Friday, August 14, 2009

Go Della! It's your Birthday!

Hey ya'll.
It's that time again.
The day of year that I get whatever I want and I'm the most special person for one whole day.
At least kind of.
At the very least I get Cajun Chicken Penne (my favorite!) for dinner, and my family sends me loving videos like this one:
(Click >>>here<<< if it doesn't load).
Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

They also write on my facebook pages and write things like this:

Happy Birthday, oh Happy Birthday.

Hate and envy in the air.

People dying everywhere.

Still we want to wish you:

Happy Birthday.

One year closer to the grave,

think of all the food you'll save.

Still we want to wish you:

Happy Birthday.


And though it may seem odd, these things truly make me feel loved.



Happy Birthday to Me!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Peanut Butter Jelly Time!" or "Another Cool Song"

I seem to be eating a lot of sack lunches lately, which tend to consist of a lot of Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and Cheetos.
I take my variety in trading out regular Cheetos for Flaming Hot Cheetos.
But I stick with Crunchy peanut butter over creamy. Hey, if I'm eating the same thing all the time it should at least be fun to chew.
I have found that while I prefer Strawberry jam on my fresh baked bread, when it's smooshed against Peanut Butter, it doesn't really matter what flavor it is as long as its sweet and fruity.
And grape jelly is way cheaper.
For some variety in my lunch, (or dinner as the case may be with my night classes), I bought a jar of whole pickles today that I can zip up in a plastic bag and throw in for some extra tangy crunch, (which I will eat separately from the sandwich in case you were wondering).
In order to better share my enjoyment of PB and J, I invite you to view the following video. Performed by Inside Out A Capella, and arranged by somebody with too much time on their hands.
Inside Out A Capella is a really cool group that also sings a lot of primary songs and a few about snowmen.
Totally worth a youtube search.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Just Out Today" and "More Weird Al"

Two times now Weird Al has gotten together with >>JibJab<<. The newest one was released today.
It's about Charles Nelson Reilly.
You saw it here first.
Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!


And if you're not scared off already, here is the other Weird Al, JibJab joint work.

I think I've posted it before, but it's good enough to watch again.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My new favorite movie line:
"Yippee Kayay, coffee maker!"
From G-Force, the movie about special agent guinnea pigs.
Yes, really.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"More Weird Al" or "Something to Post in the Meantime"

This video is from a song Weird Al did as a parody to the Backstreet Boys' "My Way".
I heard once that Ebay had a big conference where they hired Weird Al to sing this and the Backstreet Boys to sing back up for him. .

Good Old Al didn't think he had messed with enough online service sites, or mimicked enough bands, so he had to write this one about Craigslist.

In case you don't know, he is mimicking Jim Morrison and "the Doors".

Thanks for checking back in. I'll be back soon. Promise.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Search My Blog" or "Does Everyone Know This But Me?"

I have been thinking about trying to find an addon for my blog that would allow people to search all of my blog posts.

Like a blog search engine.


Then I realized there already is one.

Do you see that little box in the top left hand corner of the page? Right above the "The" from the blog title, and right next to where is says "search blog"?

Let's say that you wanted to look up the blog post where I listed 100 Chuck Norris jokes, or wanted to laugh again at my "maternal instinct" pictures, or wanted to reread the comments from my controvesial post about nutrasweet and diet soda, or maybe you are fairly new to my blog and wondered if I ever posted my Christmas Wish List, just type the topic into that little box, click enter and the marvelous power of the blog will reveal to you everything you wish to see, so long as I ever posted about it.


I dare you to try it and leave a comment about what you found.


Did you know you could do this? Am I seriously the only one who didn't know?

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Happy Anniversary" or "How Blessed Am I?"

My Parents celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary this week.
That's about two thirds of their lives that they spent with each other.
I know that they have benefitted beyond what I can even understand by being part of a happy, loving marriage.
But I have to point out that I have definitely been blessed by their marriage as well.
Mainly, I was born to a mother and father who wanted me and loved me.
I was raised by loving parents who taught me, nurtured me and provided for me, and taught me God's gospel.
I have never known the pain of divorce close to me.
My parents are still together and still there for me whenever I need them. (Even though they are almost never home).
I love my parents and I am so happy for them.
42 years down and eternity to go.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.
If you would like to read the post I wrote for them last year >>>click here<<<. It'a pretty good one.

Friday, July 10, 2009

"A Tribute to Grandpa" or "Here, Mom. It's Finally Done"

