Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas somewhere

Here's some of this year's Christmas pictures. I think it's totally ridiculous to use a sled as a prop considering where we live, but I didn't have the heart to tell the lady to "put that stinkin thing away." And it was the exact same "snowy background" as last year. At least they didn't put him in front of the wrinkled hearth again. Ugh. The pics are not as good as last year's (I don't know if we'll ever top those) but they'll make the grandmas happy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We went to see "Australia" last night. I expected it to be a bit "different" considering Baz Lurhmann ("Strictly Ballroom", Leo Dicaprio-Romeo and Juliet, and "Moulin Rouge".)

It wasn't different, but it was quite violent. It made me sad, but it didn't make me cry. It made me a bit happy, but I didn't experience a post movie high.

I liked it, but then again, I liked Twilight (and other useless movies), so consider that your fair warning.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Aah, Final Exams

NO, no final exams for me. I am sooo done with that part of my education...

Ben has been teaching another psych class this semester and today was the final exam. When he walked in, most of his students (~70) were already in place and had heads down doing last minute studying. When it was time, Ben instructed the students to put away their things and he handed out the finals. As he was looking around, he noticed a few students that didn't look too familiar. No big deal, lots of students come out of the woodwork for finals, right?

A few minutes after he had handed out the test, a girl walked up to the front of the room to ask him something: "Um, is this the computer science final?" Ben smiled and told her it was a psychology final. She handed in her exam (she had completed the first page) and sheepishly walked out.

For the record: None of her answers were correct. Good thing it was the wrong final.

Monday, December 01, 2008

James has insisted on taking one of his favorite things to bed with him for some time. Last week I snapped these pics of two of his recent choices. His "Bob the Builder" CD and the keyboard we gave him.

The wisdom of 2 year olds

James has been killing us lately with the things that come out of his mouth. He was in trouble the other night and I told him, "You have two choices, you can pick up your toys or you can brush your teeth." He looked at me and said, "I want choice number 3."

He woke up and asked if it was Christmas for the millionth time. Exasperated, I told him that Christmas was not here yet. He thought for a minute and said, "It's already Christmas at Walmart. I want to go to Walmart for Christmas."

I already told you about Jesus and his band.

He wasn't eating his green beans the other night and when I asked him why he told me, "These green beans are dangerous." Huh?

We were at Walgreens and he saw a giant M&M bank. He started the "I want I want I want" drama and I told him, "We'll have to tell Santa you want this." We turned the corner and we were face to face with an old man with white hair. James of course says, "Santa, I want the big M&M!" Thank heavens for faulty hearing aids! The man asked me what he said, and I truthfully answered, "he was just telling you that he wants that M&M."

He crawled under the bench at church yesterday to retrieve a stray crayon. He came up, pointed under the bench and said, "They can hear me." No one was sitting there and I have no idea who they were. It was kinda weird.

He HATES when we pick him up from nursery at church. He'll cry and wail until we get out into the hallway and then he'll stop crying and take off for the clerk's office because they keep candy in there. He will dodge people all the way across the building while I get stuck behind people having conversations or whatever. By the time I made it to the office yesterday I heard him say to one of the leaders in there, "I need Bubbles and a candy. Where are they?"

Say what?

A conversation I wish I had never been a part of:

Lady in scrubs: Hi, my name is __________ and I'm a student phlebotomist. Is it ok if I practice, oh I mean draw your blood today?

Me: (looking around for someone else) Um, ok.

Lady in scrubs: Great, 'cause I need all the practice I can get!

Me: (thinking to myself) OH CRAP!

Time passes as she ties up my arm and jabs the inside of my elbow.

Real Phlebotomist: Did you find anything?

Lady in scrubs: I think so. Is this it?

Me: (thinking) OH CRAP!

Real Phlebotomist: I don't know, feel around for it.

Lady in scrubs: I think this is it. Oh wait, maybe it's right here.

Me: (thinking) OH CRAP! Maybe I don't really need this test.

Real Phlebotomist: Did you find it? She does have two arms, you know.

Student starts over on other arm, and repeats the phrase, "Is this it?" no less than 15 times. I am NOT exagerrating.

