Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Got My Skills at the Storymakers Conference

It's that time of year when I start thinking about making more time for writing. Most of the time I do my best with the time I have, but once Christmas is over, I make more time. For my books, that is.

You see, registration for the LDSStorymakers Writers' Conference has begun. This year I actually started thinking about it much sooner. As soon as I got the babysitting job back in September I planned on using the money to get me to the conference. I'm still working the kinks out, but I think it might happen. I have to drive my kids across the country, find a babysitter for that weekend, and see if I can afford the hotel reservation or just get up extra early and drive from my in-laws in West Valley or my friends around Provo.

I've been to the Conference for the last three years and I've loved it every time. I know a few of you who read this blog are writers and might be interested in going, so I'll give you a link to their site where you can read more about it. Each Conference I've been to has been great and each one is better than the last. I've learned a lot and I know my writing has improved from attending these Conferences. If any of you Cleveland girls want to go, let me know and you can come with. Maybe we can split a room at the hotel!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Make Believe

I've missed blogging. And even though it takes my in-laws' computer about 10 minutes to load the page so I can write a post, I need to write.

I thought about this yesterday when we were all teasing, feeling sorry for, and admiring (all at the same time) my sister in-law. You see, she has someone in her life that at the age of 21 still likes to play house. And not just any house, but "Harry Potter house". My sister in-law has been forced to be Hermione on a number of occasions and has had to pretend to ask someone to the Yule Ball. I say we were teasing her because she was going to see this girl yesterday for a party that was non-Potter related, but few could believe that H.P. would be completely absent. I say feel sorry for because obviously she's not thrilled to be playing Hermione (she'd rather be Ron, just kidding, Laura!). And I say admiring because it isn't always easy to be friendly and do something you really don't want to do with someone who should have the mental capacity of a 21 year old, but doesn't. Kudos to you, Laura.

Anyway, I said this whole thing made me think of a time in my life when I was forced to play make-believe games when I didn't want to. In elementary school I was a little bit of a tomboy. I liked some of the girly stuff, like My Little Ponies and The Baby Sitters' Club but with Barbies I was really picky. It had to be a really cool Barbie for me to like it or want it. Like the Barbies and the Rockers doll or the Barbie with the poodle skirt. I lived in a neighborhood where there was only one other girl and she loved Barbies. All Barbies. And she loved Ken, too. She would have her Barbies go on dates and get married and have kids. Her Barbies would dress up in fancy clothes and shop. She would always want me and my Barbies to participate in this nonsense. She'd come over and we'd go out in the back yard, bringing all the Barbies into the wooden club house my dad built for my brother and me. She'd start telling me which Barbies where doing what, who was marrying which Kens, and which Barbies were the kids. After about five minutes (tops) I would announce that my Barbie had a terrible disease and needed to sleep. I'd then sit and daydream about other thing I could be doing with my time. If my friend tried to bring my Barbie back into play, I went to extreme measures and I killed her off. "Oh, she didn't make it. So sad. Wanna play something else?"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Yesterday afternoon I went home. That evening I had to leave again.

I never thought I would really consider Logan, Utah my home, but as we drove out of the canyon, Nathan turned to me and asked, "Do you feel like you're coming home?" and it was then that I realized the peace I felt was because I felt like I was home.

Entering into the familiar city brought a realization to me. Only a few days before this I'd told Nathan that in no uncertain terms would we live anywhere that snows. I hate snow. A lot. I hate driving in it. I hate having to wear heavy coats and getting the kids bundled up. I hate not being able to take the kids to the park because of snow. But as I entered Logan I thought to myself, "I could do it, if we lived here again."

Some of our best friends are still in Logan, some to stay. They kindly put together a party so we could visit everyone at the same time and it was wonderful to see our friends. (Thank you Amber and Sara!) It was great to see the little kids we'd known, the babies that were born after we left and the new Mamas-to-be.

Pizza, veggies, and fruit snacks were lovingly provided for the occasion and picture-taking was in abundace. It was great to catch up with everyone. I only wish I'd had more time to visit with each family one on one. (Next time, Jess, y'all better be there!)

I don't know if we'll really end up in Logan after dental school, but we'll see. We all felt happy and comfortable there, just like we'd come home after a long vacation in a much more hectic place.

Monday, December 15, 2008


The other day I had an epiphany. This great fountain of knowledge would have been put to better use when I was in elementary school and is actually quite worthless now. But had I had this little golden nugget of smarts when I was a kid a lot of stress and worry could have been avoided.

Listen up all you grade schoolers out there. (There could be some, I had one comment on my blog once.)


You can slack of every other week, or even for a whole month! And guess what else. . . . You're not graded on Show and Tell. If you bring something kind of lame, you don't get a C-. If you forget, you don't get an F!

Do you know how many weeks I spent running through my house and/or backyard trying to find something cool that would get me a good grade for Show and Tell? I was terrified I'd fail Show and Tell if I didn't bring anything. And those days I forgot to bring something, ugh. I was riding low in my seat just imagining the big F that was being written right next to my name in the teacher's grade book.

So don't y'all be worrying your pretty little heads about your class's Show and Tell. It's nothing to stress over. Remember, just breathe in and out, sit high in your seat and say, "Nah, I didn't feel like it this week. Maybe next week."

I'm Leaving in a Mini Van . . . Don't know when I'll be Back Again

Yes, in about four and a half hours we will be on our way to Tucson, AZ and then after that we will trek north to SLC. For those of you in the Logan area, we'll be there December 22. Hope to see you!!! Why am I still awake if we are driving at 5:00 A.M.? I was finishing Christmas presents that won't be fun to work on in the van. ModPodge and vans just don't get along. Neither do vans and sewing machines. Ah well. At least they are done now. Or at least drying now.

Wanna see?
Do ya, do ya, do ya?

This is for my sister in-law. She just had a beautiful baby boy named Tristan.
This was my first attempt at doing anything with a canvas. Unfortunately it shows that this was my first time with a canvas. Also I couldn't find my thin paintbrush and I had to paint the words on with the edge of the tip of a foam brush. It wasn't easy, so lay off. The boat, train, and "T" are all from scrap fabrics I got from my friend Lindsey.