About my Grandpa
I have been asked to write a tribute about my Grandpa.
I have been putting it off, partly because I am by nature a procrastinator and partly because I couldn’t decide what to say.
You see, my Grandpa was such an amazing man that there is simply too much to talk about.
I have so many memories of him.
I was blessed to be able to grow up only a few minutes from him, so I got to see him a lot.
Here are some of my simple memories:
Grandpa hammering a nail through a coconut so I could drink the milk.
Grandpa putting my bike together that I got for my birthday.
Grandpa pushing wheel barrows of dirt out of our basement so we could have more room.
Grandpa coming over for dinner on Sundays.
Grandma feeding Grandpa when both of his arms were in casts from breaking them while playing street football with neighborhood kids.
Talking with Grandpa about serving in World War 2.
Grandpa telling stories in Uncle Randy’s backyard about his favorite horse.
I could go on and on, but let me share a few more specific memories.
When I was little Grandpa would greet me, and very often my best friend Holly by saying “Hello Fred”.
She or I would answer “That’s not my name!”
He would respond “Oh, I’m sorry George”.
We would say “No, I’m not George”.
This game would go on for a few minutes until he finally admitted to knowing who we were and giving us a hug.
10 or so years later, after I had moved out, my good friend Holly went to see my mom. She was there visiting when Grandpa showed up.
She was excited to see him, and he was excited to see her as they had not seen each other in a few years.
He said to her “Little Holly? Is that you?”
Holly’s face fell and she answered him, “No Mark, it’s me, Fred!”
They both laughed as they hugged each other.
Another more recent memory happened only a few years ago.
I was in Provo visiting and my Mother had not been able to get a hold of Grandpa. She asked
me to drive to his house to see why he wasn’t answering his phone.
I found him in his garage building shelves. He hadn’t heard his phone ringing from where he was.
I stayed and visited with him for a while.
While I was there I noticed that his couches, which I knew he had had for a while, still had the tags on them.
I loved that he was too busy even at the age of 89 to sit down long enough to cut the tags off his couches.
I said to him, “Grandpa, didn’t anyone ever tell you that 89 year old men are supposed to sit around and watch tv?”
He answered “No, and if they did, I’d tell them to go to hell!”
I admire Grandpa so much. Enough that I even named my son Mark after him.
He was an amazing man, just as my Grandma was an amazing woman.
There was nothing that Grandpa couldn’t do, from flying an airplane or building a house from the
ground up, to soothing a sad child.
I love Grandpa, and I consider myself blessed to be his grand daughter.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

More about Trek

Victoria requested that I tell more about Trek.
There was a lot that happened and I will try to cover the high points.
First, let me explain that a Pioneer Trek like the one we went on is a re-creation of the treks across the country that a lot of early pioneers made about 170 years ago.
We dressed in similiar clothes to what the pioneers wore. Meaning I wore a long dress, an apron and a bonnet. (And NO makeup).
I did get to wear my nikes, and would have worn hiking boots if I had them.
We all met at the church at 4:30 in the morning on Thursday.
There were 6 Ma and Pa couples and about 60 kids. Plus several Leaders from the Stake.
We had to drive about 5 and a half hours to the mountains north of Richmond.
When we got there we were organized into families.
We got 10 awesome kids. Miles, David, Justin, Jared, Elijah, Brett, Amanda, Katie, Nicole and Christine.
We also got an Uncle. Uncle Joe was assigned to hang out with us and help our family.
We initially played a get to know you game and came up with a family cheer.
Our cheer was "Thundercats HO!"
Then we put together our handcart and loaded it.
Naturally our family was done before everyone else, so I taught them all a song while we waited for everyone else. We learned this song:
I have 2 little hands folded snuggly and tight.
They are tiny and meek yet they know what is right.
During all the long hours till daylight is through,
There are plenty of things for my 2 hands to do.
I have 5 little fingers on one little hand.
I have 6 on the other I don't understand,
During all the long hours till daylight is through,
I have 1 little finger with nothing to do.
Then we started up the mountain.
We didn't have enough room around the handcart for 13 people to push all at once so we took turns.
The kids were awesome about taking over for each other and giving each other breaks.
Partway through the day we met up with a general who asked all the young men to join the army.
All of our boys left with them and the girls who were left, along with the Pas and Uncles had to push the handcarts up the hardest hill by ourselves.
When we got all the carts up and turned around I could see all the boys in their blue hats from the army.
That was almost the best part of the day.
The real best part for me was when we finally got to camp.
All the kids helped peel and chop potatoes and carrots for dinner. We cooked them with 2 chickens in dutch ovens.
They were delicious.
After all the families ate and cleaned up we had a camp devotional.
Following that we returned to our family campfire for our family devotional.
I had prepared several things to read around the fire, but because it was so late and we were so tired I kept it short.
I did read them The Jabberwocky, just for fun, then I got more serious and read them the words from "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief". I didn't sing it, I just read it like a poem.
Then we went to bed, girls on one tarp and boys on the other.
The next day, Friday was the hardest day.
We pushed our handcarts about 7 or 8 miles. What wasn't uphill was downhill. And believe me, downhill isn't necessarily easier.
Our family led the way for a while and we didn't just lead the way, we plowed ahead.
We kicked rutt.
The night before, while we were preparing dinner I had started to tell the kids, "You know, I'm not saying that our family is better than anyone else's, but nobody is better than us."
That became our mantra for the next few days.
I would say "I'm not saying we're better than anyone else..."
And everyone else would say, "But no one is better than us".
We were very blessed with the food. It was limited and if it got burned in the dutch oven there
was even less, but ours was always good and we always had enough.
There was another Pa who kept saying "Are you having fun yet?"
When the truth was, at times, no, I wasn't having fun. Pushing an 800 pound handcart up a mountain wasn't necessarily fun. But that didn't mean it wasn't a valuable experience. That doesn't mean I wasn't benefitting from it.
You can work hard and grow even when you aren't having fun.
But that doesn't mean I didn't have fun. We had a lot of fun.
When we finally got to camp on the second day we were sooo glad to be there.
We got dinner going and set up camp.
After we ate we had a little time before the devotional so I sat around the fire with my family and we sang songs.
We sang "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" in English and Spanish. We sang "Popcorn Popping", both verses, including actions. We sang "Give, Said the Little Stream" with and without the "Give"s.
I even got them all to sing "Ah Too Dee Tah" with actions.
It was awesome.
At any time all day long, if anyone needed help one of the kids would jump in and help.
Everyone got along, everyone worked together, everyone joined in.
Everyone was awesome.
Some shared their testimonies at testimony meeting. Some shared their testimonies with our family.
I was so impressed with every single one of those kids.
There were some very spiritul moments along with the fun and goofy ones.
There was another day after that, during which more awesome things happened. But I'll wrap up here, and maybe talk about that later.
Chris and I are hoping we get the chance in 4 years when they do it again.
It was really a privilege to be a Ma and Pa to those young men and young women. They were amazing.
The whole experience was awesome. I think that we got as much out of it as the youth did.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Crazy Busy", "Handcarts", and "Cub Scouts"

