Saturday, August 30, 2008

Because I Love Chocolate Chips...

A.K.A. I'm not weird. Daniel is. According to your comments and emails, he's the weird one. But I think he's kinda cute. So I'll keep him around.

So there are some cookie winners. And like I said, I Love Chocolate Chips. So they are chock full of 'em! You can't go wrong with lots of chocolate chips. Here are the winners to the all consuming question of "who said it?" They are...
who gets cookies becuase I understand her answer of..."it may have something to do with a certain annoying cartoon character."
Here's what's coming to you today!!
Isn't it pretty?!

And the answer is.....Drumroll please.......

Mr. Krabs said it on SpongeBob when the Anchovies were coming to the KrustyKrab.

And I do believe I feel a twinge of sorrow that so many people know that!

Congratulations to those of you who have had to sit through SpongeBob to know the answer to that. You deserve a dozen homemade cookies today! (Or yesterday, if you're related to me.)

I will be around later today with your prizes.
First I need to go pick up my very own copy of Season 4 of The Office!! YAY!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Do you smell that? That smelly smell. That smelly smell that smells....smelly.

And if you can name the show that quote is from, and/or what it's referring to, I'll give you a big hug and kiss. Never mind...Daniel, you can't play. (I'll still give you a big hug and kiss, but it's not contingent on answering that!) If you can name it and you don't live in my house, I will give you a dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies. Promise!

So last night Daniel and I were talking. Ok. I was talking. He was trying to watch M*A*S*H. And for some weird reason I started talking about how smell takes me places. You know. They link me to a place, a time, a person. Here are a few examples...

1. Homemade bread...being inside a nice warm house when it's raining outside on a school day.
2. Moth balls...My mother in law.
3. Skunk...My bedroom in my parents basement at 4:30 am after Willie the dog came in from outside and ran around my room...couch, chair, bed, carpet...and got skunk smell all over. It was a really bad day. It was also my first "let's use the internet"day to find a cure for skunk smell.
4. Vanilla candles...Being pregnant and sick with Isaac.
5. Gasoline and rain...Being in the back of the Toyota station wagon with my sisters. Asleep. Going to the gas station to fill up, listening to rain drops hit the top of the car, then continue the trip.
6. Lysol...My mission...they always cleaned with Lysol. I don't clean with Lysol!
7. Mexican food...The real mission and eating with the people.
8. Febreeze...Back to the skunk. I sprayed it on everything! I can only think skunk when I smell Febreeze.
9. Realm cologne...Daniel when we were dating and engaged. Sometimes I smell it on my brother. That's just weird!
10. Freesia body spray...The little shower in the little bathroom on the Carribean cruise I went on.

There are so many more, too. If I smell any of those things or a myriad of other things, I am sent back to the time and place and people and the most vivid memory associated with the smell. It gets really scary sometimes. Like when I would wait outside on the driveway for Isaac's bus to come and a neighbor boy would be walking home from school. He would stop to chat with me and when the breeze was just right, I could smell School. I would seriously want to puke. Like run in the house clutching my innards close to my spine as all the memories of school and teachers and desks and and and...I can't handle it. I'm glad my boys don't smell so strongly of that with a relatively new school.

That was painful to think about!

So I tell Daniel (back to last night) that I smell him and know his smell and it's a good and comforting smell. "So, hun, what do I smell like?" "Nothing" "Nothing?" "I don't associate smell with memories or feelings or anything." "How can that be? That's all smell is to me" "I'm weird." "Well that goes without saying." And we went on like that for a while.

It was when we were in bed and I had this epitome that I crossed the line. I say, "So that's why you don't have a problem cleaning up the throw up!!" He laughed briefly then said "I can still smell, Jennie. I just don't associate it with anything. Throw up smells gross and I don't like the smell of it. It just doesn't evoke a memory." Oh. Ok. He can still smell. I knew that. Puke doesn't evoke any memories for me either.

Does anyone else out there associate smell with memories or people or anything? does anyone just smell and not associate it to anything? Is there anyone who just can't smell? Let me know. Because I want to know if I'm weird or if Daniel is weird. Well. I know he's weird. But, you know, weird in the sense that he doesn't think anything special when he smells the lotion I wear on someone else. Maybe I'm weird.

