Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Venting

So, as the wife of an Elders Quorum President (the guy who presides over the Elders [the guys who are over 18 who aren't high priests ... yeah, I'm not good at explaining it all, since I'm not in EQ or High Priests, but bear with me] ... in simplest terms, a group of guys in a class/group at church), I sometimes am employed as an unofficial EQ Secretary. (I answer the phone when people call the house to ask Michael to arrange some elders to go over and help people move or arrange a couple elders to go give someone a blessing or whatever and he's not already home ... or, since I know a lot of people in the ward on Facebook, sometimes I'm asked to get hold of someone we've had no luck reaching any other way ...)

Which brings me to today .... .... .... Yeah.

SO, there's a family in our ward/congregation. I've known the husband for AGES. We grew up together. I was in Sunday School classes with one of his sisters. He and his family are in our ward. And we've only run into each other at church once.

For the last year (or thereabouts), he won't return phone calls or texts or anything. But I have him as a friend on Facebook.

So, per Michael's request, since he's not returned anyone's calls or whatever for the last few (many) months, I sent him a FB message and a text. This week, the EQ presidency (president, first and second counselors, and their secretary) are getting together with the Stake Presidency to visit some families in the ward. They were hoping to visit this family.

I sent a message and text that pretty much said, "Hey! This is Allanna! Are you and your family up for a visit at date/time? If not, get back to me! If I don't hear back from you, expect a visit! :)"

.... .... ....

Well, a couple hours later, I get a fb message:
I do not appreciate the manipulative manner in which you have attempted to illicit a response from me. If and when I am comfortable having you in my home, I will invite you - not the other way around. Until such a time should occur, please refrain from further manipulative communications. So, since I am not one who likes conflict or irritating/offending others, I figure that I can apologize ... even though I KNOW that asking for an RSVP is not usually classified as "manipulative" behavior. I wrote back:
You're right, [Name] ... I was not my best. I will admit that you're totally justified in calling me out on that. Michael (and his secretary, Brother [Secretary]) have had no luck whatsoever in touching bases with you. I was hoping that I might have better success. And I see that I was wrong.
I'm sorry. I do feel bad that you feel very disrespected. You have every right to your feelings.
I don't want to be a bother or offensive to you. And I'm sorry that I was.
What can I do to make things right? Because I do like you. I miss seeing you around, like when we were in the Canyonville Ward.
Please accept my apology for being a complete dunderhead and all other insults that I deserve. I wasn't trying to be a jerk. ... I just seem to have that talent. Which I will work on not having.
Sorry.
And then I went through feeling HORRIBLE because I've apparently been an awful, manipulative person. I called Michael and let him know what was up. I tried to stop crying, wracking my brain to figure how I messed this up. I called my mom (who knows this other party) ... and she assured me that I wasn't being a manipulative wretch. And, after Michael got home, he told me point-blank that I wasn't being manipulative. That this friend has been blowing off EVERYONE for ... well, nearly a year ... and that this was rather a last resort, since he never responds to anyone else (and, if Michael drops by, they don't answer the door). Michael's frustrated that [Name] isn't being gutsy enough to tell anyone that they don't want visits ... and that he then does this. I took a shower ... and cried some more (better than emotional eating, right? Right??) ... and I passed from being a sad-sack into crossing the threshold into near-blinding rage.
  • Seriously, I've known this guy for over TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. He knows me. He knows that I'm generally a good person. He probably is also aware that I can be a really sensitive person. And that I do my best not to be easily offended. And that I do my damndest not to offend others ... especially on purpose. I try NOT to be manipulative. I CAN be ... but I really try not to coerce others. Because it's not kind or right. And I want to be like Jesus, dammit. (Saying "damn so much is not very Christlike. I know. I'm human ... I'm aware.)
  • He could have JUST AS EASILY written something a heckuva lot more tactful. (e.g., "I'm sorry, Allanna. That doesn't fit our schedule. We're not up for visits at all. In fact, take us off the church records." OR "No, that doesn't work for us. Maybe we could meet up at a park or something in the summer." OR "Nope. Doesn't work." OR "Not ready for a visit. Put us as DNC (Do Not Contact)." ... ANY OF THOSE WOULD WORK AND NOT RESORT TO CALLING ME NAMES WHEN I'M ONLY TRYING TO HELP MY HUSBAND AND A FRIEND.
I mean, I'm not a really violent person. But, if I could quit seeping tears (now of rage instead of self-pity), I almost feel like punching something. Like this guy.

I mean, really ... "Silence implies consent" is a totally valid thing. If guys say it, they're not accused of being manipulative. They're lauded as leaders. When people are doing social things, being asked to RSVP is not out of the ordinary. You don't hear people getting invitations getting all pissy about saying if they can make it or not. Yes, I GET that it's a VISIT to THEIR HOUSE ... but this is NOT something out of the ordinary in our church. In fact, a family SHOULD be getting a visit from their home teachers AND a visit from their visiting teachers ... TWO visits per month! He grew up in this church. His dad (and granddad) have both been BISHOPS of the ward ... As my mom pointed out ... and Michael and I agree ... something is going on. And it's something that makes him uncomfortable ... uncomfortable enough to take it out on me. I mean, if I'm being manipulative, it's like Hello Kitty-level manipulation. If need be, I can TOTALLY pull out the big guns and be all Maleficent-level. But that's not really helping anyone. So, yeah ... I'm just really irked and more irked. I try to do something good. And ... well, THIS. I know, I know ... I need to take it on the chin. To have skin soft as rose petals and thick as naugahyde. I'm working on it. Still, if I didn't feel so blindsided by this, it'd be easier to deal with.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Call this my "Zombie Post," 'cause I'm obvs back from the dead!

Dude, way to fall off the blogging bandwagon, there. Sorry for that.

Let's see, what all has happened since I last blogged?

There's too much. Let me sum up.

