December 30, 2011

A little wow...

I'm on a bus, in Dallas, on the internet, by the Grassy Knoll. The fact that I can do that is pretty cool. I'll be back to post about our Bowl Game trip tomorrow or Monday when I am awake again.

December 28, 2011

Damn the (TSA) Man

I enjoy traveling but I hate TSA. In the next 7 weeks or so, I will be on about 15 flights which means in that time, I will be spending a LOT of time with airport security. As usual, I've been on the TSA.gov website getting updated information since I always take a printed paper with the most recent regulations & such which might apply to me. This time, it's about taking water, food and my glucose testing supplies. When we flew with Sophie last January, having those papers kept an 'agent' from taking formula and new, sealed water bottles from me. I've also been looking at my security options.

I will not ever go through a "body scanner." I have my radiology certification from my dental schooling and I refuse to be exposed to direct 'back scatter' radiation. In most offices, you're required to wear a Radiation Docimeter Badge to monitor the radiation you're exposed to. When you take dental x-rays, the beam is narrow and you're still supposed to be at least 6 feet away and behind a line wall. I asked a TSA employee at SEATAC in August why he wasn't wearing a badge and he said it 'wasn't necessary. The exposure is completely safe.' Just like Agent Orange was safe to spray.

I absolutely refuse to allow someone to do a body 'pat down' on me. Oh, and guess what? The TSA employees are now supposed to use the palms of their hands and "cup body parts for maximum screening." Um, hell no. ABC did an interview with one of the TSA screening CEOs (not sure what his actual title is) and using a mannequin showed and told how the 'pat downs' are to go now. That's legal groping. Not okay.

I will go through the metal detector.

If I am told scan or groping, I would be very tempted to do as the German Pirate Party did a while ago. You can find videos on youtube if you'd really like to see it but basically, they would rather be in control of what and when their body is shown. Basically, you can look but you can't touch. If that doesn't fly, I won't either.

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Since most of my family and some of Craig's live far away, we took a few videos this morning so we could share our very first Christmas together in our very first house with them. Unfortunately, all of the videos had to be trimmed to 54 seconds in order to be emailed from my phone (aka our video camera) and now there are a bunch of shorter clips. We hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and felt the true spirit of the season. We send lots of love and warm, snuggly hugs to all of you!
...

Some videos for family & such: 

The first three videos are of Sophie coming down the stairs and seeing what Santa left for her. Apparently she has been a VERY good girl this year!

video
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These next two clips are of Craig & the surprises Santa left for him. It looks like he, too, was a pretty good boy this year. 

video


video

These last three clips are showing what Santa (with a little help from an elf who found a store selling EVERYTHING for at least 60% off) left for me this year. 


video

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December 24, 2011

A Few Things I Never Want to Forget

Seeing Sophie so excited and not really knowing what is exciting her so much. We love our Sophie more than we will ever be able to say.

Sitting by the fireplace with all of the lights off, except the ones on the Christmas tree, snuggling with Craig, listening to some of my favorite quiet Christmas songs. (Like a gorgeous piano solo of "O Come, O Come Emanuel")

Just being with Craig, my very bestest friend. I couldn't have ever imagined I'd find someone so perfectly perfect for me. Love him so much.

Finally taking the time to actually sit quietly, full of peace, thinking about the really important things.

...

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas full of love, family, good memories and meaning. 
Lots of love from us to you! 

December 20, 2011

A Tuesday thought...

Want to know the quickest way to irritate drives on I15 in Utah?


Drive the speed limit and obey all of the laws/rules of the road. Bryan my brother would be proud. I was called "number one" a couple times on my drive home from AF today.    :)

December 19, 2011

I woke up this morning with a familiar and distant pain. Something I haven't really felt quite this intensely in a while and it is making me do a lot of thinking. I learned in high school that not a whole lot of people really believe when others say they're in pain that they might actually be despite a lack of an obvious outward, physical cause. Broken bones, illnesses that result in very physical reactions, surgeries, diabetics who take insulin injections etc. receive the expected sympathies, care and support they need. What about the rest of the people? As mentioned before, I learned pretty quickly in 10th grade that unless you have a cast or some other outward showing, few people will believe you when you say you're in pain.

On my 16th birthday, at my birthday party, I broke my wrist. (It was a pretty rockin' party, though!) I had never broken a bone before and didn't know what it was 'supposed' to feel like. It was very painful, tingly and had the added bonus of shooting/stabbing pain that didn't go away when the bone had healed. In fact, it started spreading from my left hand to my wrist, up to my elbow and eventually to my shoulder. On some days, I would even feel the pain in my right wrist or an ankle or knee.  I was diagnosed with something called RSD or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. (It's more frequently called CRPD now- Complex Regional Pain Disorder.) It didn't seem to matter what we did, the pain was there and it was an incredibly scary thing to experience. Worst part of it all- no, not the painful nerve blocks, MRI, missing school, going to physical therapy or not being able to do guard- people telling me I was 'fake,' 'making it up for attention,' or any number of other things I heard. Even my French teacher told me once in front of the whole class that it was all in my head and nothing was wrong with me. I spent a lot of that class period in the nurses office the last couple weeks of that semester.

When I came to BYU, gradually, the pain seemed to calm and wasn't nearly as bad as it had been in high school. However, it was still there. One doctor here just kept telling me I had fibromyalgia (chronic wide-spread pain). Since for some reason that is more socially acceptable than unexplainable pseudo nerve damage pain, that's what I call it now around people who don't understand or care to. There still isn't a whole lot known about RSD other than it is triggered by a trauma to the body, there is no cure and there really aren't a whole lot of pain management options that don't involve narcotics or the dreaded nerve blocks which put me on the couch for days. I have found that massage helps more than any of the above but of course, insurance doesn't cover 'alternative medicine.'

