Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I'm so excited!!!

Yes it's my fifth time seeing the play...

Here's to seeing it another five times (at least)!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Weekend

... turned out much better than the week. Thank goodness.

I ended up at a dealership in Park City giving away helmets for Safe Kids Day. While it was cloudy and rainy on my way up, I got views like this on my way down -

When I got home I tackled this for a project -

With the earlier rain it was a perfect time for weeding.

Belle started out keeping a safe distance -

Since the last time I weeded I accidentally threw a weed right on her face -

She got closer and closer as I went, and ended up relaxing in the cool weeds. I think she was pretending to be a lion -

I had another form of company too -

One hour and one garbage bin later -

Since I only had half a bin left to work with, I tackled a different area -

Belle stayed close again -

And about 20 minutes later -

Definitely much more work to do, but I was pretty happy with what got done.

One other before and after - much more expensive, but very little effort -

And close-ups -

Friday, May 17, 2013

What A Week

And I don't mean that in a good way.

It has been a devil of a week.

And the sad thing is - it's not quite over.

Come tomorrow at about 2 pm, I will be home and will be a very relieved individual.

Safe Kids Day is tomorrow. It's a fundraising day for Safe Kids Worldwide, and we are participating (though not so much in a fundraising type of way). For this day, Safe Kids Utah partnered with Rocky Mountain Chevy Dealers. We were originally planning on having some kind of event at all of the 12 dealerships. Long story short, we'll be at 9 of the 12. As of the end of last week - when we thought we had it all ironed out - we were going to be at 7 or the 12. Two days ago I found out that a couple of dealers were really upset that nothing was going on at their dealership. The one that makes me the most infuriated is one that emailed back my coordinator and said no, they didn't want to do an event. This was a month ago. Two days ago, we're hearing that they are extremely upset that nothing is happening there. Thankfully we have an email trail showing that they said no, but somehow it's still completely our fault that nothing is going on there.

I don't know if any of that makes sense, but I don't want to go into tons of detail. Suffice it to say, I'm pretty ticked off at the dealership and the hissy fit that they're throwing - while blaming us for the problem and taking no responsibility of their own.

We found out what was going on while we were in Fillmore doing a health fair. From then on, the week has been insane. We drove back (we, in this case, is Janet - my Safe Kids co-director who works at Primary Children's) from Fillmore, got to my house, came inside and we pulled out our laptops and cell phones to work on damage control.

After an hour or so of that, Janet went home. I continued to draft a long email to those in charge (and blaming us) explaining what had been going on. I included the emails that the coordinator had sent and the response she had gotten back. I listed out what another coordinator had done in another county, and I explained that while we could have done things better, we did try, and in no way was this mess completely our fault. We were getting very little response or help from our contact with RMCD, and it resulted in the present mess.

I worded things much more diplomatically than that, but I was clear that this was not all our fault. As irate as I was feeling, I did manage to keep the email fairly toned down. I kept remembering what I've heard my mom say for years - it never helps to make an enemy or burn a bridge. And while I'm really not wanting to ever work with these people again, I can't say for sure that we won't and I didn't want to make it impossible for us to do so.

Thursday was another devil of a day with more damage control and then a long car seat checkpoint in Riverton.

Today was supposed to be a shorter day but became an almost full-length day. It started off with a visit to the Fox13 News studio at 7 am. I was behind the camera observing this time - thankfully. I had just a little time back at the office before I had to leave for a high school in Magna for a ceremonial signing of some suicide prevention bills and the bill stating that teens 18 and under can't talk on a cell phone while driving.

After that I went straight down to Provo to drop off helmets for tomorrow. When that was done, I was officially done with work. I swung by campus to visit with a friend I haven't seen for a long while and then stopped by my old office to visit a former co-worker there. Those were fun and relaxing, and I'm really glad I did that. I ended up staying too long, so then it became a rush to get home, run inside and grab my temple clothes, and then head off for my temple shift. By this time, my head was pounding. I wanted so badly to not go into the temple today, but at the same time I really wanted to go because it's been about two months since I've been able to be there. So I went.

And my head pounded and throbbed every time I moved. Thankfully, we weren't very busy at all, so I didn't have to move very much. But getting ready to come home set my headache off again.

By the time I got home, I had been gone for 14 hours - not including that 2 minute sprint through the house grabbing what I needed for the temple. It's been waaaay too long a day to end a waaaay too long a week - that's not even over yet!

If you're in Salt Lake Valley and you see fireworks going off around 1:30... it's probably me. (:

Monday, May 13, 2013


I was going to include this in the last post, but decided it deserved it's own.

My first night in Tulsa Faith was running through things with me. She mentioned my needing to take Benny to and from school on Friday and was kind of telling me where it was. Benny said he would draw me a map.

So he did.

One showing me the way to school -

One showing me the way home -

How cute is that?

Adventures in Babysitting: Soccer, Cars, Bath Time, Movie Night, Project, and TIRED

Saturday, late morning, the boys had a soccer game. Not much to note there except that during the game Lilia was sitting in the stroller and Anne hung on the handle which pulled the stroller down on the top of her and caused the stroller to fold onto Lilia (apparently someone didn't lock the stroller into place...).