And I'm serious about the smelly smell quote. Anyone know it? Tell me. Tell me...
And because I make more than 1 dozen cookies when I make me, call me or stop me at the school to tell me, don't put the answer in the comments! I'll give cookies to one and all.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Once Upon A TIme... Part 12

The next morning, my mom asked how the date went. Wonderful. Incredible. I love him. Ok. I just said the first one. I asked my dad what he thought. This brought out the thoughtful side in him. He went back about 2 months. Yep. This all happened within a 2 month period. He said Ken was odd. There was something really wrong with him. Uhuh! Got it! Jim was too smooth. Too oily. Uhuh! Got it. Dan, well now Dan was different. My dad liked Dan. Said Dan was nice. Thought he looked like Jim Carrey. I could definitely go out with him again. Thanks. Don't mind if I do.

This was my official last week at Discover Card. I had given my two weeks the week before. My team leader wondered if it had something to do with Jim. Wellll... No. I just need to move on with my life. This was a huge step in that direction. I spent the week saying good bye to people I had worked with for so long. I fear change and was nervous about what was a big step in my life.
At the same time, I was so excited about this new guy. I didn't have any weirdness when I thought of him. Maybe he was my T.O. But if he wasn't, it was ok. I would be ok.

Thursday came and he called. Oh. To hear his voice. I got all giddy again. We talked for about an hour. He said he would come get me at 6 on Saturday. A second date. This time it would be just the two of us. I liked that idea.

Friday night. I had a date with a guy named Craig. I had gone out with him a couple of times. I don't remember why I thought going out with him would be ok, considering my plan. Maybe it was because my Bishop had told me during the Ken stuff that Craig had told him that, "if I had to get married, I would marry Jennie". Serious? Then why didn't he ask me out more? Why didn't he get serious with me? What was he thinking telling the Bishop that when he knew darn well the Bishop would tell me? Weird! (See, I attract weird ones!) Anyway, because I was going out for a third time with him, my mom said that angels must be singing in heaven because I had told her I wouldn't ever go out with him again because the Bishop said he never dated a girl more than 2 times. (Run on, sorry!) I must have been special! Oh, wait. He would marry me if he "Had To". Whatever. I felt like I was cheating on someone! Oh, yeah. I had met this brown eyed angel...

6:00 Saturday, January 9, 1999. Our second date. Oh, so exciting. He said he had heard of a Mexican restaurant in neighboring Draper, called Guadalahonky's. I'll eat anywhere you want to eat, handsome. Good thing I like Mexican. We sat, we ate, we talked. A lot. He was the easiest to talk to of anyone I knew. I really like talking to him. He filled me in on more of his life. I filled him in on mine. I told him I am a Diabetic and take insulin. It's a second date tell all for me. That's when I figure I'll weed out any wimps. He asked a lot of questions, but didn't seem deterred. I told him I was starting a new job down in Provo on Monday. I was nervous. He talked me through my nerves and got me excited about it.

We then drove around the Murray area looking for something. A bowling alley. On a Saturday night. We couldn't find one with open lanes. So we went to a theater near my house and saw The Prince of Egypt. You know, the Disney version of something. (This is a date we went on often while engaged (Yes! We got engaged!!) and while married until a little person joined our duo, making us a threesome that no longer went to the theater.) He brought me home...

I asked him if he wanted to come in. He smiled that smile and said yes. My parents were in bed and my brothers must have been, too. The house was dark and no one was up. We went to the family room and sat and talked. For hours. Since he lived in Kaysville and we were in Sandy, he finally decided to head home. Darn. He gave me a hug and said he would call the next day. He did.

On Sunday night he called and soothed my nerves again. He told me to take some Ibuprofen when I went to bed so I could relax. He was excited for my new job and was super supportive. When we finally said good night, he said he would call me again on Thursday to see how it was going and he asked if we could go out again on Saturday. He was methodical if nothing else. Oh, yeah! And handsome. And nice. And great. And Wonderful...

Monday started with a new job in Provo. I was excited. I went in and did a great job. I impressed. I told my new boss again that I would be there for the long haul. No sense telling him I met this gorgeous guy and hoped to marry him some day. The day went well. I had a whole new language to in Spanish. I could talk the gospel, but this was all new to me. During the week, I had a co-worker teach me how to talk Spanish insurance and started to get it down.

