Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wedding Advice

I saw the advice cards from Lisa's wedding sitting on my dad's desk and decided that if Brett & Lisa didn't want them read, they'd have put them somewhere else. I came across one from my cousin's husband, and he definately had the best advice I've ever heard. So here it is:
  1. Tortina's Pizzas are only 99 cents and never get old.
  2. Sneeking up on your wife never gets old... ever.
  3. When your wife says "it would be nice if..." she fully expects you to do it.
  4. Getting your socks into the hamper doesn't count as "cleaning up." Trust me.
  5. Everything you will ever need to know about relationships can be found in chick flicks.
  6. Always let your wife dress you... its just easier.
  7. Driving through Wendy's won't count as "going out" to her.
  8. Fixing what's broken is your job. Pointing out what's broken is hers.

Dave - you are a very wise man.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hogle Zoo with the Vassels & Grandma Tess

We had planned to go camping last weekend, but for various reasons we ended up just staying home. Well, sorta. We didn't camp, but we did have TONS of fun at Hogle Zoo last Friday. (Thanks, Mom for spoiling us rotten) The kids handled the heat really well, and we were able to see just about everything we wanted to. Alex loved the elephants while Adam favored the tigers and giraffes. Take a look!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Employment Change

I guess maybe life has been a little too easy for us lately, and it must be time for a challenge.

The internet really isn't the place for the details, so I'll make a pretty complicated story short. Last school year, my mom, my sister and I were all teaching for the same school, but I was at a different location. Through a crazy turn of events, my mom was unfairly fired, and in the aftermath, my sister quit. I decided that since I was at a different location and a little farther removed I could at least make it through the school year.

After the parents threw a fit, my mom was rehired, but it was too late for Lisa to do anything. She worked at various schools to make enough money to pay her rent, and she got through it.

At the end of the school year, I decided the best option for my family was for me to continue teaching there. I worked very few hours, and the pay was very good. I no longer felt any loyalty toward the company, but I felt I could go to work, do my job, and go on with life.

Over the weekend, however, I learned that one of the people directly responsible for everything that happened with my mom has been transferred to my location. I do not agree with the ethics this person has diplayed, and I cannot be in an environment where I would have to work with her. The school's administration has been showing an ever-increasing lack of morals and ethics, and though I've tried to turn a blind eye in order to make it through one more year, I know that I cannot do this anymore.

So, today I quit. Life could be a little interesting around here for awhile, but at least I know I will not have to face a stressful work environment every day. I can finally walk away and just be done with it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Home Again!

After a very long trip (or so it seemed), I've now been back home for a few days, gotten unpacked, and found a spare minute to blog. The boys and I spent last Sunday with Grandma & Grandpa Nelson up in Boise, ID. Adam loved to "fish" in Great Grandpa's pond, and Alex loved to paint with splenda.

Monday, we headed up to Garden Valley to see Skye & Michelle in their shows. We enjoyed all of them, but my favorite was Oklahoma. Jack and I also enjoyed rafting down the river, and I jumped off a bridge.

We visited Skye & Michelle at "the compound," which is where they and the other actors live. It has great access to the river with a nice sandy beach. We played down there for awhile, and we even caught a frog and a snake as well as some mussels, which we later ate.

After our Garden Valley stay, we drove to Tremonton, UT for the Nelson Norris Family Reunion. We had a birthday party for my Grandpa, who is turning 80 on 08-08-08, played in a bounce house, and had a flag retirement ceremony among other things. Adam was so worn out that he fell asleep within 3 minutes of getting into the car.



All in all, it was an amazing week, but I sure am glad to be home!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Public Service Employees Read On!

Kirk was recently informed of a program where it is possible that after 10 years of payments on student loans, the remainder of the principle and interest is simply forgiven. As a government employee, he currently qualifies for this plan. I just read the details, and I think that several of our friends may also qualify. Here's the official info from the site:

Public service jobs include, among other positions, government, military service, public safety and law enforcement (police and fire), public health, public education, public early childhood education, public child care, social work in a public child or family service agency, public services for individuals with disabilities or the elderly, public interest legal services (including prosecutors, public defenders and legal advocacy in low-income communities), public librarians, school librarians and other school-based services, and employees of tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Full-time faculty at tribal colleges and universities, as well as faculty teaching in high-need areas, also qualify.

