Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Vacation Meets The Partridge Family

Chevy Chase and Shirley Jones? No, it's us going to San Diego for Christmas. In an effort to cut down on all of the STUFF that these little people have (Really, what do they need?!), we have instituted "experiences" as gifts, as opposed to lots of stuff that accumulates and fills up the rooms and then I hear Aurea swearing in Spanish about all the STUFF she has to put away. Santa showed up a little early this year to accommodate Mom and Dad's schedule (that's me and Kevin, not Linda and Perry or Cathy and Paul to those of you who may be siblings and get confused easily). We left on the Tuesday before Christmas without telling the children where we were going. They had their suspicions that it might be San Diego, but we drove by a few signs that pointed to Mexico, and Olivia flat out refused to go there because that's where one of her classmates, Isa, went for Christmas, and she did not want to be anywhere near her. I told them we were going to Yuma. which is along the way, so when we stopped there for lunch, they were thoroughly underwhelmed. If you've ever wondered what the term "lone and dreary world" might look like, may I suggest a trip to California. Not the coast, because that's beautiful, but the trip from Phoenix to LA or San Diego is very brown and boring. We got to San Diego (there were a lot of "I knew it"s! coming from the back seats) and drove in to our friends condo, which they very graciously allowed us to stay in. He's has a sink company and is an interior designer. The sinks are beautiful that he sells, not just dull porcelain sinks, so the inside of the condo is decorated exquisitely. But not child friendly. I saw the floor length mirrors, white leather couch AND white leather dining bench and shouted "Don't touch anything! Put your hands up!" for the first ten minutes we were there. Then I relaxed a little and decided that they could put their hands down. But still not touch anything. We got settled in, but then had a hard time finding a grocery store. The condo is in downtown San Diego, so we saw a 7-11 on every corner, but no grocery stores. We finally found one, but realized, it may have been cheaper just to shop at the 7-11. We went to Legoland, which is very interesting and fun. They had their version of the teacups, which of course, all of my children, except Blake (too little) went on. Kevin happily stayed on the sidelines, which meant that I got to spin that little cup as fast as my children could handle, which is pretty fast. Dillan got a lego set that he doesn't have at home (is that possible?). The girls got their faces painted when Dillan and I were on a ride they didn't want to go on. Those girls can talk their dad into just about anything! There was a Sea Life Park attached to it, that of course Jr. Marine Biologist wanted to go to. He pointed out and identified all sorts of sea life. That's when we discovered Jr. Marine Biologist Jr. Blake seems to be falling in his brother's footsteps. We could have just gone there and he would have been happy.
The next day, we did just that. We went to Sea World, which I love. It was all Christmas-y with everyone saying "Happy Holidays" to each other. I have often wondered about theme parks being open on Christmas and Christmas Eve, because I thought it wouldn't be as crowded. And it wasn't with people like us. We were in the minority. More teacups at Sea World!
This one, Blake could go on, and I feel it important to introduce him to spinning action early. He loved it! My favorite part at Sea World was when we were at one of the aquariums which happened to have a ship in it, and a 7 year oldish boy comes running up and says "Look at all that shi-, I mean fish." We all got a giggle out of that little slip up.
A Christmas tradition that we have is pajamas left at the door by Santa the night before. Olivia squealed with delight when she discovered that Santa had gotten her pajamas with long sleeves. How did he know that's what she wanted! She sang to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming to Town "He knows what size you are." That's my girl.
Waking up on Christmas morning and not having the chaos that usually ensues is quite an odd feeling. It was much more peaceful and enjoyable. Kevin took the kids down to the beach while I cleaned up any trace that the Partridges may have left at the condo. Have I mentioned how much I love this boy?

Or that this girl has just a touch of sassy in her?

The drive back home was like a little Christmas gift to me: no arguments or whining/ complaining. That could be because I told them that it was up to them how quickly we got home to see if Santa had shown up. If there was discord, Kevin would slow down, but as long as there was peace, he would drive at a high (safe) rate of speed. I may try this tactic more often.
Santa did show up, thanks to Morgan and Geoffrey Waldrom. Blake's exciting toy was a train, Olivia's was a bike. They got a joint present of an outdoor playhouse for them. Chloe got another American Girl doll, Dillan got Legos.
Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is a halo on Kevin. I finally caught it on camera. My exciting present was a Snuggie! No joke. I squealed with delight. Kevin did not get the surfboard he wanted, but floor seats to the Suns vs. Lakers game the following Monday (the Suns won) which he took Dillan to. Plus, I now have TWO copies of Handel's Messiah, thanks to my mom.
Now it's over and the part that I dread the most about Christmas is here....putting it all away. Ugh. Someone should come up with a business where they will take the tree down and organize it. Man, that'd be awesome.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Christmas Miracle

This really happened last week, so it is a preChristmas miracle, and if I was a good mom, I would be blogging about the fun the kids had for Christmas, but that is not what this blog is about. So, for a little background, for those of you who are new to this blog, I am training for a marathon, which is scheduled for January 17, and as part of my training, I have a few long 20 milers that I run through Scottsdale, which has been called "Snotsdale" by Phoenicians and elsewhereians because of its higher income residents. About five miles into the run, I had to stop for a carb boost, opened my Camelbak, saw my phone, and kept on running. I run all along this path, which is quite beautiful and serene and makes me forget that I live in a desert and that I am considered crazy by those who know and love me. There are all kinds of people along the path, bikers, fellow runners, kids, grandparents watching the kids because the parents are at work to afford the lifestyle that they choose, and lawn maintenance people (I usually give them an extra special wave. They could be Kevin's employees one day). There are also a couple of golf courses and man made lakes. When I got back to my car, and inhaled some Twizzlers that I had in the car (no joke. Not the best recovery food, but it was the only thing that I had on hand), I reached into my pack for my phone to call the family to let them know that once again, I had not been mauled by a javelina. Or golf ball. It was at that point that I discovered, it was gone! Those of you who have done an endurance feat like this can empathize with the idea of having to retrace my steps to locate the phone, which I happened to need that night to work. Instead of freaking out and running back, I said a prayer and drove home. I would now like to mention how nice that drive was home. There was not the slightest potential of a phone call. I should have driven slower. The second I walked in the door, Chloe was there to announce that a gentleman named Karl had found my phone and that Kevin had picked it up from him! It had fallen out by the lake, but fortunately, on the side of a very fancy restaurant and not in the water. Which made my babysitter question if I had eaten at the fancy restaurant after my run. Thank you, Karl, for calling "Big Daddy" (I don't know how he knew that was my husband), and not throwing the phone in the lake. P.S. The next post will have something to do with the children and not me. I promise. Even if I have to make it up.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Fears of Running

I had a 20 mile run on Friday as I prepare for my nice friendly 26.2 mile run with Emz which my favorite sisters will be there to cheer me on. I found a new route that I was so super excited to find, because even though it is in Scottsdale and I worry that I may not fit in there with my post four children untummy tucked tummy flashing (horrors!) loose skin, (it was covered, but sometimes my shirt creeps up a little and I get self conscious because of said loose skin in a nonloose skin area), the path was flat, little traffic, and looooong, which is important for that length of run. As I ran I thought about all of the things that I fear during a run, which change when I run in Phoenix as opposed to Scottsdale. Here they are in descending order, least to most:
Lizards (Just a little startling)
Bad guys
Speeding drivers
Serious runners making me look bad

Old drivers
People walking, talking, and texting on their phone
Bad guys (they are not indigenous to Phoenix)
Runners who are just trying to look good
Javelinas (given way too may rabies injections to post Javelina attack victims from Scottsdale)

These things will not stop me, because once I set my mind to something, that's it. Nothing's gonna stop me now.
So, you better get used to seeing untethered skin,Scottsdale, because now that I have found this run, I will be there once a week to burn it up.
Speaking of loose skin and burns, on more than one occasion when I was working in the burn unit, we had people call in to ask if they could donate their leftover skin from their tummy tuck to the burn victims. In case you were thinking of doing this, the answer is no.
P.S. For those of you who are not long distance runners, I do think Forrest Gump while I'm running. It's hard not to.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Handel who?

