Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Monday, October 29, 2007

IRS update

As many of you know or may not know I have been going through the hiring process with the IRS. I applied in September of last year, in May I took their assesment test. About a month or two ago I got an email to see if I was still interested and if so what three locations I would like to work. Friday I got to my car and had a message on my cell phone, I am not allowed to take my cell phone into my work because of security reasons. It was the IRS wanting to know if I am still interested and would like to interview for one of the seven open posistion in Salt Lake City. I called and left a message to say I am still interested. So now it is a waiting game again. The hire date would be in January. I will make sure I update everyone once I know more and if I got the job. I really want the position I just hope they will pay enough for me to justify leaving my current job.

Casdorph Family Performances

I'm really excited that we have 3 (possibly 4) performances scheduled for my family. We'd still like to do more, though. If you know of anywhere we could perform, let me know.

Check out my family's website for more info:

Sick of Sickness

Its very rare that I get sick, but since my boys (Kirk included) have been passing around a cold for about a month or so, it has finally caught up to me. Being sick is bad enough, but being sick and having a job like mine is nearly impossible. I got to spend 2 hours today singing at the top of my lungs and dancing like a maniac, all while feeling like I couldn't breath and sounding like a distressed frog.

Fortunately, little Alex -- who is on round two of this cold -- has a well-baby visit today and can be seen by the doctor, since I think he still has an ear infection, and his breathing has gotten wheezy again. Arg. The poor kid is 2 months behind on his shots, because every time I try to take him in, he is sick.

Hopefully this time we can all get better and stop the germ cycle. I'll cross my fingers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Updated Alex Pictures

I got a request from a friend for some updated pictures of Alex. Here's my little cutie.

Monday, October 22, 2007

For my grammatically correct friends

If you actually understand the appropriate use of quotation marks, or if you enjoy the "air quotes" episode of Friends, check out this blog dedicated to misused quotation marks. It made me "smile."

Sunny Should Mean Warm

I was getting ready for choir practice yesterday morning and needed to run across the street for something. I wasn't planning to put my shoes on until church, so I figured I'd just run out barefoot. I had seen all the sunlight streaming through the windows and figured this was an okay plan. Then I stepped outside and noticed the ice on the ground. I was so disappointed! I went back inside to grab some shoes, and then I walked across the street. The wind was frigid. I was so cold by the time I got back to my house.

The weather should not be so deceptive. If it is sunny, it should be warm.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Check out this product review site

Hey, I just found a pretty cool product reviews site It has a pretty cool "price alert" feature in addition to the standard price comparison, user reviews, and product specs options. It also includes news links for the products you're reviewing. Check it out when you're doing your online Christmas shopping.


My last class on Monday was a really great group of 4th graders. Okay, usually, they are a really great group. On Monday they had a substitute teacher, and apparently aliens invaded their classroom or something. Although the students in front of me looked like my sweet, on-the-ball, focused 4th graders, their behavior begged to differ.

Well, after their regular teacher arrived, a bundle of letters appeared in my box. These letters said things like:

Monday was a very bad day. ** We didn't pay attention to you when you tried to keep on teaching us our dance. ** We should've been more respectful to you. ** We promise to listen because we want to do the best program and know our songs. ** I promise that I won't do that again and I will change my attitude. ** I will pay attention in class and will also be rational when we do new steps to our music. ** Some other things I could do is stop talking in class. ** I'll listen, pay attention, and sing my heart out for the rest of the year. ** I am very sorry for wasting your time to teach us and sorry for speaking when you were teaching us. ** I now understand the problem, and it will never happen again. ** If we don't pay attention, we really won't have a program. ** I will respect you and my classmates. ** I will never ever do this again.

Since I received these notes, the aliens have returned to their spaceship, and I was graced with the presence of respectful 4th graders today. Yeah!

The Political Compass

For years I have found myself lost in the Democrat vs. Republican arena. While my personal views most often coincide with the viewpoints of the Republicans, I find that my political opinions are more similar to the Democrats. As a result, I am registered for neither party, and I must sit by as the rest of the country determines which candidates will officially run for President.

I have long been frustrated by not "belonging" to a party. I mean, it seems like pretty much everyone knows where they stand, except me. The problem, though, isn't really that I don't know where I stand. It is simply that there are very few individuals standing in my same location.

Well, today I made a little progress toward understanding why. There is this cool website ( that has you answer a bunch of questions, and it pus you in a quadrant based on your answers. You can favor the economic left or right, and you can favor the social libertarian or authoritarian perspectives. It turns out that most of the strong political leaders for the upcoming Presidential elections fall into the "Right/Authoritarian" quadrant, while I reside in "Left/Libertarian."

I guess that at least helps explain why I never truly agree with any politician or party. Apparently my views are just too... weird. I dunno. Fortunately, with all that Kirk and I disagree on (and trust me, that's a lot) we're pretty similar in the political quadrant. I guess that's why we get along so well.

