Friday, October 31, 2008

Pictures from our Aquarium Trip

Here are some pictures that let you know how enjoyable a trip to the aquaruim can be.
And how worth it a yearly membership really is.



It's awsome to be able to go back and try and take better pictures. 
Digital SLR camera + lots of opportunity = I'm getting LOTS better at taking pictures through glass. wOOt!!


Here's a bird diving. It's nice to be in the right place at the right time. ^_^

And then you get to notice your kids' reactions to things more and more.

Every time, we manage to get a picture of Bruise in this same position. He loves him that shark tank.



And, every so often, you get some sweet soul who offers to take your whole family's picture. 
I wish I knew who she was, but whoever you are, thank you so much!



It's nice to be able to have some family pictures where we're all together. ^_^
Especially when we're all looking at the camera (or at least TOWARD the camera) and smiling (well, mostly ^_^).
Okay, okay, okay ... I get it. You want pictures, MUST have pictures of me as Jem! ... Being totally outrageous.

Fine, fine, fine. Here.

I'll warn you, though, they're not the best pictures. (I'm picky.)

Here ya go!!

Here's a VERY blurred shot (Or maybe it's not blurry. Maybe I really look this blurry irl. You never know.) of MOST of the outfit (You're just missing the fringe, heels, and grey tights ... and the skirt which is a LIIIIIITLE too short on one side. But most people wouldn't notice, since the fringe covers most of the offending area.)



Then there's the close-up of the eye make-up:

(Okay, maybe I'm not all that blurry irl.)

Here's one where you can kinda catch me in the costume parade with Bruise and Bucket Bunny
... you're still missing the shoes and the longer part of the skirt.

(Dianne, you wanna hook me up with the pictures that you took? ^_^)
(She did get some shots of me all dressed up. And she's a really good photographer. Michael and I do what we can. ^_^ 
But she's practiced lots more. And it shows. ^_^)

Here's Bruise and BUNNY with one of their friends from Nursery. 

(There were at least two other Cinderellas in attendance. All were darling.)

Things that I would have done differently:
  • Made sure how short the skirt would have been (double- & triple-check) before cutting it.
  • Tried to find a less-intense pink hairspray. It's close, but a little too bright.
  • Boned up on how to set the tension on the sewing machine. (We ended up not using it for the belt. Which was a bit of a challenge. And also proves that my husband totally rocks!!!)
  • Not yelled at my kids for distracting me so much as I tried to get dressed.
  • Remembered to wear my JemStar earrings. :P 
  • Gotten a NOT curly wig. Wavy=okay ... Showgirl-style=Not so great.
But, overall ... except for the fact that 99.96% of the people had no idea who I was, it went well.

One of my young women thinks that I should DEFINITELY dye my hair pink (or neon green). 
I told her I might compromise on a bright red. I've never done a good red (well, besides that period of a few hours. And it was FIRE-ENGINE red. Looked cool, but I couldn't go to the Kinders that I'd been student-teaching like that. The principal wouldn't have liked that much.)
The other times I've tried going red? It was either Strawberry Blonde or LeeLoo orange (From The 5th Element ... you know, the film).

The Bishop (He's like a pastor or minister, for those confused by the Church-speak) had called to talk to Michael. He asked if I had de-pinked my hair and seemed relieved when I told him that it was a wig. ... He said that he perfers me the way I normally am. ^_^ It made me laugh, since he's such a calm person ... for him to say that ... it kinda came across (in the nicest way) as "Oh, thank goodness it's not permanent!" I chuckled about that. Still am.

I think that the most interesting part was having some people not recognize me ... at least when I was away from Michael and the kids (and sometimes when I was with the family!) ... well, until I started talking. Then they realized who I was. ^_^ I have a certain style, I guess, of speaking.
Really, I do write like I talk ... so if you've never heard me talk, you've got a pretty dang good impression of how I sound via this blog. ^_^ (Maybe when I actually get a digital video recorder, I could start vlogging. How crazy would that be??)

Now, I'm not sure what to do for next year ... maybe She-Ra? If you have any ideas, I now have a year to learn how to use my frippin'-frappin' sewing machine and to toss ideas around.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Testy, testy ... Oh, maybe I should chillax.

I completed the costume that would not die... aka, my Jem costume.

And, really it turned out well. Even if I accidentally cut the skirt too short (Showing my religion, anyone?) and the blue fabric paint that I used wasn't COMPLETELY dry ... and even though 99.9% of the population at church had NO IDEA of who I was supposed to be.

The hair wasn't quite right, really ... colorwise, it was great. And my eye make-up turned out REALLY well.

My belt isn't quite the right size ... but the fringe turned out better than I thought it would ... especially being hot-glued in, since my sewing machine went bat-in-a-craphouse-crazy on me.

Bucket (who says that her nickname is now BUNNY ... I'm going to try and remember that) was one of, what, six (?) Cinderellas. She was the glittery-est, thought. (Since I did her make-up. Had to get some use of all the glittery stuff that I don't wear since I'm getting closer and closer to the big 3-0 ... and I'm starting to feel it every so often. Like why I have my natural hair color now. I used to be all flashy ... and now ... I would like to blend into the woodwork every so often...).
Bruise was a very nice Optimus Prime. The YW (well, at least two VERY much) adore him. One of my YW told me that whenever she goes to help out in the Nursery, she plays with Bruise the whole time, if she can. ... He loves him the ladies. ^_^ It seems like EVERYONE knows my son. For an almost-three-year-old, he's developed quite the following. Maybe this is paving his political career? His platform -- More graham crackers, more Hello Kitty, and more robots!
That and going poop in the toilet? Totally overrated.

