Monday, December 13, 2010

Band & Choir Concert

This past week Jared and Jordan had their first choir and band concert. I wasn't really looking forward to the band part of it but they didn't do too bad.

Jared plays the clarinet and he likes it so far. I hope he sticks with it because I think it will be a great activity for him. He's not really a sports kid so band is good.

There is still a bit of squeaking but it's a reed instrument and I know nothing about that. I played the flute starting in the 4th grade through all of highschool. No breaking reeds or cork grease or any of that stuff - so Jared is pretty much on his own.

Jordan is in choir. She loves singing and even more than that I think she likes the extra hour she gets during the week to hang out with her best friend Isabelle.

I have to give a shout out to the Glade's for taking pictures and actually putting them online. My camera is still in the car so who knows when the pictures I took will come off the memory card.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I am thankful

I am thankful it is the end of November. I missed a few days but I did pretty well coming up with things I am thankful for.

I think I used all my blogging brain cells this month so I may need a few days to recover. And I need some good blogging material. I'll see what I come up with in the next few days.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Only Two Days Left...

I have given each of the boys a post but as I started thinking about Jordan I was pretty sure I spotlighted her already this year. I did here when it was her birthday. So, I'll just do a short list. I'm lazy.

1. She is 1/2 girlie girl 1/2 tom boy. The girl really needs to quit skateboarding in her nice skirts though!

2. She loves to cuddle. I still tuck her in at night.

3. She loves to cook. Of course she is limited to quesadillas and grilled cheese. Oh and she makes a pretty good omelet. Someday we'll branch out with foods that don't include cheese in the middle...but why?

4. She loves to read, to sing, to dance, to do gymnastics.

5. She is fun to shop with.

6. She loves animals. Horses, dogs, cats, bugs....

7. She is a great helper and a good worker. She hardly complains and she gets the job done. I'm sure this won't last forever but I'll take it for now.

8. She loves hanging out with her brothers. However, the word of the day in our home the other day was "provoke" and she's pretty good at that too.

9. She just has awesome freckles. I'm waiting for the day she is in the bathroom with a lemon trying to get rid of them like Jan Brady.

10. She is a GIRL! Yes, I'm thankful for Jordan because she's a girl. I will admit it. While pregnant with her people would ask if I was going to keep trying for a girl if she turned out to be a boy. I would respond "no we are only having 3 but you can ask me again when I have 8 boys and I'm trying again for that girl".

--Obviously I am not capable of making short lists. Oh well!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Top 10 Reason's I'm Thankful for Jackson

Yep, I'm running out of time and I need to spread the love. I'm also exhausted from 4 days of late nights and early mornings. We'll see what I can produce.

1. He is my first baby. I won't deny that there IS something special about that first baby. Experiencing all those 1sts. I'll even forgive him for being 10 days late!

2. He has a great sense of humor. He takes his dad's dry whit and my sarcasm and uses the combination to his advantage. After parent teacher conferences once I asked him why all of his teachers think he's so great. He simply turned to me and said "well obviously they see in me things you don't". Hahaha. If you didn't know him you would think he was backtalking - the sarcasm is a gift.

3. He takes his responsibilities to heart. At his age I probably would have blown off half the things that are asked of him. He does his best to do what is expected.

4. He doesn't quit. He's a pretty hard worker when he has to be. He is also able to see more of the benefits of working.

5. His best friend is a girl. I love that. I hope it lasts because they have been friends since they were 5.

6. He is a good babysitter. Not that I haven't gotten reports that he was mean or forced them to watch tv in the other room so he didn't have to listen to them but for the most part I feel very comfortable leaving him in charge.

7. He is very open and honest. There isn't a conversation we've had that he didn't just ask what he wanted to know. This doesn't mean that as the immature mom I didn't have to run in to the other room and LAUGH AND LAUGH AND LAUGH and then come back with a straight face and answer his questions.

8. He has taken guitar lessons for 4 years. I'm thankful that he's stuck with it at times he thought he wanted to quit and I love to listen to him play. My kids have been lucky to pick up their dad's ear for music. I was in band in highschool but it wasn't a natural talent and I really can't HEAR it like they do.

9. He is frugal when spending my money. I know I said when he has his own money he tends to spend just to spend but he's learned how to shop when I'm buying and it has worked in his benefit. He picked up on what "clearance" meant pretty quickly.

10. He has a tender soul. There have been times I've said something and realized that it just cut a bit too much. He wants to please and when he realizes you are disappointed you can see how sad it makes him. I love that he cares. I love that he will still cuddle on the couch. I could go on and on but I am just thankful he is a part of our family.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Friends

I am thankful for new friends. There is nothing like taking the leap and saying "hey let's go shopping" or whatever and then having a ton of fun. I am really bad at this. I think I overthink it too much and then in my head it turns in to something else. Yes - I am neurotic. OK, maybe that's a bit much but sometimes it seems to be true. Just the other day a friend on facebook mentioned she wanted to get out of the house and so I jumped and asked "where". Next thing you know she's on her way to pick me up and I am sitting her wondering - did she say yes because it's out there on facebook and she doesn't want people to think she's a jerk? These are the things that go through my head. Either way - we did go out, we shopped, we laughed, we had fun.