  • Took some meals to people. Arranged a lot more meals for people ...
  • We cleaned the church last month. I was the drill sergeant, teaching Bruise and Bucket how to clean the bathrooms. I've got a SYSTEM, you know. It's not the BEST. But it works.
  • We had Bubbles' birthday party ... it went well. We used the air compressor to blow up over 150 balloons. We shoved said balloons into the kids' (clean) room as a balloon pit.
    Bubbles also surprised me by knowing EXACTLY how to blow out the candles. She didn't waste ANY time with that.
  • Michael and I renewed our Temple recommends. Always an important thing.
    (As I'm trying not to snot all over and drinking herbal tea.)
  • Been working at getting over this stupid sinus thing for a few weeks. Fun times!!
    This time, the new thing is that my ear plugged up inside ... so, when I talk, it's like being in a tunnel. I'm not wild about it. 
  • Our ward choir performed for Stake Conference. At one point, Michael had to go sit with our kids.
    Another gal I was sitting next to, leaned over and whispered, "Your kids are so well-behaved!"
    "That's because I yell at them. A LOT." I responded back.
    "I don't yell at [her youngest's name]. That's why she's such a little brat." She concluded.
    I had to work really hard not to snicker like a loon, up there in front of EVERYONE.
    This gal is very sweet and soft-spoken ... for her to say that ... it still cracks me up.
  • We had a local children's performing arts series. We missed all but this last one -- a wildlife presentation. A group brought a selection of endangered animals/wild animals to show the kids ... you know, to build awareness. Michael was impressed when I correctly identified the kinkajou.  There were also a Fennec fox (oh, I would love one!), a porcupine, a baby alligator, and a boa constrictor. I think that was everything.
    Then we took the kids to the local mall's kids club activity. They had an inflatable obstacle course. Bruise was in HEAVEN. Bucket enjoyed it (with a neighbor girl and a school chum) and then decided she was ready to make the craft.
  • My friend, Bri, had a Pure Romance party at her place. I got lost on the way (what kind of a crappy friend am I, not knowing how to get to my friends' place ... especially since they've lived there over a year. *sigh*). It was fun. She's planning another ... so I had to invest in a cute dress (since she wants to do a Breakfast at Tiffanys/LBD theme).
  • I volunteered at the kids' school for a day -- just fetching students for hearing assessments. Nothing huge. There was supposed to be another gal to volunteer, but things came up and she never showed up. It was nice. I ended up with a couple blisters from walking all over the school so much (I'm glad it's not a huge school!).
  • Like I said, I bought a LDB (which I have to wear over a shirt, but it is nice. And for only $18, I'm not complaining!! I also got new sunglasses and a new bag. Yay for Ross and TJ Maxx, right? And, due to a good coupon, I got a pair of (clearance shoes) at Famous Footwear for $10. And they're really comfy.
  • In other coupon-y news, I went to The Body Shop. Between their sale and the card I have, I saved over 50%. Made me happy. More body butters? How can I resist? And I'm liking their lip butters, too. I also got some of those new-fangled curlers over at Sally Beauty ... I had a $5 off coupon, my club card, AND a coupon for 15% off. So it was totally worthwhile to invest in the big pack.
  • Michael and I celebrated our 13th anniversary. We left the kids with Mom and Dad C and headed up to Astoria. We stayed a couple nights at a very nice hotel. We went to museums and state parks. I was not the most fun (stupid sinuses = 2.5 hour POWER NAP, plus lots of saline rinses and decongestants!) ... but it was a great time. It was so nice to just hang with my favoritest ... and to be able to mosey through things ... and not change diapers or deal with gimmie-gimmies. ^_^
    (Don't get me wrong! We did miss the kids ... but it was nice to have a break. And they were being thoroughly spoiled at grandma's.)
  • Once we were back home, it's just been usual stuff -- housework, taking Bruise to the dentist, RS activity, Visiting Teaching, church, birthday parties, ... the usual.
I've been working with Bruise on his Cub Scouts stuff. I'm hoping to keep the momentum that he can earn his Wolf badge by summer break ... then we can work on his arrow points during vacation. That'd be nice.

We've also fallen behind on memorizing the Articles of Faith. I was hoping that the kids would be through the eighth one by now ... but I think we're still on the sixth. My main goal is for them to have all thirteen memorized by the end of the year. Then I just have to have them recite them every so often to keep them fresh. ... After that, I think it'd be in their best interests to memorize the seminary scripture mastery verses. Just so that they actually DO it. I never did ... and I regret that. It'd be nice to be a Scriptorian.
Well, isn't that why we have kids? So that we have a second chance to do things right the first time? ;P

Okay, this house isn't cleaning itself ... so I'd better go do some housework. And run the errands that I need done. *sigh*

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Another catching-up-type post

Okay, I last posted OVER A WEEK AGO.

I know, I know, you're on pins and NEEDLES, waiting with bated breath, for this post.

Sometimes, I really wonder why, though. I'm not all that exciting.

Like, last night, Michael is ALMOST asleep.
And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, I state, "I want a pet lizard."
"...Whaa?"
"I don't know why. I just want one. ... And, if our house were less drafty, I'd want finches, too."

Yup, living with me is TONS OF FUN.

What else has gone on ... I've been keeping busy with my calling at church (I'm the Relief Society Compassionate Service Leader ... which means that when people NEED stuff, either they call me and I report to the RS President to get permission/guidance OR they let the RS Prez know right off and she calls ME so that I can get stuff organized/ set up. ... If people are really sick or injured or have just given birth or things are really tough, that's when I get phone calls).

We have one sister who just had surgery. One with quite a few health problems who WILL be having surgery. One who probably SHOULD have surgery. And one whose husband (who takes care of her) is in the hospital having surgery.

And I get to try and figure out who to call to ask them to take over meals/check on/provide rides for these gals. As my RS President has said, it's really a feast or famine calling ... so I either feel COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED or rather useless. It's flattering, though, that she assures me that things would fall apart without me. Very sweet of her. (My secret for organization? Google Documents and my Google Calendar -- the Cozi Calendar is mainly for MY family stuff).
I did hit up the last Compassionate Service Leader (a family friend) yesterday. And, while I told her that I often have NO IDEA why they called me to this, since I often feel rather inept at it, she just told me, "It's because you're so sweet."

Awwww. And I can't say if it's totally true, since I don't feel like I'm always that sweet.
But I do try to be very cordial ... and I at least attempt to be efficient (which reminds me, I need to get another three or more meals set up ... Like laundry, it doesn't ever seem to end. Until it does and you're left for a minute, panting ... and then it starts up again).

The other big thing last week was the Cub Scouts' Blue and Gold banquet ... and cake auction.
For the cake auction, the Cub Scouts all bring a cake to be auctioned off to raise money for Day Camp and things. There's also a little bake sale for the people who don't want to bid or who'd rather not have a cake or whatever.