Me: (thinking) This is for the good of science. Someone else will suffer less because of me. You have friends in nursing school, they have to practice on people, too. At least it wasn't a 'practice' epidural or a 'practice' cathether or a 'practice' surgery or a 'practice' root canal, etc.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So I don't think I've ever posted about this and it will probably be the last time, too. I read all the Twilight series and enjoyed them enough. They were good "traveling" books, you know-don't have to pay a lot of attention, or when you can't sleep at night, or when you're pretending to pay attention to your family or that 5 minutes when your child is actually entertaining himself on the plane, etc.

Unlike a lot of people: I actually liked the "freaky" Breaking Dawn and thought it was more interesting than the other 2000 pages of Bella going on and on about how she will die without Edward and how Jacob is "just a friend". gag me. But what do you expect when you read this type of novel, huh?

Anyway, a bunch of us went out for girls' night out last Saturday and saw the movie. I LIKED IT, OK! The only things I didn't like were: The actress playing Rosalie, Edward's sparkle and Edward and Bella staring at each other on the grass for hours on end. I loved the baseball game and the characters the friends became. I warmed up to the actors playing Bella and Edward and thought her dad was an excellent pic. I really liked James, Victoria and Laurent. And after they toned down the makeup on Carlisle, I liked him too! And yes, I did a lot of laughing--as did most of the audience, but I don't think it was so much "ha ha, she's so funny" but rather nervous laughter breaking up stress/awkward/nervous moments in the movie.

IDK, maybe I'm stupid and have no taste, or maybe I just didn't have any expectations and I was pleasantly surprised. Either way, I'm happy I saw it and I won't be reading the books again any time soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


There is a print of this picture at our Chapel. Today as we were walking in the foyer I asked James, "Who is that a picture of?"
James: Jesus!
Me: Who are the other people in the picture?
James: It's the band.
I was laughing so hard I didn't feel very reverent.
Earlier this week, James kept saying, "I need Jesus." At first I thought it was a little odd, but then I just thought he was being sweet.
As the morning progressed, James repeated "I need Jesus" and I would hug him and tell him that was sweet.
Later that day we watched a bit of TV and a Cheez-it commercial came on. James started jumping up and down saying, "I need CHEEZ-ITS!"
Ok, so he wasn't saying Jesus. My bad.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm soooo cute.

Have a laugh at my expense:

I came out of the bathroom Saturday night with white goo spread all over my girly mustache. James took one look at me and said, "oh mama, that's sooooooo cute!"

Too bad he won't always be that sweet. Or funny.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We have a problem on alternate days: Some mornings James wakes up, wants to be Elmo again and is so sad that we can't go trick or treating anymore. On the other mornings he asks if it's Christmas yet, if he has presents (Specifically ball and train) and if Santa is here. Good heavens. If it weren't for the stores decking the halls, I wouldn't even tell him about Christmas until December 24th. There's nothing I can do to dissuade him from Halloween activities since he experienced it this year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Inspiring Quote

Yeah, I found it thanks to DanaLee :)

It's from C.S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity (page 205 in the version I found it in).

I find I must borrow yet another parable from George MacDonald. Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently, He starts knocking the house about in such a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of -- throwing out a new wing here, putting an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


A friend has asked me to help her find a story, but I can barely recall any details about it and I've exhausted my resources...

It's a fictional story about God tearing down the walls and windows and whatever else you have built and you tell Him that it is really hurting you but He says something like "you were building a house, but I am building a mansion..."

Does anyboday remember that story and do you know where to find it?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sheep and Cows

If you gross out easily, you might want to skip this one:

When I lived in Ephraim, some of my bestest friends and neighbors had a sheep ranch or farm or whatever you call it. The first spring I lived there, they told me that they were going to be very busy during the upcoming months while all the lambs were being born (“lambing”) and then “docking” (cutting off the tail and castrating the males.) During the course of the conversation I became aware of something that horrified me: the men castrated the sheep with their teeth.

Yeah, see, you read that right and I’m not even joking. I didn’t believe them for a while and then one of my students came running into class the next week telling me how they had seen a man castrate a lamb with his teeth. I believed them then. I was telling one of my brothers about it and he said that it was impossible and that they were pulling my leg. What’s a sister to do? I sent my camera with the guys and they filled up a roll of film doing the deed. I processed it at Walmart, nearly fainted when I looked at the photos, told myself I would never kiss a man who had done that, and tucked the photos into an Easter card for my brother.