When I woke up this morning, it was felt in my left wrist and a couple other places on the left side of my body. I'm not looking for sympathy or whatever here, I just feel like "talking" about it helps me and perhaps might help you be a little more sensitive to others. I keep being reminded that we never really know the whole story with other people. In case you ever come across someone who tells you they're in pain, have nerve damage or whatever, just listen and try your best not to judge.

December 18, 2011

Up this week...

Just a reminder if you find these posts boring, I do a lot (read: most) of this writing for me. I'm not really into the pen & paper journaling thing but I like typing and being able to easily plop pictures in and such. That is all.

... 

Craig has slipped off to the basement all sneaky-like and I wasn't invited so I am getting my week in order. I am a goal-setting, to-do-list-writing, I-need-to-have-projects kind of person. I KNOW the list making comes from my mom (THANK YOU, Mom!) and I am just happier and far more sane if I have something I am working on. Color guard has always been great for me because the way I run things, it is basically a marathon of goals and to-do lists for about 4 months then I get to start all over each season with a new show/theme/style. Magical.

Anyway, since we moved into our house (which we LOVE) we've been discussing things we'd like to do to make it more "us." The first thing to go was the horrid orangey gold in the front room. It wasn't a nice color- it sort of burned the eyes. Now it is painted an off-white from chair rail down and a true red from the chair rail up to the ceiling.  

In the coming years, we'd like to get rid of the carpet on the main floor and in the hallway upstairs and put in hardwood or an engineered wood (not laminate). I hate feeling like I can never get the house really clean because vacuuming just doesn't get everything out of the carpet and I think it's just a bad idea to have carpet in high-traffic areas, anyway. I was turned into a believer when we had uncarpeted wood stairs in WV for the first time. (FYI- we have never worn shoes in our house.) One day, mom swept the stairs from the top to bottom and the crap from regular shoe-less traffic that was piled at the bottom was impressive/gross. Now just imagine piles of junk getting worked into your carpets.


The next thing on the "Change it" list is the brown color in the kitchen. We have gorgeous but very dark granite, dark flagstone tile and it's just too heavy and dark for me. I like kitchens being bright and inviting. I knew I wanted it lighter and then Craig picked out a nice creamy yellow yesterday.

Also learning from my mom, she has wanted her master bedroom done up for a while. (I happen to really like how their room is done, the pretty fabrics she has used, the table in the little reading area, the new slipcover on the couch that Abby also loves but that's sort of beside the point right now.) Basically, we want ours done so we've found some inspiration pictures we like (So, what if they're all Candice Olson rooms?) and we're going for it. I've never done a room this big but I'm sure it will be great or something. Right now we have picked an icy-blue lilac color. I think it'll look nice and relaxing against the black furniture and white bedspread. Other thoughts and suggestions are certainly welcomed!

Oh, and Christmas is next week so we, naturally, have Christmasy things on our list. Things like:


  • Finish sewing the cloth napkins for Christmas dinner (yes, I am doing that) 
  • Make some fun Christmas poppers for having by our plates
  • Not Christmas really but do some draping and figure out some costume things 
  • Bake LOTS of cookies, breads and everything else
  • Make my first Buche de Noel on my own. YIKES! 

No title needed

Ever have a day? You know, THAT day? It's 10:07 and it is certainly that day. I am seriously contemplating going back to bed and not getting up again until tomorrow.

December 13, 2011

The ULTIMATE "Check off" on my To Do list:

Yes, that's right. I finished my last final of my undergraduate career tonight. Pretty solidly, too. 92% isn't bad considering I didn't really care to study. Ahh. All of the presentations, group projects, massive papers, late night study sessions are done. It's a relief. And scary at the same time. I'm so glad I'm finishing now when I have other things, like Christmas & playing fun games with Sophie, to distract me.

Even though I am finished with my undergraduate college education, there are still things I would like to learn and study. Some courses I wanted to take but couldn't either because of work or class scheduling conflicts and other various goals. For now, this is my public list of things I'd like to do/learn/begin/ accomplish in the next 5 years:

  • Study Chemistry. I have somehow managed to get through junior high, high school and many years at the university with never taking a single chem course. I am very curious. 
  • Study Physiology. I was signed up for a Phys. class two winter semesters ago but had to drop it because it was going to be too much while designing a main stage show and directing my own senior project. 
  • Study Anatomy. Same story as above. I actually got the books and had an assigned lab and I was SO excited. I've been told if you take an anatomy course, that is really all you should be focusing on. 
  • Learn some real math. I hate learning for tests and being expected to learn at the same pace as others. I have family members who are exceptionally good at math and I would like to be able to do more than just hold my own in the practical math world. (It only skips two generations, right mom? There is still hope for Sophie?) 
  • Help Sophie learn to read and LOVE reading. She already enjoys her books a lot. She gets stacks of books and brings them to me, sits on my lap and says "dis" (this) until I read them all to her.  I want to take her to museums, shows, concerts and dance classes. I want her to learn to love learning about everything. I still haven't quite figured out *how* my mom & dad did it, but I loved reading more than anything. And make-believe playing and exploring and being bossy (mom didn't teach that. I was born with that) and mess making (she didn't teach that, either) and pretty much just trying to learn how to do everything. I'd like Sophie and any others who may join us in the next 5 years to love learning, too. 
  • Restudy everything I learned in my nutrition courses. Of all of the courses I took, those just might be the most practically useful in our home for a while. (Well, that combined with Microbiology.) 
  • I want to get better at sewing. When I was in high school at The Academy, I sewed for at least two hours a day, 4 days a week on pretty major projects. I wasn't amazing, but I was good. I remember a lot but not doing it for a time can make you forget. 
  • ...I'd also like to remember to send birthday cards etc. ON TIME. I won't really have an excuse now that I'm not running from class to class etc. 
  • Have more fun.
  • Design & decorate our master bedroom
  • Paint the kitchen a lighter color (too dark in the evening & winter)
  • Make a fabulous playroom -including the magic closet in the Harry Potter closet- in the basement
  • All of the stuff I want and none of the stuff I don't. Gosh. (Aka- spend more time with my "brudders") 
I think that's a pretty solid list for now. To my friends still working on graduation: you'll get there! Just hurry up so we can have lots of fun together. ;) 

