Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I have some ranting to do.  I finished Bram Stoker's Dracula recently.  It was a really excellent book.  I enjoyed it.  I like vampire stories.  But awhile back, I watched the movie (I know.  I should have finished the book first, but I'd still be ranting this whether I did that or not).  The movie was made in 1992 and stars Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Winona Rider and Keanu Reeves.  With names like Anthony Hopkins and Gary Oldman you would expect it to rock, but I really don't care about their ridiculous acting jobs.  Keanu gave a really, really bad attempt at an English accent, but that is beside the point.  My point is this:  HOW CAN YOU CALL YOUR MOVIE BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA AND THEN NOT TELL THE STORY IN THE BOOK!?  Sorry.  But I want to scream when movie makers do this.  It really annoyed me.  The movie has nothing to do with the book. They took the characters that were in the book and made an entirely different story all together.  Lame!  If you are going to do that, you don't call it Bram Stoker's Dacula.  You call it Dracula if you  must, but put a little note at the begining that says, "Based on Brahm Stoker's Dracula" or "Inspired by".  It's just my opinion, but I feel really strongly about it.  Especially when the author isn't around anymore to do anything about it.  The book was first published in 1897.  I think Mr. Stoker rolled over in his grave when that movie was made.

Monday, December 28, 2009

This Post is Gross. Those With Weak Constitutions Should Probably Stay Away

I forgot to mention one thing in my last post.  When I got home from Bunko on Thursday (the 17th), I checked on the frogs.  One of them was not there.  I checked like 900 times.  He was gone.  I looked in the kitchen, I looked on the stairs.  I looked every where I could think of.  I told Zach about it, and he said, "Did you pray about it?"  I did.  I didn't want him to be gone, but I really pretty much got nothin.  Which to me (and Kurtis) meant he was gone.  Kurtis suggested that one of the dogs ate him.  I think he was right. 
We had a really great Christmas.  I will have to put up pictures when our laptop is no longer hating me.  The best part of Christmas (for me) was my awesome present from my parents and my grandma.  They got together and got us a dishwasher!  Holy crap, I was so not expecting that!  So cool!  Loving it!  So Saturday, my dad, mom, and brother Michael came to install it, and bring Kaleb a big boy bed.  A whole great drama story there, but I think my sister will get mad if I tell it, so I'd best not.  Not without her permission any way.  While my dad was setting up the dishwasher, my mom and I set up Kaleb's new bed.  Then Zach asked Grandma if he could move downstairs into the playroom.  We've been cleaning it out and working on getting it ready to make into a bedroom for one of the boys.  Zach got picked.  He was unhappy but then we talked him into it.  So we took out all the toys that were still in the play room and moved Zach downstairs.  When we were done taking apart the bunk beds, we pulled Riley's bed away from the wall so we could vacuum.  We were going to rearrange his furniture any way, but what do we discover?  But bright yellow dried mucusy stuff on the floor.  I was pretty sure it was dog vomit, but I really wanted it to be yellow paint.  It was so not yellow paint.  I saturated it with the pet stain remover, and let it soak.
When I came back, I started pulling little globs of rubbery type stuff out of the carpet fibers.  It was pretty nasty.  Then, the thought occurs to me:  I think I have found Climber Brown Jones.  So basically, Abbey ate him (swallowed him whole more likely), he freaked out and did his toxic secretion thingy, and Abbey went upstairs hid and puked under Riley's bed, where we found it a week and two days later.  That made me gag a little (and is making me gag, right now, too), but I had to get the stuff out of my carpet.  Seriously.  I have done some pretty gross things as a mother of three boys, but this clean up job trumps them all.  I almost puked myself.  Now, I really don't know for sure if that is what happened.  I didn't see any undigested toad body parts or anything like that, but what else could it have been!?  I've never cleaned up dog puke like that before.  Yeah.  This post was pretty gross.  Sorry.  I did warn you.

