Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Sydney!

I like to think that when we celebrate our childrens' birthdays, we are also celebrating ME! I put the birth in this birthday, and don't you forget it!

So here's my part of Sydney's birth story: (warning graphic content ahead)

Hannah was getting ready to turn 3, and we were starting to wonder if there was something wrong with me. 3 years without a period is a loooong time. So I went to the OBGyn and he said that is a common side effect of Depo Provera. I had the Depo shot twice; once when Hannah was 6 weeks old, and again 3 months later. Then I started to feel wierd so I decided not to get the shot again. It took 3 years for that drug to work it's way out of my system. Bad.

A month or two after I went to the doctor, my cycles started again, and I got pregnant right away. I was sick, sick, sick. So sick I didn't leave the house except for church for over a month. So sick that on Nathan's birthday I dragged myself to Raley's and bought him mechanical pencils and a pack of hostess cupcakes. So sick that the first time I went to Target after being sick for months I was sore the next day. But, a couple months later in the pregnancy I felt great!

I was due Feb. 26th. When that day rolled around and I didn't have a baby I was mad! But the next day, Friday, I started to feel some contractions. We went to the hospital early Saturday morning (Feb.28th - it was not a leap year if you were wondering, no chance of a 29th birthday) when my contactions were 5 min. apart, but we were sent home, and the nurse mentioned that this kind of thing could go on for days... Not encouraging.

Nathan worked at that hospital - 3 days a week while going to college the other 4 days a week. He didn't really get vacation, so when I went home he went in to work. Another interesting fact is that was the same hospital where I was born!

My dad was visiting on buisness, and he and Hannah went to go pick up my mom at the Oakland airport. I was home alone without a car. In labor. I don't remember being worried about that. I took a bath. I did some laundry. I took a nap.

All day my contractions were coming and going. Nothing regular. Not at all like my labor with Hannah, which was very steady and regular.

Then, I remember laying on our hand-me-down couch and breathing through 2 really strong contractions and thinking, I NEED to go to the hospital. NOW!

So I called my neighbor and good friend, Mo. Short for Maureen. But her phone was busy. So I tried again, and it was busy again. I REALLY needed to go to the hospital. So I got up, and walked across the street, and down three houses to Mo's. Luckily she was home.

She let me get in her car, though she told me if I had the baby in her car she would kill me. And we zoomed across town to the hospital.

We walked in to register, and the check-in lady stood up, got we a wheelchair and pushed me to Labor and Delivery. She told me I had the "look" and I could finish the paperwork later. She also called Nathan and told him to get down there, quick!

When the nurse came in to check me, she said I was already dialated to a 10. And all the sudden the labor/delivery room got very exciting. Vitals checked. Equipment moved. Baby stuff set up. People running around. 3 people tried starting my IV, but they couldn't and my hand swelled up and turned purple and they decided to forget it.

My Midwife was on her way across town, and she got there about 15 minutes after I did. She didn't take the time to change clothes. As she came in the room, a nurse helped her into the front cloak thing, and Sydney was born about a second later - maybe one or two pushes.

No IV. No epidural. No stitches.

And Sydney was perfect. Beautiful and sweet.

Just after she was weighted (7 pounds 8 oz.) and measured and handed to me, my parents walked in with Hannah. They had gotten back to our house as Mo arrived home from taking me to the hospital. She told them where we were, so they decided to come check on us, thinking it would be a few hours before the baby was born. They were suprised to find that Sydney had already arrived.

Nathan's parents arrived soon after and it was like a party! What an exciting day!

Sydney is still suprising us. She is lively and beautiful. She has a sensitive heart and a big smile. She is curious and timid and brave and agile and strong and fast and fun!

Happy Birthday Sydney Rae!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Sarah!

My sister Sarah is the big Two Seven today! Anna wrote up some cute things about Sarah over at her place, and I thought I would share some of my Sarah memories, too!

Sarah is two sisters down from me - #5 of 7 girls. She's my little sister, but she is a bit taller than me. Darn!