Muah ha ha ha ha. They believed me then!

A few months ago some of the Young Women at church were asking me about this because one of them had heard me talking about it with someone else and they wanted to know “the truth”. I was calmly and matter of factly telling them about it when out walks the whole Bishopric. Despite my best judgment I continued telling them about it and when all was said and done, the Bishop says, “I don’t believe it. There’s no way people do that.” Counselor #1 looks over and says, “Yeah they do, I’ve done it.” Girls scream, I laugh hysterically and the Bishop found out a few new things.

A couple of weeks ago, Mike Rowe showcased this little event on “Dirty Jobs”. I couldn’t even stand to watch it, ugh.

The University here has quite a few agriculture programs—and there are many animals surrounding one side of campus. I kept thinking that the cows in this one particular field looked funny—with big rings/circles on their sides. I kept driving past them wondering what the heck that was about and I finally asked this same Bishopric member who had done the teeth castrating. He told me that these cows (LIVING BREATHING COWS) were cut open and they have this circle/ring/rubber things put into their side so that students can REACH INTO THE LIVE COW to feel their stomachs digesting. Great. Several of the Young Women piped up saying that they had felt inside the live cows on field trips. Super great. Now I can’t drive home without passing the grazing cows with holes in them and wanting to puke.

I can’t think of any good reason why I should continue to eat meat when these things gross me out so much, but I just can’t not eat meat.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Pumpkin patch and farm, take two

I got some pics of him this time because we had a good handful of mamas go who helped to control and corral all the kids. It was an awesome day and James is still asking to go back to the farm and to go trick or treating again. He keeps saying, "I want to try one more door." He cracks me up :)

Racing his farmer duck with a manual pump
Getting into mischief with Cooper at the water fountain

Being fearless; sliding down the giant slides again and again and not letting anyone go with him!

Cookie Drama

I think most of you have heard me rave about our Albertsons store. At least one person from every department knows us by name and everyone is super friendly and helpful. (One thing that sticks out in my memory is when they got James unstuck from the cart for me :) ) Anyway, James usually loves going to Albertsons because he gets a free cookie.

Today when I took him over to the bakery, one of the employees came over to give him a cookie. I asked him to say "please" and he wouldn't. I asked her not to give him the cookie, and once again asked him to say "please." He yelled, "NO!!!" and started wailing at the top of his lungs. The employee said, "Oh, poor baby, here's a cookie because you're sad." I looked at her and said, "I'm sorry that you came over here to give him a cookie, but now he's throwing a fit and not getting one until he can ask nicely." The woman looked at me as if I should be turned in for child abuse.

I walked away and casually looked at my ad while James wailed and wailed in the middle of the produce. Yeah, I got lots of unpleasant looks from some college students and lots of understanding looks from the grannies. Anyway, he stopped crying ABRUPTLY and said, "I ready to be nice now." I asked him if he was ready to say "please" and he agreed.

We walked back over to the bakery and the same lady was there. James said, "I please have a cookie now?" She gave me a totally crusty look and before I could stop her said, "Here baby, have 2 cookies because you're such a good boy."

I'm betting good money she doesn't have children, and if she does, heaven help 'em.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Mormon Monday

Short and sweet: Some of you might be surprised to know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons) does not endorse candidates for any elections. The Church does not endorse political parties. The church will not tell you how to vote; They only recommend that you should study it out and vote! The LDS faith encourages its members to be politically active and to participate in government as they see fit.


This election has been so interesting for the obvious reasons, but also because I've never seen a presidential election where I have so many friends with such differing opinions. I am on PINS AND NEEDLES waiting and wanting to see what happens tomorrow. I fear that it will turn into another 3 month ordeal or that it will get ugly. Either way, I think it is going to be soooooo very close... Ben and I voted early!