December 12, 2011

Sophie, the 'model' child

Since pictures say much more than words, or so we've been told since elementary school, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. These were taken Thursday morning (notice all of the birthday hoopla still all over) in a new birthday outfit from Aunt Erin. I had my phone out and as Sophie was getting on her toy to play, all I said was "Sophie, smile for grandma" and she began doing all sorts of poses and happy faces. I just kept snapping away. Below are several of the ones I took. I couldn't have posed those if I wanted to. Little model child.

SMILES for grandma!

Where did she learn this?

On second thought, I believe we get to thank
Erin for this behavior. The new fabulous
dress brought out the diva in her.



Just so creative...

Look at me ride!

Sophie's First Movie



Wow! Those people are huge!
She waved at the people
on the screen a bit, too.
Very cute.
A couple times a year, our realtor (who also happens to be Craig's aunt-she's fantastic, by the way. Let me know if you are in the market for one) and our mortgage company put on private movie showing parties. We got to go see Harry Potter during the summer and it was great. Last weekend, we were invited to go see "The Polar Express" in one of the big theatres at Jordan Commons. Since it said kids of all ages welcome and it is a relatively short movie, we decided to take Sophie. She enjoyed it. And the popcorn. She hasn't had popcorn before that I'm aware of. When the movie started, she just sat perfectly still (for a long time but not the whole time. She's barely 1, after all) and just stared at the screen. I tried getting some pictures but they are a bit dark/fuzzy. After the movie was over, Santa came in to invite all of the kiddies to come out and say hello and get a little treat. As you'll see, Sophie wasn't impressed and 5 seconds was too long. About 5 minutes after we got to the car, buckled her in and helped her snuggle into her blankies, she was out. Enjoy the pictures!


Happy with a piece of
popcorn in her mouth
and each hand.

Yummy!


"I don't think so!"

Piggy, blanket & sippy. Good nap, Sophie! 

December 4, 2011

Some people...

Just read the MOST absurd 'article' I have ever read. I may post a link to it tomorrow, but considering how I know some of my readers will react, I may not. I would rather not get into a war of words this month.

Nutshell: A radical group of people who are LDS (every religion has them) have taken it upon themselves to point out all of the horrible things happening at BYU. I will quote their (short) list of grievances:


If you think BYU upholds traditional family values, think again. Certain department heads, professors,     guest lecturers, and students have become a law unto themselves, regularly preaching all manner of 
progressivism including socialism, radical feminism, anti-Americanism, revisionist history, outdated 
Darwinism, and popular homosexualism, and continue to be supported, employed, and welcomed.


Well, yes, perhaps all of those things are happening. Science classes do teach evolution. There ARE mothers on campus getting their education while raising kids. (Since I kept my name, I'm SURE I fall into their 'radical feminist' category.) Revisionist history? Um, honest history? And yes, I would certainly say based on the number of marriages and other assorted relationships, homosexuality is rampant. 


These people completely ruined their credibility many times throughout the article but the most ridiculous thing they said was that the recent statements by general authorities do nothing but confuse. Their idea is to stick to the bible 100%. If that's the case... no. I'm stopping right there. 


Good grief, people. Why not get all heated up about a real issue? What issue could be more important than letting every person who thinks differently than you know they're damned? Well, hunger, immigration reform, the election, the evil HOA making the owners of the "Up" house paint it brown. Really, just about ANYTHING. I absolutely do not care what preference people have. I just don't. We all have enough imperfections we need to be working on without worrying about someone else's problems. 

November 28, 2011

"Men's hearts shall fail them..."

This has been floating around the internet but I thought I would re-post it here for the few of my readers who maybe haven't seen it. Even if you have seen it, watching it again is also a good idea.

Enjoy!

November 27, 2011

Ever wonder why you even try going to church?

To anyone who has ever sat in church- any church- with young children: 

-Have you ever shot dirty looks at parents who have a noisy/upset/curious baby?
-Have you ever been the parent receiving dirty looks because you have a noisy/upset/curious baby?

I am sort of disappointed to say that we were on the receiving end today. I'm sure at some point in my life I've wondered why parents weren't taking a noisy/upset/curious baby out but I know for a fact that that was never my normal thought process. If babies weren't supposed to be noisy etc. then they wouldn't come that way. 

