Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oh, What Do You Do In The Summer Time...

When all the world is green?

We like to go on vacation. With the exception of last year. You know, the cruise and then getting rear ended. We didn't go anywhere after that. But it's something we like to do. It's fun and exciting.

As we have thought about where we want to go this year, a few places have come up.
Yellowstone...Which would require camping. Which would require shower facilities. Or, my personal preference, rent a house or cabin. But that could get pricey.
Black Hills...Same thing as Yellowstone.
Southern California...Which would require a whole Disneyland theme. And that is something that we are planning for next year. Too pricey for this year.
The Alamo...My suggestion. Which is way too long a drive. We don't want to fly.

So I am asking for suggestions. From you, my dear friends. If you could choose somewhere, in a good driving distance, relatively inexpensive, fun, fun and exciting, where would you go?

A few years ago we made a play for Albuquerque New Mexico. We'd never been so we looked at what could be done there and made plans. It was such a fun trip. The kids still talk about it. We saw museums and drove around, sometimes because we were lost and sometimes just to see Albuquerque. Fun.

That's what we're going for this year. Somewhere we've never been. Somewhere we can just go to and find fun things to see and do.

And we're not opposed to camping. But there would need to be shower facilities. Like KOA. Which we did a whole vacay with 2 years ago. It was fun. But the one by Yellowstone doesn't have showers. Sheesh.

Any thoughts? Any ideas? Any Bottles? Any bones? (I don't know what that means. My dad just always said that when asking questions) Please suggest any fun cities!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Third Job.

There was a family in our ward who's children I had been babysitting since I was 11. The mom's brother had recently moved to the area and was opening a Godfather's Pizza place in a nearby city and she suggested we apply. They were starting the hiring process while the construction was still going on. My sister Katie was now 16 and we both needed a job. So we went to apply. In the big white van. 30 minutes away.

The interviews went well I think. We were both hired. We needed to come in for training. Apparently making and selling pizza takes a ton of training. We learned about the pizza ingredients and how to run the register, how to refill the salad bar just so and how to wipe down tables. The place was really coming together nicely.

Then it opened. Our arrangement with management was that, because of the driving distance, my sister and I had to have the same schedule. They obliged. Training and actually working are 2 very different things. It was crazy. But there were nice people who worked there. The manager who was related to the babysitting family was really nice. But I don't remember him being there all that often. Maybe it was because the manager who I do remember was He looked like a mole. You know, like how Richard Gere looks like a rat. Beady eyes, pointy nose. This manager was rude and rotten. He was also very large. And very hungry.

One of the rules was that if you make a mistake on the pizza you had to remake the pizza and the ruined pizza was sent back to the kitchen. In training we were told that we could eat the ruined pizza, but not to make many ruined pizzas. Here's the rub. Mole Manager loved pizza. A lot. Every time a ruined pizza was sent back he would follow it and take it and eat the whole thing. He'd roll it up into a burrito shape and dig in. Without sharing. Rude. And fattening. Also grotesque. And he did it while berating the pizza makers who ruined it. I enjoyed the times he wasn't there and we could enjoy the ruined pizza without him looming nearby. Tasty pizza.

Katie and I always went home smelling ridiculously of pizza. I don't remember really enjoying this job. And Katie always drove. She's demanding like that. You know it, too, Katie! And one night while at work, Katie and the Mole Manager got into an argument. I can't for the life of me remember what it was about. All I kept thinking was, she's gonna get us fired! But she kept going. He kept going. Finally he said it. “You're fired.” And not in the cool way that Donald Trump says it. I believe his face was purple from the yelling. But then my sister, my lovely sister, said something back. “No! We QUIT!”

Not “I quit.” “WE quit.” Her and me. Me and her. But I don't remember being a part of that whole argument. I guess it was WE because we came and went together? We were a matched set? Or maybe I'm just blocking the painful memories of working with Mole Manager at Godfather's. Maybe my pizza scented memories are just so clouded over. But apparently we quit.

