Friday, December 18, 2009

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas

James and I are really getting into the Christmas Spirit this year. He went out and got a real tree for me and even tried to get it as "Charlie Brown" as possible. For some reason you can't find a good sparse tree in this area, but he did his best (Oh and we won't mention that it has more tops than a Hanukkah Festival and that there's no way it will ever stand up straight because at least he tried). We've been making candies and banana bread for the neighbors and playing so many Christmas songs it should be illegal. We've also been having a ton of fun buying and hiding presents from each other. Okay, he's not so good at hiding them (ahem, the unwrapped ones may or may not be in the coat closet but I won't peek), but I don't think he's found my stash yet (heh heh heh).

I am absolutely loving this Christmas Season. It's great to spend time with my husband and bring the spirit of Christmas into our home. Who knew the holiday season could be so wonderful?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Aftermath of a Blizzard

Last night we had a blizzard. I've survived two of them now and this time, I was smart enough not to go outside or try to drive ANYWHERE. When we woke up this morning, here's what we found.

Luckily, today is James's day off and he tried to dig me out so that I could get to work. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there was too much snow and we couldn't get the Mini out of our parking space. So here I am, working or blogging or whatever from home today.

The last chapter to our morning is what a pansy this little guy is

General would only go outside long enough to do his business and in the course of that the silly dog kept running up to the door and whining to be let in. I thought he'd had a grand old time being outside and running through the snow (yesterday, he played in the eight inches we got), but today, he would have none of it. I do have a pansy little house dog. Here is the one picture I could get of him outside while James shoveled our walk and the neighbor's walk.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Only something short of a miracle could help me take this:

And turn it into this:

I don't know what came over me, but I decided that I needed to make a dress for my brother's wedding. Now this wouldn't be weird for some people, but my sewing machine and I aren't really friends. In fact, I haven't sewn a dress since the fourth grade. But I decided I needed to try my hand at it again. I picked up a pattern that I thought looked pretty easy and some fabric and got started.

It took a lot of frustration, a couple of nights after work, and a few calls to people who really know how to sew (Thanks to my mother, mother in law, and Aunt Marion) to complete the dress, but I actually did it.

I'm really happy that I was able to complete the dress and may even do it again, but it may wait awhile.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The cutest boy around

Who can argue that there is a cuter baby around??

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Who carved my pumpkins?

They say homegrown is always better. I suppose that's what squirrels think too. Or at least that's what the evidence points to. BOTH my pumpkins (Or at least that seems to be the general consensus) got eaten by squirrels. It happens in the daytime, so it can't be raccoons or skunks, but I've come home and one by one my pumpkins are torn apart. The first one got the whole top tore off and now this one has those two small holes and a whole lot of mess.

The really amusing thing about my pumpkins is that they weren't carved, so it was harder for the little furry to eat the good stuff AND not one of my neighbor's pumpkins have been eaten. Neighbors on both sides have pumpkins in tact as do the neighbors across the street. The little furry bugger seems to prefer my homegrown pumpkin over the big store bought ones. Go figure.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The demise of a stuffed animal

Step One.
Buy a cute stuffed animal.

Step two.

Present said stuffed animal to your dog.

Step three.

Chewing and tearing ensues.

Step four.

Pitty the poor stuffed animal and question why you paid $5.00 for it in the first place when it only takes 30 minutes to eat.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mystery veggies

When James pulled up our garden, he found these two orby things. They look like pumpkins, they may even act like pumpkins. The problem is . . . we didn't plant pumpkins. We planted crook neck squash and zucchini. These don't look like any crook neck or zucchini that I've ever seen. We have a theory that some pumpkin seeds got mixed into our zucchini seeds, but if that can happen, then you'd better watch out. You may end up with cabbage in your lettuce patch or peas in your green beans. Of course, this is just a theory and we're open to suggestions on to exactly what these are and where they may have come from. Oh, one more tidbit. Our garden is brand new this year, nothing but grass has been planted there. Any answers to our mystery?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

This year I feel like we've been celebrating Halloween all year. Haven't we been seeing zombie banks, SEUI thugs dressed up as normal townhallers, and feel like the economy is a trick looking for a treat? We're all scared that the taxman's appetite can't hold a candle to Audrey II's lust for blood and have nightmares of being axed at work. Not to mention that the clowns in congress are scarier than IT and that Hillary Clinton may or may not be a "shape shifting reptillian."

