Monday, February 28, 2005


The ONLY tractor Posted by Hello

Images Copyrighted by & found at Story of Farming Page

When you apply for Law School, you have to submit what they call a "personal statement" Well, a friend of ours on a Law School acceptance committee advised LG to do something different that would make him stand out as an applicant. Much like what you see Elle Woods do on Legally Blonde. Now, LG was not about to jump in a hottub in his bathing suit, much less, talk into a camera, tape it, and send it to actual living breathing people. But, we did come up with something to start his statement out with a bang. It is based on a true story.

While growing up in the lush foothills of Northeast Tennessee, I had a small lawn mowing business. The pinnacle of my mowing career was purchasing the Cadillac of lawn mowers, a John Deere. Even today I reminisce about the power of my John Deere and how at ease I would feel at the wheel of it. Shortly after the birth of our second child and several months before graduating with my Bachelor’s, I told my wife I wanted to get a J.D. Initially she thought I intended to discard my degree in Computer Science and become a professional lawn mower. I quickly assured her that what I meant by J.D. was Juris Doctorate, not John Deere.

No turning back

August 15, 1997Posted by Hello

Don't we look so happy? Well, we were. And we still are. I am a very lucky woman. Will you please remind me of that on the days when we are fighting?

Unfortunately, everyone has to come home from their honeymoon and deal with each other. (We didn't really have a honeymoon and so our "dealing with each other" started from day one) For us, the whole first year was a veeeerrrrrryyy long process of figuring each other out. When we look back on our lives, staying married for that first year will definitely be a "greatest accomplishment" for both of us. LG and I are so different and I am willing to admit that I am hard to live with, and he admits that he can be too sometimes. Part of the reason that we have made it in one piece for the past 90 months is that usually we both think that we got the better end of the deal. And, we also both came into this marriage with the attitude that there was no turning back.

Well, one time, during this year from H - E - double hockey-sticks, we had one of our "discussions". We were not happy with each other at all. This still happens, but just not every day like it did that first year. I had been thoughtless towards him and committed the unpardonable sin of demeaning him in front of other people. And, he had struck back in the car on the way home with a thoughtless remark. (No need to share the details...I am already sharing way more than my VERY private husband would like) Well, I was shocked and hurt because as far as I can remember this was the only time LG has ever said anything hurtful to me. (And, even though we hadn't been married that long, he knew exactly what to say that would hurt me the most.)

LG had let his passive-aggressive side OUT, and it came OUT with a vengence. I was so angry, hurt, shocked, broken-hearted, and depressed all in one. I retreated to our bedroom with the cordless phone. (This is what I do when we fight; I call in all my sisters, friends, mom, even his mom sometimes) Well, usually my support group just listens and gives me small tips of how they would work out the situation. Well, this time my mom had some WORDS to say to me. I called her in tears and told her what he had said. Instead of defending me and telling me that he had acted like a jerk and I shouldn't forgive him until he came groveling, this is what she said:

"Alice, that is the best man that you are ever going to find."

And although I hate to admit it, she was right!

Home of the free

Land that I love Posted by Hello

Since the 50's the Mormon Church Leaders have encouraged Mormon families to set aside Monday nights as a Family Night. Monday nights are called Family Home Evening, we turn down outside commitments and spend the night at home with our family. We can read, pray, hold family meetings, sing, or do other fun family activities. In my family, Monday nights has to include a song, prayer, lesson, game, and treat. Because my family is very patriotic, we also have another tradition: The Flag Ceremony. The girls act as a color guard and we have The Pledge of Allegiance, and afterward we sing "She's a Grand Old Flag". It is really fun to watch the girls march around the family room with their flags every Monday night. Come on over and see what I mean.

This flag tradition started when I was a child. My parents were patriotic. Much like most people in this country, my great-grandparents, on both sides, were immigrants. My mom and dad started the flag thing during family home evening when we were kids and it slowly escalated into a full-blown production. We had a very long hallway in our house (all those kids + all those bedrooms = that long hallway) After, the flag ceremony, we would all march up and down the hall singing, "She's a grand old flag". After a while, my brothers got bored of just marching and they decided to surprise my parents, who always waited in the family room until we all decided to come back.

One night, my oldest brothers encouraged us younger kids to find a creative object from the bedrooms and to put it on top of our heads. Like in The Sound of Music, we always lined up, oldest to youngest. Of course, we did as we were told. We all got our objects, lined up in the hall, and marched out to the delightful surprise of mom and dad.

The objects started out: shirts, blankets, hats, toys. But the longer this game went on (which was quite some time) the objects got much more creative: underwear, laundry baskets, furniture, wastebaskets. (You get the picture) Looking back on this, we probably didn't display the most reverence for the flag, but through this simple consistent tradition, my brother and sisters and I all formed a great love of the flag and of our mighty country.

Last summer, I was the Assistant Director, of the Knoxville Cumberland Stake's Girls' Camp. The Director was a good frined of mine and we worked REALLY hard at preparing a rememberable camp for the 100 girls that would attend this week-long camp at Pickett State Park.

One item of business that was especially important to me was the Flag Raising and Lowering. After reading my family's history with the flag this won't come as a surprise to you. My friend also knew of my love for America's flag, but she didn't seem to share my sentiment. I have been a leader for The Boy Scouts of America, and so I have witnessed how boys were taught about the flag. I felt like this camp was a rare opportunity to bring the girls up to speed.