We grabbed our jackets and Katie stormed out and I just followed her. Wondering where my next paycheck would be coming from. Wondering what I did to deserve such a fate. Wondering why I didn't just buy my own car so I could have control over my own destiny.

I believe we went back to pick up our paychecks. So that answered that question. You know, the one about the paycheck. But we were also getting ready to move. My dad was being transferred in his job. To Utah of all places. So I guess we would have to quit eventually.

If I were to go back to the Godfather's job now, I would have eaten more salads. I would have told Mole Manager he had a pizza consuming problem and should try the salad bar. I think I would still have worked with Katie, but I would make a deal about who drove when. In shifts. I may have joined in the argument with Mole Manager. Maybe. And I think I would have said, after Katie said we quit, that I didn't quit with her. Then maybe see if Mole Manager got a little pleased. The I would have said “But I do have something to say. I QUIT!” And then I would have stormed out right after Katie. And after that I would suggest that Katie and I go get some ice cream on the way home.

Boy do I love my non pizza making, no Mole Manager, lots of salad consuming and I drive my own car, thank you very much! job I have right now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Joke Of The Day.

This is actually yesterday's joke courtesy of Sammy who picked it up at school from Skylynn.
I didn't get it.
Sam: "Mom, Knock knock"
Me: "Who's there?"
Sam: "Um. How do you spell...
Me: "How do you spell what?"
Sam: "No, mom. Knock knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Sam: "How do you spell...?"
Me: "Sam, what do you need to know how to spell?"
Ruthie: "MOM! It's a knock knock joke!"
Me: "Oh. Start over."
Sam: "Knock knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Sam: "How do you spell."
Me: "How do you spell who?"
Sam: "You don't know how to spell who??"
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha........

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Morning Joy.

This is what we woke up to.
Usually we don't get a lot of snow just because of the low elevation, but this is nice.
The snow will cover up all the yucky brown grass and, in our case, the poopy grass.
I find Joy in snowy days.
Now my neighbor Mandy broke her leg a few weeks ago. Just did a really nice job of it, too.
But she got bored.
This morning she made some cinnamon rolls for us.
The rolls were one of the things I "bought" at our Relief Society Angel Auction.
Cinnamon rolls bring me Joy.
Thanks for the Tuesday morning snow Joy.
And Mandy, thanks for the Tuesday morning cinnamon roll Joy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Make A Meal/Treat.

I bake bread. We gotta eat, you know. And today I started to bake bread and thought to myself, "Self, Let's take one loaf worth of the dough and make hamburger buns and have burgers for dinner." I concurred and did it.
Then after school, with everyone home and thoughts of Family Home Evening floating around, I thought of a great idea. "Hey, make one loaf worth of dough and make cinnamon rolls for FHE treat!" I agreed and made another batch of dough. And then made these:
Here's what you do...
Just make your regular bread dough.
For Hamburger buns:
Take one loaf worth and split it into 8 pieces. Roll them into balls and put them on a greased baking sheet. Press them down to about 1 inch thickness. Let rise to triple their size.
Big buns=big burgers. Right?!
Bake for about 17-18 minutes on 350.
Let cool and cut through the middle to place the fabulous fixings on before you place the burger.
For cinnamon rolls:
Take one loaf worth and I split it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece out and then put a brushing of water on. Cover with cinnamon sugar and roll 'em up. Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise to about triple their size.
What can I say? Big cinnamon rolls=happy family!
Bake on 350 for 17-18 minutes.
Spread butter over the tops. You won't be disappointed.
Next time I'll split the cinnamon roll dough into 16 pieces. They were a bit too big for an after dinner treat. But they were oh so yummilicious!
Just so you know...I used 50/50 white/wheat bread dough.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cute Quips.

Last night I was cuddling with Ruthie before bed and this is how the conversation went:

Ruthie: "Mom. Do you snore?"

Me: "No. Do you?"