A tradition in at the Phoenix Symphony, and many other places around the world, is to participate in the Christmas classic Handel's Messiah in a sing a long, because it is so beautiful and is all about our Savior and his birth. It truly is a masterpiece and glorious. I invited my dear daughter, Chloe, to come with me to the sing a long this upcoming Sunday (initially she questioned me on this action until I assured her that it is Sabbath appropriate since it's all about Jesus) and then set out to find the music so she could familiarize herself with the lyrics and melody. This task did not seem difficult because it is the Christmas season, so I felt this would be easily acquired. I started at Target, not there. Next, Best Buy, since they have a larger selection. Blake and I perused the holiday music section, and I saw plenty of "A Cowboy's Christmas", but no Messiah. A seasoned Best Buy associate (fiftyish in age) walked by and asked if I needed any assistance, and I told him I couldn't find Handel's Messiah. "Is it new?" he asked. Dumbfounded pause. "No," I said. "It's been around for a while." Are you kidding me?! He was PLENTY old enough to know it. So, he called for back up, since this was beyond his area of expertise. Along came a twentyish year old associate. The older associate asked him if they carried Handel's Messiah. "Uh, I haven't heard of that one, which isn't a good sign that we have it." I couldn't take it anymore! I did what I know best. I started singing "For unto us a child is born/ Unto us/ A Son is given...." They both lookd at me, clueless. I tried a diferent song. "Ha-lellujah! Ha-lellujah!" "Oh!" says the younger one. "That's from Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswoll plugs in the lights and they finally work!" My faith in all that is good and decent in this world plummetted. He said he would check the computer to see if they had it, which I knew meant "No". Hmph. I left there empty handed. Tried Borders. Nope (but at least this fortyish year old associate knew what it was.). I came home and relayed this story to Kevin and he reminded me that my father in law had experienced the same difficulty a couple of years ago when he was here visiting (feel free to post your experience about this, Paul) and came up against the same ignorance of this masterpiece. So, now I am left wondering, Is this a Phoenix phenomenon, or is it nationwide? If any of you have experiemced this outside of the great state of Arizona, let me know. Fortunately, I know where to allocate said CD. New Zion, aka Mesa, which is where I happen to be going tomorrow anyway, has it for me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Turning into Thanksgiving Linda

That's my mom by the way. She puts on a huge Thanksgiving festivus for anywhere from thirty to sixty plus people, and there is always something forgetful or interesting that happens in the prep. I am making a dinner for 7. That's it. So you think that I would have low stress. However, to add to the dinner is the fact that I signed up to have the missionaries over to dinner on Wednesday night and Kevin's brother, Jake, and his wife, Meredith, with new baby, Erica, are coming over, so that will be my show stopping dinner. I also work on Thanksgiving, so really, what can I do besides get it ready the day before, but it's nothing fancy. But I knew I needed a turkey, even though I thought about a ham, I really don't want to hear about how there wasn't leftovers or whatever, so while I was picking up stuff for dinner, I saw a Turkey breast in a roasting pan on a bed of red potatoes. Perfect, I thought for the Thanksgiving dinner for 7. I was really proud of myself for getting it all done without sweating, and as I was talking to Myrissa as I was driving home, I realized I already had a turkey defrosting in the fridge. I had hidden and forgot about it. Guess what's for dinner on Sunday?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Early Morning Blog

Okay, it really isn't early as I have been up for an hour and a half already (I'm turning into Mom), but Blake and I are the only ones awake and he is stacking his Fruit Loops in an array of patterns, so I thought this would be the perfect time to blog about our Halloween Miracle as it is known in our house. Every year, our ward and the Paradise Valley ward combine to have a Trunk or Treat, which is vehicles parked in the parking lot, trunks open, and another venue for free candy to be passed out. That is except for one of our ward's dentists who passes out toothbrushes. And as a tradition, there is chili and cornbread. I, of course, whip up a batch of my championship chili for members to enjoy and humbly serve it. But last year tragedy struck. Kevin brought the pot home with a different ladle than mine. This would have been okay if the ladle had been better than mine, much like the comment that Lavell Edwards made in the Mt. Timpanogos temple when Jake and Meredith were sealed and he said "If you can't come out of here with a better pair of shoes than you went in with, something's wrong with you" (for those of you unaware, you have to remove your shoes in the waiting room and put them in a shoe rack when inside the temple). I guess he felt that you should feel free to replace your shoes with something better. ANYWAY, this ladle was sub par at best. It looked at least twenty years old and mine was a blue silicone ladle that I loved. There was no way that I was going to get that back. Was I supposed to call up every person that had delivered chili to get my ladle back? Seemed like too much effort. So this year, made a different chili (I am NOT a one trick pony), but I was unable to attend the Trunk or Treat due to work obligations. Kevin joked that maybe my ladle would show up. Yeah, right. Somebody was loving that ladle and wouldn't take it to a function where it could get misplaced. So you can imagine my disbelief, when he brought the pot home with a ladle inside. He had not taken a ladle, so someone had put one in my chili for him (you gotta help a single husband out, right, sisters) and LO and BEHOLD, it was the same ladle! We stood there shocked. It was too good to be true. If that ladle can make it's way home, so can Joe. The door's open, buddy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I've been Blog Called Out

I got an angry text today. HOW COME YOU HAVEN'T SAID ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA? That was from my dearest, most favorite, sweetest sister in law, Julie. Okay, only the first two adjectives were true. She may be little, but don't, I repeat DON'T, mess with her. She messed up some chick in a mosh pit a few years back and now, from what I hear, the girl walks with a limp. So, even though she is across the country, she still scares me, so I will now relive my vacay.
After a lovely airplane ride, highlighted by the fact that I was able to avoid any poop on me during the flight (that one was not fun, but is now a fun story to tell the person sitting next to you about what could have happened to them), I got off the plane in Orlando and felt like I had just walked in to someone's armpit. I have been to Orlando several times before, but this time it seemed especially damp. It is such an odd feeling not dragging anyone through the airport, or telling someone not to touch anything, or to get off the baggage carousel. So, instead, I enjoyed watching other parents do the same. My dear SIL picked me up and blah, blah, blah, we made it home, and there was my reason for being. There. Sophia Valentine. She looks just like her momma. So cute and little. I knew I was her favorite the moment I laid eyes on her.
We went to Riley (my namesake) and Caitlin's chorus concert. I kept telling my bro and SIL that these were not the songs/ actions that would go on where I live. Could it be because the area here is 98% white? Maybe. But they had a whole lotta Southern going on. Also, when I got out of the car, Julie yelled at Nick (the dear nephew) to help Aunt Kim not get bit by fire ants. Did I suddenly become a helpless auntie? I told them I could fend for myself and then ran as fast as I could until I hit cement. We had a lovely dinner afterwards, sponsored by my wonderful Dad (a.k.a. Daddy Warbucks). I was working that night and since Florida is three hours ahead of AZ, which meant that I would be up until about 2 am FL time, I got a hotel room. Again, it was a little odd being somewhere alone, not having to put anyone to bed and getting to watch WHATEVER I wanted to . Crazy. Check out time was at 11 am, and Lauren and I were scheduled to go shopping (we had to be sneaky and not let Riley know that we were going without her-she was in school), so she was going to come get me when I checked out. Imagine my surprise/horror/disbelief when I woke up at 10:45! That's 7:45 AZ time. I ran around trying to get my stuff together, then I called down to the front desk and said I wasn't going to make the checkout time. No problem, I had until 12pm.
Shopping was great. We hung out that night and watched Riley do her poi lights. I showed her my signature move. Spin them and don't get hit in the face. Like most Gillette trips that I have had there, there was one song in particular that was the theme. This trip it was "Low" by (of course) Flo-Rida.
The next day, Julie and I went to the gym. Good workout. Then we went to a birthday party that pretty much lasted all day. Lots of fun was had by all. I got in trouble that night, though, for holding Sophia too long when her daddy came home and had not held her yet. Can you blame me? But that little naughty girl, every time I turned around, she was leaving her new clothes on my bed. I told her she better keep track of her things.
Sunday, the girls and I went to Florida church, which is a lot like AZ church. We went to the mall to go to the movies with the family. Julie made a lovely dinner that was enjoyed by all. I made sure their children knew how lucky they were to have such a domesticated mom, because if they didn't, they might be subjected to frozen lasagna. Riley was horrified to hear that such a thing was possible. What a sheltered life she has led.
To sum up: it WAS a vacation....from responsibility. I enjoyed my time with my family immensely, even my brother, Matt, who did make one extremely rude comment about my fat #@!. I would have run crying to my room if this was twenty years ago, but now I knew he meant it as a term of endearment. I highly recommend this journey for anyone looking to escape, but you will never catch me living anywhere near Julie. There is no way that I can have my house as neat as hers with all those people and then grout the shower while entertaining. And I did get the best "nick"name ever (Nick gave it to me)/ I am now known as Fantastic Aunt Kim. Love it. And them. Especially Sophia.
P.S. This wasn't part of the fun, so I want it to be separate, however, it is still notable. On the flight back, I sat next to a grumpy, humorless man. I could tell before he even sat down. Flying makes me sleepy (how do the pilots stay awake), so, with no responsibilities, I dozed off. I was awakened to something cold and wet on my leg. It was ICE CUBES. Apparently, Grumpy had spilled his ice on me in my lap and it was a "conundrum" for him as to what he should do. That was what he had to say for himself. I brushed the ice off and went back to sleep. Maybe I should have brought Blake to poop on him after all.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Alison!

