Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Want To Be the Best I Can

Yesterday, my nephew turned eight years old.  He was also baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It was such a wonderful day.  We made snicker doodles, and got all dressed up in our Sunday clothes and went to the church.  Then W and his dad got all dressed in white.  After the opening prayer and song, his primary teacher gave a talk on baptism.  Then we walked to the baptismal font and watched as W's dad baptized him.  While they were drying off and changing their clothes, we listened to primary songs and sat reverently.  After W and his dad were dried off and dressed, we sang a song accompanied by W's sister.  Then we listened to my sister Emily give a talk on the Holy Ghost.  Both talks were really good, but the bishop said it was probably the best talk on the Holy Ghost he had ever heard.  I agree.  She told a story about two men.  One was a Native American and the other was a New Yorker.  The New Yorker came to visit his friend in the country, and wanted to bring his friend to see the city.  The Native American was really excited to go and to see the city because he had never been there.  He loved seeing all the sights and really enjoyed all the plays and many things that the city had to offer, but after being there for a couple of weeks he started to miss his home.  One day, while they were walking in Manhattan, The Native American said to his friend, "I think I hear a frog."  "What?  I don't hear a frog.  I'll give you $100 if you can find the frog."  So he went to where he heard the frog, and picked it out of the drain.  "I never would have heard that frog, if you hadn't found it," said the New Yorker.  The Native American took some coins and dropped them on the ground.  Everyone with in a forty-foot radius turned around to see where they landed.  "Well," said the Native American, "it all depends on what you are listening for."  She applied this story to the Holy Ghost in that it is something we must be listening for, or we will never hear it.  W's brother played the closing song, and then we all ate the snicker doodles.  I got to meet some of W's friends, too.  It was a beautiful day and I was so glad I got to be there.  It was, after all, the reason I flew out here.

 These are the two handsome young men dressed in white.  In our church, white symbolizes purity.  When we are baptized, our sins are washed away and we are made clean again.

 W was really, really excited.  Getting baptized on your birthday sounds really, really exciting to me. :)

 His older brother made up a scavenger hunt for him to find one of his birthday presents.  It was the one from me.  I thought that was pretty cool. :)

We got him a Hex bug for his present.  He really liked it.

My parents bought him some scriptures and a scripture case.  He like that even more.

When he was almost done opening his presents and cards, W's dad wrapped up Emily.

And William opened her up!  Yay!  An Emily for his birthday!

I love this picture I took.  W is hugging his Grandpa H.  Such a great moment.
It really was a great day. :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Back To That City the River Splits

Thursday morning, I got up at 4:30 a.m.  Kurtis drove me to the airport at 5:20 and I was through airport security by 6:30.  Whew!  That part always makes me a little bit nervous.  It was only the fourth time I've flown in my 32 years of existence.  Well, I guess I should say my fourth trip flying somewhere.  I suppose that makes it more like my seventh time on an airplane.  Geesh.  Getting all technical on me are we?  Well, I've decided that flying early in the morning is pretty freaking cool.  Here's why:

This photograph doesn't do it justice, but once we were above the cloud cover, the sun was gorgeous and illuminated the clouds in this pink glow.  It was amazing.

This window was a little scratched, but it was so beautiful.  I wish I could have gotten a better shot of it.

I arrived in Denver and waited to meet my sister, but she never showed up.  Her plane was late, and didn't arrive until after boarding our flight to Minneapolis had begun boarding.  I was worried she would miss the plane.  I was so relieved when I saw her get on.  It was too late to try and switch seats in order to sit together, so I got to sit by a two nice men who left me alone most of the flight until we were about to descend into Minneapolis, and the one on the end looked out the window and said, "Is that Snow?"  I smiled and said, "Have you not seen snow before?"  "No, I'm from California."  I found it amusing.  He showed me a picture of his baby and told me he and his friend are going to have fun in Michigan playing in the snow.  Or was it Wisconsin?  I can't remember.  Either way, I hope he has fun.