The first graph is mine, the second is Kirk's.

Do the test, and let me know where you stand!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Referendum Number 1

After receiving a pro-referendum #1 email from my good friend Raini, I was reminded that I wanted to thoroughly peruse the "Utah Voter Information Packet" I recently received in the mail. I often find my political views to be a little different than the Utah mainstream, and I once again feel torn by the pros and cons of an important issue.

I attended private school from preschool through 8th grade, I currently teach at a private school, and I plan for my kids to attend private school for as long as it is financially possible. I feel the public school system is lacking in certain areas, and I agree that it is not the ideal for solution for all kids. I think the ideal situation is one in which parents can choose the educational enviroment that is best for each of their students. It sure sounds like I support Ref. #1, right?

But I don't.

Referendum #1 is set up to provide scholarships even to families who make an excess of $100,000 annually. I do not understand why tax money should be used to fund the education of students from families who are clearly not managing their money in the most effective way. At that income level, the parents could afford private school if they chose to make that a priority. As my handy pamphlet states, "If we have extra taxpayer money, it would be better spent reducing class sizes and improving Utah's public schools." If not spent for that, I'd love to see the tax dollars used on other worthy projects like "health care, public safety, and roads."

Referendum #1 does not set high enough standards for the qualifying private schools. I am concerned that individuals will start private schools with the intent of luring voucher-carrying students with an interest only in acquiring their money. Private schools should be founded on principles of education and on the ideals of improved methods. Obviously, private schools make money in the process; however, Ref #1 could "encourage emergence of new subsidized private schools without adequate assurance of quality or accountability."

Referendum #1 takes accountability away from an already floundering public school system. Although Ref #1 still puts money into the public schools for students who are transferring to private schools, the real issues of public schooling are ignored. If class size is an issue, use the scholarship money to hire more teachers. Build more diverse charter schools. Attract and retain quality teachers with higher salaries.

Not all private schools plan to accept vouchers. Parents in support of vouchers may have a specific school in mind and may be disappointed to find out that many of the quality private schools have no intention of accepting vouchers, because this makes them subject to certain state regulations and could potentially decrease the private school's quality.

Now, none of this is to say I disagree with a voucher system. I simply disagree with THIS voucher system. Part of me feels terrible for planning to vote against Referendum #1, because I know it could benefit many families whose children are currently floundering in the public school system. However, I am unwilling to vote for a sort of okay solution. I feel there are too many problems with this referendum, and that if it is passed in its current state, these problems may never be addressed. Lets petition our government to come up with a better voucher system that will address the real issues by providing funds only to those families who really need them. Then lets put the rest of the public funds where they belong -- into the public school system.

Should parents have a choice? Yes. But should taxpayers have to fund every option? No. Let's use the money to improve our schools and increase charter schools. Maybe then there wouldn't be a need for private schools.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Never take 5 kids and 5 vehicles to the park

Even if the kids are pretty self sufficient, and even if you have all the energy in the world, never take 5 kids, 2 bikes, 1 tricycle, 1 stroller, and a pushable car to the park. Ever. On the way there, it is quite possible that each child will propel his or her vehicle. However, it is quite likely that you will not be so lucky on the way home. It is not only possible but nearly inevitable that you will be carrying the trike, pushing the bike, and pulling a 3 year old behind you in the pushable car.

And then your 2 year old might just say, "Can you hold me, Mommy?"

And when you patiently tell him, "Mommy's hands are a little busy right now, can't you see?" he might use his advanced reasoning skills to ask, "Well, can you give me a piggy ride, pweeeeease?"

Next time, I'll either take more adults or less bikes! Or I could always leave a kid or two at the park.

A Month of Halloween

We attended the first in a series of Halloween parties this past Saturday. This one was a ward costume party/talent show. Alex and Adam were both M&M's, and I made Kirk and I M&M package costumes. (As a side note, I'd like to mention how much I hate sewing.)

As I said, the night was also a talent show. I got a group of women together and we did "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." We had a lot of fun. I think it was a first to have a doctor, Olive Oil, and Velma all singing together.

We still have a couple Halloween parties to attend, so we'll get to reprise our roles as the M&M family.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking

About 4 years ago, I joined the dark side and started scrapbooking. I call scrapbooking the dark side because it is so addictive and costs SO much. Well, I am pleased to announce that I have found the perfect alternative to traditional scrapbooking. Go digital. Since I love graphic design, I've been designing mine from scratch using Photoshop CS. I find papers and embellishments online for FREE, then I alter, create, edit, etc. and come up with -- in my opinion -- fabulous results. The best part? I upload the finished product to and get a 16" x 20" book printed for $26.95 for the first 20 pages ($.50 each additional page) and $6.99 shipping. I'm guessing Adam's 2 to 3 year old book will be about 40 pages when its all done. It will cost me about $44, and be beautifully printed and bound. I love knowing that if my house burns down and I lose my scrapbooks, I can just pay winkflash another $44 and get it reprinted. I know all this probably sounds like some sort of an infomercial, but I just want to share my new love with everyone. Check out a few of my favorite pages, and if you ever want digital scrapbooking tips, I think I'm president of the fan club!