In light of our real life horrors nothing touted on October 31st can be really scary, (except maybe a 13 year old immitating Miley Cyrus) and enjoy yourselves this Halloween.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I know my husband loves me because . . .

he lets me shave his head to help alleviate a VERY stressful day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Six Months

Sunday marked the six month anniversary for James and I and he got me this wonderful bouquet of six red roses and my favorite, daises. I know six months isn't a big anniversary, but if these last six months are any indicator, then spending Eternity with my sweet husband won't be near enough time.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Things I'll just never understand

1. The allure of Dan Brown books. Yes, I've read them all, but I only read the Lost Symbol to see if he kept to the exact same template that he used for the other four books. By the way, he did with minor modifications, but by page 10, I new where the "treasure" was buried, by page 50 I knew who the real good guy was, and by page 100 I knew who the person working against the protagonist was.

2. Liberals

3.Jon and Kate

4. Subatomic physics

5. Entitlement attitudes. Seriously, when did work become a 4 letter word?

6. How Silvio Berlusconi is still in office.

7. Huskermania

8. All the words to "I Want You" by Savage Garden. You remember the "chica cherry cola" song.

9. Glenn Beck

10. Why Arrested Development was ever canceled.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ahhh, the healing power of Hymns

This morning I was stressed.

Not the normal stressed, I'm always the normal stressed, but I was worried about the balance in one bank account (We use that one to pay only two things and I foolishly hadn't left quite enough for our car payment) so I was rushing around town trying to find the one location in Lincoln so I could deposit some extra money. I was upset about some misinformation that one of my clients had received and was trying to figure out how best to rectify that situation. I was also worrying about my afternoon and how I was going to fit in all of my clients and get everything accomplished. I was so stressed about everything that my head hurt and my chest was tight.

As I was driving, I tried to call my sister to chat. Talking to family almost always helps with the de-stressing, but she was about to take a nap with her little one, so we didn't talk long. I turned on the radio, but my station was super staticky. I decided to switch over to listening to the iPod. James had left it on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The minute I heard the soothing sounds of the holy hymns, my soul relaxed. My headache went away and my whole body just calmed. Things would be okay and I just needed relax and face each problem as they come. All those answers from a few strains of "I need thee every hour." How blessed we are to have the healing power of hymns.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My Uncle Mike stole grapes. He came right up to my father's vine and took them without even asking. He even recruited my husband in his dirty deed. Neither of them mentioned that the grapes had been filched. The only reason my family knew that he had taken them was that his wife, Chris, was silly enough to thank us for giving them the grapes.

Okay, so Mike didn't really steal the grapes, he just took them without asking, knowing full well that was absolutely acceptable. That's the beauty of my family. If we need something, someone is always there to give it. Whether it's a service such as coming over at midnight to "take care" of a raccoon that my father can't get (by the way, evidently crutches, a gun, a flashlight, and a raccoon aren't the best combination) or if it's needing grapes so your wife has something to serve guests, our family is always there for one another. We help each other build cabins, gather cows, feed animals, pull out stuck vehicles, and a host of other services. It's always done with no expectation of compensation, no expectation of reward--just the knowledge that someone (literally) helped his brother.

As far as families go, I think I've got the best and that only gets cemented every time I see one of my uncles help another. The service and love that is offered in my family cannot be beat.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2009 Family Reunion

This year my immediate family was in charge of the family reunion. It was so much work, but in the end I think everyone had a good time. Being in charge & having a ton of things do didn't leave me with much time to take pictures, but here are a few I did get.

Everyone mulling around chatting,
because isn't that really what a reunion is
all about?

The boys cooking
err, burning the food?

and some one's kid just rocking that
piece of watermelon

Every year at the reunion we have an auction to raise money for the family. This year we gave the kids pretend money and let them "bid" on toys and candy and trinkets before the real auction got underway. This was a smashing success. The kids loved being able to buy things and it gave them something to do while the adults did the big auction.

