Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mission Moment

I have been thinking a lot about my mission recently. It all started when I took my nephew to the MTC. Then, when sitting with friends, we all started talking about our missions and sharing stories. It was not your typical "tell mission stories" but a more open and heart to heart as we talked about how our mission really changed us personally.

Then, I got a call from a sister missionary who just got home from the same mission I served in Argentina. She had served in an area where I served 14 years ago. For me, it was my first area in Argentina. The area was known as a "hard" area in my mission and my companion and I were opening up a section of the town that hadn't had missionaries in it for a long time. We had to start from scratch and we literally knocked doors every day for four months.

One family did let us in. It consisted of a young mom, her husband and their baby who lived with her parents. The young mom was the one who let us in initially but we ended up teaching the young mom and her mother. The men in the house were always very nice to us and we ended up spending a lot of time there. Because I was this very blond and blue eyed American, they were fascinated by me and wanted to teach me all about Argentina. Most of my first experiences with typical Argentine food were at their house.

After a few discussions with them, my companion and I both thought that they weren't really that interested. They seemed more interested in teaching me about Argentina and just being nice to two Mormon missionaries. However, since they were the only people that would let us come back, we ended up being at their house a lot. I was transferred from the area after we had taught them the 3rd discussion.

Anyway, back to the phone call from this sister missionary. She was calling to tell me that this family did indeed join the church, 14 YEARS after my initial contact with them. She said that now 8 (with the likelihood of one other soon) people are now members of the church because of that initial contact. It is a long story how it all happened but it really is an amazing story. And, because I had left with these people my home address, which for some amazing reason they saved, I was contacted. I guess it just goes to show all of us, that we do plant seeds daily and never know when they will start to grow!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Car is Fixed, all is good.

Ok, for what could have been a really, horrible situation, it actually turned out pretty decently. My car was fixed in less than a day and I was able to pick it up this morning. And, the cost to fix it wasn't as bad as we were initially told, so the carwash people seemed happy about that. The people at Stockton to Malone Honda deserve a medal for how great they handled all of this. They didn't have to bend over backwards to help me but they did. Thank you, Kendall, Steve and the nice lady from Enterprise car rental who served her mission in Rostov, Russia. You made this whole thing as slick as possible. And, I should say, the car wash place were also great. They dealt with a frustrated woman with four kids, a very angry dentist and came through like they promised. A lot of places don't, so they should be commended too. And, yes, I will still use them.

So, today, after I picked up my car and ate lunch with dentist husband at Einsteins, I took my kids to the local aquarium. It is always so fun and my kids had a great time touching the sting rays. It is a fun local place and they had some great things in their gift shop that I will go back later and get for future Christmas gifts. (Yes, I think ahead constantly about Christmas.)

Tonight, it is dinner with friends and then tomorrow I have a baby shower and I need to start thinking about our August trips. No, I am not posting dates because I have this paranoia about letting people know when we will be out of town. Even locally, I only tell people who need to know, like people who substitute for my church callings and those who remove fliers from the front porch for met, etc. Yes, we have an alarm system and really have nothing of value in our house, but still.

I am really looking forward cooler weather. I LOVE the smell of fall and going on walks in the cool but not cold nights is one of my greatest pleasures. Well, I want to finish my current book, (something about lighthouses, I forgot the name) and then clean my master bedroom.

Monday, July 28, 2008

And It All Started with a an Oil Change

My oil change light came on this weekend, so this morning, around 10:30 am, I headed to the dealership to have the oil change and the 21 point inspection they always offer. We are going on two long car trips in a few weeks and so I thought it was a good idea. We had to wait an hour and 1/2 but I left the dealership feeling happy that it was done and my kids enjoyed the play room.

On the way home, I decided to take it to one of those car wash places that cleans the inside and the outside of the car. It seemed to be taking longer than normal and I finally went outside and said, "What is going on?" It seems that one of their employees tried to force my sliding car door shut and broke the door. (I have a Honda and it is one of those doors that closes itself. You press a button and that is all there is to it. This employee just YANKED it and broke it.) They assured me they would pay for the fix, if I took it to the car repair place across the street. They felt it would take no more than a few minutes to figure out. I was surprisingly calm as I drove over there.