Here is my cheaper version of a pirate map I saw online. The online store wanted $17. I wasn't willing to pay it and so I was forced to draw my own boat and alligator.
It was actually really easy and quick to make.
I think Jeremy will get a lot of play out of thise since he loves to say, "Argh, Maty!"

This is a picture frame (I actually made this a while back). If you look close you'll be able to see what book I ripped the pages from. I decided I'd never read the book again, so why keep it around in its entirety? Not sure who this if for yet. Who wants it? Any takers?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Art

While other children were drawing and coloring pictures of Jesus or ponies today in Sacrament meeting, my little Jeremy drew packing peanuts. This made Megan excited and she, too started drawing packing peanuts. But I have to say, Jeremy's looked better.

I'm not sure what this says about us. But I am sure the fact that my kids draw packing peanuts says something.

Just so you know . . .

For those of you who were so happy for us at Church today that Emma didn't have a blow out, she was just waiting until we got home and I could hold her.

Oh well.

There's always next week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To answer your question . . .

A few of you asked how Megan reacted. She was upset that we left behind her pink soda, but when I explained we'd get some at a different store, she was fine. She wanted to know which words had been bad words. I of course didn't repeat them, but told her that pretty much everything that had come out of the girl's mouth had been a bad word.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Adventure in Cleveland

I haven't decided yet if this story is an adventure or an adventure. which is what everyone in Logan told me life in Cleveland would be.

Here's a (very) short list of things I'm grateful for:

1.) It's almost Christmas.
2.) I get to spend time in Arizona next week where it's warm and there's no chance of snow.
3.) Every day that passes I'm closer to getting out of Ohio. Specifically, Cleveland.

I know a lot of people in my ward here love it. But I don't understand it. I can't stand it here. I hate it every time someone asks me, "So how do you like it here?" Because it's one of those questions that you really don't want to answer honestly for fear of offending the person who asked. Usually I just mention the crazy street system because they have to agree with the insanity of the roads here. Then I try to change the subject. This tactic may no longer work since I already opened my Christmas present from Nathan-a GPS system. I can't get lost anymore. Yay!

Here is my latest reason for wanting to leave--because being propositioned a few times, the prospect of an eternal winter, the roads, and being far from family aren't enough.

Everywhere I've lived I feel like I've had really good neighbors. In Texas people were friendly and generally respected everyone's differences. In my high school (where people are generally immature and self centered) everyone who knew me, knew I didn't swear or use any kind of offensive language. Every one, not just my friends, but every single person in that high school who knew me, so most of my class, the entire marching band, the entire drama club, the colorguard/winterguards, etc. watched their language when they were around me. If they slipped up and cussed, they always apologized. Every. Single. Time.

I've also lived in Idaho, Utah, and various cities in British Columbia and never in any of those places have I had an experience like I did last week.

Here, apparently, being respectful isn't a widespread concept. Megan and I ran to the second nearest grocery store, the very closest being way too expensive for a dental school budget. As we stood in line with our dinner rolls and Cranberry Ginger Ale a group of girls walked up behind us. I could smell the fresh cigarette smoke wafting off of them as they laughed loudly and obnoxiously. I worked to ignore them by joking around with Megan. Suddenly a guy entered the store and recognized the girl who was being checked out at the register (we were next in line). He greeted her with a longing in his eyes and hands that only reached her backside. Then one of the girls behind us flashed her gold braces at him, catching his lusty attention with those shining beauties and her "grown"-upness. If you didn't catch on to what "grown"-upness means, you will soon. He quickly left his friend at the register and moved on to his next prey. Vulgarity after vulgarity spewed forth from their mouths. I cannot even begin to describe it. After about the third F-bomb I turned around to ask, "Excuse me, I have a four year old who repeats everything she hears. Would you mind toning it down while we are in line?" I didn't even get half way through my request before hands were flying in front of my face, more vulgarity pounded against my ears, I was being called cruel names, and was accused of racism.

Excuse me? Did I miss something?

The girl insisted that she was "grown" and could use whatever language she liked. She insisted it was the parents' responsibility to teach their children what words were appropriate and what words aren't, which I completely agree with her, duh. And so I stated, "I guess you missed that lesson." To which she replied for the billionth time, "I'm grown!" I guess when she was a little girl her See 'N' Say was the Hussy-Witch version, not the farm animals version I had. She told me she didn't come out in public to watch her language and could say what she liked. There's some sense in this, but really, since when do people use that kind of vulgarity at the grocery store? Go to a sleezy bar for that. She had basically propositioned herself to the guy right there next to the candybars and bubblegum.

If they'd done their business and vulgarity in a bar it would still public, but less likely that they'd offend others. She continued to call me awful names and I informed her that she wasn't as mature as her "grown"-upness led her to believe and that just because she was falling out of her shirt, that didn't make her mature. In the end, there was a police officer and the store manager not twenty feet away and neither of them did anything. Megan and I left the store, leaving our items on the conveyor belt and not two seconds from being checked out. I said just loud enough for the manager to hear that we would never be returning to that establishment. I'd already had a beef with that store (they have smut magazines right at child eye level whether sitting in the cart or standing next to it) so now I will have two things to write to the manager about when I send them my official letter of discontent.

Why can't women be like they used to be? Gentle, kind, softspoken? I'm thinking back to when our grandmothers were young women. When it was ok (and expected) for women to act like women. When gender roles were more defined and stood by. What happened to the days when fighting, swearing, and tattoos were things of men and compassion, love, and care were things of women? Women wore dresses or nice slacks. I don't think my grandmother ever wore pants of any kind in her entire life. Hair was always done, makeup perfect and voices sweet. The only radio station that comes in clearly in our Honda is an oldies station. I don't mean The Beatles oldies, I mean Oldies like 1940's. I've been listening to it and wishing we could go back to a time when women were women and men were men. I love listening to the music of that time period. It is so innocent and full of good clean fun. And so to end on a good note, go here and click on #10 'a' You're adorable. It's awesome good clean fun!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Random Pictures I've Been Meaning to Post

Megan's Birthday Bash Pictures

(The pink thing, I think she referred to it as an airplane, is Megan's creation for her cake)

Here are some pictures from Megan's birthday party. Her party was Saturday and it was her first party with friends. The girls had fun dressing up in Meg's play clothes, playing bean bag toss, ponies, and with everything else in her room. They loved running around the apartment and a couple of the girls took great enjoyment in trying to scare our fish. I'm not really sure why.

