Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's A Good Thing It's Too Cold For Me To Open My Windows

Riley is trying my patience today.  He has four chores that he has to do every Saturday.  Clean the bathroom toilets and counters, sweep outside, clean his room, and make his bed.  That shouldn't take too long.  I mean, it's really not hard to clean the toilet.  But Riley wants to play instead.  Of course!  It's so much more fun than cleaning!  I know!  I hate cleaning!  That's why I make my kids do it!
So today, out of sheer frustration with both Riley and Zachary, we came up with consequences.  We usually give them a time limit, and say, "If your chores aren't done by two o'clock, you won't get your allowance for the week!"  Apparently this wasn't a harsh enough punishment because they nodded, and kept playing.
Kurtis came up with this:  "Okay, if you two don't get your chores done by two, you won't get your allowance.  If they aren't done by three, you won't get to play the computer or xbox for a week.  By four, if your chores aren't done, you will loose your treats that you take to school in your lunch.  And if they aren't done by five, you will loose computer for a whole month!"  Imagine my husband saying this with his face all scrunched up.  A furrowed brow - if you will.  What?  You think he doesn't have one of those in his pocket?  Well, you are wrong.  Sometimes, he even yells.  Crazy talk you say?
Well, Riley is not allowed to play the computer or xbox for a month.  And no.  His chores are still not done.  What always amazes me is the oh so elegant way in which my boys accept their punishment.  "What?"  The look on their faces.  "I didn't think you really meant it!"  And then lots and lots of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Followed by them being sent to their room until they can behave like normal people.  I am rolling my eyes even as I write this.  Seriously.  You would think their dog had died.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Taking the Bitter With the Sweet

I'm home, now.  I was in the great state of Colorado for the last three days.  Colorado is a beautiful place where many fond memories are hidden in the hills.  I'm not sure I would truly feel at home there, but I do love to visit.  Wednesday we buried my grandfather.  I will be honest.  I did not like seeing his departed remains.  They didn't look like him, and I was having a very hard time keeping myself from shaking with grief.  I had to sit down.  I sat by my cousin and his sweet little five-year-old, Milo.  He was such a sweetheart that day.  When they finally closed the casket, he cried out, "They are closing it!"  And tried to run and stop them.  "But, Dad.  They are closing it!"  As his father grabbed him to keep him with him.  I know how he felt.
The service was beautiful.  The graveside service was also beautiful.  My dad gave the prayer dedicating the grave.  He's his only living son, after all.  His resting place has a beautiful view.  But according to my mother, he is looking the other way.  On resurrection morning, he will sit up, see a beautiful hillside turn around, and see this:

I know.  I am jealous, too.  I think he will like it.  He loved the mountains, and camping, and the outdoors.  He gave that to my dad, and my dad tried to give it to me.  It worked.  I just like taking a shower as well.  I haven't been camping a really, really long time.  I'm glad Kurtis and I are starting to take the boys hiking.  It's about freaking time.
But life goes on even when we feel like it should stop for a minute or two.  Sometimes even a week or a month.  You have to take the bitter with the sweet.  This week was one of those times.  I got to see my cousins that I never see.  One cousin told my dad he had to plan a reunion.  "Because funerals shouldn't count as family reunions."  I couldn't agree more, Will.  Wendy, you and your family were missed.  We also missed my brother Jeremy who could not get out of some finals.  :P  My sister, Michele and her youngest son Henry flew to Utah, and drove with me, Kaleb, my dad, Rodney, and Ryan.  My mom, Michael, and Emily came in another car later that evening.
Sweetness also came today, in the form of a college graduation.  My little sister graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Science degree in Digital Media.  This is pretty epic in our family.  She is the first Sharp* daughter to graduate from college.  My mother graduated, but she was a Day at the time.  Michele and I married, and when our parents would no longer pay for our schooling, we dropped out, so yeah.  As Ben would say, "It's pretty much a big deal."  And to graduate with honors on top of it!  Well, that is just all the more fabulous.  We we all went out to lunch afterwards.  It was nice that Michele stayed long enough to come see her walk across the red carpeted platform.  As an actress, I love that the carpet was red. ;)

 Even though, someday, I may graduate from college, I doubt I will graduate "Cum Laude".

 My mom saw these flowers from her friend, Vincent, and said, "Oh, good.  Somebody remembered to get her flowers!"  It's been a crazy week.


Yep.  She's amazing.

*Apparently, I need to print a retraction.  My cousin Amy did in fact graduate from BYU in 2005.  But Emily is the first of her sisters to graduate, so that's still a pretty big deal. :)  Sorry, Amy!  I was mis-informed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Come Craft With Me!