I am not sure what my hang up is about making friends. I have to REALLY set the goal. When we lived in England I made it a point to be social. I seriously told myself I was going to meet people. I was going to be different - and when I say this I really mean at church. I have made friends at the park. I have friends who are my neighbors. It's the church friends I suck at. So, in England I was different. There were even new families in the ward that would comment that I was the first person to welcome them at the door - I will admit I was probably just stalking someone to teach primary that day - but I would also immediately introduce myself and go on from there. I think when we moved back to Tucson I just fell back in to my old ways. I did move back in to a ward that I had already been in before. There were faces I recognized. Groups I knew I probably didn't fit in. So, the cycle continued.

I think I need to go back to being social. Jumping out there, introducing myself. It really is more fun and I could always use more friends.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today I am thankful for family, friends and good food. I'm also thankful my mom taught me to clean as I cook so my kitchen is not a disaster. I'm thankful for friends that bring pies and rolls since baking is not my strong suit. I'm thankful for neighbors that accept the invitation to stop by when they get back from the thanksgiving feast they were invited to. I'm also thankful for 6 kids who get along great and spend the day playing together, or in pairs, instead of complaining of being bored or arguing with each other. I'm also thankful only 1/2 those kids are mine!

I hope you all had a great thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top 10 Reasons I Am Thankful For Jared

I guess I better keep track of these kid posts because I'm running out of November thankful days. I'll get the other two in there.

1. He is just an easy going kid. He was born layed back. I think he realized I had my hands full chasing his brother around so he was always content to just sit back and watch.

2. He just has a different thought process. What I mean is he thinks about things that my other kids would never be concerned about. Sometimes he will think about something for days before he will bring it up for discussion. When he was three he had an in depth discussion with my brother about pickles. The next day he said "we should talk about pickles again". My brother told him they could talk about other foods too.

3. He is a collector. As much as it drives me NUTS I also have grown to love it. You know if you see a sparkly thing on the ground or an odd piece of paper or a cool stick or rock he WILL pick it up. Sometimes you have to yell - DON'T before he gets his hands on it. He had a collection of wood chips for a while - I threw them out when he was at my moms.

4. He is a Grandpa's boy. It's actually sort of odd because the other two could hang out with Grandma all day long. He went and stayed with my parents and my mom was shocked thinking she would have someone to hang out with. Nope - he went everywhere with my dad.

5. He is a great reader. This took a LOT of work. In the early days I thought someone might lose a life over trying to learn how to read. It was painful. Very painful. I'm still not sure how it happened but he is a great reader and he loves to read. He is on book 5 of the Harry Potter series and has encouraged his friends to also read them - boys that haven't even seen the movies.

6. He is frugal. When my other two have money they just HAVE to spend it. If Jordan has a dollar she's in the dollar section at Target searching for something. Jared will go to Target several times and also search online until he has finally decided what he really wants. Jackson will just buy something to buy it.

7. He is happy to play alone. He will be in his room for hours playing with lego's or GI Joe or his other toys. Of course on the flip side I've gone in to his room and noticed that every GI Joe is strategically placed to shoot whoever entered. It's like Toy Story in there.

8. He still uses words he learned in England. He also still pronounces the letter H as "haytch".

9. He is a trivia buff and loves history. Even when he was having a really hard time with school he would retain stuff that was shocking. We could travel to some castle or historic area in England and say "hey Jared what's the difference between the anglo saxons and the normans" and he would explain it. It always amazes me.

10. I'm just thankful for him because of who he is. There have been many times that we've said "well that's just Jared" but it is. It's like he is his own definition.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finally....Well, Almost!

I submitted my application to be a substitute teacher in our school district back in September or maybe even last August. It took some hoops to jump through just to get a state certificate to substitute teach and then to file all the information. I was then told I needed to wait for an interview. I have never been interviewed to substitute teach but I suppose there is some merit to it. Of course the first time they called for an interview I was going out of town that day. They do them in a group so I then got the impression it was more like an orientation, not an interview. Either way I waited for the next call. On Friday I got the call that my interview time would be today. I went to the district office and sat with 5 other people. We all followed the substitute coordinator and another woman from human resources in to a conference room. It was then explained that we would all be interviewed together and that we would all receive the same questions. For a minute I thought they were just going to hand us the packets and let us fill in our answers. Nope! I was at the top of the list so had the luck of answering the first question. There were several times that someone would answer and you would go OH MAN WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT??!! There were other times someone would answer and you could see eyes rolling from the others being interviewed. Or maybe I was the only one rolling my eyes at the guy who kept name dropping. You know what - I could name half the teachers at both schools my kids go to but I'm pretty sure they aren't interested in that.

So, if you noticed I said ALMOST. This is where the best part comes in. This was only an interview. I now have to see if I made the cut and in 2-4 weeks I might be lucky enough to get a call back for a 3 hour orientation. I'm not sure what they are going to fill three hours with. I'm sure I'll let you all know when it happens. Right now I'm just thankful that I finally had the interview and now I'll just wait for the next go round.