Megan asked me over and over to open her presents. Being that this was her first birthday party with friends, I didn't really know what I was doing and the order things were supposed to happen. So after it looked like they'd all played and were ready for Megan to open her presents I finally consented. Then I wondered if they were supposed to have birthday cake first. Oh well.

Here we are working on the party favors. Little fancy purses that they could decorate. I saw them on the [shudder] Martha Stewart website. Do you see my haggard, still in my glasses, unbrushed hair thrown into a pony-tail appearance? Yeah. I was up until 4:30 A.M. working on birthday stuff. Mostly the party favors and the cake. I ran out of fondant for the cake. Yes, I know that when doing fondant you should bake the cake a couple days before the party, put the fondant on the cake the day before the party and then decorate on top of the fondant later that
day or the day of the party. It didn't work out that way, ok? I bought the fondant Friday night (I got to Michael's just in time), put the fondant on the bottom layer and realized I didn't have enough. Since I was running low on time I bought the precolored stuff. It wasn't enough. Hence the nasty yellow stripe running around the bottom layer of the cake. When the pink fondant didn't work and I had to throw the mess into the garbage, I set my alarm clock for 8 A.M. (the time Wal-Mart opens). When the alarm went off I told Nathan why I'd set it and he chivalrously offered to go get me some plain fondant that I could color myself. Then after I colored the fondant and placed it on the cake, Megan helped me decorate it. We had a lot of fun deciding where to place the flowers. I also let Megan decorate the cupcakes all by herself. I dont' have any pictures of those though. All the girls licked the sprinkles and frosting off the delicious Italian Creme cupcakes and then threw away the cupcakes. Sad. Oh well. Megan did it, too.

It was a pretty fun day for everyone I think. After the party I ran to Wal-Mart for yams and apples (Church Christmas party that night) and then took a nap while I let Nathan make the candied yams and apples. I also stayed home from Church on Sunday. I started to get sick at the Christmas party and was still exhausted Sunday morning (probably because Emma wouldn't fall asleep until 1:30 A.M. Saturday night). Megan is having a blast with all her birthday presents, so thank you to everyone who came!

Ok, I was going to edit this post so that all the text and pictures were lined up nicely, but I'm tired. sorry. Yeah. I'm not even backspacing to capitalize that s. deal with it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Babe is 4


Today my little girl turns 4.
I simply can't believe how quickly it has gone by and how
much she has grown.
Today she started making a list of all the things she's going to try to do now that she's 4.
I can't remember all of them, but what I do
remember includes:

Not using knives (thank goodness),
Jumping higher,
and carefully pouring juice
when she's 5,
but trying to pour other things more carefully now.

(This next part might be lost on you if you never saw the Ann-Margret version of Bye Bye Birdie)

We Love You, Megan
Oh, Yes We Do!
We Love You, Megan
We Think You're Cool!
When You're Not Near Us
We're bored.
Oh, Meggy-Meg, We Love You!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

HP Magic Giveaway!!!!

Moosh in Indy is taking part in the HP Magic Giveaway!! To enter you have to write a post on what you'd do if you won (for more specifics go to her post on it by clicking on Moosh in Indy).

Growing up I was a wannabe philanthropist. I imagined myself making millions of dollars (on a teacher's salary, no less) and donating nearly all of it to all the starving people of the world. Before I realized that some of the homeless people panhandling at the stoplights in the greater Houston area weren't actually homeless and made more money than my honest and hardworking parents, I imagined myself setting up a program to help them get the education, food, clothing, and opportunities needed to make a better life for themselves.

I've never been able to imagine why some people make millions of dollars a year, live in a mansion, and have only themselves or a spouse and two kids. Where does the extra money go? I know some of those people generously make tax deductible donations, but really, if they have all that extra, why let it sit in a bank account not doing anyone any good? I guess I am an idealist. I just can't understand what seems to be waste and selfishness.

Now I'm "grown up." I haven't exactly realized my childhood dream of making millions of dollars to generously bestow on others less fortunate than I. Instead of being the one to help others, I've had to swallow my pride and allow others to help me. For five and a half of the six and a half years my husband and I have been married, one or both of us have been "poor college students." In addition to the oh-so-common title of Poor College Students, for the last three years my family has been dubbed as "the poor family" in our Church congregation. We don't know who decided that we were worse off than anyone else in the neighborhood, much less who decided it three years in a row, but we couldn't deny that the help we received in the form of Christmas presents for the kids, a small Christmas tree, cash, and food were all very much appreciated.

All the generosity my family has experienced through the receiving end has only strengthened my desire to be the one who can do the helping. I always imagined myself, with my husband out of dental school, going back up to our old college town and bringing a nice fat check to the Bishop of our previous congregation there and asking him to give it to a family or families in his congregation who need it.

If I won the HP giveaway, I wouldn't have to wait for my husband to be done with dental school to begin my childhood dream (and Poor College Student dream). I could go back sooner rather than later and have something to give. Either way, I'll still bring that check in a few more years when dental school is done, but it would be awesome to help the Poor College Student Family of 2008 that took our place when we left.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Freezer Ate My Slaw

Do you want to know why I'm sad right now? Earlier today I was looking for the leftovers of the absolutely yummy coleslaw that my mom made while she was here. I couldn't find it anywhere. You'd think it'd be in the fridge, right? I looked! I checked the counter to see if I forgot to put it away last night. Nope.

I just found it.

In the freezer.

So mom, do you think it'd still be good?


Lack of inspiration for a real post has led me to write this . . .

Oh, the weather outside is frightful.
I'm not feelin' real insightful.
I think I'd like to stay in bed
With a book
And a mug
Of cocoa.

When it finally turns to night
And all the kids are sleep in their beds
I finally have a chance
To get all my crafts and work done.