At the ward party, Bucket did have an accident (one that made me wish I had a bucket!!) ... She was obviously having too much fun and, as we were starting to go, totally let loose. She must have had at least a pint stored in her, poor girl!
And bad-mommy me, I didn't have any diapers or extra clothes in the car. So, as we waited for Michael (for nearly an hour -- he was helping clean up), she sat in her carseat with a cloth diaper I just HAPPENED to have in the car (for wiping the inside of the windshield) under and around her.
She also had to go potty again ... so I held her little half-dressed self precariously balanced so that she could pee and wouldn't pee on me. In the parking lot. Since I couldn't leave Bruise in the car ... *sigh*

We got home, kids took a shower and went to bed. I did a quick hand-wash of the Cinderella dress. We went to bed. And Michael let me play with his tablet. (No, it's not a euphimism. It's his new computer. I played Mah Jongg. And tried some other games. Thought he does deserve lots of euphimism, since he's a super good husband who doesn't complain that I STILL haven't done the dishes. Or folded the laundry. ... But I DID give the cats flea baths and put medicine on them ... so hopefully the flea infestation of 2008 is at an end. *sigh* Stupid fleas.)

It's almost time for me to get the kidlets (and myself) dressed to go to storytime (and turn in our ballots). Maybe my books will arrive today. That'd be really nice. I like books. Even if I won't get around to reading these for a while. Michael will have some spare reading time ... and I know he'll enjoy these. 

How Politico Can I Go?

There are a few issues that I feel strongly about ... and I think that this video helps ME to understand that I CAN feel this way and not be being a mean person with an ugly heart. Phew! 

I hate feeling conflicted. But this video helps to explain Proposition 8 (which I can't vote on, since I'm not in Cali) very well:



It reminds me of a talk that we read in the Ensign a few years ago, in which President Monson used
the term "pernicious permissiveness." ... And a good way to define this term is "justifying behaviors
in the name of tolerance." ... There are some things that we should avoid because they are immoral.
There are things out there that will damage us, as individuals and as a society, if we allow them.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints explicity tells its members that we are allowed to
vote however we think we should. There are both Republican and Democratic Latter-Day Saints.
However, when it is a matter of ethical and moral dilemmas, we are encouraged to use our vote to
help protect our families and our nation from evil. (I know I sound like a complete drama queen saying this. 
However, look at how our society is going. And look at the society of Ancient Rome before it fell. 
I love America. I don't want that to happen to us. George Santayana said: Those who cannot remember 
the past are condemned to repeat it. We need to learn history and, therefore, learn how to avoid these mistakes. 
... But that's a whole 'nother blog post.)

If you want to know more about the Church's stance on issues, you can always read the 
Deseret News online or read the Family Proclamation.

I personally have friends that are homosexual or bi. I love them because they are my friends
and fellow children of Heavenly Father. Do I like everything that they do? No. But, heck! I don't
even like everything that I do! (And, I do find myself torn on the issue of adoption. 
There are wonderful same-sex couples that would definitely raise a child up with all the love 
that a child could desire or deserve. ... And at the same time, there are TERRIBLE and abusive 
or neglectful families of "traditional" make-up.) 
(Like I said, I do often feel conflicted. I'm complicated.)
Love is a good thing. The world needs a good deal more of it.
How about we just make each other cookies and casseroles? Comfort food to nurture love.
Sound good?

If we could just respect each other, the world would be a better place. 
And by respecting each other, I don't mean to accept everyone as perfect.
Just accept them as PEOPLE. We all are mortal. We all make mistakes. We all have much to learn.

In the words of Bill and Ted, "Be excellent to each other."

(If I were running for office, that'd be MY motto. Would I get bonus points for doing the air-guitar, though?)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OKAY ...

I know it's been DAYS since I've posted. I aplogize. Again.

BUT the costume from HADES, the costume that WOULD NOT DIE, ... She is done. 
Yes, Allanna, you WILL go to the party. And you WILL be dressed as Jem -- the glitter and glamour, the fashion and fame!!
(And you won't have to grab all your black clothes together at the last minute, paint some whiskers on your cheeks with eyeliner, and declare yourself a "cat" burglar at the last minute.)

What WAS I last year ... *thinks* ... Oh, yeah, I think I was a gypsy. Or a pirate. Depended on who you asked. I think the headscarf and hoops confused people. If I carried a crystal ball and a pack of tarot cards, people wouldn't be so confused. Or else they might think I was a fortune-telling pirate. Who knows?

When DID I last post? I know it's been too long when *I* can't recall it off the top of my head.
Let's see what's gone on lately. ... Left too late to take the kids to the downtown trick-or-treating. Tried to pick up Michael's new toy at the FedEx building in the next town (couldn't. He had to wait until yesterday for it to be delivered. Which sweetened the fact that his head was KILLING him), went to the Halloween party at Borders (which they kidlets enjoyed, since they got to WEAR. THEIR. COSTUMES. Oh Em Gee!!!!!!!) ... I did get a couple looks as I walked my little Cinderella-princess and Optimus Prime-robot over to the Children's section. It was fun.

This weekend we also got ourselves a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch. Less than $20 bought us a 17-lb pumpkin, tractor rides (Bruise got to do a doughnut on the way back. Seeing a farmer with his hands behind his head, kicking back, while your son's steering to his heart's content? EXCELLENT. ... Too bad I FORGOT my CAMERA!!!! Oh well.), and a gallon of apple cider.

We had Stake Conference this weekend (Church talk for the small congregations in a geographical area get together for church). It was broadcast to the whole state, which was new and different. I now love Elder Uchdorf a little bit more. He's just so ... entertaining and spiritual at the same time. ... If only my offspring would let me friggin LISTEN.
Also, I've noticed that since I've had kids, I have NO attention-span anymore. How am I SUPPOSED to be a good example if I can't even focus on a speaker? Waaaah!! My life is HAAAARD!!!

Also, making my costume? We couldn't figure out how to use the sewing machine. We don't have a manual for it. (Mom says it sounds like the tension. I'll show YOU tension!! --- As I repeatedly cursed at it in my head. BAD cursing, too. Like throwbacks from my sophomore-year-of-high-school vocabulary. Oy. ), so Michael, ever the awesomest, hemmed the edges of my belt by hand. Because he's just that awesome.