At the car repair place, I was told it was a minimum of a three hour job and they couldn't get to it until later in the week--most likely Wednesday. The car door would have to be completely disassembled and probably a part ordered. If I needed a car, I would have to rent a car. At this point, I about lost it. I really did. It was not these people's fault but I had four hungry kids with me and I thought this was going to be an easy day.

Fortunately, dentist husband wasn't working today. He was up in a city north of where we live and I was able to get a hold of him on his cell phone. (I love this modern day and age with cell phones.) He immediately drove down, spoke with the car wash place, spoke with the Honda dealership and we ended up driving our car there. Once there, Honda arranged for a car rental for me and I am now driving a rental while my car is being fixed. They hope to have the car to me by Friday. All paid for by this car wash place.

So, finally by around 3:45 pm we were home. I do feel bad for the car wash place (I always had good experiences with them in the past) but I learned from the first car repair shop that this is sadly, fairly common. Not just this place but all car wash places that employ 16 year old boys. (This car place actually has accounts with several places in the area!) Also, because I had driven straight from the dealer and had the 21 point inspection, I had proof the car door was not broken when I arrived at the car wash place. (They also had surveillance video showing what happened.)

So, my day was blown apart but I did finish my book that I had with me--Cold Comfort Farm. Hopefully tomorrow, I will get more done.

Why My Friends are Better People Than Me

I was at our local pool the other day for my kid's swimming lessons and a child threw-up in the pool, thus cancelling their lessons. It had not been a good week for our pool because the previous day, we had to leave because of two poo accidents. Both of those accidents were in the deep end I might add--deep end. What type of person who is capable enough to swim in the 10 foot deep end water has a poo accident? Y.O.U. T.E.L.L. M.E.

So anyway, I was little miffed about this whole throw-up thing and was letting my friends know about it. "Come on, why would a mom send her sick child to swimming lessons?" "I bet the this said child threw-up before lessons and the mom sent her anyway." etc. I really was on one.

Well, my friend's daughter comes over and says, "Mom, the girl who threw-up, was in my class." I immediately say, "Oh my gosh. Were you right next to her? Did you get any on you? That must have been horrible!"

This girls mother, the friend who has listened to my rant (about both the previous days poo incident as well as the current day throw-up incident) says to her daughter, "Oh, that poor thing. I bet she was really embarrassed. Were you nice to her? I bet she really needs a friend right now."

Blank dumbfounded stare from me. I quickly gathered up my kids and left before I said anything else that shows my true, mean self. CRAP! I need to work on compassion.

Friday, July 25, 2008

How Did I Not Know This Before?

I've always had a "problem" with little crushes on famous people. Not unnatural, stalker-like crushes, but from a distance, read about them when I see a People magazine at my husband's dental office, crushes. And, because I was given an unnatural sense of self confidence, in the back of my mind, I have always thought, "If I were to actually meet one of these famous people, they would probably fall madly in love with me, decide then and there that they would join the Mormon church (which was imperative to me that I marry a Mormon) and we would live happily ever after."

I think it all started with Ricky Schroeder and Silver Spoons. How could I not fall for someone as CUTE as him? And, when serving a mission on Temple Square and he showed up to see Legacy with his Mormon fiance, I had that feeling of, "Oh my gosh, so close yet so far away. He actually is engaged to a Mormon! If I wasn't a missionary and he wasn't already in love with her, I SO would have had a chance with him." But it was not to be.

Anyway, my crushes have varied from movie stars, to athletes, to rock stars (Sting, you still have a small portion of my heart) to children of heads of state. So, this weekend, Pete Sampras' book "A Champion's Mind" finally came in with my name on it at the library. (Great read.) Pete Sampras was my high school through college crush. He pushed Karch Kiraly off my radar. He was gorgeous, was an amazing tennis player (amazing is an understatement--one of the BEST of all time tennis players), seemed like a great guy and was close to my age.

So, imagine my shock when I read that he is from the same town as my freshman year roommate. The same roommate who has remained my bosom friend ever since. I e-mail her and say, "By the way, did you know Pete Sampras?" Her response was casual. It was, "Oh yea, his sister is my age, and our families have been friends for years." WHAT?!! How did I not know this? How did she not know about my crush on him? Why didn't two and two get put together?

So, I call her. She casually says, "If I had known, I probably could have had you meet him before he married Bridgette Wilson." Bridgette Wilson, you mean my face twin? (See previous post) This is too much. Pete Sampras, the boy I would run home from church to watch him play Wimbledon! The boy I had dreams about sitting the in stands watching as they casually put the camera on my face as his loyal, supportive girlfriend?! This is unfair.