This year I had a lot of fun at the auction and was able to help out the family a lot. I say this because I got caught trying to bid up an item--a quilt my mother had made with pictures of my great-grandparents and their children. I was trying to get the price just a little higher and had bit it up to $170.00. Someone else bid $180.00 and my father told me to bid again and he'd give me the extra $10.00. I took it up to $190.00 and the person I was bidding against stopped bidding. I was going to just let her have it for $200.00 but got caught with my $190.00 bid. Opps. Luckily it is a beautiful quilt and my father really wanted it, so I left it with him and am able to feel good about helping the family.

I love our family reunions. It's so great to go home every year to see those that we love the most. I hope it's a tradition that will continue for a very long time, and if I have anything to do with it, it will.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Food Storage

James & I decided it was time to heed the prophet's counsel and get a year's worth of food. By the first of August we could finally afford to purchase a ton (okay, not that much, but it felt like it when we had to carry it downstairs) of food. We're so excited to have some food storage. It may not be much & it may be a bit bland, but we can survive, if necessary, on our supply.

Now fast forward to Labor Day weekend. My extended family did a service for my Great Aunt Veda. She has been canning and storing food her whole life and had a plethora of bottles, boxes & bags full of food storage. Unfortunately most of it was thirty to sixty years old and absolutely inedible. Our family cleaned out her storage room for her. We hauled bottles, boxes, & bags full of food storage up the stairs and onto a trailer to be hauled away. This wasn't easy for Aunt Veda to watch. We kept reassuring her that it was okay to throw away the food, growing up with the mantra of "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" had taught her never to throw out anything. But she had done as the prophets have asked. She built up her food storage and was blessed never to have to use it.

Aunt Veda has taught me many things over the years, but this experience with her helped enforce the need for obedience. We need to follow the prophet. We need a years supply of food. Just in case. But in following that command, we pray that the blessing from gathering a food storage is never to have to use it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Coming home

This last weekend was my family reunion (more to come on that). For many many reasons the family reunion was needed this year and it was very hard to come back to Omaha. Among those reasons is this:

Monday, August 24, 2009

The ONE thing I love about Monday hearings

I know my life shouldn't revolve around food,
but the one thing that makes hearing days tolerable is that
every single Monday is
Oso Nacho day.
The corn chips,
two kinds of cheese,
grilled pork,
chipotle sour cream,
pico de gallo,
green sauce covered
make my hearing days
(which consist of me sitting in a stuffy
room at the federal building ALL DAY LONG)
absolutely delightful.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Delphinium. Larkspur. My father was flabbergasted that I wanted to plant such a noxious weed in my front yard.

"They kill cows, you know."

"I know Dad, but I live in the city."

"It's a weed."

"It is, but it's a pretty weed."

"I thought I taught you better than to plan noxious weeds."

"You did, but these. . . they remind me of home."

That's all it took for my father to consent to my planting larkspur in my front yard. I'm so glad I did. I can look at my small patch of dirt and every time be reminded of home. Be reminded of going to the mountain and of the smells of rich, black mountain dirt, smoke from the wood stove, and wet grass. I'm reminded of endless summers spent with my family working and exploring. Eating and laughing. Building cabins and playing rummy cube. And family. Cousins, siblings, Aunts and Uncles. One little flower in my small front yard conjures up so many familiar memories. One little flower, in the middle of the city, instantly transports me to my beloved mountain. I think that in itself is well worth the planting of a few noxious weeds.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Taxes. . .As unavoidable as death

Another rant is about proceed from my brain
to my fingertips and onto the screen.
Reader beware.

"And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain."
Mosiah 3:11

I came across that passage in the Book of Mormon awhile ago and have been thinking about it for quite some time. Mosiah chapter 11 introduces us to King Noah and his wicked priests. They taught all sorts of falsities, distorted the word of God, and led the people to do all sorts of abominations. This wicked King and his cabinet priests lived off the backs of the hardworking citizens of the country kingdom. The taxes to support this wicked king and his cronies were burdensome to the people. The king built all sorts of social programs lavish buildings and hacked away at the constitution his father’s righteous teachings.