Sarah's hair was always darker than the rest of ours, though the rest of us have darkened up over the years. And her hair is nice and smooth - no frizzies. I was always jealous of her beautiful hair. She has worn it super short and long, and in between and it is always perfect. Not long ago she wore it short with the spiky bits at the neck, and now her hair is down almost to her waist!

Do you remember that show, Who's the Boss? When they would go to commercials, the TV would say "Who's the Boss" and Sarah would yell in answer: "I am!"

Sarah loved to sing when she was little. I remember her belting out Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I Love You, Tomorrow! while jumping on the mini trampoline. Her little Iris sings, too. I don't know, but I imagine Sarah singing to Iris as they play.

Sarah is good at making friends. She has held on to many of her High School friends - not just Christmas card friends, but real friends who still get together. And at her wedding this summer I was in awe of how many people love her in her home in Washington! (I may need to call her for some friend making tips)

Once, Sarah almost cut off her toes with the lawn mower.

Sarah lived with us for the summer after she graduated from high school. It was so fun to have here around. She was so brave and went out and got a couple of little jobs, quick. I wish I had shown her a better time. I think I had a bit of post pardum depression going on when she was there. Sorry!

Sarah loves shoes. She has more shoes than anyone I know. I even have a pair of Sarah's shoes - some really cute black boots (I probably won't wear them very often here, want me to send 'em back?.)

Last Spring I got to hang out with Sarah and Charlie and Iris for a week at Mom and Dad's house. We left Charlie with all the kids so we could go shopping! It was sooooo fun! Sorry Charlie! It was fun to spend time with her as moms. She is so cute with her daughter!

Sarah has spent a lot of time down in Baja California and I think she knows how to surf. Sarah, we have 2 boards now - you should come teach me how!

Sarah's dream car is a VW van.

Once when I was babysitting, Sarah wanted a little snack, so she started prowling around the kitchen cupboards and found Mom's cinnamon oils for flavoring suckers. Mom made cool heart shaped suckers made from molten hot candy at valentine's day for our friends - what a cool mom! Anyway, the little bottle of oil smelled really good, so Sarah decided to have a taste. Blehch! puwah! spletch! It burned her mouth and she tried all kinds of crazy things to make her tongue feel better, like licking milk up off the counter and sucking on bread. I was a GREAT babysitter! I can so imagine my kids doing something like that now. (Don't get any ideas, girlies! - I know you read this Hannah!)

Sarah has a fun energy about her. She loves adventure and excitement! I want to be just like her!

I love you Sarah!

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wendy Settles In

Wendy noticed that the Tiki Hut was feeling more and more like home. Her pantry was full of familiar foods, her laundry room had a pile of lone socks, and there was chocolate ice cream smudged on the freezer handle.

++++ I was talking to my friend Heidi, and she mentioned that as a child she narrated her life to herself. Wouldn't that be a fun angle for an entire blog. 3rd Person Omniscient.... I'm in 3rd.... Anywho, just an idea for you.

But back to settling in. My sister, Anna, asked how things are going for the kids at school and with friends, and it made me think about how well everything is going here. So here's the run down:

The girls have been in school for about 6 weeks and they seem to be doing fine. Sydney's teacher is still a grouch, and she assigns WAY too much homework, but I guess that's okay. There are two girls from her class who live right on our street, so that makes it fun for playing after school. Sydney stayed home sick all last week, but it wasn't strep, and she seems to be feeling mostly better.

Emily still Loooooooooves her teacher. She draws her little pictures every day, and on the weekend she says things like "Ms. Y won't believe all those fish I saw" and "I'm going to show Ms. Y this sea glass on Monday!" Emily plays with a couple of younger kids who live next door, but I have to say they just aren't the Sheffields (our good neighbors in SD who had kids Sydney, Emily and John's ages. We miss you guys!) Emily loves the beach and says that every day off and every Saturday is Beach Day.