I'm still waiting for my box of books (three books) to be delivered. I had a decent coupon-code from Borders ... so I splurged.  And I used a second coupon-code. And justified that third book so that I could get free shipping. (which practically paid for that third book! I mean, really!!)

Yesterday, I was exhausted -- I had to yell at the kids and PUNISH them so that they'd FINALLY figure out that I really MEAN what I say and that, YES, VIRGINIA, you DO have to take a nap!!!!!1!!!!one!
And then I had NO energy the rest of the day. Especially since I already had blown up at the Friggin-frackin sewing machine (it involved me throwing the bobbin-holder across the room, since it WOULDN'T FIT back in the machine after I had to clean all this thread that was making it stuck and THEN I had to FIND it AGAIN).

Sometimes, I really, truly believe that the sewing machine hates me. Like REALLY hates me. 
Like it sits there on the table and is surreptitiously mocking me and plotting my demise and the breakdown of my sanity.

Michael thinks that I give it too much credit.

Of course, I did feel a little bit of schadenfreude when, after he had told me how all the people who've borrowed it have been impressed ... and he still couldn't fix it (when normally it lets him fix it within seconds). Not enough schadenfreude to really make it worthwhile, though.

I hope that my wig doesn't fall off at the ward Halloween party. That'd suck.
And it's kinda HEAVY.

I'm thinking of cutting my hair again. And I'm happy for/completely devestated that my Bri and her husband are moving away in a few months. To CONNECTICUT!! (But maybe she'll meet Chris of Notes from the Trenches ... which could be cool.)

Aside/Tangent: It's near impossible to find the manual for my sewing machine online. 
And I don't know that I care to spend just over $15 for it. I mean, it'd be good to have ... and I love having books and manuals (because I'm A FREAK) ... but $15?? *sigh* I could buy at least 2 other books that I'd want with that price. Maybe 5+ if I go to a used book store!!

When blogging, do you ever feel like you should be channeling Meg Ryan's character Kathleen Kelly from "You've Got Mail"?
"Good-bye, dear void."

I should eat something. It's nearly noon. 
Why do I forget to eat? It's not like it's a HARD thing to do or anything. *shrugs*

Blargh. I'm shutting up. I'll post more links and what-not later.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I suck at sleeping

When did I get to sleep last night? 

Around 5 A.M.

When did the kids wake up?

7. 

Michael's sleeping off a cold, so I'm up. It's not like I was deeply asleep anyways.

Found out the reason I was denied healthcare coverage -- I had preeclampsia. 
Now I'm one of those people. 
The kind with "pre-existing conditions" ... Great.

I have some options, though.
I can reapply and explain the reasons I had preeclampsia (which my doctors made sound like it wouldn't/shouldn't be that big of a deal in the future).
I can reapply and just get the kids covered (which could be cheaper, anyways).
I can also now (since I was denied) apply for state-type coverage. (Doesn't guarantee that I'll get it ... but it's a start.)

Just wish me luck and pray and all. It'd be nice to be covered again.
If nothing else, I'll just have my one yearly check-up be over at the planned parenthood clinic, right?

Stupid uterus. I have a love-hate relationship with it. Mostly a indifference-detest-type, though.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More linky luv

If you are in need of Pirate Posters, this link will deliver.

I'm a fan of clever printed T-shirts (which you might not know because I'm too poor to buy any, since I spend just about all my "extra" money on books). Here are some about the present economy.

Test your reaction time with this game.

See how accurately you can eyeball figures and angles and such with this game.

Having troubles with the new digital converter boxes? See here:



Here's a short history of the White House garden. I kinda liked it.



Here's a way to put things into perspective:


Are all the urban fiction covers looking the same? SciFiGuy agrees.
(Video of examples included. Michael was amazed that I HADN'T read many of them. *shrugs*)

This story (Love in the Holocaust) helps to reaffirm my faith in mankind. Very sweet.

That covers it for now. I think.
(Michael will thank you for helping me to get through my HUMONGOUS list of bookmarks.)



Today ...

I'm just a little bummed today. It's a quiet day. Bucket's got a cold and is coughing and snuffed up and is running a little fever (like 99.3F) ... The kids elected not to go to storytime. But I am going to drag them out shopping. I have to finish getting the last few things for my costume (I was able to get a shirt and skirt that should work. And a wig and pink hairspray. And the eyeshadow and tights and shoes).

We also gt our application for health insurance denied. Major SUCK. I cried. It's not like we're unhealthy. There has to be some misunderstanding. So I emailed them back asking for the REASON (not just some vague crap like we were sent). Hopefully they respond back an H of a lot sooner than it took them to deny us. We're basically healthy people ... I wish I knew why they denied us. I'm just going to tell myself that it's due to quotas. Or the dark lord of lies and evil.

But I did get a pair of cute shoes yesterday. So that was good. 

I still feel like crying a bit. I don't like being all sad. Could be PMS, though.

And I'm Matron of Honor in a friend's wedding. We've been friends since third grade. However, she's a little upset since I'm not able to totally fulfil my MoH duties. She wasnts to go out for a last hurrah -- drinking, strip club, that sort of thing. And I'm not willing to do that. Thankfully, our mutual best, is going to take her out (and be the DD). Not that she nor I have any real desire to see gyrating men.

(The conversation b/t my friend [the bride-to-be] and I went like this:
BtB: And I'd like to have a party. With strippers!
Me: Uh, I'm not comfortable with that. And Michael wouldn't approve, either.
BtB: So, bring him along.
Me: Um, NO. And if I brought Michael along, we'd have to bring the kidlets ... and I am NOT having my kids around strippers. Sorry.)

(Rox, thanks again for being awesome and for being the DD for our girl. You are full of win. Just thought I'd let you know. Again. ^_^)

I couldn't sleep last night. I finished one book (well, as much as I was gonna read), played around on the 'puter until about midnight, and STILL couldn't sleep, so I ended up reading until around 2 A.M. Joy. 
AND I have a meeting tonight. So I probably won't be home until 8:30 or 9. Hopefully I'll sleep tonight. 