If you are currently employed in a public service job and intend to be so employed for the next 10 years, check out this site: http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml. Be sure to read the section "caveats." I did find that interesting.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blog Review: Bishop Higgins 3rd Ward

I stumbled upon this blog via a link from a friends blog. The link was posted under the header, "read at your own risk." Of course, intrigued by the header, I clicked and read on.

My first visit to the site caused several initial reactions including:

1. This is hilarious!
2. Is this for real?

After a few visits to the site, I finally decided that this blog is the most elaborate joke ever. The details are so... detailed. Anyway, if you're a Robert Kirby reader, or even if your just open to poking fun at your own religion, check this out. http://bishophiggins.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 14, 2008

Amazing Jewelry

One of my very best friends has started a custom jewelry business, and I just checked out her stuff. WOW! Girls, give your husbands this blog address and tell them this is where they should shop for Christmas. http://drogedesigns.blogspot.com/ Check it out!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Brief Hiatus

The boys and I are off to Idaho for a week to visit Skye & Michelle. I told Kirk it's his job to keep our readers interested this week, so keep checking back for his posts.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

America's Got Talent

Okay, I meant to post this forever ago, and now it probably isn't even relevant. Oh well. I don't know if any of you watch America's Got Talent. We DVR it, but most of the time I sleep through it and don't really care, because this show generally annoys me more than entertains me.

I did catch this audition a while ago, though, and I wanted to post it. I always complain about little girls who have been taught to sing like they are 20. This little girl is not one of those. If you have a few minutes to watch something adorable, check out 4 year old, Kaitlyn Maher.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Only the Poppers and the Sticks


This year we extended the 4th of July by a day and did fireworks again with the Vassels on Saturday. Unfortunately, after attending the ReAL game on Thursday and being scared by the loud fireworks, Adam wanted nothing to do with the fireworks either day. He chose to stay inside instead. He did love the "poppers" and the "sticks" (sparklers), though. Hopefully he'll get over his fear soon.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Ramen Noodles Ad


My boys love ramen. Adam asks for noodles for lunch (and breakfast...and dinner) everyday. Yesterday, I told Adam if he wanted noodles, he'd have to go downstairs and get more. He invited Alex to come with him. 10 minutes later, Adam came up with 5 packages, then he went back down to get the 1 he'd given Alex to carry. Alex was apparently upset by this, so he crawled back into the grocery room, got a package of ramen, and carried it all the way upstairs. He was so proud of himself.

We made the noodles and fed the kids dinner. Adam got distracted and didn't quite finish his noodles. A half hour or so later, we heard a strange slurping sound. It was Alex, face down in Adam's bowl of noodles.

So if Maruchan Ramen is ever looking for poster children, we've got them right here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

...Unfortunately, this happened during Sacrament meeting, so I don't have one. Bear with me through the thousand words.

Picture Alex sitting on the pew during the closing song. Adam is standing directly in front of him, and the boys are face to face. Alex has a storybook open on his lap, pretending it is a hymn book. If you've ever heard Alex "sing," go ahead and think of that, too. Now pan over to Adam, who is waving his arms about in something that resembles a seminary-style 2/4 pattern (for those of you who may not have gotten that... he was leading the music).

I really don't know if that made any sense, but if you ever meet the people from the pew behind us, they'll tell you it was hilarious.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wipeout!

If you have not had an opportunity to watch Wipeout then I highly recommend it. Wipeout is a new "game show" where people compete in a serious of event to win $50,000. The events are made so that someone cannot possibly do without falling, and it usually is not a pleasant ride when they fall. As we all know it is funny to watch someone fall especially when it looks like it hurts, unless of course that someone is you. The best part of the show though if you ask me is the commentators. Andrea and I laugh so hard at the things they say. The show is on Tuesday nights at 7 on ABC (channel 4). If you get a chance watch an episode, you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cheesy Balls of Goodness


Leave it up to my adorable husband to take something as innocent as cheese balls and turn it into a running gag. While we were camping, Kirk taught Adam to call these "Cheesy Balls of Goodness," and he does. The other night after Kirk's graduation party, Adam came in and asked me for some cheesy balls of goodness, then took them out to the backyard and offered to share with everyone out there. "Does anybody want any cheesy balls of goodness?" Yes, there were laughs all around.
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Friday, July 4, 2008