Today, we drove to St. Paul and toured the Capitol building.  It's immaculately decorated and incredibly ornate.  The tour guide told us they built it that way on purpose so that everyone could experience luxury and see what that looked like.  This is what luxury looks like:

After the capitol tour, we drove over to the Historical Center.  We could have walked, but decided not to because it was snowing.  It wouldn't have been a super short walk either, so I think we made the right decision.  We went to the 1968 exhibit.  It was amazing.  A lot went on during that year that I never realized.  A crazy amount of people died in the Vietnam war, and protest began to escalate and the tension in the nation had to have been astounding.  Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th (my sister's birthday), and then two months later, on June 5th (my niece's birthday) pretty much immediately after announcing his run for the presidency, Robert Kennedy was shot.  Things like that shock a nation to its very core.  It was probably equivalent to what we went through on September 11, 2001.  It was also an election year.  President Nixon won, and we got to see the first pictures of an Earth rise from space.  Cool things happened, too.  The world is never all bad.  Sometimes we just have look a little harder.

We also went to the exhibit about our nation's greatest generation:  The World War two veterans.  They grew up during the depression and they persevered through World War Two.  They overcame those years to triumph and prosperity throughout the rest of their lives.  The truly are the greatest generation I will ever know, and they deserve to be celebrated.

 My nephews and I made bombs in the factory.

 My arm got tired of cranking the conveyor belt.

 Tanks are always cool to look at.

 This display represented the cinema and the great films produced during this era.  They don't make them like they used to.

 I just had to throw this one in here.  It's the gorgeous St. Paul's Cathedral.  I took this shot as we were leaving the museum parking lot.  How can I not fall in love with a place like this?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Could Skate From Maine To Nebraska

I'm going on a trip tomorrow.  It's very exciting.  I've never flown on an airplane all by myself before.  I'm a little nervous, but I'm stopping in Denver and meeting my younger sister.  Then we are getting on the same flight to Minnesota.  Where else would I go?  It seems like I was just there! :D
So I was looking at the TSA's website and checking out all the rules of things you can and cannot put on your carry on luggage.  It was all really interesting, and most things make sense.  I wouldn't want somebody to bring their meat cleaver or spear guns or cattle prods in to the passenger area.  Those just make sense.  If you are bringing home your ninja throwing stars, you need to check your bag.  But one thing in particular caught my eye.  You are not allowed to bring your dumbbells or your hand weights, but you can bring your ice skates.  What?  I get that dumbbells are heavy, so perhaps this is a weight issue, but ice skates have sharp blades on the bottom of them.  They are supposed to be kept as sharp as possible to glide on the ice.  That's why you put those little covers on them, so you don't cut yourself when you are slinging them over your shoulder and while flirting with that cute guy in Biology.
So all I know is if terrorists take over my plane, I'm going to be looking for that little girl with big Olympic dreams.  We'll take them down together.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We All Need a Fix; I Guess I Need One Too

Remember the picture I showed you of my basement with the fans and the dehumidifier?  Well, after they were done drying out the place, there were holes in my ceiling and in the wall.  Tom came over a few days later and patched them up.  Then he came back and mudded some more and textured the ceiling to get it to match.  The he let it dry again, and in a few days, came back to sand and paint it.  The second time he came over, he put some paint on the wall and ceiling to see if the paint he got matched.  The wall was too dark, but the ceiling looked like it matched, so I told him that painting just the area that was being repaired would be fine.  He came, painted, and the wall looks great.  I love it.  But the ceiling, didn't match after all.
He's over here right now painting the whole entire ceiling.  Kurtis didn't want to move all the junk that was down there, so he was trying to tell me it was fine.  I just looked at him like he was crazy and said, "Why are you settling when we don't have to?  We move the stuff, and he comes back and fixes it.  It might not bug you, but it's gonna start to bug me, so I'll call them."  I let the paint dry for a few days before calling to be sure, and then all that plumbing stuff happened.
Now, I have to go through all my crap before I put it back.  Ugh.  I don't want to do that.  But at the same time, I do.  It's something I have been putting off for years.  It's time.  Right after I get back from Minnesota! ;)

 These are the holes in my wall.

And in the ceiling.

