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Showing posts from August, 2009

Week Ending August 29, 2009

It has been a busy week though nothing out of the ordinary. For the kids, it was school and scouts as usual. For me and Rachel, we visited the library, McDonald's and went grocery shopping. For Neil, it was pretty much just work. Tuesday night he did take his 11 year old scouts to the Arizona Science Center which has the Lego Display going on right now. It is one of the perks of being an employee at Chase.

Yesterday we cleaned up the yard a bit as we had a couple of trees attacking visitors to the house. Cierra had a birthday party to attend and Neil and I had a scout dinner, for which I was the MC. I think it went rather well but I always have the jitters and don't ever get to actually enjoy the food. I do this for our district dinner every year.

Today we went to church. It was a small group as our ward had a service responsibility putting on a Sacrament Meeting for the Randolf House. I'm not sure of the details as Aaron wasn't forthcoming and Neil and I are usually…

Chocolate

I'm not a big fan of shopping. I particularly don't like taking kids shopping because they want everything. But we're about out of milk so it's a necessity. After dropping the kids off at school, Rachel and I head to the grocery store. As we get to the milk area, she clamors for chocolate milk. Hanging off the doors enclosing the dairy reefer, are bottles of chocolate syrup. She wants that too. The little bottles of flavored milk are on sale, so I grab one of those for her. Next up - eggs.

I open the door and pull out a carton to check for cracked eggs. Rachel discovers that in the reefer next to the one I am working with is another shelving unit full of eggs. These are the organic, special, pricier eggs. All of a sudden I hear her exclaim - Mommy! Chocolate eggs!

No dear, those are just brown-shelled eggs.

The Art of Blending

I've never been much of an artist. I appreciate art and recognize a talent in others that does not exist in myself. I am aware that most artwork involves some amount of blending. There is true genius in the eye that can catch the subtle differences in shades of green which allow the artist to create a tree that actually looks like a tree.

I stay away from actually pursuing such talent on my own. I have been accused of being unable to blend my own makeup and am sure that I have been seen with that tell-tell line around my chin because I couldn't blend. My mother didn't care for makeup and my relationship with my older sister was not one where I would rely on her for advice - she would have ensured a clownish look just for spite. But because I had a blotchy, pale face, not wearing makeup was not an option. I guess I would rather have the chin line rather than expose my freckled self to my high school peers.

I have been attempting another type of blending for the past 7 ye…

Week Ending 8/23/09

School is now in full swing and schedules are getting ironed out. Rachel is home with just me so we'll see how long we can enjoy this before I drive her nuts.

Monday was a horrid day. I had received some calls from agents wanting to show the house so I spent the morning getting the house cleaned up from our return from camping. It didn't take too long and Rachel and I headed out about noon. We didn't get very far before we had a tire blow-out. So I pulled to a side street, opened up the back of the suburban and started pulling out the jack and other tools. The spare tire was wedged in pretty tight so it took me some time trying to get it out. While I was struggling, a truck pulled in behind me with three guys. They offered to change the tire for me (woo hoo!!!) but the jack we have didn't fit well anywhere on the truck. Luckily they had one and the tire was changed out without too much effort on my part. I headed over to Discount Tire and ended up being sent to an…

Those Little Idiosyncracies

I've been mulling this over for a while. I think I'm OCD. I know everybody has little things that make them unique but don't actually interfere with their daily lives. I've mentioned my candy-eating strategy to others in which any type of candy such as M&Ms or Skittles that can be categorized by color must be eaten by color. And each side of the mouth must get equal chewing time. Yeah, it's weird, but it doesn't interfere with the important stuff.

I've discovered a new game. It's rather annoying actually. You all know the car game where you have to find the letters of the alphabet, right? There are variations on the rules such as whether the letter has to be starting the word or how many letters you can use from a particular sign. Rules really only matter if you are playing against other people. I don't play well with others so the rules don't really matter when I play. And I don't normally play but found myself doing this when I wa…

What To Do?

