Thursday, February 26, 2009

We missed you Janece!

I didn't know how attached I am to my WW leader until she was gone last night. The entire class sat there like a package of un-inflated balloons! Could we go one without her? We have only know of her existence since like November, but life without her isn't the same.

Speedy recovery Mr. Janece! We want your wife back!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New made old

I found this really cool website (via Little Birdie Secrets) that converts your photos to look like old-fashioned ones. Imagine how much fun you can have dressing your kids in saloon girl and cowboy clothes and taking pictures to convert. You'll never need to go to Lagoon again!

(As I was typing that I was having an Office flashback where Angela is dressing Astrid (Astird) up like a salad to take her picture. Anyone else get that?)

Anyway, here is what you get when you run your pictures through the Bakumatsu Koshashin Generator. Be sure you click on "English" if you don't speak Japanese!

Albertson's does it again

This was last Wednesday's trip to Albertson's.
I saved $88.18 and spent $28.71.
There are 42 items plus 8 lbs of apples! This was part of the $10 off next purchase when you buy 10 items sale. Awesome! The sale goes through tomorrow I believe.
And here are my lovely assistants. Aubrey arranged the groceries on the stairs for us. Scary that she thinks it's normal to arrange and photograph your groceries!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A trip to the Legislature

Before Jenna went back on track, we took our long-awaited trip to see the Legislature in action. Back when they had an open house for the remodeled Capitol Building, the girls became fascinated with it.
After a steep hike up the hill and carrying Lydia and the stroller up flights of marble stairs, we headed to listen to the Legislators discuss a bill, which was about gangs. Lydia was not impressed and wanted to run and yell, so we didn't stay in there long. We rode the elevator to each floor- in no particular order, to see all the sights. The girls were also very interested in the "newsers" from KSL.

The girls outside the House of Rep. gallery
After making the rounds, we went to the East Building where the cafeteria is located for some lunch. I have always been interested in current events and politics, but this year I have been especially interested after I was a county delegate. I have become acquainted (for good or bad) with more politicians than I care to admit. At the table behind us, I saw two slimy lobbyists- former Speaker of the House Greg Curtis and former Rep & convicted election-bribe-scandal treasurer candidate Mark Walker. I was thoroughly disgusted that these two can return so quickly and wield their influence as lobbyist. Mr Curtis works now for big tobacco lobby, which doesn't reflect what his past constituents want. Makes me sick. I really hope they pass the bill for the two-year waiting period before former elected officials can become lobbyists. Bluuuck! Are you wondering how I REALLY feel? I hide my disgust so well, I know.

(You can see the slime balls behind my darling daughters)
Anyway, off that soap box.

Below are some pics of the memorials around the outside of the Capitol. This is the Vietnam Memorial for soldiers from Utah who died there, including Steve's uncle below.
The Law Enforcement memorial

Mormon Battalion Memorial
We had a great time and the girls were very interested to see what happens in one of their favorite buildings. It was not an easy trip, but it was well worth it!
WARNING: If you are tired of my griping, stop reading here.
One last soap box issue: PARKING at the Capitol Building. I am in no way disputing the need for handicapped parking, but it would sure be nice if there was Civic-minded-mothers-with-strollers parking available somewhere. I had to park at the corner of Main Street and whatever street runs the length of the south side of the building. I pushed that stroller with a 28 lb kid straight up! Once reaching pavement, there are no ramps at that level on the south or west sides of the building. There is a ramp on the south side, but you have to go up more stairs to get to it. Explain that one for me! Many gentlemen in suits watched me carrying my stroller up three flights of marble stairs, trailed by my other two kids and nary a door was opened for me. Public servants, huh?

Don't say I never did anything for you...

After two years of phone calls and pleading my case to the county, we finally got a street light installed by our house! Actually, they put 2 on our street!!

Here is some photographic evidence of the installation. The girls had a great time watching the whole process, from the guy with the blow torch thawing the ground to the pressure washer guy spraying off his crew. A good time was had by all!