All week I worked, learned and dreamed. There was a distraction in my thoughts. It took over me. I couldn't wait till Thursday so I could talk to Dan and go through my first week at work with him. When Thursday finally came, I rushed home through 6:00 rush hour to get that phone call. When he called I told him all about my week. He was impressed with my ability to speak Spanish and to use it in my work.

We made plans for Saturday night and it was all I could do get through Friday and Saturday. Finally 6:00 came and I was ready for action!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Heavens Opened...

And Angels sang. The children are back in school. All hail the people who invented school!
I love them. They are my heros.
Is that a bit much?? I love my kiddos. But there comes a time in every mommy's life when it becomes necessary to separate herself from her offspring for a mere 7 hours a day.
Today was that day!
Let me back up just a bit...
Last night Daniel gave each of the kids a Father's Blessing. It's a tradition we love. Then I gave each of the kids a treat with a message...
Thanks to my sister Laurie for that idea! Thanks, Laurie!
Then we woke up this morning...extremely early, I might add! get ready for...
drumroll please...

Yahoo! Hurray! Yipee! He's in first grade and LOVED it!

Now here is a sad tale...

Isaac, my first born, the first fruits of my loins, or whatever, just walked away when we got there. He wouldn't even turn around for a picture.

Now I feel I must add a disclaimer to this unfortunate occurance...Ready?

I have never taken first day of school pictures before. Uhuh. You read right. It's this darn blog that has me whipping out my camera at every instance. I think Isaac is tired of it. Or not used to it. Or something.

So this is the shot I got of my eldest child starting THIRD GRADE! That's him in the blue backpack.

And here's his door where I would have gotten a picture of him in front of his THIRD GRADE classroom. But the bell rang before I got there and he was inside. Darn. And the door was locked. Otherwise I would have gone right in and taken a picture of him at his THIRD GRADE desk. He probably told them to make sure it was locked. Stinker!
And here's the little one, my baby girl, the wee child. The one who will start preschool next week. Sniff. Sniff. She's growing up. But not fast enough sometimes. Think of all I could do if they were ALL in school for 7 hours a day....Whew! Blows my mind.
Oh yeah! Last Saturday we had the annual "Poppy's Hike". My dad, aka Poppy, takes all the grandsons and sons and sons in law, etc, etc, on a hike in a nearby mountain. This year was Bell Canyon. That's Poppy with Isaac and other cousins and Sam nearby. The "ingniter" behind Poppy is Daniel. The love of my life, my reason for breathing, the smoldering fire in my heart. Or something like that. I do like him! Can you tell?
Here's the whole group. I'd name them all for you, but I'm afraid I'd have some name mixups. They all look alike to me.
I hope your day was a great one. If your kiddos are back in school, I hope you enjoy the quietude. If they aren't, I know how you feel. But don't worry, their time will come. You may even cry. But I wouldn't count on it!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Once Upon A Time... Part 11

The doorbell rang. Willie, the dog, went wild with barking. I answered the door. He came in. Oh my! He looked so good. He smelled so good. My dad shook his hand and I introduced them. "Dad, Dan. Dan, my dad." My dad mentioned his height and asked if he played basketball. (It's one of the prerequisites.) Dan said he did play. Goodnight, dad. He didn't keep me there. I could feel this was going to be different from any of the myriad of other dates I had had since my teenage years. And certainly far better than the last 2 guys. He opened the car door for me. Larena was in the backseat. We said hi, etc. We then went to pick up her date, another guy from our ward.

We planned to go to Olive Garden for dinner. We got there and the wait was about an hour. Bummer. We walked over to the mall by the restaurant to waste time. Larena and her date walked into stores and laughed and goofed off. They were having a great time. Dan and I sat on a bench and talked. He said he didn't like shopping. He really didn't like malls. I agreed. Wow. Our first official topic alone and we are in complete agreement. We watched Larena and her date and kept talking about this and that. It was finally getting close to time to get back to the restaurant.

We were seated and ordered. We all just talked and laughed and had a good time. When we were done, we decided to go to Larena's house to watch a video. We planted ourselves on the couch and watched Zorro. Dan and I just sat and watched. Every once in a while we said something to each other. I was just enjoying being next to him. I think he would happily say he felt the same way. I was so cute, after all!!