Don't Ever Let a 3 Year Old Pick Out Your Outfit



The other day, I was getting Alex dressed when Adam noticed I was still in my PJ's. He decided I needed to get dressed and announced that he would go get me some clothes. I said, "OK. Just make sure you get mommy pants and a shirt." I guess this was his interpretation of high fashion. I particularly like the Granger High cheerleading skirt (borrowed from my sister in law for a Halloween costume a few years ago) mixed with the Jordan High sweatshirt that I stole from my sister's closet. I myself am an Alta grad.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A New Venture

A year or so ago, I dove into the world of digital scrapbooking, and it has pretty much consumed me since then. Besides making my own personal scrapbooks, I've had the opportunity to make a couple of custom guest books, my sister's wedding album, Kirk's mission memory book, and soon I get to work on a really special project for my Grandpa Nelson. My mom's mother, Kirma Nelson, passed away when my mom was 16. Grandpa has asked me to make a memory book of her, and I am really excited to get to work on that project.

Anyhow, I have digressed. The actual point of this blog is that after making these books, I've had quite a few people tell me that I ought to be doing this professionally. I argued with them for awhile about how I really wasn't sure I could make any money at it, and blah, blah, blah. But after talking through some marketing strategies with me, they won. I have agreed to at least try it out and see what kind of business is out there. If it goes well, then maybe in a year or so I can convert to just doing that. We'll see.

In order to keep my prices low, my marketing is pretty much going to have to be word-of-mouth. I'm going to take business cards and sample books to some bridal shops, photographers, cake decorators, etc. to try to get my name where the brides are, and hopefully that will be a start. But these books are really awesome for all sorts of things besides weddings. I can do vacation memory books, family reunion books, missionary memory books, 'in memory of' books, custom baby books, personal history books, etc.

I realize that those of you who read my blog are probably not in the financial stage of life to be wanting one of these books, but if your grandparents have been on a mission or a really great vacation or something they'd like memorialized, please pass my name along. Or if you have a sister/friend/whatever getting married, the custom guest books really are cool.

Anyway, check out my new "website" -- okay, it's really just a blog, and keep me in mind for those really special projects.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

An Exciting Weekend

Like I said in an earlier post, we went camping last weekend with Jay & Raini. I wish I had pictures to post, but I forgot my camera! Arg. Raini took some good pics of the kids, though, so when I get them I'll post them.

Our trip was a little short -- just Friday night to Sunday, but it was a lot of fun. We kind of crashed the Holbrook (Raini's family) party, but the Holbrooks are awesome, so it was great.

Friday night we set up camp then hurried off to the hot pools at Lava Hot Springs. Adam loved it there and just kind of hung out in the pools. Alex, however, hates to hold still for any reason so I spent most of my time chasing him around. He finally found a ramp down into one of the pools and decided to play on that. I just sat at the bottom and watched him.

Saturday, we headed into "town" to a park right on the river. The plan was to float the river and eat junk food all day. We put life jackets on the kids and inflated our newly-purchased river rafts and headed out into the river. Adam was with me, and Kirk took Alex. Alex hated the cold water and cried the whole time. Adam actually liked it for a while, until we capsized. The funny part was that he was far more concerned about the fact that his shoes had fallen off than anything. Amazingly, I managed to catch the 3 year old, both shoes, and the raft, and get everything to a nice calm spot in the river. Unfortunately, Adam had changed his mind about enjoying the river and simply wanted, as he said repeatedly, "to go home." I explained that the only way to get "home" was to get back in the raft and continue down the river. Finally after a quick prayer, I was able to convince him to get back in. He cried the rest of the way, but we were able to safely get ashore. Although the experience was a little scary for him, I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss the power of prayer with him as we talked about how Heavenly Father helped us get back safely.

Next, we pawned the kids off on the people not yet ready to go down the river, and we headed up a little higher to try out a couple of the water falls. Raini, Kirk, Raini's sister Jacy and I all headed up together. Raini and Jacy have done the falls before, so they explained to us that you're supposed to stay to the right on the first one, and to the left on the second. We all made it down the first with no problems. Jacy was first down the 2nd falls. I followed after her, flipped out of my tube, and lost my sunglasses. As I recovered, Raini came down the falls. Although she had been lined up to come down the left side, someone had kicked her tube, sending her the wrong direction. Instead of just flipping out of her tube, she managed to catch a rock with her foot.

