Monday, May 30, 2011

In Honor

In the Salt Lake Tribune this morning they had some quotes regarding Memorial Day. I had been thinking of the right way to mark this day and just didn't know what to say that would truly do justice to the importance of what this day symbolizes. Lucky for me the Tribune did all the work and I just want to share with you the one quote that most affected me.

President Harry S. Truman
"Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices. Because of these sacrifices, the dawn of justice and freedom throughout the world slowly casts its gleam across the horizon.

"At this decisive hour in history, it is very difficult to express my feelings. Words will not convey what is in my heart." (radio address to the armed forces, April 17, 1945)

Thank you to all who have served and all who are serving. I can't say it any better than President Truman and like him I can't convey my feelings with words. All of you are amazing and brave.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Blog

My cousin had this link on curiosity got the best of me and I had to look. This has got to be one of the funniest, best blogs I have seen in a while. This dad is amazing and we all have been laughing all morning looking at all of his costumes. I love this guy, he has the most amazing sense of humor. I just spent all of my time that I should have been making a salad and getting ready for church reading every post on this blog.

Without further delay, here is the link:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Religion & Politics

I'd like to say that I try to stay away from controversy, but in reality, I really do like to stir the pot. Playing devil's advocate and twisting things so that it makes someone look at things a different way is one of the actions that I delight in. I have learned a lot about my children by doing this and have realized how I have really raised them to think. I'm hoping it's not to late to change some of that, but unless I change then I doubt I will change them. They have some strong opinions about immigration, religion, politics, and I'm sure there is more but I should probably leave a few secrets about my family :) Like that's going to happen.

The link above is an article entitled "In Defense of Mormons" and the author does a really good job in pointing out that you need to look past just someone's religion or some other label when you are deciding on who to vote for. I didn't appreciate the comment about the funny underwear, but I understand how he would use that as one of his examples.

I really liked how he had facts to back up what he wrote and not just opinions. I should usually do that more but that would require doing research and I usually just like to write about what I'm feeling. Note for later, do research. I would agree with Mr. Lott on many of the reasons that he had in his article why people need to look past the label of any religion and look at how that person that is running for any office votes and if they have the same values as you do. Just because Romney and Huntsman are LDS like I am, it does not mean that I would vote for them. It is my responsibility to do my research and make sure they have the same views for the Country as I do. There could be many reason's why I might lean toward another candidate. The same goes for Sarah Palin, I wouldn't just vote for her because she is a woman or because she says that she is a conservative. There are many things that I don't agree with that is part of her platform.

Did I vote for President Obama because I felt like he just deserved it because of the color of his skin? No, I felt as though he was the lesser of 2 evils. After reading through a lot of crap, I truly felt that he would do the least damage to our Country. Am I always happy with the direction our Country is going in? No, I'm not; I don't appreciate the way President Obama has done some things (cancelling Egypt's debt, bailing out the auto makers, bailing out the banks, bailing out everyone but the middle class). I can see why he felt that was what needed to be done but I also can see how it has hurt our economy. It has hurt our moral and for me how I trust the Government (I don't). I'm also willing to admit that we all make "on the job mistakes" we just don't have the entire world watching us as we do it. Every President that we have had has had both good moments and bad. They are all human and make mistakes. I have to go with the thought that they did the best they could. I always have to have that hope.

It always has been and always will be our responsibility to do our homework and find the candidate that best represents and will do what is the best for us as a people and our Country as a whole. I am so grateful to have been born in this Country and in my semi safe little Utah bubble. I am thankful that I can write this and not have to worry for my families safety. Even though I wish all of our troops could come home, I am so thankful for their service so that I can enjoy my little bubble. I'm also glad to have the illusion that my vote does count and that I have any say in how things are going to happen in our Country.