I'm also thankful for the friend that picked Jared up after school. (Because, of course, they scheduled the interview right during school pick up time.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Story

There was a time in my blogging life that I had a regular Sunday story. That was when I was in Primary every week and my Sundays were filled with cute, embarrassing, hilarious or spiritual stories. Now I'm in Primary every now and then - I sort of enjoy being an on the spot substitute.

Today I had a group of 6/7 year olds that I have never taught before. In fact I only knew 2 of their names. We were discussing how sometimes people that we love go away for a while and how we feel when they are gone and how happy we are when they come home. Some of their comments were:

"My mom never picked me up from preschool once and I was really scared. I had to stay with the teacher and her daughter and I didn't think my mom was ever coming. When it was really late my Dad came because my mom was having my baby sister - I didn't even know she was having a baby."

"My mom went to Utah once and I sort of missed her but not really because my dad let's us do all sorts of fun stuff."

We also put a board game together and they colored it. Instead of writing the rules on the game I just wrote which lesson manual and the lesson number on the back. The kids were very confused because the "rules" didn't sound like anything I had told them. And they also weren't sure that their moms would understand what all that meant. I'm pretty sure their moms are all smart enough that they'll get it.

So, my thankful post of the day is that I'm thankful that I have Sunday stories to tell. Thankful that every now and then I get to jump in and have fun with the kids. (I'm not saying I want to be there EVERY week - just that I do enjoy it every now and then.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Would Be Grateful If....

someone could tell me how to fix my blog. I see many of you with a list of the blogs that you like to visit and it shows when those friends blog. I have searched and searched and I can't figure out how to make that change.

If anyone would like to share that secret I would love it!!!

I am not sure if this counts as something I am thankful for but I WILL be so it is an advance on the gratitude.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The 50's

We had a fun 20 minutes on Thursday night when Jared had his 5th grade music performance. Yes, 20 minutes. Maybe it was a few more than that but not much. Sometimes I'm thankful that they are so short, when Dad walks in during the last song I wish they were a few minutes longer.

Jared had a speaking part and he practiced but up there in front of everyone he stumbled over his words a bit but finally recovered. Either way I think he looked cute up there.

When we were at home getting ready Jackson asked if I knew how to dress Jared because of movies I watched when I was a kid. He's lucky he didn't ask if it was because that is how WE dressed, even though the similarities between the 50's and 80's are too many to number. He sort of looked like my friend Matt when we were in the 8th grade. The truth is, though, it really was from the movies I watched as a kid. My friend Andrea really called it though when she saw his picture and called him Pony Boy. We LOVED the movie The Outsiders.

My parents went out of town once for a few days and Andrea came and stayed at my house with me. I'm not sure why really. My brother went to a friends and Andrea, who was just 5 years older than me came and stayed with me. We both went to school during the day and then after school we watched The Outsiders OVER AND OVER AND OVER. We can still quote lines from the movie. (I think we lived on Lay's potato chips and dip that week too.)

I think Jared made a perfect Pony Boy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stock Piling!

I have a friend that I have shopped with a few times. Sometimes at Target she will say that she needs toilet paper. As we stand in front of all the rolls she picks up one package, four rolls, and puts it in her cart. I am always stunned by this and other similar behaviors. If my cousin is going to fix dinner she will go to the store and buy one package of pasta, one can of corn, and one of whatever else she is going to prepare.

My mom is the queen of stocking her pantry. I learned early on that if you need one of something chances are you're probably going to use it more than once and you should buy enough to last a while. I am not sure if my mom has ever run out of shampoo, toilet paper, or green beans.

I can honestly say that I do not have "food storage" in my house. I'm not proud of it but it is what it is. I've often joked that I will have enough toilet paper that I will be able to trade a roll or two for that ground wheat and potato pearls. I'll let you know if it works out in my favor or not. Mostly I just know that I'm glad that I'll have at least a few cans on my shelf and paper products in the cabinet. I'm also thankful that my mom has passed this down to me. Living where I do I'm not sure keeping only four rolls of toilet paper on hand at a time would be a good idea anyway.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I love getting the mail and opening up something you think is junk mail only to find that it is a rebate check. Thankful I didn't just toss it in the trash.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Joy of Guilt

The past two weeks we've had a bit of trouble in our home. Nothing to serious but annoying nonetheless. And you know - it's just a slippery slope and that nothing serious becomes something else. Lucky for me I like to lay on the guilt and it currently still works. Yes, I am thankful for guilt. Insert evil laugh.

Jackson is having a difficult time with his homework lately. I'm not sure what it is but mostly it's just that he isn't finishing it. This leads to getting after school detention of sorts, they call it ZAP. It can be good, it lets kids get help if they need it and it does show that the teachers are on top of their missed assignments. All fine and good if I wasn't asking him if he finished his homework and he wasn't saying yes. We all know what that is...when someone says something that isn't true. It's a bad three letter word.

Flash forward to today. The boy goes off to school only to call me an hour later and tell me he has ZAP. I promptly went in to his room and took his iPod, his PSP, his gameboy, any other form of entertainment that was in there. When he came home I asked for his phone and he responded "I know, I'm grounded."