It seems as though I find myself apologizing a lot for not being on the blog. So I'm done apologizing.
But I will try to fill you in on some of my activities.
I spent most of last week driving to and from and supervising Cub Scout Day Camp.
I couldn't be there every day, so several other people stepped up to help out, which was awesome.
CJ is no longer a cub scout, but Mark went for the first time and loved it. Especially the archery and bb guns.
Last week was also busy because J started his summer job.
He is working as part of a summer job training program. So we are having a lot of driving him to and from his job site.
The week before last I was literally cut off from civilization for 3 days while Chris and I went on Pioneer Trek with our stake's Youth Conference.
It was absolutely amazing. We were Ma and Pa to 10 teenagers who completely blew me away with how hard working, fun and just plain awesome they were.
I could devote several blog posts to talking about the Trek, but I don't think my words could do justice to the experience.
It was the most fun I've had working so hard in a long time. We basically pushed an 800 pound hand cart up and down a mountain for about 16 miles over 3 days. It was hard, it was fun, it was spiritual and it renewed my faith in the younger generation. The 10 kids in our family were amazing. Everyone of them worked so hard, pitched in together, and made it a great experience for each other and us.
I mean, I wouldn't go so far as to say that our family was better than any of the other families. But I will say that nobody was better than us.
Chris and I are already hoping we get asked to go again in 4 years.
While we were gone a couple of things happened.
Apparently some singer died. And our house was broken into.
I'm not too worried about the singer, he has a lot of people who care enough that I don't need to.
It did concern me a great deal that when we got home the screen was off the front window and the window was wide open. In addition, my dog Toby was in the back yard instead of in the house.
We called the police and they went into the house before us to check it out.
I think that Toby scared off the burglars when they opened the window by jumping out at them and barking like crazy as he tends to do when anyone comes over, especially if we are not home.
It is my guess that Toby hung out on the porch until a neighbor put him in the back yard.
Regardless, nothing was missing or broken when the cops searched the house.
Oh, and if that wasn't enough to keep us busy both Chris and I have been sick.
But we are getting better and life is either returning to normal or we are adjusting to the new level of crazy.
I'll try to add pics soon.
Thanks for caring and checking the blog.

Check the Time

If you should wake up early in the morning tomorrow and notice that the time is 4:05, if it happens to be just 6 seconds after 4:05 you should note that the time and date are 04:05:06, 07-08-09.
Just something to think about.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The zip code 12345 is assigned to General Electric in Shenectady, New York.
The zip code 23456 is in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"More Mormon Jokes" or "Strike Me Down Now"

There is another blog out there called The Sugar Beet, which is kind of like The Onion newsletter, but mormon style.
I apologize at this point to my non-mormon readers who will probably only be confused by this post or by anything they might read at The Sugar Beet.
Believe me, when you understand the "mormon culture" this stuff is funny.
Actually the following list is titled
"Things that seem like they would be funny but are not".
See if you agree.
• Using grilled cheese sandwiches for the sacrament
• Solemnly appointing high priests to be captains of 50 for the march to Jackson County
• Sending a letter to all the Laurels saying they can wear whatever they want to girls’ camp
• Telling the priests they can serve as priesthood chaperones at girls’ camp
• Standing to bear your testimony, and then falling to the ground screaming and wrestling with an unseen demon
• Telling the nursery leader that, like an apostle, her calling is for life
• Tie-dying your Gs
• When called upon to read a scripture in Gospel Doctrine, making up something like, “And the Lord sayeth unto the children of men, It is not meet in mine eyes that thou nor thy manservant nor thy maidservant shall witness the Super Bowl, nor the harlots therein, for the Sabbath is mine”
• Telling the choir director to include a drum solo in the next Easter program
• Referring to the art displayed in the Church Office Building as “Corn in the COB”
• Dumping your fiancĂ©e because she’s not physically fit enough to make the walk to Missouri
As for that walk to Missouri....I'll have more on that later......

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Dad.
I am so blessed to have gotten you for a father.
Thank you for being my dad.
I love you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Did you know that an ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain?
Now you do.

45 Life Lessons

Here are 45 life lessons by Regina Brett of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland Ohio.
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10.When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

License plate I just saw:

Hooray for CJ!

Today is the last day of school for my kids.
CJ had an award ceremony yesterday, and won "Most Improved Student".
He has had a rough year and has worked really, really hard to do well.
It wasn't a matter of intelligence, everyone agreed he was well and above smart enough. It was more a problem with focus.
This is an issue we have worked with him on for the last few years.
After all our best efforts I finally took him to the doctor.
Now he takes one little blue pill every morning and voila! instant success!
He recognizes the difference as much as anyone and is very proud of himself.
But we are very proud of him too.
And I can send him to middle school next year with confidence that he will do well there too.
Hooray for CJ!

