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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Made out like a bandit....

Sometimes, the kids say things that make us laugh so hard that we almost pee our pants. I've taken to writing them down because I'm afraid that I'll forget them.

I recently bought a bunch of skirts on-line from Target. I'm on a quest to find church appropriate clothes for my teenage girls that don't make them look like young hookers. I've been to every major retail store out there, and the clothes are all short, short, short. It's near next to impossible to find dresses....that aren't short, low cut...or otherwise not acceptable. So, I ordered several "knee-length skirts" on line. Of the four skirts and one dress, Elle found two she liked, Riah (of course) liked nothing...and Dom took two skirts.

Dom is the easy one to buy clothes for. She's not picky, and as long as she thinks it's cute, I'm good. I bought her two skirts the other day when we were out, and it was not my intention to give her two more.

So...tonight I said, "Dom, you made out like a bandit."

Dom: "I made out with a bandit?"

Dean: (laughing) "like a bandit"

Dom: "I don't know what that means."

Wendy: "And you probably don't know what it means to 'make out,' either.

Dom: (long pause) "That's what you think!"

Um....she's 10. I may be in for big trouble because 1) she doesn't know a standard, albeit colloquial expression, but 2) she does know what it means to make out.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Well, we did it...

Dean and I have re-joined Weight Watchers. I think this is our 3rd time as a couple trying. It works! I love WW. Anytime I've not been successful, it is because I didn't try...not because the program isn't a good one.

As we're getting older, our health problems become more pronounced, and over and over again, the common denominator seems to be weight. While weight is a measurable goal, I have other goals as well:

1) Not to be as tired as I am all the time;
2) Not to have to use a seat belt extension on an airplane;
3) Not to have to lay on the bed to zip up my jeans;

There are many more, but those are a start. I'm confident that by trying, that those goals can be met and met in a relatively short period of time.

I'm grateful for Dean, and I want him around and kicking for a while. We have plans to retire to San Diego...to go on a mission and to enjoy our lives. It's imperative that we work on our health to be able to enjoy the rest of our lives!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A lot of excitement for one day....

Today was a big day for two of the kids. First, after a year, Mariah GOT HER BRACES OFF. To say she was excited would be a bit of an understatement. Here's a picture of her with her new chops.

Also today-Dominique was recognized in an assembly at school as one of the Students of the Month for exemplifying the quality of integrity. It was supposed to be a surprise, and I tried to throw her off the trail by telling her that the letter sent home was requesting a parent-teacher conference for issues related to her reading. We did our very best to sneak in the back and truly surprise her, but one of her little friends "outed" us in the crowd of parents. Oh well...it was a surprise almost until the end.

Were proud of both of all of the kids, and we love to celebrate their extra-special days with them.

Below: Dom, Wendy and the Shark; Domi and Dean

Dom and Mrs. Dahl-Houlihan (Principal)

Below: Video of the Award Ceremony

video

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm proud of the kiddos...

I left Edmonton, Canada VERY early this morning. My flight landed at 8:25 AM and by 9:15 or so, I was at home. The girls were all up (still in PJs) with the TV turned on waiting for me to watch the Inauguration.

I had already told them that I didn't want anyone going anywhere on Tuesday. I told them we were going to watch it, but I honestly expected a bit of a protest. No one complained...not even a little bit.

I think that they knew it was important to me. I also think they knew on a greater scale that it was important. I don't know if they truly understand "why" it's so important, but they sense the energy. They were amazed by the number of people (as was I).

They listened patiently as I pointed out who was who in the crowd, how the process of the inauguration would go, and my Washington, D.C. geography lesson. After President Obama's speech, Elle said, "is that all we have to watch."

I said, "Yep, you're free to go clean your room now." To which Mariah and Domi said, "I think I'll watch some more."

I hope that years from now that they'll remember that we watched the Inauguration together. I remember my first Inauguration. It was Jimmy Carter in 1977. My 1st Grade reading teacher rolled in the TV and had us watch it. We were first graders, and I still remember that. The year before in Kindergarten, I had been part of a school-wide 1976 Bi-centennial program where I learned all of the patriotic hymns. I still remember every, single word. I firmly believe that we are influenced by trusted adults at an early age, and my love for my country was definitely affected from the time I was very young.

Maybe years from now my grandchildren will not understand why "judging a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin" is even an issue....because it will be something that is standard. Maybe a generation from now we will no longer define individuals by their race, gender, religion, or sexual preference. I sure do hope so!

For today, I will celebrate that part of the dream has been fulfilled, and this enables us to continue to dream. I'm very excited to see what we can dream and what we can do!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Tribute to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King

I'm so glad that every American has the opportunity to dream and to have that dream realized. I'm so inspired by Obama, and I hope that the energy he brings to DC will convert to actions that perpetuate the dream and make this country a better place.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.


This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."


And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

And on the third day....

Ok..so I accidentally dropped my cell phone in the toilet on Friday night. This scenario could have been horrific, but it was only mildly annoying. I had plunged the toilet and was rinsing said plunging device in a bathtub (that we don't use for bathing...) when it must have slipped out of my pocket.