At the risk of alienating/ offending my sisters whom I have not blogged about how fantastic/ inspirational they are on their birthday (Stephanie did complain about it), I wish Alison a happy birthday and will now express how I grew to love and admire her.
I thought she was stuck up when I first met her. Now, this has happened to me many times before, where I totally misjudge someone, but in my defense, the first time we met, she did not talk to me at all. Our husbands were lifting buddies (Kevin frequently came home and told me how Skule's thighs were the size of tree trunks) and one night, the boys decided that both couples should go out to see a movie. We met at the Vagens and I don't think Alison even said hi to me, and then didn't talk to me the whole night. I was not used to this, because usually, when we went out with a friend of Kevin's, the wife and I would chat about whatever ( I can't even remember what it was back in those days, with no kids to discuss, what was there?) and leave the fellas to their "man" talk. So, I wrote her off as stuck up, unfriendly, and shallow. Fast forward about a year. We each had our first baby less than a month apart. She came over when her baby, Elsa, was a couple of weeks ago and was super friendly and told me all about her childbirthing experience (I remember that she in transition and kept focusing on the thermometer number to get her through the dilation, then after she had Elsa pronounced that she wanted to do it again!) and handed me chocolate. Could this be the same girl?! I was shocked, to say the least. After I had Dillan, it was the dead of winter, we had one car, which Kevin took to work since I was still on maternity leave, and not easily getting in the groove of things. That's when Alison saved me. I don't know where we went, but she would come get me and Dillan and we would go shopping, hang out, or whatever. Without her, I may have stayed in sweats and a t-shirt for years.
Alison is super crafty (like crafts, not sneaky). She has made me holiday curtains for my kitchen that are so great that I change with each holiday, that make it festive and fun in our kitchen. She's been my rock through crummy times in my life. A time when I thought that there wouldn't be a day when I wouldn't wake up crying. I can't believe that I ever thought she was stuck up. She is a friend to everyone, even people that I would never be friends with (sorry, Mom, I am not your perfect daughter). She's taught me how to be a good friend I miss having her close to me, and in the same ward where we can discuss other people's imperfections. She is smart, well educated, and amazes me at all that she can do. Alison is so much stronger than me (not strength, but spirit-I would beat her in a lifting competition). She's an exceptional mother with beautiful children. I am so grateful that I have this dear, lifelong, eternal friend. I am so blessed to have her. And to think that she's only turning 29. Love you, Al!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It is a competition, after all

I've got it! I knew Emz was very upset that I was thinking the marathon was a competition and even threatened to stop running during the marathon if it seemed like I was trying to compete, but then tonight I had a stroke of genius. I could compete with her in the number of sisters present at the finish line. Now I do have twice as many sisters as her, but all of her sisters live here, whilst none of mine do. Heh, heh, heh. So, sisters who read this blog (um, that may be two), if you are not busy January 17th weekend and want to spend an enjoyable, warm (Jen, Nikki, Kellie-that's for you), fun filled weekend (chances are HIGH that there will be a spa day on Monday), come to Phoenix. Please. I have to beat her somehow.
I got fitted for new running shoes today and was horrified when he told me the shoe size that was correct for me. 11. WHAT?! Since when did I have the shoe size of a drag queen? He promised not to put the number on the marquee outside, but he kept calling me "Roman Numerals". Ouch. But, on the flip side, I ran and my feet felt much better. He said that I was probably wearing too small of hiking boots which is why my toenails keep getting hammered. So now I have to get hiking boots in that ugly size. It will take me a few weeks to get those because I have to come to terms with this. And why can't they make flashy, cute shoes? They aren't purely for function. There needs to be a little bit of fashion in them.
That's the latest on my marathon preparation. I can't really say training. because since when was enticing four sisters to come to balmy Phoenix during the coldest month of the year where they are qualify as training?
By the way, if anyone has rocking cardio/ running songs that they like let me know. I asked my nephew, Nick, to give me a list, but his preferred songs are mostly death metal. I told him clean songs that aren't about scary things. Maybe that's why it's taking him so long to get me that list.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Noncompetitive Marathon?!?!

So, I'm sitting here hard at work (which for me means sitting on my bed and watching Dancing with the Stars-I can't believe I get paid for this!), and I thought I would blog about how I have been tricked by my dear friend, Emily. It all started when she asked me if I wanted to run the Rock N' Roll Marathon this coming January. I hesitated to say yes, because, although I want to run a marathon, this one is on the Sabbath, which most are, and I told her as much. Then she hit me with the I was being judgemental and she could find another friend. I knew this was a lie because she is the kind of girl who no one wants to be her friend because she's tall, blond, beautiful, athletic, super stylish, and. well, hot. She's also smart and an amazing cook, but that's hard to know unless she cooks for you, which she did when I was sick (awwww), so that makes it hard to be her friend, because let's face it, who wants to be the ugly, frumpy friend. Fortunately, it's easy for me to be her friend because we are like carbon copies. We are so alike, I say we are sisters. So I knew no one else would want to run next to her, so I caved. I told her I would check with Kevin first to see if he would give me the okay to run on the Sabbath. Not only did he give me the okay (I was a little shocked, I must say), but THEN he sealed the deal for me by saying I could beat her. Nuff said! That's all I need to give me the motivation, a competition that I could win. A little background on the competition between Emily and I. We were in a Primary Presidency meeting once and it turned into a throwdown Jello competition. I KNEW I would beat her then because I had a lot of Jello experience. She didn't know that my mom gave me a box of Jello when Kevin and I got married because he loved it so much, and I would have won, if there hadn't been very sad circumstances that have postponed our competition (I will be triumphant). Soooooo, when the dear husband turned this into a competition, I started talking smack to her saying that she would be eating my dust and crying when I smoked her. She dropped a bomb on me then. She said this was a sisterhood event, not a competition. Imagine a very long pause. I felt like she had just sucked all of the wind out of my sails. Why the heck was I doing this now? I had to dig down waaaaaay deep and find my inspiration for an event like this. To be honest, it took me about ten seconds, because then I thought, well there is a pharmacist I work with who is running it. I don't have to tell her that I'm competing with her, but I will be. AND, just to show Emily that I can make a competition out of anything, I will have my children make cuter, bigger, better signs than her daughter. AND I will have a flashier outfit. AND I will raise more money than her for the Leukemia Foundation.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rent a Kid, Anyone?