I then stood in the doorway of his bedroom and told him he has a week to get it all together. To get his homework done and prove to me that he deserves all of his stuff back. I told him he had to earn his iPod and phone back and that it would probably be a lot easier to earn those "things" back but it might take some time to earn my trust back and that I hoped he thought that was more important than texting his friends. Yep, the guilt. And I layed it on thick. We'll see if it worked.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Family Time

I am thankful for family time. We spent the whole weekend just the 5 of us. We had lunch together, we went to the movies, we just hung around at home. I know that soon enough my kids are going to be older. They are going to hang out with friends. Have even more extracurricular activities than they already do. So, for now I'm thankful that they still like to hang out with us. It could just be the food and movies that keep them around though.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Annoying Gratitude?

I noticed today on facebook a friend posted "I'm grateful you didn't post what you're grateful for today." She doesn't read my blog so I'm pretty safe in saying it wasn't directed at me but it also made me wonder. What is it about someone else's gratitude that can be annoying? Maybe she was being sarcastic? I would take annoying gratitude over some status updates I have read.

I have a friend who ends almost every update with the word "sigh". I have had to block her because I can't take the negativity every day. I don't understand the constant depression. Is there nothing in your life that makes me smile? Sigh.

I have another friend who constantly brings up topics to spark in depth conversations. Playing devil's advocate ALL the time? I've even been lured in to make a response and immediately regretted it remembering that his sole purpose is to watch the dance between all of his friends.

Another friend just posts nonsense. If we were still 14 I would find his status updates funny. Instead I read them and wonder how, at 37, his sense of humor and his friends haven't changed AT ALL.

Maybe I'm just boring and easily annoyed myself? Maybe I am facebook friends with people I was not actually FRIENDS with and those are exactly the reasons why. I do know that I wouldn't be bothered if some of these people were more grateful. I am also thankful for those friends I have that are.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Mom

My mom came to visit this last week. It was perfect timing since Stew was out of town for two weeks. Always nice to have someone else here so the kids aren't left alone in the evenings so much. Of course I could drag all 3 of them to different activities but nobody wants to hang out at the gym for an hour and a half, or at the church, or the bowling alley.

We had a great time shopping and eating out. Yesterday Stew came home and today my mom went home. Tag team help - sounds good to me. I guess in all the excitement I forgot to be thankful for something yesterday but hey, who really thought I would do it anyways?

So, I am thankful for my mom. Thankful that she loves my kids and that she likes to come and hang out with us. I love that she cooks and cleans. I love that she sits on the couch and does crossword puzzles and soduko with the kids. Those soduko puzzles have numbers in them..NUMBERS!!! My kids like numbers, I don't, so that is good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Is My Computer Repairman?

My computer is actually working just fine but we have the entire system hooked up to a battery backup. The battery is no longer able to support the four devices hooked up to it and it has been beeping. Beeping the same way a smoke detector does when it needs a new battery. Beeping, beeping, beeping. I can't turn it off because my internet router is one of those devices hooked up to the back up. It wasn't a constant beeping so it was easy to ignore at times but today it decided to give up the ghost. The beeping has turned in to an alarm sequence of beeping. I finally had to steal a surge protector that I plug my laptop into and transfer everything to it to stop the beeping.

So, you may wonder, did I forget I was supposed to be thankful for something? What does all this beeping have to do with being thankful? Well, my computer repairman will be here tomorrow. He's been gone for almost two weeks and we pick him up at the airport at lunchtime. I'm not ready to do an "I'm thankful for my husband" post so for now I will just say that I am thankful my computer repairman is coming home. And I'm thankful the beeping has stopped.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today I am Thankful For...

My son's boyscout leaders. After taking a carload of boys to home depot and then standing in the store while they all picked out lumber for a project I can positively say that I am thankful for their leaders. I am also thankful that I am NOT their leader.

I did have an older woman stop and chat with me. She commented that she thought they were well behaved and that they all looked like they were great friends. I am not sure about the first but I really think the second part is true. They are a GREAT group of boys and it is nice to see them working together.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Monday night is MY night. On my one night that is all about me - I bowl. I have had people ask me how long I've been bowling and sometimes I will reply "in utero" since my mom bowled in a Sunday night league when she was pregnant with me and I was born on a Monday morning. The truth is I have only bowled for about 20 years. My mom has bowled off an on my entire life and it was also something my brother did. For some reason I never picked it up - probably because it was Larry's thing. We kept our activities pretty separate when we were kids.

When I went to Rick's for college I was picking classes and needed one more credit. Hmmm what to do what to do? I picked beginning bowling. It was a fun class, I learned how to bowl, I learned how to keep score, there were boys. As the next semester was coming up it was time to plan my schedule again. Did you know they offered Advanced Bowling? Oh yes, that was me. Not really but I had the pre-requisite of beginning bowling so why not?? This is where I met my husband. Truth is that I thought he was a bit of a geek. We were friends though, we bowled together. The rest is history.

