Friday, May 30, 2008

California Here I Come…

What do California, drums, enthusiastic kids (well some of them are enthusiastic) and 4 inch too short suits from 1993 all have in common?

4th grade concerts on the history of California of course!

Wednesday night Ari had her 4th grade concert and believe it or not it wasn’t too painful to sit through. Both DH and I were thinking, sitting in a hot and sweaty elementary school gym while Devyn will inevitable be getting tired and ornery, all while listening to some really corny songs about California sounds more like torture then fun. Surprisingly enough it was really pretty cute and fun to watch Ari up there saying her part and singing away (well at least some of the time.)

DH, being the smart-aleck that he is got some great video of the kids and their crazy antics, not to mention some great close-ups of just Ari and the boy she likes who just happened to be strategically placed directly behind her on the bleachers. I was giggling at that as he was doing it and since we were on the front row she saw me and mouthed “what” from up on stage, which just make me laugh more. I swear, I’m totally irreverent, but at least this time I was just at the 4th grade concert. (I need to get the little cord thingy to hook-up my video camera to my computer so I don’t have any video for you, but I might try and post it in the future.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Do you know what Interlope means?

You may have noticed that I added a couple of new items on my sidebar, one of which is a link to

Ari has very enthusiastically been telling me about this game that they have been playing at school and I really didn’t think much of it, but decided to check it out today…you have to go try it.

It’s a vocabulary game that each time you get one correct they donate 20 grains of rice to the WFP (World Food Program). Although that doesn’t sound like much the website says that in the first five months they generated enough rice to feed 1 million people. Pretty awesome, right? And it’s addicting…I only played for a couple minutes because I’m at work, but I already want to go back and see if I can’t get my vocabulary level up. I was up to level 36, but it goes all the way to 60 so I have a lot of work to do :) Anyway, go check it out and then come back and tell me what level you got to. It’s fun and helping people all at the same time. So click the link below or the one on my sidebar and have fun.

Help end world hunger

Oh, by the way, interlope means to intrude.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Ari’s coach had the end of the year party at her house last night instead of the last practice, which I’m sure didn’t bother the kids one bit. The first hour they had a swimming party where only the kids were invited and then the parents got to come for the pizza and “awards” ceremony after that. I was a little weirded out that the parents weren’t “invited” to the first hour, but decided it would be ok because we had gotten to know these people at least a little over the course of the last couple months.

When DH and I got there we were in awe of their backyard. I was jealous that I wasn’t invited to swim. I don’t know if you can appreciate the beauty and serenity (as much serenity as you can have with a dozen 9 and 10 year olds) of this pool and backyard from the pictures but I felt like I had just walked into a spa of some type. Do you see the water falls at the back of the pool? She could turn those on and off with her PDA (Pool Digital Assistant) who knew there even was such a thing? The water from the jacuzzi overflows down into the pool and also has a waterfall that she turned on later. Ari thought it was the greatest thing to be able to eat in the jacuzzi and hang out in there while watching the "ceremony".

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that Ari has been diagnosed with mild ADHD. She does pretty well with it, but when I see her in situations like this with her peers I’m always reminded of it. As the coaches were presenting the “awards” they had each child come up and stand there as they said some nice things about them and their drive or determination or good attitude or whatever. Well all the kids went up and just stood there while the coaches were saying something and DH and I had to laugh because she could not stand still to save her life. For the two minutes she was up there she was playing with her hair or touching her face or shifting from one foot to the other. No wonder she can out-eat me and still stay thin .

