Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow Day

Yesterday morning, Maggie got up at 5:00 am to shower before school. I may have given birth to her, and she may look just like her dad, but I am starting to wonder if she really is my daughter. I got up at 6:45 and checked our local public access channel - NO SCHOOL! She said that she had checked when she first woke up and there was no message - could it be that everyone was still SLEEPING? So, yay for us school was cancelled!
Sometimes I love Ashlee's little touches - she wanted a hat for her little snowman, but knew we didn't have one that size so she made him one out of snow, clever no?Things I love about snow days: pajamas until late morning/early afternoon, hot chocolate,games on the floor, and that feeling of cheating because we're really not supposed to all be home. Bonus: Chris was flying that night, so he was home until about 2:30. Things I don't really love: piles of wet snow gear, making and cleaning up three meals - (breakfast is bigger, lunch was for five), and the cabin fever that sets in around 5:00 pm.

Pajamas or leisure suit?

Last night for dinner I made bread and homemade chicken noodle soup. It reminded me of last year when I was sick. At first we weren't sure what it was , just that I felt awful. I would spend half my day lying on the floor with stomach pain. I had been to see the doctor twice about it - nothing. Finally one morning I woke up a little yellow and a lot in pain, so we went to the ER. The doctor there was pretty certain that I had one of the lettered Hepatitis strains. I was miserable and called my mom - she came out to take care of us. We didn't really need her to, and said so, but she came anyway. And it was wonderful. I would sleep for several hours each day and she cooked and played with Paige and took care of homework and laundry (even the whites - that's how sick I was). All while trying to work from our computer at the job she had just started. She made bread a few times and chicken noodle soup and it was just so nice to be babied. Sometimes that's a perk of living far away. If we had lived close and needed that kind of help - she would have come over to help, but she would have gone home to sleep at night and been busy with her own life. But, since she was here, we got two weeks of full time pampering. Turns out, it was just Epstein Barr and by the time she left I was feeling much much better. So, last night as the girls and I sat down to eat homemade bread and soup, I thought thankfully of my mom and how she is always there when I need her.

Happy Snow Day!

Friday, January 23, 2009


It has been really cold here lately... not today, today it is a glorious 52... Maggie came in from outside and said "I feel like I went to Hawaii." But last Saturday was a different story: a pipe in the bathroom froze and burst. Luckily, Chris was home and turned the water off right away. We called maintenance and they said they would put us on a very long list of emergencies for the day. They showed up just as we were discussing where we were going to shower/eat/use the facilities. This was pretty inconvenient, but having maintenance people come to the house is always a little fun for Christopher. He gets to follow them around and talk to them about how things work. Here is a picture of the pipe - the plumber admonished us several times to let the faucet drip during cold weather and we promised we would. But, we didn't. So, on Wednesday morning the pipes were frozen again...Chris said to call because it is a quick fix, but I did NOT want to call and say that we had a frozen pipe, probably in the same location. So we turned the faucet on hot (where a little drip was dripping) and waited... I was so nervous that it would burst again before the ice melted - but we made it. The faucet has been dripping ever since. Here is one of Paige's favorite spots. She is probably yelling in this picture to have someone come and read to her. I can't decide what she likes more: reading books or pulling books off the shelves. I know what I like more and it's not picking up all of her and some of her sister's books several times a day. Today, I just left them and will leave them until bedtime, when I can enlist the help of her 2 older sisters.
Maggie took the picture below at my request - Paige is wearing hand-me-downs of Elizabeth's that Sharron sent at Christmas. (When I washed the dress that Ashlee is wearing this week, I cut the ties off - neither of my girls will ever leave them tied and there is a man at church that every time they come with a tie hanging down tries to tie it for them. Plus it looks like we're total slackers who don't know how to dress our kids) Just in case you read this Elizabeth, we got several compliments on your dress! Thank-You! Last thing: since Christopher has left the squadron for the wing, he has had more interesting desk duties. Yesterday and today, he is sitting on Court Marshall Duty and I can't wait for him to come home and tell me all about it. It was KILLING me last night that he couldn't talk about it. I want all the details, what the guy did, how they reached the verdict, did he make eye contact, is he sorry, were his parents there, who were the witnesses, did they get to examine any evidence...I want to know. And last weekend he got to play host to a couple of crews passing through from the Italian Air Force. As a thank-you, they gave him the following gifts. We were teasing the girls that the wine would be ok because after all it's just grape juice, Maggie was scandalized, Ashlee seemed to take us at our word. It's going to the neighbors. It's the statue I don't know what to do with. Maggie and I opened the box that it came in together and she turned a few shades pink and left the room because the guy has all his business hanging out.(that's a piece of paper towel). There is no way that Chris will let me throw him out...I figure if I leave him out for a week or two, he'll let me put him in the closet with the other stuff we don't know what to do with!