I have been going to stamp club for just over five years now.  I didn't realize this until the end of last year.  I was surprised.  It really didn't feel that long.  I had started bringing a couple ladies that I go to church with, and one of them could no longer come due to a church obligation every Tuesday evening.  We always had stamp club on the first Tuesday of every month.  She and my other friend suggested I start a stamp club, and become  as Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  I have always said that I didn't want to because I didn't want to make people spend money.  I hate asking people to spend money.  But they promised me they would find people for me, and that I wouldn't have to worry about that.  There are plenty of ladies who would want to come!  I said alright, and that when we got our tax return, I would do it.
Ha.  I just realized you might not know what stamp club is!  I've been going so long, I just assume everybody know. :P  It's a group of 10 (at least) people who enjoy making cards, or other craft projects.  Mostly we made cards with Stampin' Up! products.  We all agreed to spend at least $15 in products so the lady whose turn it was to be the hostess that month could get at least the minimum in hostess benefits.  It's kind of like a Pampered Chef party only we do it once a month.  It is so much fun.  The hostess brings treats, we make cute projects, and you can purchase scrapbooking supplies, and other materials for making cards or scrapbook pages.  They have the cutest stuff, so check out the website!
I had my first stamp club on Wednesday night!  It was so much fun.  Those of you who couldn't make it are missing out!  We made an Easter card, and a Mother's day card.  Here's a picture of what we did.  Feel free to join us next month on May 11th at 7:00 p.m.  It will always be at my house, too, so you always know where to go, and we still have some months to fill in, so you can sign up then.

 Easter 2011

Mother's Day is May 8th!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two Good Days

Yesterday, I went to my parents' house.  My mom asked me to help her with the last minute preparations for my dad's 60th birthday party.  It was awesome.  So many of their neighbors came to celebrate the "death of his youth".  Let me show you the awesome invitations:

I made them.  My mom kept emailing about how my brother was supposed to do them, and whether or not the party would actually take place was riding on whether or not he did.  So I just said, "Well, I will do them."
"Oh, you will?"  "Yeah.  It won't take very long."  "Okay, I'll email you everything I want on them, and let you make them."  "Okay.  Love you, bye."
 The information was received, and I copy and pasted it onto a word document.  Then I worked on the pictures.  I had to crop my dad out of a picture with my mom for the picture of him now, so it wasn't perfectly in line with the other one.  Ten minutes later, I called my mom to tell her they were done.  "Already?!"  "Yep.  It wasn't that hard, Mom."  "Oh, okay."  We waited for the email to go through, but it was taking longer than thirty seconds, so we hung up.  About five minutes later, I got this email: 
"Thanks!  It looks good enough for the boys I run with.  The surprise is out.  Dad laughed.  Michael would have made the pictures even, but I'm good with it like it is.  People will just throw them away anyway.
Thanks."  I love my mom, but why does she need to say everything that comes to her head.?  A simple thank you would have been good enough.  I know my brother is better at using photo shop than me.  In fact, I don't have photo shop.  Beggars can't be choosers.
But the party was marvelous!  Before the party, the Easter bunny came and hid some plastic eggs in my mom's backyard for the boys to find.  What fun!  The boys had a blast running around trying to find the colored eggs.
Then, my mom and I ran to the store, picked up the cake, and balloons, sub sandwiches, came back, and ran around the house in a panic until we felt better (no, not really. Hee hee hee!).  I went to Ogden to get my sister from the Trax station so she could get to the party sooner, and when we got back, I finally got to sit down and enjoy the party for about half an hour.  Then, my mom asked me to take my brother Jeremy to Logan so he could attend the baptism of a friend.  Yay.  I needed a nap when I got back, and I missed my dad trying to blow out 60 candles on his cake.  Seriously.  They actually lit 60 candles!  Emily told me it was hard to do.  I'll bet!  The cake was yummy, and everybody kept telling my parents the invitations made them think my dad was actually dead.  Then they re-read them.  Carefully this time.  My mom said one neighbor called another in tears.  Of course, I find this incredibly funny.  The irony is my mom passed out the invitations, and the next day, Grandpa died.  But my dad said we should have the party anyway.  It was really nice to be with people, and chat and laugh.  I really needed it after Friday.  Friday, I was walking around, trying to do all the normal day-to-day things that I had to do with my eyes leaking.
 Here is my brother, leading my kids around the yard to try and confuse them about where they are.  Zach kept opening his eyes, though, so I'm not sure if it worked the way he wanted.

 Zach found one behind the tree!

 Riley has one word to describe yesterday's egg hunt:  "Awesome!"

 Kaleb found one right away!

 It looks like 60 candles are hard to blow out.

 He likes the card I made him. :)

 And since he is a John Wayne fan, I thought this would be an excellent present. :)  I was right.

We drove past the construction that is being done on the temple on our way out of town.  We wanted to see the progress.  It's coming along amazingly! :)  Exciting.

Today, we got up and had a small egg hunt of our own.  I sang in the church choir songs of the resurrection of our Savior.  I made it through them with out crying too much.  I was glad.  I've experienced trying to sing "In A Coming Day" with tears streaming down my cheeks and snot dripping from my nose.  It's embarrassing.  And probably not something people really want to see.  That is not an easy song to sing after learning of some one's death.  But Easter isn't about death.  It is about hope and love.  Our Savior died for us and was resurrected.  Death is not the end.  Our spirits leave our beautiful bodies for a time.  Perhaps to learn more of the things that we could never learn on this earth.  I don't know for sure.  One day, we will be with those we love again.  I hate that we have to leave each other for a little while, though.  That's the hard part.  That is the part that leaves holes in your heart.  My heart is turning into a colander.  I suppose it will make it easier for the love to pour through.  At least, that's what I hope happens.  I know I won't be sad forever.  But I don't believe we ever really get over it when people die.  One day, out of the blue, I will think about my other Grandpa who died before I started this blog, and my eyes will fill with tears.  It's okay to miss them.  It's okay to always love them.