When the movie was over, Dan and I left. Larena said she would take her date home. It was nice to be alone again. We got to my house and he got out to walk me to the door. He just smiled. Oh, kill me now! I love that smile. And those eyes! I wanted to ask him to come in, but it was after midnight and I didn't know if it was appropriate to ask him in. He said he'd call me next week. We said goodnight.

Next time, I would invite him in. No matter how late it was!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So I've been sitting here watching women's diving on those games. You know the ones. The games where atheletes from around the world come together to compete. Uhuh! The Olympics. As I've watched the games I've pondered on my Olymicness. Oh. Right. I don't really look like an Olympian. Ok. Maybe a Sumo or something. Not really. But I know I don't look like the divers.

Here's the thing. I want to be in Beijing. You know how I am. I just want to go to China for my own selfish reasons. I should have been training the last 2 years instead of just waiting for my daughter. So here are my choices of what I could compete in. Ready?

Basketball.....I'm 5'2". Pulease!
Badminton...Is that still a sport?
Diving....See, there's this water thing...ok, fear...that I have....
Rowing...I have no upper body strength! Really!
Track and field...I'm knock kneed. It's no fun having your knees smack together on purpose!
Weightlifting....Again, no upper body strength. And I really don't like the way their necks bulge.
Softball...I don't like wearing gloves.
Water Polo...Again, the water thing comes into play.
Fencing...Hmmm...Possibilities. Would I bleed if the sword thing stabbed me?
Synchronized Swimming...Seriously people, jello in my hair?? And the thingy they wear on their noses just makes them look dumb.
Equestrian...My hiney hurts just thinking about it.
Cycling...Again,the hiney hurting thing.
Beach Volleyball...I don't like the feel of sand in my hiney.
Gymnastics...Hmmm...I'm short. I just don't think I'm that coordinated. And I can't smile for long periods of time. It hurts my cheeks.
Volleyball....Now volleyball I could do. It's the only game in P.E. that I actually enjoyed. Well, not really enjoyed! Tolerated is more like it. I can smack a ball around and possibly get it over the net. I know all the terms...bump, set, match, kill, spike. I could do those things. The gals that play are all different. They are tall, short, skinny. One's just a tad thick. Yeah. I think I'll play volleyball. I'll start my training soon. I promise. Really. I have 4 years to get it right. I can do it. Alright. Forget it. I'll just make some popcorn and keep watching it on my couch.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Congratulations, Universe. You Win!
I can hardly believe it myself. I really had a ton of fun in Flaming Gorge!
Here's a smile to prove it...
Isn't it gorgeous?! The gorge was amazingly beautiful!
See that red rock..
It was raining when we left, but when the sun shines on these mountains, it looks like they are on fire...thus the name...Flaming Gorge.
Here we go...Who could those cute people be out on that floaty thing? Bouncing around and getting wet and laughing hysterically...
You can't tell? Even from rollercoaster arms up in the air?
Oh yes! It's ME and Daniel and Sam and Ruthie!! So fun.
The rest of the time I stayed in the boat and had fun watching while rest of the family had fun in the water!

Here's Isaac at the cliffs where many of the teens and some adults did some cliff diving. Isaac jumped off of little mini cliffs.
Here we have some Daniel action. He water skiied, skiid, skied, ski-ed, you get my drift, for a little while. Then he realized how long it's been since he's done it and I think he still hurts!
Isaac had fun swimming from the boat to a rock ledge where we stopped for lunch.
See how graceful he is! He gets that from his mother.
Brrrr. The water was cold!
Teeth chattering cold!
This was an impressive cliff jump by Daniel. My camera didn't take the picture until he was in the water. Isn't it an impressive bubbling of water?? My man did that! I'm so proud.
The kids found this little nook in the rocks. Daniel's sister has pictures of all her kids when they were younger in this little nook. My kids and cousins Benjamin and Caleb got in this pciture.
2 of my kiddos on the rocks where the teens did some rope swinging into the water. The littler kids climbed quite impressively high!
The kids were promised fishing by Uncle Mark. Only one cousin caught a fish. It was getting late and the water was getting choppy. No other bites!
They loved sitting on the front of the boat and looking out over the water when we went fast! So exhilerating!
Isaac got to help Uncle Mark drive the boat!
Do you think he was happy about it?
On Friday we went to the dam for a tour. You got it, we went on a dam tour. We had a great dam tour guide too. He liked our group because we talked and asked questions and laughed and stuff. He said, "thanks for being jovial" as we left. I forgot my dam pics. Then we went to Vernal to go to the Dinosaur monument. It was closed. So we went to the little visitors center.
We took a little hike around the visitors center to the living quarters for the workers.
No one would look at me for a picture!
Sam finally shook his hiney for me!
Obviously we didn't go far....
And that is officially where the camera batteries went dead!
So we couldn't get any pics of the rest of our hike, the dinosaurs all through the neighboring towns or gathering with cousins, etc.
We left Saturday earlier than planned because it was rainy and cold! Brrrr....