The public schools are closed on election day so I have the day off! I'm going back to the corn maze with James and friends :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Before all things Halloween: Tonight James brought his drawing board over and said, "Look, mommy, it's Target!" That kid cracks me up! (And impresses me, too :) )

Pre-Halloween pose in our great and spacious kitchen:

Last night was all that a Halloween should be: good friends, good food, good costumes, and great candy. Our congregation had a chili cook off (which we didn't win-and don't feel bad about that. We tried out a new white chili recipe that after all was said and done, I didn't even like or eat at the party. Good thing other people ate it or I'd be eating it for dinner, yuck!)
Anyway, after the chili cook off, we handed out candy al estilo trunk-or-treat. Needless to say, the kid loved it.

Doesn't this next pic look like we dropped the kid on a dark, deserted road somewhere to trick or treat by himself? Ben snapped this in the middle of all the trunk or treat action!

After we left the ward party, we took James trick or treating for a while around family campus housing. Everybody thought he was the cutest kid ever! This one lady asked if she could take a picture of him. It was crazy. For the most part he was polite and remembered to say thanks, but it went like this:
James: Trick or treat
Candy giver: Oh you're so cute, blah blah blah (gives candy)
James: ThanksIwannatryanotherdooroverthere. (points and walks away)
Me: Um, bye, and thanks!

This was us at the end of the evening:
After we got James into bed, Ben and I experienced a new parental duty: raid, oh I mean, sort James' candy haul. We threw out all the Mexican candy (don't need any lead in our child's brain) took out all the gum, jawbreakers, now and laters, and anything else that would choke him, made sure that there were none of the now infamous chinese chocolate coins, ate a few here and there and put the rest in a stash for bribes or whatever. Who knows what we're going to do with all of it.
Who can resist this cutie face?

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I've always been a big fan of I've flown a ton of different places (inlcuding internationally) with them and stayed in a lot of hotels through them. I've rarely been disappointed. I've been wanting to do something fun with my boys for a while, but who has the money or time? I found a fabulous hotel in El Paso on there for $30 last Friday and while Ben was at work, I packed up the van. I called Ben and asked if he would go to Albertsons with James and me after work. I picked him up and just kept driving until he realized we were headed to El Paso. He had no idea what was going on.

We drove into El Paso and we went out to dinner thanks to a gift card. Then we went to Krispy Kreme to show James the conveyor belts making the donuts and all. (Yeah, we bought some too!) After that I was driving past Holiday Inn and Ben said longingly, "I wish we were going there next, I'm tired." I pulled in and he gave me the oddest look ever! He still didn't know we were staying over in EL Paso. So after I checked us in we all went swimming at the hotel's pool. After all of those events, Ben and I were ready to go to sleep! James, not so much. It took til 11:00 to get him settled enough and to sleep. At 4:00am, James was up and ready to go. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Ugh, we threatened, persuaded, bribed, etc, but he didn't want to go back to bed. (This is not a problem at home 'cause we don't share a room with him!) Finally Ben got really serious with him and put him back in bed and he stayed for about an hour. We *think* he slept a bit more. Ugh.

The next morning we debated just going home or staying and finishing out my plans. We decided to be brave and go on with our day. We ate breakfast and got ready to go to the ZOO BOO. All the kids are invited to wear their costumes at the zoo to do some trick or treating and they give the animals pumpkins and decorate the zoo. It was pretty fun, but there were 2 problems: James was way more interested in the candy than the animals, and James now thinks that the zoo is a place to get candy. It's going to be a long time until we can take him back there. I can tell you one thing, we are getting TONS of use out of this Elmo costume :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Farm/Corn Maze

Yesterday James and I went on a field trip to the farm/corn maze/toddler heaven with the mamas and preschoolers from the program I work with. It was such an awesome place! The weather was perfect and there was so much to do.

Here is James with one of the FIVE year olds on the trip. Her mom thought it was funny that he was bigger than her.

We're on the tractor/hayride. James was busy not letting me take his picture.

Searching for the perfect pumpkin and once again avoiding the camera.

On the edge of the corn maze.

I couldn't get any pics of James going down the giant slides because I had to climb up the hill with him every time. Supposedly, parents are supposed to ride down with kids under 4, but James kept sliding down without me! He would slide down by himself, jump up and take off for the entrance to the hill again without even looking up to see if I was coming down the slide after him. We climbed that hill a lot of times before I finally succeeded in directing his attention to other things.