Hannah is making friends at the middle school and doing well in her classes, and is starting Track this week. She hasn't made a best friend yet, but she spends plenty of time on the phone with her buddies back in Rapid. It has been nice to have her around the house more. She is so fun! There are lots more Young Women in our ward here than in our last ward, and she is having fun with them. They did a scarf dance for Chinese New Year that was pretty cute. She is also starting to get some babysitting jobs, which she is very excited about $!$!

John is enjoying Joy School, I think. He always says he doesn't want to go, but when I go to pick him up, he always wants to stay longer. Last week I was the Teacher and we had fun! He is doing okay in the Sunbeam Class, too. He doesn't want to sit with them during Sharing Time, and for now I'm just letting him sit on my lap (since I'm in there with my class.) I think that's okay. He does go to class time just fine.

I'm feeling a lot more confident driving around the island. I am able to tell the names of the towns and streets apart (Waianae, Waikele, Waipahu they all look the same...) and if I get turned around I know the major roads.

We are having fun in our ward and feeling more at home there, too. I am really enjoying my calling teaching in Primary, and since it doesn't take much of my time during the week, I am also able to do some other volunteering. I help at the Elementary School on Tuesdays, and with the PTSO (I'm sure that is similar to PTA) at the middle school. I am also volunteering as a RAV (Readiness Assitance Volunteer) with Nathan's squadron. I have just a few ladies whose husbands are deployed that I check on now and then. Kind of like Visiting Teaching.

The best thing is that my friend Heidi has invited me to join a North Shore mom's surfing group that meets every Tuesday and Thursday on the at 3:30pm to surf! Bring your kids and take turns out on the water. We couldn't go last week because Sydney was sick, but starting on Tuesday we are so There!

Moving is HARD. There are still several boxes in the garage that haven't been opened, I haven't put up any pictures or curtains, and I still need to buy some rugs, and a desk, and... but we are getting there.

We are also making sure to have fun in Hawaii. Isn't it funny how when you live somewhere you just don't take advantage of all the cool stuff around? We are making plans and having all kinds of fun here in Paradise. This weekend: scuba, snorkle, and Thai for dinner (mmm! sticky rice.) Next weekend bowling and a trip to the temple, with some surfing mixed it.

So, I am still a little unorganized, and I still have a lot of work to do, but this Tiki Hut is looking more and more like home!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Taxes and Friday Feast

Where on your body do you have a scar, and what caused it?

I have a pea sized scar on my chest, just left of center, above my garment line - visible if I wear a v-neck shirt. It was a mole, just after Emily was born it grew and grew and grew. My favorite doctor in Pensacola removed it. He was a really young guy, and missed Emily's birth because he was getting married! I asked him for weightloss tips after Emily was born, and he said he had been trying to lose a little weight before his wedding, but wasn't able to (that made me feel better, even doctors have trouble with weight.) And he said this is the real secret to weightloss: "eat less, move more." There you have it!

What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?

Being a teen parents and still having a lasting marriage.

Name a television personality who really gets on your nerves.

Tom Cruise. Ew.(not an actual TV guy, but I hated that Oprah jump over the couch moment)

Main Course
What was a funny word you said as a child (such as "pasketti" for "spaghetti")?

I called myself Wendy Dan. My middle name is Ann.

Fill in the blank: I have always thought ______ was ______.

I have always thought shaving was over-rated.
I remember my mom saying "I shave once a week whether I need it or not." Once a week works when you wear pants all the time, but I have to be ready to go to the beach on a moment's notice. So I shave atleast every-other day, and I am getting a little sick of it.

Thanks, Donna, for the Friday Feast!


Here are my tips for easy tax preparation:

Don't get divorced

Don't have a job. That makes it so much easier.

Don't own a home or investment property.

Don't have a lot of investment income, period.

Don't have a farm.

or income from overseas or gambling winnings.

Don't put it off. The sooner you do it, the easier it seems.

Use Turbo Tax, e-filing, and direct deposit.

The End.


Do you prepare your own taxes? Does your husband do it? Do you take in your stuff to your accountant? Or are you more of a tax evasionist? Did you already file? or Do you wait until April 15th (you have until the 17th this year)?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Heather tagged me for this.