Bruise made (with our help, even Bucket's ... but not Bubbles') a LEGO Farm cake.
  • Rice Krispies barn, covered in red and white fondant (my kids pronounce it JUST like Buddy on "Cake Boss," which is ADORBZ.)
  • Chocolate layer cake with a chocolate frosting filling
  • Green vanilla frosting covered with "grass" (green toasted coconut shavings) and a "path" (graham cracker crumbs)
  • LEGO bricks, yellow-colored white chocolate, with black gel piping = hay bales
  • painted white chocolate LEGO figures as the farmers
  • A LEGO horse, along with a regular-shaped bunny and chicken ... all molded/sculpted out of marzipan.
I mean, we went out WHOLE HOG. And it looked pretty good.
It was the first one up to auction, which means that it went rather low ... but it was bought (by a friend) for $80.
We bought, with another family, a different cake ... which went to the missionaries.
So we also got the kids some cupcakes from the bake sale.

After all of that, I was READY for some rest.

Then it was payday ... and Michael's paycheck didn't get deposited, so we had to put our weekend plans (nothing big -- grocery shopping; the kids wanted to look at toys) on hold.
We did the free stuff: Home Depot Kids' workshop (Trojan Horse banks from the Mr. Peabody and Sherman movie coming out) and the mall was having a Dr. Seuss party (crafts and get a free book -- Bruise got a way-too-easy-for-him Hot Wheels book. Bucket and Bubbles cooperated ... which meant that we got a couple of J.K. Rowling books, the ones about Quidditch and Magical Beasts ... so our HP collection is, for now, complete).

After that, Michael and the kids watched a movie. I put Bubbles down for a nap. I took a bath and read in bed for the rest of the day (trying not to freak out about the missing paycheck ... I mean, it's KIND OF IMPORTANT, you know?).

Sunday, Michael had meetings before church. We brought the snack for Nursery, like we signed up for a few months in advance (one of the Nursery workers mad made a new sign-up and missed that we had signed up. Whoops! But the snack that she brought will be next week's snack). After church, Michael and I had temple recommend interviews (it's that time! March = our anniversary and, every other year now, time to renew that temple recommend!).
His meeting AFTER church was cancelled ... so he took Bruise home while I drove the girls home.
We fed the kids lunch and he took a nap while Bubbles got a nap and Bruise and Bucket played video games.
Then, my ride for RS Presidency Visits showed up and I had to run out of the house.
(He gave me a hard time later, Michael that is, because I didn't wake him up to say goodbye. ... I still maintain that I had to run out the door AND he needed sleep. I find it hard to fall back asleep during the day ... AND he had come home at lunch on Thursday and crashed for the rest of the day. He OBVS needed sleep.)
Then we had choir and went home and fed the kids and got the trash out ... *phew*

(Sunday, the day of rest? HA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Maybe when I'm dead. ... And I don't really think even then.)

Yesterday morning, though, the paycheck had appeared in our account. PHEW!
AND it was Bubbles' birthday. Little munchkin is TWO now, can you believe it?

She and I cleaned up the front rooms a bit and did the dishes and some laundry.
Yeah, exciting birthday plans.
Michael came home early and we went out to dinner.
Then he and I watched our Netflix DVD ("Pulling Strings" It's pretty cute. We can totally recommend it!) after the kids went to bed.

Besides that, the exciting stuff is that I've been dealing with those scammers some more.
You know, those ones that call about your computer. Hindi-type accent.

Since they're not being honest, I don't feel the need to be as polite as I would to a genuine charity or survey caller.

So, lately, I've told them that I'm planning a murder. Or that I'm dead. Stuff like that.
If you're really curious and want more in-depth write-ups, I posted on Facebook about them. My friends seem to think that I'm quite brilliant/hilarious ... which is a big reason that I love my friends. They're just too sweet and kind. That and they make me laugh.

But I have library books to read and a house to get clean for Bubbles' birthday party this weekend. So I should close this up.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TMI Tag!

In full disclosure, I totally stole this from Kandee Johnson's blog.

1: What are you wearing?
A grey long-sleeved shirt I've had since my freshman year of college, jeans, and white socks. And underthings. And earrings. And my wedding set (rings). And a bandage on my left pinky.

2: Ever been in love? 
Well, I should very well hope so! I mean, I'm MARRIED. I'd sure hope that I love Michael (I do)!

3: Ever had a terrible breakup?
Ha, Michael and I were just talking about that. I wouldn't say that any of my break-ups have been SUPERFUN or anything ... but I had to break up with my first boyfriend THREE TIMES (and he did fight that last one), which meant that I was rebuffing all attempts to get back together. Not fun or easy ... but necessary (We weren't good for each other, really.)

4: How tall are you?
     5'4.75" ... Most people round it up to 5'5".

5: How much do you weigh?
Um ... that's a good question! We don't have a working scale in the house, so ... um ... I know that I have to be less than 500 pounds. And I know that I'm definitely over 100 pounds. So ... yeah. I really don't know. 

6: Any tattoos?
Nope. Not for me. But I do like watching L.A. Ink.


7: Any piercings?
I have earrings. I used to have two sets of earrings. But I only wear one pair of earrings.


8: OTP?
Estrella and Spike (long story, but it's from fanfic that one of my friends and I wrote in high school. Before fanfic was a THING. Yes, I'm THAT OLD. Be afraid.)


9: Favorite show?
That's almost a funny question. We don't really watch TV (no cable/satellite), so I usually forget there's more to live than Netflix or Amazon Prime Streaming. ... Right now, I'm really enjoying Sherlock and Downton Abbey. Michael and I started watching BBC America's Bedlam, and that's pretty awesome.
I also have enjoyed Firefly, House, MD; Bones, Castle, The Big Bang Theory, The IT Crowd, So You Think You Can Dance, Doctor Who, Daria, Whose Line Is It Anyway, ... Yeah, I'm rather eclectic. 

10: Favorite bands?
I actually don't listen to a whole lot of music (unless I'm in the car), so I'm not hip with all the current bands (one reason I love SYTYCD is that I get to hear a lot of fun songs). If nothing else, I do like Queen something fierce. But I usually end up belting out songs from Disney movies or Broadway musicals. 


11: Something you miss? There are a lot of things that I miss. Often, I miss PEOPLE (my Grandma D, Pop-pop, friends who've moved away). but I also miss stores that have gone out of business, books that I've read but don't own ... my HS body ... being in theatre in high school, since I had AWESOME friends there ...