Well, as the camp went on, it became more and more obvious that teaching the girls how to handle the flag was not a priority. I tried not to get frustrated as I wasn't in charge, my friend was. One day, toward the end of camp, we were sitting together during a cheap attempt at a flag raising. I said to her, "What is the deal? Why don't you care about this flag stuff?" She looked me straight in the eye and said, "Hello, I'm Canadian!"

Both of us just cracked up. I had forgotten that she was Canadian born. She is so "American". When dealing with 100 teenage girls for a week, it is needless to say that this small bit of humor provided us with just 15 seconds of much needed laughter.

Moral of the story: Unless you are talking to Tom Brokaw, don't expect your Canadian friends to love the flag as much as you do, and don't try to have flag raising ceremonies with a Native Canadian leader.

My Fortune

Proud Daddy Posted by Hello

Since Friday, my husband, LG, has been reformatting my hard-drive. It seems that this blogging business has been a little much for our 7 year old PC to handle. This is the reason I haven't been on much. I still am and will be working out kinks in my system.

I came across this picture, and I just LOVE it. Look at how Happy the new daddy looks. This was Sophia when she was two days old. Sophia is LG's spitting image now, but we never would have guessed it when she was so little. I love my husband, and seeing him as a GREAT father makes me love him even more. He is so tender with our girls and me, his wife, too. I am so FORTUNATE.

Now, don't get me wrong. There are days that I want to strangle the guy. After all, he is a guy and we all know that us women and men have our differences. Take for instance, last night. We were sitting at the kitchen table for hours talking about our plans for the future; mostly, about whether or not it will be worth it for him to do the joint JDMBA. (Another year of this poverty seems like pure torture to us and our kids)While we "discussing" LG kept playing with the girls' new plastic paperclip toys. It was so distracting, and I kept asking him to put them down while we talked. He would put them down, but somehow he would have them back in his hands ten minutes later.

Right, at the pinnacle of our conversation, the paperclip chain violently split in two and one half went flying through the air and down the heating vent. The other half were laying as guilty as could be in his hand and simultaneously, we both looked down at them. He then instantaneously tossed the leftover paperclips to the other side of the room like a red-handed robber. NORMALLY, a little thing like this would set me off. Little scenarios like this are caused by "the man gene" (all guys have it). They just HAVE to play and fidget. But, lucky for LG, I am medicated now and so I was able to just chuckle about "the man gene" just forcing my husband into playing with those darn paperclips, until like always, some kind of destruction occured.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Her name is Pixy

What happens when you don't buy your kids a dog  Posted by Hello

This morning, as we were running out to go and help the knee-surgery friend again, Sophia pulled a rock out of her "special" drawer. I think it is a 3-yr-old thing to like rocks because every time we go out to play, she comes back in with a pocket of them. (I can faintly remember Abigail doing the same thing at this age) Well, all of the rocks are special to her and I usually can get them either back outside or in the garbage without her noticing. So, I was slightly surprised when she pulled out this rock, which is brown, has the face size of 2 quarters, and the thickness of her little finger.

I am trying to rush both Phia and Bella out the door, and to my even bigger surprise, Sophia says,"Mom, I am going to take my pet rock, O.k.?" I said, "Sure, of course you can bring your pet rock" (hmm....i didn't know she had one, but, whatever, she probably learned about pet rocks on Sesame Street, and off we went. Well, I was very entertained the whole morning as we ran arround town; I learned more and more about this pet rock. As we were getting out of the van, Sophia says,"Mom, I can't forget my pet rock, Pixy." I said, "Pixy, what is that?" "That is my rock's name, Mom",was her reply. I said,"Did you name her?" She said, "Yes" I said,"Where did you get her name?" "I just made it up",was the response from my all-knowing 3-year-old.

Well, she took the rock out to let it rock in the rocker at the dr's office. She held it in her lap, talked to it, showed it off to my friend's kid and her sister, Bella. We later went to pick up Abigail from school and we all ran to Wal-Mart to pick up some stuff for my friend. While I was trying desperately to reign my kids in and find the specific baby food on my freind's list, Abigail and Sophia decided to fight over the rock. I reminded them to be nice and to stay by the grocery cart, and I also confiscated the rock. Sophia cried, but I told her that the rock needed a nap, and she could play with Pixy when she got home. This sufficed.

So, we get home, and the rock comes out. It is nice out today and the girls wanted to play outside. The next thing I know, Sophia is wailing. I mean absolutely freaking out, as if someone had died. I run over to where they were digging to see what the problem was. I ran as if someone had cut a finger off. Abigail quickly explained that Sophia had buried her Pet Rock and she now couldn't find it. I didn't want to not validate Phia's feelings by laughing hysterically at the sight of he "rock" back where it came from in the first place. To her, this rock was buried alive.

So, I sat there for fifteen minutes, with that darn shovel, reassuring my sweet, sweet, sweet, tender-hearted daughter, that I would find Pixy and all would be well, while digging frantically. I kept coming up with different little rocks and I knew they weren't Pixy because they weren't even the same color or size, but after about five minutes, I was worried that I would never find her, and I thought that I could trick Phia into believing that one of the other rocks was her beloved pet. She never fell for it. I offered a prayer of thanks when I finally found her real Pixy. By this time Sophia had wandered to the other side of the yard. You would have thought I was three to hear the excited tone to my voice as I yelled over,"Sophia, I found her, I found her....Here's Pixy." As my 3-yr-old ran over to retrieve her most prized posession, I couldn't help but think,"Supermom to save the day" and I handed it over with a very wide smile that said,"I love your pet-rock too."