This is your typical normal firebelly toad on the left.  And on the right is what happens on rare occassions when a firebelly toad feels threatened and cannot jump away.  It's hard to see, but I couldn't make the picture any bigger.  The firebelly toad will roll onto his back, and puff out his orange tummy.  Then he secretes, a toxic milky substance.  Gross.  That would probably make you sick if it was in your stomache too.  Abbey is fine, though.  So don't worry.  Poor Climber.  I will miss him. 
We got Riley a new toad that weekend.  He's named Mr. Fast.  Because when the pet store worker was trying to get him out, he kept jumping all over the place, and the guy said, "He's fast."  Riley tried to pick another brown one that was climbing up the tank.  Kurtis told me before we went in, "No more climbers this time, okay?"  Riley wanted him because he was a different color than his brothers' and he would be able to tell them apart.  I told him that wouldn't be a problem because all their spots are different.  Mr. Fast is also smaller than the other firebelly toads, so we don't have any trouble telling them apart.  But it was funny because when I put Mr. Fast in the tank, he started climbing up the wall.  I think I've fixed it so they won't get out again.  I also haven't really seen them trying to climb the walls since.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Sometimes, I find I really don't function very well.  Thursday was one of those days.  It all started Saturday evening when I got a message that went something like this, "Uh, Melissa?  This is Dad, Connie passed away today, so if you haven't sent Michele's Christmas present yet, you don't have to.  Michele will be coming soon."
My immediate response was, "What!?", and I got on the phone and called my sister.  Her mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly December 12, 2009.  She was 61.  Thursday was her funeral.  Most people would think an event like this would have little effect on me.  Well, she was my friend too.  I think I am finally ready to talk about this without falling apart, but I could be wrong.  We shall see.
My sister is married to Brian, who is the brother of my high school friend, Spencer.  Michele, Ryan, and I were all friends with him.  Michele and her family live in Minnesota now, so whenever they would come visit, I had to share her with her in-laws.  I honestly did not like this.  But you know, they wanted to see them too, so we would just all do things together.  It always turned out to be a lot of fun.  Connie loved to have fun, and never seemed to mind us tagging a long.  Our last trip with them was when Michele came for Zach's baptism.  We all went to Antelope Island.  It was a nice trip.  I didn't get to do much with them after that day, though because the weather forcast said it would rain.  Which meant my husband would take our car to work instead of riding his motorcycle.
I've gone off track.  I was talking about something else.  I suppose I am avoiding the topic subconciously.  Connie had a hernia operation.  Just your normal, typical everyday, out-patient surgery.  Then a day (or two?) later, she collapsed in her chair.  Her husband called 9-1-1, and started CPR.  She was taken to the hospital.  They life-flighted her to another hospital where they induced a coma.  As they tried to bring her out of the coma, she was unresponsive, and the family had a huge decision to make.  A decision I cannot even fathom having to make.  Saturday evening, they took her off the machines.  My sister told me they felt she had already left them.  The tests done showed she had a blood clot in her lung, and that it was a result of her surgery. 
Thursday afternoon was her funeral.  They burried her in a baby blue casket.  I heard her mother say it was the color of her car.  She loved cars.  She loved music.  She loved to travel, and she loved Christmas.  She will be missed dearly.  I never thought I would live in a world with out her.  I took for granted that she would always be there when Michele came to visit.  She had really great stories to tell.  She was a very calm person.  She always knew what to say to make you feel better about yourself, but if you needed a kick in the pants, she would gently give you one.  Nothing hurtful, but enough to let you know you were heading in a direction you shouldn't go.  She cared about others.  She loved her children and her grandchildren.
The funeral was beautiful and the prayer dedicating her grave (given by her husband) was so loving and heartfelt.  I walked away feeling numb, and know she is with our Father in Heaven.  But it doesn't make the aching stop all the way.  There is another hole in my heart, and I am starting to wonder how many more there will be before my life is over. 
After the funeral, I was putting my things in the trunk of my car, and I shut my keys in the trunk.  Again.  We had to call a locksmith.  This is why I say sometimes I just can't function very well.  It made me late for bunko.  I hate being late.  I tried to see if some one could sub for me, but they wanted me to come.  I'm sure I looked awful because the tears still hadn't really stopped.  But we had a pretty good time anyway.  It was nice to think about something else for a bit. 
The truth is, when someone you love dies, you never really get over it.  Life goes on, and the pain goes away.  But one day, when you least expect it, you realize the person you love isn't there, and a new ache begins all over again.  It's easier to push it down, and go on with life, but you wish they were still with you.  That never goes away.  But in a way, I wouldn't want it to.  I don't want to forget Connie or my grandpa.  I love them.  I know I will see them again.