But the softness of my pillow
Is lookin' real inviting
And my book is callin' to me.
Read me now,
Read me now,
Read me now!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

8 Tagged

Kim tagged me with the 8s list so here goes. . . .

8 TV Shows I Love to Watch:

1. House

2. Prison Break

3. Arrested Development (When we borrow the DVDs from my brother)

4. The Office (Which I only watch when we check out the DVDs from the library)

5. What Not to Wear (Which I only get to watch when I'm at my parents' house)

6. Super Nanny (Is that what it's even called? I haven't actually watched it in a long time. . . .)



— We don't watch anything else. Really it's only House and Prison Break.

8 Places I Love to Eat:

1. The Olive Garden

2. Rudy's BBQ

3. The Potbelly Oven (I've actually only eaten at the Potbelly in the Chicago airport and oh wow, it was delicious!)

4. My mom's house

5. Anywhere I don't have to do the cooking or cleaning

6. Earls (in O Canada! There are only three in the U.S.)



—I can't think of any others

8 Things that happened yesterday:

1. I took my parents to the airport :(

2. Megan went to bed without dinner for the first time :(

3. We finally got a computer chair so we don't have to sit o

n a camp chair anymore.

4. I won a game of Othello!

5. Went out to eat with my parents before taking them to

the airport.

6. Read. A lot.

7. Got some sewing done.

8. Played Set by myself as Nathan read the final Mistborn book to me.

8 Things I Love about Fall:

1. Leave changing color

2. Upcoming holidays

3. Good food

4. Fireplaces





—Sorry, I just don't like Fall enough to think of anymore. The arrival of Fall means Winter is coming and I hate Winter.

8 Things on My Wish List:

1. For Nathan to be done with school and in a secure career.

2. The economy to bounce back.

3. A house with a fenced in backyard. In Texas. Close to my parents.

4. Perfectly obedient children. (You're all laughing at me, aren't you? Well, it's MY WISH list, not my Reality list)

5. My own sewing/craft room.

6. Time to sew and do crafts and read and write.

7. To get my books published and be a beloved author.

8. To have more patience (because #4 isn't really going to happen).

8 People I am Tagging:

I'm tagging people who read my blog but don't leave comments (and anyone else who wants to do it). Let me know so I can check yours out.

Friday, November 28, 2008


So it looks like Jeremy's hip caught a cold, but it left in time for him to be home for Thanksgiving. He had a fever of 103 Tuesday night, but was well enough to come home on Wednesday afternoon! Apparently the cold was causing fluid to build up in his hip and that is why he couldn't walk or apply pressure anywhere on his leg. The doctors took some of that fluid out to get a culture of it and after that, he felt fine. They kept him there though because of the fevers and because they still weren't sure if it was an infection that they would need to flush out with surgery or an inflammation that would eventually go away on its own. In the end (or at least the way I understood it) the doctors think it was a viral infection that ran it's course and is now gone. So he's home and just as crazy and cute as ever!

It was a real blessing that it happened when it did. If it had been a week earlier or later we'd have gone nuts. Nathan would be in school and I'd have had to stay at the hospital with him and have the other two kids. STRESS! With this timing it was during break so Nathan could stay there while I took care of the other two at home and visited Jeremy when I could. Plus, my parents were here for Thanksgiving and were a huge help to us with the whole thing.

Thank you mom and dad!

So now things are back to normal and life goes on. . . .

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yay for Jeremy!

Jeremy is home! He's all better. I will post more about his time in the hospital and his recovery soon. We're about to eat Thanksgiving dinner! Yum!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Infection or Inflammation?

I'm taking a leave of absence for a while. I'm not sure how long. Yesterday (Sunday) Jeremy suddenly couldn't walk on his right foot, claiming that his knee hurt. We figured he smashed his knee during snack time or jumped off something. We discovered that it hurt worse than just a smash or a bruise. Last night he woke screaming and crying in pain repeatedly. We brought him into our bed so we could comfort him as much as we could. Then this morning Nathan took Jeremy to the doctor's office who then immediately redirected him to the E.R. The doctor thought Jeremy fractured his leg, which would have been nice because then he would have been back home the same day. Instead, when he got to the E.R. they did two sets of X-rays, an ultrasound, and also took fluid from his hip. They think the problem is with his hip, that there is fluid there and is either an infection or an inflammation. If it is the infection then he will have surgery Tuesday morning. If it is the inflammation, then they think it could be a thing where it could come and go. I don't really see one of those being better than the other.

So I will be spending time with Jeremy this week. Also, my parents are in town for Thanksgiving, so they came at just the right time to help. I hope everyone has a great holiday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My First Blog Award

Thanks Shauna! I'm so excited! Thanks for the bloggy love

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Patience. . .

is something I don’t have much of. In high school I always thought I had some. Even in college I thought I did. Apparently it wasn't patience I had, but instead a bad case of lack-of-a-backbone-itis. And then something happened. I had children. And then something happened to make it worse. A lovely woman named Elizabeth told me that I shouldn’t keep things bottled up inside. From that moment I’ve been like a firecracker. I guess I need to find a balance. I've lost good friends (one of them a sister in-law that I love and miss very much) because of this.

I guess now I suffer from lack-of-tact-itis.

I wrote more about my lack of patience here.

Abinadi by H.B. Moore-Book Review

I finished Abiniadi by H.B. Moore last night. I stayed up till after 1 A.M. to finish it. This book was different from every other "Church" book I've ever read. Moore is the author of the Out of Jerusalem series, the last of which, Land of Inheritance, won a Whitney Award in 2007 for Best Historical.

I first met Heather Moore at a writing conference back in 2006. When I saw on her blog she was requesting people to read her book and review it, I quickly offered. Then I was even more excited when she accepted my offer.

For those of you who aren't familiar with who Abinadi was, here's a quick low down. Abinadi was a prophet in The Book of Mormon. Abinadi was called to preach repentace to the Nephites, a group of decendants of people who traveled from Jerusalem to the Americas at 600 B.C. At the time, the Nephites were incredibly wicked and in the end, caused Abinadi to suffer death by fire.

Most Latter Day saints tend to think of him like this. The Arnold Friberg version.