Appreciate your package!

United Postal Service: I couldn't hack it. Posted by Hello

When I was eighteen, a friend of mine dragged me along with her to apply for work at the UPS warehouse 20 minutes from my house. My friend's mom had convinced her that UPS was the greatest place to work because it had the greatest benefits. My friend didn't want to go alone and because I needed a job and thought it would be cool to work with my friend, I went along with her to apply.

We got the job and were so excited. I have no idea why we were excited, but my best guess is because we felt all grown up with a real job. I think that I mostly ACTED excited for the sake of my friend who was trying to please her mom. We were to work every morning from four until eight or nine (if we didn't work fast enough). We thought that this work schedule was IDEAL because we could get work overwith and spend our days on the beach....we we were wrong. We also thought that our work would provide a FREE work-out, which was true.

This was not an ideal work schedule for two girls between their freshman and sophomore years of college. We couldn't stay out late or then we wouldn't be able to get up. And, it was summer time when the possibilities of things to do at night in Southern California are endless. We were also WAY too tired after work to do anything but go back to bed.

So, I just want to fill you in on what UPS workers do so that you can appreciate your package when it comes to your door. First, I would drive down the freeway half asleep in the dark; it was a good thing that there were no other cars on the road, so that when I swerved across three lanes it didn't really matter. Then, we would line up and be assigned a partner and a truck. It was then our JOB to UNLOAD the whole trailer bed of the parked semi. No, not in our four hour shift, but in ONE hour. Two people to one truck.

You open the door and you literally look at a wall of cardboard. All different kinds and sizes. You start hauling them down the conveyer belt, sweating within the first ten minutes. You get so EXCITED when it is a small package, but when you lift it, to your utter dissapointment, you need both hands because it is filled with either all gold or steel. Then, you gear up for the HUGE box and you wonder who in the world would have a refrigerator delivered via UPS, and to the MOST wonderful delight, it is as light as a feather.

The worse kind of packages that I ran into were the ones that were marked...LIVE ANIMALS. They had little holes in the side of the box that were lined with little metal screens. One time I finally got the gumption to look my relief, it was just a bunch of crickets. I probably would have quit on the spot if it was mice. (I have this thing about mice)

So, I work and work my butt off. One thing that I do give my parents credit for is teaching their children to be HARD workers. I would be so happy to maybe have a ten minute break, when my nameless friend would come running over begging me to help her catch up...she weighed less than 100 lbs. and was really out of shape. Of course, I was the nice friend and went and helped her too.

I was relieved when my friend quit after her second day. I would no longer have to help her. What I didn't realize is that she wouldn't be in the car to keep me awake on the drive. Once she was gone, it took the pressure off of me to keep the job, and after a good 8 days, I jumped off of the UPS ship, also.

But, now, I really appreciate my packages whenever they are delivered.

Kids say the d a r n d e s t things

Watermelon Posted by Hello

Following up on my last entry. Kids are so FUNNY! They cannot resist at stating the obvious. When you are driving down the road you will hear, "Mom, there is a cow." "Dad, you are driving too fast."

At the grocery store, "There are Fruit Loops, there is Cocoa Puffs, those are Cheerios." You get the drift.

One day, I got out one of the girls' piggy banks and as I was getting it down off the shelf, the lid slipped off and change spilled all over the kitchen floor. It was no surprise to hear,"Mom, you spilled all the money." I laughed and said,"Oh really, I know, Sometimes I am so clumsy, Should we pick it up?"

A little while later, in the same day, I got a watermelon out of the fridge. No joke, this is what I hear coming out of a little voice behind me, "Mom, you are fat, just like that watermelon." Well, gee, thanks. No, "oh really", was going to work for this offense. We have taught our girls to only refer to things as fat, not people. I think that she thought this was OK, because she was talking about the watermelon.

I tried not to crack up as I gave her the very brief reminder that it isn't nice to call people fat. I resisted from saying what I was really thinking,"Hey, you little snot....would you like me to crack this watermelon over your head, so that you can feel what it is like to get pregnant and fat and give birth to a child that will just call you fat one day." Of course I wouldn't say that, all I could think of was, "Aren't you clever with your use of words; you are only three and you just used a really good analogy." What in the world? You know I must be a mother.

That's so Special!

It's a GREAT word Posted by Hello

We have taught our kids to use the word special. They each have a SPECIAL drawer where they can put their SPECIAL things. We have taught our kids that each one of them is SPECIAL. Each of them are different and they each have SPECIAL talents. They have their favorite SPECIAL clothes and toys. You get the picture. The word special works for almost everything.

Special didn't work out so great last year when we were at Dollywood. We were all walking past the River Raft ride, trying to work our way through the crowd. Right next to us, there was a man with a wooden shoe. You know, one of his legs was shorter than the other and he wore the shoe to correct the difference of height in his legs.

My daughter was staring this shoe down, and I was trying to drag her away, hoping that she wouldn't embarass this man. She was so very observant and didn't appreciate my gesture; she said, loud enough for everyone to hear, "Mom, wait, I am trying to see that man’s shoe. He has a SPECIAL shoe!"