Maybe it is my period. I mean, the crying jags ... the insomnia ... could just be my stupid uterus being stupid toward me.

Yup, I have just totally discussed my reproductive system with you. Sorry. TMI, I'm sure.

Just keepin' it real, you know.

The kidlets' cousins came over yesterday. They had fun. My younger niece actually talked a lot. I was surprised.

Bucket, when we were out shopping last night, found something she DESPERATELY wants -- seven Disney Princess dolls (like Barbies) for $60. Heck, I want it, too!!

Do you ever think that with just some more money, life would be a whole lot easier? I do.
And, I guess that it's a good thing ... just about every problem that I have right now can be solved with money. So, things aren't nearly as dire as they can feel.

Yeah, I'm just shy of crazy right now. Oh well. You still love me, right? Even though I'm kinda hormonal and craphouse-bat crazy?

(You can lie to me if you need to.)

I think I'm going to watch a few YouTube ELE applications. PMS Geisha always makes me smile.
And I think some Tur-Mohel is what I need.

Maybe just "more cowbell."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some cool links

The Haka dance (Maori): http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/18381

(If you've EVER wondered what a meme is or what popular ones are about. They even have VERY decent videos!)

(Create the Hindenberg (Oh the humanity!)! Or the Titanic! Or Pompeii! ... Others in development, too! Yay!!)  

  
Cool video about graphs (Because I like GraphJam)

So THAT's what those rappers are REALLY saying!!
I always wondered about that.



Another clip based on The Dark Night.

And for you fans of humor:

Everyone needs some Scrubs in their life. (Just thinking of the scene where the one dude [I like the show, but never watched it regularly] is dancing around to Nena's 99 Luftballons always makes me smile.)


This is just cool:

And this guy ... the song is practically an audition for the ELE (Evil League of Evil)!:



And Sniglets (Words that don't appear in the dictionary. But should.) ... I LOVED these books when I first read them. Sadly, they're out of print. *sad face* So many books, so little time and funds with which to buy them all. *sigh*

I think that's enough for now. I think.


What would I do without the Internet??

So, yesterday, I was at Mutual (I fill in when a class advisor can't make it. Since one advisor JUST had her baby, I was called to action.) ...

And I was talking to one of the girls. One of the Young Men leaders joked about having a cover charge for something involving the Halloween party ... the girl asked, "How much would that cost?" Just joking around, you see. (She's not half as gullible as I was at that age.)

I remembered an applicable movie quote ... and then I couldn't remembe the movie it was from!!!! Ohnoz!!!!

I was able, through a few little searches in Google, to find it! Yes!!!
DOUG: Hello, my good man. How's it going tonight? BOUNCER: Good. You're still not getting in. 
DOUG: Well, that's not what a good friend of mine told me. Maybe you know him?   His name is Abraham.  
Doug drops a five dollar bill on the Bouncer's clipboard. The Bouncer doesn't move.  
DOUG: You don't know him?
STEVE: How 'bout his two friends? George Washington and... George Washington?  
Steve drops two one-dollar bills. The Bouncer doesn't move.
DOUG: Let's not forget the other boy in the band, Mr. Hamilton. He's a little lonely, wants to join his buddies.  
DOUG holds out a ten. He waves it up and down, sideways, drops it, but the Bouncer still doesn't respond.
STEVE: Wait up, look what we got here...  
Steve reaches into his pocket, pulls out some change, starts dropping coins.
STEVE: Mr. Jefferson, Jefferson, Lincoln...
DOUG: ...Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Roosevelt, and a commemorative coin -- '84 Olympics -- what a proud chapter in Angelino history.
Seriously ... I know it's a rather TERRIBLE movie ... but Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan?? 
(It didn't hurt that I had SO mnay high-school friends that loved Night at the Roxbury, too. 
Ty-ty and I would quoteit back and forth. Along with Austin Powers. 
And bits of The Fifth Element. And Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)

But, yeah. I love my friend, the Internets. Always there for me. ^_^

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween Memememememememe ...

1. Do you watch scary films? Which are your favorites? YES. I enjoy scary and suspenseful films. (And I have some friends that get freaked out by ones that I don't find scary at all. *shrugs*) I think that my favorite is "The Ring," since it was the first film to really scare me. Like, I had to PRAY on the way home. Most excellent. 

2. What is your favorite scary book? Um ... I don't know. I've read quite a few collections of scary stories/ghost stories. I'd have to say that I've had some nightmares after reading "Short and Shivery" ... But I don't know if that's my FAVORITE. I guess I haven't really thought about it hard enough. Hm.

3. What scary book to film adaptation is your favorite? Um ... I obviously haven't really thought this one over a lot, either. "Secret Window" (Stephen King) was good ... but not very scary ("Cat's Eye" was even LESS scary). "The Ring" was excellent and is based on Suzuki Koji's books (He also wrote "Dark Water").

4. What type of scary films do you think are better...the older ones like Psycho or the newer ones like Saw? 
Definitely the older, suspenseful ones. I think that the cheap screams are just that ... cheap. And you can do SO, SO much without showing gore and such. Suggestion is VERY powerful.