Jabberwocky or Glorious Nonsense

I have loved this poem since I was a little girl.
I think I heard it first from my dad.
Other than from him, this is my favorite reading of it.
You can follow along with the words. It makes it a little easier.


by Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird,

and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

Long time the manxome foe he sought -

-So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'

He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.


It also reminds me of going to scout leader training with my parents.

When someone would say "We have a few announcements" everyone would sing the Announcements-are-a-horrible-way-to-die song, then someone would yell "Speak freak!" and someone else would yell "Jabber wocky!"

I wonder if I'm ever going to teach that to my cub scouts...

And if you are interested in more places and things this poem has affected >>>click here<<<.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stacey's quote for the day:

"There is never a time when fishnets go with galoshes".

From TLC's What Not to Wear

Today's Giggle

According to the email I got, there is a certain tree in Africa that produces a fruit that contains alcohol. Being the desert and all this juicy fruit is extremely tasty to all the animals.
The problem with this being, of course, that they get intoxicated when they eat the fruit.
I don't know if this is for real, but I can't imagine what else would make elephants and monkeys act this way.
The narrative in the video is in French, but you don't need to hear it to understand. But the music adds to it I think.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Newspaper Ads

Washer. Owned by clean bachelor who seldom washed -- $100.
Snow blower for sale. Only used on snowy days.
Free puppies. Part German Shepherd, part dog.
Cows, calves never bred. Also, one gay bull for sale.
Free puppies: part Cocker Spaniel, part sneaky neighbor's dog
Full-sized mattress. 20-year warranty. Like new. Slight urine smell.
Found: dirty white dog. Looks like a rat. Been out for a while. Better be reward.
Nice parachute. Never opened. Used once. Slightly stained.
Free Yorkshire Terrier. Eight years old. Unpleasant little dog.
Tired of working for only $9.75 per hour? We offer profit sharing and flexible hours. Starting pay: $7 - $9 per hour.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Help a Friend and Listen to Great Music

I have a friend named Justin who is an amazingly talented guy.
His voice can move you to tears.
He just started a website to showcase his talents.
Check it out and enjoy! You'll be glad you did.

I Miss You All

Hi Ya'll.
I'm so sorry I've been away from the blog for so long. I miss you all dearly.
My life has been very busy and involved and I have had little time to sit at the computer even to read e-mail, much less blog.
We are possibly undergoing some exciting changes in our family.
For one, Chris has 6 weeks left of school and he will (finally) receive his BA in Criminal Justice. (Hooray!!!!)
He has a lot of ideas about how to put this degree to good use.
I have been having a lot of thoughts about my own education as we have said all along that when Chris finished it would be my turn to go to school.
I have had a difficult time deciding what to study as the most obvious choices didn't seem to feel right. I think I have got my plan worked out and I will give you more news on that as it develops.
CJ is graduating 5th grade this week and will be going to middle school in September!
Mark will start 3rd grade in the fall. We are planning his baptism for some time this summer when his cousins can be here.
Well, that's the brief update on me.
I will try to continue blogging on random topics when I can fit in the blog time. And I will still be reading all of your blogs regularly too.
I love you all, I miss you, I value you. I'll be commenting on your blogs soon.
Love, Della

Monday, June 8, 2009

Yay, School's Out! or Help, I'm Afraid for my Sanity!

My kids have 8 more school days until they are out for the summer. We have a few things planned for the summer to help keep us busy, not to mention our close proximity to the BEACH, so hopefully we won't be getting too stir crazy, but I still tend to stress about the summer. So I was excited when I got an email that gave me another cool suggestion for a summer activity.
If you haven't heard of >> <<, check it out.
It is a great program that allows children 15 and under to go bowling every day for free.
They can play up to 2 games each day, and I don't think shoe rental is included, but it is an awesome program.
Check the website for participating bowling alleys near you.
(I apologize in advance to my Utah readers as I think there is only 1 alley that does this in Utah).
They also offer an inexpensive membership for the adults in the family so you can bowl with your kids.
Have a great summer and if you have cheap recreation ideas I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Interesting fact:
In ancient China people committed suicide by eating a pound of salt.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Garage Sale Steals" and "I've Reached The Next Level in Life"