I reached in and grabbed the phone. I got this phone 9 months ago, and paid full price for it. It's the latest and greatest RAZR, and it's fully loaded with features. The phone cost me $300.00. I was miffed at myself for letting the phone fall in the toiley....

Then...my hubby found a solution on the Internet that has appeared to work. You disassemble the phone and put the components in dry rice for three days.

Today was about the third day, and I pulled in that phone to see if there was any way to save it.

I'll be damned if it didn't turn on. Let me tell you, that saves me a lot of money. I think I'll have to replace the battery...and the phone definitely needs a thorough cleaning...but other than that, I should be good to go soon!

Here is an illustration that I snagged from popularmechanics.com.

For those who didn't know...don't EVER try to flush the phone. It won't work.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mariah's Dye Job

Mariah has been asking to get her hair colored "all brown" for a while now. She earned the money to pay for it, and I documented the whole process. Let's just say that the process can be an ugly one, but the result is worth it...at least to her it was!

This is Mariah with Nan, our favorite hairdresser.

The brows are gettin dyed! (One of the not so pretty parts!)

A close up

In the chair getting the do done!

I personally think the final result was somewhat reminiscent of Michael J. Fox's girlfriend in Back to the Future. Regardless, it's definitely an 80's do.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Not too much new to report....

There aren't any fantastic pictures or great news to report for this week, but I wanted to give some kind of an update.

The kids went back to school this week! Hallelujah! It was all about trying to get everyone back to normal and back into a routine.

I (Wendy) spent the week at meetings in lovely San Diego. I love that place, and it's my aspiration to one day finally live there. I experienced great food, great conversations...and one minor earthquake.

I also managed to drop my cell phone in the toilet last night (Friday). I can't BELIEVE I did that. Dean is working on drying it out with some technique he learned on You Tube. I'll let you know if it works.

Sometimes no news is good news...but let me tell you...there will be something new and exciting to report soon...I'm sure of it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

National Champions: University of Utah!

The following is the text of an article that appeared on espn.com on Wednesday, January 7th 2009
Life of Reilly
Oklahoma and Florida can battle for the BCS. But we've already crowned the true national champ.
by Rick Reilly

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.

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.
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.

The Utes won't get the trophy they really deserve, so we gave them one of our own design.

Photo Credit: Nettie Tien

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 off-season. 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.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A little love....post Christmas

Ok...true confessions...I love "Big Love" on HBO. Perhaps it is because it takes place in Sandy, Utah (where I live). Perhaps it is because I have polygamist neighbors (yes, really). Perhaps it is because I have a morbid curiosity with the whole Colorado City/Hillsdale history and culture. Regardless, I made Dean subscribe to HBO just so I could watch Big Love.

A co-worker shares my fascination with the show. And this is the Christmas card he sent me. It made me laugh and laugh and laugh. A bit of explanation as to why this tickled my funny bone....Bill is the Hubby...Barb, Nikki and Marge are the wives....and inside the card are all of the kids...and some extended family...ending with the stocking of the "prophet." What a hoot....and yet some more insight to the slightly twisted sense of humor that I have! Enjoy!



Saturday, January 3, 2009

Utah Football Rules


I'm SOOOOO proud of Coach Whittingham and the Utah Football team! For YEARS we've tried to gain respect in a "good old boys" network of old school football teams. In 2004, an undefeated season gained us a little respect, but when Meyer went to Florida, the "experts" took a "wait and see" attitude....like it was a one time thing.

2004 was an INCREDIBLE season! 2008 was SIMPLY PHENOMENAL!!!!

It was great to see the cocky Alabama fans silenced in the first quarter. They didn't know what hit them. Make no mistake about it....Utah was not the underdog...they were just under-estimated!

Barry Switzer said last night on Fox Sports that when recruiting high school students, Alabama wouldn't even consider the individuals that Utah would take. Good....don't take them. Let them come to Utah! I hope that all of the ESPN and Fox sports "experts" finally start to give Utah the respect it deserves!

Well done, guys! Thanks for making us proud!!! I'm one proud Alum!!!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

...as we wind down from Christmas....one last reminder to not shoot your eye out...

My husband has wanted one of those leg lamps from "The Christmas Story" movie. He found out about it ahead of time because the stinker looked at the credit card bill. Last year was our first year displaying the "soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window."

We had our own little Christmas story mishap during the inaugural year of the lamp. Apparently, the girls were looking out the window...at what, I don't know, and they knocked the leg over. Mind you...this freaking leg lamp cost me $250.00. I noticed a slight tilt as the high heel was disconnected from the platform and leaning precariously as if it would tip over at any moment. It was only then that we got the confession about the mishap. This year, I wanted to super glue the heel down. Dean decided to use duct tape. Believe it or not, it worked!

As I was cleaning my desk tonight, I found the instructions for the assembly of the leg lamp. I kept them because they made me laugh. How hard is it? Take out the bottom, take out the top, put in the bulb, put the top on the bottom...shake out the fringe...call it a day.

As you ring in the new year...here's one last bit of Christmas Story cheer!