My roommate then points out that he is Greek which means he is very hairy and she knows about my aversion to hairy men. She then reminds me that he is tall and I hated dating tall men. (Being short, I always felt weird dating boys where when facing them, I was staring at their belly buttons.) She also points out that he is not Mormon. She then says, "You know that Dentist husband is your sole mate and you two were meant to be together, right?" Yea, yea, blah blah. She knows Pete Sampras! I could have met him. We could have fallen in love. We could have had GORGEOUS children with naturally curly hair saving me hours every Sunday getting them ready for church.

But alas, it is not to be. I will just have to be satisfied knowing someone who knows him. Besides, Dentist husband is my sole mate. I adore him and he adores me. And, I am sure I would have gotten tired of cleaning up all of that hair from the shower drains anyway.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I just got home from taking my 2nd oldest nephew to the MTC. His family lives in Ohio and the church now requests that unless you live in Utah, that families say their goodbyes in their home state. Because I live here, I was able to pick him up from the airport, have him stay at my house last night and take him there this morning. Much to my surprise, it hasn't changed at ALL since I went there as a missionary 14 years ago.
It was the same signs, the same instructions, the same video, even the lobby and the map where I stood pointing to Argentina was the same.
I was unprepared to the flood of emotions it all brought back to me. My mission was such a life changing experience and essentially solidified the personality I have today. I am not saying that it wasn't full of trial or full of unexpected turns (coming home sick and being reassigned stateside being the biggest one) but it still was such a necessary part of my personal growth. There was a reason for my constant "feeling" of needing to serve a mission that I had since I was about 17 years old. I am the woman I am today (for better or worse) because I served a mission.
So, today, I am feeling sad, happy and full of nostalgia as I experienced sending my nephew off on his mission. I pray (literally) that it is a WONDERFUL experience for him.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Not Anymore

I have been feeling a little guilty about having a boring summer with my kids. For some reason, this summer, I have felt like time has just slipped past me and I haven't done the things with my kids like I wanted to with the exception of alot of swimming and tennis lessons.

Well, not anymore.

My sister was in town for a few short days. While here, she took my oldest to Seven Peaks (a huge water park in the area) and then the next day, we took the kids to see "Journey to the Center of the Earth--3D. I LOVED that movie. It would have been great not being in 3D but in 3D it made it so fun. It kept ALL of us engaged even little toothsome #4.

Then ofcourse the next day was Lagoon. Sunday afternoon, my father-in-law hosted a fun family dinner. So in three short days, we packed in a ton of stuff and now I am exhausted. Not a good state in be in when I look around my house that looks like a bomb went off. (However, all clean laundry is folded, so things can't be too bad, can they?)

When toothsome #4 wakes up from her nap, we will head to the "Parade Preview" and look at all of the floats close up that will be in the Days of 47 parade. Tuesday, I pick up a nephew from the airport to take him to the MTC on Wednesday. Then, I need to start thinking about getting ready for our trip to Colorado.

Oh, we also have a trip to the Children's Museum planned for Thursday. So, my guilt is gone but my exhaustion level is up. (I know I say this alot but thank goodness for Diet Coke.)

I am almost finished with "Sail Away Ladies" a wonderful book about woman who sailed in merchant ships with the their husbands. Their stories are full adventure, sadness, and trial and utterly fascinating. After that book, I need to finish Cold Comfort Farm, a hilarious satire written in the early 1920's. Then I will probably attack the new Stephanie Meyer book "The Host". I think the next vampire one comes out in about a week.

So, anyway, my guilt is gone. I better get crackin' on housework.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Series of Observations after spending a day at Lagoon

Toothsome #1 requested for his birthday party a family trip to Lagoon, the local amusement park in Utah. We let him invite his best friend and off we went. We got there right when it opened (10:00 am) and stayed until around 5:00 pm. Here are some of the things I learned/noticed:

1. Most of the rides in Kiddyland are the same ride with just a change in the "car" design. The ride spins around a central hub and the cars go up and down in the shape of an animal, a rocket, a boat, etc.

2. You can buy Arby's at Lagoon and instead of getting a four for five deal, you get a 4 for $20. All food is jacked up about four times what you would pay outside the park.