This weekend our neighborhood had a subdivision wide yard sale.
It was a veritable garage sale gold mine for the high intensity yard saler.
One out of every 3 or 4 houses had their driveway filled with furniture, clothes, knick-nacks and dusty exercise equipment.
I drove through the streets as I was on my way home from an errand.
I didn't bother stopping at most of the homes because I was only looking for one thing: couches.
The couches in our game room have been abused for several years now and are overdue for retirement.
I have put off buying new ones because whatever we get will continue to be abused, so I haven't wanted to spend much, and I have been hoping to find a couch with a hide-a-bed.
I almost didn't see this set because it was kind of hidden by bushes from the direction I was coming.
But when I did see it, I pulled over and went to inquire.
This set, which has been recently reupholstered, has a hide-a-bed in the larger couch, and was within my budget at $100!
J calls them the Cheese Cake Couches, because they reminded him of the rasberry swirl cheescake he ate today.
(I am going to have to get a new rug.)
Now please understand that I try hard to not be material, and to not judge others or myself by possessions.
But, regardless of my efforts, I have felt at times in my life that I have reached an accomplishment because of something that I have aquired.
Like the first time I bought a car from a dealership (instead of my parents or a friend), the first time I rented a house instead of an apartment, when I bought a home instead of renting (I don't own that home anymore), when I got a job that offered benefits.
You know, things that showed that I had met some imagined status.
Well, one of those things happened today.
I have dreamed of this. I have even been in possession of one or two of these when it technically belonged to someone else.
As I was driving through a culdesac eyeing secondhand wares, I spotted a cardboard sign.
A light shone down on me from heaven and I heard the angels singing to share my joy.
The sign said:
Free Piano
It was a good thing there were no cars or children in front of me, because I was staring out the side window at the sign.
I quickly pulled over and went to ask.
Surely there had to be a catch.
Nothing is actually free, right?
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is, and all that.
I hardly dared to hope.
The only catch was that in order to get the piano I had to be the first one to drive to the house it was at and pick it up.
I visited with the couple giving the piano away and made arrangements to meet them at the other house to pick it up.
They wanted nothing for it, other than someone to take it away so they wouldn't have to move it.
So after calling a friend and his son to help, (and isn't that the most cliche favor in the world?), my piano arrived at my house this afternoon.
It is a New York Rudolf. It is very tall, probably 5 feet or close to it.
This piano has been loved and well used for many years.
If it had a voice it could speak to me of the children who first learned middle C on this piano.
It could tell of the tears that have leaked out because of the beautiful music that came from it.
It could tell stories of how it got paint splatters, how it's wood was chipped and scratched in places.
It could talk of the families that loved it as it shared its music with them.
Of the homes that were warmer, more comfortable, calmer, because it's notes floated through them. As I dusted it and played my first few songs on it I bonded with it. I felt it. I loved it.
It is old and has seen better days, but it is beautiful, and it has a soul.
Maybe that's a poor description, but this piano, old and abused as it is, carries power. It brought it's strength in to my home.
I am so excited to have it, and so blessed to have gotten it.
And somehow, I feel that I have crossed that imaginary line where yesterday I was a lesser person, because today I own a piano.

Friday, May 29, 2009

On a Church Billboard

Kindness is Love in work clothes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Incredible Pictures of Waves

This guy from Oahu named Clark Little is a surfer who takes pictures of the waves he rides.
These pics are beautiful and incredible.
Doesn't it make you wish you could go surfing this Memorial Day?
Happy Memorial Day to all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Puzzles and Riddles

I know ya'll love brain teasers, and it gives me something to blog when I don't have any other ideas. So here you go.
. 1. A man rode into town on Friday. He stayed 3 days and left on Friday. How is this possible? (I got this one from the tv show iCarly).
The man's horse is named Friday.
2. Four men sat down to play,
They played all night ‘till break of day.
They played for gold and not for fun
With separate scores for everyone.
When they came to square accounts,
They all had made quite fair amounts.
Can you the paradox explain,
If no one lost, how could all gain?
Answer: The 4 men are musicians.
3. There is a well known story of a famous German mathematician, who showed his brilliance even as a young boy.
While in elementary school, he was given the problem of finding the sum of all the whole numbers from one to 100.
For most of use it would be a long and difficult task of adding "1=2=3=4 etc." This young lad, however, solved the problem in his head in just a few moments.
What is the answer and how did he manage to do it in his head?
Answer: Imagine a measuring tape that measures 100 inches. Fold it in half at the 50" mark. The 1" is matched with the 99", which if you add together equals 100. 2+98=100, 3+97=100 and so on. By adding the matched numbers 1-49 with their counterparts, 99-51 you get 100 49 times, 4900. Add the 100 at the end and the single 50 in the middle. The answer is 5050.
Good luck!
Thanks for playing!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Surprised by a scout.
The other night at cub scouts I got tricked by a scout that I was trying to trick.
Every week I ask for volunteers to give the opening prayer, pledge, and scout promise.
The boys are anxious to do these things because it earns them a clothespin, which might earn them a prize.
They always shoot their hands up as soon as I ask "Who wants to..."
This week was no different.
After prayer and pledge I needed a boy to give the promise, but I wanted to throw my scouts off a bit. So I said "Who wants to..."
All of their hands shot up, and I said "... Recite the alphabet backwards?" trying to catch them unaware.
All hands fell, except for B, whose hand stayed high and who continued to look at me just as excitedly.
Now let me add that B is 8 years old and autistic. He is a blast to have in scouts because you never know what he is going to say.
I said "B, do you want to recite the alphabet backwards?"
He nodded energetically, so I said "Okay, go ahead."
B then proceeded from Z to recite the entire alphabet backwards all the way to A.
He didn't seem to have it memorized, but looked like he was thinking through it as he went.
He didn't make a single mistake.
He earned a clothespin and a high five from all the other scouts.
It was awesome.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Few Jokes