5. What is your fav Halloween treat? Reese's and just about anything Willy Wonka (Sweetarts, Bottlecaps, etc.) But I'm not all that picky. If it's in my kids' treat bags, I'll pilfer it. The more they whine/annoy? The more candy I take. Because I'm awesome like that. :P


6. What is your favorite Halloween costume? Do you still dress up for Halloween? 
I try to dress up for Halloween ... but I NEVER know what to be. I really agaonize more over the fact that I DON'T know what to be than using all that mental energy into putting together a kick-a costume. Ones that I DO remember are Catra (from She-Ra ... I had the costume out of the bag, with the mask, when I was around 5), a rock star in second grade (complete with GINORMOUS sparkly earrings and hairsprayed and ratted up-to-THERE hair) ... but usually I just ended up tossing things together toward the last minute -- ballerina (since I had the tutu as a little girl), scarecrow (flannel shirt with overalls. Raid the neighbor's yard for some overgrown strands of grass/wheat/stuff), cat (black clothes, ears-on-headband, and pin-on tail), Victorian girl (vintage dress  or flannel nightgown [the year I had mono-wanna-be] and granny boots).
A few years ago, Michael and I went as Alice and the Mad Hatter. He borrowed the hat from Hoyt ... I made the apron and his cravat. The rest we just did with what we had around (I didn't have a great blue dress. I think I had a blue shirt and denim skirt, with a black satin ribbon in my hair. So people didn't know what I was until Michael was at my side). I think Michael wore his three-piece suit, the cravat, and the hat. Since his suit is olivey-green, it looked pretty good.

Yeah, I WANT to have awesome costumes (and pictures thereof) ... I just seem to NOT. Oh well.
(And, yes, I haven't worked on my costume at ALL. And I have TEN DAYS. Ugh!!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The prodigal blogger returns!

Okay, okay, I'm so sorry for deserting you. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!!

SO, I have sorely neglected you because I've been a little busy. My mom and Aunt J came up for a visit. Michael and I took the kids to the coast. I've been RACING through books (to try and finish them before they're due). It's not that I don't love you. Because I DO! I really do!!

It's just that I'm a little sucky right now. ^_^ We all go through our bouts of suckiness, right??

If you haven't heard, the Evil League of Evil's deadline for admissions is past. So now you can go watch all sorts of applicants' videos. (Michael's favorite? Fury of Solace. I also like PMS Geisha ["Does this obi make me look faaaat?" and "You ask me to give you a foot massage -- I KILL YOU!!! You ask me how I'm doing. -- I KILL YOU, TOO!!"] and Die-ronic. There are lots and lots of other really great applicants, too.) (Also a great one: Tur Mohel. How could I forget him??)

I'm taking some better pictures when we go to the aquarium. I'm getting better with working that shutter speed option. (Black-lit aquariums? They don't make my camera so happy. *sniff* So my pictures of puffer fish? Still rather ... um... SUCK. But they suck LESS!!!)

Bucket got some new clothes ... she has pants that aren't capri-length on her! Yay! And Target has some little-girl clothes (leggings and tops) for $4 a pop. She looks darling.

Bruise is hilarious -- When we were watching Transformers and Iron Man last weekend (well, two weeks ago now), he would crouch and jump repeatedly in front of the TV at Mom and Dad C's, exclaming "Robot! Robot!! Robots!!!! Wow!"

Bucket does her share of darling. when Mom, Ju, Michael and I (and the kidlets, of course) were at Costco, Bucket spied the DVD of Iron Man. She sped over to it, grabbed it out of the display and proclaimed, "Look Daddy-Mommy! This GOOD Robot-movie! Bruce love this show. I love this show!"
(Cue y'all: Awwwww!)
Bruise returns the favor. If we're shopping and he spies something Bucket'd like (especially anything Disney Princesses [esp., esp. Cinderella] or Hello Kitty), he'll make sure to point it out to her ("Wook, [Bucket], wook! Princesses! Wook!")
(Again, cuing the "Awwww!")

I got some practice at being like my friend, Bri ... in that I got to practice some slight makeover skillz. My aunt asked me to color and cut her hair. The coloring? Not a problem. I've actually been enlisted to help friends color their hair on a few occasions (sometimes with better results than others [Sorry, Katie! But I'm glad that you were able to use that Anne of Green Gables quote in good humor!!] [Or the time that I gave my Emi-chan red streaks ... which were so subtle to our American sensibilities ... but when she went back to Japan, her best friend's mom examined her and asked, "What did you DO to your HEAD?" ... Just think what would have been said if I HAD remembered to use BOTH packets of bleach! Medical help might have been necessary!] [Or there was the time that I bleached Will's hair so he could dress up as a Dragon Ball Z character for Halloween. That one looked pretty good, I think. Especially being my first time using JUST bleach ... so there wasn't anything to cover up any mistakes!]).
No, I was nervous about the cutting. I did a decent job at evening out the back (after I trimmed it and it was a little uneven. :S Then I used the knowledge that I purloined from my good friend, Les Interwebs ... especially YouTube, and point-cut the ends -- to give some movement and all, since my Ju is blessed with naturally-curly hair. And, yay! I did a decent job, for she likes it! Woo-hoo!!

I still need to finish some stuff for Young Women's (e.g., the CALENDAR!!!!!) and I should fold laundry and all. But, hey! We're caught up on da bills! Phew!!

I'll post some more later today. Links and a meme or two. But I figured that I'd try and come up for air in that dearth of blogging I did lately.

(And a gal at church [Sister M, you know who you are] gave me such nice compliments about my blog. I'm a little nervous at the fact that people actually READ my blog ... I mean, I'm not always as censored as I try to be in public ... but it's very sweet when I get such nice compliments! Thank you!!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Things I've done ... and some I haven't

(Nabbed from Prissy)