Friday, April 22, 2011

One of the Greatest

My mom woke me up at 6:34 this morning.  I thought it was my alarm going off, but slowly, I realized it wasn't my alarm at all.  I wondered what my mom would be calling me about so early.  She knows I don't get up until 9:00.  Sometimes later.  I almost let it go to voice mail.  Anything to due with Dad's birthday party really wasn't that important, and could wait.  I answered it any way.
My grandfather passed away at around 2 a.m. last night.  I could tell my mom wanted to get off the phone.  I could hear her voice crack.  I hung up, and broke down.  I feel like that scene in the movie Howl's Moving Castle where Sophie is floating in the air, and her tears float in the sky.  Only she is crying because she is happy.
My mom emailed me last week and told me he was bedridden.  He was getting bed sores, and was probably so uncomfortable.  He had Parkinson's disease, and dementia.  When I visited him in December, he still knew who I was, but I could see his health was declining.  He saw things that weren't there.  Mostly animals.  I didn't know how much longer he could hold on.  So he is no longer in pain, and his mind is finally clear.
He was such a wonderful grandpa.  He was soft spoken and shy, but I knew he loved me.  I heard some one once say that children need their grandparents.  Because they need some one in their lives who loves them just because they were born.  He was my grandpa who loved me just because I was born.  He never let me doubt it.  I will miss him so much.  I love you because you were born, too, Grandpa.

 This is Grandpa and my boys in December when we took our trip to visit.

About eleven years ago, before I had kids, I took a trip with my sister and her family to visit my grandparents.
Grandpa loved horses.

 I love this picture of my grandpa.  It's just like him.  Quiet, contemplative.  My cowboy.
Grandpa was born December 29, 1928.  He died April 22, 2011.  He was 83.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Drum Roll Please!

Ha ha!  The first episode of Paradox is available for your viewing enjoyment!  Woo hoo!  Have fun watching my little sister as Dez.

Check out their web site.  It's fun, too.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Teaser #3!

Oh, guess what.  I forgot to put this up for you! (I think.)  The first episode is out for your viewing pleasure and I will post it soon (I'm not in it, but my little sister is!)

I bet you are excited now! :D

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Diet Diaries

That is a clip from one of my new favorite movies.  Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  It's awesome.  Rent it right now.  Yes, right now.  In fact, read the rest of this blog later, and go watch it.  It's way more fun than me. ;)
I'm pretty sure everybody else has already come to this knowledge, and by blogging about it, I am in no way telling you anything new.  But I am going to blog about it any way, because I want to.  So there.  Neener neener neener! :)
I was making my self a sandwich this afternoon, and counting my calories.  So everything I was using was being calculated, and I discovered, that bread indeed does make you fat.  What the what!?  Bread is delicious and I love it.  LOVE it!  I mean I really love it.  When I was in high school, it was pretty much all I ate because I didn't like anything else my mom cooked.  She wasn't a terrible cook or anything.  I just don't like steak, and I didn't like hamburger (I've gotten over it), and I don't like pot roast and basically red meat.  Don't be a hater.  I don't have to like everything you like!
So I typed in my calories (I have an app on my phone that keeps track):  1.5 servings deli turkey - 90 calories.  Lettuce - 4 calories (who knew lettuce had any at all!).  1/4 of a medium tomato (I was just guessing, really) - 6 calories.  1 ounce Swiss cheese - 106 calories.  1 hoagie roll - 280 calories.
Total calories: 486.
Now, I know this is a reasonable amount of calories for one meal.  But I am only allowed 1500 calories a day.  Less if I want to figure out how to stop emotionally eating and loose weight faster.  But if I didn't eat the bread on my sandwich and just wrapped it up in the lettuce, my lunch would have been 206 calories!  Less than half!  And wheat bread might have more nutrition in it for you, but the calories are not much different.  I searched it on my app to find out.  So how did I console myself with this new realization?  That I must give up bread?  By eating brownies.  Yep.  I'm super.  Super messed up!  So I will eat bread until I can come to the grips with the fact that it is something that must be cut out of my diet.  Along with candy.  The other thing I am addicted to.  Don't laugh.  It's true.  I told Kurtis I was addicted to candy once, and he laughed at me.  "You can't be addicted to candy."  I believe those were his exact words.  You can be addicted to anything!  Mine is just legal, and easy to get.  Lucky for him, it's not heroine (although if it were I would at least be skinny! :D).  Sometimes I want to punch him.
So yes, I am going to try to not eat bread.  I have to cut it out because bread is like candy.  Once I start eating it, it is incredibly difficult for me to stop.  Candy and bread.  So far, I am not doing very well.  I raided the chocolate chips because I am not quite desperate enough to get into the Easter candy (yet), and I ate way too many slices of wheat french bread at dinner.