I probably should have been more specific in my request, however. We now have two pristine street lights, but no glass and/or light bulbs. (We had the cherry picker trucker here to put the top on the pole, why he didn't finish the job, I can't explain.)
Maybe that's a job for some other neighborhood crusader!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

For You, for Valentine's Day

This beautful song by John Denver can be found to your right in my playlist. Here are the words.

Just to look in your eyes again
Just to lay in your arms
Just to be the first one always there for you
Just to live in your laughter
Just to sing in your heart
Just to be everyone of your dreams come true
Just to sit by your windows
Just to touch in the night
Just to offer a prayer each day for you
Just to long for your kisses
Just to dream of your sighs
Just to know that I'd give my life for you.

For you all the rest of my life
For you all the best of my life
For you alone, only for you.

Just to wake up each morning
Just to you by my side
Just to know that you're never really far away
Just a reason for living
Just to say I adore
Just to know that you're here in my heart to stay.

For you all the rest of my life
For you all the best of my life
For you alone, only for you.

Just the words of a love song
Just the beat of my heart
Just the pledge of my life, my love for you.

Style, my style

Remember that old Haircuts Plus Commercial?
Style, my style.
For me to decide. For me to judge.
That is my girls' motto. They come up with the most interesting outfits and poses.
Aubrey does this and says "Strike a pose!"
Lydia LOVES her boots and wants to dress like her sisters (as scary as that can be) and LOVES all things Dora. We don't have Nick Jr anymore, so I'm not sure how she became so enamored with Dora so quickly...
And Aubrey... my camera fiend. There are more self-portraits on my camera than pictures of everything else combined!
I have some really fun pics of Jenna, too. I need to scan some of the best/worst. She peaked before we had a digital camera!

Draper Temple Openhouse

Have you seen it yet?
You can reserve your free Draper Temple Open house tickets here.

January 23rd we went to the Draper Temple Open house. Unfortunately the only pictures I took were on the bus, so here we are on the bus. It was quite rainy, so we didn't take any pictures outside.
More importantly, we had a wonderful time! The girls were so excited to go, as we have been following the construction progress there and even more at the new temple in South Jordan.

It was so beautiful! The workmanship really shows a reverence for God. It it His house and the finest work has been done there. The girls were quite touched and especially liked the Celestial Room.

When I asked Aubrey how it made her feel she told me she could feel Heavenly Father's love and it "made her shine inside." We were talking in Sunday school about the Holy Spirit being felt as a burning in the bosom and I think that is what Aubrey was describing!

I am so thankful to live in a time and place where temples are readily available. They are the House of the Lord. The work that is done there ties generations of families together. Because my mom was the first member of the Church in her family, it is so important for me to participate in the sealing ordinances that my ancestors did not enjoy in their lifetimes.

I was so glad to share this experience with my kids and husband. My girls also told us that they want to go there again when they are older. I am sure this experience will serve to remind them how to live to be worthy to go to the temple and to be worthy of the blessings available God's children there.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Backyard Adventures

Caution: Long over-due journaling ahead!

A few weeks ago, Kat invited us to come to open play time at Backyard Adventures in Draper and we had so much fun!

They sell giant wooden swing sets and have an area where you can play on the swing sets and giant inflatables- some slides, an obstacle course, bounce house, etc. Jenna was off track, so this was a great way for everyone to burn off some serious energy!

Here are the triplets on the tire swing under one of the swing sets. (How did three similar sisters have such drastically different children?)
Lydia climbing a ladder- a favorite hobby of hers. I think she kept waiting for me to get mad and tell her to get down. (Swing set ok, bunk bed no-no)

Jenna coming down one of the giant slides.

Aubrey scaling a climbing wall. Since these play sets are priced from $2500- $10,000, I hope they enjoyed them here- not going to see them in my yard!A swing set shouldn't cost more than a car!

Me and Lydia coming down the dino slide.