Just copy and paste this to your blog and bold the ones that you HAVE done.
1. Started your own blog
2. 
Slept under the stars
3. 
Played in a band (No, but I've gone home with a bassist before. And I belive that bassists are often the hottest member of the band. [One of my high school crushes played bass. And he was H-O-T.])
4. Visited Hawaii (I'm going to someday.)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain (Um ... I've been to the top of a mountain ... but we drove part of the way. Does that still count? If yes, then imagine that this has been bolded.)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. 
Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped (If I knew that I wouldn't wet myself, I'd do it.)
12. Visited Paris
13. 
Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. 
Held a lamb
26. 
Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. 
Hit a home run (*snrk!* Not going to happen. I can barely hit the ball at all. ... It's hard to hit something that you're instinctively ducking.)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 
35. 
Seen an Amish community 
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. 
Sung karaoke (due to a dare by my college roommate. Haven't done it since. And she wa supposed to sing a song. Kristin, you still owe me. :P) 
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. 
Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud 
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. 
Been in a movie (Hey, I was in theater! Nothing you'd have seen. I wonder if Mr. A still has some of them?)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. 
Taken a martial arts class (Just for the college PE credit) 
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. 
Gone whale watching 
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (Quite a few times. I've passed out, though ... and I haven't done it in a while. I was pregnant ... then nursing ... and I really like having two NOT-sore arms when I'm dealing with the munchkin brigade).
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check 
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. 
Broken a bone (Does a hairline fracture count? If so, imagine this bolded. I wore a splint, no cast)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle 
79.
 Seen the Grand Canyon in person (Does from an airplane count?)
80. Published a book (If you count the ones that you do in school as an assignment, then yes.)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (A few times. I'm from a small area! There's not a whole lot of news! I still read the police blotter when I visit home to keep up with what's going on! :P)
85. Read the entire Bible (for Seminary. Was it in-depth studying? Not so much. I know, I suck.)
86. Visited the White House
87. 
Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox (During the summer, so I didn't get time off from school. At least it wasn't like my best friend at the time -- she got them in her lungs! I barely saw her after that. Then her family moved. Sucked.)
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous 
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (But not for YEARS. The last time has been about 20 years ago. Gosh, now I feel OLD! "I'm like the crypt keeper!!!" <-- Name the movie!!)


Yeah, I need to travel more. And be cooler.

Now, not only do I feel old, I feel BOOOOORING!

Meanwhile ....

Okay, so here's my catching-up blog ... 

Thursday was spent in preparation for traveling on Friday. (Why do I always want to spell 'traveling' with two 'l's?? I really DO want to spell it that way. I wish I knew why.)

We got up on Friday, finished packing, tidied up the house just a wee bit, took out the trash (since we wouldn't be here to put the trash on the curb Sunday night), blah, blah, blah ... got the kids in the car. We only forgot to grab the things that went back to Mom and Dad C (drill, thread) and the power cord to Michael's laptop. Oops.

The drive went well, with my Mom's portable DVD player ... the kids were entertained. However, the unfortunate thing was that the book I brought to read aloud to Michael? It's the third and not the second in the series. :(  (I brought Shanna Swendson's Damsel Under Stress ... I still need to buy Once Upon Stilettoes. *sad face*) I just figured that I'd try to pick up a copy, since we'd be in a rather large town.

Bruise and Bucket enjoyed the Happy Meal toys that they received. Barbies for Bucket and cars for Bruise. Good stuff.

Bruise also really enjoyed Ironman and Transformers. (Yes, he paid more attention to those shows than he pays to me. *sigh* Boys. 

T2 and J came down Saturday and we all went to a farm. Bruise LOVED the pony ride (Bucket wasn't quite the equestrian we thought she might be. She had to hold onto Michael's hand the whole time that a very nice girl was leading around the donkey Bucket was on.) and they both had fun riding in a little pony-drawn cart. They really enjoyed petting the bunnies. And Bucket gave a goat a kiss. They also enjoyed the apples that Grandma bought them (as did I, since I finished off what they didn't eat. Those were some GOOD apples).

Bucket did get the Princess panties that I've promised her. She's been really good about going to the bathroom. And, when we got home, we also gave her her Cinderella cell phone. (I'm sitting on a toy Bumblebee Transformer for Bruise. If he EVER goes poop in the toilet. ... I'm just hoping that it'll be someday before he's THIRTY. *sigh* ... If you have any hints, LET ME KNOW. PLEASE.)

Bucket napped in the van with T2 as we went to a flour mill on Saturday (after we wore them out at the farm). Bruise had a great time looking at the water-driven mill with Grandpa and Uncle D. He also very much enjoyed trying the free samples that were there. (Michael prefers the buffalo jerky, whereas I liked the elk. Probably because my Pop-pop made venison jerky after the menfolk went hunting. I miss that jerky. I miss Pop-pop more.) There were also some fudge samples. There was an excellent vanilla-coffee flavored one. (I'm such the bad Mormon, liking the flavor of coffee. I'm going to Hell. I know. :P)

Michael and I ditched (ha ha) the kidlets with the family and we hied ourself off to go see The Dark Knight. (Excellent. If only all screenplays could be this well-written. But the retainer that Christian Bale wore to disguise his voice as Batman? DISTRACTING! Because BATMAN DOES NOT LISP!!!!!!!)
Then we hit the mall so I could hopefully buy Once Upon Stilettoes. ... The Waldenbooks didn't have ANY of Shanna Swenson's books!! Ugh!! (Or Will Thomas', whose Barker and Llewlyn series I got Michael turned onto.). I felt rather betrayed.

Sunday, after church, T2 and J took off for home. We went to Mount Ashland. We ended up on a bit of a hike. And, oh, it was chilly. Bruise got a case of the shivers. Dad C and Michael ended up bringing the van up to pick the rest of us up. And we found out that we had a headlight out. AND we have something funky going on with the van's wiring. Grr. But we made it back to Mom and Dad C's safely. (Replaced the headlight bulb Monday morning. So we're totally safe and not in danger of being ticketed. Phew!)

Monday, I checked around online for another local bookshop that might have the books I wanted. Barnes and Nobles' site said that they had Once Upon Stilletoes AND THREE of the Barker and Llewelyn series -- including a fifth volume that I hadn't known had come out!! ... So I totally geeked out in front of Mom C ("Mom, you've been holding out on me! There's a Barnes and Nobles TWO MILES from your HOUSE?!?" ... and I did a little happy dance that I could buy THREE Will Thomas novels) ... so, once we were packed up, off we went.