We went years where neither of us bowled. It was an expense that we couldn't afford. It was also time that we didn't have. When we moved to England we both joined leagues. It was a great way for me to get out and meet people. The Tuesday Morning Women's League was the place to be. Stew bowled on Thursday nights and for a while I bowled with him. Now that we're back in the states it is back to him being too busy to bowl but I still do. The kids are old enough I am able to take time out for myself. A night where I just hang out with the ladies I bowl with. Some days I bowl horribly, some days I do pretty well. Tonight? A 201!!! I'm thankful for the 201- we won the game. I'm thankful for "advanced bowling". I'm thankful for ME time!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cookies & Neighbors

I am not going to turn this in to a "thankful for food" month but for the second day in a row I AM thankful for food.

Today I am thankful for chocolate chip cookies. I loaned a book out to our neighbor, she is 11. Today there was a knock on the door and two girls standing with a container of chocolate chip cookies. I told them to thank their mom, actually saying how incredible she is. Triathlete, cookie baker, what else can she do? The younger sister turned and said "my mom didn't make them - Mandy did." Even better! And let me tell you they were GOOD. I am going to have to ask the secret but they were just the right amount of soft and crisp and the chocolate chips were still gooey!

I love having neighbors close to borrow eggs and cups of milk and to loan out books. Too bad they are not likely to get delicious cookies in return - but with a cookie maker like Mandy they don't need mine.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

That Was Close!

I almost failed on my challenge. It didn't help that I counted my midnight challenge as 5 posts and ended up with a whole day of no posting because of it.

So - what am I thankful for today? When I tell you just remember that I didn't promise that they would be total heartfelt earth shaking things to be thankful for. We all know we should remember to be thankful for the small things too, right? So, today I am thankful for

Yes, chips and salsa from Chili's. We went to Chili's for lunch today. My mom, Jordan and I with our good friends. It is always nice to be out with friends visiting over chips and salsa. It doesn't hurt that I think their salsa is extra yummy.

It also reminded me about when we lived in England. No, they don't have a Chili's where we lived but they do have one in Chicago O'hare Airport. I remember ending almost every visit home with a layover in Chicago. I would go to the Chili's and order a side salad with ranch dressing and chips & salsa. Two things that I knew reminded me of home just to prepare me for the long months I would then be away. It may seem completely silly. And yes, it probably also means that I turn to food for comfort but you know what - there could be worse things.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Challenge...

I have another friend who has taken up the challenge to blog every day in November. Since it has been two weeks since my last post (I didn't get the job and never got a call or letter but the new teacher started on Tuesday) I wonder can I actually take up that challenge. I mean it is the 4th of November, actually in 2 minutes it will be the 5th. So, it is too late right? Oh, who cares about the rules and let's just get started. I think I'll even have a theme. Being November I'll go with Thanksgiving. Not only will I find things I'm thankful for but I'll actually have to come up with something interesting to say about it. This could get interesting, or extremely boring - stay tuned.

Since today is the 5th, yes I've been typing for two minutes, I think a list of 5 things is due. Since I didn't blog about our trip to Vegas I'll work that in too, I'm sneaky like that.

#1 The ability to turn 38 years of not being a family into working on being one.

#2 Crazy family members who are willing to be shot up in the air at the top of the stratosphere. Especially for that little girl of mine who is just incredible. She chickened out for a bit but got back in her seat and did it! Jordan ROCKS!

#3 I am thankful for this old man. He's been my dad for as long as I can remember. He is a fantastic dad and a great grandpa. He even watched all the kids while we went and saw Cher and the guys were out at a casino.

#4 I am thankful for M&M's. No wait that isn't right. Well, I do like chocolate but that's not the point. At the M&M factory the kids were racing up the escalator and Grace tripped. It was NOT a pretty sight. A nice employee helped us out and got bandaids and all of that stuff to clean up her shin.

#5 Hoover Dam. Can I be thankful for the Hoover Dam? I think so because it gives me all of these opportunities to post dam pictures. It's become a hobby and it makes me happy. Dam happy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

To work or not to work

That IS the question. I frequent the job openings over at our school district's web page. The majority of the time there is nothing that I am qualified to do so that is that. I recently gathered all of my stuff together and decided I would start substitute teaching. Hey, that's a great way to ease my way back in to work right? Work when I want, don't work if I don't want to. Well, before I've even gotten a chance to sub I noticed today two jobs available. I decided to put my application in not thinking anything would come of it. I mean, I haven't taught school in 10 years. I do not hold a current teaching certificate. I'm not a real candidate. Safe.

Flash forward 35 minutes after I pressed submit and I got a phone call. Now I have an interview tomorrow at 1:30. What was I thinking? Am I ready to go back to work? How will we all get out the door in the morning and what will the after school routine be? Of course I'm putting the cart before the horse. Perhaps I should wait until I bomb the interview to put it all out of my mind and get back to my lazy lifestyle.

I'll keep you updated on my self induced stress.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dirty Jobs

My kids and I love to watch the show "Dirty Jobs" and it got me thinking about different jobs I've had. Actually, cheese is what really got me thinking. Cheese? Cheese makes you think about jobs? Well, I was at the grocery store the other day, buying cheese, as you probably figured. As I picked up the package I had to give it a look over before putting it in my cart. Making sure the cheese had been sealed correctly in its package and that it isn't noticeable that it was spliced together from other pieces of cheese so that it makes the correct weight. All of this comes from a result of working for 4 months in the worst job I ever had.