I am alone. Well, not really. Blake and I are here together, but I have found his conversation limiting. He pretends to call Kevin on the phone. Am I really that boring? I know I've been lounging around the house all day reading a book under the pretense of being ill, had my lunch brought to me by a rockin' friend, who happens to be my ONLY follower (c'mon Mom), read a fabulous book (The Help byKathryn Stockett-seriously great, and I take my book recommendations very seriously after being recommended The Lovely Bones. Don't you dare read it or see the movie. It is not life changing. It is the most depressing after life book ever. They made a movie out of this junk. Consider yourself warned), and was in my version of sweats ALL DAY. I didn't put on any makeup or do my hair. I must really be sick. Back to me being alone. Kevin asked for a stand in wife last weekend and I am now asking for stand in children. I need to drive someone somewhere, get after someone to do their homework/chores/violin, play a game with, or just have come up to me and ask if I need anything (my son is the best!). I will even take one of the Jeppson boys, as long as there are clear no touching boundaries. I have the whole weekend and many time slots available for your child/ children (except you, Myrissa, just one of yours at a time). Have fun, Partridge Children, with Grammy and Grampy. I will miss you more than you know.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

No problem.

Our land line went down last Sunday. I enjoyed not having the phone ring, but it really bugged my friend, Myrissa, so after relentless harrassment from her to get it fixed, I emailed the phone company to let them know that we did not have a dial tone. A pleasantly large fellow came to our home to fix the troubles. It took him 3 minutes to get it fixed then pronounced it good ( I said that was too bad), he handed me his card, said his cell phone number was on there and told me to call him if I had any questions. I bid him farewell. He hadn't been gone longer than five minutes when I realized, I had a problem. I got his card and called his cell phone and he quickly answered the phone. I got right to the point. "I don't know what to make for dinner." Long pause. "Ma'am, when I said you could call me with any problems, I meant with the phone." "Oh," I said. Longer pause. "This is awkward. Well, thanks for stopping by." I really wish people would say what they mean. This would avoid confusing situations such as this.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Victim of an Economic Downturn

I have lost my job. Due to my lack of performance in clerical/ accounting duties, I no longer hold the title of "office babe." That has been passed on to a fortyish old man who has accounting skills. So now I am left without an unpaid job. Do you know what the unemployment is on a non paying job? I'm sure you can do the math, but it isn't very much. Fortunately, I have my well paying job to fall back on. This gives me great comfort in knowing that I have a vacation fund waiting for me during this time of trial. The job transfer was actually very slick. I never really got the axe, Kevin just slowly gave him more and more of my responsibilities for the business. He kept saying "I'm hiring so you don't have to do as much." But I know he was just trying to let me go without a fight. There was actually a disagreement when I found that the new guy had not sent out an invoice. Ha! I was indispensable. But when it really came down to it, I didn't want the job. I was forced into it by an entrepreneur who saw me as cheap, easy labor. I'm much more adept at sticking someone with an IV than going through all those crinkled up receipts. I'm going to chalk this one up to Obama.
P.S. For those of you reading my blog, you can now post comments.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Do You Haboob?

What is a haboob?
A. Popular term , probably meaning "believe"
B. A type of biscuit made from rolled oats and jumbo oats
C. An intense sand storm
D. Money making opportunity

The correct answer is: C & D
It used to be just C for our family, but now for Kevin's business, it's both. Living in the Southwest is a peculiar thing when our storm comes in the form of dust. Very pleasant. This storm was when Dillan, Chloe, Sharon (Arizona Grandma-no relation to us, but we filled a vacancy that she had) and I were on our way to see Wicked.
Now haboobs can be very interesting to watch as you observe the dust rolling in across the valley or on the news in the comfort of you confined space.

But when you have to get out of your car and walk through it on the way to an event....a little less interesting, more irritating.
We had to walk through this, so I told Chloe to close her eyes and I would guide her through it. Up there in the left hand corner is Gammage Auditorium, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I know he's a legendary architect, but I am not a fan of this building. For starters, the rows are one continuous long row of 100 seats, so say you are in the center and need to get a snack/ drink, you have to squeeze past everyone, because of course, it was designed at a time when people were smaller, so there is little leg room. Then if you are seated in the balcony, the grade is steep so as you are squeezing past everyone, you feel as though you could pitch sideways and fall in the row down from you. Not that I'm complaining. I think if I did fall, I could get a large sum from the FLW estate due to poor design.

Now all of you non Phoenix residents can wow you friends with the use of the term "haboob" whenever you can bring it up in conversation, such as "Wow, when I got to the beach, the kids were so excited to be there, their running caused a haboob!" You're welcome.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Romantic Rim to Rim Getaway

We made it! And I mean the trip around the canyon in the shuttle. Picture twelve people crammed into a fifteen passenger vehicle that has gone around the canyon with lots of other stinky hikers all compressed in the vehicle and you can imagine the smell. When I first sat down, I felt nauseated from the smell, which really says a lot for me because, after all, I spent five years in the burn unit, so I have bad smell experience. Fortunately, the driver, who had a rotund belly and I prayed that the heart attack would wait until I was out of the vehicle, was a speedy driver, so the trip took four hours instead of the advertised five hours. We ate dinner at the historic Grand Canyon Lodge, the only lodge on the north rim. The food came out a little too quick, leaving Kevin and I to wonder if it wasn't sitting under the heating lamps. It was okay, but the view was fantastic. The above picture is in the lobby of the lodge. I thought a mule statue was so fitting for this canyon. We went outside and took some pictures:

It was at this point that the bats came out and were flying a little too close for me and I high tailed it back to the Western Cabin that we were staying in. They should have named it Spider Lodge instead. I was not happy when Kevin says "Look at that spider! It's humongous. It has all these colors." Being the good husband that he is, he removed it. With my hiking pole. There was another spider in the bathtub in the morning, but I had already decided the next time we go, we are not staying in the rustic cabin.

The shuttle was due to leave at 5:15 or 7:15 am. Neither one was a good option since, one was too early and the other too late, so we opted to walk down the two mile road to get to the trail head.

Yep, that way to the trail head. It was chilly at the top, probably 50 degrees. Brrrrr! That's why I'm wearing my jacket. But we warmed up quickly then we had to find a place for it.

This was my view the whole descent. I mean Kevin's backside, which at one point asked if his pack made his butt look big. Not likely to ever be a problem for him. Don't worry, he gets me back(side). We saw a funny squirrel that we tried to get a picture of that was dark brown and had a super bushy white tail. No, it wasn't a skunk.

We hit the first look out point where one can take pictures or bird watch: We chose to keep going and not look for any birds. It was a lot of downhill, and because the grade is relatively steep (average is 21%), we ran most of the way down because gravity takes over. Fine by me, as I was trying to achieve a PR for the trail. That means a personal record. I know, I've never done it before, but I wanted to set the bar high for the next time, or just so I could brag to my friends who would then look at me in amazement at the physical feats I am able to achieve. But then again, most of my friends have already achieved their own PRs for other things that I will never do. I digress! These are a few of the pictures that I took on the descent.