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Amazing Women

Being that today is Mother’s Day I want to pay tribute to three amazing women, the first being my Mom. It will be hard for me to put into words just how amazing she is. She is selfless and caring and would do just about anything for someone she cares about. My mom has been the Relief Society President twice in the same ward (a congregation in the LDS church). For those of you who may not be familiar with the LDS church the Relief Society is an organization for the women in the congregation age 18 and up. The Relief Society President has a lot of responsibility and she is the “right hand” of the Bishop of the ward. My mom is a very classy lady. She is always dressed immaculately, but that does not stop her from rolling up her sleeves and getting dirty to help in any situation where she is needed. Like me, my mom is also pretty shy, so some people mistake her as being “stuck up” I’ll never forget, there was a great man in my ward growing up whose nickname was Tex and he was a very lively character. He left home (in the South) at the age of 10 or 12 or something like that and was a bootlegger (which he freely shared from the pulpit while bearing his testimony) and joined the church later in life. He would also cuss from the pulpit almost every time he bore his testimony, but everyone knew that Tex’s heart was in the right place and loved him dearly. Tex has since passed away, but one time a few years ago he was bearing his testimony and he singled out my mom. He said that when he first met my mom he thought she was stuck-up and probably looked down at people, but then once he got to know her he realized she was the most genuine, sincere and selfless woman he knew and that she would give a stranger the shirt off her back. My mom was probably fifty shades of red that day because she doesn’t do the things she does for recognition, but he was oh so right. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

My mom works outside of the home and has done pretty much all of my life. Yet somehow she found the time to be practically perfect in every way. She cooked and baked and cleaned and sewed. Every holiday was perfect with fun traditions like homemade candies for Easter and Christmas and homemade birthday cakes decorated just right. She made special treats for friends that came trick-or-treating on Halloween…no generic candy for friends. She was always on the PTA board and co-chairing the yearly carnival or some other activity. My sister’s and I got homemade Easter dresses and homemade pjs at Christmas from Mrs. Claus every year. If I could be half the mom to my girls that my mom was to us I would be doing good.

My little sister was always involved in the school musicals and so my mom got involved too. For years she did make-up and costuming for the high school musicals and then the city wide productions. She volunteers hours upon hours of her time because it’s something she enjoys. She enjoys staying busy and volunteers her time with a number of different events and activities in the community because she enjoys staying busy and helping.

The thing about my mom that I wish I could most emulate is her selflessness. She spends many Saturday mornings cleaning the home of a very sweet family in her ward where the husband and the wife both happen to be blind. As I said before my mom bakes (very well I might add) and does so as a way to just visit people and make sure they are doing well. When she was Relief Society President the second time she baked bread or cinnamon rolls almost every Saturday and said it was a great excuse to just stop by and see how people were doing. After she was released from that position she continued that tradition because she said she wanted people to know she personally cared about them and it wasn’t just because she had to for her position. One non-active woman was struggling with the law and custody of her daughters and she would call my mom and ask for her help. On more than one occasion my mom would babysit for her or take her to court or I’m sure many numerous things that I didn’t know about. She is always willing to take dinner to a new mom or visit a sick friend in the hospital. These are just a few examples of the dozens upon dozens of things my mom does for others. She is definitely a role model like no other. Thank you Mom, for being such a shining example of what I have the potential to become.

The next amazing woman I want to talk about is Aunt Julie. She is my husband’s aunt who he lived with starting at the age of 13 I believe. She is another selfless, truly amazing woman that I would do well to emulate. My husband’s mother died of cancer when he was 11 years old. After she passed away he and his brother lived with various family members for a few years before Aunt Julie stepped in and took them both under her wing. She was single and didn’t have any children so to then all of a sudden have two teenage boys had to be a challenge like none I can imagine. It was after he went to live with Aunt Julie that my husband joined the LDS church. Not long after my husband and his brother went to live with Julie she met and married a wonderful man (Uncle Lynn) whose wife had also passed away from cancer and he had two teenage children himself. I can’t even begin to imagine how trying it must have been to take on the mothering role to four teenagers let alone all of whom were all suffering from the loss of their respective mothers. I believe that in and of itself would qualify her to be a saint, but that is only the beginning of her wonderful qualities. She is a quiet and selfless woman who is very much the nurturer for everyone close to her. She is an RN and not long before she retired she was chosen as nurse of the year for the entire state of Idaho. She too has been Relief Society President and Young Women’s President and she is always selflessly serving people around her. I don’t have many examples of the things that Julie does on a day to day basis because she doesn’t flaunt her good deeds and I’m not around her enough to see all that she does, but from what I have seen I know she is truly a servant of the Lord. She and Lynn have always been so sweet to me and have accepted my children as their grandchildren and I can’t thank her enough for all she’s done for my husband and now me and my girls. Thank you Julie for accepting all of us into your family and for being such a wonderful example to me.