Readers Digest this month has a selection of jokes that were voted to be the best joke in America. . Here are a few of them: .
A ventriloquist is performing with his dummy on his lap.
He’s telling a dumb- blonde joke when a young platinum-haired beauty jumps to her feet.
"What gives you the right to stereotype blondes that way?" she demands. "What does hair color have to do with my worth as a human being?"
Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to stammer out an apology.
"You keep out of this!" she yells. "I’m talking to that little jerk on your knee!"
A guy spots a sign outside a house that reads "Talking Dog for Sale."
Intrigued, he walks in.
"So what have you done with your life?" he asks the dog.
"I’ve led a very full life," says the dog. "I lived in the Alps rescuing avalanche victims. Then I served my country in Iraq. And now I spend my days reading to the residents of a retirement home."
The guy is flabbergasted. He asks the dog’s owner, "Why on earth would you want to get rid of an incredible dog like that?"
The owner says, "Because he’s a liar! He never did any of that!"
A turtle is crossing the road when he’s mugged by two snails.
When the police show up, they ask him what happened.
The shaken turtle replies, "I don’t know. It all happened so fast."
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He’s not breathing and his eyes are glazed.
The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911.
"I think my friend is dead!" he yells. "What can I do?"
The operator says, "Calm down. First, let’s make sure he’s dead."
There’s a silence, then a shot.
Back on the phone, the guy says, "Okay, now what?"
A priest, a minister, and a rabbi want to see who’s best at his job.
So they each go into the woods, find a bear, and attempt to convert it. Later they get together.
The priest begins: "When I found the bear, I read to him from the Catechism and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his First Communion."
"I found a bear by the stream," says the minister, "and preached God’s holy word. The bear was so mesmerized that he let me baptize him."
They both look down at the rabbi, who is lying on a gurney in a body cast. "Looking back," he says, "maybe I shouldn’t have started with the circumcision."
You can >>>click here<<< to read the rest and vote for your favorite.
Got any other favorites?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Believe

I posted these on my pic blog yesterday, but they are too good to not post here too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Impossible Dream

I love music.
There are many songs that have inspired me, made me laugh, been connected to memories, or gotten me through tough times.
One great song has been running through my mind the last few days.
In the Broadway play Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote explains to Aldonza what his quest is and why he does what he does.
Even if you have never seen the play, you must have heard this song before.
Here are the lyrics:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star
One interesting thing about this is that Don Quixote is just a bit crazy.
But maybe you have to be crazy to see the world with the hope that he does.
Maybe we could all use a little bit of crazy. (Or maybe I just want an excuse...)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

I have had many mothers.
First and foremost is my Mom, Nancy. Who gave birth to me. Raised me. Fed me. Taught me. Put up with me. And loved me, sometimes in spite of myself.
My mom made my life wonderful and blessed me in so many ways that they can not be counted.
I have also been blessed with other mothers.
Other women along my way have blessed me and touched me, and made me a better person.
Obviously, my Grandmothers are on the top of this list.
My grandmother Gladys' home was the destination for many a family vacation, and I have many happy memories of playing in her home.
I always felt that I was the luckiest of my cousins because I got to live in the same city as my Mom's mom, Esther, and got to visit my Grandma all the time.
Both of those women taught me life lessons and loved me immesurably, (sp?).
I was also lucky enough to have great grandmothers in my life. One died while I was younger and I have limited memories of her.
But my Great Grandma Mumsie, (real name Iva Dell, I was named for her), lived until I was in my 20s and had a child of my own.
I have many memories of her house. Especially having her measure me on her pantry door everytime I came to visit, and seeing how much I'd grown since our last trip.
After I moved out of my parents home, my first real job was at a hospital. I worked with many wonderful nurses there who I often felt nurtured and mothered by.
One of those nurses liked me enough that she decided I would make a good daughter in law. She set me up on a blind date with her son, and, well, if you read the blog a couple weeks ago you saw that we just celebrated our 12th anniversary.
Cathy and I joke that she picked me out. I am extremely grateful for the friendship and love that I share with my mother in law. All wives should be so lucky.
Marrying Chris brought another mother into my life as well. When I married him his Grandmother became my grandmother. Her name is Patsy, but I don't think of her by that name. I think of her as Grandma. I felt accepted the first time I ever met her, and I can't even think about her without feeling loved.
Another mother that made a difference in my life is my best friend's mother. Through all of my teenage years Holly's mom Sharon accepted me as one of her children. I spent a lot of time at their house and she made me feel like I was part of the family.
All of these women affected my life for good. I am a better person because these women loved me.
Now in my life I mother other children. Kids and teenagers whose own mothers can't, for whatever reason, care for them.
I am able to do this now, because of the love that all of my mothers gave to me.
Thank you all.
I love you dearly.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Utah Census Form