12: Favorite song?
Oh, that's a very loaded question. I like a lot for different reasons. It's like asking me to narrow down a favorite book. ...  For this second, I'll say "As the World Falls Down" from Labyrinth (David Bowie). Because I LOVED that song and still do, over 20 years later.
But, if you ask me again, it might be something different.

13: How old are you?
I'm 32 ... getting close to 33.
I know! I've never been this old before! It's quite uncanny!

14: Zodiac sign? I'm an Aries ... but I really don't buy into the stars controlling our fate.
If you're going with the Chinese zodiac, I'm a metal Rooster.
(Which makes me think of The Bloggess's post about "Beyonce." "This Rooster WILL CUT YOU." Be aware, the link has quite the amount of profanity, but it's so hilarious. I'm talking eye-watering guffaws, here.)

15: Quality you look for in a partner?
Intelligence and a sense of humor.
I don't know which is more important, really. I can't feel comfortable around someone if they don't have a sense of humor. And I need to be able to have a good conversation with people.
Thankfully, Michael possesses BOTH these attributes, along with a crazy amount of patience. Phew!!
(I totally lucked out!!)


16: Favorite Quote?
17: Favorite actor? I like quite a few. Benedict Cumberbatch is brilliant. As is Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Jennifer Coolidge, Tom Hiddleston, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Ellen Page, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tundyk, Anthony Stewart Head, Lee Pace, Kristin Chenoweth, Colin Macherie, Ryan Stiles, Seth Green ... the list does go on quite a bit ...


18: Favorite color?
I don't like having to choose ONE favorite color. Wouldn't that hurt the other colors' feelings??
But, I like blues, greens, purples.
I like jeweltones.
I like pastels.
I like pink.
I like black and white.
I love grey.



19: Loud music or soft?
If I'm trying to work on something, soft, please.
(Like I said, I often don't even think of turning on music or the TV).
If I'm dancing or hardcore cleaning? Loud is better.
But not TOO loud. I don't relish getting a migraine from things being too loud.

20: Where do you go when you’re sad?
I often curl up in bed with a good book (usually an old favorite, since I KNOW it WILL make me feel better. Or the shower, for a good cry without having saltwater stuck in my eyes for overlong. Owww.)

21: How long does it take you to shower?
Around 15 minutes?
Depending if I am shaving or doing a deep-conditioning treatment.
Or if I'm trying to get warm.
Or if I need a good cry.
Or if I'm in a terrible rush.


22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
23: Ever been in a physical fight?
24: Turn on?
25: Turn off?
26: The reason I joined Youtube?
Morbid curiosity? Does that count?
Honestly, it was to enable myself to post videos and maybe vlog with my Bri (but I am too verbose for that).

27: Fears?
I am full of (mostly-irrational) fears. I worry that I'll poke my eye out on the corner of the tiny counter as I get up from the toilet in our master bathroom. I worry that Michael will die. I worry that I'll fail my children. I worry that I'll be bigger than Michael. I worry that I'll lose my teeth. I worry that my sun spots on my cheek won't ever go away. I worry that I'm a terrible friend/person. I worry that I'll end up with diabetes. I worry that my ankle will always feel borked ... I'm a worrier.


28: Last thing that made you cry?
Probably frustration. Or being tired. Or hormones. I don't really recall.



29: Last time you said you loved someone?
This morning, surfacing to consciousness as Michael kissed me before he headed to work.

30: Meaning behind your YouTube Name?
Um ... It's Allanna Lee (my first and middle names) minus the first syllable.
Not anything too crazy.
And it's one of my real-life nicknames, so it's easy-peasy-rice-and-cheesy to remember.
(Bonus points: It's pronounced "LAWN-nuh Lee," from Ah-LAWN-ah LEE." See? Not hard at all!)

31: Last book you read?
"Timeline" by Michael Crichton


32: The book you’re currently reading?
Here's the books that I'm currently reading:
"Studying the Scriptures" by Gene R. Cook,
"The Chronicles of Harris Burdick" - 14 authors have written short stories to go along with the pictures by Chris van Allsburg, ... and quite a few that either Michael and I have started together, or that I've started and haven't yet finished.


33: Last show you watched?
Like I mentioned, Michael and I started watching Bedlam last night.

34: Last person you talked to? On the phone? That'd be a gal from church, since I'm working at getting meals set up for another gal al church (having surgery in a week). In person would be the kids. 

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
She's a friend from church.
We used to Visit Teach each other.
(The text before THAT is from the library ... Total BFFs, right?)


36: Favorite food?
The edible ones ... I don't care for corned beef hash. But I like most other things.

I just really like food a lot.

37: Place you want to visit? Scotland. Great Britain, really. Belgium. Australia. New Zealand. Hawai'i. Germany. The Smithsonian. The Mutter Museum. Madame Tussaud's. Okunoshima Island. ... Japan. China. I'd like to go to Victoria, BC again. The Galapagos Islands ...

38: Last place you were?
Um, I ran an errand to the library, Safeway, and to deliver a meal. Does that count?
If not, our last vacation was Disneyland and LEGOLand. It was awesome. Our first REAL family vacation. It was AWESOME.


39: Do you have a crush? I am still crushing on my awesome husband. That counts, right?

40: Last time you kissed someone? I believe I mentioned that Michael kissed me goodbye this morning as he left for work. I'll be collecting kisses from the kids before they scurry off to school this morning.

41: Last time you were insulted? I poke fun at myself everyday. If that's not what you're looking for, I don't really recall when or who last insulted me. I try not to keep score (even if it hurts at the time).

42: Favorite flavor of sweet? I like fresh raspberries. I also like cherry-flavored sweets. Love chocolates (dark or milk, please). Lemon is good, too. I don't much care for green apple (unless it's jolly Ranchers) or blue raspberry. What a travesty. (Sorry if you LOVE blue raspberry. I like real raspberries. Sorry.)

43: What instruments do you play? 
I can play the radio.
I can plunk out a melody on the piano. (I used to take lessons. Should have practiced so much more.)
I've learned to play a pure note on the flute. I can get a clarinet to not screech. I can draw a bow across the strings of a violin. I can play a note on a trumpet. I used to know how to play a couple songs on the ukulele in fifth grade. And the recorder-flute in second or third grade.
Besides the piano, though, I don't know what notes I'm trying to play.


44: Favorite piece of jewelry?
I'll say my wedding set (engagement ring and wedding band), since I wear it constantly.