What’s had me thinking about this is my paycheck stubs. The quoted passage describes one fifth as a burdensome tax and describes the government that took that much in taxes as wicked. One fifth. Twenty cents on the dollar. One twentieth. That number has set me musing. When I do the math on my paycheck stub, I find that I’m being taxed at almost 40%. That number comes even after I deduct my 401(k) from the withholdings. 40%. 40 cents on the dollar. Two fifths. Four tenths. Almost half of my paycheck is being withheld for taxes. Now I know, I’ll get a refund in the spring (or at least I’d better), but James and I have no deductions to speak of (last year I qualified for a $12.00 deduction for interest paid to student loans, wooo whoo). We don’t have a mortgage, kids, or medical expenses, so all the big deductions are, well-unavailable. We’re going to be taxed out the nose, but lets say I do get a refund. Based on last year’s taxes, I will still be paying approximately 30% to local and federal governments. That number makes me sick and frankly, it makes me wish our government were at least as righteous as that of King Noah's.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


For the last few years I've had a plantar wart. Ewww, gross (how dare someone admit that on a public blog). I've tried all the over the counter remedies and they just pissed the wart off, so it fought back and got bigger, not to mention the fact that they painful as all get out. I tried putting fresh garlic on it. I even tried the duct tape remedy. All duct tape did was to make my big toe look really funny and keep the wart from splitting and being painful. It did not make the wart better.

I finally decided it was time to do something about my wart. I'm sick of finding excuses not to have a girls' day at the spa complete with pedicures. I hate walking around with a big silver toe or choosing closed toe shoes over sandals. So, armed with good insurance, I made an appointment with a local dermatologist.

The dermatologist was took a look at the wart and decided that because of the size and location, I probably didn't want to freeze, cut, or burn it off. Rather we would take it off chemically. I was all sorts of excited for the chemical solution. I had expected to have a huge blister and pain and no shoes for a week, but, as the doctor explained, the chemical removal is PAINLESS. I'm a huge fan of painless and love to disprove the "no pain, no gain" theory. The doctor wrote a prescription for me and I almost skipped (pain free) from his office. What a wonderful day--I could get rid of a wart and suffer no painful side effects. Or so I thought.

My euphoria over the pain free removal lasted as long as it took to get to the Target pharmacy. I gave the pharmacist my prescription and did a little shopping while they filled it. As I was shopping I began to look at the sandals and think how wonderful it will be once I get to wear them wart and pain free. Aaahh, the daydreams.

My daydreams were interrupted when I went to pick up the prescription. The girl that gave it to me said something to the effect of "humm, this prescription is normally five ninety six, but with your insurance it's only one thirty seven." Great! I love insurance that pays for most of a prescription and I only have to pay $1.37 for it. HA was I wrong. The girl behind the counter scanned in the prescription and lo and behold $137.00 shone in bright green numbers.

Standing there in the check out line, I had a mini heart attack. All my dreams of open toed shoes and pedicures almost shattered. For $137.00 I could almost wear duct tape for the rest of my life. But no--maybe I'm too vain. Or maybe I'm too stubborn to say "never mind" I don't need that prescription. Or maybe for a second, I just didn't care about the cost. I numbly handed over my debit card and paid $137.00 for 24 little packets of Aldara.

My drive home was riddled with questions. Should I take it back? Should I tell the doctor to just burn it off and be done with it? Should I succumb to a life time of duct tape and/or garlic? No, I decided I'd use the prescription and hope it worked quickly enough that I didn't need a refill. I also learned a lesson. Something may not require physical pain, but it can be far from painless.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I found it--the egg scene

You really have to watch this. Mormon or not, it will make you laugh.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Props to Ryan Reeder

James and I were surfing through You Tube tonight--pretty much doing nothing but watching pug videos, laughing at "Charlie bit me" and "David after the dentist." I decided that I needed to show James a scene from "The Work and the Story," you know the one--the only good one--where the final scene from the Book of Mormon is enacted with eggs. Great scene.

I couldn't find the scene I was looking for, but I did find Ryan Reeder's You Tube channel. At first I just had to laugh at it. Knowing Ryan, somehow, made it seem absurd and comical. But as we looked closer and listened to his messages, I have to say, it's very touching. Ryan has recorded himself reading the entire Book of Mormon and has recorded his testimony. It takes a lot of dedication to sit down and read the entire book and a lot more devotion to post it to You Tube for the whole world to see. He's taken the challenge to use new media to spread the gospel and I'm wholly impressed by his efforts.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Playing with the puppy

On second thought,
I’m not really sure who’s playing with whom.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Don't Buy Stuff You CANNOT Afford

The following is a clip from Saturday Night Live. I saw it last night in a documentary (I.O.USA, very good movie everyone should watch it) and then today my boss sent me a link to the clip. I figured that getting it twice in 24 hours was an omen that I should post it.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

He's a Yankee Doodle Dandy . . .