I got this one in an email from my second mom, Sharon.
I don't live in Utah, but a lot of these things still apply to me.
For my non LDS readers, please recognize this as one of the ways we Mormons laugh at ourselves.
Utah Census Form
1._____________________ _____________________
2. Descendant of:
A. Brigham Young _____
B. Heber C. Kimball _____
C. Laman and Lemuel _____
D. Cain _____
3. Tribe of Israel : _____________________
4. Number of occupants residing in home in each category: (List in chronological order)
A. Nursery _____
B. Junior Primary _____
C. Senior Primary _____
D. Young Women's _____
E. Young Men's _____
F. Relief Society _____
G. Elder _____
H. Dearly Departed _____
I. High Priest _____
5. Occupation [Please select all that apply]:
A. doTerra consultant _____
B. Shaklee dealer _____
C. Noni juice dealer _____
D. NuSkin dealer _____
E. Melaleuca dealer _____
F. Neways dealer _______
G. Xango dealer _______
H. Amway dealer _____
6. Automobile:
A. Station Wagon _____
B. Van _____
C. Suburban _____
D. School Bus _____
E. Double Decker _____
F. BMW (Big Mormon Wagon) ________
7. Favorite place to eat the night before Fast Sunday:
A. Chuck-A-Rama _____
B. Hometown Buffet _____
C. Golden Corral _____
8. Favorite Hero:
A. Nephi _____
B. Abinadi _____
C. Samuel the Lamanite_____
D. Steve Young _____
E. Johnny Lingo _____
9. Which of the following do you bring to church [check all that apply]:
A. Scriptures _____
B. Franklin Planner/ Daytimer _____
C. Pen/Pencil _____ D. Lifesavers/ Cheerios _____
E. Tic Tacs _____
F. Game Boy _____
G. Big Gulp _____
H. iPod _____
I. Sony Walkman _____
J. TV Watch _____
K. All of the above _____
10. Do you prepare your church lessons:
A. A month in advance _____
B. A week in advance _____
C. While in the bathtub _____
D. While on the toilet _____
E. During Sacrament Meeting _____
F. During the closing prayer of Sacrament Meeting______
G. During the opening prayer of the class you're teaching _____
H. Just wing it [according to the promptings of the Spirit] _____
11. Do you think pews should be permanently equipped with Big Gulp holders:
A. yes___
B. no ___ 1
2. How many years has your family sat in the same place for Sacrament Meeting:
A. 10-20 years _____
B. 20-30 years _____
C. 30-40 years _____
D. Over 3 generations ____
13. How much time does it take for you to fall asleep during a high council talk:
A. 1/100,000,000th of a second _____
B. 1/999,999,999th of a second _____
C. 1/999,999,998th of a second _____
14. Which day of the month do you go home/visiting teaching:
A. 31st ______
B. 31st ______
C. 31st ______
D. 31st ______
15. How many church basketball fights were you in last year:
A. 1-10 _____
B. 10-20 _____
C. 20-30 _____
D. You'll have to ask my lawyer _____
16.. Which of the following has been your most effective Family Home Evening:
A. Arguing about getting along
B. Having an opening and closing prayer with dinner
C. Gathering around the television to watch, "Everybody Loves Raymond"
17. How many times a year do you make:
A. Green Jell-O salad _____
B. Funeral potatoes _____
C. Cabbage and Top Ramen salad _____
D. Chicken, cashews and grape- stuffed croissants_____
18. How many water-filled two-liter bottles do you own:
A. 1-2 thousand _____
B. 2-3 thousand _____
C. 3-4 thousand _____
D. Enough to fill the Great Salt Lake _____
19. Which of the following do you feel is the most secure facility in the nation:
A. Alcatraz
B. Fort Knox
C. Ward Libraries
20. How many structural engineers do you hire annually to insure you'll win the Pinewood Derby: _________
21. Keeping the Word of Wisdom in mind, how much of the following do you consume:
A. Chocolate: ___pounds daily X 365 days annually= ____
B. Cola: ____gallons daily X 365 days annually = ____
22. If you had to choose between witnessing the Second Coming or attending a BYU/UofU football game, which would you choose?
A. Second Coming _____
B. Football game _____
I would like to state for the record that I have never taken a big gulp to church or made a cabbage and top ramen salad.
But I have been living outside of Utah for almost 5 years now, so maybe the most severe symptoms are wearing off?
Admit it, you'd go to the football game, wouldn't you?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A few Brain Teasers

1- Don't cheat on this one! If you do, the test will be no fun.
Read this sentence out loud and count the Fs. Only read it once before you give your answer.
How many Fs did you find?
2- What's so special about the following sentence?
A big cuddly dog emitted fierce growls, happily ignoring joyful kids licking minute nuts on pretty queer rotten smelly toadstools underneath vampires who x-rayed young zombies.
3- What do these 3 have in common?
The Cabbage Patch Kids
Come on, give it your best shot.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Sunday Morning Walk, With my Brother!

Spring has come to Virginia Beach, and I am loving it.
Temperatures have been in the 70s and the weather has been beautiful.
Very often I find myself missing my mountains in Utah, but I am consoled by the colorful vegetation and the variety of wildlife in Virginia.
I took this picture (obviously) out of my car window, of a house I drive past regularly.
These colors catch my breath every time.
Another great thing to happen this spring is that my brother Mike has returned from a 15 month tour in Iraq.
He is stationed a few hours away from me, and since his family is waiting till the end of the school year to join him here he came to visit us for the weekend.
It was really awesome to see him and spend time with him. It only would have been better if his wife and kids had been here too.
On Sunday morning he, Mark and I went to First Landing State Park for a walk in the woods. (We had time because our church doesn't start till 3:00).
Mark brought his scooter which he rode for about a fourth of the way and Mike carried the rest of the way.
There is spanish moss all over the place in this park, and is really pretty. Mark: Live long and prosper.
The trails and walkways in the park are really well maintained. There are lots of look out points and benches if you need a break.
I'm not sure if Mike is posing for thoughtfulness in this pic or if I caught him being sincere.
What are logs for, if not to climb on?
Because we are cheap and we didn't want to pay the 7 bucks to drive into the park, we parked a few blocks away and walked along a path to get in.
This path looks into the backyards of houses along the way.
One homeowner has gone to great efforts to create a beautiful garden for passersby to enjoy.
Including statues and garden artwork.
I didn't get any pictures of the wildlife, but we did get to see lizards, a snake, a momma duck with 10 ducklings, a bluebird (or at least a bird that was blue), and several other birds.
It was another one of those beautiful days.
We really enjoyed the time we got to spend with Mike. And we can't wait to see the rest of his family this summer.
I saw this on a church billboard:
Forbidden fruit makes many jams.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Mother of All Giveaways!