And, Really? Is it really time for us to have to deal with all this crap already? Didn't we just vote? Really!?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Washing Machine & Dead Body

Our washing machine was new about five years ago...we have to go back in time to appreciate this story. Right now while life is quiet and is giving me the opportunity to share some of my shining moments from over the years, I am going take the time to embarrass myself. Now, picture it...we had been living with Kenny's mom for the past few years and we were able to find a home in my mom's neighborhood that we could afford. We made all the arrangements and were blessed to have Christopher near so he could help us. Kenny had to work and couldn't be there to pick up our moving truck or drive it into Salt Lake the next morning to our new home. We had so much help and it was such a blessing to be surrounded by so many amazing family and friends.

We actually got settled quickly and loved feeling like we were grown up, it didn't seem real to be on our own again. My mom had just bought a new washer and dryer and gave us her old ones. We had her washer and dryer for a week when the washer decided to die on us. It was a sad day. I had so much laundry. Luckily we had a tiny amount of money in savings and we went to the same place to buy a new washing machine that my mom had gone to. The salesman was so nice and even bent the rules so we didn't have to pay for the delivery fee. I was so lucky to have only gone for a couple days without a washer. I was surprised when I was the first person on their delivery list and had my washer first thing, like before 8 am.

I have to back up just a little here; the day before I had gone grocery shopping and on my way home had passed the neighborhood park and seen something that looked weird. There was a car parked there with a scary van next to it. Even though it looked off to me, most things looked off to me in the area we had moved into. I learned quickly that Salt Lake has an inner city and we had moved into the middle of it. I could hear gunshots most nights as we were falling asleep. Strangely enough, I miss that neighborhood and the many different people that live there. We made some good friends while there.

Once the washing machine was delivered and all set up I wasted no time in starting my first load of laundry. I walked away to do other things and came back a while later to switch loads. I was surprised when I went back and the washing machine was still not done. It was filling up and then draining about half way and filling up again. I didn't know what was wrong, so, trying to fix this on my own and without bugging Kenny this time I called the repair number that was in the owner's manual. Once again, I'm calling for help and everyone reading this should feel bad for both us during this phone call. Here is how it went:

Poor Receptionist: Hello, blah blah blah company. How may I direct your call?
Me: Hi, I just had my new washing machine delivered and it's not working right. I need to talk to whomever can help me.
Transfered to the poor repair man who had to talk to me. Don't feel to bad for him yet.
Poor Guy: Hi mam, I understand that you are having a problem with your washing machine. What is it doing exactly?
Me: It fills up and then drains half way, fills up again and immediately drains again. It has been doing this for a couple hours and I'm pretty sure that is not normal.
Not So Poor Guy: (faint laughing can be heard in the background) No, that is not normal. The only problem is that they put the drainage tube in too far. You just need to pull it out a little and you should be fine.
Me: Okay, thank you.

I got off the phone and went to fix the washer. It was only once I got to the washing machine and really looked at it that I realized I had a new problem. Was the line to far into the machine or the drain. In my mine I assumed that it was to far into the machine. The washing machine was full of water and I couldn't move it very far and the dryer wasn't moving to much, there wasn't room to move it. My only option was to climb up on top of the washer and dryer to try to reach the bottom of the washer so I could pull the line out. I had one knee on the washer and one knee on the dryer and my butt up in the air. I couldn't reach the bottom and so I gently tried to tug on the line to get it out so my new machine would work. I was like that for a while and was trying as hard as I could to figure out what the problem was and why it wouldn't pull back out of the machine. My knees were hurting and so I finally got off the washer and dryer and realized that the back window was wide open across from me. I was quickly hoping that my back neighbors weren't home or were busy with their lives so they didn't notice the crazy new lady straddled on top of her washer and dryer with her butt up in the air while tugging on the drainage line from the washer. After I stood there for a moment trying to get over any embarrassment from what I had just done, I noticed the other end of the line going into the drain. The light bulb came one. I'm sure it was a little dim at first and as I looked at the drainage tube my light began to get brighter and brighter. I now knew what part of the line I should have pulled back a little. I gently pulled the drainage line out of the drain and turned on the washing worked!!