Now, the website lied about having Once Upon Stilletoes. :( But I DID get all three of the Will Thomas books that I wanted. And I'm excited to read them. Michael and I got through about half of The Limehouse Text (and, with my express permission, he has taken it to work to read at lunchtime). He will soon take The Hellfire Conspiracy ... and he'll probably read The Black Hand before I get to it (I have lots of library books to get through. *sigh* Not a BAD thing, really.)

After B&N, we went to a small cheese factory. Unfortunately, due to being in the middle of a remodel, all we could do was try a few samples (Bruise seems like like blue cheeses just fine. And Bucket enjoyed the curds very much) ... then we headed home.

Bucket had done such a good job using the potty that she was still in her Princess Jasmine panties ... and about twenty miles from home, she woke from her nap, crying because she had peed her pants. Oops. So, when we got home, we washed the car seats' covers. (And I finished giving the van a preliminary cleaning this morning, before I hosted our weekly playdate.)

After all the traveling and all, I'm pretty bushed.  I'm almost done with another library book. And I need to finish watching Iron-Jawed Angels. And do the dishes. And a million other little things, really. 

But it was a lovely weekend. I'll try to post some pictures soon.
After I finish some books, catch up on some blogs and comics, nap, do dishes, make some dinner .... *sigh* So, yeah.

Oh, and I'm a good mom. Because when Bucket had to poo and the one bathroom was occupied, I took her outside and held her over the trashcan so she could poo and wouldn't mess up her Princess panties.

Michael says that he'll be sure to include that in my application for Mother of the Year. :P

Monday, October 13, 2008

Six Secrets

Dianne tagged me ... so here I go:
  1. I love dill pickles. But I HATE sweet pickles. They're like pickle imposters.
    (Also, Klaussen dill pickles? Totally made of awesome. They're my favorites. They're like deli-style pickles. Love them!)
  2. I probably annoy people when I drop a (somewhat-relevant-to-the-current-topic/conversation) movie quote ... then I immediately demand "Name the movie!!"
  3. I FRICKIN' LOVE my clinic ... so, we were dropped by our medical insurance. I had talked to the financial gal at the clinic about making payments (which would have totaled around $600 or so. She told me that it's totally fine to make payments and that she was so sorry about how our insurance worked out for my family. ANNNND!!! She talked to the kids' doctor who was aghast at the amount that we'd be paying out of pocket. So he told her to give us a 50% discount!!!!!!!! FRIGGIN' AWESOME!!!! (My future pet goldfish is totally being named Phyllis. No joke. I frakkin' LOVE our clinic.) (And prayer is so totally awesome.)
  4. I used to HATE onions. With the passion of a thousand burning suns. But I'm growing to like them.
    (I am NEVER going to like corned beef hash, though. Bleck!)
  5. My patience with my children seems to be directly proportional to the amount of space we are in. (I.E., In a park = Nearly infinite. In a car = Non-existent) Why is this??
  6. I believe that I'd be cuter if my nose were smaller. (But, and this is the real question ... If I *were* any cuter, could the world handle it? Maybe that's the reason I've been blessed with such a not "cute" nose? If I had one of those tiny, button noses ... the world might explode or something.)
Okay. There are six things about me. And since you know that I'm a firm believer in not saddling you with something you might not want to do, it's up to you if you wanna spill it. 

If you do? Totally let me know in the comments. Kthxbai!

Friday, October 10, 2008

no real blog

We're headed to visit family. So I'll be blogging a little less until maybe Tuesday? Sorry!!

To sweeten the deal, here's an exchange between Bruise and me:

B: Nom, nom, nom!! (at my ankle)
Me: Bruise! What are you doing??
B: I a dragon! I eatin' yoor foot! Nom nom nom!!

Yes, I was attacked by a dragon. It was rather awesome.

In other news, I'm really enjoying Lisa McCann's novel, Wake.
Among other books.

And I gave up on Airman by the guy who writes the Artemis Fowl books. I've given it two shots and couldn't finish it either time. *sigh* I still feel this as a personal failure. It's weakness in my character. *sigh*

Gotta go clean up and pack the car!!!! Tschuss Lieblings!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thankful

Things that I'm thankful for (No particular order):
  1. Priesthood blessings
  2. Friends that call (hey, Rox!)
  3. Kisses from toddlers
  4. A husband that pets my hair
  5. Ice cream
  6. Family Home Evening (YES! We did one!!!)
  7. Toddler hugs
  8. Clean bathtubs
  9. City garbage service
  10. Being healthy
I figure that I do tend to get a little too caught up with what's happening RIGHT NOW. I need to work on keeping an eternal perspective and concentrating on the good things.

It's good to know that Heavenly Father loves me. It's good to also know that my friends love me, too.

So, what's one (or more) thing that you're especially thankful for?

Another Meme from Cori

The Husband Meme:

1. What is his name? Michael. Duh ... I mean I talk about him just about all the time. ^_^

2. Who eats more? I think we both eat pretty equally. We can both pack it away. :D

3. Who said, "I love you" first? Um ... I did.

4. Who is taller? Michael. And I'm glad. I like to feel a little dainty.

5. Who is smarter? We disagree on this. I think he is, whereas he thinks that I am.

6. Who is more sensitive? Oh, definitely ME.

7. Who does the laundry? I do, since he's away at work a lot. But he'll help at a moment's notice.

8. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Facing the bed? Me. Lying in bed? Him. ... So I'm not sure how to answer the question. (I'm on the phone-side of the bed.)

9. Who pays the bills? Both of us. It seems to work best if we're both on it.  He can see how much money we (do or don't) have ... and I make sure that things get sent off in time.

10. Who cooks more? Truly, I think that Michael does. I never know what to make. And he is a good cook with great ideas.

11. Who is more stubborn? Hard to tell. I think we're pretty evenly matched on that. We're both stubborn.

12. Who is the first to admit they are wrong? He's not often wrong (Drat him!), so that'd be me. Just because I have more opportunity to do so.

13. Who has more siblings? He does. He HAS siblings. But if you count my step-siblings (which I don't, since they were all out of the house when their dad and my mom got married, so I never lived with them or anything), we'd be even.