Sophie loves people (especially small ones) and our ward is not lacking in either.  Early on in the meeting today, Sophie was happily (and only barely audibly) conversing with another almost-toddler a few rows ahead of us. Ava, who happens to be our neighbor, was happily replying. Some people behind us sighed loudly. I chose to ignore it because neither Sophie nor Ava were screaming or really distracting from the oh-so important announcements. Sophie was quiet enough during the hymns but then it was time for the sacrament. Sophie REALLY likes this part of the meeting. She stood up on my lap and started pointing at all of the deacons and saying, "dat!" Translation: that. When it was our turn, she reached for and almost succeeded in getting the entire tray out of the hands of the unsuspecting 12 year old. We gave her a piece of bread which made her happy for about a minute. She then stood up again and continued pointing and saying, "DAT!!" Each time she'd say it a bit louder and with more meaning. 

It happened with the water, too. We were even "those" parents who let her keep the tiny cup. Mainly because she is little and takes a while to finish and no, she does not want help. That also kept her happy for maybe 30 seconds. And it continued. 

Long and short of the rest of the meeting: Craig and I took turns taking her out because she was too excited to sit still and be quiet and I was tired of the sighs and (obvious) looks from people around us. When I was handing Sophie off to Craig for something like the 4th time, I remembered a devotional that President Monson gave at BYU several years ago. I think I was a sophomore. There was a little girl -maybe 3 or 4- who was running up and down the stairs in the Marriot Center. Both of her parents were trying to get her to calm down and sit down. President Monson saw this and said something to the effect of 'Don't do that. She has such a large spirit and such a tiny body she NEEDS to move and make sounds!' And it's true! 

Someday she'll just be boring like the rest of us and sit still and not make a sound. Where is the fun in that?

November 20, 2011

Things that make me sad: really being done with my color guard career. No big deal, only started 12 years ago.

Things that make me happy: having spent 6 of those years doing guard at a collegiate level of awesomeness.

November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

In Elementary school I always had the image of a veteran being someone my grandparents age (or older). Not so much anymore. There is a guy in the BYU marching band now who is 37 years old. He started college -and band- about 3 years ago. Prior to that, he had been serving in the Marines as a Helicopter Crew Chief. He's also married and has 3 or 4 kids (maybe it's 3 1/2 still... not quite sure.) We've heard stories from him the last few years and seen how proud he is of the Marines specifically and the armed forces in general. As yesterday was the "birthday" of the Marines, he came to rehearsal in full dress Blues. I was just on facebook and saw he had posted this for Veterans Day:

"Today is about honoring those who have served for this great nation. Make sure you take the time to thank the Veterans you know (or don't know for that matter). And for those of you out there who like to protest about war and occupy for the sake of disagreements with your government, you might want to thank them too. If it weren't for the Veterans of the Armed Forces, you wouldn't have the right to protest and act the way you do! Happy Veterans Day to all those out there who have served this nation!"




Since we'll be honoring the veterans during halftime tomorrow evening at the BYU football game, he'll be marching the show in his uniform. Look for him (he's the extra proud looking trumpet in blue) and thank him if you get a chance. He has done a lot in his time in the Marines.

November 6, 2011

A few Fall Decorations!

Sophie and I made some
"Fall-ing" leaves to hang
in the kitchen doorway 
This is our "Thankful" Turkey. The feathers
have things we are thankful for on them.
Lots more on there already! 
Since Halloween has come and gone, so, too, have our fun Halloween decorations. We're trying to save $$ right now for a little trip we've been planning so our Fall decor has been more creative than expensive. I've included some pictures of our latest projects. I'm hoping for another late-night crafting date with Craig this week but that depends on my homework. Oh, well. Enjoy the pictures!

An in-progress table runner with a fall
'pumpkin tree' and a couple fat
baking pumpkins waiting to be eaten
Craig gets all the credit for this awesome
turkey. He used our Cricut software to do
this and I think it looks awesome. We used pop
dots for height and then put the vinyl on the
outside of the glass. I love it!
These are my "Thanks" candles. $3 candles,
gorgeous cranberry ribbon & Vinyl
letters. I like them a lot :) 
Wooden pumpkins, the
turkey fram & my candles
Notice I put these all the way at the bottom?
I am not starting Christmas early but they need to
be ready by Thanksgiving, right? These are our
countdown blocks. Craig & I picked out
silver swirly, red pershing and ice blue
snowflake papers. LOVE all of them!

Because I can say it

If you're a reader of my blog (not sure how some of you got here, but welcome) you likely know that I don't care for Relief Society in our current ward.** I don't care for the lessons, the frequent insensitivity to what is different and the assumptions that we are all the same. Oh, and I don't like visiting teaching, so, of course, getting numbers every month is my job. Joy. Church is long and hard with a very wiggly, tired baby-almost-toddler without some of the sillies we hear. For the record, I do not need Craig to validate me in order to be a fulfilled, well-balanced person and if I pursue things outside the home (continuing education, hobbies or whatnot) it is NOT because he isn't 'valuing' me enough. By the way, does the priesthood have lessons on "planning healthy meals," "home gardening," "caring for children" and "disease prevention?" (This is a real question...)

I loved my RS in the singles ward. Why? Almost everyone there was either in school or working. While we had many things in common, we weren't treated like we were all the same. The lessons focused on the importance of realizing and fulfilling ones divine potential. No two people will lead the same life and therefore, exercising agency and following the path that is right for YOU, not everyone else, was constantly the emphasis.

I obviously had another rough day at church. But guess what? It isn't about the programs, the imperfect people teaching or some of the off-the-wall/where-did-that-come-from comments. It is about remembering who we are, where we came from and knowing that we have a loving Father in Heaven who is very aware of each of us and has a specific plan in mind to help us learn and grow and reach our own divine potential. It is about knowing that our families can be together forever. It is about knowing that when we make stupid mistakes- big or small or somewhere in between- we can receive forgiveness. I guess for me it takes going to a frustrating lesson to remember that.