The Rules of the game:
1. Find the nearest book to you.
2. Name the book and author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page.
5. Copy out the next 3 sentences and post to your blog.
6. Tag three other people.

The nearest book was Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals, but page 123 is blank, and the next page is a list of recipes. The next closest book was Alice Munro's The View From Castle Rock. It a collection of short stories that I picked up from the newest arrivals section at the library yesterday, thinking that it might be about Castle Rock in Wyoming. I was wrong-o, it looks like it is about an actual castle in Scotland. I have not read this book, so I don't know if I can recommend it, yet, but here goes:

This meant ironing and mending and darning socks, and knitting scarves and vests and making new shirts as might be needed. Lizzie was not supposed to continue looking after Forrest - or to have anything at all to do with him - after he moved out. But a time came - five or six years after his house had been finished - when she took it upon herself to see how he was getting on.

I am not going to tag anyone, but if you decide to play, let me know!


My Sydney is still sick. This is day 3 of fever. I never know when it is time to take 'em in to see the doctor. I put it off and put it off, and when I finally go it, they are better and I feel silly. But the fact that she has worked her way through almost the entire bottle of Children's Chewable Motrin tells me that it may very well be time to go in.


In other news, my calves are on fire from yesterday's jump rope workout. Eeyouch. I keep stretching them and they keep hurting.


Also, I think I might have made an actual friend. This friend stuff is hard work.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Conversation With Emily

Last Night:

Me: I put a dollar in your backpack for tomorrow's jump rope for heart thing.

Emily: Why do I need a dollar? To buy a jump rope?

Me: No, I put your jump rope in your backpack, too. The dollar is to help kids who can't jump rope.

This Morning:

Me: Don't forget to give Ms. Y your dollar.

Emily: Oh, I see, Ms Y's arms don't work.

Me: What?

Emily: That's why she gets the dollar, her arms don't work for jumproping.

Me: No, her arms work, she is just collecting the money.

Emily: Oooooh, Ms. Y wants to get rich!

Me: What?

Emily: That's why she wants all the dollars!

Me: No, she is just getting the money, then she will give it to your PE teacher.

Emily: But his arms work....


Jump Rope for Heart helps support the American Heart Association. They list some reasons for encouraging jumproping:

because more than 9 million children are overweight and 36 percent get no exercise

because for the first time in history, children’s life spans are predicted to be less than their parents because of inactivity and obesity-related illnesses.

because obesity is the fastest growing cause of illness and death in the U.S.

They also list some ways to help children develop healthy habits Here are a few that I need to work on:

Be a positive role model. If you’re practicing healthy habits, it’s a lot easier to convince children to do the same.

Limit TV, video game and computer time.

Don’t reward children with food. Candy and snacks as a reward encourage bad habits. Find other ways to celebrate good behavior.


Food is my favorite reward: ice cream after a big job, a treat at the check out for surviving the grocery store, cookies after dinner chores... What do you use as a reward?


I wasn't really planning on it, but I think I will jump rope today. Sydney is home sick (fever, cough), and it is raining, so I'm not going to make it on my morning run. I was thinking that I wished I had an exercise video for these kind of days, but maybe I'll go find my jumprope, and one for John, and put on some music.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

At the Beach

On the North Shore

It was a little bit cold, so Emily and Sydney warmed up in the sand.

Emily, Where are your legs?

There they are, all sandy!

I'm hate to admit it, but my surfing skills have not improved.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

blog book?

Love your blog? Want to have your blog to hold for your very own? Forever? In hard copy?

Consider slurping your blog and making a book of your blog entries to pass down to posterity.

Blog Slurper converts your blog into a book ... automatically.
Slurp your blog into Blurb’s BookSmart™ software to create a bookstore-quality book, and end up with a permanent and portable archive to share with others.

Sounds interesting. The Blog book, with up to 40 pages is just under $20. I wonder how many pages 370 entries makes. I imagine I could edit my blog down to just my favorite entries - I could condense out the repeats of 3 primary programs and a dozen or so to-do lists a few first snows and an embarrassing whine or two.