I've worked at a restaurant as a hostess, at an insurance company as a file clerk, I've rented cars and I've rented rooms. I've also taught 7th graders and that could be argued as a dirty job all on it's own. However, none of those required a white apron and a hair net. I also never came home from any of those other jobs smelling like cheese. I'm pretty sure that qualifies as icky. I love cheese - but I don't want to smell like it.

Have you ever had a "dirty job"? Do you still have nightmares of conveyor belts moving faster than you can work? Not in a fun "stuff your mouth full of chocolates like Lucy and Ethel" but 8 oz blocks of cheese that just keep piling up? One of those jobs that just makes you happy that you have moved on in life and you aren't stuck in a white apron and hair net?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th

On September 9th I took my husband to the airport for his first international business trip. Our two boys and I walked him all the way up to the gate. We sat and watched airplanes taking off and landing as we waited for his turn to board the plane and head off across the world. The trip was scheduled for two weeks but the others that had travelled before shrugged it off saying they always came home early. He boarded the plane after hugs and kisses and was off.

Two days later as I was still in bed my phone rang. My mother simply said to turn on the tv. I watched in horror as they replayed what had happened and like much of the world sat in shock as ANOTHER plane hit right as we were watching. Neighbors came home from work. Others picked up their children from school and many travelled to be closer to family...and further away from the Air Force Base near by. Nearing afternoon I got a quick phone call from my husband. He just simply stated he was fine, they were safe. I asked if he had heard and he made no comments on the situation. Two hours later someone from his office locally called to also tell me the men overseas were all safe. I also had made several phone calls ensuring the safety of friends that live in New York. All were safe, one was even in the hospital delivering her first child.

Living in an Air Force town with an airport as well the skies are always busy. It was quiet. For days it was quiet and then one morning there was a plane. It was early and I walked outside to see the airplane flying East. As I looked down the street I could see many of my neighbors also standing silently - watching the plane fly through the beautiful blue sky. Life was slowly turning back to normal - or at least the sky was.

Six weeks after 9/11 my husband returned. As we went to the airport to pick him up there was no going to the gate. There was no sitting and watching planes land while others were taking off. We stood downstairs waiting for him to walk down the stairs. My boys were 2 and 4 and the two year old took off running at the sight of his dad. He crossed the "do not enter" area and put some security personnel in a bit of a panic. Fortunately others were very understanding that he was just a little boy who missed his daddy.

For three more years my husband travelled. He was often gone for 4-6 weeks only to come home for two weeks and be gone again. He doesn't wear a uniform. He doesn't fly airplanes or fight in battles at the front lines. He stands along side many like himself - his uniform is most often a pair of Levi jeans and an In-n-Out t-shirt. The average Engineering Geek. However, he is not average - he is clearly above average. And to him and all of the others that we do not see, do not hear about, perhaps we don't even know they exist. I say thank you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lame Insults

My ex sister in law sent my mother a nasty letter yesterday. She included many things that were bothering her about my mom, my brother's second wife and then she got to me. She was ironing out the "roles" she thinks that we all should be playing in her son's life. My nephew is 16. I was sort of looking forward to my name coming up in the letter. Wondering what she was going to say about me. I was sadly disappointed. This was ALL she could come up with:

Other roles that may be of concern to you:
Sandy- Aunt, not to be confused with someone who’d hand my husband dishes so he didn’t have to go back into the kitchen after he was done cleaning up. I won’t go into being a good guest, but I will say that I doubt Steve wore a butler’s uniform during your visit.

Really? The worst she could come up with was the fact I handed her husband a plate as he was headed to the kitchen? I do NOT know how I will go on in life knowing this was said about me.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I've come to the conclusion

That I love my inlaws. It's been 17 years...almost 18 and you know what? They drive me crazy. They have their quirks but I actually do love them. The picture above is Stew and his brother's and sister. There is a similar picture of the "inlaws" and I'll have to put that up here when I get a copy. But really - I love that they all get along. We went to Idaho Falls for my nephew's mission farewell. He was an awkward little boy and as he grew up he had many different illness's. We were almost not sure he would be allowed to go on a mission. Yet he is at the MTC now - on his way to the Omaha Nebraska mission. As a matter of fact this was the first baptism, baby blessing, mission farewell, or wedding that the entire family was there, except for my niece who is on a mission in England so she was given a pass. All 4 Weber kids, all 4 wives and 15 of the 16 grandkids.

So, why the proclamation of LOVE? Because I've noticed lately a few friends who actually don't like their family. Or maybe that isn't it but they certainly don't go out of their way to spend time with them. Is it that my husband likes his siblings so I go? Actually, I've gone without him before so that must not be it. So, it must be because I like them too.

You might ask...where is the picture of the "parents"? Well, we spent 3 days with them and 2 of those were in the car touring Yellowstone. My conclusion on that topic might better be saved for another day. But I will say we got told off for being at Stew's brother's where that first picture was taken and not telling them we were all there. Boohoo! ;)

And some fun pictures of our trip through Yellowstone.

My father in law took this picture. Not sure what he was looking at but I guess getting everyone's head in the photo wasn't a priority.