Copyright Arnold Friberg

Old, near the end of his life, and physically weak.

While Moore was writing the first draft of her book she saw Walter Rane's verion of Abinadi. Young, strong, prime of life. Probably had a young family, children. . .being bound by the Nephites to be brought before King Noah and presented at a mock trial.

Copyright Walter Rane

After viewing the painting she decided to place Abinadi at 27 years old at the beginning of the novel. Moore's book is incredibly well researched. I was impressed with the level of historical detail (much of which is discussed in the chapter notes at the end of the book.) While Moore has taken creative license with Abinadi's life, everything she has created is realistic. I loved the way she integrated actual scripture into the dialogue, especially in the mock trial scene where Abinadi recites the ten commandments to King Noah and his wicked high priests.

While I was reading the book I took the time to reread Mosiah chapter 11. It was amazing to read the chapter and include in my mind the rich, descriptive images from Moore's writings. Reading Moore's novel actually helped this passage of scripture come more alive for me.

While the book focuses on Abinadi, there is another character which is sculpted out in such a way that I feel I now have a better understanding of Alma. I always knew Alma was a high priest of King Noah, that he'd felt the Spirit of God when Abinadi preached, and had left the court of Noah to preach the words of God in secret. I knew this, but never really understood what it meant for Alma to be a wicked high priest in King Noah's court until I read this book.

Her fictionalizations didn't overtake the truthfulness of the scriptures, but rather helped me understand the scriptures better while giving me a terrific story.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of this time period, wants a clearer perception of life for the Nephites during this time period, particularly the extremely righteous and the extremly wicked, and anyone who loves a good story.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking Genius

I've been thinking about doing a post on this for a while. While we were in Logan I came across a company called Piggies & Paws. I got online and saw a few of their way cute designs; they don't have a lot posted on the site for copyright reasons, but the artists themselves have huge binders full for you to browse through. For those of you who haven't clicked on the link on the bottom right sidebar, you can click the link above to find out more about them. They are a specialized group of artists who take your child's foot/hand print and create a fun picture out of it. For example, one of mine has Megan's hand and fingers blossoming into beautiful flowers (I'd show them here, but again, they are copyrighted) and Emma's footprint is in the upper corner transformed into a bumblebee. In the other picture, Jeremy's footprint was transformed into a a spaceship and looks dang cool.

The Piggies & Paws artist who did ours is Pam Odd and she is, besides extremely talented in the Jedi ways of making kids sit still long enough to get a print off their hands and feet, an amazing digital scrapbooking artist. I know some of you out there do digital scrapbooking instead of the traditional paper scraping. I haven't been enlightened in the ways of how to actually do it digitally, but wow! Just looking at the stuff she comes up with is inspiring. She has an online shop and she is a visiting artist at The DigiChick. Go to her site and check out her stuff, she really has the cutest and most fun scrapbooking designs I've ever seen.

It's Alive!!!

Dr. Frankenstein has done his job and the Lappy is b-a-c-k! I'm so excited!

So here are some things y'all missed while the Lappy was on Dr. Frankenstein's operating table.

1.) We got a van!!! (Yes, I'm aware that I'm using excessive exclamations, I'm very excited)
This van will save my sanity. We are planning on driving to Arizona and Utah for Christmas. Can you imagine that fun road trip in a tiny Honda Accord with two toddlers and an infant smashed together in the backseat? But no! That doesn't have to be my future! Now I can relax in a captain's chair with my darling baby in her car seat, safe from the other two hooligans. All the while they have a good amount of space between them, as well. We'll listen to the Sirius radio (if they haven't figured out that we aren't paying for it by then) and books on CD, and it will be so fun! Can't wait to see you Arizona Omers and Buckner G-parents!

2.)The Squealing Pig (his mother gave him that nickname, not me) that I babysit has now put himself to sleep three times. This is a wonderful development.

3.) The semester of dental school is almost done! Classes are out and the students will be doing sealants at the local schools. Yay!

4.) I'm doing a REAL BOOK REVIEW! That's right! Wahoo, People! H.B. Moore sent me her new book, Abinadi, for me to read and review and so far it is great! I don't think this book is even out yet at bookstores, but I have it! I've been wanting to read this book since the last LDStorymakers writing conference and she told me about it as we ate icky hotel breakfast food together. As soon as I'm done I'm going to post the review right here for you all so you can run out and get it as a great read for yourself or someone you luv!

5.) My kids are dang cute.

6.) Jeremy is doing pretty good with the potty thing. He has now earned two Matchbox cars!

And I think that's about it for now. I'll post a picture of the car later today. I haven't had a chance to take a picture yet because the weather has been so cruddy every time I think about it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Curious . . .

For those girls of you who are married, just a quick question because I've noticed a strange trend among my girlfriends who are married.

Before you met/started dating your husband, did it seem like the only guys you ever went out with or showed any interest in you were strange? Like really strange? I had this experience in high school and college and I've been wondering how common it is.

I had a list of strange guys I met in high school and college, but decided not to post it. I don't want to scare my mother and I'm planning on using it all as material for a book one day.

So how 'bout it? Did you experience the strange dating scene or were you one of the popular girls who dated all the cute normal guys?

I feel the need to clarify or expound. I didn't want to list strange things the guys I know did, but apparently some of you think I'm talking about the normal weirdness. I'm not talking quirky. Nathan is kinda quirky, sure. He knits and remembers everything he reads and everything he hears (as long as it's academic, if it's me asking him to do something, then the likelihood of retention goes down drastically, but that's typical of guys). I'm talking the guy was kicked out of college because girls complained about him to such an extent that the dean had no choice. I'm talking the guy had swords on his wall and said he could carry them and chase you down. I'm talking the guy ended up being a child molester. I'm talking the guy was a total player. I'm talking the guy thought you were going to get married after y'all barely met. I'm talking the guy accuses you of liking his roommate just because he broke up with him and starts telling lies about you to your ward. I'm talking he writes really strange fiction (let's hope it was fiction and I just can't bring myself to actually type what kind of fiction it was because he was so freaky) and leaves you a love note in your band cubby. Like WEIRD! Not quirky.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Somebody Told Me

I saw this on Crazyland and had to do it. It just looked way too fun to miss out on.