.....



**If you are planning on lecturing me about the 'joys of sisterhood' or just 'needing a testimony of VTing' etc. just don't. I've heard it before. Go ahead and assume you've already told me I have a bad attitude or whatever and just leave it alone.**

November 4, 2011

Food Stuffs and Budgeting

Sophie is napping (YES!), laundry is running and dishwasher is just about done. Finally, a morning of productivity that doesn't include all school work. Woo! I am also very happy to report that last evening, Craig and Sophie and I were very successful in our two-week-food-shopping-within-a-set-budget challenge. We were substantially below what I thought we would need to spend, actually. We were able to get two weeks worth of breakfast, lunch & dinner food for (including taxes) $86 and some cents. No, we're not eating ramen and cold cereal. Our menu looks something like this for the coming two weeks:

-Acorn squash soup in baking pumpkin bowls (Craig's recipe- I get the insides for making pumpkin treats:)
-Chicken spaghetti, fresh veggies & focaccia
-From scratch clam chowder (YUM!)
-Chicken tacos with rice & fresh veggies
-Tilapia, brown rice & fresh broiled asparagus
-Shrimp scampi with fresh veggies
-Chicken & vegetable noodle soup (homemade, of course) and bread sticks
-Fish tacos (grilled)
-Slow cooker Kalua pork & potatoes (This will be two meals, at least)
-Latkes & homemade chunky apple sauce
-BBQ grilled chicken and baked potatoes
-Non-breaded chicken parmesan with pasta & fresh veggies
-Crab cakes (yum, yum, yum!)

Lunches will be mostly dinner left-overs or sandwiches and we have lots of fruit, yogurt, gold fish for Sophie, cheese sticks, cereal, toaster waffles (sometimes you need something fast), eggs, milk, juice etc. for everything else.

Thank you, Walmart, for having fabulous prices and doing ad-matching. Does this mean I get to use the "extra" budgeted food funds to get more things for Thanksgiving? I think yes :)

November 2, 2011

Wednesday

Dear Sophie,

       Please nap so I can get the rest of this band audio edited and sent to the videographer. It would also be nice if you would STOP trying to eat the cat food. Us putting up barriers around it or only filling it right before feeding the cats is really not an invitation to try harder. Along that same line of thinking, the bench barricading the kitchen is not there to serve as a useful climbing toy- I have homework to do and that is to encourage you to stay where I can see you while I write about Chinese restaurants. You're extremely effective at completely wearing me out and leaving me with zero motivation to do any of my assignments, laundry or cook dinner. I haven't even had any catering events to blame! I'm sure this is just a phase and we love you lots and certainly don't want to encourage you to grow up faster than you already are {who gave you permission to be in 12mo clothing before even hitting 11mo, anyway?} but if you could move beyond the everything-must-go-in-my-mouth and I-can-walk-so-I-must-climb-everything phases, that would be great. Daddy might even get you some big girl toys if you did that. But not tonight. He won't be home until after bedtime- more nerdmongering to be done, I guess. Keep smiling and being a happy girl.

~a very tired mommy

October 30, 2011

The things we learn in English...

Most of the time have nothing to do with English.


I love my class. Somehow the topic of "text speak" came up a few class periods ago and the conversation that followed was really entertaining. One boy in our class spoke up and mentioned that his mom would text him "WTF" frequently after he had sent something to her like "I just did really well on my midterm!" He was confused and finally asked her one day if she even knew what that meant. She replied, "of, course! It means 'wow, that's fantastic!'" ((If you don't know what that actually means, don't look it up.)) I mentioned that to Craig and we now have some of our own versions of some popular, yet formerly unkind,  text lingo. My favorite? OMFG- "Oh my! Flying goats!!"

And with that, I'm off to make some Thai chicken potstickers with Craig :)

October 27, 2011

Great Parenting

Craig shared this with me earlier today and I thought it was worth passing along. Any eternal principles you can see here? I thought so, too.

...


Post written by Leo Babauta.
I often get asked how I can do so much while having six kids.
My short answer, and all you really need to know, is my wife Eva is awesome. I couldn’t do half what I do without her.
She is the reason Zen Habits is able to exist. And so if you want parenting advice, you’d be smart to ask her.
She doesn’t, however, have a blog. And so I’ll share some things that we both do that make our jobs as parents easier.
These are Very Important Rules that must never be broken by any Serious Parent … until, of course, you want to break them. The first rule of Rules of Effortless Parenting is that you should always break rules.

Rules of Effortless Parenting

There is really only one rule: Love Them. But you already knew that one, so let’s get into details:
1. Teach kids to be self-sufficient. Our kids started by learning how to pick up after themselves (as 1 and 2 year olds), and later learned how to feed themselves breakfast, brush their teeth and shower and dress themselves, wash dishes and clean up in the kitchen, clean their rooms, do laundry, etc. Our jobs as parents became tons easier, but it does take a little patient teaching in the beginning of each skill.

2. Teach older kids to help with the younger kids. If you have multiple kids, this rule is golden. Our teens can help the little kids with anything. That makes our jobs a lot easier, and the older kids learn responsibility.