I'm feeling off today. I'm not sure but I think this started awhile ago and it's just now catching up with me. I started working from home part-time and really enjoyed the work. Then the company called and asked me if I wanted to help in another department as well. Sure, why not? So I got trained for that and am still waiting for any kind of work to come from that area. But I also have an interview today with the owner who indicated he wants to discuss additional work. I'm excited about that. I think I know why I'm off.

The kids went back to school and I only have Rachel left at home. We have gone to the library, done some school supply shopping, gone grocery shopping, cleaned the house, gone to McDonald's while the house is being seen by potential buyers. I'm bored. I have a lot of empty time now and when all the kids are gone, it is a lot easier and faster to clean the house.

So I'm really, really hoping that this interview will bring more work to f…

The Education of Little Tree (by Forrest Carter)

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I decided to wait until I had attended our Book Club meeting before I wrote my review of this book. Then, fiasco hit and I was unable to stay for the Book Club meeting and never got back on to write about the book.

I did learn quite a bit from the few minutes I was there about the author and while this knowledge is a bit disappointing, it does not take away from the lessons that can be learned from Little Tree.
The book's introduction touts it as an autobiographical account of the author's life with his grandparents. The truth is that Forrest Carter was born Asa Earl Carter and was a known segreagationalist and unofficial speech writer for George Wallace. It is unknown if there is any Cherokee ancestry for him to claim. Though many claimed he was Asa Carter, the author denied these claims. And though he was indeed Asa Carter, can anyone wonder at his decision to deny his identity? It is quite possible that he recognized the wrongs he had done and, in making a break from that lif…

Week Ending 8/16/09

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What a busy week. We had the three younger children start school on Wednesday so Monday was our meet-the-teacher night. We did some recruiting for cub scouts as well. Nick is so excited to finally be a cub scout. He's worn a uniform for so long without being official. I'm going to be his Tiger leader. Most people think I'm crazy given all I already do in scouts, but I admit, I covet the knots. Being the leader will give me another knot to have Neil sew onto my shirt. I can never get them centered correctly.
Derek was sick with strep all week so we didn't get to see him until Sunday night at the Seminary fireside. Aaron will be at the Waltann building with Bishop Tate as his teacher. Derek and Alyx will be at the PV Stake Center. Derek will have Sister Dahl, previously of the Stake YW Presidency, and Alyx gets President Case - recently released as the 2nd counselor in the PV Stake Presidency. As the teachers were introduced at the fireside, I realized that I had had som…

The Out Of Towners (Starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn)

This movie version of a Neil Simon play is a fun, light-hearted comedy with great actors. Martin and Hawn star as a couple from Ohio going on a trip to New York. Share in their ride as they get re-routed, have their luggage lost, get mugged, attend a sex-a-holic group meeting, air their dirty laundry, and get put in jail - all in less than 24 hours. Martin and Hawn are joined at the hotel by John Cleese who plays the perfect brown-nosing, snooty concierge, born and bred in New York. This is an older movie so if you can't find it at the rental place, try your local library.

Daily Funnies

Today was a busy day. I tried to get all of the kids up at 7:30. This is the time they will all need to be up on Wednesday and the rest of the school year. Except for Aaron, who, at 7:30 am, will actually be at school and should have been awake for at least an hour already. Daniel got up, used the bathroom, and went back to bed. When I called to him, okay, yelled at him to get up, he claimed he was up, he was just making his bed from the inside.

Nicholas, on the other hand, jumped out of bed, ran to find me, and requested to play the PlayStation (TM). Never mind that 1) he is still in his boxers, and 2) we have a standing rule that you do not ask to play the PlayStation (TM) before 9 am.