Ruthie: Laughing..."Nooo. I don't even know how to snore!"

Still makes me laugh.

Silly Sam And Some Joy.

First of all, this...
We find Sam walking like that sometimes. It can't be good. But he reassures us that it doesn't hurt. Maybe he's training for toe shoes?
And here is my Joy today.
Daniel has had this Rubik's Cube for years. But the color stickers all fell off. So it's been put away for a while.
Today Daniel went to work and used a kit he got a while back to fix it.
This time with the little people.
It's got Isaac, Sam, Ruthie, Cas the goat and the kids sledding.
I love the Joy in my life!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Second Job.

Brother C. from our ward must have known I needed a job. Or at least that I was available. He talked to my parents about me coming in to his office and filing papers a couple days a week. He worked in an office about 30 minutes away and I don't remember what they did. Accounting? Law? Insurance? Dentist? My mom told me about the job and that it would be after school, around 4-5:30, and that I would be paid $4 an hour!!! SERIOUSLY?! That was a huge pay increase for me!

I took the job and learned I needed to wear a dress. So I would get home from school, eat something, change my clothes and get in the big white van. You know those little mini vans you see around? Ours was an Econoline. Huge. Stinkin' huge. Like a whale. And it sucked gas like it was thirsty in a desert in the middle of August.

I would usually have to put some gas in to get to and from work everyday. One day I was putting $2 of gasoline in and when I paid the gas guy he said, “You won't get very far with that.” Oh hush. I've run on fumes in this baby so many times...and have run completely out of fumes in the middle of so many intersections...I know how much I need.

I always got stuck in traffic on my way there and home. So it was a really long day for me. At the office, Brother C. would tell me what needed to be filed and how. Then he would go back to his office to work. Doing what, I don't know. No one else would usually be there. Odd...

One evening the phone rang. I didn't answer it. I didn't know what company I worked for. All I did was file a few papers and go home. It rang and rang and rang. Then Brother C. came out and asked why I didn't answer it. I told him I don't want to. And he was there anyway. He said it was him calling. I apparently needed to practice answering the phone. So he called again.

Ring Ring

“Hello?” “Very good. Now say 'Hello, this is Jennie speaking.'” Ring ring. “Hello. This is Jennie speaking.” “Don't be scared! Just relax.” Hahaha...funny. Ring ring. This went on for a whole evening. Every once in a while after that he would call me. Just for practice. But he was always the only one who called the office. No one else ever did. He even called from home once. Just for practice.

There were so many things about that job that were just...dumb. There were papers that needed to be filed that, in the whole few months I worked there, I could never find the file they went into. And usually by the time I would get to it and remember I needed to ask about it, there would be no one around who knew, or they would say, “Just set it back in the pile. We'll find where it goes.” So much for office efficiency. They also paid me with a check without taking any taxes out. I don't know who Fica is, but he wasn't getting any of my money. A cool $12 a week.

Somewhere in the midst of this fine job, my sister Katie turned 16. The next job I would have would involve her. In so many ways.

If I were to have that job again now, though, I would tell Brother C. to answer his own phone. I would learn the name of the office I was working in. I would ask why no one was ever working at 4 in the afternoon. I would create new files for all those poor people who didn't have a file. And I would care so much more for those poor people who didn't have a file by making a really beautiful and eye catching file. No file! Sheesh. I would buy myself some cassette tapes of good music to listen to on the long drive to and from. I would also bring myself a snack. Maybe a diet pepper for good measure. It was a boring job.

Nothing compares to my favorite job! The one I have right now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Night=5 Loads Of Laundry.