Connie and Henry on Antelope Island.  June 6, 2009
"I couldn't have asked for a better mother," her daughter, Melissa, said.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Look What I Made!

Look what I made for my primary lesson tomorrow!  Hee hee hee!  I don't know why, but I think it is so funny! Ha ha ha!

The lesson said to make name tags...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birthday Boy!

Monday was Kaleb's birthday.  He turned 5!  I can actually believe it!  Kindergarten is almost here!  He is so big, and loves to play with his friends and his brothers (although they keep forgetting that he isn't a baby any more and he actually can play with them now!  So frustrating!).  His cousins from Minnesota are in the state, so they came down, and spent the day with us.  They got hair cuts from Aunt Kristie, and then my sister, my niece, and I went shopping!  The idea of shopping is so wonderful.  But really it's a very frustrating experience for my sister and I.  She wanted a new dress.  Well apparently designers forgot it snows and it's freezing in the winter because nothing has sleeves!  We found one dress for her that was perfect except for the seam around her waist.  If it were a princess seam instead of an "A" type seam (I don't know what that seam is called, but it wouldn't have made me feel pretty either).  Designers also seem to forget that not everyone is a size 0.  Sooo frustrtating! 
The cousins made Kaleb a "Happy Birthday!" sign and we hung it up.  It's so fun to have a birthday in December.  I asked Kaleb if he wanted us to put his presents under the tree, or avoid the tree all together, and he said, "Under the tree!"  He sees it as getting to have two Christmases I guess.  He's such a positive kid, and he is our silly one.  I love having Kaleb in our family.  It's so fun to have him around.

The sign makers:  Ana, William, Henry, Rodney, and Taylor

The birthday cake!  Rainbow cake with rainbow frosting that was spray painted blue with that frosting spray stuff.  So cool!  My mom helped me with it while I was shopping with the girls.  Yes, he is wearing his Spiderman costume from last Halloween.  He likes to dress up.

G.I. Joe sword and mask from Aunt Kristie and the cousins.

Glow doodle thingy from Grandma Bonnie.  He loves it and plays with it every day!

A puzzle book from Aunt Michele and the cousins.

Oh, my goodness!  Space Police Legos from Mom, Dad, and his brothers!  "It's just what I wanted!"

Storm Trooper and Darth Vader outfits for Spiderman!  His Build-A-Bear toy he got last year also from Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Roger.  Today, his puppy is Captain Rex.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wash Me!

The other day, I was driving home from an audition, and it was dark, and they don't really light up the freeway any more. It saves energy, or money, or some crap like that.  Any way,  I noticed my headlights seemed kind of dim to me.  I told Kurtis about this and I was worried we were going to have to have a mechanic look at them.  Well, I got home, came inside, and forgot all about it until I was driving home in the dark from my next audition.  I was talking to Mr. Jones on my phone while driving, and telling him I the exact same thing I had told him before.  So this time, when I got home, he came outside and checked them out.  He said, "Stay there."  Referring to me staying in the car.  I did, and watched as he grabs the car washing mitten thingy, and proceeds to wash the headlight off.  He comes over to me, and says, "Does that one look better?"  "Oh, yes!"  I replied excitedly. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Well, At Least I Tried

On the day I posted last, we went to the pet store and Kaleb and Riley got to pick out their Christmas present from Mom and Dad.  They were so excited!  We now have three firebelly toads.  Meet Climber Brown Jones:

Riley named him. I would have chosen something like Jasper or something else.  He is the brown one, and often I find him climbing the walls of the tank, so I suppose Riley named him well.