Cierra claimed she needed help getting dressed, but when I went to find her, she had already changed and left her pajamas on my floor. I'm still not sure exactly how that happened since she emerged from her own room fully dressed yet I never saw her go from my room to hers in just her underwea…

G-Force (starring a bunch of rodents)

This furry adventure tells the tale (tail?) of a special force of agents pursuing a master-mind criminal. The agents are animals - rodents actually - who have special equipment which allows them to talk to and be understood by humans. Things get complicated when their infiltration comes with a few bugs (literally and figuratively) and the animal force gets shut down. The rodents want a second chance and have to fight through pet shop adoptions, garbage trucks, and appliances gone lethal. The movie includes a couple of unexpected twists - one that was actually just useless information and one that leaves you smacking your head for not seeing it coming.

It's a cute movie but not one that you have to see in the theaters. Save your money until it comes out on DVD, or if you do want the theater experience, take the kids to the drive-in where prices are cheaper and you have the option of staying for a second movie.

Seven Pounds (starring Will Smith)

Not having television has led to an influx of movie-watching. Luckily, we have access to a wonderful public library which doesn't charge to borrow movies (unless you return them late). I like Will Smith. He was funny in his television debut as the Fresh Prince and has matured into an excellent actor who has not allowed himself to be pigeon-holed into any given character. I don't like all of his movies, but the only ones I won't watch are those with an R rating.

It took me two times watching Seven Pounds to get it all. Partly because it has a lot of subtle nuances and partly because I first tried watching it at 10 pm. I watch a lot of movies that way and not all of them get a second viewing. Some of them shouldn't have received a first viewing, but I digress.

In a nutshell, Will's character, Ben Johnson, has the ability to seriously change the lives of 7 people, but it requires him sticking to the plan. The plan starts to go somewhat awry when he becomes emotionally a…

Week Ending 8/9/09

It was the last week before school started so we tried to get everyone on a schedule. Aaron had a couple of camps to attend for high school on Monday - Thursday. He seems to be comfortable with the campus and looking forward to starting school. He's not quite as excited about starting seminary but like his mother, he's not a morning person. He spent his after-camp time with friends either here or at their homes. It's nice to know he has friends.

We pulled out school clothes for Cierra that I had bought back when Mervyn's was going out of business. She tried them on and they fit so she's got a week's worth of clothes. As often as we do laundry here, keeping a clean outfit shouldn't be a problem. The problem will probably exist as she gets picky about whether she is willing to wear the skirt or wants to wear shorts. Luckily, Nick's and Daniel's clothes still fit from last year so we should be good until one of them hits a growth spurt. And since they b…

Bless You

Cierra (sneezes): Mom, when I sneezed, my ears said something.

Henry Poole Is Here

This was an unexpected movie. I picked it up because it stars Luke Wilson. This usually means a light-hearted comedy with some romance - perfect for a lazy Sunday evening. Well, romance was involved, but not as the main plot. Instead, Luke plays a man who is forced to deal with hope, faith, and miracles when he would much rather be left alone to die.

Henry Poole moves to a small community close to where he lived as a boy. His childhood memories are not great - parents fought a lot and made homelife miserable. But he moves back to this neighborhood after being diagnosed with a fatal disease. He buys a home in need of repair but foregoes any negotiations on the price. The stucco work is completed even though he has requested nothing be done. A bad water stain appears to contain the face of Christ. Poole's neighbors experience their own miracles when they come to visit the stain, much to Poole's chagrin. And though he is witness to the miracles, he will not acknowledge th…

Week Ending 8/2/09

Well we're into August and the countdown to school has begun. It is exciting to know that all the kids except Rachel will be in school. I'll have two years with just her at home so this year will be for fun, and next year I'll look at doing Joy School with her if I can find some others to join in.

This week was a vacation week for us. Moreso than most. We had Alyx and Derek with us until Thursday evening. Neil had committed to a job for a guy we know through scouts so he had the two older boys help him with that in the mornings before it got too hot, then spent the afternoon playing. He had also received a phone call on Sunday evening asking for help Monday morning with a move-in. He took all four boys with him to that and they got done rather quickly.

Wednesday we went to a Diamondbacks Baseball game against the Phillies. D-backs won which was a nice surprise. We had earned tickets through the library reading program so the seats weren't great, but it was all …