No. Not stomach Flu.
We started on Sunday after church. Loaded in the truck. And quiet as they watched a movie for the long drive up.
I spent some time up on the Ranch reading. My hair looked good on Sunday evening. I'm not showing any more pictures of me. So enjoy...
There was some craziness in the building. We kept the Sabbath day as holy as one could up at the ranch.
We caught up with Grandma and Grandpa and had a movie night.
At bedtime, Grandma and Grandpa went to their room and we all headed upstairs to sleep. It was hot. 81 degrees in a house is too hot. And I get cranky.
No one slept. I finally sent two kids downstairs to the couch to sleep around 11 pm. They went right to sleep.
At about midnight I headed down. But there wasn't a comfy space to sleep. So I finally headed back upstairs. It had cooled to 80 degrees by then. I got on Isaac's bed and read my book for a while. I finally fell asleep to Sam and Daniel talking. And the sound of rain on the roof.
I woke up to Sam and Daniel talking and Daniel heading down to the wood burning stove.
The whole place was smokey.
So Daniel was trying to get the fire stoked so the smoke would go up, not come out. Luckily it was 4 am and the whole place had cooled sufficiently. After a long while, he got it taken care of. Everyone was awake and now we needed to get back to sleep.
The rain was still coming down and the wind was whipping around outside.
We all slept until 8.
Then we spent all morning on Monday doing this...
And some of this...
And tons of this...
The kids did some killin' up to the Ranch.
They would hunt mice.
Then we would hear "Kill it, kill it!"
There would be some stomping.
But mostly those mice met their maker courtesy of the man...
We also spent some time on a snowmobile.
After all the rain and wind, everything was slushy and muddy.
But we know how to get it done.
I even drove it around a bit and had a blast. This machine can move.
I mostly screamed. My throat hurt when I was done.
Aren't these guys a great lookin' bunch of kids?!
We came home smelling of campfire smoke. So EVERYTHING went into the laundry.
Even the socks we never wore.
It added up to 5 full loads.
Boy, we had fun!!
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for another fun weekend at the Ranch.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My First Job.

I'm bored. Now I have a plan. Please just go with it....

My first job. I was 16 and my friend Judy was a year older. Maybe more. She could have literally been 25 and a junior in high school. Or it could have just been the drugs and alcohol. Anyhoo, Judy worked at a local drug store called Thrifty. She was an ice cream scooper and had high ambitions. Since I had just turned 16 and she wanted to be a manager, she said I should come in and fill out an application. So I did.

I got the job!! I was a working girl. I got the brown smock and put on my good tennies and went to work. I was being trained by Judy to be the best ice cream scooper Thrifty had ever seen. She taught me all the ins and outs of being the best ics (ice cream scooper). She gave me some store ins and outs too. Like how to get the most from your break time. And that family members of the ics get a discount. Awesome.

Now here is where real life sets in. Please remember, I was only 16.

When ice cream was slow I would stock shelves. Normally it wasn't a problem. I was good at it. But on one occasion I restocked next to the pharmacy. I restocked c*ndoms. And it was a very busy day at the pharmacy. The line, right next to where I was stocking, never seemed to get smaller. For some reason that scarred me. On another day I was restocking stuff from registers and just all over the store. I saw a gal from our ward who was just baptized and engaged to our previous Bishop's son. She was picking something off a shelf. It was a box of Adv*l PM. Scandalous!!

There was a guy that would come in all the time for ice cream. But only when I was there. When I got my friend Jason, a stocker, to go up and scoop for me, the guy looked in the window and saw Jason then kept on going. I knew he was watching for me. So I had Jason stay in the front with me as often as possible. He was a big guy and a bit scary looking. I just thought he was a giant teddy bear. He also stayed after work or came back after getting off to walk me to my car. One day that guy came in and wouldn't stop bugging me. Once I left the ice cream station, he followed me. He kept asking for my name. I finally said that as Thrifty employees we weren't allowed to give out our names. Then Jason came and told the guy to leave. Luckily I didn't have my name tag yet!

Speaking of Jason, we got to talking one day about a manager there. We both had been s*xually harassed by him. He thought the manager was gay, but when I said he'd done it to me we figured he was just a disgusting kind of guy. We reported him and stuck together. We talked to corporate people and gave written statements and such. We would never work with that manager on the same shift. He eventually went to another store.