45: Last sport you played? 
Hahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaa.
Haahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa!!! 
Oh, wait, you're being serious??
I played volleyball in seventh grade. Did not much care for it. 
After regular PE classes, I took a karate class in college. Again, not what my heart is in.
I like to go swimming in rivers for fun (but that's hard with littles).
I'm not very athletic.
I did a 5K once. Mostly walking. Folks worried that I (and Jenny, who COULD manage to run it all, but was kind enough to walk with my out-of-breath self), was lost.
Nope. Just have no stamina.


46: Last song you sang?
In the shower, you mean? Probably "Let it Go," since that's Bubbles' favorite song right now. Maybe bits of "Love is an Open Door." In front of an audience, I had a solo line in one of the songs from "Savior of the World - Act Two: His  Resurrection." Unless you count singing in church choir. We've been practicing every week lately.


47: Favorite chat up line? You're assuming that I chat up people on a regular basis. Still, the best one I've learned was "Nice shoes." 

48: Have you ever used it? Actually, yes. Didn't really pan out, but honest compliments are always good.

49: Last time you hung out with anyone? 
Besides Michael, you mean? 
I had a Relief Society (church women's group) activity last week. 
If you're talking purely social, then um, a couple months ago, I visited with my Roxy for the day. Took her out for a birthday lunch, we played SongStar (in which I had my bum properly handed to me on a silver platter), and chatted and drank sparking pear cider.
Because we are wild and crazy kids.


50: Who should answer these questions next?
Um, whoever wants to ... I'm not going to demand anyone do anything they don't want to. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

For the Record

So, I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Otherwise stated as, "I'm Allanna. And I'm a Mormon."

With the recent brouhaha about how SOME people think that Frozen has some "gay agenda" or whatever ... let alone how many times people state that "the Mormon church HATES gays" or whatever (Seriously, I've only been a attending this church since I was three ... so it's been nearly 30 years, you don't have to TELL me what I'm "supposed to" believe. ... Some people's children ... *rolls eyes* Bless their hearts).

I just want to state, for the official record of this blog ---

YOU ARE LOVED.
Heavenly Father loves you. Regardless of your beliefs, your choices, your actions, ... race, religion, gender, nationality, whatever ... it doesn't matter to Him. He loves you.
Jesus loves you. Same deal there ... He loves you just as much as anyone else.
Nothing is ever going to change that.
Any person proclaiming to follow Jesus Christ should also strive to love all people and to treat them as Jesus would want them to be treated.

YOU ARE LOVED.

People are not perfect. Sometimes we fail.
There are times that I am NOT AT ALL Christlike.
That does not change the fact that you ARE loved; that you should be treated with respect; that you are a valuable person.


Now, as I said, none of us is perfect. We will all make mistakes. We will all sin.
Even though Heavenly Father will not always approve of every choice we make, He still loves us.
He still loves YOU.


Sometimes people will have opinions which are contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ or to prophetic counsel/revelations. Even if it is a wide-held, pervasive belief or practice, it doesn't make it right OR official church stance.

And this is not, by any means, limited to homosexuality.

I have friends who have found that being a member of the LDS Church to be a difficult situation.
They have been judged unfairly and unkindly by some brothers and sisters.

Regardless, I think the world would be a very different, for the better, place if we could all just employ a little (or a lot) more love and patience in dealing with those around us.

The saying is old, and a little trite, that we should "Be kind. For everyone is fighting a hard battle."
And it's true that we all have a different perspective on ... well ... nearly everything!
That's what makes this world such a great and interesting place.

Just know, that if I've ever done or said anything that has offended or hurt you, I'm sorry.
I wouldn't want you to be hurt because of me.
(I'll admit that I don't condone every choice or behavior that people can make. But I will do my darndest to show you love and respect. Because you deserve that. And, even when I do my best, I know that I'm more than likely to mess up sometime.)

Also, if anyone else has offended you ... like they say in "Frozen," "Let it go."
Not because the person deserves to be let off the hook ... but because life is too short for you to waste your time and energy on feelings that hurt YOU.
If you can, pray for them.
Even if you can't do that, look around the world and find something good.
Concentrate on that.

If nothing else, this is a standing offer: Come to me. Chat me up. And I will tell you something good about yourself. If we're in person, I'll even give you a hug.

I just don't want anyone to feel alone, unloved, unvalued.
Because, truly, you are not any of those things.

You are loved. More than you know.
You are precious.
You're not alone ... even at the times that you might feel the most alone. 

Even if you don't believe in God or anything like that ... just know that we are all in this together. 

Okay?
Just know that you count.
It's totally true.
No matter who you are.
You count.
You matter.
You are loved.
You are important.
You are deserving of appreciation and respect.
It is not always easy, this life ... but you are strong.

And, if anyone tells you any different, I will have to REALLY PRAY for them
(so that, if I meet them in person, I will not kick them in the face. Because that's assault. And I'm too pretty for prison. Also, it's not Christlike at all. So I shouldn't do that. ... Unless they're trying to hurt me or my people. And you're totally one of my people. See? I told you that you're important!!)

International Night and other things to catch up on ...

Yes, I suck (at blogging on a more regular basis). And I don't really have any good excuses.

I mean, for a week or so, my house WAS cleaner and all ... but that's no longer the case. Ha ha ha....

So, I last blogged on the tenth, my Aunt J's birthday.
She enjoyed our little serenade.

Bucket's had her activity days for the month. On the first one, they wrote letters to missionaries. This last week, they learned to knit and crochet a little. She mostly, though, has used her yarn to ... string across the hallway or around the kitchen.
Mommy does not approve of that.

Bruise has had most of his Cub Scout meetings (until the Blue and Gold at the end of the month). He's having fun, which is good.

Mom and J came up last week for J's birthday celebration. We went out to lunch and then J and I got mani/pedis while Mom watched V (her idea, my mom's that is!) ... and I had to skedaddle from the mall to the house, where Bruise and Bucket were waiting outside (Bruise had to pee in the bushes) and then they scrambled into the car and we drove back to meet Mom and J at the mall. Good times, good times when I forget my phone at home and can't see a clock!

I made J's favorite dish of mine (pasta carbonara) for dinner. And we watched "The Holiday" after the kids went to bed (since I couldn't find a copy of "Austenland" at Target, since she would have enjoyed that).

Friday, I drove the kids to school, along with one of my friend's kids to another school across town. And, since Michael was home, I was able to manage to pick up her kids ... since Michael was able to meet our kids at home. So that worked well.