But looking back through my blog tonight reminded me of The Tattooed Lady, the sweater I knit, the year we won it big at the county fair, our surprise trip to see The Lord of the Dance, Nathan's mustache, my double chin, the time I got drunk at a wives meeting, and my name that blog contest*, and it would be so hard to narrow it down to just a few favorites.

How fun to have 2 and a half years worth of memories and photos of our family. I recently heard that because of the ease of email, letters are not being printed and that little bit of history is lost. My mom prints her family emails as part of her journal. Do you print out your blog entries? I haven't, but I might.

* I am the worst game show host ever. I totally forgot about my prizes. I am so sorry to my big winners. Really. I still have your address Ms. Payne. Never fear, your lei is in the mail....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Last year I posted my favorite kissing pictures for Valentine's Day. I still love that post. Nathan was away on a military deployment and had been gone for a month and a half, and he wouldn't be home for a couple more months. I missed him. I am so glad he is home this year. He makes Valentine's Day way more fun! Kiss your honey today!

Remind me not to be like that mom -

I'm sure glad I had my little No Valentine's Pitty Party last week. Today one of the mom's at school (to ensure full discloser I have to mention that I do not like this mom. There is something about here that grates on my last nerve. Actually a few somethings, one of which is her voice. It is loud and also rude.) Back to that mom, today she asked her friend if the kids were supposed to decorate shoes boxes for the valentines. Her friend said, I don't know.

Thinking I would be helpful, I said (with a kind smile,) "They are not having a Valentine Party."

The mom said "What? I have NEVER heard that!" So I said, "Yes, that is what Ms. Y said, they won't be having a Valentine party, but my daughter is going to bring a little valentine that she made for her teacher."

The mom said a few more times in her nails-on-the-chalkboard-voice "I have NEVER heard a teacher say that. I can't believe it." etc.

It was so tacky. And embarrassing.

Good thing I would never do anything like that.

I'm glad I had a week to get over my own shock, because now I agree with Ms. Y and think a big fat messy Valentine's Party would be over doing it. Instead they will be cutting out hearts and using them to add with for math. And they will be writing on heart shaped paper. And they will have a full day of learning and no extra sugar, then they can go home and be loved all over by the people who love them the most!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Carrot Jello over at Oinkle Doinkle dedicated a song to Heather, Mary and I for our quick response to her call for help. I've never had a song dedicated to me (on a blog or at a church dance or on the radio) before. It really is a dream come true. Head over for a listen!

CJ has 15 days to collect comments from all 50 states. Looks like she's about half way there. Ya'll should mosey on over to check her list to see if your state has been accounted for. Don't forget to say Howdy while you're there.


\\ (a little hello from John)

How does your morning look?

Here's mine:
4:30am- Emily runs into our bed "I don't like my dreams"

6:00 - Hup two three four - Army guys working out in the field behind our house

6:15 - Beep Beep Beep - Hannah's alarm, followed by a SLAM

6:30 - Beep Beep Beep - Hannah's alarm again, followed by the longest-hottest-shower ever

6:45 - "Hey Nathan, what time is it? (I can't see the clock) Dang." Followed by me stumbling
into the bathroom where I wash my face, put on my contacts, pull my hair in a pony tail, and go back to my room to get dressed in running shorts and a t-shirt.

7am - Hannah's eating cereal and I'm fixing 4 lunches: whole turkey sandwich with cheese and mustard for Hannah, half-sies, plain, for everyone else. Apple. Pretzles. Chocolate chip cookies (2), and a juice box.

7:05 "Emily, John, Sydney - time to get going!"

7:10 "Come have some breakfast guys"
Nathan takes Hannah to school on his way to PT

7:15 "Hey, get down here or you are going to be late for school, and I mean it"
Emily, John and Sydney finish up breakfast and go do their morning jobs: Make beds, get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair; while I empty the dishwasher, put lunch boxes into backpacks, and have a big drink of water.