For my break I always bought myself a 3 Musketeers and a diet Coke. (they cancel each other out) Then I'd sit in the break room and chill. There were some undercover cops in the store. They were really nice and one always wore a Hawaiian shirt. All I could think of when they came in was Hawaii Five 0. Book 'em Dano. They would always say hi and talk to me and get ice cream and then when they were watching someone, they would wink at me and walk away. One night they caught someone shoplifting. They called me back to the break room. Can I tell you how weird it is to be called on the loudspeaker to the break room by an undercover cop?! I went back and lo and behold! There was Kevin. A very large and very short kid from school. He also happened to have one of the best Afros I've ever seen. Dang! They wanted me to sit with him while they did the paperwork and called his parents. That was an uncomfortable evening.

Now here's the rub on scooping ice cream. You smell like spoiled milk. For the rest of your life. Or at least until you take a shower. I always had ice cream up my right arm. My right arm muscles bulged, too. Scooping was hard work. I never understood the need for pistachio ice cream. But it was a big seller. So was black cherry. I don't get it. But it was mostly adults. Old people have strange tastes. One day my sisters came in. I gave them each a double scoop and charged them for a single. Family discount. Remember? I did. My boss was standing close by and scribbling something on her note pad. I then went off to stock shelves. Then my name was called over the loud speaker. To come to the office. So I went up thinking it was about the sicko manager. Nope. She pulled out the receipt reel from my register and began to rehearse the ice cream I just sold. 3 double scoops and I charged for 3 single scoops. "Oh!" I told her. "Those were my sisters." She waited.... "They get a discount." (Duh!!) She then told me we don't give anyone a discount and then told me to leave and not come back until she could talk to corporate. I was stunned. Not even a warning? Not even a “Who told you we gave a discount and I'll take it up with them”. Not even an "Oh it's just ice cream and just three scoops. Just don't do it again and let's let bygones be bygones." Just. Leave.

So I left and since I was home early my mom asked what happened. Oh yeah, and I was crying. I told her what happened and went to my room. When my dad got home and was told what happened he called miss manager lady and told her what for. She said she still needed to contact corporate. Well do it already!!! Sheesh!

Over the next few days I thought about my job. Gosh! Did I still have a job? I really didn't want it anymore. I didn't like smelling like spoiled milk. I didn't like weirdos coming in to buy ice cream. I didn't like icky managers. When she called me back she said that I still had my job and she'd like me to come in later that week. She was really nice, too! Weird. This is what I said, “I have thought it over and don't want to work for you anymore, so I won't be coming back in.” I think she was a bit shocked. Especially after my dad's phone call.

So that was my first job. Like it or not, I learned a lot. Maybe more than I needed. But it was character building. To say the least. If I were to have that job now, as an almost 40 year old mom, I would have told that gal from my ward that Adv*l PM isn't as good as .... And I would have stocked those co*doms with more flare. And I would have given that greasy manager a left knee in the wazoo, and if you don't know what a wazoo is, that's okay. It would have stopped him dead in his tracks. And I would have officially reported the weird guy who liked ice cream. And I would have talked to Kevin about the evils of turning to a life of crime...go back, it's a trap! And I would have given all children a double scoop for the price of a single and if I were told to leave for doing it I would just quit. And I would ask for a pistachio and black cherry double scoop cone for the walk home.

I definitely have the best job ever. Right. Now.

Monday, January 10, 2011


A few weeks ago I asked a young woman in our ward if I could commission her to make Joy for me. I told her I love red and asked her to come by anytime to look at my family room. It was right before Christmas, so I didn't expect anything for a while. Then yesterday at church her mom asked if I would be home that afternoon so they could stop by.
This is what she made:
Isn't it beautiful?!
I love how the flowers "grow" off the letters. I think it goes along with my updated goal for the year. As I find it, feel it and use it, I will see it growing in my life. Growing right up and out of me.
Thank you so much, Kel Lynn.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Oh Man.

