. But my ultra cheapskate side won out and I just got a regular old player. I'm so boring.

I'm still looking for the Free Computer Store and the Free Couch Store, so maybe the Free Ipod Store is somewhere closeby those. If you locate any of the above stores, let me know. I've been looking for them for a really long time.

My college grammar/usage professor would be so appalled. He was of the opinion that the word "really" should be banned from the English lexicon. The above entry, I'm pretty sure, is the reason why.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just do it!

Still no pictures. I have the best of intentions every day. But one thing leads to another . . . and, well . . . let's just say that I started the laundry on Saturday and finished it today. No, there wasn't any more laundry than ususal, just more interruptions. And that's the way things seem to go these days. My best laid plans get off track, and suddenly it's bedtime and there are no pictures and no blog.

Instead I have been spending time at the pool with my kids, happily reading my George Washington biography while they have their fun in the pool. It is very relaxing to sit there and read. If I tried to do that at home, I would be distracted by household chores (like laundry!) . . . or the phone . . . or the TV . . . or any number of shiny things that frequently divert my attention. So I have opted for a messy house while I enjoy my book and some much desired fresh air, a desire that comes from being cooped up all day in a window-less office.

On the positive side, I cruise in about 140 days or so. I don't care if that sounds like a long time, it's something for me to look forward to. I am still searching for airfare which I am hoping will drop some. It has been the same price for quite a while now, so maybe I should just jump on it lest it rise instead of fall. Sure as I book it, it will go on sale for $99 each way. That's my luck, and what happened last year when we went to New Orleans. I paid about $100 per person more than my brothers did when they booked their flights. I need to simply accept that I just never have good luck with such things. The cruise is set for Nov 15 - 20, for anyone who wants to join us. The more the merrier. We are going to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Grand Caymen is absolutely beautiful. Cozumel is only OK, but it's the gateway to Tulum which is a must see. Our tour to Tulum is already arranged (we've been once before but are going again). So see - it's all set and you know you want to come with. JUST DO IT!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

and THIS is the reason I don't blog

Pictures. Or the lack thereof. I forget to take pictures. After 365 days of taking pictures, now I forget. I have the memory and attention span of a 2 year old.

Anyway, it isn't so much laziness or a lack of time that keeps me from blogging. It's the fact that I forget to take a picture and somehow figure that I can't POSSIBLY post a blog without a picture of some sort. So forgive me for not having a picture. I'm forgetful. Like everything else, I chose to blame it on being 40. You know, you can't really get away with that excuse until you are at least 40, so I'm going to take advantage.

We got a new fridge last week. The old one, which it turns out was 14 years old, had started to leak from the freezer, freeze things in the fridge, and the door no longer shut all the way. Yeah, we probably could have gimped it along, but I wanted to get a new one. Finding the fridge that I wanted and which would fit in our small "fridge" space was no easy feat, and we have been looking for said fridge for about 2 months. I finally found what I wanted at Best Buy, and then at Home Depot. But Home Depot said they would deliver it for free and haul away the old one. So we got our pretty new fridge. It's one of those french door types with the freezer on the bottom. White. I know, stainless is all the rage, but I really like white. And my dishwasher is white, so I'm on my way to having a matching kitchen! Whoo hoo!

I'm still liking my new job. My days are going by faster and I had a very productive meeting with my supervisor today where he addressed many of my questions about where I should focus my time. I like my supervisor - he is very kind and encouraging, while at the same time encouraging me to increase my productivity as I learn more about what I'm doing. I attended my mandatory Harrassment Training, which sounds more like they teach us how to harrass than how to not. I even got a diploma recognizing my completion of Harrassment Training. The HR Director joked that we should all run back and proudly hang the diploma in our cubicles. Since my cubicle is still devoid of any adornment other than one family picture, I did hang it up just to have something on the wall. It is really quite naked and boring in my cubicle. I keep intending to bring stuff, but, since I'm Forty and Forgettful (see, I told you I would use it!) it still hasn't happened. I do finally have a name plate, though. So anyone walking by will know that it is "Lari Funk - Contents Pricing Specialist" who has the most boring cubicle in the history of cubicles. And they will also know that "Lari Funk - Contents Pricing Specialist" is the only employee nerdy enough to hang up her Harrassment Training diploma.