3. Teach them to solve problems. This is really the main job of unschooling, which is the philosophy we follow as homeschoolers. Our kids don’t learn facts or even skills. They learn to solve problems on their own. If they know how to do this, they can learn any facts or skills they need to solve their problems. Want to learn how to write a computer program? That’s just another problem that you need to learn how to solve. Want to cook Thai food, or write a blog, or start a business, or build something? Problems that you can solve.

4. Show them how to be passionate. The other main thing you teach unschoolers, besides solving their own problems, is how to be passionate about something. If they know this, they will do work they’re passionate about as adults. How do you teach them this? By modeling it yourself. By doing projects with them where you’re passionate about something. Kids learn an amazing amount by watching and mimicking.

5. Play with them outside, and be active. Spending time with your kids is one of the best ways to show them you love them. Playing with them is one of the best ways to spend time with them. Playing outside shows them how to be active and have fun being active. I also stay active on my own, but I make sure they know what I’m doing, why, and how much fun it is. They have a role model who is healthy and fit, and that will help them for the rest of their lives.

6. Don’t overschedule. Most parents schedule too many classes, sports, parties, activities. We give our kids lots of unstructured, unscheduled time. They have to figure out what to do with that time. That’s an important skill to learn. It also means their lives are less stressed out, as are ours, and they learn a slower pace of life.

7. Don’t dote. I’ve seen lots of parents that dote on everything their kids do, who are worried about every little thing their kid might touch or that might cause a fall. Back off, and give them some space. They need attention, but they also need some time alone to explore, to fall and get back up, to scrape their knees, to figure stuff out on their own. Go do something on your own, and leave your kids alone sometimes.

8. Dance. Because life without dance is dull and not worth living. Play loud music. Go crazy.

9. Read with them, and read in front of them. Kids love books, especially if you read them with them. Here are some of my favorites. If you are a reader yourself, and they see that, this will teach them to love reading too. Reading is one of the best loves you can instill in kids.

10. Be inquisitive. Ask questions about everything, and encourage them to do the same. Kids are naturally inquisitive … they can ask a million questions, because everything is new to them. Learn to see the world through their eyes — it’s amazing. Why the hell IS the sky blue? Why do leaves change color? How does a bird fly? These are brilliant questions, and you should explore them with the kids — don’t just give them answers, but show them how to find out.

October 24, 2011

Another confession...

...Sometimes I give food to homeless people. Or people who say they're homeless. You know the ones I'm talking about. The people who sit on corners by themselves with large backpacks, dogs and occasionally a sign that says they're traveling and hungry. I don't ever give money but if we have extra fruit smiles, cosmic brownies (sorry, Craig) or a pack of crackers, that's what they get. No, I do not get out of the car. No, I don't roll the window down all the way. Yes, the doors stay locked. Not trying to be scared of people but I have to be safe, right?

I don't remember how long ago this actually was but I remember when I was littleish my dad would have corporate meetings in Bentonville a couple times a year. It was always fun to see what kind of treats/samples he'd bring home with him. (A couple I remember: the lifesaver creamy hard candies and the Lays Baked chips. We got to try those before they were even being advertised. Oh, and shampoo from the hotel. Always fun.) Any way. One time he came home from a trip and told us a story. I couldn't have been very old when he told us this and the details are fuzzy, but this is what I remember. Maybe my older siblings or mom could clarify some things. He was driving somewhere and had a strong impression to slow down/stop. There was a man who was homeless/unemployed/not doing well or what have you on the side of the road. Dad felt impressed to take him to a restaurant to get him something to eat and he ordered the most expensive thing on the menu but dad got it for him. He then took him over to the local Walmart and bought him some socks. I believe it made more of an impact than a full stomach and warm feet. Certainly has for me.

Another time, we were on spring break and went to Washington D.C. A women who truly looked homeless and had a baby with her came and asked dad for money. This wasn't the first person to ask us but for some reason, helped her a bit, too. I think she also got some packs of fruit snacks from us.

Why am I talking about this now? As I was leaving Walmart today, I saw a tiny little Hispanic lady -the one who sells pine nuts and homemade tamales on the corner- walk over to the girl who was sitting on the corner with a backpack and her dog and gave said corner girl several of her tamales and a pack of pine nuts.  Who knows if this corner girl is really homeless or traveling or whatever. The tamale/pine nut lady didn't care. She saw someone who in her mind was worse off than herself and did what she could to help. Watching this reminded me of our spring break and the story dad told us. It really isn't our place to judge others or assume we know why people are in the position they're in. Dad followed an impression to help someone in need. We don't always know why we're impressed to do things. Maybe we could all be a little nicer to each other- including those we don't really know. We're all children of a God who loves ALL of us.

p.s Sorry, Craig. We are a bag of Triscuits shorter this evening than we were this morning.

October 6, 2011

Really?

It's snowing.

Sophie is sick.

The house is cold.

I want {more} carbs.

This is what I am making for dessert.

September 28, 2011

One year older...

Wiser, too? Naw. While sitting in my advanced foods class today, I started thinking about all of the things that have happened since my birthday last year. A lot has happened. A few highlights:

- Had a baby (big enough event for you?)
- Started my catering business (it's getting busier every day!)
- Worked as a dental assistant
- Quit teaching guard
- Craig changed jobs
- Bought our first home which is pretty darn close to being our dream home
- Moved into said house


I'm 24 today. That's sort of intimidating. Enough random thoughts. I'm going to attack my foods project while Sophie is still napping. Craig and I are going on a date tonight and I don't want to have to worry about homework when we should be having fun :)

September 16, 2011

Where in the world are the Nastersons?

Well, all over, actually.