It was a scoreless game for both teams. But it's always entertaining to watch little kids run - or dance - around.

I felt pretty handy on Friday when, after picking Benny up from school, we swung by an auto parts store and picked up a bulb for the back right blinker. I tried just jumping into it to figure it out, but ended up needing the owner's manual (glad they had it easily accessible) to find out how to get back in there. Only took a few minutes and I felt very accomplished. (:

Saturday night - after baths and setting Sunday clothes out - we turned on Wreck-In Ralph. I hadn't ever seen it and the kids already liked it, so we camped out on the family room floor and ate pizza. The kids loved it.

After they went to bed I finished a baby blanket I started working on a couple of weeks ago. Lilia liked it so much she requested one in pink and purple. And Anne asked for one in purple and green - although, to be honest, I'm not sure if she knew what she was asking for. (:

I got home last night around 8:30. I fell asleep on the couch before making my bed (pulling them out of the dryer and putting them on my bed was the last thing I did before leaving), and then I woke up at midnight, put the fitted sheet on, and then climbed in. This morning I was up before 7, emailed my work supervisor and told her I'd be doing some work from home and going to part of a CPS tech class too. I started falling asleep before 9. Every time I babysit nieces and nephews, I come away from it with a renewed appreciation for those moms who do this day in and day out. I'm exhausted from just a few days with cute little kids. My hat is definitely off to all of you.

Last thing, and then some pictures -

I follow CSLewis Quotes on twitter. Yesterday this quote came up and I love it -

'The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career.'

Now the pictures -

I got told I was doing it wrong and the peanut butter goes in the middle, not on the top.

finished product. I love the colors she chose.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Flying Home

After a few days of babysitting, it's time to go home. Things went really well until the last ten minutes when the kids tracked mud in the house without me realizing it (sorry again spencer and faith!).

I got to the airport a about 40 minutes ago to see my flight has been delayed 40 minutes. What good is the delta app if it doesn't give you notification for late flights?

I called my sister who offered to come back and get me - thanks again! - but I figured I could handle being in an airport for 40 extra minutes. Although I guess there's always the chance that it'll turn into more minutes. 

You know your brain is not firing on all cylinders when you get through security, see your flight is delayed, call your sister to tell her, then hear an announcement about a phone left at security and you check to make sure you have your phone. 

Oh well. 

Then, while wandering, I heard a father tell his two young sons that they have two planes to go on still. It was kind of a pointed comment, so I took the bait and asked about it. They've been in the airport for six hours because of a cancelled flight and have been rerouted through a different airline and are now waiting for the same delayed flight that I'm waiting for. 

So yeah, I can handle waiting for an extra 40 minutes. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Adventures in Babysitting: Driving

This morning I had to get the 6 year-old to school. Suggested leaving time by parents was between 7:50 and 8:00. I had been told he would get himself all ready - food, clothes, etc. and I could just get them all in the car to take them.

I walked out at 7:40. I saw two boys in the family room. Both in pajamas. I asked if they had eaten breakfast. Nope.

Benny ran off to get dressed, I poured bowls of cereal, then a couple of minutes later went to wake up the girls - both were awake, but still lying in bed. I got them up and in the car. Andy joined us a couple minutes later, and then Benny walked out.

Apparently I had touched a light switch that I shouldn't have because the garage door wouldn't open (it's an old house). I started touching various light switches and eventually came upon the combo that worked to get the door up (you still have to push the garage door button, but a certain light switch needs to be on or it won't work).

Benny climbs in the van then before I shut the door quickly turned and said, 'Do you know how to drive this thing?'

Yes Benny. Yes I do.

While driving to school I hear from the back seat, 'You're doing a great job!'

Thank you Lilia.

Benny drew me a map for how to get to school and how to get back home. I'll post those pictures later because they are pretty adorable.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adventures in Babysitting: Cornbread

I'm babysitting. It officially started about five hours ago, and right now the kids are in bed. So things have started off well. (:

My sister and her husband have flown off looking for a place to live in their new city-of-residence-to-be. I flew out yesterday to stay with their four older kids (ages 6, 5, 3 and 2) for about two and half days. Today in their preparing to leave, my sister mentioned that she was going to try to make cornbread to go with our dinner for tonight. Turned out she didn't have time, so we were going to skip the cornbread. I started thinking that that sounded really good, so I pulled the recipe book out - and got stuck. The first ingredient was flour. She had told me where they kept their whole wheat flour, so I was good there. The second ingredient was corn meal. I searched the cupboards. I searched the freezer. I think I even looked in the refrigerator. What I did come across was this -

This was the closest thing I could find that looked like it might possibly be cornmeal. I sent this picture to Bethany and asked her opinion. After I had googled images and was convincing myself that it was cornmeal, she wrote back and said she didn't think it was, but I could get a second opinion. I texted Caitlin and Sara, my other older sister and a sister-in-law, this picture -

Caitlin called and said it didn't look like cornmeal to her either. While talking to her I was still looking for something, anything that could be cornmeal. Since Faith had mentioned making it, I was sure that meant that she had cornmeal in the house. I told Caitlin that the bag of mysterious stuff was on the same shelf as other grains, and we couldn't guess what else it might be, so we decided it was coarse cornmeal.