14. Who wears the pants in the relationship? I'd say that we're pretty dang equal in the relationship. And I'm glad of our dynamic.

15. What do you like to do together? Watch shows/movies, read, quote movies, sex, watching Jeopardy, going to the theater, walks on the beach, laughing ... .

16. Who eats more sweets? I probably do.

17. Guilty Pleasures? Peanut M&Ms, me, comics, me, really good root beer, me, Star Wars, me, FARMS reading, and ... um ... me.

18. How did you meet? I know I've already covered this (thought it's been a few months) ... After making a "smashing" first impression, we were at a party for a mutual friend, playing a game of "What if" ... He had (unbeknownst to me) written the question that the birthday boy (my best friend's cousin) read aloud: "What if Allanna worked at Hooters?" to which I IMMEDIATELY quipped (couldn't help myself!!), *glances at my rack* "Well, I certainly wouldn't get fired!" Which shocked everyone there (except Terra, who's used to me). ... And, later, Terra was the one who formally introduced us (more than what we got at the party -- "Allanna, this is ----,-----,----, Michael, -----, ----, -----, and ----.).

19. Who asked whom out first? He asked me out shortly after our pre-date group date (where Terra invited him. I made sure to clear it with her first!).

20. Who kissed who first? He kissed me. Natural talented, that boy is. ^_^

21. Who proposed? Michael did. It was a complete surprise to me. (At work, while I was doing clean-up at the noisy mill -- and therefore had OODLES of time to think, I said a quick little prayer to Heavenly Father to help me know if this relationship would work out ... I loved Michael, but I didn't want to get too invested in something that wouldn't work out. As I pondered, I couldn't come up with a single reason why we shouldn't work out as a couple. ... Michael cornered me in my Mom's kitchen (he had come down to spend the weekend with me) and opened the box. My response: "Really??"
Yup. Let's see Jane Austen beat THAT!

22. His best features and qualities? He's cute. Looking back at pictures of us before we were married, he does have a certain resemblance to Hugh Laurie (and this was before I knew who Hugh Laurie was ... I didn't marry my Michael just because he looked a little like Dr. House, mind you.) I like how me makes me feel. He respects and loves me. He puts up with how moody/hormonal I can be. He makes me laugh. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes. He honors his priesthood. He gives me a good example. He's a wonderful father, husband and best friend.  He enjoys snarky humor (so we laugh together a LOT). He's very discerning. He keeps an eternal perspective. He can whip up a great dinner. He cleans the kitchen and vacuums thoroughly. ... And he's talented in many ways.


Just face it, I've got myself the bestest possible match for me.

Meme Time ... Because I'm putting off doing dishes (again)

Here are some memes from Cori, who I've just found through my Cristall.

10 years ago I:

Was figuring out which college to apply to, stressing over SATs and the fact that my HUGE crush was only ever oging to be just a friend, reading a ton, never expecting to get married and have kids (because what guy would ever put up with me, etc., etc., etc.) ...

5 things on today's "to do" list:
Dishes
Finish folding laundry
Read a couple library books (at least one, really)
FHE
Make dinner

5 snacks I enjoy:
Chocolate
Nacho Cheese Doritos
Brownies
Ice cream
Popsicles

5 things I would do with 1 million dollars:
Pay off mortage, loans and bills (and tithing, of course)
Buy new house with a fenced-in YARD (and a garderner, while I'm at it)
Travel
College/mission funds for the kidlets and Retirement fund for us
Do some kiva.org loans -- because I WANT to do that. It's wicked cool to help people become self-sufficient

5 places I have lived: I only have 4:)
Southern Oregon (Small town)
Seattle, Washington
College town 1
College town 2
Town next to college town 2 

Five jobs I have had:
Courtesy Clerk (Boxgirl) at a grocery store
PT cleanup at a plywood mill
Dancing monkey outside a store in a mall (This one NEVER goes on my resume)
Substitute Shelver at a public library (AWESOMEST JOB! Even awesomer coworkers!)
Wife and Mother (Okay, this one's upaid and usurps for Awesomest Job title. Where else are you paid in kisses and cuddles? And don't have any taxable income?)

I tag...anyone who wants to play: 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I am...Unique
I miss...My high school classes (learning PLUS social interaction? WIN!!) <-- Yes, I AM that pitiful.
I think... that being an adult is HARD.
I know.... that my Heavenly Father loves me. Even if He sometimes gives me some challenges that I'd prefer not to deal with.
I want... to never worry about money. But if that's not possible, can I get more hours in the day to read AND get housework done? Or at least some easy ideas for dinner??
I search...for information. I'm a learning geek. Love to have some knowledge and be interesting.
I hate... losing  my patience. What little I have, anways.
I am scared...of Michael dying before I do.
I fear...I am going to CRY when Bruise and Bucket start school. I am not very pretty (at all) when I cry.
I am always... behind in my housework.
I love... my family, books, my church, painting my nails, and being adored.
I feel...a bit tired.
I don't always...feel very confident in myself.
I wonder...  Will I become one of those parents that totally give up on disciplining their kids?
I care... too much, sometimes.
I regret... being a stupid teenager who thought that my first boyfriend might be the only guy who would ever love me (I mean, I had SUCH the great track record before. *rolls eyes* Ugh.)
I am not afraid...to admit that I love coloring. Totally theraputic.
I believe...that miracles to happen, if you have faith. And patience. LOTS of patience. (I don't always have enough.)
I danced... a LOT in high school. I miss swing dancing and doing the Lindy Hop.
I write... in my blog.
I win... people's affection.
I lose... my patience ... especially when faced with whining.
I never...can stop worrying completely. HELP.
I listen...but not always very well.
I can be found...in front of my computer ... or reading a book.
I read...as much and as often as I can. The kidlets are learning to let me read. They are more than welcome to cuddle with me ... and encouraged to bring a book of their own!

Counting ...

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