Oh, and I did let the girls stay home to watch the Inauguration - but it turns out that both of their classes watched it at school. I told Chris the other night that President Obama has already satisfied any expectation/hope that I had of his Presidency by issuing the order to close Guantanimo and stating unequivocally that the U.S. will not engage in torture - reason enough to have voted for him, in my humble opinion. Plus, the closing prayer - we would never have gotten anything like that with any of the other candidates. The girls and I have been saying it to each other ever since...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Ashlee had her school winter concert last night. It was fun - and the perfect length. Sometimes when I see pictures of her I can't believe how big she is. She turns 8 this year - can that be right????? She had a little solo that she was pretty nervous about, but she did a great job. This night, the girls were goofing off. Maggie has her doll's hat on top of that outfit - so funny.
As a side note - is it bad to let them stay home next Tuesday and watch the inauguration? I have been really disappointed that neither one of their teachers this year have really discussed the election etc... I was thinking I would make some recipes from Cokie Roberts' book Founding Mothers - she has some recipes from Martha Washington etc... in there and we could make a day of it. Educational, right?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Dad!
Today is my Dad's Birthday - We hope he has a great day!
Did you know?
• He is a hard worker - When they come to visit, he always does a couple of projects for us - edging the grass, building us a new sprinkler etc... unless there is a good game on, he doesn't like to sit still.
• He is devoted to my mom - this has always been evident to his children and grandchildren.
• He is a dedicated Utah fan - They gave him an early birthday present - crushing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Now that they live in Mecca, he has tickets to both football and basketball seasons.
• He is a great dad - he always made time to come to our soccer games, mc hammer dance shows (Daniel, Andrew??), or whatever else we were doing...and continues to be a kind and concerned parent and grandfather...he makes it a point to attend baptisms, sporting events etc...
• He has come to visit us every place we have lived and he is always up for going new places or just playing with the grandkids, and he always suggests eating out so that I don't cook as much. He even made it Guam before Daniel and Miriam left.
• He really likes the water and watersports - he is pretty good at boogy boarding, I thought I had a picture of this to post, but I can't find it.
• He is a good friend - he is still in touch with people in Germany, old mission companions, and he has some golfing buddies etc... in UT - and I understand that he has in fact ditched his own children to golf with friends.
So, there you go, 7 things about my dad because he is working on his 7th decade! We love you dad and are so glad to be part of your family!
Here is Sports Illustrated's article about why the U is really #1, just for fun.
Life of Reilly
Oklahoma and Florida can battle for the BCS. But we've already crowned the true national champ.
by Rick Reilly