What do you do? She was 100% correct. The shoe was very special. She may never see one like it again in her life. I just smiled and said as softly as I could,"You're right, he does have a special shoe." and we kept on walking, this time a little bit faster than before.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Famous Sarcasm

Steve Young: If you were a single Mormon girl in the early 90's, you wanted to marry him! Posted by Hello

When I was a freshman at Utah Valley State College, back in 1991, I worked at a Malt Shoppe in Provo, UT, called Stevenett's. It is now just, The Malt Shoppe, but you will still see the same faces, just years younger, cruising the place on Friday and Saturday nights.

Well, this one Saturday night when I was working, a really famous visitor decided to grace the place with his existence. I had heard of him and I wanted to marry him just like all of my 5 roommates, but I really had no idea what he looked like.

We were only open until 11PM on Saturdays, because the Sabbath starts at midnight and that would allow all the Mormon workers to get the place clean and home in time. This night, everyone was out on a date or hanging out with friends. The weather was great. It was 12:30 and our line was still out the door. I was frustrated.

So, this guy with outdated muscleman pants, a Jackson Hole baseball cap, and a highschool football T-shirt makes his way to the front of the line. I was working the register and thinking, "Boy, this guy is cute; he just needs some new clothes." He was friendly; he smiled and asked, "what's good?" Remember, I just want to go home and I am sick of these customers. I said, "I don't know, you have been standing in line for at least a half an hour, have you not had a chance to figure it out?" He was taken back a bit. I polished it off with,"I like________, but everyone's tastes are different, and so I can't tell you what you will like."

He sat there looking at the menu, and I questioned, "What is Jackson Hole?" He said,"You have never heard of Jackson Hole." I said,"NO, sorry, I am not a Utah Native." He said, "Where are you from?" I said, "Where are you from?" He said,"I asked you first." I said you probably haven't heard of it. He said,"Try me." I said, "California." He said, "Heard of it." I said,"Carlsbad, bet you haven't heard of that?" He said,"Actually, I have vacationed there a few times. It is a great place." and he continued on to tell me about places he had visited in my town.

I said,"So, where are you from?" He said,"Several places actually, Connecticut, Utah, California." I said,"Oh, you're a military kid." If you haven't figured it out by now, the guy I was giving attitude was Steve Young. He is obviouslly not a military kid, but I am sure he found this rather humorous considering I was either making a really good front that I didn't know who he was, or I was just a total idiot.

He later asked me what I was doing after work (I like to claim that he would have dumped his sister or his date and hung out with me), but I think he was just being nice. I told him I was preparing my talk to give in church the next day. He said,"Oh, that is why you want to go home so bad." I said,"yep." At this point, another guy came and took over the register for me and I went back in the kitchen. The cook said,"You sure were striking the fancy of Steve Young." I said, "Who?" He said, "That was Steve Young." I was mortified.

The next day, my roommate was in charge of a fireside (something that Mormon's do on some Sunday extra gathering.) After hearing my claim to fame, my roommate decided that I had to give the opening prayer. As I walked up she claimed that Steve said that I looked so familiar and that she told him about the night before. She said that he said,"Oh yeah, she is hilarious!" Who knows if that conversation really took place, but I think if it is true that Steve Young thinks I am hillarious, then you should really continue reading my blog, right?

The Dilemma housewife can live without it Posted by Hello

For about four days, we have had the rankiest smell protruding from the hallway where our office and bedrooms are located. Of course, it was my job to figure out where in the world it was coming from. I searched and searched to no avail.

Finally, yesterday, I decided to stay home and do nothing but take care of my household duties, not because my house was a sty, but because it was time to tackle the laundry. Well, even after I tidied everything up, emptied the garbages, and cleaned the laundry there was still a REALLY bad smell.

It was time for my built-in mother detective skills. I started my search with the little bed that is constantly made on the floor next to ours. It is made of an egg carton mattress, three or four quilts, and a bunch of pillows. We refuse to let the girls get in the bed with us because we want to get SOME sleep.

Unfortunately, there was nothing in the kids' makeshift bed. I then moved my search on to the other side of the bed and looked underneath. Jackpot....under the bed was a sippy cup turned over sideways and Serafina. (one of the girls favorite stuffed kitties) Now, what you have to understand is that there are different types of sippy cups. The one under our bed was the kind that I use when I give the girls juice. (the sippy part has a constant open hole, making it possible for orange juice pulp to get through) This also makes it possible for ALL of the juice to get through, especially when it is tipped on its side.

IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH, consider this a warning. So, I push the bed aside and pick up the cup; there was a little curdled OJ inside (how does OJ curdle...who knows?) It SMELLED SO BAD. And, then there was the kitty......can you say the smell of maggots rotting in the sun? Serafina must have soaked up a bunch of the orange juice and she sat there waiting for someone to come and relieve her and the rest of the house from the stench. Who knows how long she had been there. So, I smiled with pleasure, knowing that me, Supermom had saved the day again and I moved quickly to take care of business. I wiped the wood floor with Clorox wipes (thank goodness it wasn't carpet); I then washed the cat with Clorox (thank goodness it was white), and washed the cup with Clorox.

Later, during the day, over the phone, I relayed this story to my sister, Shannon. Shannon asked me why I didn't just throw the cat and the cup away. I explained that the cat was their absolute favorite and they would have died. I had washed it and it was fine. (a little less fluffy, but fine nonetheless) I also told her that I could have thrown the cup out, but, why? If I dealt with the cat then I knew I could deal with the cup. So, Shannon says, "You have to throw the cup away or then it becomes like 'the blue cup' " This brought instantaneous laughter......