Kevin and changing leaves. We don't see this in Phoenix. We had to stop.
The tunnel of love!
This is a good example of my downhill view. Kevin way ahead propelling me forward. It's because of him that I was able to finish as quickly as I did. If he hadn't kept my forward progression, I would not have done so well. It is an analogy for our marriage as well. Not that I intend on finishing our marriage quickly, the forward progression, I mean, toward a goal with him being the example and catalyst.

It's kind of blurry but Kevin took this picture of us trying to get the waterfall in the background.

I tripped several times trying to keep up with him. No falling, but I knew that I was going to lose my right big toenail after a couple of hard hits to the toe.

We made it to Phantom Ranch in 3 hours and 45 minutes, which included a fifteen minute break. I will do the math for you. That's four miles an hour with a twenty pound pack. Not bad. Next time will be faster.
We have now started our ascent and this is Kevin's view. I heard that Emily! I changed my clothes at Phantom Ranch because they were soooooo sweaty. I started feeling like I was getting heat exhaustion, so we stopped in the shade as we were going through Devil's Corkscrew so I could cool down a little. Talk about frustrating! I really wanted to push forward, but I was a dutiful wife and listened to my husband. If you stop and rest, it will help you go further for longer. He's right, as usual. It was hot, the temperature at Indian Garden said 108 degrees, but I think the added seven miles from the south rim trails only hike made a difference in my level of exhaustion.
Me at Indian Gardens (pronounced In-jun Gardens if you are from Idaho). No mules! That was the best part! No mules on the trip out that I had to try to pass up. After here, I got my second wind and Kevin told me to push ahead. I did, of course, because I really wanted to do it in less than nine hours.

Storm rolling in! Only got sprinkles.

Almost there! A couple of stories from the trip. One was a woman who was so impressed with my feat that she took my picture to put in her journal. The other is, I kept seeing bare foot prints on the trail as I was hiking out. I could not believe that someone would hike in bare feet. Then I came upon the man, and I said You're the one hiking without shoes! He said that his friend's had broken, so he gave him his shoes! I told him he was a wonderful man.

This is a list of the casualties: All toes except the 2nd toe on each foot and left little piggie. WARNING: The following image may contain content offensive to sensitive viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
That is not a strawberry on my toe, it is a blister, which I popped. Fortunately, I was prepared and did not let the blister juice squirt all over, like it did in Myrissa's car one time.

As soon as I got out a little ahead of Kevin, I went to the General Store and bought a bag of Oreos and INHALED 3/4 of the bag in about five minutes. No joke. AND THEN, when Kevin and I went to dinner a short while later, I ate almost all of the bread from the bread basket. It was very tasty corn bread, but I could not believe how hungry I was! That night I slept for ten hours! Another amazing feat!

In the morning, we had a tasty (the best of all three GC meals) breakfast at the El Tovar, then a couple of pictures.

That's me pointing to where we had come from. The canyon to my right is the North Kaibab trail and then if you look down by my hip where there are trees, that is Indian Garden and Devil's Corkscrew by my waist.
Kevin having some "alone time" with the canyon.
This is where we stayed on the south rim:

We came home through Sedona and even stopped at a trout farm for some fishing. Talk about fun! One of Kevin's fish he caught.

Sedona storm coming!

It was a fabulous trip, even if I am sore in my hips, quads, back, and my chances of a pedicure in the next year are zero, and I feel like I've worked a night shift. That's a weird feeling when you slept ten hours the night before. I think our next Grand Canyon trip will be North Kaibab trail in and out in one day, which is 28 miles round trip. Am I a glutton for punishment? Looking for any excuse to get away? A champion athlete? Maybe all or none of these, but I do know I am looking forward to the next round.

And a big shout out goes to Grandma for babysitting the children AND keeping them alive (big bonus). We are very grateful to her to allow us these indulgences and allow us some together time.

My PR for a Grand Canyon rim to rim is 9 hours and 30 minutes with two and a half hours worth of breaks, which is seven active hours for a speed of 3.42 miles per hour. It will be broken.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Almost Time To Go!

I am counting down the hours until we head out of town on our "romantic" weekend getaway. That's what Jen called it this afternoon. The romance for me will be leaving cell phones and children behind. I would sign up for these marathons more often if I could just for those benefits. NOT THAT I DON'T LOVE MY CHILDREN! Because, of course, I do, but it is so refreshing to leave. Then I can appreciate them more.
I have packed light, which means, my pack at this point only weighs eight pounds, but that number will rise as I add my water, cameras, and make up. The weather is expected to be good. The high at the Grand Canyon rim will be 80 degrees. Now, in the canyon is waaaay different. The bottom is about the same temperature as Phoenix, which the high is expected to be 104 degrees. And from what I have read from past rim to rim hikers, there is a seven mile stretch on the North Kaibab Trail (the on that we are descending) that feels like a parking lot in Phoenix. Interesting. I can't wait to get through that part. I am so excited and hopefully ready. Kevin thinks that I need a shell to wear in case it rains, which is very likely since we are still in haboob season.
This has nothing to do with the hike, but, of course, this is my blog and I can do whatever I want. On Tuesday, Kevin went to the Diamondbacks game with one of his friends. When he came home he said, "You and I really need to start going to those games together." Awww. I thought for sure that he meant he wanted me to go with him so he could parade me around like a trophy wife, which seems to be what people do around here at professional sporting events, like he said Dan Majerle had who was sitting by him. No, that's not why he wanted me there. It was because he saw a couple in their fifties and the woman was rubbing the man's ears while he watched the game. Kevin thought that this would be heaven!
Even though this is a short entry, you may now post a comment on my blog. Please keep it clean (Julie, that means you)! And please, no personal attacks. I am far too delicate to take it. After all, I am a little underdeveloped.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

There's A Room in the Inn!

Okay, it's really a lodge that we are staying in, but it's just more fun to say room in the inn. Of course, when I told my witty friend, Myrissa, she said That means you're no Mary. Very funny. She elaborated on how I wasn't a Mary. After two days of endless calling and checking the website, a Western cabin opened up for my dear husband and I. This means we get a cabin "nestled in the pines" with a possible view of the canyon. I'm just glad it's not the lobby view. I celebrated the sealing of the deal, as it were, with a trip to REI and new trekking poles and Camelbak bladder. Kevin protested me getting the poles because he said that was his one hope of keeping up with me. This is coming from he guy who won the first 10K he ever ran. I don't mean the first time he ever ran a race, I mean the first time he EVER RAN. Up until that point, he hadn't wanted to run because he felt that he would lose weight and be too skinny. So, he is a natural athlete at every sport he does, and he hikes frequently. He just hiked Estes Park in Colorado last month. I know this is the reverse of what we will be doing, but nonetheless, he will beat me on the descent, while I plan to beat him on the ascent. Either way, it's time alone. Can't beat that.
Now comes the final preparations. I've been doing the bleachers in the morning and the treadmill routine. I don't like hiking the local steepish trails around here because it's more like a singles bar on the trail than a training experience. The girls get all made up and are in skimpy outfits and there is a heavy scent of cologne. Ick. I have my new equipment. But now here comes the really tough part. For me at least. Due to the logistics of the feat, we can only take what we will be carrying in our packs on our trip around the canyon from the south to the north, meaning, I will have to carry minimal beautifying products. I know what you're all thinking, What beautifying products? I know it looks like I am a natural beauty, but it takes A LOT to make it look this effortless. Just ask my sisters. This will cut down on my prewaking Kevin up getting ready, but still, it's very tough to whittle it down to just the necessities. Plus, I don't want to pack pajamas and all that. I won't even tell you what my RSP suggested! A little PG-13. This is the biggest challenge of the whole trip. I may change my mind after, but for now, this is it.
As a postscript to the last entry, I forgot to mention a sacrifice my mom was willing to make for us to watch the children. She will be missing the Howdy Neighbor Breakfast. I do not really see this as being a problem since she knows everyone in the neighborhood and they know her, but still, it is an event I'm sure she would love to be at.
There are 10 days until we leave. Tomorrow I'm going to rip another link off of my paper chain.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Worst news ever!