3. There are alot of people who actually get REALLY dressed up to go to an amusement park. I curled my hair and learned after one or two rides that I should have just slept in longer this morning. So, I was baffled by the girls who really must have planned their outfits and spent a long time on getting ready.

4. There are some people who think nothing of saving 10 spaces in line for a ride that allows approx. 20 people on it.

5. How did families ever go to Lagoon without cell phones?

6. Dentist husband has a much lower tolerance for amusement parks than I do. If I had had my way, we would have stayed until it closed. (We paid close to $300 just to get in, we might as well have stayed until the kids were crying and melting down don't you think?)

7. There are a lot of very large people who choose to wear hardly any clothing.

8. Amusement parks are worth it to see the magic of it in my children's faces, even if I only got to ride four rides. (Toothsome #4 hated going on any rides even the Carousel.)

9. After getting only approx. 3 hours of sleep the night before, a constant drinking of Diet Coke starting around 5:00 am is the ONLY way to get through a day at Lagoon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Heritage face recognition

Ok, "the Motherboard" had this on her blog and I had to try it. It is a face recognition software that matches you with famous celebrities faces. I used my blog picture, which is only about 6 months old and I think does look like me.

My match? Hilary Swank. And, I had to admit, while I never considered it before, at least with the picture they had on-file, I do look like her. So, I look like a two time Oscar winner who was married to a Lowe. Not bad.

The next match was Bridgette Wilson who is still not too bad. I did have to look up on the IMDB web site to make sure I knew who she was but I am so glad I did! I learned she is a year younger than me (SCORE!) and that she won Miss Teen USA 1990. So, based on looks alone, it is almost like I won Miss Teen USA in 1990. But, even more exciting, she had a role in FOUR episodes of Saved By The Bell, one of the greatest pre-teen TV shows of all time. And, I LOOK like her.

However, there is some bad news. My third most common match? Ted Turner. Eeewww! He came in before Demi Moore I might add, who only had a 61% face match to me compared to his 70% face match. I now need to find a good picture of my husband and see who he looks like. Based on the few extra pounds he has gained since high school, I doubt he will get the Tom Cruise comparisons like he did back then, but we shall see. If you want to see my whole face morph catalogue click below. I think I will go grab a tiara and sceptre and waltz around my dirty kitchen.

UPDATE: Dentist husband looks like Alfonso Herrera, some Mexican telenovela (soap opera) star. I did several different pictures of him and this guy came up EVERY TIME!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Car Entertainment

Later this summer, our family is taking two road trips--one to Colorado and one to California. Having driven with kids for 9 years now, I have learned something that makes the trip easier for them and I thought I would pass the ideas along.

1. THIS website has great travel games you can print out. It is good to print out multiple copies and save some for the trip home.

2. Pipe cleaners are amazingly fun to help pass the time. We have made necklaces, flowers, cars, etc. with them. I am often amazed at my kids creativity with them and for around 70 cents a package, they are a cheap great way to help pass the time.

3. Crocodile Dentist is a great game for car travel. There are no parts to loose and kids can play it by themselves or with each other. Even toddlers/non readers who have a hard time with things like the license plate game or "find the letters in the alphabet" can have fun with this one. I purposely keep this game hidden and only bring it out for our car trips.

4. Info with the license plate game. From the momsminivan web site, I printed off the list of the 50 states for the kids to cross off as we find different license plates. I also purchased a book that has simple facts about each state and as we cross off the different states, I read out loud fun facts about the state.

5. Books on CD--I amazed at how just listening to a book on tape has captured my kids attention. We don't have an in- car video system or even a laptop for the kids to watch TV, so I check out from the library several books on tape each time we travel. Even my three year old listened intently to the first Harry Potter book on our last Colorado/Utah drive.

6. Those velvet coloring boards: These are great because if the car ride gets bumpy, they still stay within the lines thanks to the velvet.

7. A new CD: We don't have ipod access in our minivan but I always buy or create a new music CD for the trip that the kids nor my husband or I has listened to. We love music in our house and that is always fun. I remember one particularly fun car trip listening and ALL of us singing along to a Kelly Clarkson CD.

8. And for the adults, THIS is great for conversation starters. One trip down to California, we caravaned with my husband's family and we had Walkie Talkies in all of the cars. I would read a question from the book and then the discussions would begin. It made the trip through the HOT desert of Nevada really fun and engaging.

Anyway, do you have any other tried and true fun car time passers?