So, here's the last part of my story. When we were kids, my mom had a bunch of colored Tupperware cups, much like the ones shown above. I grew up in the 70's and so, of course, we had the colors that are shown above, but we also had primary colors. Well, one day, my brother decided to urinate in the blue one......Who knows? Brothers do the weirdest things. (maybe you males can understand, but we sisters sure didn't) So, we ran and told my mom that he had peed in the cup, hoping that she would remedy the problem. Well, all she did was pour out the urine, rinse out the cup, and wash it with some bleach.

To us kids, there was NO WAY that cup was rid of the pee. Every night, my mom would set the table and all of us kids would await which color cup we would get. We knew better than to ask for the one we wanted because we all wanted the same one. My mom would just go down the table and put one down at the top of each of our plates, one at a time. Every night, you could hear the howl of whichever unfortunate kid got the blue cup. How cruel, huh? It's no wonder I need therapy.

So, if you haven't caught on to the dilemma yet, it is this: When a mom is faced with a DISGUSTING situation, should she clean it up or get rid of any offensive matter? I think that the answer to the dilemma is this: you can clean it, as long as the kids don't see whatever it is while in the gross state. If they do, you better just throw it away to save yourself the therapy bills.

Fortunately for me, yesterday, our girls never saw Serafina in her worst state. No howls of undelight for this MOM.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tennessee Judiciary

Courhouse for the 6th Circuit of the Eastern District of TN Posted by Hello

Alright, here's another funny story.

My friend had knee surgery on Monday and because her husband was unable to go with her, I offered to accompany her. She gladly accepted my offer, so I got my mother-in-law (she is such a saint) to take the kids.

When we got to the same-day-surgery unit, I instantly realized that these people were all thinking that we were a "couple". I had just had my haircut short, we both had wedding rings on...etc.etc. When I went in with her and she had to get her gown on, it became a little too much for me to keep quiet about. I just HAD to tell the nurse that, "I AM HER FRIEND, her husband couldn't be here today."

When the orthopedic surgeon came out and called for my friend's family to come and get the scoop....I stood up. He had a VERY surprised look on his face. My friend is very wholesome and innocent and I could see the look of utter astonishment in his eyes. My husband got a chuckle as I told him the first words that I said to the surgeon (we're going back to my obsessive need to explain myself). I said, "I am just a FRIEND of hers; her husband had to work today." The surgeon looked somewhat relieved, but also dissapointed...go figure?

Well, I went and sat back down in the lobby, waiting for my friend to come out of her anesthesia (they said they would call me). I decided that after two hours it was time to strike up a conversation with the man sitting closest to me. He looked in his 70's or 80's. I asked him who he was waiting for. He said, "My wife is having surgery on her breast today." (I guess when you get to a certain age, you don't blush saying the word breast to a woman who is a total stranger.) He went on to relay that him and his wife were in the their 60's and then he proceeded with their whole medical history. His wife had a tumor in her breast and he had lung cancer in 1996, but came out just fine. (I was astonished when he went for a smoke break a little while later)

Well, as he was talking on and on about his family's medical history, I thought to myself, "Oh no, I am going to be stuck hearing all about this for the next hour." I then caught a glimpse of his baseball said, "Tennessee Judiciary". Then, I thought, score, I may have just made my husband a contact with a judge or somebody important. I then proceeded to tell him that my husband was in Law School and I made reference to his hat. He said, "I worked for the TN Supreme Court for 29 years.(or some high figure like 29)"

I said, "Oh yeah, what did you do?" He said, "I was in the maintanence department." Well, there went my contact, unless LG wants to clean the floors of the courthouse for the rest of his life....I don't think that would pay off the student loans, though.

Well, I didn't want to make the man feel bad, and so I said,"That is what my dad does for a living. He is in maintenance." [My dad is a contractor and can do or fix anything, but he maitains all of the LDS church buildings in Southern Utah]. He smiled as if to say, "Well, I am glad that you understand.", but he didn't say another word until I probed him for more private family information. It is amazing what you can learn about a person in one hour. He turned out to be a really nice guy; the best guy I know in the Tennessee Judiciary.


Everybody needs a cheerleader Posted by Hello

I have another confession. Poor LG. I don't know how he lives with me.

Last year, during his first semester of Law School, I took a field trip to his classes. I really wanted to see what he was doing all day every day, and my mother-in-law offered to take the girls.

So, all was going off without a hitch. (LG had made me swear not to raise my hand, ask any questions, or make any comments) I tend to get excited at times. I really enjoyed his first class. The teacher was good and even a dummy like me learned something (I now have no recollection what the class was about, but at the time I felt enlightened.)

When we were waiting for his second class to start (which was really BAD, by the way, the most BORING teacher, and that is all I will say because LG will probably even make me change this) a girl walked in and sat down in the row in front of us. We had been talking with her friend, and as this new girl sat down next to her friend she greeted me.