That's what I said to my husband today when he came in the kitchen and he saw that I had been crying. Okay, I had to point out that I had been crying, but nonetheless, he thought that the worse thing would be if someone died or was hurt. No,I blubbered, the worst thing would be if my work called me and told me that I had to work the weekend of our rim to rim hike, even though I had my vacation approved weeks ago. I COULD NOT believe that it was possible to cause that much emotional trauma, but there was a lot of planning and coordinating that went in to the reservation for the shuttle from the south rim to the north rim, getting the lodge at the north rim (VERY difficult this time of year), then the south rim lodge, and Grandma's plane ticket to babysit. Maybe I was so devastated because I was on the treadmill at my 12% incline with my 20 lb backpack for my endurance training and had been planning on being on there for 2 hours, and then the phone call cut it short by 30 minutes. So, I called my dear friend Emily, and told her about all of the drama, and she had the best words of comfort which she said her "Nordstrom" lady would tell her...she was going to pray for me. That warmed my little heart. But then it got better when she dropped off a card with a Payday and Take 5 candy bars inside! I couldn't even share those with my family since they are all allergic to nuts (well, not Chloe-she just refuses, and I don't want to risk anything on my dear little baby). I knew things were going to look up from that point on. I was able to switch everything to the next weekend except I have to hope and pray that a room will become available at the north rim lodge. One of the three reservation agents that I spoke with today, said that there are cancellations constantly, due to people making reservations so far in advance. So I have to be persistent and in the words of Yo Gabba Gabba "Keep trying, keep trying, don't give up, never give up" (this song may be the reason why my children don't take no for an answer). Because if I don't, Kevin says that we are going to camp out in the lodge by the plate glass window.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Worst Blog Ever!

I need to rename my blog. This comes after several inquiries from my adoring fans about when I'm going to post and these same fans in the same breath tell me how bad I am at blogging. If I could blog while running or folding laundry, it would be an exceptional blog, but I can't so it's sub par. I will now recap my lovely trip to Utah.
It was a lovely trip to Utah. I mean it, sisters. I bet a couple of them giggled or rolled their eyes, but all in all, I enjoyed my time. These are the highlights, in no particular order.
I wanted to share pictures of the trip from Phoenix, but I am technologically stunted (underdeveloped, maybe?), so I will have to describe. Please use your imagination if you have not made the trip. We take the route that takes us through the Native American Relocation Land (the Indian Reservation). All I can say is, the lone and dreary world. At one point it looks like we've landed on the moon. Not fun. And we've never even stopped for a necklace or anything. When we get to the small Utah towns, for the past four years, sitting in the same exact spot, are police cars that have a dummy in them to get us to slow down and obey the speed limit. I wonder how many people panic when they see them.

My children and I stayed at The Residence Inn in a two bedroom suite. I will never go back to regular hotel living. I could close my door and their door. It was great. PLUS, they had a treadmill that would go to a 15% incline. Perfect for my Grand Canyon training.

The whole fam damily went to Lagoon. For those of you not familiar (that would be you, Toia), it is an amusement park with a water park. I looked forward to going there every year on Stake Lagoon Day. We had fun at the water park and went on many spinning, throwing, shooting up in the air rides, which I love. Growing up, one of my favorites was the Rock-O-Planes, which is like a ferris wheel that you and your co-rider (someone you know) can spin the cage around that you are sitting in and even stop in upside down. I'm getting a little dizzy thinking about it. No one ever wants to go on it with me. That is, until this year. My niece, McKellyn, said she wanted to go on it, so I jumped at the chance. She said that she had been unable to spin it more than once with her cousin, so she did not have high hopes. Little did she know she was going with a pro. We spun that thing around so many times, I cried Uncle. She would not let me stop and the next day had a bruise on my leg from all the spinning. She's crazy! Probably why I love her.
Alison had her baby. On MY birthday! Happy birthday to me! It wasn't supposed to be my present (my real present was a day at the Japanese spa. Domo arigato, shujin.), but she had an emergency C-section and delivered a scrawny 5 lb 2 oz Rolf Olav Vagen. I will be calling him Jussi because that's the name I picked and felt that since he was born on my birthday I would get to choose. Her excuse was something like people would call him "Juicy" instead of "Yussi", so they went with the Skule's dad's name. I would let her choose my baby's name if I had a baby on her birthday. I realize that I can say this without any hope of that ever happening. But he was super cute and little. And she said the doctor was shocked at the extra small placenta (I know Kevin doesn't read this, so I feel confident that I won't upset his tender sensibilities with that), but of course it was no wonder given the stress that she had been under, what with the being evicted under false pretenses, pregnancy induced high blood pressure, cafe being shut down suddenly for two weeks, and husband who is an illegal alien. I live vicariously through her. I have no drama, so I marvel that anyone can handle it. I'm so lucky to have her as a friend. I wouldn't be who I am without her.
There was a brush fire right outside our hotel. I mean, we could smell smoke in our room. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I wondered why I could semll hot dogs roasting. It was the fire. The winds had been super crazy that day and when we were driving to the hotel, we saw a small brush fire. By the time I got the kids ready for bed, they had shut down I-80 because the flames were jumping across the freeway. YIKES!!! I tried to remain calm, and FORTUNATELY, Chloe had slept over at my mom's. She would not take a brush fire that she could see without anxiety. We saw flames and I just stared at it. They were able to contain it, but it was all way too close for me.
Julie and I went to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, on the day that it happened to be National Cheesecake Day. Who knew? SO they were offering half price cheesecake. I asked our waitress if anybody was crazy enough to turn that down, and she pointed to a table with a couple of men and said they did. We all were shocked. Julie, of course, looks fabulous and is enjoying hjer little family. I miss being with her everyday. She is such an awesome friend. She even brought me a necklace for my birthday. What a thoughtful girl.
OK. I admit. This is getting a little boring, and it's about me. You can scan quickly through here and just look for your name and see what I say about you. I won't be offended.
The children and I went to Sheri Louann's house to make happy memories at her house, instead of the last time, when Chloe got slivers all in her hand and Sheri gave my children salt water taffy to ease the pain. Sheri has a cute little family and has the cleanest house! I did take a peek at her food storage, since I'm a little obsessed with it and the fact that the Utah girls have so much space for it. We talked about everyone we knew. She was a wealth of information. I guess that's what happens when you live in Utah and see people you know from growing up. That never happens to me here.
I had a funny temple experience. Yes, I risk being sacrilegious here, but I can find humor in any circumstance. So, Stephanie, Kellie, and I went to the SLC temple. Of course it's beautiful and brings back wedding memories. We missed the session that we were aiming for, so we got to sit in the chapel for about 50 minutes. That's a long time for us who are geared toward silliness. A woman came in walking with a Moses staff (I have no other way to describe it) which would not have been THAT funny except for the fact that she had crocheted a cozy to go around it, the entire length of the staff. I took one look at that and, well, I giggled. It's just like when one sister starts crying, we all do. Same with giggling. I just pictured that woman measuring her Moses staff to get the precise size of cozy for it. The best part about it, though, was that the woman didn't even use it! She walked without the assistance of it, but she had it in her hand, just in case, I guess.
We went down and saw Mrs. McKellar in her love nest. She looked great and their apartment was so cute! She makes the best bows and gave some to my girls. I had an odd experience in the BYU Smith's grocery store. I was in line, when a man walked up behind me and looked me in the eye then poked me in the arm and shocked me (literally and figuratively). I couldn't believe that someone would accost another at BYU!
If you've made it through all of this, you are either my mother or a true friend. Or I guess REALLY bored and willing to suffer through the travelogue. Or maybe you are like my sister, Jen, who will read this in its entirety to make sure that I don't out her as a mean sister who teases her little sister, Sweet Stephanie, for having a "grandma purse." I know MY mother didn't raise me to think I was better than someone else.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Jig is Up

I thought that my sisters were not reading my blog since NONE of them took my How Well Do You Know Me? test on Facebook, and my specific instructions were that they were NOT to read the answers until they took the test and their results were posted. They all took it and guess what? No controversy over the Who Is My Favorite Sister? question, even though none of my biological sisters were the correct answer. I guess none of them really cared that they were not my favorite sister. So now I get to thank Julie for being my favorite sister and she actually cared that I chose her. But the jig is up now and I can't divulge any privileged information on here about them. However, since there are so few following this blog, I can blog about other people. Hmmmm....