She swam over to the bank of the river and announced that she thought she'd broken her ankle, but she sounded so calm that Jacy and I didn't take her very seriously. We watched Kirk come down (also on the wrong side of the falls, but he was fine), and then started to realize that perhaps Raini was serious. The three of us reached her at about the same time, and Kirk asked her what was wrong. She showed him her ankle, and it was pretty obviously broken. For a detailed account of the rest of that story, check out Jay's blog about the ordeal http://xd45acp.blogspot.com/2008/06/heck-of-weekend.html. I'll just give a quick outline:

Kirk, Jacy, Danny (Jacy's hubby), and I took Raini a little farther down the river to a bank with less of an incline. The guys carried Raini up the bank and back to the park while I supported her ankle. We loaded her into the back of our Jeep, and Jay, Danny, Raini and I headed to the emergency room in Pocatello. Raini's parents and Grandma followed. Raini toughed it out through the x-rays with no pain medication and was finally informed that she'd broken her ankle in 3 places and done quite a bit of damage to her tendons. They put her under, set the ankle, and braced it, but she'll have to see an orthopedic doctor this week.

Sadly, that was the end of Jay & Raini's weekend. Once we finally got back to camp, they packed up and left. Fortunately, the Holbrook clan made us feel very welcome, and we were still able to very much enjoy the rest of the trip, even though our friends had gone home. We stayed up WAY too late playing Bang! and discussing Family Guy episodes around the fire.

WOW this post is getting long! Sunday morning, we had breakfast at a Soda Springs restaraunt, and after breaking up camp, we decided to try the river again since some people never even got a chance to go down it on Saturday. Kirk and I had one successful run, then headed up with a slew of Holbrooks for another run. This time, Raini's brother Riley went under and hit his head on a rock. He is just fine, but the experience was a little much for an 11 year old. At that point everyone decided they'd had enough, and we headed home.

We cleaned up our filthy kids and got them in bed. I guess they were worn out because Adam slept until 9:30 and Alex until 10:45 the next day. This post kinda makes it sound like a bad trip, but we actually had a blast. Hopefully the other trips we have planned this summer will but just as fun but a little more safe.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Just Sittin' Around

So Andrea is out with her mom looking at stuff and the kids are both in bed. Normally I would take this opportunity to do some homework. The only problem, yeah right problem, is that I am done with school. I can honestly say I don't know what to do with myself. It always seem like there was homework to do. Now that I don't have class I don't have to try to find stuff to keep me from doing homework. That said Andrea and I had a little get together yesterday to celebrate my graduation. It was really great. My family and Andrea's family where there of course. There were also some friends from the neighborhood. It was really nice to see everyone and to feel their support for a job well done, or at least a job done I don't know about well. I really do not have much more to say so I will stop rambling.

Blogging is Great...

...especially for those of us who suck at maintaining personal relationships. Some would say that technology (email, text messaging, blogging) is responsible for the demise of interpersonal communication. For those who have replaced a face-to-face conversation, or even a phone call, with an email or blog post, I guess maybe that's true. But since I was never any good at the face-to-face conversations or phone calls in the first place, blogging fills a huge social void and allows me to actually be somewhat proactive in maintaining friendships. For example:

We adore our friends Jay & Raini, but ever since they moved to Layton, we only see them once or twice a year. This last weekend was our annual camping trip, and we had TONS to talk about, because we all read each other's blogs and still feel connected to each other's daily lives.

My sister and her husband Skye recently moved to Idaho. While he was living with us, Skye and I became very good friends, often boring Kirk to death with our conversations that would frequently last past midnight. When Skye left, he said, "Make sure you call me all the time and let me know what's going on with the kids." I let him in on our little secret, which is that no matter how much Kirk and I like someone, we're probably not going to call. I've talked to Skye once in the 2 months since he's been gone. But if he REALLY wants to know what's going on with the kids, all he has to do is check the family blog.

I recently got a comment on my blog from a friend from elementary -- someone I haven't seen since like 1992. She's married and has two little boys. (Sound familiar?) Blogging now provides me with an easy opportunity to get to know someone who otherwise would have been completely lost to me.

Okay, having written three paragraphs to support the topic outlined in the introduction, I feel like I need some sort of a conclusion here. (I thank Challenger and the University of Phoenix for that.) But I'm pretty sure I lost all my readers by about the 3rd paragraph anyway.