Here comes the clencher part of the story. EVERYONE in law school has to have a laptop (mostly so that they can IM during class). So, of course as this girl is getting ready for class, she opens up her laptop. As I saw her laptop, I was VERY surprised to see on her screensaver, a picture much like the one above . I couldn't believe my eyes: because here is this girl in LAW SCHOOl, with the world at her fingertips and she obviouslly put a lot of emphasis on cheerleading (I didn't think that UT LAW had cheerleaders...Can you say GO VOL ATTORNEYS)

So, I proceeded to ask her about the picture; assuming that she had cheerleaded during her undergrad, which would have made some sense because more than likely that would have been the previous year. She responded that she didn't cheerlead in college and that this was a picture of her HIGH SCHOOL cheerleading squad. I was in shock! Is this ALL that this girl felt that she had going for her? What in the world was she doing in law school if she was still glorying her HS days? (Mind you, I do recognize that maybe I don't understand because LG isn't the traditional law student and I am not the traditional spouse of a student - I am in my thirties and he is no spring chicken himself)But, still...don't you think that this was a little bizarre?

So, me and my big mouth, I say, "You think that you would grown out of that at some point?" I am such an idiot sometimes. I just HAVE to say what is on my mind. I regretted the question as soon as it came out and I cried when I got home for embarassing LG. LG had given me that look of surprise. (yes, I am still able to surprise him at times) Luckily, the girl never had a chance to respond because the teacher started class not a second too late.

Well, it was no surprise to me when my husband told me that this girl had dropped out of law school before her second year. I REFUSE to take the credit for her discouragement, but maybe I did cause some introspection and she decided that she was doing the wrong thing with her life. Maybe she decided that she was needed more on the sidelines of her High School's football field. I hope that she is enjoying herself.

The Milkman

My three daughters Posted by Hello

As you can see, our girls all have their own distinct features. We always tell people that Abigail is a mix of both of us, Sophia is just like her Dad, and Bella is a spittin image of me. The people that know us well definitely agree when we say genetics can be crazy.

It is when I tell complete strangers this that I have a problem. Whenever they approach me it is the same routine, "Are they ALL yours?" I say, "Yes." Then they look at me like they don't believe me or they look away and whisper, which to me, means that they obviouslly think they all have different daddies.

Because I am me, I can't let people think what they want. I ALWAYS have to explain myself. Something that I am trying to work on (don't think this blog is really helping). So, it isn't uncommon for me to say to complete strangers..."And, if you are wondering, they all have the same mom and dad...there is no milkman involved." It is fun to see the strangers' reactions to my boldness. They usually don't know what to say. What can they say when they know I have just read their minds?

This could be very interesting in a few years down the road. My girls are probably getting subliminal messages that the milkman is very much involved in the baby- making process. I will certainly have some explaining to do.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Wal-Mart Proposal

Boys, you gotta have the flowers

Alright, it's about time that I tell on myself again. Here's the latest episode of brain lapse or "talk b4 think".

I went to Wal-Mart late Saturday night. While I was checking out I noticed a cute young couple behind me in line. Of course, I had a LOAD of groceries, and so my check-out took a while. I was brought up to be TOO friendly to strangers and of course I decided to strike up a conversation with these two.

The young girl had a dozen roses in her hand. She was standing behind the guy. I said to her, "Are those for you?" She replied with a yes. I chuckled a bit and looked at the guy and said,"Is she showing you what kind she likes?" She said, "Yeah, I guess you could say that."

I said, "Funny, I just called my husband on the phone and told him that roses were finally coming down in price after Valentine's Day. I asked him if I should buy some for myself." I continued,"Now you shouldn't have to buy flowers for yourself until AFTER you are married." They laughed.

I then looked at the guy, elbowed him, and said, "you know what that means for you, huh? Guess you might be married real soon."

The girl then decides to pipe up again. I think that she was trying to save her new fiance from my torture. She said,"Actually, he just proposed tonight."

Everyone in line gave the oo's and the aw's....all I could think about is how absolutely crappy I had just made this poor guy feel. He proposed and then his new fiance had to go and buy herself some flowers to remember the night by.

Moral of the story: Never propose without flowers. Just do like my husband and don't propose at all; then you won't have to worry about it.


brayden rymer (the newest nephew) Posted by Hello

Here is Renee's e-mail response to my last entry entitled Take 2: (I don't think that she wants to comment on my blog anymore :)

Ok Ok your right it is cute and I like the color.. By the way that was not a personal jab just a joke. Besides What do you call the comment back . Hipocrite. Is that how you spell it. Anyway I love ya even if you hair was all gone so get over it already!!

Brayden was born on January 8th, 2005 and he wieghed 9 lbs. 15.9 oz. OUCH!
My brother-in-law, Jordan, was 12 lbs. when he was born. Yeah, I can never live up to my mother-in-law.

Well, just in case Renee has hurt post-partum sensitivity, I want you all to know that I love her tons and she is one of my best friends.

K- bye.


tannon and daylor rymer Posted by Hello

I think that Tannon is trying to double as ET in this picture. You have to love the get up. Kids are so funny. They love to dress-up, and they think they are beautiful (which they are) even if they look like an extra-terrestrial.

Bedtime and Parenting

Here are the girls. They are finally asleep. Notice that they all sleep on their stomachs. (they want to be like their Mom)

Bedtime is easy for us. The girls go to sleep pretty good most of the time. After watching Super Nanny, I have learned that this is not the case for many parents. I would like to give some really good parenting advice here (even if yougottawanna thinks that I don't know what I am doing):

I read this yesterday in a book that my sister recommended. I wish that I could photocopy it and give it to some of the ladies at church. :)

Parenting Young Children
There are three main styles of parenting. The three that are most common are giving orders, giving in, and giving choices.