Saturday was going to be really busy (Children's Performance - acrobat/juggler guy, then the Mall's Kids' club in the morning. Then a movie date with friends. And Michael and I had a date night), but we had to cancel the morning plans so that Bruise and Bucket would actually get their room clean. It was a disaster in there.
I ended up leaving at one point to go to Target (partly to run an errand for my mom, partly to get OUT OF THE HOUSE) ... I returned with discounted V-day chocolates for Michael and me, a hand lotion, and a medicinal Cherry Coke. Good times.

We made it to the movie -- we LOVE The LEGO Movie. Totally recommend it. I've already pre-ordered it.

Michael and I went to the Valentine's Dinner and Dance that was at church. We got to sit and talk with some friends from other wards (congregations), which was awesome. Then, after the dinner, we danced one dance, had some punch ... and went to Wal-Mart. I found Michael a DVD (4-in-1: Dune, Battlestar Gallactica, The Last Starfighter, and Flash Gordon. ... Yes, I know, I'm the BESTEST wife ever.) and we picked up Subway. Then I ran our babysitter home and we ate our sandwiches and watched Ender's Game.

Yup, we are SO romantical.

Sunday, we called my Nana for her 83rd birthday. Had to make a few calls, turns out she was staying with my Dad and L for her birthday. So, we serenaded THEIR answering machine (to Nana's delight). The rest of the day was church and choir and getting garbage out to the curb. Fun times!

Nothing much happened on Monday ... in fact, I've been really lazy this week. As you'd be able to tell if you looked at the state of the house. #notgonnalie

Tuesday, there was the RS (women's group) activity during Activity Days. An officer in our Stake (group of congregations) taught us about personal safety and self-defense. It was pretty good.
Of course, I was sitting next to a friend and, at one point, he was talking about how --if needed-- you COULD cut off the carotid arteries -- after six seconds, your attacker would lose consciousness, giving you the chance to get away (though, by doing it, you take the chance of loosening any plaque in the arteries, which could lead to a heart blockage ... so he does NOT recommend practicing it on people), and I leaned over to AG and whispered, "IT'S THE VULCAN DEATH GRIP!!" and she snickered back, "I KNOW!!"

Michael took Bruise to his last Den Meeting of the month ... and picked up Austenland for me at Target. It's really cute. Doesn't always follow the book ... but very cute. I'm looking forward to showing it to Mom and J.

Yesterday was International night at the kids' school. Their grade was assigned Europe, so the classes did the United Kingdom (Bucket helped on making a little Union Jack flag with another classmate. She said that cutting out all the red stripes was HARD.), Spain (Bruise cut out some pictures of food), and the other class did Belgium.

Since we were requested (not required) to bring a potluck dish, I looked up Spanish foods and made Magdalenes. I'd never heard of them before ... but the recipe is really simple (Bruise and Bucket helped). They're lemon cupcakes (sugar, eggs, butter, lemon peel [I used lemon extract, since I didn't have any lemons], milk, flour, baking powder ... sprinkle with sugar before baking). They're really just a sweet lemon muffin. A lemon glaze would be nice on them, too.

And the kids all performed some songs and dances from their assigned continent.
They sang a song from Spain ... don't ask me what it is called or is about.
They sang "Mein Hut hat drei Ecken"/"My Hat Has Three Corners" (with hand motions!) ... because, um, a song from England/Scotland/Wales/N. Ireland wouldn't be fun? I don't know. But Bruise and Bucket were impressed that I knew what the song meant. Three+ years of German will do that! Even if it WAS over a decade ago...
They also did a dance from Belgium. If I could have heard what the kids were reading, I might be able to tell you what it was called. But it involved couples holding hands and promenading forward, backwards, then joining arms and spinning to and fro, then stopping and doing some epic jazz-hands/arms like a diva.
Very cute.

And we stopped and got milkshakes on the way home, since most of us were still hungry.
I think Bucket's undergoing a growth spurt ... or she just REALLY wanted a burrito. We discussed where to eat and she suggested burritos. Bruise wanted milkshakes. We agreed on milkshakes. And, after getting home Bucket broke down in tears that we didn't also get burritos.
(Meanwhile, little Bubbles has STOLEN Michael's milkshake. ... She also announced, when I got to the bottom of mine, "Ahh gohh[n]!!" She CAN talk!!)

Michael was pretty impressed by how many people said hi to Bubbles (Obligatory MG quote: "She doesn't even go here!") ... but, as I reasoned, when I wore her to school when I volunteered for a few months, people get to know her. If nothing else, she'll feel right at home when she starts Kindergarten in another three years, right?

Today, I got (mostly) caught up on dishes. I need to get a shower. I need to read about a bazillion books. I need Bubbles to take her nap. The kids, after school, will be going to Grandma and Grandpa's. We get to go to the temple. That'll be nice.

I think that's really about everything to report ...

Monday, February 10, 2014

The long ... surprise ... winter

So, where did we last leave off?

Bruise was NOT awarded his Bobcat badge last week ... because, apparently, Pack Meeting was cancelled (since we'll be meeting as a pack for the Blue and Gold Banquet). And everyone was SUPPOSED to receive an email Tuesday ... but that didn't happen. Most of us were (shivering) in our cars in the parking lot until we were told that, "Hey! Thanks for showing up! Go home!" Oh well.

Bruise was disappointed. I was irritated and disappointed. Bucket, though, OH, she burst into tears and roared, "We packed [books/bags] FOR NO REASON!!" ... Oh well ... so, we all went to Target and got the rest of a present for a friend's birthday. And, while we were all there (Michael and Bubbles were along, too), we just browsed around for a little.

Also, the McTeacher Night at a local McDonalds went well. We had dinner (the sacrifices that Michael makes. He does NOT care for Mickey-Ds at ALL) and I got a strawberry and creme pie. So it was all good. We chatted with one of their first-grade teachers, one of the gals from the office, and the principal. Good times.

It snowed Thursday. Michael had gone to work, so I was keeping tabs on the weather.
School was cancelled. The snow kept coming (and coming and coming) down. It was crazy.
Finally, around 10 in the morning, I called Michael and told him to come home early.
It took him about twice as long to get home (couldn't take the freeway, due to a 20-car pile up ... which ended up being more like a 50-car pile-up), but he made it. And stayed home Friday.

I don't remember it ever snowing as much as we got on Thursday (which was around 9 inches), but I'm told that back in '88, we got about eight inches of snow one winter back home.

And it KEPT snowing.