I got off the phone, and got to work.

I got stuck in the recipe again when I needed baking powder. Again I came up with a plastic bag - this time full of white stuff. I hoped it wasn't cocaine - or baking soda - and used that. I realized later as I was putting things back in the cupboard that I had pulled a huge container of baking powder out but that was back when I was looking for the cornmeal and hadn't really registered what it was. Obviously.

So I ended up with this -

I popped it in the oven and hoped for the best.

It came out looking like this -

I tried it and it wasn't too bad. It was a little bit bitter (I'm guessing I used baking soda - not cocaine), but not bad. Decent enough that I gave each kid a small piece of it while serving the main dish.

The 5 year-old was the first one brave enough to tell me that he didn't like 'that stuff.' I told him he didn't have to eat it. This was seconded by the 6 year-old (who, for the record, had already eaten his) and then thirded by the 3 year-old.

The 2 year-old asked for another piece.

And then another.

And another.

She liked it so much she even flavored her water with it.

And drank it.

Then she took it out and drank some more.

Guess which child is my favorite? (:

I have since heard from my sister during their layover that they did not, in fact, have cornmeal in the house.

Now I'm really curious as to what it was I managed to put together. Some kind of radically awesome new not-cornbread?

Probably not.

So Faithy, at your earliest convenience, please reassure me that I did not poison your children.

And let this be a lesson to everyone that all bags containing mysterious foods should be labeled. Because you never know when a babysitter is going to try to make cornbread...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


We landed about twenty minutes ago and now we're sitting on the runway. 

There's another plane at our gate that was supposed to take off already. 

My sister is here already. 

And I'm stuck on the runway. 

Hello Tulsa. I'm sure this isn't a sign of how my trip will go. I'll be hanging out with four cute kids for the next few days, so it's got to be awesome. (:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wow. I Am Blessed.

I just wanted to make sure I noted how amazingly blessed I have been this week - and it's only Tuesday!

In no particular order:
  • I have an amazing intern working with Safe Kids Utah who is so on top of things and has jumped right in with whatever tasks we've given her. She's really incredible.
  •  I called one of my fabulous visiting teachers and asked if she and her kids could walk the dogs while I'm gone for a few days. My grandpa will be around taking care of him, but he's not really up for giving them walks... he's 87. She said yes even though my sales pitch was less than amazing.
  • I bought paint thinner yesterday to try to rub off the graffiti that got sprayed on our fence sometime last week (see below, and I'll post that story later). I walked out the back gate and saw... (see below the below). Someone had cleaned it off! I'm not sure if it was a random good Samaritan, a good Samaritan neighbor, or if the graffiti artist had gotten busted by parents and was made to clean it up. Regardless of how it happened, it happened, and took something off my long-and-getting-longer to do list and I couldn't believe it. I did use a little bit of the paint thinner to clean off a little more of it so it looked like (see below the below the below). (:
  • My incredible visiting teaching and I had the following text conversation:
    • J: So it is a movie type night -- are you watching any LOTR?
    • E: I did a marathon weekend. But heaven forbid I pass up a statement like that! {side note: Jenn, working two full-time jobs is one of the crazy-busiest people I know.} You are more than welcome to come over and we can put on your favorite LOTR or something else..
    • J: :) I shouldn't, mind you, but honestly I'm not getting anything done here anyway. Maybe we can watch the best parts of something else??
    • E: Come on over. We'll figure something out.
  • So she came over and... ended up helping me clean up the kitchen and clean out both refrigerators (see below...). She was here for more than three hours. Not all of that was spent cleaning, but a significant portion of it was. Seriously, she's amazing. I felt really bad that I invited her over under false pretenses (though technically... I really was planning on putting a movie on. my delivery just wasn't there). But she was so helpful, and helped me cross two more thing off my list!
  • My youngest brother has a friend who's finishing his degree in engineering. I asked him a question through facebook last week and he answered. I texted him last night asking for follow-up help and he came over tonight for three hours. Incredibly helpful for a project I'm hoping to do next week. I'll post later about that too.
  • A co-worker is doing more for me to get things taken care of for a conference I'm going to in June than I was hoping she would need to. I had planned to get more of it done today but got caught up in other time-sensitive things and then had to run out of the office so Missi told me she'd get the rest of it taken care of. She's amazing too.
 Seriously, this week - mostly just this day even - I've been surrounded by wonderful people. And I wanted to make note of it so I didn't forget it. After a week like last week (calling 911 and then a few days later the police, among other things) this was just a wonderfully refreshing reminder that I am given marvelous blessing in my life.

Here are the pictures:

empty space!

more empty space!

And other prettiness captured on my phone:

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 1st Was April Fools Day

It started out like this -

And ended up like this -

I guess all's well that ends well.