7:30 "Time to go!"

7:35 "Yikes, go get on your bikes right now!" and "don't forget to close the garage."
John gets in the jogging stroller, Emily and Sydney put on their helmets and hop on their bikes. Hopefully we haven't forgotten any lunches or backpacks. The girls walk their bikes across the streets with the assistance of our military crossing guards. We dodge the slower walkers by riding up on the grass. "Bumpy ride. aaAaaAaaAaa," says John. "Good Morning, Emily" yells Katherine. She can't hear Emily answer so she says it again, louder, "GOOD MORNING EMILY." and Emily waves as she passes her on the grass. Today Emily has trouble with her helmet and has to stop and adjust it - it just doesn't work as well when your hair is up in two piggy-tails.

7:43 We park the bikes in the bike rack, and John hops out of the stroller. As we walk to Emily's class room, John stops to hop at all the hopscotch squares.

7:45 first bell rings, Sydney gives me a kiss on the cheek, then she scoots off to her class. Emily hangs up her backpack, pulls out her lunchbox and homework folder and says good morning to Ms. Y.

7:50 John and I hop our way back to the bike rack, and John climbs back into the stroller.

8am I jog with John in the stroller over to the 1/2 mile track. It is about a mile and a half from home, so today I run a mile on the track, then run back home for a total of about 4 miles. John looks at a book about dolphins, and makes me jump up to catch a leaf for him to hold while he rides. He is also on the lookout for STOP signs on the road home.

9am We walk a little to cool down, then park the stroller on the lanai (patio). Nathan is home from his workout, too.

9:15 John and Nathan eat egg sandwiches and I ask Nathan if he wants leftover ribs or sandwiches for lunch. He takes 2 turkey sandwiches (with mustard, mayo, cheese, and pickles) chocolate chip cookies, chips, an apple, and Gatorade.

9:30 The question of the day is: Any hot water left for my shower?

10 am I make my bed, throw in a load of laundry, fold a batch of clothes. Then I head upstairs to look for laundry and gather garbages. I also like to quick wipe down the bathrooms with windex wipes. John has his turn on the computer, or opens his lunchbox and has a snack. Did I have breakfast? Whoops. I fix an eggbeater omlet with mushrooms and slice an orange. Yum. 2 points.

10:30 My turn on the computer! Blog. Read blogs. Check the news.

11am - Still online - slacker

11:30 head to the commisary for some bread and milk and juice boxes.....

Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday = Fun

What would I write about if I didn't have Donna's Friday Feast?

Appetizer (Pupu platter)- Have you been sick yet this winter? If so, what did you come down with?
Winter? Is it winter where you are? This tropical climate agrees with me, and I have not been sick. Maybe just a little homesick.

Soup - What colors dominate your closet?
Nathan's side is all greens and browns, My side is white and pink and black.

Salad - How would you describe your personal "comfort zone"?
I am uncomfortable with people talking too close to me. I am also NOT a hugger. Once, I thought I was being a bad Primary President, so for Mother's Day I made myself hug all the girl teachers in our ward when I gave them a little gift. It felt a little weird and I didn't do it the next year. Is that sad? Are you a hugger? People hug and even cheek-kiss a little more here and I think it's kind of sweet. I had a bit of a hug breakthrough last weekend when we picked up Nathan's friend at the airport. I gave him a hug after I put a lei around his neck. I was considering kissing his cheek but I chickened out - he was a stranger after all.

Main Course - On which reality show would you really like to be a contestant?
I love those PBS Colonial House shows - does that count as reality TV? Actually, I like the idea of those shows, but I don't usually like how they are editied to show all the drama. I want to see more of the little daily tasks - making butter, curing meat, lacing shoes, etc. Maybe they will have a Tiki Hut show here!

Dessert - Do you take vitamins?
I have a nice bottle of Women's One a Day with Calcium. I keep moving it around the kitchen to inspire me to take it. And I did take one on Tuesday. Or was it Monday.....