This one shows the paint didn't match after all.  Yes, it does.  Just look closer.
But the wall looks great!

 He's done, and it looks great!  I haven't seen the room this empty since we moved in!

 See?  No weird looking patch of white on white!  Yay! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

We Won't Get Far Flying In Circles Inside a Jar

I need to apologize.  The last post was not very nice.  I was in a foul mood.  I'm sorry.  It was such a horrible post, that my bestest friend Nicole called me to make sure I was okay.  Well, I am working on becoming okay.  We'll just say that.  Because I don't deal well with things like plumbing problems, and things that could potentially financially cripple us.  Money equals happiness to me.  Having it, and being able to get what I want when I want means that I am prosperous and that makes me happy.  Don't tell me money doesn't buy happiness because that just isn't true.  Not to me.  So if when we have unexpected problems that cost a lot of money, I tend to freak out.  I've been holding it in too long, and finally I burst.
I didn't intent to be so negative, but it sure came out that way, and I apologize.  I'm trying to be more positive, but as a person who suffers from depression, it's not something that comes easily.  And sometimes, a girl just needs to vent.  Thanks for sticking with me even when I throw a tantrum or two.  You're the best.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hit That Button There - The One That Just Says Wrong

The day after Christmas, we went to Temple Square.  I did take pictures.  They turned out nice.  Then on December 30th, we went to the annual D.I. party.  It wasn't the worst night ever, but let me just be honest here.  I thought it was a family party.  Instead, Kristie invited her friends and even though we drew names at Thanksgiving, decided to totally bag that whole idea.  I don't really like being blindsided by things like that.  If she was going to make it a party with her friends, she should have asked me how I felt about it.  Because it was a family party.  She did that to me last year, too, and it pissed me off then.  Just like it pissed me off this year.  That was the end of the year for us.  Now, you are all caught up on what we did during the Holidays.

Today, I am numb.  Just freaking numb.  I was dealing with the kitchen situation.  I had made peace with the fact that I will have an un-level kitchen floor until we get our tax return.  Life was returning to somewhat normal.  Then I woke up this morning.  Everybody decided to flush the toilets at the same time, and there was no water pressure.  No big deal.  Just wait for them to stop running and the water will return to normal, right?  Nope.  We could hear water running through the pipes for about an hour and a half after that, and if you ran the water, it would just trickle.  I asked Kurtis how the pressure was in the shower and he checked it.  Said it seemed fine.  So I decided to work out, call the plumber, and then shower.
After my work out, my sweaty, forty-five minute work out, I didn't hear the water running in the pipes any more, and when I turned on the water, the pressure seemed fine.  I decided not to call the plumber, and played Farmville for a bit before I took my shower.  When I finally got into the shower, I turned it on (seemed fine), and undressed while I waited for the water to get warm.  When I went to get in the shower, the water was trickling.  I tried again and watched as the water went from okay pressure to trickling.  I'm cold, I'm naked, and I'm not going to get a shower.  I am ready to cry.  I did the best I could hygienically, got dressed, and called the plumber.  They said that they would come between 3 and 5 (closer to 5).  It's 5:23, and they are not here yet.  Kurtis asked me to turn the main water off just in case, and so I have been without water since 12:30.  You never really realize how important water is to everything until it is unavailable.  I learned that lesson on December 20th.  Do I really need to learn it again, so soon?  Seriously?
Chances are, I'm not going to get a shower tomorrow either. :'''(

Update:  The plumber just called.  He's just finishing up a job, and should be here shortly.   They better not charge me after-hours rates.  :(

Update #2:  Yay!!! He came and he conquered!  Kurtis can't remember what he called the part, but it had stuff in it.  Apparently the water that comes from the city is really high pressure, and this takes it down a few notches and makes it work for our house.  He cut the pipes and soldered a new one on.  The soldering set off the fire alarms a few times, but we got a fan and that got it under control.  Then when he ran the water, the pipes sang a few times, but he fixed it.  Kurtis says that the rate the water was going through the pipes needed to be adjusted and that's why they were making noise.  So hurray!  I get to take a shower tomorrow! :D