He's the one in the middle with the dirty butt chasing after all the middle school kids.

He kept asking for the keys to start the tractor!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chips and Salsa

This boy sure enjoys chips and salsa.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

James has been way over the top annoying lately when we go to stores. "I want this! I want that! Give it to me!" Aaaahhh! One day last week when I really was tired of all the fits, I told him, "Let's tell Santa that you want that for Christmas." Big mistake. Even though Christmas is only 2 months away, to a 2 year old, that's the same amount of time that dinosaurs roamed the earth or how old my dad is or something really long and drawn out. Every day he's been asking for his presents from Santa. AAARGH! We tried explaining to him when it was going to be, but nothing doing. I told Ben that one of these days I was going to wrap up some presents from All A Dollar and tell James that Christmas is here! Anyway, here's a bit of James in his costume for Halloween telling us what he wants and what he thinks we want :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yeah Camera!

In celebration of our camera being fixed for free, I present to you this Photo Essay entitled: Waking up on the wrong side of the crib, all day long.

Mormon Monday

Ok, ok, apparently there is a lot of drama floating around the 'net about the talk from Elder Packer....blah blah blah. I've taken it down because enough sources out there have convinced me to do so.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, that's good :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Enrichment Gone Wild!

Before I start my story, I would like to state for the record:

1) I am 33 years old, married, mama, upstanding citizen, and church going lady.

2) I like to have a good time with the girls.

3) Last night I laughed harder and longer than I have for eons.

Last night was our monthly (or not so monthly) Enrichment meeting. It was a social hour at the RS pres.'s house complete with treats. Ahead of time, some of the 'younger ladies' had planned to get together for a girls' night out. We sat around talking trying to decide what to do and we quickly ruled out skinny dipping and walmart. Somehow we decided to T.P. the Bishop's house. (They live wa-a-a-y out there and have a healthy supply of teenage boys to clean things up.) We invited all who wanted to come and I ended up with a van full (7) of crazy ladies. One pregnant.

I think my favorite part of the evening was all 7 of us standing in the TP aisle of walmart at 9pm doing comparison shopping of toilet paper. There were ladies spread from far left to far right shouting out prices, brands, numbers of rolls, size of rolls, 'two ply', etc. Then all seven of us crowded around the checkout where some young guy checking us out (literally and figuratively) didn't have the guts to ask why 7 women were buying that massive amount of tp.

My second favorite part of the evening was right before we loaded up the van to go do the job. There were 4 of us on cell phones trying to explain to our husbands that, yes enrichment was over, no we're not quite coming home yet, and "I'll let you know what we're doing later..."

We drove out to the target house and two of the girls decide they better pee before any running is necessary. I pulled over across the street and they did their business while another girl scoped out the house. When everybody was ready, I drove down the long driveway oh-so-carefully and quietly and then "WHACK!" We were targeted by a water balloon. THEY KNEW WE WERE COMING AND THEY WERE READY FOR US! Poor girl outside the car was running for her life trying to get into the moving van. We were screaming and laughing and decided that we were brave enough to handle water balloons for the chance to TP since we would have ammo much longer than they would.

We all got out and were doing our best to launch the TP sky high while avoiding being hit. Everyone was laughing hysterically and I'm so glad those ladies had peed ahead of time, because they would have been a lost (wet) cause if they had tried to hold it during this scene. Suddenly, we realized that water balloons were not the only things being launched. Come to find out that the person who 'ratted us out' didn't tell them who was coming and they were expecting a brigade of young men and they had readied their paint ball guns. Yeah, big fun for everyone! One of our women got hit and we all dove in the van and took off. I pulled out of the driveway, we checked out L's war wound and couldn't stop laughing. Or planning revenge.

You might be asking yourself, "Um, how old are you?" I refer you to #1 above.

Late last night the Bishop's family found out who had been trying to TP their house, and I've been told that had they known it was a car full of RS ladies in their dark yard, they would not have pulled the guns on us. That's a comforting thought ;)

Also see these versions of our adventure: Rhonda, Lacey

Monday, October 13, 2008

Well, since we don't have any pics of our own to share, I thought I'd show you some that Ben has collected through the years...