Giving Orders: This Style of parenting is often called authoritarian. The parents are strict. They set a lot of rules. The children are expected to obey the rules exactly. Often strict parents reward of punish children to keep them in line.Rewards lead the children to expect payment for 'being good'. When children are punished for 'being bad', they may learn to fear and resent parents. Children need freedom to grow and learn. They also need the chance to make choices [all you homeschoolers who are afraid to let your kids out of your sight]. This lets them learn limits and responsibility.

Giving In: Giving in is also called permissive parenting. Permissive paretns set no limits. Children grow up without guidelines. The parents give in to whatever the children may want. We often say that these children are 'spoiled'. Without limits, children will have trouble getting along with others. These children usually learn to do as they please. They don't learn to care about the feelings and rights of others. Society sets limits. Children with no limits on their behavior will have difficulty learning how to behave in society. [so, all you parents who think that you are letting your children be creative and do whatever they want, you aren't doing them any favors.]

Giving choices: ....the democratic method of giving choices is the most effective.Democratic parenting is based on equality and respect. We all have different abilities, responsibilites, and experiences. But we are still worthwhile as humans.Does this mean that your child has the same privileges as you do? No. It means that you recognize the importance of your child's wishes. It also means that you involve your child in decision making when appropriate. Democratic parents give a child choices that fit the child's age and development. Young children's ablility to make choices is limited. They can't yet depend on themselves to keep the rules. They need adults to set limits for them. When children go past the limits, they need parents to follow through with consequences. The democratic method helps children become responsible. It does this by giving choices within set limits.A democratic parenting style gives young children freedom within limits. Children learn that their choices count and carry responsibility. They learn respect.

The Night Tremors

How trashed we look after a full day Posted by Hello

This is a picture that we took of ourselves, shortly after we got the kids to sleep last night. We were so tired as you can see by how trashed we look. Raising kids is hard work. Parents really need to relax more than they do, epecially us. Someday we are going to check into a spa and stay there for a whole year to make up for all the stress we have had in the past 7+ years. I think that relaxing is impossible for us right now. We stress trying to plan time to NOT stress.

The good news was that the girls were asleep. We could then move on to our own agendas: cleaning house, doing homework, and SHOWERING for the first time in 3 days (that is when I know I have it good....when I get a shower). I got on to blog after all of that and could only do it for 10 minutes before my medicine kicked in.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Take 2

It's me again Posted by Hello

This picture is in response to my little punky brewster sister, Renee, who commented that my hair still looks the same as my former KD Lang cut. Hello, RUDE! With her little, "I can't help it" response, my sister gives you a taste of why I have to have a blog all about myself. Because I grew up in a family who likes to take funny jabs at each other. Yeah, feel for me, I need this blog to boost my self-image.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Roadtrip

Ford Pinto Posted by Hello

Posting my family up has got me reminiscing. Here is one of the GREATEST roadtrips that I got to share with my family.

When I was 5 or 6, my parents decided to take an 8 hour roadtrip from Carlsbad to Sacramento, CA. We were going to go and visit my Grandma Dorothy (mom's mom).

Of course we were excited. As kids we had no idea that we didn't have a car suitable for the trip. In fact, we probably, didn't have a car suitable to drive around town. But, we had a really GREEN Ford Pinto. You'd have to ask my dad for the year and model.

My dad (AKA MacGyver) jimmy rigged this Pinto, so that we kids could be comfortable (ha) for the trip. He got a piece of plywood and custom fitted it to the back of the Pinto. He hung it with wires across the top of the car to form a nice little bunkbed in the back of the car. Remember, this was before the seatbelt or carseat laws. (what would that be like?)

Well, us kids thought it to be the most wonderful fun idea at first. The two boys were on the bottom, the three girls were on the top, and baby David was in Mom's lap, probably. (Renee wasn't born yet). I am sure that it only took less than an hour into the trip for all of us to realize the HUGE discomfort that this set-up was causing us. OUCH!!!!

I don't remember how we made it through the trip, but I do faintly remember the plywood being ceremoniously removed at some point. My oldest brother, Erick, who was probably about 12 laid long ways in the back and the rest of us younger children were to find a way to make ourselves comfortable around him. I have NO IDEA how in the world my parents survived.

Yes, this story is a family jewel, (trust me, there are many more) and I am sure that anyone in my family will have to correct me on some of the finer details. Be kind guys; I was only six; it was hard for me to grasp the details. The only thing I remember was.....SQUISH!

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Family Feud

The Wills Family 2001 Posted by Hello

This is my mom and dad and brothers and sisters along with their spouses and kids. We took this picture at a favorite beach in Carlsbad, CA, where I grew up. I had a really bad haircut just days previouslly. We called it my KD Lang cut.

Three of us were pregnant in this picture, and there have been a lot more pregnancies and births since this time.

During this same family reunion, we tried out for the family feud. We made it and returned to CA shortly after to tape the show. We were on the show during Louie's last season. He was very nice to us. We beat the other family (I am not too sure they were really a family, because I caught a glimpse of one of the contestant's groping his supposed cousin.)