All this food makes me wonder what you are planning to eat this weekend.

Tonight is a Girls-Night-Out potluck with our ward. I am planning to take cinnamon rolls. I will fix tacos for Nathan and the kids and leave them a pan of cinnamon rolls, too.

Saturday is Soup Day, and I think I am going to fix a pot of Mom's bean soup. But I may change my mind and fix chicken noodle soup. Hard to decide. I like soup on Saturday because we get home from the beach all tired and hungry and soup is easy to pull out of the crockpot and serve with some good bread from the store. Since I am making bread this afternoon, I may double the recipe and put some of the dough in the refridgerator to save for Saturday to go with the soup.

On Sunday I am planning to make ribs in the crockpot and twice baked potatoes. And maybe some jello and devilled eggs and a salad. Mmm.

What's on your menu?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

No Love

I thought it was odd that the storytime schedule at the library lists February 14th as a Chinese New Year celebration. Hmmm.

Then I realized I hadn't recieved a class list with the "everyone gives a valentine to everyone" note. Strange. Maybe I missed it in the Wednesday folder.

I asked one mom, who didn't know.

So I asked Ms. Y, and there are no Valentine parties at our school. Yes for Chinese New Year. Yes for the 100th Day of School. But no Love.

What? Is this legal? Is this even American, I ask you?

I was hoping to make this project with Emily for her class. Bummer.


Now that I threw my tantrum I am feeling a little better about this idea. A small day focused on loving the people closest to you - not just a day of Sponge Bob cards from someone named Eli. I am going to have to re-think our day and come up with a Lovely plan.

Maybe heart shaped pancakes. Maybe a silly lolipop mustache made by me as a suprise. Maybe fondue. And sparkling cider in tall fancy glasses. And maybe even mom's fancy heart shaped German Chocolate Cake.

How do you celebrate Valentimes* Day at your house?

*Emily thinks it's valen-times, not valentines'.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lost on Oahu

Lost. 16 weeks in a row. Tonight!

In celebration that Jack is back, I thought I would suprise you with my brush with a star from Lost:

We went to the temple a couple weeks ago with our ward. And later that night we stopped at McDonalds for a snack with the Elder's Quorum President. He is a really nice Army guy with a great Southern accent. And it turns out that he is a big star! Here he is on Lost:

He's the guy in the back holding the big gun. He appeared in the "Cost of Living" episode - the one where Eko died - it was broadcast in the fall. You can watch it and any other Lost episode here.

Brother M. said that he was out in town, filling up his car with gas one day, and a woman walked over and told him that he had "the look" they needed. He thought maybe she just trying to pick up on him! And now he is a big star. Practically.

So if I shake his had, and he shook Kate's hand, and Kate kissed Jack, then....

* Just as a reminder, Lost comes on later here than where you are, so Thank You for not spoiling it for me.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

Nathan gave me scuba lessons as my Christmas present this year. He was already scuba certified, and he wanted me as a dive buddy. It was a week long class involving book work, swimming in a pool, and diving in the ocean. I think that class was the first bit of adult education I have ever done. (Kind of sad if you think about it.) And I had a great time.

Fish are friends, not food!

I was really nervous before our first dive - would I be able to breathe, would I get lost, would I have a panic attack under water? I was especially scared that I would get water in my mask, then lose a contact and not be able to see. That is something that still worries me, but so far I have had no problems with my contacts, but lots of problems with my mask fogging up.

One thing we learned in our class is that objects in water appear closer and bigger than they really are. Does that wet suit make my butt look big?

These are more pictures from our dive this weekend. I really like that underwater camera. There are all kinds of cool fishies, just waiting to get their pictures taken.
We have been lucky enough to see turtles on each of our dives so far. "Dude? Dude? Focus dude... Dude?"

Later dudes!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Diving in Hawaii

At Hunauma Bay

Mr. Fed and Me

Nathan and a Green Sea Turtle

Nathan made me take out my breathing thing to smile for the picture, but look, he didn't take out his!