While I had been on top of the washer and dryer my mom and Chris had been at my door knocking and knocking trying to get my attention. They finally tried calling the house to see if I was home. When I answered the phone they wanted to know what I was doing because they are in the driveway and wanted to tell me some news. I let them in the house and explained what I had been doing. They laughed so hard and couldn't believe that I had been trying to pull the hose out of the washer. They then proceeded to tell me that there was a dead body found at the park just down from me. So, there was something wrong with what I had seen. When I told my mom and Chris about what I had seen they loaded me up in their truck and made me go talk to the police. I had to give the police my information and then tell them about the van that had been there. I'm not sure if they ever found the killer but it sure made for one eventful day. And, lucky for Kenny I actually let him focus on work and didn't call him and demand him to come home. I had so much to tell him when he got home.

We all had dinner that night together at my mom's house and once we got over the shock of having a dead body found just down the street from our house, we spent the rest of the night laughing about me and that stupid washing machine. Oh, and we can't forget the call to the repair guy. I can finally admit that after I was laughed at the first time I didn't want to call back and ask which part of the hose I was supposed to pull out.

Out of all the places that we have lived, this house definitely provided for the most eventful first week ever. This is also the same house that I later set off the alarm system. We only lived there for 6 months but it felt like so much longer. We made some good friends there and had many adventures. I really like the area that we are living in now but if it doesn't work out for us to stay here I would love to move back to that neighborhood and be a part of our own little melting pot here in Salt Lake City.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lazy Saturday

This a rare Saturday, indeed. We are never lounging and relaxing all at the same time, I mean never. Usually it's just me alone and Kenny never stops. The boys will come and go, it really just depends on if Kenny is doing something cool and fun or if they have some video game that they just have to beat.

You know that we're in trouble when Rabbie (who has been a part of our family for years, I will write about him later) has the remote. Today, with Rabbie in charge we have been forced to endure True TV and watching wild police chases. He has now moved onto "Senior Smackdown". Now I'm wondering if it really is Rabbie that has chosen this channel or if he is being framed. Who else in our family would choose such things to watch?

No, mom, I will not get dressed today or move the bottle so you can see my face! Negotiations will soon comence with this oldest child of mine. Right now he is to busy watching "blue hairs" drive drunk and one lady just smacked her Pastor. What am I subjecting my children to?

Now that Rabbie is not in control of the remote and Taylor has rescued him, I'm thinking he really was framed for choosing such a channel with these shows for us to watch. Rabbie, can you let me know who it was that would do such a thing to you?

I think we have our culprit! Rabbie was able to pick the one who framed him out of a line up. After careful questioning, I had to agree that it was my sweetheart who had pick the channel that we are being forced to endure. Honey, really, you're making us watch this stuff again?

I'm trying to hold out and not get sucked into the shows. They become addictive because you just have to see if someone will really do something even more stupid than the one before. I'm not looking. I really should go get ready for the day. I'm still not looking. Oh man, I peeked and can't believe that this old man thought the breathalyser test was the officer actually offering him something to drink. I'm sucked in. I don't think there's much hope left for the day now.

At least Maggie hasn't been sucked into the stupidity that we have been lured into watching. She is getting to relax in peace, alone, in semi quiet. Can I be a princess Maggie?

The violence that is on TV has now affected the calm stuppor that we had been enjoying. My boys have now moved to the stairs and are wrestling. I'm supposed to take them into public at some point today, do I really have to? If this keeps up we will be the next family to be in the "Wal Mart People" pictures. At this point, is there any hope for this family?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another New Adventure

After a few years of talking about possibly home schooling our boys, Kenny and I finally decided that home schooling our boys was exactly what we needed to do. There are so many reasons why we have decided to go in this direction. We have had to deal with so much bullying in the schools (even with their no tolerance policy), there are so many kids bringing guns and other weapons to school now that it's just getting crazy, and, and, and. I could keep going but the rest of the reasons sound so much more realistic so I'm only going to share my paranoid reasons with you :)

I know that right now I get overwhelmed quickly and would probably give in if the boys gave me any kind of a fight with doing their school work, so I applied to have them attend the Utah Virtual Academy. This way I will have someone to answer to and we have to log the hours for the boys attendance. I will have to follow through. All the boy's classes are online and I will still need to take them each year for their testing to make sure they are progressing and meeting the State requirements. It's not going to be all play for them but it will be for me. I am so excited to teach them and be more involved with their schooling.