Here he is.
The Man and his Goat.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cute Quips.

Here's another one...

Every morning before school and every afternoon after school Isaac goes out to check on the goats. The kids are due next month so he wants to make sure they are okay. The rule is this...he has to go down to the basement and put his goat poop laden boots on and then go out the basement door, then come back in that door and leave his goat poop laden boots down there. When he goes out, if it's not hay feeding day, he'll give them some goat feed. The problem lately is that he hasn't closed the basement door tightly. It gets cold in the house!

So Daniel went down last night to check the door, which was closed and locked. He could hear one of the goats right outside the door. So he opened it and there was Oreo. She had to have a motive for going down the treacherous steps to stand in front of a door at 10 pm when she knows full well Isaac doesn't come out at night.

This morning I told Isaac that when dad went to check the door, Oreo was there waiting for him.
(I know that was a hugely long set up, but it's just so you know...)

Isaac said: "Oreo was just waiting for the man with the black sweatshirt and jeans and blue boots to come out and give her some feed. She doesn't understand that the man was in bed."

The Man?? Oh, he cracks me up!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cute Quips.

Ruthann and I were in the car and listening to the radio. A song came on. Stayin' Alive. By the Bee Gees.

Ruthie says: "Oh. It's....the.........Chipmunks?"

I say: "No. This is the Bee Gees."

Ruthie says: "Hm. They sound like the Chipmunks. How do they do that?"

I say, while laughing: "That's what their voices sound like."

Ruthie says: "That's weird."

It's 2011 Already?

The camera came and the blogginess is back. Here is my first picture...
Dang she's cute!
My second picture.
Sam is super silly and super cute. And the third picture. My handsome Isaac.
I went in reverse baby formation there.
And so now to catch up on stuff. It's 2011! And over the vacation time together the last couple of weeks I have thought about 2010 and what I hoped to gain. Joy. That was my goal. To find it everyday. I did pretty well, too. Not that everyday was perfect, but everyday was meaningful in its own way. And the Joy won over sorrow.
Joy in my eternal family
Joy in having a home, food, clothing, running cars
Joy in the Gospel of peace
Joy in my Savior
Joy in knowing that this life is not the end
Joy in being me
Joy in Cub Scouting
Joy in scripture study
Joy in family movie night
Joy in temple service
Joy in goat herding
Joy in an Alaskan cruise
Joy in my 8 year old's baptism
Joy in family get togethers
Joy in cuddling with kiddos
Joy in answered prayers

Joy in cinnamon bread
Joy in 4 wheel drive
Joy in camping with Grandma and Grandpa
Joy in marriage
Joy in singing
Joy in laughing
Joy in friendship
Joy in family
Just Joy
2010 was a good year.
Despite the loss of our sweet friend Lyndsay.
Despite the the realization that our family may just be complete.
Despite those things and more,
it really was a good year.
So now that I look at 2011 and knowing that I want to keep on the same track as last year... choose a word that will be my theme for 2011. What will it be?
well...I think I'm gonna keep my word from last year and add to it
Finding it everyday, feeling its power in my home and in my heart and using it to do more.
And I'm gonna beautify my front porch.
But don't necessarily hold me to that. I get bored easy.
Here's my new ring.
Daniel done good, don't you think?

I love you

So now no matter what your goals are for the new year...go forth and find

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Well Happy New Year!
Here's the deal. I don't have a camera yet. Don't worry. It's coming. But I can't seem to blog without it. Oh, that and everyone has been home. Kids went back to school yesterday and Daniel went back to work today. Silence. Now I get to go to the school and help in my kids' classes and then I take a quick trip to my mom's to give her the Christmas gift from my brother and me that didn't arrive until yesterday.
I need to get back on track.
So much to blog about. I just need a camera in my house so I can. I don't guarantee pictures, necessarily, but comfort in the fact that I have one will help me blog.
In the meantime we are all happy, healthy and Joy is in the air!
Hope your new year is going swell so far.