Now for the most amazing woman I never met. As I said before my husband’s mother passed away when he was 11, and we didn’t meet until high school so I never had the opportunity to meet this amazing woman. My husband has a compassion and a chivalry that I know had to have been instilled at a young age. Even though his mother did not get to be there as he grew into adulthood I know that a lot of who he became was because of the wonderful mother that he had. She is Filipino and my husband tells stories of living in The Philippines as a young child and how watching his mom give to the poor instilled that compassion for others. She also taught him to respect women. One little thing that I love is that to this day my husband always opens doors for me. I can’t wait for the day that I get to meet his mom in heaven and thank her for the man that my husband has become.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Birthday wishes

Happy happy birthday, TyRee dear;
Happy days will come to you all year.
If I had one wish, then it would be
A happy happy birthday to you from me!

Today is my older sister, TyRee’s birthday. When I was younger I idolized her because, well, she was my big sister. She is the smart one in the family. Now I’m not trying to put myself or my little sister down or anything, but that’s just Ty. She is just finishing up her first year in her doctoral program while working full-time. She is a Research Librarian at Montana State University – Billings. We recently saw each other for our other sister’s graduation and she was grading finals for a class she teaches while finishing up her own class work and had just gotten back from a conference for work. She is insanely organized; something I am not, yet wish I took after her a little more in this way. She shaped, for good or for bad I guess, part of who I am. I was either trying to be more like her, or trying to carve out a path out of her shadow(remember I am the middle child :). Every time I hear Duran Duran, or Depeche Mode or Erasure or OMD I think of her. I love those groups because they were some of my big sister’s favorites when I was still young and impressionable. She and I are both incredibly different and incredibly alike depending on what trait you want to look at. She is dependable and solid as a rock. I know I can always turn to her if I need anything. She is incredibly shy, even worse than me if that’s possible, but she accomplishes every task that’s asked of her with determination and grace. Anyway, I hope you have a Happy Birthday Ty, and know we are thinking of you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Food, glorious food.

If you have ever seen the movie Oliver you know where my blog title comes from. If not I highly recommend it, I loved this musical as a child, but you can listen to the food, glorious, food below if you so choose.

When Ari was 4 months old her doctor told me she was ready to start solids, so on Christmas day she got to have her first taste of rice cereal.

Well, because of this experience we assumed that at Devyn's 4 month appointment her doctor would also recommend to start feeding her solid food. When she didn't I asked when we should start and she said that they are now finding that it is better to wait to start them later and she recommended waiting until 6 months. We dutifully waited even though we could tell that Devyn would have been happy to get her mouth on something other than that bottle. We thought about starting her last week, but where Ari, Devyn and I were going to Utah over the weekend I decided that I didn't want to have to deal with all of the mess while we were away so we decided to wait until we got back Sunday night. After getting home Sunday we thought it might be a good idea to make sure that rice cereal was what they still recommended for their first food and since Devyn had her 6 month appointment the following morning we thought it couldn't hurt to wait one more day. Well monday came and we found out that sure enough rice cereal is that way to go so we were going to feed her that night but then we ended up having so much going on that by the time we would have gotten to feed her it was too late and she was cranky and tired and we wanted it to be a good experience so we waited yet again. Tuesday it was. I was home sick, so as soon as Ari got home from school we got the video camera ready. She LOVED it! No transition time for her. She is definitely going to be an eater. Cereal=Yummy