Please notice the new button on the right side of the page. A blog called 5 Minutes For Mom is having a mothers day give-away that is crazier than than the Octomom after dealing with 3 bouts of colic and 6 cases of diaper rash.
They are giving away everything from a blue ray player, flowers, jewelry, and a hotel stay to a LAPTOP!
I don't usually bother with these, but I'll take any chance I can for a new laptop.
Click on over and check it out.

Great Poetry

I got some really great responses to yesterday's post. I highly encourage you to go back and read the comments from that one as several people left some wonderful poems. So I decided to share a couple of my personal favorites.
I once memorized an amazing poem by Robert Service. You may have heard of it.
It is called >>>The Cremation of Sam McGee<<<, and you can read it by clicking on the link. (It's too long to retype, though doing that might refresh my memory of it).
I love almost every poem written by Shel Silverstein, and have many of them memorized. But if I have to pick one favorite, it is probably this one:
Ol' man Simon, planted a diamond,
Grew hisself a garden the likes of none.
Sprouts all growin', comin' up glowin',
Fruit of jewels all shinin' in the sun.
Colors of the rainbow,
See the sun and rain grow
Sapphires and rubies on ivory vines,
Grapes of jade, just
Ripenin' in the shade, just
Ready for the squeezin' into green jade wine.
Pure gold corn there,
Blowin' in the warm air,
Ol' crow nibblin' on the amnythyst seeds.
In between the diamonds, ol' man Simon
Crawls about pullin' out platinum weeds.
Pink pearl berries,
all you can carry,
Put 'em in a bushel and
Haul 'em into town.
Up in the tree there's
Opal nuts and gold pears-
Hurry quick, grab a stick
And shake some down.
Take a silver tater,
Emerald tomater,
Fresh plump coral melons
Hangin' in reach.
Ol' man Simon,
Diggin' in his diamonds,
Stops and rests and dreams about
Any more good ones you can think of?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poem in my Pocket Day

Today was Poem in my Pocket Day at the elementary school.
Mark picked out a poem immediately that he wanted to carry around, but CJ was reticent until I told him a poem that my dad used to tell me.
These are the poems they took in their pockets:
Mark took
Read This Poem by Douglas Florian
If you don't read this poem real soon
I'll make you eat a rotten prune.
And if you stop just halfway through,
I'll pinch you till your face turns blue.
Don't even think to finish here
Or else I'll have to pull your ear.
But if you read it to the end,
I promise that I'll be your friend.
CJ took
I'm not sure, but that one might be by Mark Twain.
If it had been me I might have taken a good Shel Silverstein.
Do you have a favorite poem?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Flight of the Conchords

Recognizing that I have a skewed sense of humor, I think this band is one of the funniest I have heard or seen.
This is just a short version of just one of their songs. It's not even the complete song, but none of the full versions were very good quality.
Enjoy it any way.

And if you end up watching related videos for hours and laughing yourself off your chair, I take full credit.

If you don't like it, well, there's no accounting for taste.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An Evening at Mt. Trashmore

Last Saturday, (yes this post is late), Mark asked me to take him to the rec center.
Well, by the time we were ready to go the rec center was closed. So we decided instead to go to Mt. Trashmore.
What the heck is Mt. Trashmore? you ask.
The story, as I understand it is this: Several years ago, before Virginia Beach was as big as it is now, this was the local dump.
The city was encountering 2 problems. First, the dump was getting too full, and second, the city was growing to close to it.
Someone had the bright idea to cover the whole pile of garbage with dirt and call it a park.
Thus Mount Trashmore Park was born.
Now this might sound like an odd idea, but it was successful. And this park is one of the best in the city.
There is an awesome wooden playground called Kids Cove. Plus several other playgrounds scattered around, (but Kids Cove is the best).
CJ and Mark played in the park while I had a quick run around the 1.85 mile paved path that circles the perimeter of the park, even going around the lake.
Mark had brought his scooter and wanted to go into the free skate park, but he forgot his helmet and wasn't allowed in. (Though I saw one teenager whose helmet was a red plastic firemans hat that they give out to kids at a local restaurant, and apparently, that was enough to get him in).
After my run and after the boys played in the playground for a little while, we ventured up to the top of the hill.
There is a good breeze on top of the hill and several people were flying kites
At the top of the hill I turned around and took a picture of the view, including the Kids Cove.
If the hill was a little higher I probably could have seen all the way to the ocean, which is only a few miles away.
On top of the hill there are 2 pipes like this one that release the methane gas from the decomposing garbage underneath us.Turning 120 degrees to the left you get this shot of the downtown city skyline. And another 120 degrees gives you a shot of the lake that I ran around.
We walked - actually, I walked and the boys ran- down the hill to the lake where they, in true boy fashion, spent a glorious 15 minutes throwing dirt and rocks into the lake. CJ likes the camera. Why is it impossible to take a picture of yourself without it looking like you are taking a picture of yourself? But since I like to give at least one of my bloggies a hard time for never including pictures of herself on her blog, I want to put one up of me.
The park closes at sundown, so I took this as we walked back to the car. It was a glorious evening, and I had a great time with my boys. Tell me when you are coming to visit me and I will take you to see Mt. Trashmore. You will love it too.