Originally, I was told that we wouldn't find out if they were accepted until after school gets out for the summer. I wasn't planning on hearing anything until the middle of June at the soonest. I already received their acceptance emails. It is official, we are entering into the world of home schooling!!

I already had set up Taylor's schedule and now it feels even more real because I just got an email with Kelton's proposed schedule. He is going to have to take a pre-test to get the math class that he wants, but he shouldn't have any problems with that. All I have heard about for the past month is how he wanted to take Geometry next year but the school district changed their policy and took Geometry away. That is the math class that they have suggested for him, he just has to take the pre-test and get a 70%. He will have no problem with that.

So, here we go into another adventure. Home Schooling!!! Anyone out there that knows me and home schools be prepared, I will be bugging you with lots of questions as we begin.

A Night at Grandma's

My mom is in Las Vegas on vacation right now, so I'm at her house watching their dog Maggie. If you have noticed, Maggie is also one of my friends on facebook. She is an amazing dog. Being here with her makes me miss Charlie so much. I wish there had been a way to make things work so we could have kept him longer. Six years was long time to deal with him, we definitely had a love hate relationship, but there was so much love there. Due to work and school and life in general, because nothing is ever easy, I stayed at my moms house last night with Taylor and Kenny and Kelton stayed home so that Kelton could go to school.

I have to say that so far Maggie has been so good for me. I was warned about all of her little things that she does and I'm used to watching Chris take off after her when she is getting into something. But for me, she has been wonderful! I haven't had to chase her around the yard to get her to come back in the house and since she can't hear, I had to just pick her up this morning and carry her outside to get her to go out. Then, she came right back to me and we came inside. Sorry to everyone else who has had any struggles but I'm glad that she is being so nice to me. She even went shopping and bought each of us a present to say thank you for taking care of her. She also added a thank you for taking good care of Jack as well.

Who's Jack you ask? Well, Jack is a squirrel that has taken up residency in my moms backyard. He comes down and dances for my sister and Chris when they are outside. Now he has a family of four and they have been feeding them. Taylor was given the specific responsibility of feeding the squirrels everyday. So far I haven't seen Jack, but I'm not outside that much. I'm sure he will feel very neglected by the time Sunday comes and his normal people are back.

Last night Taylor and I stayed up until about one in the morning watching T.V. We watched all kinds of things and ended up on the history channel watching "Swamp People". It was such an eye opener to how different people live. These people live right on the water in the swamp in the South somewhere. All I really remember is that one boy was learning how to handle the rope and the rifle so that he could get his own boat and start getting gators on his own. Their whole thing is catching (and killing) alligators and catfish. The "gators" would get caught in ropes that were set out and then they would come up and pull the rope up and shoot the gator. The catfish, I'm still in shock at how they would catch these things. Two of the men were actually down in the water and when they found a catfish they would corner it and then one of them went down under the water so the catfish could bite onto his hand and then once the fish was locked on the guy would haul this huge catfish up and into the boat. It was insane, and they were down in the same swamp water that the alligators were in.

I quickly decided that is a profession that I would never be able to try. There are three big reasons why:
1)Alligators, need I say more. I'm a pretty good shot but they can eat me before I could ever pull the trigger.
2)getting in swamp water. There is no way, if you don't already know, I won't get into any water that is not a chlorinated swimming pool. Things live in that water (ie fish) and they poop in that water. I will not swim where there are living things that could touch me and I don't want to risk having fish feces enter me or be near me. Now that I have thought about it, I now need to add that there is gator poop in that equation as well. Yuck!!
3)Letting a fish bite me: first let me refer you back to reason number 2 and add ouch. I don't like pain so why would I ever let a fish bite me. Have you seen the teeth on a catfish? They look very ouchy.