Now meet Swimm Goggle Jones:

He is a darker green than Zach's and has the number 2 on his back.  We can tell them all apart.  It's pretty cool.  Also, he might be a she.  We really aren't sure.  I need to look up firebelly toad behavior, but when we put them in the tank, George thought it would be fun to jump onto them and grab them from behind.  Eventually he let them go, so we still aren't sure.  When we fed them the other day, Climber tried to grab George, so who the crap knows what's going on in that tank.  It's an episode of the Real World in there I guess.

See?  That's George attacking Swim Goggle! Actually, I really don't remember.  We'll just say it's Swim Goggle.  He was going after him a bit more than Climber.

Now that you've met the new additions to our family,  I have something else to talk about.  I just haven't had time to blog and a lot has happened in the last six days. 

I said I wanted snow.  Well, God must love me because the very next day it snowed, and I made my family get in the car, and go to a park (Well, I did not make us.  I would have gladly done this in the front yard or across the street in the commons area of our neighborhood, but Kurtis is easily embarassed I guess.), and take more family pictures.  It was 23 degrees, and my kids freaked out when I told them to take off thier coats.  Kurtis said, can't we just wear our coats?  To which I replied, "Then what was the point of getting similar outfits, you numbskull!"  Well, it wasn't quite like that, but you get what I mean.

This is by the clock tower by our library, and city square.  I like this one, but you can't really see us.  Zach is crying, and so is Kaleb.  Riley is just doing his best to remain uncooperative.  He's good at it.  Maybe I will have to tell Sant to put coal in his stocking this year.

I took 3 of these with the timer on my camera (I was the photographer this time!)  This is the best one.  But it's not the shot I wanted.  And I must have moved the camera or something because I have no left shoulder.  Arg.  Maybe I will crop it.

This is the shot I wanted.  But I'm the only one having fun.  Everyone else is crying.  Especially Kaleb.  And I was being nice letting them have their coats on for this shot! Oh, yeah, and that's the tripod's leg in the picture.  Not awesome.  I'm such an ameture.  But hurray for snow!  It snowed again on Tuesday too, but I give up.  Why bother.  I'm the only one who cares.  Ha ha.  I bet you can't wait to see what picture I choose for our Christmas cards this year!
  It's so freaking cold now!  It's funny.  I find myself saying, "Will I ever be warm again!?"  That's such a silly question.  It's not like we live in Antartica!  I so want one of those coats that the people who work up there have to wear thought.  That would be so awesome!  I would be warm when I walked outside!

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Snowing! And Some Really Bad Family Pictures

I wanted snow.  The weather is being quite uncooperative, though.  Just wait.  We'll get it dumped on us right after Christmas.  So I decided to create snow of my own.  I found this and wa-la!  My blog is snowing!  Isn't it awesome? 
So here are some family pictures Emily took for us.  We went to Salt Lake to a little place called Garden Ward Park (or something similar) in the Sugar House area.  It's a church with a little garden area that is ideal for taking pictures.  It's probably much prettier in the spring when the flowers bloom.  The day was cold.  The kids were buttheads and didn't want to do anything but make faces at Emily.  I also wanted snow in the pictures.  I just did, that's all.  It's a Christmas picture for goodness sakes.  Bother.  Well, I guess I should say there was snow.  It was melted snow that nobody really wanted to lay down in.  Eh, I can't blame them.  It was cold.
Hope you like the Family Pics (I don't) for this year's Christmas card.  I don't know.  Maybe I will hire a photographer after all.

Bug-eyed Riley and Kaleb not looking at the camera.

This one is cute, but I did one of only the boys last year. (Last year's was so awesome!)

Once again, Riley, please open your eyes.  I look hot, though.  Check me out.  I look good in purple.

Why isn't Zachary closing his mouth?

This is a good one.  Perhaps we should use this one.

Maybe this is the one we should use.  They were the most cooperative ones there.  Kurtis and the duck.

Heaven help us.