Carter enjoyed his first 4th of July in style.
What a cutie!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Caution: Sexy picture

I had a really hard time deciding what to title this blog entry. My first thought (and favorite title) was "Female Porn" but decided that was probably a bit risque in case a random bishop or co-worker were to view my blog. My next thought was "Dishes." Too boring, need I say more? Finally I decided on something that was mildly inappropriate, but still toned down.
Because really. . . what's more sexy than a man doing dishes?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More freedom

We're cautiously letting General have more freedom. Usually when we leave the house, General has to be down in the basement. We've got a nice area fenced off with toys and blankets, water and food, but it is a chore to get him in the basement. He hates the basement and will do anything to avoid getting caught when he knows that's where we want him. We've tried to make it a better place by only feeding him down there, but even the wont of food for my food crazy dog isn't enough of an allure for him to voluntarily go downstairs.

We started to allow him to stay upstairs when we're gone for short periods of time. Twice he's been left alone with full freedom to wander (and possibly chew) and (so far) he's been a good boy. He hasn't torn apart my knitting. He hasn't chewed a shoe. We even (accidentally) left the bathroom door open and he didn't touch the garbage. He can be such a good boy (when he wants to be).

We've also been allowing him the freedom to roam a little. We don't put him on a leash when we're headed for the car. He loves car rides and will ignore anyone or anything if the car door is open and he thinks he gets to go for a car ride.

Finally, I've been allowing him to stay off the leash and wander a bit when I'm down working at the garden. He gets chained up as soon as he takes too long to come back or wanders too far, but usually he's good at staying right in the yard. He did scare me the other day when I called and called for him and he didn't come back. I ran around the block and couldn't find him. I looked in his favorite places and couldn't find him. On the verge of tears, I went back to the garden. Someone started to whistle at me and when I turned, a construction worker was holding my dog. General went over to talk to them and decided that they were much more interesting then our yard, so he just ignored me. I ran over to get him and needless to say, he was chained to the fence the rest of the afternoon. Silly dog. He has his freedoms, but he'll soon learn that they can be limited.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I love to see the temple

Last night, James and I were called and set apart as temple workers. We're so excited to be able to serve in the temple. We'll be working in the baptistery which means James gets to be in charge of the groups that come in and I get to be in charge of lots of laundry. But laundry in the temple has got to be better than laundry at home, right?

It will be tough to serve in the temple and do our Sunbeam calling and work and do everything else that life requires, but the sacrifice will be well worth it. The only big hindrance that we may foresee is James having to give up his overtime. But we're hoping he can work with supervisors to get the necessary time off. If he doesn't I'm sure some door will open up.

Despite the challenges that working in the temple may present, we're so excited to be able to serve in the Winter Quarters Temple and hope you all come by and visit us :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Greatest show on dirt

Last night marked the official start of the College World Series (CWS) and I came as close to watching a baseball game as I will EVER come. I am absolutely not a baseball fan. I'd much rather watch paint dry than sit through an inning. But seeing as I live about a mile and a half from the stadium, I let my old roommate talk me into walking to the stadium and attending the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony consists of a bunch of Omaha big wigs giving speeches and an introduction of all 8 teams that "survived the road to Omaha." That was a big theme. Surviving. I didn't know that the road to Omaha was that dangerous. When I took the road to Omaha, it was pretty easy and uneventful, but evidently these teams went through some kind of peril and were the last surviving of their kind.

After we watched these surviving young men walk across the field, the real reason I came began. The fireworks show. The fireworks for the CWS are the best ever. I've heard that the one fireworks show costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and I love it. It's the only reason I support the CWS. Other than the fireworks show, I hate that they had to pick Omaha for the CWS. I mostly hate it because the traffic around my house is horrific. I don't dare venture close to my exit from the freeway. To take the 13th street exit, traffic is backed up for miles and miles. Then once people get off the freeway, they begin congesting the neighborhoods looking for a free place to park. It gets super annoying when my 15 min drive home takes over an hour.

Despite all that I hate about the CWS, last nights fireworks made it worth it. So, in the next two weeks, if I'm talking to you on the phone and complaining that I'm in standstill traffic, just remind me that I saw the fireworks.