I was quite proud of my accomplishments here, too. I am not usually the type to head into the inflatable toys, but I climbed a very steep ladder-thingy HOLDING LYDIA and pulling us both up one-handed to the top of the dino slide a few times and a did it a few times solo. (The white part below is the "ladder." I use the term loosely. It is vinyl-covered PVC pipe to grip with your sock-covered toes while holding onto a nylon webbing strap.)I also went through a ridiculous obstacle course which included squeezing through a very small opening I wouldn't have even attempted pre-Weight Watchers. I'd like to thank Curves for my stronger arms and endurance and WW for my smaller butt. You made this day possible!

One of my camera thieves caught this moment of beauty on Jan 29th. What a nice surprise when I downloaded my pictures!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An amazing world, and no one's happy

We take so much for granted! Take a look at this.

"We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it's wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots."

Monday, February 2, 2009

My surprise from my wonderful husband

A few weeks ago Tim blocked off January 30-31st on our calendar and told me I couldn't schedule anything then and not to ask questions. Sounds good to me! Our wedding anniversary (#8) is February 1st, so I figured that was the occasion.

A few days before that I started finding the sweetest notes from him and was getting more and more excited to find out what the surprise was. I tried really hard not to ask questions, but once in a while I would ask if I needed to pack anything for the kids or myself. Should I be cleaning the house for a babysitter? I was told to stop worrying and stop asking questions.

Friday morning I found a note entitled "How To Get Ready." It had a list of Do's like shower, shave my legs, have a relaxing day, and wait until 2:00 and get more instructions; and Don'ts like don't pack a bag for the kids, don't worry about dinner, don't clean the house for a sitter, don't stress out, and don't look at the bank account. I loved this!

I took the girls to Backyard Adventures (a post yet to come) and we had a fun morning with the cousins. At 2:00 on the dot Tim called with instructions about what I should wear (my fancy new black dress) and what time to be ready. All he said about the kids was to make sure they looked clean and had on shoes. How intriguing! I am usually so impatient with surprises, but I was loving every minute of this one! He said he had to go meet with some clients and would be out for a while but would call when he got back to the office.

As I am getting ready, I hear the garage door open- earlier than I was supposed to be ready! Tim came in and got ready and we loaded in the van. I still had no idea where we were going. He didn't have any bags with him and was being very quiet about the plans. Jenna knew a little bit of the plan and we both kept shushing her so she wouldn't tell.

Eventually we ended up at my sister's place downtown and dropped off the girls for what I would later find out was a sleepover. (Thanks Hill & Steve) Then we headed west. I was hoping we would turn in at the JSMB to have dinner at the Garden, but we kept going. We ended up at the Plaza Hotel parking. That's when I started to realize how much planning Tim had done. (He is a planner by trade, so I shouldn't be surprised, right?)

I can't remember the exact order thing happened, but I realized the sneaky guy had come downtown when he said he was meeting with clients. He brought all the stuff for the girls' sleepover to Hillary and our bags to the hotel. He had packed everything on Wednesday when I was at WW. He was even careful to use bags I wouldn't notice were missing. He thought of everything! Even brand new toothbrushes and tooth paste so I wouldn't notice anything missing!

We parked and walked over to the JSMB for dinner at the Garden! It was beautiful as the sun was setting over the lake! Then we walked back through Temple Square on our way to the Symphony! He had gone to our friends' house to use their computer to order tickets and had them sent to their house. The first half was Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, which was beautiful! We also heard an amazing pianist in a Mendelssohn piece. The second half was Stravinsky's Petrushka, which was a bit unexpected. We had a great time!

Then we walked back to our hotel (sometimes downtown is great with everything right there!) and when we got to our beautiful room, there were gorgeous roses waiting, along with some of my favorite treats and some sparkling cider from one of the ladies in Tim's office. (The ladies in his office apparently were almost as excited about the whole scheme as Tim)

That's were I will end this as-yet g-rated story.

We had a wonderful weekend and I was reminded again how blessed I am to have Tim in my life. I still wonder how I got so lucky to catch his eye. And really wonder why he was willing to wait so long for me. I am so glad he did! I love you more every day, Sweetheart!

All you husbands out there, the bar has been raised. As I recounted the story to my sisters-in-law they kept hitting their husbands and asking why they hadn't done something like this. I can't wait to see what happens for our 10th anniversary!


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