Sunday, January 15, 2012

So I'll Spend My Christmas With You

I did it!  I almost bagged the whole project because I didn't record everything, and when I watched it, it was so completely boring that I just wanted to gouge my eyes (and ears) out.  Oh, I'm sorry.  You have no idea what I am talking about.  Well, I finally edited the footage of Christmas, and opening presents.  It was half an hour long, and soooo boring.  Because my kids don't just tear into their packages.  Sometimes the do, but most of the time, they wanted to savor the process or something and it was really hard to watch.  Especially when it came to watching my brother open his present from us.  He moves so slowly!  And to top it all off, there was one part, where I thought I had turned off the camera, set it down, and filmed my knee!  What the heck?  Also, as I am watching what happens before my knee, I am realizing that I must have accidentally hit the off button while I was recording because half of the presents being opened are gone!  What?  Technical difficulties.  Ugh.  In the end, the entire film is five and a half minutes.  Which makes me extremely happy.  The best part is at 1:39.  Kaleb says the funniest thing ever.  Well, I thought it was any way.

Oh, and that really awesome drum roll sound at the beginning of the video, isn't really a drum roll.  It's that frigging fan that we had going for five days to dry out our house.  It's kind of cool at the beginning there, but then it doesn't stop, so it starts to get weird.

Christmas day, we went opened presents, went to church, visited Kurtis' family, and then visited my family.  I got to talk to my brother who is in Brazil!  Woo hoo!  It was so good to hear his voice, and I can't wait for him to come home in September! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Snowflakes Start Falling and I Start to Float

I'm not done editing our Christmas video yet.  Okay, fine.  I haven't even started.  But I am going to go out of order and show you what we made at Stamp Club last night anyway!  It was a lot of fun, and you should come too.  Next month we will have a Valentine's Day theme.  I love Valentine's Day.  It's wonderful.  And you can't tell me that it is just because I have a lover.  I loved it even when I didn't have one, so there! :P  Yeah.  I know.  I'm a sap.

I had fun using my new Big Shot and Stampin' Up! punch that I got for Christmas!  We made a card.  You can't see it in the picture, but we used Dazzling Details on the snowflakes to make them sparkle. Those weird, glob-things are magnets.  We used Crystal Effects to stick everything together.  It's a super easy and super quick project!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Send Out A Sparkle Bright As the Dawn

December 15, 2011, Kaleb and I ran off to his school while his dad and brothers ran off to Pack Meeting.  Kurtis had to get there early because he is the assistant cub master.  I asked Kurtis to help me out because the Wolves were in charge of the flag ceremony, and my partner in crime was also going to be absent.  It's one of those days when you need a clone, but you don't have one, so you do the best you can.  I told Kurtis, Kaleb and I would come when his program was over.  It was only supposed to last half an hour.  True to their word, it was only 26 minutes (I know because of the time stamp on the video).  I edited out the technical difficulty that lasted about three minutes, and brought the show down to twenty-two minutes and forty-two seconds.  I'm surprised YouTube let me put a video on that exceeded their limit, but I did find a site that doesn't have a time limit, so maybe next time, I will try it out.   I hope you enjoy it because it was really cute!  I love having a video camera! :D

P.S.  I made most of the jingle bell necklaces the children are wearing.  Mrs. Jones gave me all the materials and I strung them together (I babysit Mrs. Jones' kids.  Kaleb is in Mrs. Gally's class).  Until I ran out of ribbon and donated a bunch of my own that I wasn't using.  I knew it would come in handy someday. Once again, the fact that I never throw anything  away came in to the rescue!