On the drive home, we were all a bit tired of each other and at one point we realized everyone was kinda quiet. We looked back and this is what occupied Sam....
He held the bottle of syrup and his dinosaur and didn't bug a soul!

All in all, it was a fabulous trip! We had so much fun with family and getting on the boats and out in the water. We had fun visiting, watching movies, seeing sights, playing games and catching up! Next time we have an opportunity to go to Flaming Gorge (or other water involving boats, for that matter) you can count me in!

So you see, sometimes the Universe does win.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Once Upon A Time... Part 10

How did she know? Well, I was grinning from ear to ear. That may have tipped her. And, of course, the yearning she had that I meet my T.O. (The One) and get married. "Yes." She asked about it. I told her. I was giddy. I couldn't wait till 5!

At 5:01 the phone rang. I answered. Oh. This is so exciting!


"Hi, Jennie?"


"How are you?"

"I'm fine, how are you?"

"Great! So I thought I would tell you a little about me. Is that ok?"


"I grew up in Kaysville. I am 28 years old. I'm the 6th of 8 kids. My mom and dad are serving a mission in Vietnam. I have a degree in Computer Science. I work for Oracle. I served a mission in California. I have never been married. I don't have any kids. I am the favorite uncle. I have a current temple recommend. I just used it 3 weeks ago. I am the membership clerk in my ward. I worked on my grandpa's farm every summer growing up....." He just spilled. Then he said, "I figured I would let you know all that considering your last dating experiences. I'm a nice guy."

The first thing that caught my attention was that he was much older than I thought. 28. Yes!! He's tall and he's older. I love this already. He asked if we could go out with Larena and her date on Saturday night. Yes! He would come pick me up at 6. He said he would call on Friday, January 1, to make sure we were still on.

I was hooked! This was already better than any other dating experience. And we hadn't even gone on a date! I told my parents. They were a little nervous, especially my dad. I didn't have a good track record in this area lately.

Friday came and I was up early just in case he called early. He didn't. I was a little bugged. Why didn't he call? Finally, the phone rang. 1:30. He just woke up. Late night shenanigans for New Years Eve. He actually was surprised that I wasn't out shopping. No, just waiting for your phone call, handsome. We talked for a little while. We settled our plans for the following night and I couldn't have been happier. I loved talking to him.

Finally Saturday came. My heart sang. Dan was coming for me this evening. Oh, joy! I had butterflys in my tummy. I could just barely get anything done. I had already picked what to wear. I won't go into that because it doesn't matter. He didn't tell me to dress up. There were no nuances of ettiquette and dress standards. I was ready.

I had asked my dad to be there when he came to get me. I told him to just grab my arm and say I wasn't going to be able to go if he could see this was a creep in the doorway. I knew I could count on my dad. We were there together in the entryway when the doorbell rang.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I think that's the longest I've gone in the past couple weeks without posting something. Are you all dying for the next part?? Are you all dying to see pictures of my cuties?? Are you just waiting while holding your breath to see what words of wisdom I might write?????

Well, I've been busy. I've been reading....I'm not really enjoying this book as much as I'd have liked to. But I'll finish it tomorrow. I'm not in any rush. Although I am a little intrigued now that I'm almost to page 500. I'll let you know...

I've been getting ready for a trip that I really don't want to go on. For so many reasons. But my kiddos will have a blast and I'm sure it will be fun. Oh. Where are we going? Flaming Gorge. Why am I not excited? Umm. I would like to refer you to this post. Just scroll on down to the things people don't know about me. Yup. And we'll be out ALL DAY on a boat! In the WATER! OUTSIDE!! Can you feel my pain??