We also had a Pricing Division barbeque last week which would have been great if it hadn't been so darn cold outside. All the new people, including myself, were re-introduced to the Pricing Division, so after this amount of time (4 weeks) and numerous introductions, I am starting to learn who people are and whether they are Contents or Structure people (I am Contents). It helps when we bump into each other in the break room and are forced to make small talk while we cook our lunches.

I am still enjoying my books. The one I'm reading at work is more of a historical novel, reads like a novel but the characters in it are the people from the Colonial/Revolutionary time: John Adams, Ben Franklin, etc. It is very interesting to read and really mind-blowing to consider how much research the author must have done. My other book, the biography on George Washinton, is also enjoyable. I took the kids to the pool yesterday and read for almost 2 hours while they swam. It was very relaxing, and I'm anxious to do it again. I'm almost half way through with the biography, but only on about pg. 90 of the novel because I only get in about 15 minutes at a time.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And that's why I don't read

I helped with a baby shower for my neice Kassie on Saturday, which of course, meant I had to break out the Cupcake Book and try something new. I don't remember what this one was called, so I called it Triple Chocolate Mint: 1) chocolate cake, 2) mini chocolate chips on top, 3) white chocolate in the frosting. There is mint in both the cake and the frosting - YUM! I made some more of the Key Lime Pie cupcakes, too.

Since I am still kinda (well . . . really) intimidated by my co-workers, I generally eat lunch alone at my desk. Lunch usually consists of something Stouffers or dinner leftovers, accompanied by carrot sticks and butterscotch pudding. (Ask Lane - I'm the kind of person who will eat the same thing OVER and OVER, never branching out, until I get really sick of it, and then I move on to the next thing.) Since 30 minutes is a lot of time to eat, I have taken a book along to read. This is quite momentous. I don't think I have read more than a few entire books since college, or at least since children.

I used to love to read. I read all the time. I used to read Gone with the Wind at least once a year. Then I went to BYU. It ruined me for reading. Between my history major, which required SO MUCH reading, and my English minor, which truly ruined me for "literature," I just haven't read much. I read the Ensign, and the Book of Mormon (just don't ask how long it took me to finish it). But to just sit and read a book? Yeah, I don't do that.

Until I started reading this book during my lunch break. Generally I don't read fiction when I do read, tending toward non-fiction, and mostly biographies. This book I'm reading was loaned to me by Lane's dad, who told me I would "love it." I'm not far into it (30 minutes a day isn't very long) but I am really enjoying it. It is a historical novel, about the time leading up to the Revolutionary War. I really look forward every day to my few minutes reading. But as I read along, one passage or another will get me curious and then when I get home I have to go get out my old history text books to read up on this or that. In fact, it so wet my appetite for information on the Founding Fathers that I took the kids to the library tonight and got myself a book (biography, of course!) on George Washington, which I haven't been able to put down since I've been home. I even rode my dusty exercise bike so I could justify just a little more time reading! Perhaps a 17 year break is adequate and my love of reading could possibly return.

So since I've been so enjoying this book I borrowed from Lane's parents, it only makes sense that I, in all my clutzy glory, would ruin the book. I don't mean ruin the story or ruin the ending. I mean actually ruin the book. Every morning I pack my bag with my book, my lunch, and my water bottle. Monday morning when I got to work, and unpacked my bag, I found that I hadn't capped my water bottle tightly and my bag was fully of water. The book, which was at the bottom of my bag, had been sitting in a puddle for I don't know how long. I was sick. It's bad enough to ruin a book, but to ruin someone else's book is awful.

So I quickly looked the book up on my favorite website of all time,, and found that I can get it without any problem. So to my dear father-in-law: You will be getting a new book. It kinda works out anyway, because I am enjoying the book so much I think I would like to have a copy to keep, even a warped copy. See what happens when I read?