It ended up being 15 inches ... and we're in an area where we barely see more than 2-4 inches of snow at a time, tops. Most people don't have snow shovels. Some of us have chains or studded tires. There are TWO snowplows for the entire state. ... One of which has crashed yesterday. ... Yeah.

So, our town (and many around it) have just about completely shut down. The kids are still of of school today (Monday). We had Sacrament Meeting (one-hour) of church with four wards combined ... and, if you didn't feel like you could make it safely, it was asked that you stay home and safe.

That birthday celebration that the kids were going to go to? Postponed.
Going up to visit the grandfolks, back from Florida? Postponed.
Choir cancelled, since our choir leader and her family can't get out of their house.

And a lot of friends in other areas are laughing that our area has totally shut down with "only" 8-15 inches of snow. Because they're dealing with below-zero (Fahrenheit) temperatures and FEET of snow ... and everyone there KNOWS how to drive in snow. AND their roads get plowed.
So ... yeah.
We know how to deal with floods and crazy amounts of rain ... but we don't have ANY plows in our COUNTY, let alone our city.

So ... yeah. And I'm trying not to freak out. Michael's LOVING all the snow. Bruise and Bucket enjoy it well enough (except for cancelling most of our plans). Bubbles HATES it (If we take her outside into it, she SOBS if we don't hold her. If she's in the car or whatever, she's fine. But she does NOT like to be out in the snow).

I went a bit crazy ... Friday, we fed the Elders (missionaries). We also had a couple of girls over to play with Bruise, Bucket, and Bubbles. I made a beef stew and (crusty, dense) bread, and rice pudding. Saturday, being snowed in for this long, not knowing if we'd lose power or not (we haven't so far. PHEW!), I made a potato-corn-bacon chowder, breadsticks, whole-wheat apple muffins, oatmeal, and a chocolate teff pudding.
Apparently, that burnt me out, since I didn't cook Sunday. But I did binge-watch season two of Downton Abbey. Nine hours after starting, I'm one season closer to getting caught up. It's a start.

Today, I had the kids "clean" their room. I use those quotation marks so that you know that they didn't REALLY get it clean. But there's progress. And I'm trying not to have an aneurysm over it.
I got caught up on the dishes and am working at getting caught up on the laundry. Which will take a while. But we have company (Mom and my Aunt J) coming over in a couple days. So ... yeah.

I'm ready to have NO snow anymore. The roads are getting clearer ... full of slush.
I would be glad not to have to deice the heatpump anymore.
The kids and I are looking forward to school ... I need some time that's QUIET.

And I need to clean out the fridge.
And do a million other things. And I just want to hole up with flannel sheets, down comforters, sparkling cider, hot cocoa, and a dozen books. With maybe some VERY soft classical-type music playing. Instead of TRYING to hear what's being said at Downton (and failing), with the volume turned up to 50, and the kids running around, screeching and screaming.
(Wonder why I have a headache?)

Oh well.

I'm a bit jealous that Michael's gone off to work. His coworkers aren't nearly as loud or demanding (most times, ha ha, I'm sure. Really, he's got a great group there.) as our brood.
Maybe for my birthday, I should ask for noise-cancelling headphones?

In good news, Mom's and my Body Shop order came in. I smell amazing (monoi oil and honey body butter). Season Three of Sherlock should arrive tomorrow. My frying pan should arrive Wednesday (just in time for me to make sure to replenish my supply of cornmeal).

Well, it looks like the White Witch's reign is coming to an end. And not any time too soon.

Especially since my comrade-in-arms deserted me with the kids to go earn that paycheck.
(Can we make telecommuting a thing? Soon??)

Okay. Time to close this up and be a mom again.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The last two weeks ...

Yes, yes, yes ... it's been too long. And I don't have any wildly wonderful excuses.

(Totally unrelated: Why do I have this CRAZYSTRONG urge to play Myst RIGHTNOW?)

Let's see ... what's gone on ...

So, I last posted on the 21st. It's been two weeks ... There's got to be stuff.