It has been just over two weeks since my last post but it seems like oh-so-much more. I have some papers to write and such so I'm just going to highlight some events that have occurred so I don't get too terribly far behind.


  • Completed my very last week of BYU Cougar Marching Band band camp in the guard. *sniff* 
  • Planned & catered my very first full wedding luncheon - complete with new hires
  • Started my last semester at BYU (I know I've said that before, but it's true this time)
  • Found out my financial aid was not going to be dispersed with my few credit hours. Had to add another 3 credits so now I'm taking advanced foods. Fun, yes. Full of silly busy work? Yes. 
  • Received financial aid. WOO!
  • Found and hired a nanny. No, a manny. We'll write more about that later but I'm just glad that we won't have to deal with any (more) girl drama. There are enough girls in this house, don't need anymore. 
  • Craig was offered a new job and accepted. I'm excited that he'll be working with one of his favorite mentors and friend. I'm ever-so-slightly irritated that this will be the 4th health insurance plan we'll be on this year. But I'm just so glad we HAVE great insurance!
  • We had a booth at The Bridal Fair last weekend at PHS. It was a full adventure that really deserves an entire post. For now I'll just say that without the amazingly amazing help (is there a stronger word than help?) of Ashlee Chatterton and Amy Hill, there is no way I could have done it. 
  • Said catering business is now booming! 
  • And most recently, my sister, Erin, had her baby on Wednesday! A boy they have named Tyler. 
Now time to write a rhetorical analysis about a conference talk. 

August 30, 2011

Oooh my Sophie...

I can't even go to the bathroom without Sophie getting in to things/trouble. 
  • Have taken her off the stairs three times in the last 30 minutes...
  • ..... Put chairs at the bottom of the stairs
  • 5 minutes later, found Sophie climbing up the OUTSIDE of the stairs
  • ..... Moved laundry basket in front of the bottom of the outside of the stairs
  • Went to the bathroom and came out to find Sophie and Herkimer sharing a bowl of cat food soup
  • ..... Used the last kitchen chair and tall stool around cat food factory
  • Sophie is now napping and I'm sitting in the middle of a sea of toys and sideways chairs. Must be time to get ready for my last first day of class! 
Below you will find a little video of how Sophie likes to spend her evening. Likely for serious Sophie fans only. (Poor kitty!)

video

 Filmed on the iPad... Craig is still learning. 
Special thanks to Emily for kindly donating the bag- an endless source of Sophie-Herkimer fun. 







August 12, 2011

A teeny tiny post

Just an update to say we're all still alive. Somehow. We've been visiting my grandparents in the Seattle/Tacoma area for the last week and there wasn't really any good internet (aside from my mom's iPhone- which she didn't end up seeing much of) and we were too busy to worry about blogging. Sophie and I are at the McCarren airport right now waiting to board. A few thoughts about traveling:


  • Damn the man
  • Damn the TSA
  • I dare you (TSA) to require me to do anything I don't want to do- including going through the body imaging. Yes, I'm one of "those" who hates them both on a moral side as well as pure logic and safety. Guess what? Not a single 'agent' had a radiation badge on. Dumbbums. 
  • We're ready to be home. 

July 26, 2011

A bit of perspective?

Craig shared this with me this evening and I think it is both beautiful and profound on various levels. This was an entry in a film contest. It's short and I hope everyone will take a few minutes and watch it.


"Less Is More of the Day: Entrants in the Philips-sponsored constrained cinema competition “Tell It Your Way” were restricted to six lines of dialogue: “What is that?,” “It’s a unicorn,” “Never seen one up close before,” “Beautiful,” “Get away, get away,” and “I’m sorry.”
Keegan Wilcox’s Porcelain Unicorn, hand-picked as the Grand Prize Winner by director Ridley Scott, is making the rounds again today, and it’s certainly worth a second (and third, and fourth, and tenth) glance."

July 25, 2011

Politics again

Read/listened to or watched Obama's latest speech? I have a couple bones to pick... 

  • Telling a large amount of the country they're being dumb -whether you agree with them at all or not- is not exactly a way to get support and solve problems
  • If I have to carry a balanced budget in my own life, I damn well expect the government to do the same thing. Don't come crying to me because someone else is being irresponsible and spending more than they have. I have ZERO desire to "bail out" people who are being incredibly irresponsible financially. I am doing everything I can to get out of good debt (education, modest car, modest home) and I expect the same thing of our governing bodies. 
  • Obama wants more tax revenue to come in. If everyone else wants to pay more taxes, fine, but don't ask me for anymore than I'm already paying. I have so much taken out of my paychecks I barely have anything left. I am not working as hard as I am to fund the governments' ridiculous spending. 
  • If you're going to tax the "wealthy" make sure it is the same proportional rate as the "poor." Do NOT penalize people because they have worked hard, gotten an education, made something of themselves and BEEN RESPONSIBLE WITH THEIR SPENDING! 
In case you haven't fully understood my opinion on this topic, feel free to leave me a comment. I'd be happy to further explain. For now, I need to go cool off. 

July 24, 2011

Grown-up life is hard :/

So, apparently, it's a bit harder to get all of legal niceties taken care with a very small start-up business than I thought.

Things we currently have going for us:

  • Customers coming to us
  • Good products at reasonable prices
  • Free website
  • Free advertising
  • I'm a girl (more on why that's good later) 
  • FREE online accounting & small business software. It's amazing. 


