Thursday, May 29, 2008


The last day of school ... until August. This was a surprisingly quiet day with pretty much everyone opting to go somewhere else to celebrate their freedom. They were probably afraid I would really make a chore list. So, my neighbor calls me a little before 2 (I think) and asks if my older girls can watch her youngest (who's 5) from 3:30 until 5. I explain that they may not be around but she's welcome to send her daughter over here since I'm not going anywhere. We agree (after I insist) that no payment is necessary. So the afternoon goes on and 5 o'clock comes and my neighbor (the husband this time) is at my door. I see him and think "Why is he here?" And then my stomach sinks. I was supposed to have his daughter and I haven't seen her once! He says, "I have S.(though he went ahead and used her name) and I'm going to take her to her party now. Do I owe you anything?" Yikes! I explained that my kids had been playing outside all day (which is absolutely true though they checked in now and then) and I hadn't even seen her. She was absolutely no trouble -- that is true -- except for the feelings of horror and guilt that I didn't even remember she was coming. I am so glad she was fine! I guess when her sister sent her over she went straight to playing outside without ever ringing the doorbell. Either that or she came when I was outside in the back with Dan. Tip for people who want me to watch your kids. I do much better at watching people if I know they're around! I'd better go before I need to write a blog about burnt chicken.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why THAT music?

I can't seem to resist explaining myself. So, why did I pick THAT music? Laura helped me get it set up yesterday and there is a limited selection of music to choose from. For example, MoTab is my favorite but the selection didn't include too many of their songs and I took the Battle Hymn off because they were missing my favorite part of it. They did have Michael Buble. I heard his songs first on the radio and second at my younger brother's house -- they are, at least mostly, remakes of old songs. "Save the Last Dance for Me" is a favorite of "baby" Dan's since he is my usual partner for dancing and he thinks it's fun. Derek will dance with me when I listen to "Everything" if I beg-- though I confess it's "junior high dancing" which makes the kids laugh. I have a few Lex De Azevedo cds and so I chose one from the few of his they had -- no really fun story there but it is a beautiful song. "Edelweis" comes from one of the best movies of all time(no, don't argue with me, I won't be convinced) and is a favorite of mine for singing around the house -- though I can't seem to manage the duet part by myself. Finally, Engelbert Humperdink (everyone is thankful that isn't their name!) was a favorite of my mothers when I was in elementary school -- at least that's my memory. I have fond memories of opening the door after school to hear him singing. I would curl up by the record player while my Mom worked in the kitchen. I really don't remember "She" but I liked it when I listened to it. I put "Quando, Quando, Quando" on because I do remember it and can still sing along to a lot of it -- and because if Der ever visits my blog he might laugh -- friends of ours actually sang this song at convention in October -- but I like Engelbert's version best!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I love kids!

I was trying to catch one of the really crusty looks that Dan gives me sometimes. He's very good at it. Unfortunately I accidentally set the timer on my camera instead of just clicking the correct button and so it took too late. He just looks sad and grumpy. He wasn't feeling well. He's better now.
This is from that same series where he was making faces. He had woken up from a nap in the car and when I started to take his seatbelt off he got mad and wanted it back on. I put it back on and started taking pictures. He didn't want out for a while.
Wow, Derek managed to catch Jake happier than he was looking most of graduation -- except the part where he kept waving at me. I liked that.
Jake sort of participated in graduation. He kept giving the boy next to him who was doing all of the movements enthusiastically a look that seemed to say "why are you doing that?" He half heartedly said some of the words and did some of the actions and he yawned a lot. I chuckled the whole time. Jake is cute. He is very excited to have school out. His eyes lit up the other day when he said "Mom, do you think I have any homework?" I couldn't lie because I'm kind of bad at it so I said "no" and he just smiled and said "NO MORE HOMEWORK!". He's okay with just reading a book every day as long as I don't call it homework. He thought Kindergarten was long. I'm afraid of next year!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Being Charitable

I've had several ideas that I could write about. My first idea was to write about the funny slip ups that people make in speaking. Then I thought -- is this charitable? Maybe they don't want to remember when they've goofed up in speaking. I think that Derek's co-worker will forgive me for mentioning his slip up in leaving out two words the other day. He was speaking at a convention recognition session after a banquet and he said "After today, you'll never be again". If that were true then I doubt we would have knowingly spent our last hours at the banquet / session -- even if the food was tasty -- but it was fish so I wouldn't have picked that for my last meal either.

Then -- frustrations. I must be having trouble being charitable or it would not bug me so much when my checker/bagger moves really slowly and then carefully packs my loaf of bread in with two boxes of crackers and the container of rice milk. I removed the bread trying to rescue it from a completely flattened state. All the while, Dan was not speeding up the process by moving the bagging turntable thing.

I tend to get easily frustrated when I'm tired. Thus Monday, when we were supposed to be getting ready for FHE (family home evening) I was trying to restrain myself from yelling at everyone and maybe even clobbering somebody. It is when I'm tired that I think my children don't work hard enough and are too loud. When I am not tired I may still think that but I'm nicer about it.