Come play along...
1. Put your music listening device on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write that song name down no matter how silly it makes you look.
4. Title this post what the answer to your last question is.
5. Good luck and have fun!

Dream Big-Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band

Apologize-One Republic

How to Save a Life-The Fray

The 50 United States and their Capitals-Animaniacs

Move Along-All American Rejects

Everlong-Foo Fighters

Realize-Colbie Caillat


Homestar Runner-The Very Low Sodium Band

That's How You Know-Disney's Enchanted

She Will Be Loved-Maroon 5

Hey There Delilah-The Plain White T's


Good Riddance-Greenday (this is honest, it really came up!)

Chasing Cars-Snow Patrol

Will I?-Rent

Bent-Matchbox 20


Somebody Told Me-The Killers

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Star Wars

Nathan stumbled upon this when we were looking for a funny commercial from El Salvador (that's where he served his mission). I was dang impressed. Enough to get on the desktop computer and put this on here for you. But really, who is this kid? He's amazing!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Tragic Death

It sputtered. It flickered as it sent it's final error message. Then the next day it sat-cold and still, face black, but fan whirring. It beeped. Once, twice, three times. But alas, no life could be found. I cried. I moaned. I gnashed my teeth. I called the morgue, hoping they could resurrect it, but even they couldn't help me. They were having problems of their own. So I went to the morgue and all they could do was mourn with me and told me to send it back to its Maker.

I couldn't make the call. I was too upset. Nathan tried to reach this Supreme Maker via the internet, but we could not reach a person of real power. Indeed, we did not even speak his language well enough to understand his noncommittal answers. The answers that were given were strange and foreign to us: $398 to resurrect my dear friend, but $502 if I want the means to resurrect my friend myself? We were much confused and frustrated.

So upon Nathan's leaving to study, I buoyed up my courage and love and made the phone call. The first person I talked to was no help and gave similar foreign answers. I asked to speak to the Arch Angel of Makers, but was transferred instead to another person whose language I could not speak. I insisted upon speaking to the Ultimate Maker, but was denied time and again. I sat there with the blank face staring back at me and I stroked the shiny black face, cleaning it with my spit. The new person assured me he could help and upon Nathan's sudden reappearance, for much time had passed, gave us instructions in hopes of resurrection. But sadly, it was fruitless.

Nathan did infact continue speaking, attempting to learn the strange language of the Makers until finally a breakthrough was reached! Halleluia! Joyous Day! For finally a phrase was uttered which was understood by all and was most joyous to the ears!


And so it will be that a custom coffin will arrive today to take my dear friend back to it's Maker to be resurrected and brought back to me. YAY for bugging HP employees to the point that we get what we want for free! If they'd just answered the dang question I'd have been happy (almost) to pay for the stupid repair or buy a whole new laptop.

So, since I can't use my laptop, I don't know how much I'll be blogging for the next little while. I find the desktop cumbersome and the keyboard makes my wrist hurt, so probably not much. Let's hope for a speedy recovery! That or I'll just make Nathan blog for me while I dictate to him :) Love you, Nathan! I know you don't mind:) right?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Body Image-Dove Commercial

I saw this first video on Janette Rallison's blog (she's in the list of LDS authors on the right) and could not believe my eyes. Those of you with a TV that actually receives channels might have seen this before. Since the only shows I watch are House and Prison Break, and I only started watching them on TV and not the internet about a month ago, I had not seen these commercials.

I've thought about many "talks" I'd get to have with my daughters, but for some reason self-image talks never crossed my mind. I don't know why I never thought about it before, it isn't like I didn't suffer from low self/body image problems because I totally did (do). But never again will I allow myself to be fooled by "glamor mags" or any such nonsense again. I will be blogging on the same topic on the family blog, just so you know. (If you don't mind, just click on the link on the side bar so the site knows people are visiting it.)
Megan is always asking me if she looks pretty or cute or beautiful. And of course I think she does! I think she's a beautiful little girl, but I'm her mom and more than a little biased. Still, without all my biasedness, she is beautiful! I don't want her feeling like she has to compete with these women that don't really exist, or women who practically starve themselves, or who have eating disorders, or who butcher the fat out of themselves. It isn't realistic or healthy for our daughters to aspire to standards such as these. I for one will be more positive about how I look so that my daughters will have a good role model and I will be continually praising them for all their wonderful attributes, letting them know they are beautiful inside and out.

Dove commercial - Onslaught

After viewing the first video I went to YouTube to see if there were anymore like it and found this video. Scary!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Candy The Way It Should Be

Last night, being Halloween, the kids invested in tradition and came away with huge dividends (in the form of bagfulls of candy). When we came home from the successful Trick-or-Treating, the kids went to bed and Nathan and I inspected their candy. What we found astounded us.

Before I continue, I need to have you recall your trick-or-treating days. I personally remember wandering from house to house, filling my bag with candy and returning home to discover my hard work amounted to a lot of Smartees, Tootsie Rolls, Dum-Dums, Bit-O-Honeys that made me barf (literally), awful tasting gum, and the occasional fun size candy bar.

The following is a picture of the contents of Megan's trick-or-treat bag:

1) Candy bars and other chocolate
2) Non-chocolate candy (note only one thing of Smartees)
3) A Beanie Baby
4) One piece of awful gum

She received a total of 44 pieces of candy -- 61% were chocolate!!

Jeremy's bag was very similar. High chocolate dividends galore! Usually I don't let them eat much of their Halloween candy, but Nathan decided that it was a special day and that they could gorge themselves. At least until they repeatedly ran around the apartment with suckers in their hands after we told them not to. Then the suckers were taken away and placed on wax paper for later. A little too much sugar for little bodies.

Thanks Grandma Rosie for the Halloween shirts!

Here's some of the group we went Trick or Treating with,
two families who are also in the dental program at Case.

Poor little Jeremy kept getting scared. There were lots of kids in masks, The Hulk, the Scream guy, and one woman that I could have sworn was actually an expensive robotic monster.