Now that I am here in Utah, the land of Zion, where you can go to your local Costco and buy Church related materials, and no one looks at you weird when you have four of your children plus extras (I haven't heard ONCE "Boy, you have your hands full!" given with a disapproving look). It is such an interesting experience to come back and the differences between here and Phoenix (or maybe for that matter, anywhere else). I saw a billboard for same day missionary package delivery. I was with my dear friend, Alison, and her nurse knew what a ward was, even though she's not LDS. We went to Lagoon and they had dinner prayer over the loud speaker. OK, I made that last one up, but it is definitely Zion.

The last thing on this post, is what my nephew, Noah, had to say about me. When my sister, Stephanie, was relaying this exchange with her children, she made me promise not to be offended by what she had to say. So there had been a incident where her daughter was left out of a sleepover with Chloe, and instead of us being upfront with her and telling her what was going on, I chose to not tell her, in an attempt to not hurt her feelings. It didn't work because she found out about it and was upset that we had done something behind her back. I talked to her that it was my idea to not tell her and that it was my idea and not her cousins. She was still hurt even after her and I talked about it and was asking her mother who knew about the sleepover. Stephanie told her that it wasn't the best idea to have kept it from her, when her son, Noah, piped in and said "Well, Malia, you know Aunt Kim isn't as developed as Mom." Wh-a-a-t? Mind you, I teased Stephanie RELENTLESSLY when we were growing up on her lack of development, stating several times that I had taken her fair share. So this is very humorous. Noah goes on to explain, though. When Stephanie asked him what he meant by that he said "Well, you know she's like a kid, she likes to have fun and you don't, Mom, you're more of a party pooper." LOVE that boy! Little does he know how true his words are.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Successful Blogging 101

It has come to my attention by one of my faithful followers (thanks Mom!) that I have been slacking when it comes to updating my blog. This is not out of lack of information or things going on. It seems as though there is always something going on, so I will now describe a typical week during the summer for the Partridge family. Get ready for high action, drama, and maybe even tears.
This summer is the summer of Dillan. I know, he's the oldest. always gets the most attention, is our "break us in" child, but this summer has really been devoted to improving his abilities. The other dear children have not been neglected, as you will see, but Dillan has had the lion's share of enrichment activities. Monday -Friday this is where Dillan started his morning at7:45:

This is our community pool known as Melrose, no relation to "Melrose Place" as some fan of the show from the nineties may wonder. It is super great and fun for these guys as it brings our community together with swimming, Foosball , basketball, barbecues, and movie nights. This is our first year being a part of the club, because in years past our children have swam with the city league, which is much less expensive, but unfortunately closed this year. Chloe is on the swim team as well. We tried having Olivia on the team, but she did not fare as well. I guess we will allow this since she's four, but next year, NO EXCUSES!
Next event was Dillan's summer school at Brophy Preparatory Academy, which is a parochial high school for boys. He took speed and strength, arithmetic, and study skills. I kept asking him to ask his coach when the mom/ son day was for speed and strength, but he just rolled his eyes at me. That's my boy! You have never seen such a sea of boys as when it's quitting time there. Lots of rough housing.
After taking CHloe to and from swim, Blake got a nap, mommy ran on the treadmill, and Olivia went to and from art/ music school, it's lunch! I do not excel at my lunch making abilities. My goal is fiber. Increase every one's fiber intake. Call it my nursing instinct taking over.
Usually, at this time, a dip in the pool is warranted. Now for me, my first real venture into the pool did not come until the last week in June. THE LAST WEEK IN JUNE! We live in the hot desert, and it was not warm enough for me to get in our pool. This was a first for us to have such temperate conditions to prevent me from swimming.
Dillan and Chloe are taking piano lessons and violin lessons in the evening. It warms me heart so much to hear them. It warms my heart to hear peace too. It warms my heart to hear cooperation. OK, I'll take plain old getting along.
I have begun my job, as I have mentioned before, so three nights a week I work from the comfort of my home and go in to the office on Saturdays. So fab that I have this job. And I haven't killed anyone. Yet. That I know of.
Kevin's days go like this. Leave the house when he's good and ready. Get hot and sweaty, or enjoy a lovely lunch appointment. Sometimes he does both in the same day, enjoying a hot, sweaty lunch. I sure am loving tree trimming season though. Until it came to our trees getting trimmed. Last ones to get done.
So maybe the reason for my small fan base is that I am not as adept at blogging as I originally intended. There is always room for improvement. And material. Have I mentioned that I am going to Utah in a little more than a week. Not only will I have sisters who don't read this, which means I can say whatever I want as long as you people SWEAR not to tell them, I will also have all those Utah Mormons to observe their peculiarities. Thus begins my improvement in my blogging skills. And again, you can throw out criticisms of me for not gettin' 'er done, but this is MY BLOG. If I want to let it be a failure, well it's my prerogative (feel free to sing Bobby Brown).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How Well Do You Know Me? Answers Revealed

Many of you (who am I kidding? There aren't "many"people who read this) may be familiar with the social networking site known as "Facebook" which is a great tool for reconnecting with former friends and flames, and it also serves as a narcissistic outlet with such things as 25 Random things about Me and How Well Do You Know (your name here)? Recently, I engaged in said self serving behavior and made a quiz about me, aptly titled How Well Do You Know Kim Partridge? If you haven't taken the quiz , please stop reading this and return to facebook and take the test. I mean it, sisters. The only one excluded from this is Mom and that's only because she doesn't belong to facebook. Okay. Now that you're back and have taken my entertaining, yet educational test, here are the answers revealed.

1)What is my favorite store to shop at?
a) The Home Depot
b) The Gap
c) R.E.I.
d) Williams Sonoma
e) Victoria's Secret

The answer is D. Home Depot is Kevin (and Olivia)'s favorite store, Gap is not fashion forward enough for me, REI is purely utilitarian, as for that matter so is Victoria's Secret, but Williams Sonoma entices me every time! I love to cook and especially all the tools that go with it.

2) What time am I usually in bed by?
a) 8 p.m.
b) 9 p.m.
c) 10 p.m.
d) 11 p.m.
e) It's an all night party for me

The correct answer is 9pm. Now I am not ASLEEP by that time, but I am in my pajamas by 8 and in my bed at 9, usually reading or posting on my blog.

3) What am I scared of?
a) Spiders
b) Snakes
c) Paper
d) Lizards
e) Hair

This was like a freebie because if you know me at all, you know I am TERRIFIED of spiders. Even writing the word give me the creeps. I threw hair in there because out of all the blood and guts and poop and phlegm that I've seen/ handled, hair BY FAR grosses me out the most. THe first time I had to give a patient a bed bath and I shampooed his hair with a shampoo tray and all this hair came out I was dry heaving. Seriously, I can't stand my own hair coming out.