Finally -- true frustration is when you are looking forward to finally getting something done -- so you put your one year old down for a nap only to have him climb back out. Instead of charitably rejoicing in his accomplishment I just bemoaned my loss of quiet time. Now I have snoring on my shoulder and only one hand free. Argh.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Learning a Language

"Hooray Pets!" yelled Dan while doing a happy dance (the picture is from a different hooray -- I don't always have the camera handy). The television was on to the surprisingly humorous "Wonder Pets" and so he was cheering for them. It was the end though so a picture of Dora the Explorer popped up and he said "backpack!" For those not versed in childrens shows there is always a backpack on Dora. And then a baby popped on the television and he said "Baby! Awwwww. Baby! Awwww. Biper(diaper). He was doing pretty well at identifying things that came up.
Watching my children learn the English language has been enjoyable every time. Dan will look me right in the eye and chatter away. I understand maybe two words but he's so pleased that I'm paying attention. I got to wondering if it is as amusing for people in other countries when we go over there and try to speak their language. Do they chuckle to themselves over listening to Spanish (or Finnish, or French) with a Utah accent or even a southern accent? Probably if we were as cute and innocent as babies -- and a lot less concerned about what people thought -- we'd learn languages faster.
They might put us in the loony bin (that's probably not politically correct) if we did the things kids do though. Trisa used to chase birds yelling "Here birdie!" All of the kids liked to "talk" on the phone (which might just be a block that is subbing as a phone) and some said "Hi Shannon" so you could tell who I was talking to because they imitated me. One said "Heaven sakes!" a lot and it took me a while to figure out that they got it from me. Dan says "Oh man!" The kids taught him. He says "Daynit" too and I don't know where he picked that up. I even find it a bit sad when they learn things aren't right. I'm dreading the day that Jake says "thing" instead of "fing". On the other hand, I suppose I'd be embarrassed if he still said "fing" in high school.
I'm out of time. I'm going to go practice the English language and maybe soon I'll brave practicing my five words of spanish on someone.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

20th Wedding Anniversary -- May 11

Just over 20 years ago Derek's Mom threw a bridal shower for me. This is me in my wrapping paper "wedding dress". My hair was lots more curly back then and I was just beginning to learn the names of aunts and cousins. I think I had all of the brothers and sisters and their nick names down by then.
This was May 7, 1988! My Mom is on the far right. My dress was home made -- by my Mom I think since I'm not a seamstress. Only four more days until the wedding! Our singles ward only had one more Sunday to call us cute (something that was repeated frequently -- maybe to see Derek scowl).
Due to a miscommunication with the photographer we never had any professional pictures of our wedding. We had a professional video which disappeared sometime in the last five years -- which made me sad since the technology to take some still pictures from it exists now. Even with this, I always thought of our wedding day as the perfect day (sigh).

I really couldn't resist putting in this picture of our wedding line. My grandma is there! She was almost 85. The baby in the picture is my nephew who will be back from his mission next month! The tall one is our friend, and best man. He was so nervous for us that morning that he got to the temple almost as early as we did. He kept us laughing while we stood in line. Always pick someone fun to stand next to you in a wedding line -- then the smiles don't have to be faked and you keep grinning even if the cheeks feel exhausted.

Uncle Brad is in line for some cake while Derek and I consulted together (and with our best man's advice) over the best way to proceed. I don't think we even fed each other cake -- if so it was not messy and therefore not too memorable. My Mom made the cake. It was good -- for months. We kept cake in our freezer and ate it until it was finally a bit freezer burned.
This is a picture taken while Der and I were on our honeymoon. We couldn't really afford to go anywhere fun but we stopped anywhere that looked pretty and took pictures. We did have a one nights stay at a cabin as a gift, but then we drove to Price and stayed in a dingy room with a squeaky bathroom door. Hey -- it still gives us chuckles 20 years later!
Due to circumstances beyond our control we graduated from college in our lovely apartment. I thought you might enjoy seeing the duck washcloth that hung in our apartment as a picture for a couple of years before I could convince Der that we could finally use it as a washcloth. I guess it was lovelier than the wall.
I bravely added this hilarious picture of me, pregnant with Trisa, so you could appreciate the fine countertop color, the lovely wallpaper and the red curtains with a green fringe (you can't tell from this picture but it was red with a green fringe) You can't see the yellow linoleum or the orange carpet. For years I figured that either I, or this apartment were scaring all of the brothers away from marriage. Really they were just waiting for the stellar women they married.
I couldn't resist putting this picture in. I've always loved it. Derek has always been a proud dad. This just happens to be Trisa and the first child he had to be proud of.

This is the day Trisa was blessed and so you can remember that I'm kind of old -- but not too old and you can look at "Cold Cocoa and Megz" and Di wearing white tights. You can also enjoy seeing other family members who were there that day. This would also have been Der's Dad's birthday. Festive times!
Twenty years later our house looks (I hope) more than a tad nicer than the apartment did and we have lots more family members to enjoy (both children and extended family). We were very happy then though, and we are really happy now. I think we were exhausted both times. So in honor of our anniversary --

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fun fashion for today.

Here are some examples of fashion (or lack of it) from my picture files. My niece looking very fine in her Mom's boots.
The girls are looking eighties for their uncles party.

Tia is dressed up in some nice Cambodian fabric. Dan is wearing his Aunt Tonya's boots. Doesn't he look fabulous?