Well, my brothers lost the money in the final round. Their answers were entertaining. One answered that he would pack a "lei" to take on his trip to Hawaii. It took a few weeks to recover from the loss. As the real family feud began before the taping when we all discussed at length who would get the money if we did win. It was somewhat of a relief when we didn't win because then we could all go back to wishing we had more money and we didn't have to worry who in the family deserved or needed the money more than the others. After the show, we still feuded. My very pregnant sister and I were very moody the whole 12 hr drive home and we faught with the guys, telling them that they should have let one of us sisters have a go at the final round.

All and all, we did have a great time! It is trips like this that make memories. I have to say that feuding can make a family stronger, as long as you are willing to laugh with or AT each other. This is something that everyone in my family can do well, even the in-laws. We all love to laugh! And, we always love each other and we usually make up after the feuds.

Insanity = Pillbox

These are my drugs Posted by Hello


Just thought that I would show you the weekly ritual of sorting out my prescription drugs....birth control, lithium, wellbutrin and would think that I am a Senior Citizen, but no, I'm just a crazy girl trying to stay sane!

The birth control is OBVIOUSLLY for no more children right now. If I had another I might be institutionalized. Good for all the women who can handle as many as they are able to produce, but those of us with mental illness sometimes have to stop procreating so that we can take care of the kids that we have. (This isn't something that you can understand unless you are "mental")

The lithium is my MOOD STABILIZER. It doesn't work as well as my husband would like...poor guy. The Wellbutrin is so I won't want to kill myself (however morbid that is....sorry) Last but not least, and certainly not the last medication I will take throughout my life, is Seroquel, the anti-psychotic.(I never was psychotic, as far as I know)The Seroquel is to help me sleep at night.

For me, the need for a sleeping agent is the worst part of my disease...I find it rather restricting because I have to take it before I can fall asleep and I have to give myself enough time to sleep or I won't be able to wake up. This makes it hard for late night parties or early morning risings. Some nights it kicks right in and others it can take a couple of hours to work.

FUN STUFF...don't you wish that you could be bi-polar too?

The Messes

This is the mess that the kids made this morning
while I was half asleep on the couch. Posted by Hello

It didn't phase me at all.
I have seen hundreds if not thousands exactly like this.

The funny twist today is this:

My husband came home for a quick lunck break this afternoon; he walked in on me when I was loudly persuading (alright...maybe, yelling)Abigail and Sophia to pick up the mess. You see, we have a problem at our house; probably the same problem in most households with children. The problem: my kids love to MAKE the MESS, but the absoultely loathe cleaning them up.

Well, we decided to try something new. We gave them a half hour to pick up the mess. We told them if they cleaned it up they would get 50 cents [that is the reason I needed that 50 cents from Wendy's so bad...(read on if you don't get it)] and if they didn't, we would put their toys in a trashbag and they couldn't have them for a whole week.

Well, you can guess how that turned out....yes, I will be the one tortured all week as they beg for their toys. LG says it will be better for me in the long run. Why is it that children can punish their mothers more than their fathers?


Abigail, Bella, and Sophia
Sophia is wearing one of her new nightgownsPosted by Hello

All little girls love nightgowns. Why didn't I know this before I bought so many pairs of cotton pants and tops? Between my three daughters, we probably own 50 pairs of pajamas. [25 are being stored waiting for someone to fit into them] I rotate according to size and yes, the poor younger two get mostly hand-be-downs.

Well, about two months ago Sophia decided that she would wear nothing to bed but the one nightgown that she owned. After about three weeks of "Mommy torture". Sophia would beg for her nightgown every night. I would explain it was dirty. It would have to be washed sometime. Sophia would cry and cry and sometimes throw temper tantrums (she is 3). I would try and convince her to wear one of dad's cool T-shirts or her pretty p'j's with the flowers or, better yet, her new ones from Christmas. Usually, nothing would work.

After dad witnessed this enough times, he gave me permission to buy her another nightgown. I was elated. We went to Wal-Mart that day to see what we could find. I tried to sell Sophia on the $5 after -Chrismas-specials, but she wanted nothing but the pretty Princess and the Pauper one. I told her that she could have the P&P nightgown or 2 TWO 2 of the other ones that were on sale. She only wanted the P&P. So, I let her get it. Well, now Abigail was jealous and she wanted a P&P. I caved and let her have one of the $5 deals, thinking I was pretty nice, since she already had three nightgowns at home and we weren't even shopping for her.

Well, on with the saga, that night, Abigail starts having a coniption fit because she doesn't have the nightgown. We sat her down and explained that she was lucky to have a new nightgown at all and that it was Sophia's turn to have something new. We can't afford to buy all the girls a nightgown. [this may sound mean, but trust me when I say that our girls have plenty]. We told Abigail that she could do extra chores around the house and buy herself a nightgown. Did she ever pick up one toy, NO! And to this day, I am still reminding her that if she will pick up some toys she could get a nightgown.

The saga continues....LG has been encouraging me for quite some time to become familiar with E-bay. He wants us to start a business there. I thought that this was a perfect oppportunity. I bought Sophia a few more gowns, and when they started coming in the mail, Abigail was crushed. Then I bought Abigail a few and when they were delivered Sophia was crushed. Maybe I am doing something wrong, but I think that kids will be kids.

When it comes to nightgowns....we just can't WIN!

The culprit

The ugly old heat thermostat Posted by Hello

This is the reason I almost caught the house and my husband in the shower on fire. These old thermostats were uglier than one of the Three Amigos. The former owners of this house had even tried to make it prettier by wallpapering it. May the thermostat lie in peace and my we get rid of the wires that are now sticking out someday.