Fun times abounded for us and afterward we all enjoyed some homemade root beer.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cake Wrecks

My friend Kim posted a link to this on her blog and Nathan and I laughed our butts off for about 15 minutes. Go check it out! It is dang hil-ar-ious. I also have it on my list of websites I like to visit.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And It's True.

This is basically the same post I did at my thefamily.today.com blog, but I wanted to share it here, too.

Yesterday I was at Joann’s Craft Store and when it was time to leave Megan and Jeremy decided they were cranky. I was trying to round them up and take Emma’s car seat off the cart at the same time another customer was walking over to put her cart away. Megan and Jeremy were turning circles, rotating directly in her path. I calmly asked them to rotate my way so she could put her cart away, but they were slow to listen. Emma's car seat wasn’t coming off the cart easily and I was beginning to get frustrated. The customer approached and asked my kids to move, which kind of freaked them out because all of a sudden there was this strange lady in front of them with a huge cart in their little faces. They did finally move, but I could see in the woman’s face she was sizing me up as a mother. She either thought, “Oh, that poor young mother doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. I can’t believe she has three.” (Because apparently in this part of the country, having three kids means you’re something akin to a rabbit.) Or she was thinking, “Ugh. This stupid young mom that can’t control her own kids. Now I have to step in and help her because there’s no way she’s going to make it to her car with a truckload of children.”

Either way, she felt compelled to walk me and the kids out, all the while looking disdainfully at me because my baby had no socks on her feet (she had a thick blanket and a heavy coat covering her though) and cautioning my children to look both ways before they stepped into the parking lot. My children already know this. I’ve trained them to be so fearful of cars that every time we go down to the underground parking for our building, Jeremy peeks out the basement door, checks to see if it’s all clear, then runs to our car as fast as he can while crying out, “I’m scared of car!” or “Don’t wanna be smashed!” My children know to look both ways and just because they weren’t using their ears in the store because they were too busy spinning, doesn’t mean they needed a lecture from a complete stranger.

For a split second after this happened I felt like a bad mom. Ems didn’t have socks on. I needed to explain why she didn’t have socks on: we ran out of the apartment in a hurry. Instead of having my kids hold on to the car seat or my shirt like I usually do, I had them hold hands with each other and hold my free hand (it was quite the spectacle, I’m sure). The guilt didn’t last long, but the frustration and anger I felt for the woman who felt the need to judge me did. And I guess I’m discovering as I write this, that some of the frustration and anger is still around.

But the point is, when we got home, and out of the car, and into the basement, the kids were smiling and twirling, and laughing and being their ultra silly selves. They were happy. I love it when they are happy together. When they play together so well. I’m a good mom. My kids are happy kids who are learning and growing. My kids are loving kids who care about other people and aren’t afraid to show concern when others are sad. My kids love to laugh and I give them ample opportunities to do so. I love my kids and I’m a good mom.

My husband is a terrific husband and father. He plays with the kids every day. He has special games he plays with them and special songs he sings to them. Games and songs that mom either isn’t willing to play or songs mom can never remember the words to. He has worked hard to provide for us, and continues to work hard as he is in dental school. I love it when the kids do something cute or funny and we share a look. A look that says, “we have the cutest, most smartest, most adorable kids ever.”

And it’s true.

Dear Valued Customer

This is a sad post. Not sad as in tears, but sad as in, Oh, wow. You're a loser. So any of you who gave me coolness points for sleeping on the streets of NYC or for biting that drunk jerk, if you're going to drop my coolness rating, please don't tell me.

Like most people I feel annoyed when all I get in the mailbox is junk mail. (Although you may seriously doubt that after reading this post.) I want a letter people! Good old fashioned stamps and envelopes with paper and ink on the inside. And it must start with "Dear Kellie," instead of, "Ms. Buckner."

However, the other day (no, not the day I escaped to my mailbox, another day) there was no real mail in my little box. There was nothing. No junk mail, no real mail, nothing. I sighed as I closed the little door and walked back to the elevator. I left for the store and came back about an hour or so later. As I pulled in, I noticed the mail truck sitting in the parking lot! Yay! A second chance! Maybe I wasn't forgotten! Oh the possibilities! A pizza ad? I know there's a Dominos near. Or maybe Bed Bath and Beyond, promising me $10 off my purchase of $50. . . . Oh, I know! Maybe I was sent some personalized return address stickers with birds on them, or drawings made by kids. Anything, please!!! except a bill. anything except a bill.

Is it sad that that day I needed junk mail to make me feel good? In a way legit? I'm a person. Did I need the junk mail to tell me I am legitimately a person? A "valued customer?" Yes. It is sad. Wow. Y'all that know my address. Maybe you could toss me postcard or something. Or at least send me your old Valu-Pak.

What am I Reading Tag

I was tagged by Janelle at Nutter Stuff for a What am I reading Tag. I am reading lots o' stuff, but decided to use Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson.

Here are the Rules:
1. Get the book that's on your nightstand (or whatever you happen to be reading).
2. Open it to page 56 and find the 5th sentence.
3. Post the next couple of sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
4. Do not go and find your favorite book; it has to be the one you are reading now!
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

So here it is:

Book: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Page: 56
Sentences 5-7: She could vaguely remember a time when someone back in her village had Returned. It had been nearly ten years back, and her father hadn't let her visit the man. She did recall that he'd been able to speak and interact with his family, even if he hadn't been able to remember them.


I totally forgot to tag other people. Oops. I tag Amber from Arizona Omers, Jenny from We are a Happy Family, and anyone else who wants to play along.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I am going to check the mail. I am going without any of my children. I will leave them in the apartment. Why? Because I am going INSANE right now. I need the minute and a half to myself. And I might just take another 30 seconds to read the mail before I come back in the apartment. Who knows. Maybe I'll pray that the elevator gets stuck.


I'm back. I lingered outside the door for a minute or two. My neighbor came home while I was standing there. I think he thinks I'm strange for reading the junk mail outside my apartment door instead of going inside. I tried to be as enthralled in the pizza ad as I could, but I'm not sure if he bought it or not. I decided to finally come in because I knew Mr. Darcy was about to propose to Elizabeth Bennett and since it was his second proposal and I knew she'd accept, I had to come in to see the happy moment.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In Potty News . . .