No? Ok. Nevermind. We are leaving in the morning. I need to pack. It's 8:30pm and I'm tired and I still have to pack. Did I already say that? Oh, sorry.

Oh, yeah! Daniel and 2 of my kids have colds. How do you like that?? We never get sick. Seriously! Now 3 of us are. I hope it doesn't spread. I don't want to be on the water, outside, AND sick.

So I think I'll leave you there for now. I'll post another true story of my love at first sight! *Sigh* But for now, you'll just have to go on without me!! I know, but you'll be ok. I promise.

Ok. I really have to go pack!

Bye! P.S. I am sooo looking forward to the smell of sunscreen!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Once Upon A Time... Part 9 (enter "goofy guy")

Amidst all these fantastic changes in my life, I had the biggest change of all come. As I said in part 1, I was the Gospel Doctrine teacher in my singles ward. And I was the music chair and led the choir (which we'll discuss later) and led the Sacrament music. I had a lot of callings! The Sunday before Christmas, 1998, I was teaching. I noticed this really cute guy there. I hadn't seen him before. He looked young and I figured he was just home from a mission. 23 years old, tops! He had a fantastic smile. And those eyes!

Wait!! What was I thinking?? I was so over that! He was surely too young anyway. In my lesson, I talked about my 2 recent dating experiences. I don't know what it had to do with the lesson, but it fit. And it set some things in motion.

I always brought a treat when I taught. (Oh yeah, I was the favorite teacher!)When I went to pick up the treat basket after class, this guy was just sitting there smiling at me. He said hi. I said hi. Oh, how I loved that smile. Oh! Dang, wake up, Jennie!!! But, those dark brown beautiful eyes! We aren't doing that, remember?? You are single, you have a plan, you are finally happy!

Really? Oh, yeah, right. I went home and thought about the cute guy from Gospel Doctrine only once a day the rest of the week. The next Sunday was December 20. The choir sang for Christmas. I led the choir in beautiful music. I was good! I looked really good, too. I wore the prettiest thing I had. Even the counselor in the Bishopric said I looked beautiful. (Is that weird?) I looked for him during the hymns, (that guy, not the Bishopric counselor!) but couldn't see him. I was bummed. The thing is, I was done dating. What was I doing thinking about this stranger? So I was ready to move on with my wonderful life.

The following Sunday I saw him again! Oh boy! I was so thrilled. I didn't teach that day, but because I was in the Sunday School presidency (is it ok to have a girl secretary in the Sunday School Presidency?) I went back and forth to make sure we had teachers in Gospel Doctrine and Gospel Essentials. He was standing there in the hall way with the girl he came with. She was a friend of mine. Larena was her name. I kept walking past them. He kept watching me. I could feel it. I was doing this on purpose, too. Then Larena stopped me and said, "Jennie, this young man thinks you're cute and would like to ask you on a date!" I looked at him. He was smiling at me. At me! I loved it! I think I was hooked even though I still figured him to be about 23. I could go for a younger guy. If it was him. I said hi. He said his name was Dan. Oh! Oh! Oh! My heart. That smile. Those eyes! He was tall! I loved tall. I needed tall so my kids would have a chance.

Wait! What was I thinking?? He asked if he could call me. I said yes! Yes!! I gave him my number and he said he would call at about 5:00. So precise. I headed to class, smiling all the way! This was a good day!

I got home from church and my mom was at the table. I walked in and said, "I am such a loser!"

My mom, in her infinite wisdom, said, "Oh, do you have a date?"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Sarajune Chronicles

Well. Here we are. The eve of the Beijing Olympics. I am SOOOOO excited. I am looking forward to seeing Beijing, and China in general, over the next few weeks. I want to be there now. Right now. Not competing! I want to be there to pick up my baby. But I'm not, so I'll write a new Chronicles post.

This week our agency recieved a blow that didn't surprise me at all. Should I be worried that it didn't surprise me? Hmmm. Perhaps. Our agency was denied Hague Accreditation. What does this mean? Well, it shouldn't mean much to us because of our Log In Date (9-13-06). But it will affect us because we will need to renew paperwork again. And again. And when you renew paperwork with the USCIS (INS), you have to fill out Hague paperwork. You have to have a Hague Accredited agency to do the paperwork. It does affect us. So it does come as a blow.