4) What is my favorite movie?
a) The Princess Bride
b) The Notebook
c) As Good As It Gets
d) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
e) Twilight
This was disappointing to me. 79% of you (well, I guess now that will be different after all of my sisters take the quiz) said that The Princess Bride is my favorite movie, but alas, it is not. I enjoyed The Princess Bride, but only one person, Cady Jardine, got this one right. I love As Good As It Gets. Whenever it's on TV, I have to watch it. The Notebook I did not like, although, surprisingly, Kevin did, and I appreciate those who thought that One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (shout out to Nurse Ratchett!) and THANK HEAVENS no one thought that Twilight was my favorite movie. Haven't even read the book yet, but I do have juicy gossip on the author.

5) What did I want to be when I was little?
a) Teacher
b) Beautician
c) Broadway actress
d) Nurse
e) Office Babe
Yep, it's nurse. When my youngest sister, Kellie, was born and we went to the hospital to see her, I remember thinking what a great job the nurses had and I wanted to be a baby nurse when I grew up. Now I have nursed babies and I have been a nurse to people who acted like babies, but I haven't been a baby nurse, still a dream of mine. As you may have guessed, beautician would NEVER have worked for me. I would love to be a Broadway actress, but I do know my limitations.

6) I am most happiest when ________?
a) Sleeping
b) Eating
c) Running
d) Playing with my children
e) I'm always happy
I know, this one was super cheesy, but I am happy. I think I get that perspective from being a nurse and seeing people in terrible health and social/ economical situations, so I am acutely aware of all that's great.

7)What song would I choose to sing at a karaoke bar?
a) Stop! In the Name of Love
b) Bad Medicine
c) New York, New York
d) Stayin' Alive
e) Oh baby! You better keep me out of that bar!
I have a dream and it involves me and a karaoke machine. My parents gave me one for Christmas before I was married and I believe that was one of the stipulations that Kevin have was that I left it at home. So now, I have to wait until the Guthries annual Halloween party to get my fix. I feel comfortable posting this since Kevin doesn't read it, but I have big plans to sing him a special number this year and it's one of the options above.

8) Who is my favorite sister?
a) Jen
b) Nikki
c) Stephanie
d) Kellie
e) Julie
Alright, this was a trick question. It was meant to stir up trouble with my sisters and I in anticipation of our annual pilgrimage to Utah for family togetherness, but since none of them took the test, they don't know that I put this out there, so the gathering will have less sparks than I wanted. I put Julie who is technically my sister in law, although I consider her my sister, and fortunately, she got this one right.

9) What am I currently addicted to?
a) The Real World
b) The Bachelorette
c) McDonald's Vanilla Ice Crea, Cones
d) Coke
e) Facebook
Only two people didn't say facebook. Really. I know that it would seem as though I am addicted to facebook since I did the quiz on facebook, but I don't know what to do on there except for look at what friends are doing and that takes me a couple of minutes, then I'm done. But, I NEED a McDonald's Vanilla Ice Cream Cone every day. It's 150 calories and 6gm of fat goodness. The Sabbath is the only day I don't enjoy one, but maybe I could get two on Saturday and freeze one.....

10) Which one of these insects have I NOT had in my hair (that I know of)?
a) Cockroach
b) Spider
c) Fly
d) Beetle
e) Earwig
The answer is beetle. Let me tell you how the cockroach got in my hair. When I was doing a home visit for a baby from a teenage mom that lived in a trailer with her parents, I usually don't sit down because a lot of times there isn't a clean place to sit, but I had to assess the baby and the only place I could do that was seated on the couch. The grandma of the baby was fascinated with my hair because I had it in a french braid. I was wrapping things up when she smacked me on the back of the head. I turned to look at her and she said Oh, I think I saw something in your hair, and that's when I saw a huge cockroach running away. I don't think I ever packed up my things as fast as I did that day.

11) If I was running out of my burning house, what item would I grab?
a) The remote
b) Violin
c) Make-up
d) Bra
e) Clothes
After reading the question again, I realize why there were a lot of wrong answers. I pictured myself running out of a burning building in the middle of the night since that's when I have imagined it happening. So you all get credit for this one. Which brings me to the answer I put which is bra, because I don't wear one at night and I would hate to have the firefighters see me unkempt. Many of you said makeup and while I do love makeup, again, I saw it as the middle of the night and really nighttime is when I rest my face. And by the way, I wear pajamas because I believe that it is part of emergency preparedness. I would hate to have the firefighters see me in my garments only.
So now you know more about me and you read it on another narcissistic forum.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What I do when I have to wait

I am not a fan of waiting. I haven't seen that option on facebook yet, but when it's there, I will add it as my first "fan of" thing. So, since I am waiting, I decided to catch up on the fun that has been going on here in the PHX as the school year, et. winds down and summer winds up. P.S. I got a new camera for Mother's Day, so there are a significant increase in pictures due to me using it more often.

This picture was taken after Dillan and Chloe's violin recital on Mother's Day. It was held in their teacher's lovely church. This is Dillan and Chloe with their teacher, a.k.a. Miss Shari. She is truly a gifted teacher. I owe all of my children's abilities to her. She loves each child individually and motivates them to develop their talent. And, yes, I see that Dillan needs a longer tie. Every time I turn around that boy has grown an inch!

This is Chloe during the performance:

It's the one moment that I caught her just sitting there, not talking to her neighbor, who she hadn't met before, but decided that they were now friends and had a lot of things to discuss. That's my girl!
That's the darling children in front of the beautiful stained glass window in the church. It is so beautiful, and we are so lucky to get to go there twice a year for these recitals in the afternoon when the sun is hitting it. I think it makes the children sound ten times better.
This is Kevin and I on our way to one of our combined best dates ever. I mean, we both enjoyed our time together, not that we don't enjoy each others company, but you know, sometimes a date is enjoyed more by one party than the other. We went to the Scottsdale Gun Club after Kevin had gone to the N.R.A. Convention earlier that day and had an itch for a new firearm. I'm not at liberty to give you all the details, I was merely a bystander in a foreign world. But the things really kicked up a notch when we went to Sur le Table! I could spend hours in there looking at kitchen/ dining things. I came out with a new potato masher, but the damage would have been greater had Kevin not been with me to say things like "We just bought new dishes." or "Why would you need another hand mixer?" So I will go back when I don't have a culinary novice in tow. Then of course to the Cheesecake Factory.

This picture is a correction for Myrissa. The picture I posted for her on her birthday was when we were in the botom of the Grand Canyon, so we had just finished hiking for three hours and were attempting to refuel at Phantom Ranch. But in my defense, it was the only picture I had on this computer. So for her birthday dinner, I took the camera and got a few shots. The meal was lovely and I guess even at upscale restaurants they'll sing Happy Birthday. Who knew?
This is Myrissa and her husband, Brad. That Myrissa is such a saint for marrying a mentally challenged individual. He functions at the level of a ten year old, so needless to say, she has her hands full with that one. We have two new dogs. They are Frenchtons which is a designer breed of French bull dogs and Boston terriers. We did not purchase these, but were given them by our friends, the Guthries, who were unable to be around enough for them. Their names are Jacques (left) and Pierre (right). They are brothers and act it every bit. If I give them both a toy, they will want the one the other one has, and then fight about it. But then they snuggle up to each other to sleep. Jacque is older but smaller. Pierre has gotten a bad rap for being a bully, but I believe that Jacques is the instigator and Pierre just gets fed up and fights back. We enjoy them and they seem to be working out well.

This is us on our way to bowling for FHE. Olivia thought that it was for her birthday, which had been celebrated in preschool that day since her birthday is in the summer, hence the crown. These are some action shots of bowling:

Bowling is so great when they put the siderails up. No gutter balls! I don't know what I will do when all of our children are old enough not to have them.

So then the missionaries came over for dinner. They had a presentation for the children about putting on the armor of God. This is them putting it on Olivia.

They had a lot of fun and Kevin was shooting the fiery darts at her. Great object lesson.

I am still waiting. Ugh! I could have taken a nap!