Andrea's take on blogging and

Well, here I am at my very own new family blog. For anyone who may have occassionally checked for me on Bebo, I guess this marks the end of my Bebo phase. I certainly don't have time to update two sites! I'm definately a big advocate of blogging in general; who wouldn't love to share their journal with their closest friends (oh, yeah, and anyone with a computer). Seriously, though, I think its a good idea, especially since chances are no one is going to read it anyway. This will be a great way for Kirk and I to do our family history. :)

As for Blogger as a site, I'm pretty sure I'm about to be pretty excited, because the photo program I use (Picassa -- FYI, its free and I can't live without it) links directly with it. I haven't played with that function yet, but I bet within minutes there will be some pictures up here. It seems easy enough to use, and it looks nice, so I'm happy. Good choice, Kirk.

My thoughts on marriage and family.

As I was creating my first post I had a random thought about my marriage. I couldn't help but feel loved as I put down all the things Andrea does work wise for our family. As you women already know that in addition to that she cooks, cleans, and takes care of the kids. Now that is not to say I don't help because I believe I carry my own weight when it comes to the cooking, cleaning, and kids. The other day I mentioned that I could get another job so Andrea and she told me that she didn't want me to do that. I just love that she values our family and time together over me being out of the home more so we can earn more money. I am so very fortunate to be married to someone who understands how a marriage works. We both work hard to keep our house in order. I've recently thought if there is anything I would do differently in my life. I can honestly say that I couldn't imagine a life different the one I currently have right now. Yes we have things that are hard and there are maybe some little things I would change, like maybe the decision to have my knee operation years ago, but the big decisions I wouldn't change. I can only thank God for my wonderful family and marriage.

Time to get up to speed.

Okay so I guess we could only resist for so long. It is now time for our family to join the blogging universe. I guess the easiest thing to do is to do a little section on what is happening to each person in the family then we can just blog events or random thoughts from here on out.


So I guess some stuff has happened to me worth blogging about. My mind is all over the place so bear with me. I finished the MBA portion of my degree in September and yesterday, October 8th, I started the first of five classes to get my emphasis in accounting. I felt so good to be actually taking a class I cared about. I can't believe I have actually made it this far in my schooling. Truth be told if it wasn't for Andrea I probably would have never finished my BS. The class I am in is auditing which I seem to really enjoy. I am currently in the hiring process for an IRS agent position, it would be a January hire, and if things don't work out with that I think I will pursue an auditor position with my work or another company. Let me tell you this IRS process is ridiculous. To make a long story short, and I mean short, I applied back in September of 2006. I'm currently waiting to see when I will interview for the January positions that are open. The only bad thing is that if I do get the job there is a very good chance the job will be in Las Vegas. It would suck to leave family but it would be a fun adventure. The only problem is I don't think they would offer enough pay for me to move so I don't think I would take even if they did offer it. Heck I don't even know if the pay would be enough to take an in state job. That sums it up for the Kirk update.


Andrea is busy as can be. She is working as the music specialist at Challenger, piano teacher, and book keeper for her dad's business. That is pretty much all I can put for her so I will it up to her to come in and blog about stuff she wants in here.


Adam is now 2 and 3/4 and getting so big. He has started going to preschool at Challenger on Tuesday and Thursday. He is on a waiting list for the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday preschool. He seems to really enjoy school. He will randomly tell people "I go to school on Tuesday." His vocabulary is pretty big and makes his mommy and daddy proud. Andrea and I are trying to sell our Saturn Vue and just have one vehicle, plus the lease is up in May. So Andrea takes me to work and Adam will not let her go through the gate until the gate has opened up completely. Which is fine but that gate move so slowly (side note, there is a sign on the gate that says moving gate may cause serious injury or death. I just can't help but think of the scene in Austin Powers and the steam roller when I see the gate moving and the sign). The other big event in Adam's life is he has mastered the art of potty training. Now that he has conquered that I can't wait until the other one is out of diapers. I forgot how nice it is not having to change someone else's bum.


What can you say about little Alex. He is 7 months now and getting bigger. He is trying to crawl, he does what I like to call a caterpillar crawl. He will get up on all fours and then put his arms out so he is laying down, then up on all fours again. He gets around pretty quick. He is quite determined too, when he sets his mind to something he will keep going back to it even if you move him across the room. We had to take him in to the doctors recently because we noticed his breathing was labored and he was wheezing. It turns out he has a virus that entered into his lungs and we need to give him a breathing treatment every 4 to 6 hours. Which sucks cause most of the time he fights you and cries when try to give him the treatment. Other than that he is just being a happy baby boy.