Things that need to happen/change/ be completed:

  • Make my IRS EIN # mean something so I can hire an employee
  • Figure out what the real law is regarding home-based catering services
  • Talk to the Community Action people about their sliding-scale small commercial kitchen rental

Apparently there are grants and classes available for women who are trying to start their own businesses in Utah. The emphasis and greater support is given to people who want to be able to hire other employees. I'm going to be looking in to this because really, I love catering. I love being my own boss. I love that Craig is amazing and tells me to figure out what I want to do and do it (and dump the rest of the time fillers but that's not a discussion for this blog.) The biggest problem now is making sure I have a facility I can use and that will meet my event preparation needs and not eat all of the profits of events. 

My newest dream is to someday to have a small little store front-type set up with a little office and modest size commercial kitchen. Starting a business (legally) is pretty intimidating. Any suggestions? 

July 20, 2011

A follow-up

I started this in the comments section of my previous post but it was taking up too much room.


I do apologize if I have offended anyone. That really wasn't my intention. My husband read this while he was in another room and I he let me know I was being a little ridiculous. Perhaps he let me know I was being more than "a little" ridiculous.

I'm just getting a tired of constantly being asked to help with projects that are quite below the capabilities of the scouts doing them. In my mind, these projects serve many purposes. The ones Jamie has outlined - serving "a need that an existing infrastructure doesn't already serve"- as well as having the scouts challenge themselves. I feel very strongly that the capstone project of scouting and young women's projects (a topic for another time) should be something they're proud of, that pushed them to be better, helped them learn about themselves and do more than they thought they could.


(By the way, Jamie, the benches to which I was referring are ones made out of 4 pieces of wood that come in a kit. Not the nice one you did- that's quite different.)

Again, that having been said, I understand different people have different abilities. I would NEVER look down on a scout -or anyone for that matter- who did a blood drive, built a bench, painted signs etc. that was going above & beyond what they thought they could do or their normal capabilities. The only problem I see with these is that it doesn't push most capable young men to be more.

Again, I do apologize if my frustrations at finding another note on our front door and subsequent rantings here offended anyone. And with that, I'm off to figure out how to bake BYU mint brownies that are gluten free. If I find success, I'll be sure to post the recipe here!

July 19, 2011

Pet peeve #10

This is for all the real Eagle Scouts

Young teenage boys doing EASY Eagle Projects.

Today we received a paper on our front door looking for toy donations. The kid is going to clean the ones that aren't clean enough for donating for his project. But don't worry, he won't be over-exurting himself or doing too much work- "ask your kids to do it! They'll love to help!" Who approves these things? Seriously!


Ever seen that "RM" movie? Remember the exchange that goes something like this: 

Mom- "The twins almost have their Eagle."
Twins- "Mom almost has our Eagle."
NOT the point, people! 

Other things I've seen that are NOT Eagle Projects in my mind: 

-Mulching a church yard
-Painting a map of the US on a playground
-Blood drives (NO! NO! NO! NO!) 
-Just about any collection project
-Building A picnic table/bench
-Painting fire hydrants on A street
... We've all seen them. Do I really need to go on?

.....

Please do not take this the wrong way. I think all of the above mentioned things are fantastic and worthwhile, however, I do not believe they are worthy of a potential Eagle Scout. Stop with all of the soft projects - keep the rank of Eagle where it should be. 


Perhaps I'm picky but my brother's project is and will continue to be my standard of comparison for good projects. What did he do, you may ask? Well, he put in a cross-country course that was over a mile long through New Hampshire woods at the then brand new Cawley Middle School in Hooksett. Never been to NH? This will give you an idea of what sort of foliage had to be cleared & worked with.

Bryan would likely be mortified if he knew I was talking about him like this but let's get something straight: I am very proud of my older brother and what he did and the example he was to the younger scouts and all of the MANY volunteers and companies that contributed to this massive undertaking. Should we ever have a/some boy(s), they will know what their Uncle Bryan did and what it really means to be a card-carrying Eagle Scout.




(Heaven help those poor children if we have boys!)

July 17, 2011

Our Garden


Craig watering the zucchini

Snap peas

Bush beans 
So, remember that post from a couple months ago when I promised I'd upload pictures of our garden plot? Remember how I never did? Oh, well, I snapped some (poor quality) pictures on Craig's phone today while we were out on our afternoon walk & watering. When Kathryn - the lady who is in charge of the neighborhood garden plots & the one who helped me learn quite a lot about how to successfully grow things in Utah - saw how many squash & zucchini plants we had planted, she said quite seriously that we were going to have a "squash-splosion." I wasn't quite sure considering I had already killed a few plants. Well, she was right. On one plant alone today we had 16 flowers with zucchini buds growing. We harvested 3 of the larges crook necks yesterday and there were 4 more ready today. It's a good thing we love squash. If the tomatoes would hurry up and ripen, I'd just start making huge batches of my tomato squash pasta sauce. Hmmm ... I guess this means I'm going to need to learn how to jar stuff. I'm sure I can find a tutorial online somewhere. Anyway, I've posted the low-quality pictures I have of our garden. Don't mind the fact that it's out in the middle of the undeveloped area in the neighborhood or the fact that our plot is immediate neighbors with a farmers alfalfa field. Just notice all the wonderful things we're growing: Carrots, Squash, Zucchini, 3 varieties of tomatoes, snap peas, bush beans, lettuce, bell peppers, onions (it might be dead...), strawberries, jalapeno (just one), weeds. Not on purpose, but it is awfully difficult to keep up with them when the garden plot is in the middle of a weed field.
Our garden plot. See the farm from
along the edge of our plot?

3 of the 4 tomato plants

Squash & zucchini