I'm not emotional about it. It's another glitch in a long line of glitches in this process. We will wait for our agency to refer us to an agency that can get the paperwork through for us. Hmmm. Should I be worried? Perhaps.

A year ago I started looking into India. This time I started looking at Ethiopia. Could I send my heart to another country? I have given it some thought and realize, once again, that my heart is in China. I know that with the level of hot and bothered I get with the Olympics being in Beijing and all the press, much of it negative, and how it just breaks my heart, that China is still my only choice.

Hollywood is the worst. Other people are pretty bad. I understand the human rights issues. Believe me! I understand them. While we were preparing to go to China, we were told not to ask or talk about Tibet or Tiananmen Square and other things regarding human rights. Why? Because they most likely wouldn't know what we were talking about. And if they did, they would deny it happened. They would say their government would never allow such a thing to happen. I saw what happened on Tiananmen Square. I remember a tank going through the square amidst all the Chinese students. As I walked through Tiananmen Square, I could feel the history of a very oppressed people. But for the people, it never happened. So we didn't say a word.

As the bashing goes on, I think about the people. They are kept in the dark on so many levels. They don't have a free press. Everything is controlled. That's Communism for you. The people have nothing to do with it. The babies have no control over their own destiny. And that breaks my heart. As I can't stop the tears from coming when I think of countless children who haven't gotten a hug or kiss or a complete meal, I wish that the world would give them a chance. I wish their government would give them a chance.

I hope that China walks away from this Olympics as champions. I hope that people here can see what a strong, valiant, worthy people the Chinese are. I pray for a governmental change that will bring light to the people. The light of peace. The light of truth. The light of liberty. The light of the gospel.

My heart aches for my baby. I have empty arms. I want my family to be complete now. I know I'm not in charge of it all, though. If I were, I wouldn't be learning as much as I am. China is in our blood, in every beat of our hearts, in every glance at my children. Enjoy the Olympics! Enjoy all that you have, and even take for granted, here in America. Enjoy the peace that you feel when you are on the right path. I will. I am. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Once Upon A Time... Part 8

I would survive. I was stronger than I thought. I could handle anything. I knew I needed to make a few changes. My job was one big change to make. But what could I do? My dad had given me the name of a guy who was an Allstate insurance agent. He needed an office manager who spoke Spanish and who could come work for him for the long haul. My dad suggested I call him and see if this would be a good fit for me.

My Bishop asked me if I would be interested in being a temple worker. I thought for about 2 seconds, then said yes. I made an appointment and went to the Jordan temple and was set apart as an ordinance worker and would start on February 6, just a couple months away.

I also knew that my dating career was over. I realized that I didn't need to be married to be defined. As an individual, I could do anything. I felt good about my decision to be single. I told my parents and I think my mom took it hard. But more than anything, they wanted me to be happy. I was!

I got the job with Allstate. I would start at the beginning of January. I told him I was in it for the long haul. I had a plan. I would work there. I would keep my Spanish up. I would get an apartment. I would go back to school. I would work at the temple. This was an awesome plan.

I would survive. I would soon have my life changed forever. In fact, my life would be eternally changed. It's amazing the way things happen when you think you have it all finally figured out!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mmmmm....Conga Bars

Sometimes a girl just has to blog about desserts!
There are a couple of stories that I've been telling my kiddos lately from my childhood. I've repeated them so many times that I've started adding additional Wowzers just for effect. There is one story involving Conga Bars, a back porch and a possum (or is it opossum?)
Once upon a time...(Sound familiar?) My mom made some Conga Bars for us. They were a bit burned and smelled, well, you know, burned. So she put them out on the back porch to cool off and smell out there.
I suppose she forgot about them, because the next thing we knew, there was a visitor on the back porch. A possum. An opossum. Whatever. We lived in California and had very large trees in the backyard. He probably lived in those trees. (My kids think it's so cool that we had a possum in the backyard!)
It was dark (obviously, when an opossum is involved) and so we turned on the porch light. He looked up at us as if to say, "Well hello there." (My kids think that's so funny!) So we sat and watched him eat the Conga Bars until it was time to get jammies on. At bedtime, we decided to get up the next morning to see how much he'd eaten and if he was still there.
He wasn't. But he did eat all the Conga Bars.
Oh, you want to see one???
That's a Conga Bar, not a possum (opossum).
This is Sam pointing out (as they were taking a serious amount of time to cool) a crater in the Conga Bars.