Just some of the beautiful landscape in Yellowstone Park

The kids in Montana - the sun shines there!

The kids on the Wyoming side - apparently there is no sun there. Maybe that's why Montana gets the Big Sky name?

One of the many Bison we saw along the trip.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Just found out I can blog on my phone. Wonder if that will mean more updates? You'll probably still have to wait for me to get home from vacation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back to School! (And what we did this summer)

Here we are, ready for another year of school already. I can't believe Jackson is in 8th grade!

Somehow I have one in 8th Grade, one in 5th and one in 3rd!!!

I love how excited Jordan was to get to school this morning. She had to run out to the playground to find Isabelle. They acted like they hadn't seen eachother all summer long and yet they just saw eachother at church yesterday....girls!

And now that the kids are back in school I now have a minute to sit down and blog a little so you get to see some of the fun things we did.

We went to my mom's in California which isn't all that new or exciting but it was fun. Jared actually went a week before the rest of us and spent some one on one time with Grandma and Grandpa. They went ot Legoland and had a great time. Once we all arrived we met up with our friends from Tucson that were in California for a dive meet and we went to the Pier at Santa Monica. None of us had ever been before and we all had a great day.

It started out a bit overcast but it burned off and was a beautiful day.

The kids had a lot of fun on the rides at the pier.

This is my cousin Patty and my Dad. She pretty much looked like this most the day. I think she's on the phone more than a teenage girl.

We then spent the 4th of July at my moms. We were supposed to have a big bbq but things didn't turn out that way so it was just the family. We had a nice day though.

We also went to the beach. The boys and my Dad spent the day fishing and Jordan spent the day in the ocean. If you look you can see an X on her back. This was from a few weeks before when I forgot to reapply sunscreen when we were at a friends and her straps shifted and she got FRIED. I didn't take a picture of her after this beach day but let me tell you....when there are 5 adults and 3 kids you shouldn't assume that anyone else put sunscreen on the kids. My excuse is that I spent an hour looking for a parking spot while everyone else piled out of the van and went to play.

We also went to Disney's California Adventure this trip. We hadn't planned on it but my cousin and her husband came for a visit too and they wanted to go. I am just thankful for good friends that work for Disney that didn't mind getting us in that day. The first thing the kids did was Grizzly Bear Rapids. They wore ponchos the first time and came off the ride dry - Jordan wanted to go again without a poncho and this was the result:

This was also the first time Jared decided to ride the California Screamin' Roller coaster. Last time we went he stood in line with all of us and put one foot in the roller coaster and walked right out the other side.

He was really proud of himself for riding it!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Friends! Let's Get Together, yeah yeah yeah!

So today the kids and I were a bit crazy. My friend Ellen had a birthday yesterday and so we decided to meet for lunch. Her job has been driving her crazy so I said she should play hookie and we would go to lunch. Sounds normal until you find out that she lives 7 1/2 hours away. We met half way, spent 2 hours chatting and eating and letting the kids run around and then we both turned around and went back home.

I met Ellen while living in England. It turns out we have a mutual friend - nothing like telling a story and someone you don't know FINISHING it but that's another story. We're good friends but I think the true love affair is between our husbands. I really wish I had a picture to prove this story but you'll just have to create your own visual. We travelled down to another military base for the weekend while living there. We were at a small base and for good shopping and taco bell we would drive 3 hours and spend the weekend. (Hmm this 3 hour driving thing is sounding normal now.) Anyways. We decided to order the kids pizza one evening and to go out for dinner. We sent the men out for the pizza as we got the kids all situated. Soon Stewart walked in and I realized he had a new jacket on. Seriously, you went for pizza and you came back with a new jacket? It really isn't that cold out. And then the door opens. Greg walks in......same jacket. Like two 13 year old girls they walked in to the store, looked at jackets and bought MATCHING ones. To make it worse they proudly wore them when we would all go out.

Either way I guess I'm grateful for good friends. I'm grateful for 3 hour drives for 2 hour lunch dates. For husbands with matching jackets. And for teenage boys who pretend to despise each other yet get along a little too well at times for us to believe. And amazingly 2 little girls who wore the exact same outfit on their first day of school last year without either of us knowing.....maybe their dad's planned it behind our backs!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Complicated Families

Jordan and I went to Portland a few weeks ago to attend my cousins wedding. While we were there Jordan got to meet her cousin Grace. Grace is a year older than Jordan and they got a long great. We went to the zoo and the girls acted as if they had known eachother forever. Kids are great like that.

Grace's mom is my step sister. This was also the first time I had ever met her. We are 37 and 38 and had never met - but I've known she existed for a lot longer than she knew about me. It's a complicated history of family but we're all trying to make up for it. I'm trying not to be territorial and she's super nice considering I'm the girl that took her life - that grew up with her father as my Dad. It's difficult to have feelings that I DON'T WANT to like her but I do. I still cringe when looking at her facebook pictures of her with my mom and my dad labeled "Me & My Dad". I even have trouble seeing the pictures of Grace and her Grandpa. Jordan is the only grand daughter - or she was - and now she isn't. Like I said - complicated.

The picture above is my mom, Ann-Marie, Me, Jordan & Grace

Friday, May 7, 2010

Where Have We Been?