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Utes trampled Alabama to complete a perfect season. How are they not national champions?
Some gifts people give are pointless: Styling mousse to Dick Vitale. An all-you-can-eat card to Kate Moss. The BCS Championship given to Oklahoma or Florida.
It means nothing because the BCS has no credibility. Florida? Oklahoma? Who cares? Utah is the national champion.
The End. Roll credits.
Argue with this, please. I beg you. Find me anybody else that went undefeated. Thirteen-and-zero. Beat four ranked teams. Went to the Deep South and seal-clubbed Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The same Alabama that was ranked No. 1 for five weeks. The same Alabama that went undefeated in the regular season. The same Alabama that Florida beat in order to get INTO the BCS Championship game in the first place.
Yeah, that's how it is now in the shameful, money-grubbing world of college football. If you're Florida and you beat Alabama, you get a seat in the title game. If you're Utah, you get a seat on your sofa.
Hey, remind me: What do they give out for one of those BCS things anyway? It's been so long since I cared. Something from Sears? This is the sixth year in the past 10 that the title has been in dispute under this cash-grab, fan-dis, monopoly that the BCS has created. Which is why the title game just doesn't matter anymore. It's like being named Miss Ogallala. Or Best Amish Electrician.
Just take a look at the teams that think they're worthy of being called national champs:
USC? Great year. Wonderful. Let's all go to SkyBar and celebrate. But it lost to Oregon State, a team Utah beat.
Texas? You think beating Ohio State by a nubby three points gets you the title? The Big Ten was 1-6 in bowl games! That's like pinning David Spade!
Florida and Oklahoma? They lost. Utah never did.
So that's it. Utah is the national champion. The Utes should probably have two now, actually. They went undefeated in 2004, too, and their coach still thinks they were the best team in the land. Smart fella named Urban Meyer. Coaches Florida now.
By the way, we're calling our title the "national" championship because it actually includes the whole nation­—all 119 Division I schools—unlike the BCS, which includes 66. Yeah, the BCS somehow eliminated the middleman—the NCAA. The conferences these schools play in take their dump trucks full of cash straight from the TV networks and fairness can go suck a lemon.

Nettie Tien
The Utes won't get the trophy they really deserve, so we gave them one of our own design.
Do me a favor. Call Ohio State president Gordon Gee and ask him why he won't support a playoff. He's one of the most powerful presidents in the NCAA. He could get it done. If he says anything other than, "We don't want to share the loot" then you know he's lying his bow tie off.
"This is not how we normally do things in America," says Utah president Michael Young. "In America, quality usually wins, not conspiracy. And there's a reason people usually enter into a conspiracy. It's money. You make money doing it. And those that are in on the conspiracy want to stay in and keep everybody else out."
Sure, BCS blowhards will hand you schlock about how the college football season is like a playoff, how it's an elimination tournament every week. Really? Well, how come Florida and Oklahoma weren't eliminated with their losses? Utah ran the table, beat everybody set in front of them, including Ala-damn-bama in no less than the Sugar Bowl, and gets the bagel.
Oh, by the way? It was Utah's eighth straight bowl win, the nation's longest streak. Among the losers during that run? Let's see USC, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, and now the legendary Houndstooth Hats.
"What else do we have to prove?" asks Utah's magical quarterback, Brian Johnson. Good question. He and the Utes essentially whipped Alabama at home. Handed Nick Saban a garlic necklace to wear the entire offseason. Stepped on his team's neck 21-0 in the first three possessions and never looked back. Let's see. Who was it that was losing to Alabama until nearly six minutes into the fourth quarter? Oh, yeah. Florida.
What, you want the Utes to win a spelling bee? Make a prize-winning souffle? Knock up Angelina Jolie? What?
It just slays me. It really does.
Call Myles Brand, president of the asleep-at-the-wheel NCAA, and ask him if he and his greedy presidents are going to stand in defiance of president-elect Barack Obama, who wants a playoff and wants it yesterday.
Ask Brand what he's going to do if Obama starts asking the Justice Department to look into anti-trust hearings against the BCS. The Utah attorney general has already launched an investigation into that very thing. Or ask him what he'll do if Obama asks the Department of Education to consider withholding federal funds from these schools that have entered into this secret club called the BCS. You don't think playing in the title game means millions in general-fund donations for a school? That's as unfair as anything Title IX fought against.
Until all these people do the right thing, I'll be celebrating with the true national champions — the undefeated, untied Utah Utes. (Our new slogan: Utahk about a team!)
Lemonades for everybody!