The final touch that makes me think I would have a hard time with that lifestyle is that they made "T-Rex Jumboullia" (I know that is spelled wrong, but I can't figure it out, not even with the help of spell check. now you have to see how bad my spelling is). Any guesses as to why it's named T-Rex, yep, they make it with alligator meat. I think that's enough about the swamp.

Now for the highlight of my night. About 4 am I was awaken to hail pounding into the huge window in my moms room. I rolled over just in time to open my eyes and be blinded by lightening. It was so amazing and bright and loud. The storm moved through pretty fast and was down to just raining in about 10 minutes, but the entire time that it was lightening and thundering it was so cool. I love thunderstorms! Taylor slept through it all and didn't even roll over, nothing. He had no clue anything had happened during the night when I asked him this morning. He missed out!

I really can't wait to see what today may bring. One thing is for sure, it will include a nap!
(as an added note, the nap never came)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

To Judge or To Love

I have had a really hard time this week coming up with things to write about. It sounds weird, I know, but there hasn't been too much going on in our lives and I can always write about one of my silly stories (there are so many) but I didn't feel like writing just to write. I love to write and to share my stories from the past and my experiences that I am currently experiencing. There are a few blogs that I faithfully read because they always lift me up, make me laugh and inspire me to be a better person. I just got done catching up on my reading and have found a common theme in my life this week. I have constantly been surrounded by amazing people who are strong and funny and have helped to keep me strong and moving forward this week. These are lessons that I can carry with me forever!

Each of these instances now mean more to me as I remember them and see what I learned from each moment; whether that moment was in person or through someone else's blog. Taylor is just starting into Scouting and had passed off all of his requirements to earn his first two rank advancements. I am not familiar with Scouting since I'm a girl and I don't have any brothers that would have been involved in the Boy Scouts. We took Taylor over to our church for the board of review. This was both mine and Taylor's first experience with a board of review. There were only two of the members of the board that showed up but it didn't slow them down one bit (I guess there should be three) they just went forward and met with Taylor and one of the other boys in his den. I rarely see Taylor nervous about anything, but he was so nervous sitting in front of these two men. The two who were interviewing Taylor for his advancements are actually cousins and they were so much fun to be with. We spent most of our time laughing. Evidentially that is not normal either. Who knew! I have so much respect for them. Neither of these men talked down to Taylor or made him feel stupid or bad for not being able to repeat the Oath or the Pledge. Instead, the one leader stood with Taylor and had him repeat them after him. Isn't that why we are here, to help each other and if we don't know something or are scared we help them and walk them through whatever they are struggling with. Thank you, and you know who you are, for being such good leaders.

While reading one of my favorite blogs I learned that the author of this blog has had some hardships over the past year that she has tried to keep within her family but must have said something on her blog that got back to her family. She only has one sister like me and whatever it is that happened has led to her sister not being a part of her life now. I feel so bad right now for her, I just want drive to her State and find her and give her a big hug. There have been several times over the years that my sister and I haven't always gotten along and went for long periods of time without talking. We are a lot closer now and I cherish the friendship that we have now. It would kill me to loose that bond that we now have. I have realized over the years how important my family is to me and that I want them in my life and close to me. I did share a part of my life from years ago and it did hurt some of my family, I felt horrible because that wasn't my intentions and that is not how life is now. Now, life is good and I have my family around me.

Today I met a single dad while Taylor and I were at Shriners for Taylor's check up. His son's story is miraculous. He is a true inspiration, as most children are up there. His dad's story is almost just as amazing, it was fun to hear about him growing up in Iran. He has led quit the life. He is moving just outside of Logan next month and has invited us to his ranch for dinner after they are settled; he has promised some Iranian food. I'm not sure if he will actually get in touch with me for us to get our families together, but if he does I think my boys will have fun with his son, you can't help but love him.