  • Not a whole lot really happened that first week after blogging...
    Bruise had a den meeting (FINALLY got things signed off).
    I met with the school Speech Specialist on how to help improve his "vocalic R" ... and to work on his "sh" sounds (since he's missing his front teeth right now, it's all about mouth shape. And that R is all about tongue placement. If we just practice a little, often, we'll be doing fine. If he thinks about it, he does much better. So we just need to get it so he doesn't HAVE to think about it).
  • There was the school's Winter Celebration (postponed due to the snowstorm in December).
    Since there are lots of families at the school who don't celebrate holidays, we have a shindig to celebrate FAMILIES. Each child gets a book (Bruise chose one about planets. Bucket nabbed a Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew. I steered her toward that instead of YET ANOTHER Magic Tree House [hey, we have over 20 of those]. Bubbles, being my favorite, let me grab the ONE volume of a series that I was missing [It was kismet, seeing "The River" on the table. Now I have the whole Hatchet series. We're currently just over halfway through "The Hatchet." Now, if we so choose, we can continue Brian's adventures!]) and every family gets a board game (we got ourselves Clue. And I'll be ordering the Master Detective version sometime for Michael. He's YEARNED for it for ages).
    There was also Mexican Hot Chocolate, oranges, cookies, and bottled water in the cafeteria.
    A very nice night.
  • After that, we worked at getting ready for Bruise and Bucket's baptism. Lots of cleaning the house ... Mom and I made sure that they had clothes ready (including white underwear ... which they found hilarious. But it was a real thing! You're in a white jumpsuit. If you don't wear white underwear, everyone will see your panties!). Michael gave each of them a blessing the night before their baptismal interview (You meet with your bishop [like a minister/pastor] and he asks questions to make sure that you're ready for baptism).
    Now, Bubbles saw BOTH her siblings get blessings. So, after Bucket and Bruise had their blessings, she hopped into the chair and folded her arms. So she got a blessing, too. It was very cute.
  • Monday (the 28th), a friend and I scheduled a playdate for us ... a baking day. She came by and we made cinnamon rolls (We used DandelionMama's cinnabon recipe). I also tried to get her into Firefly, but that wasn't happening. We still had a lot of fun. And the cinnamon rolls were well-received by our families. ^_^
  • Tuesday, I got together with another friend. She, her daughter, and her granddaughter met up with Bubbles and me at the play structure at the mall. ... then I mostly tried to clean up the house a bit.
  • Thursday, the kids were off school, so I enlisted them in cleaning the front rooms (we planned that we could have a little get-together after the kids' baptism). They worked on the carpeted areas (dining room, great room, living room) and I worked on the kitchen. They also worked on their bedroom ... where Bubbles climbed into the top bunk and fell out, giving herself a big, ol' scratch on her cheek. *sigh*
    It went okay. The deal was, if they worked, we could go to Michael's work the next day.
  • Friday, we headed to "visit R" as Bruise and Bucket said (R is Michael's boss). Bruise REALLY wanted to go so that he could play a game of chess with him (There's a chess set in R's office) (R and Michael used to play chess during lunch for a while, but it was too stressful for them both).
    R had quite a few projects to work on, but he told Bruise to come see him about an hour before the workday ended (Fridays are the short day).
    So we hung out a bit, then headed over to Trader Joe's (As Michael puts it, I use my trips to his work as a pilgrimage to Trader Joe's. ... Gotta get my cheese fix!! I picked up my Toscana and, this time, I opted to try the Bacon Cheddar. It was good. I think we like the Chocolate Cheddar better). We hung out in the break room (I read Thursday's and Friday's newspapers ... mostly to spite Bucket, who told me that Michael and I never read the newspaper. Because we don't subscribe to one. We get most of our news online!) ... and Bruise was off like a shot at 11 on the dot.
    R figured that it'd be, at most, a ten-minute game. However, Bruise surprised the lot of us. It took nearly half an hour for R to beat Bruise. (The boy's got a mind for strategy. He gets that from Michael.)
    Then, a little later, the workday was over and we headed home and finished cleaning the house.
  • Saturday morning, we took the kids to Home Depot for the free kids' craft (a race car this time. SO MUCH better than that stupid calendar. Even though there wasn't ANY glue, which would have made things MUCH easier. Still, it's free. And we had fun).
    After that, we headed to Costco and Safeway to pick up things for our get-together after the kids' baptism (veggie tray, fruit tray, cookies, flowers) and put things together and relaxed until it was time to get ready.
  • I did Bucket's hair (a braid around her head) and combed Bruise's hair. We got all the kids dressed. We grabbed the camera for pre-baptism pictures. We went to the church.
    Turns out that Bruise and Bucket were the ONLY kids being baptised in the Stake (regional area, a group of wards [congregations]) that day.
    We were a little worried that no one from Michael's side would come, but, thankfully, his Uncle D and Grandma C were there. My mom and C, my stepdad, were there. And we had lots of family friends there, too.
    Funnily enough, only Mom and C came over to the house. And they brought KFC for dinner. So it was rather hilarious that I'd made sure to have so much food ready. Murphy's law, right?
  • It was a really nice baptism. Michael performed the baptisms. Uncle D and one of our Home Teachers witnessed. Michael voiced the blessing for giving Bruise and Bucket the gift of the Holy Ghost (assisting were C, our home teacher, Uncle D,  and our bishop).
    Bubbles was rather miffed that SHE didn't get to get dunked in the giant bathtub OR get a blessing like Bruise and Bucket, but the Mentos from my friend, Dianne, did wonders for distracting her.
  • Bucket gave a talk in Primary on Sunday. She "let" me write her talk for her.
    (I wrote a rough draft, she looked it over and pronounced it "perfect!" ... We ("we," that is) were able to use The Fourth Article of Faith, talk about her baptism, and talk about the Plan of Salvation. She delivered it well. And I told her that she's so lucky to have a mother that writes such good talks. ;P
  • Choir has started up again. Our ward will be performing at Stake Choir in ... six weeks or thereabouts. We still need more people, but we've got a good start. And we have a good start on two (of three) songs.
  • Yesterday, the kids went back to school and I had a lazy day. Besides chatting with my dad, chatting with my mom, and doing a little online shopping (Hey, I like a good sale on practical things!!) and reading a book (more than halfway through!! If Bubbles will cooperate and take a DANG nap, I can finish it up!).
  • Earlier this weekend, I used my Kohls Rewards. I had a bit saved up from getting my enameled dutch oven (with my PREVIOUS Rewards, from getting Michael's suit Black Friday ... see where this is going?), and I managed to get quite a deal! A cast iron frying pan (which is something on my list of wants) originally was $40. But it was on sale for $35. And I found a coupon to take some more off of that. And I had $25 in rewards. So the frying pan ended up costing $8 out of pocket ... plus another $7 to ship ... but a brand-new frying pan for $15? How could I resist?
  • Yesterday, after reading for a bit, I knew that I had to make dinner ... and I hadn't planned out anything. So I grabbed a thing of soup mix and made soup. And cornbread. (Which WOULD have been better if I already had that frying pan ... just sayin'.) But it turned out well. And I got dishes done. So it's not like I didn't do ANYTHING yesterday.
  • Today, the kids' school is having McTeacher night. So I'm free from dinner duty! Yay!
  • Tomorrow, Bruise has his second Pack meeting. He'll be awarded his Bobcat. Then we get to work on his Wolf badge, so he can get his arrow points. (On the one hand, Yay! He's motivated! ... On the other hand, oh great ... more stuff to sew to his shirt. I can manage this. I hope. ... But, really, it's worth it. It's always another step closer to his Arrow of Light in a few years. Then, it's all working toward his Eagle... thing. I'll learn the Boy Scouts lingo eventually.
  • Saturday, we should head to a Girl Scouts brunch. We'll see if Bucket is ready for Girl Scouts. She might just opt to do Activity Days. We'll see. (On the one hand = A network of girls growing to be future leaders! On the other = More sewing badges. More money. More meetings ... But, again, it'd be good for her to be involved. We'll see.)

 But, yeah, it's been a little busy. But the house is still rather clean. I'm totally behind in doing the laundry (should get started on that!!) and I am trying to get through library books before I rack up another $16 in fines (yeah, I KNOW).

We should also do our taxes. And all those other fun things about being a grown-up.

But the kids will get to go see a movie with a friend. And we need to finish getting their friend's (belated) birthday present. (Part of it is coming from those Amazon.com elves. The other part we'll pick up at the store.)

And, while they're doing that, we'll be feeding the missionaries. I'll get Michael to text them to figure out what to fix for dinner that night.

And, well, that's most of everything for now.
Besides the fact that yesterday I did ALMOST five minutes on the elliptical.
And I told myself, "Yes, it's rather pitiful. BUT it's five minutes more than you've done for the last three(+) weeks!"

Baby steps, baby steps.
Obviously.

Counting ...

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