We had a great visit. We were able to take him diving and out to dinner, but the temple closes at 1pm on Saturday so we didn't get to go there. Next time!

I was glad that he didn't make me delete my blog. He did say I shouldn't write about troop strength and stuff like that. (Sorry North Korea) I don't think the kids scared him too bad, because he said he hopes to stop by next time he heads to the mainland.

There's no hiding your secrets from this guy. We pretended we were all good Mormon's, but he knows the truth now. We got up this morning and fixed a big pancake breakfast and cinnamon rolls and "forgot" all about Fast Sunday. Whoops!

Friday, February 02, 2007


This time last year I was shivering in South Dakota while Nathan was learning how to scuba dive in Guam. Nathan was "deployed" to Guam for 4 months with the Air Force. I have a feeling my Army neighbors whose husbands deploy to Iraq for at least a year would not be impressed. But it was still 4 long months solo.

While Nathan was there he made some good friends in the Mormon Branch (small congregation.) There were a couple families in particular who took good care of Nathan - feeding him, inviting him over for Family Night, and going diving with him, etc.

One of those good friends is coming to visit us tomorrow! We have a scuba dive planned, a nice place in mind for dinner, and we also hope to fit in a trip to the Temple. We are really excited to have him come, but it's also making me a little bit nervous. This guy is an FBI agent. (I wonder if posting this on my blog is a security threat, if you know, let me know, and I will delete this whole thing.)Yikes! Do you think he will show up in a black suit and dark sunglasses? Will he bug the phone?

And more importantly, will the kids remember to (please) flush the toilets? And (this is the real reason I am writing this blog entry:) is it okay to have him sleep in a regular twin size bed, or should I run out quick and buy a new full size? I realize that when my parents or Nathan's parents have come to visit, asking them to sleep on a pull-out twin-sized trundle-bed didn't bother me one bit. But it just feels silly for Mr. FBI guy. (Do you think he sleeps with his badge on? Do they have badges?) He won't have to share a room or climb up on the top bunk (there's not even a bunkbed in that room) and I plan to wash the sheets and move the life size baby doll off the bed, but I still think a bigger bed seems like a good idea.

What would you do? Do you already have a guest bedroom? Do you arrange flowers on the bedside stand and put chocolates on the pillow when guests come stay with you? Do you think I will embarrass myself by forgetting his name or asking him too many FBI questions?

Hey, as a bonus, if we have a full size bed in Sydney's room then YOU can use it when you come visit!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Today is day #4 of strong winds and rain (though the sun was out earlier and the wind has died down for the most part.) I can't help but feel sorry for people here on vacation - a little disappointing, don't ya think? Although the weather is usually a little warmer and dryer down on the beach then up here in the middle of the island, so maybe Waikiki Beach is still busy with surfers and sunbathers.

The storm blew over a couple trees and road signs and knocked dead branches out of trees. It even killed Emily's little sunflower seedling. Poor Emily. A large amount of garbage was blown onto the fence near our backyard, and 3 stray bouncy balls ended up in our driveway.

Last night, after putting the kids to bed, I was reading on the couch (Nathan fell asleep at about 8pm - I think he's still on Arizona time) when the power went out. And it got very very dark. I heard Hannah get up and go into Sydney's room. It was cute to hear them talking to each other. Outside I heard a few shouts and the wind howling.

I clicked off the lamp (didn't want it to turn on in the middle of the night) then I felt my way up the stairs to check on the kids, then into bed. Luckily I did not crash into a wall or hit my little toe on a chair leg. Before I went to sleep I thought about how very unprepared we are for any kind of emergency.

We have no candles.
We have camp stoves but no propane.
We have absolutely no water.
No 72 hour kit or any thing like it.
No phone that doesn't need electicity to work.
No spare batteries for flashlights.
Nor do I know where the flashlights are.
And no children's tylenol.

Luckily the power came on around midnight, and I didn't have to gather downed branches to build a fire to boil water this morning.... But I am feeling the need to buy a little of this and organize a little of that - you never know when we might just need it!