1. After a weekend trip to Toys R Us (we had gift cards to use), we came home with a pair of these Incredible Hulk boxing gloves. I am little embarrassed to admit it, but I LOVE this toy. As a family, we have had a ton of fun having battles together all weekend. The gloves make a growling noise when they make contact with something. These are one of those toys that are purchased by a four year old boy that you don't know if they will be ever played with, but in the end is a great fun toy. I should have purchased another set for more battling fun.
2. This past weekend, our ward had it's annual Fathers and Sons camp out. My sons look forward to it every year and so do my daughters and me because we have a "Mothers and Daughters night" at the same time. This year, we started out by doing cartwheels and somersaults, went to dinner at Macaroni Grill, painted fingernails and toenails, and watched "The Nancy Drew Movie". (Which I would highly recommend--fun, easy viewing.) We always meet the boys at McDonald's for breakfast the next morning and report on our respective activities.
3. I also was reminded this weekend how grateful I am to be married to handsome dentist. After a Sunday, when I felt frustration about most things going on around me, dentist husband, like a knight in shining armor, stood by and supported me. There are times I think, "How were we lucky enough to find each other?"

Friday, July 11, 2008

I My Not Humble Opinion

I wish they had chosen Ed Westwick (of Gossip Girl fame) as the actor for Edward for the upcoming Twilight movie. That's my not so humble opinion. The other guy will be good, but PLEASE he would be SOOOO good.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sometimes I Live Vicariously Through Others. . .

I don't know how I didn't watch this show in past seasons but I am currently addicted to "So You Think You Can Dance." I honestly get giddy with excitement when Wednesday night comes around. I am not a good dancer and only took a few dance lessons when I was child, but I feel like I am living vicariously through these amazing dancers when I watch the show. I am a huge fan of Chelsea and Mark and LOVE to watch them dance. My kids watch it with me and it is so CUTE to see them dance to the music. The other night, Dentist husband came in from work as the show was on. Toothsome #2 said to him, "Will you be my dance partner?" He said yes and picked her up and they danced around our family room. It was one of those singular moments as a parent to watch your little girl dance with her dad--a memory to never be forgotten. (Ok, I am getting sappy, sorry.)

On to other things, I finished reading, "Savvy" and "Someday my Prince Will Come" this weekend. I LOVED Savvy but did not like "Someday My Prince Will Come". (Sorry Tiffany) By the end, I was just plain annoyed by the author and her anti-American, obsessive quest to meet royalty. I know the book was supposed to light-hearted but it just BUGGED me. Savvy is a pre-teen book and a delightful, fast read.

Well, today is tennis, swim, Jamba Juice break, visit a friend who just had a baby, soccer tournament game, airport pick up, eat out dinner day. Oh, and maybe try to put away some laundry and wipe down some counters on top of it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Photos of my Current Life

Swimming had dominated our life for the last month or so and will continue to do so.
I was a horrible swap partner (from Kelly's Favorite Things Swap) with Jennifer in that her package came, it was quickly opened with the help of my crazy kids and I never got a good picture of the WONDERFUL things she sent. I gathered up some of it (but this is just a small representation of all the wonderful things she sent) and quickly took this picture. Everything was labeled with darling yellow and blue paper. Jennifer, we LOVED all of it and the mix of music has been listened to many times already. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
My laundry room is tiny and after five years of never having a descent place to fold and put folded laundry, I spent an afternoon researching ideas and finally came home with this. It barely fits in the space but it is the PERFECT solution! I hope to NEVER have laundry piled up in the hall ever again!
My kids were messing around with my digital camera and these are two of the "savable" pictures from the bunch. I like both of them because they seem to capture the craziness that happens daily around here. The only thing that would make it more accurate is if I was reading a book instead of looking at the camera. (I finished Savvy this weekend and HIGHLY recommend it.)
Toothsome #1 turned NINE on Saturday and we always do our own fireworks in his honor. He barely missed being born on the 4th.
Anyway, that is my current life in a nutshell!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hannah Andersson Sale

Ok, this deal it too good not to share with all of you. Hannah Andersson has this skirt on sale for $12! $12 people. And, since mine has already arrived, you have no competition from me when it comes to ordering one. Oh, I also own the sweater worn by the model and that is on sale too, but for not as great a price. But, it is a very cute flattering sweater, so if you want the whole outfit . . .