Last month seemed to just fly by. We were pretty busy and somehow I missed updating the blog at all.

Let's see what happened?

Jordan got baptised

and we had a lot of our family and friends come for that. It was a crazy weekend with way too many people in my house - but we had fun.

(I could comment on my Mother in Law's sudden involvement with having her hands on Jordan's shoulders but I'll keep my Mother In Law stories for another day)

We had two school performances - one from Jared

And then a week later from Jordan

When I go to school performances I can't help but think about when we were in England and we had school musicals like this you'll have to click on the video to check it out 1/2 way down the entry.

Right after Jordan's performance we continued rushing around to get Jared ready for his school Grand Canyon trip. I've never been and I'm a bit jealous but I really didn't want my first Grand Canyon trip to be on a bus with a ton of kids. I did have to laugh when Jackson said it was no fair that Jared got to see the Grand Canyon. When Jackson was in Year 6 in England (5th Grade) he went with his class on a ski trip to Switzerland. Let's talk about not fair!

I think Jared took some pretty good pictures
This is Mikey - he has been all over the world with us so of course he went to the Grand Canyon too!

And then this last Wednesday we made a drive out to the new Gila Valley Temple. This was the kid's second open house experience.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Wave or Tunnel Vision?

Every morning when I drop my kids off at school I pass by a few moms I know. Depending on who is on time or ahead of time or running late it could be coming or going. As we pass there is usually a wave. I am a waver. (And when I say waver I don't mean in the sense that I peg my pants and listen to New Order.) If I know what kind of car you drive I can pretty much spot it from a good distance and I will give you a wave as we pass. Some people are so intent on their driving or listening to their talk radio or something that they just seem to have driving tunnel vision. I have a friend who I used to pass on a regular basis when we were on a small military base in England. I could practically run in to her and she wouldn't even turn her head - she just wouldn't see me. I wonder if maybe she is just more focused and I'm more.....what was I saying?

Sometimes I drive my husband's car and I still wave and then I have to remember...they don't know it's me. It doesn't stop me from waving. Have I ever waved at someone and then realized "oops, wrong person"? Yes, but it doesn't bother me. Everyone needs a wave.

In England I did a lot of waving. The roads are small and you often need to share one lane with cars going both ways. As you signal to let the other person go ahead you wait for the pass and it is standard that you wave. A quick lift of the hand off the steering wheel to just say "thanks" or "you're welcome". You don't see that kind of hand gesture here too often. We're pretty quick to raise the hand but it's more often in the "would you get out of my way!" shake of the fist...unless you're being a bit more naughty.

I will continue my wave. I will continue to hope that you wave back. And for those of you that do...thanks.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break

This spring break we:

Went to Build-a-Bear. Jordan had birthday money burning a hole in her pocket.

Went swimming at the Cove in Sierra Vista. The kids love the wave machine and the water slides.

Went to the Zoo in Phoenix.

Before all of that we even went to the Rodeo.

And took NO pictures since my camera was in Germany. I think it's time for another camera in this house.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Something Old

I have thought about the idea for this blog several times and finally got around to blogging it.

I have this habit of holding on to stuff. Some of it useful, some of it, not so much.

I have this denim jacket hanging in my closet. It is a small and it is, let's say, 20 years old. Will I ever wear it again? Highly unlikely. But I will tell you I did toss out the matching jeans some time ago as I gave up the idea that I would ever be a size 2 again.

This is the TV we got when we first got married. It's 17 years old and is in our bedroom. We have upgraded it 2x but seriously - only 3 TV's in 17 years? That's not bad either. I am getting ready to move this one out and put our bigger TV in here - but it's such a monster I don't think we can lift it on to the dresser. (The dresser would qualify as old too - we inherited it from my Grandmother and you guys are lucky I didn't take a picture of the bed that matches it - yes we sleep in a double/full size bed.)

Yes, a fantastic picture of my ear. I was actually going for the earrings and I'll tell you that the hoops...I've been wearing those since I was 12. I've worn other earrings but I keep coming back to the hoops. They are comfortable, I don't have some allergic reaction when wearing them. I could go on. As for that "second pair" I got those from my husband when I graduated from college 13 years ago. That's why I wear them. I'm also suspicious that they are the reason I've never had a calling in young women's at church as well.

My alarm clock. This is probably the oldest of my possessions that I use on a regular basis. I got this for Christmas probably when I was 9. It used to be the only radio I owned and it got a LOT of use during the Duran Duran period of my life. I have used it almost my entire life except for when we were in England. Four years of using an alarm clock I never quite trusted. I was so happy to take this out of the box and proudly put it on my dresser again. Granted the light that tells you the alarm is set no longer works, but it has never failed me.

Some of these things have sentimental value, some of them comfort, some of them because we're cheap. I mean we are frugal and living within our means. Some of them are just trusted and I'm afraid to replace because I might not like it as much. And then there are those things that you held on to for 30 years. Something that you loved. Something that YEARS and YEARS ago you thought you might keep to give to someone else....and then that day comes.

If she treats the dress well I might just let her read my Little House on the Prarie Books that I have NEVER shared with anyone.