And here's the recipe. (Because I'm really nice!)

Beat together: 3 eggs, 2/3 cup oil, 2 1/2 cups brown sugar.

Add: 2 3/4 cups flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 package chocolate chips.

Spread in a greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, add small drops of milk until it makes a glaze.

Spread over bars while still hot. Here's the hard part...let cool completely before cutting into them.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Once Upon A Time... Part 7

Jim and I had a break together that next Monday. He was great. He made me laugh. He said the right things. He thought I was totally great. How can you resist that?

When we got back to work, I noticed he had emailed me. He said he would like to make me dinner and have me meet his son. I emailed back that that would be terrific. He emailed back that this was like the movie You've Got Mail...the emailing back and forth. So cute.

Then something happened. I can't believe my luck with dating lately! My good friend Shelia (yes, that's spelled correctly) came and asked if she could talk to me. Sure! So I took another break. She asked if I was serious with that guy.

"You mean Jim?"


"Umm. We just started seeing each other, why?"

" I want you to come talk to a friend of mine."


So we walked over to her friend's desk. Now let me describe this to you in detail. Picture a beautiful girl. Really. She's gorgeous. Now put some metal through her lips, eyebrows, cheek, other unseemly places, tattoos on her arms, neck, back, etc. Black eyeliner, thick. Dark red lipstick. (Am I forgetting anything, Katie?) Oh, and jet black hair that was long on one side and cropped really short on the other. Seriously. She was gorgeous, she just hid it well. But I shouldn't deter from the point. She got off her call and started to tell me her experience dating Jim. He just wanted s*x, when she wouldn't put out right off, he hit her. He hit other women, too. Namely, his x-wives. That's why he was divorced. He has a temper. He doesn't go to church. She didn't even know he was religious. He didn't see his son that often. When she told him she didn't want to see him anymore, he was always outside her apartment, waiting for her. He would call her and knock on her door in the middle of the night. He was a stalker. She had a restraining order on him.

Does this raise a few red flags? Ummm.... YES!!!!

Now what? I seriously could not think of what to do next. I had another date set up with him. I went over to talk to Dave. I wanted to make sure he understood what he had set me up with. He had no idea. He was pretty shocked, too. I asked him if he thought Jim would hurt me if I told him to leave me alone. He didn't think so. That wasn't the Jim he knew. He said he would watch out for me, though.

I asked another friend, Natalee, to come out to the cafateria with me. I told her the whole sordid affair. What was wrong with me? Wait a minute. There's nothing wrong with me! I just seem to attract these weirdos. I have a track record...high school. I realized the difference in the 2 women he recently wooed. The "tattoo, pierced girl" and "chastity's poster child". So opposite! Now what? I couldn't go out with him again! Please! Natalee stayed with me for a while. Soon, I needed to get back to work and on our walk back in, we met up with my team leader and another co-worker. Of course they knew something was wrong. I was still crying. They wanted to know if they should talk to him. No. I needed to. I was forming a plan with their help.

I sat down at my desk for a minute. Then I went to take care of business. I walked to his desk. He was just sitting and talking to a bunch of guys from his team. They all saw me coming, red faced and tear streaked, and got really quiet. I asked Jim if he would come to the cafeteria to talk. He stood right up and followed me. Wow! This sounds so dramatic.

We sat down and I noticed my team leader, Natalee, Dave and Shelia at various spots in the room. I was covered. I think they were all expecting a fight or something. I told him I was in bad shape. I had just broken up with a boyfriend and realized I wasn't ready to be dating again. (I said boyfriend for effect, I NEVER considered Ken a boyfriend!! Yuck!) He was so nice. He said he understood. He also asked if I would remember him when I was ready to date again. I said yes. I knew that I wouldn't be ready for him again. He gave me a hug and walked back to his desk.

My friends all came to give me hugs and encouragement. They took turns walking me out to my car after work and someone was always waiting for me to walk me into work each morning. I was never alone while at work. My parents were on guard. They made sure I was safe at home. I never felt that I was in danger.

And with that, I was officially done dating. This experience was the final straw in my dating career. I knew that changes needed to come and I was ready to do what was necessary.