Friday, January 6, 2012

If the Bombs Go Off the Sun Will Still Be Shining

So.  Yeah, I haven't blogged in an eternity.  Two weeks without a blog post?  You must feel so deprived!  Yeah, well.  I haven't been a very happy person these last few weeks.  Not that I am really all that cheerful on a regular basis, but I mean these past two weeks have not been very fun for me, but I am adapting to the hole in my kitchen.  No, it's still not fixed.  But I am adapting.  Let's play catch up on Christmas blogging before we go there, though.  I'm sure you are dying to know how awesome our Christmas was in 2011.
What did I blog about before I blogged about my crisis.  Yes, to me, it is a crisis.  It's not Kurtis breaking Zachary's leg.  That was Zachary's and Kurtis' crisis.  I handled that beautifully.  Now, it should be everybody else's turn to keep me from freaking out.  They really suck at it, though.  I mean that.  I'm not just being sarcastic.  I mean, really.  Why can't they just stop being such self absorbed little children?
Oh, yes.  Before my kitchen crisis of 2011, it was Kaleb's birthday!  Best birthday ever, too.  The next day, he had a school program.  I video taped it.  I've been meaning to put it up here because it was only half an hour, and it was really cute!  I'll work on it tonight.  It's the third time I've seen it, but it was still really cute.  I think they did do something a little bit different this year, but Riley's in third grade now.  That was two years ago.  How am I supposed to remember that?
Then there was Christmas Eve at my grandma's house.  She's moved into an assisted living situation, but she still has her house (just in case she doesn't like it there).  My uncle was really having a cranky day (when isn't he?).  As soon as my children walked in the door, he told them to stop rough housing inside.  Seriously?  That man has anger issues.  At dinner, he was really close to freaking out at his four-year-old granddaughter who spilled a tiny bit of her drink on her shirt.  Sometimes, I really want to punch him.  She's four!  Lighten up!  It's not like she took her cup and dumped it out all over the floor on purpose.  I think I helped him calm down, though.  I told her, "It's alright.  You just got the tiniest drop on your shirt.  No worries."  And told him with my mind to go get therapy.  One time, my grandma told me that he was such a sweet baby until Grandpa wouldn't let him have a pacifier.  "No child of mine is going to become dependent on these confounded contraptions!"  Something like that.  Sounds like Grandpa needed to lighten up a bit back then, too.  After that, it was all downhill for my uncle.  I'm really quite tired of it though.  Nobody should put up with him any more.  I wonder if anybody has ever tried to tell him to calm down.  I may have used those words that night.  I can't look him in the eye, though.  If he ever wondered why his nieces and nephews avoided him when they were growing up, that would be why.  I really like that little girl.  She just needs him to love her.
But the thing that baffles me about this situation is that everybody just ignores it.  Like, oh, that's just our brother.  He he.  He'll never change.  If he had an alcohol or drug problem would you say the same thing?  Probably not.  Or maybe they would.  My mother's family does seem to like to hide things, and just sweep them under the rug like it's not really there.  Yay!  Dysfunction!
But inspite of his problem with life, we still had a pretty good time.  My brother's girlfriend, Lili, came.  I like hanging out with her.  And my sister Emily was there, too.  Sweet!  My cousin was in charge of the nativity this year and she rocked it.  Super short and done with the little ones holding up dolls.  Much better than mine last year.  We played Christmas trivia and Christmas charades.  Everyone thinks that because I am an actress I will be good at that game.  Well, I got Christmas Day.  Seriously?  %@*$!  That's what I say to that.  I'm not good at that game, and being an actress does not make me good at that game.  You know what makes you good at that game?  Playing it.  Frequently.  Other people got Candy cane and Christmas tree.  Sooo much easier.  Even Stocking is easier than Christmas Day!
 Emily has purple hair now! :D  I love it!

 That's my uncle playing with my kids.  He's the fun uncle.  Not the angry uncle.

 Riley thinks Jeremy is a horse.

 Tickle time!

 There were a couple of announcements at this super fun party!  My cousin (on the right) is engaged!  To that guy on the left.  Maybe that is why they are holding hands.  No date set yet.  She wants to graduate first and is supposed to in May.  Lucky girl.

 Christmas Trivia.

 Tickle time!

 My cousin, reading the nativity.

The kids and their participation part.  They just played with the dolls and didn't really hold them up much.

After all the fun, my fun uncle told me to go and take pictures of everyone.  So I did.  These are my cousins.  Oh, and the other announcement is that another cousin (the one on the right in the blue shirt) is also getting married in May!  Yay!  I love weddings!

Enough updating for now.  I'll post again later.  Maybe.