Jeremy did it! He earned his first Matchbox car for staying dry for seven days! We've been giving him fruit snacks each time he goes potty and about a week and a half ago Nathan made up a potty chart for him. Jeremy has to stay dry (meaning no pee diapers, but a poop diaper is ok) in order to put a star on the chart. At the end of seven dry days (not necessarily consecutive) he gets a Matchbox car, like he did tonight. Then his next goal is to stay dry for 6 days, then 5, 4, and so on down to one. At the end of each goal he gets a Matchbox car until we reach the last day (by which point he should be completely potty trained) when he will get a "Big Prize" which will be Diego underwear. I forgot that was supposed to be the Big Prize and already opened them and put them in his dresser, but he doesn't know this. And since I'm the only one who opens that dresser, I'm likely to be the only person in the apartment to see them until he actually earns them.

This method worked great with Megan. After she earned her Big Prize she did have a few accidents, but we cured that by telling her that the Disney Princesses on her panties didn't want her to wear them anymore because they were afraid that she would pee and poop on them. Her eyes got really big and she promised she would never have another accident again.

I'm so proud of my little Jeremy! Good job, bud!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Christmas Tag

Laura from Team Moffitt tagged me with a Christmas 2006 tag. I think the idea is really funny, so here are a few pictures from Christmas '06.

Blowing Bubbles with Grandpa Kent

Nathan with his "My Baby Got Stole. . .By A Bear Holding A Shark!! t-shirt
The shirt was a total surprise to him, thus the excited face. Usually he can guess what his presents are--that time I was successfully sneaky.

Grandma Mary helping Megan open her James Avery Craftsman bracelet from Aunt Laurie.

Grandpa Roy letting Jeremy play with his hat.

Megan eating the popcorn off of our $5 Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
(I will miss the $5 Forest this Christmas)

I tag anyone who wants to play along!

Trick or Treat

Halloween has started early this year. Thanks to the supreme kindness of two girls in my ward (Church group), I was able to finish Megan's costume before the ward party. It was supposed to be a trunk-or-treat--but it rained. So we brought everything inside the Church and used the classrooms instead of our trunks. And I am very disappointed in myself for not taking a picture of the door we decorated because it looked dang awesome. Here is a picture of a couple of the spiders I made to decorate our door.

Here is a close up of one of them. I ran out of time to do a good job on it, but I mod podged it with some funky Halloween material and scraps from Megan's Halloween costume last year. You can kind of see where I ran out of time because there are those white spots. I'll fix them--one day.

Beside the trick or treating, the ward had chili, cider, and a costume contest. There were about 50 kids there and only 6 prizes and guess what!

Jeremy's costume won "Most Humorous"!

We were so excited for him. He got a ribbon and a little trophy. It figures that his costume would win a prize and not Megan's though.

His costume consisted of:
1. a jacket he already owned
2. a pair of jeans I bought at a thrift store that Nathan sewed patches onto
3. an old felt paperboy style hat of mine from high school
4. a five dollar flannel shirt from Wal-Mart
5. and eyeliner

Since I don't wear much makeup, I did have to buy the eyeliner. So. Do you want to know what he was?

A hobo. Yes, my son dressed up as a hobo. A homeless man. Nathan thought it was hilarious. This is how I got him to agree to let me have free reign with Megan's costume, which wasn't as economically kind to our budget.

Oh! I almost forgot the most important part. As we were driving home from Wal-Mart (to pick up the flannel shirt and eyeliner) I turned into the parking lot of a synagogue. I have no idea really what religion worships there, but they had a very pretty wooded area in front and I needed a long stick. I didn't want to go to Lowe's and buy a dowl, so I hopped out of the car, found a good stick that's about three and a half feet tall and took it. I dropped it right into the car's trunk and drove off. I really hope they don't have amazing security cameras focused on the trees that zoomed in on my license plate as I was driving away with their stick. That would be stupid. Anyway, Nathan turned this stick into a delightful prop for Jeremy. A little hobo sack.

Megan's costume, as I said earlier, wasn't cheap. Or easy. Every year I tell myself, next year I'm going to do something simple, and then I don't do it. (Next year she's going as a ghost with a white sheet and two holes for her eyes.) Me and my mediocre sewing skills suffered many late nights with her dress. Luckily, I didn't have to make anything other than the dress. Thanks to Joann's Crafts and Target, Megan had all the necessary accessories.

Megan's Costume Stats:
1. dress + 50 mom hours on the sewing machine
2. dress up shoes with heels (which she amazingly learned how to walk in very quickly)
3. Fancy Nancy purse
4. Fancy Nancy earrings
5. Fancy Nancy crown
6. Fancy Nancy sunglasses
7. feather boa
8. random necklaces and bracelets
9. butterfly
10. curlers for hair
11. mom's vintage gloves

Just in case you didn't catch on from numbers 3-6 on the list, can you guess who she is?

Fancy Nancy

Fancy Nancy always has a butterfly in her hair, so I picked one up at Michale's Arts and Crafts and clipped it to her Fancy Nancy crown.

Emma was me as a baby. This little groovy number was mine when I was a precious little baby.

Of course, after Granpa Kent saw this picture,he said she looked more like a Cupi Doll. So when we went to another Halloween party put on by CADA (I have no idea what it stands for, but it's the dental school's thingy/club/let's be lonely together because our husbands/wives live at the school and we never see them anymore and let's hand out toothbrushes to elementary school kids support group for student spouses. Got it?) We added another element to the costume (besides the different outfit because she totally pooped on the other one).

The eyeliner came in handy again! Nathan drew the little Cupi Doll curl so it would look more like a costume than just a really cool vintage outfit. Next time she wears it (minus the eyeliner curl), she'll just look like she's really hip.

Here are a couple pictures from the CADA party.

It was carnival style, so there were lots of games. Here, Jeremy didn't quite know what to do with the neon green vampire teeth and didn't really want to put them in his mouth.

So all in all it was a ton of fun this weekend and we're looking forward to doing it all over again on Friday. It's a good thing Megan's costume is getting so much wear, because DANG IT! I worked hard on that dress!!!!!!