For the last several weeks we have been studying the parables that Christ taught. I love reading and studying what Christ taught and hearing how other people interpret the stories. Out of the three that we went over on Sunday, two of the parables had to do with not judging others. Out of all of my experiences this week I have seen the pain that has come from people judging others and the joy that can come when you open your heart and accept our differences. It would be really easy to pick any number of excuses to hold a grudge about the things that has happened in my life over the years and not have anything to do with my family or other people who have trespassed against Kenny and I. However, my life would be empty and I would have missed out on a lot of joy that we have shared. In other instances I could just judge and not give people a chance. However, if I had done that I could miss out on some wonderful friendships. I have definitely spent plenty of time being on the side of judging others (usually just for what they are wearing) and I have been on the receiving end of being judged by people who didn't know me and had never even said hi to me or my family.

I am grateful for these opportunities to learn and be reminded of why it's important to forgive and not close my heart off to others. Thank you to everyone out there, whether you know it or not, for teaching me how to let the bad things in life go and to not judge someone on how they look or what they may be going through at this time in their life.

As I am reading over this it has come together in a random way, however, that is just how my life is. Nothing comes in order or necessarily make sense at the time but when everything comes full circle it starts to make sense. I love it when everything comes together and I can learn a lesson that I can carry with me forever. I'm pretty sure I will have to reminded of this lesson again, but for now I will enjoy all of the precious moments I will have with family, friends, and people I have yet to meet.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Racing Fuel and Rubber

Last night we let Kelton go to the Motocross race out at RMR with a friend of his. I wanted to go as well. We can go for free with our summer pass that we bought. We were running late because I wanted to make sure that Kenny had a chance to eat dinner and relax for a minute before I drug him out the door. We ended up being an hour late, which isn't a really big deal with any race unless you have to see every second of the race. I'm one of those people that get around to going when I can and it's usually late because I just like seeing the end anyway. If it's drag racing then I don't have the patience to sit through all of the elimination rounds. If it's any other type of racing, I will either go towards the end or if it is on TV I will turn it on towards the end just to see the fight for the finish and the carnage that usually comes with it. The carnage is only fun if the driver is okay and only the car gets damaged. After years of watching my dad and uncle race I know the anxiety of watching someone you love wreck and then waiting to make sure that the driver is okay. I wasn't there when my uncle wrecked his car in Idaho, but it was a horrible wreck and he is still trying to completely recover after a few years.

Back to last night, since we were late, when we got to the gates for the motocross we were informed that the motocross was already full but that if we wanted to watch the drag races they were letting us in for free that night. I had a choice. Really? Oh, lets see, motocross or drag racing? Hmmmm, there wasn't really a decision to be made. Drag racing here I come! As I entered the gate I could already smell the gas and cars were doing their burn outs and I could smell the smoke and rubber. It wasn't as good as when the big cars are running, but it worked for last night. One of the "Security" people asked to check my purse. Okay, no big deal, I handed him my purse and all he did was squeeze my purse in a few different places. I'm glad he isn't at the airport. If you ask to check my purse you should actually check my purse. Squeezing it doesn't count and by doing it that way he could have broken something. Not that I had anything breakable other than my phone and camera and all of my lip gloss and lip sticks. Okay, he would have really needed to pound on my purse to break anything, I just am used to going to larger events where they actually open purses and look.

We enjoyed watching all the cars and motorcycles. It was sort of disappointing because now they have the different classes of cars separated and we were there for the street legal cars. It's still fun to watch but they are quiet and their tires squeal. There were a few cars that were loud and fast, but only a few. There was one guy with his racing motorcycle who was doing his runs to get licensed. He did an amazing job and had almost perfect reaction times every time he ran. When I was watching he had the same reaction time for every run except for the last one. That is what you want, good and consistent reaction times off the line. Really, that is how you win races.

Kelton's friends and his dad left before we did, so Kelton came over and joined us for some drag racing. He said he had tons of fun at the motocross race and that there was lots of carnage. I guess I could have had fun at that race, but being a drag racing girl I had to go with what I love.

I did tape one of the race cars because it was what I remember from my teenage years. I spent almost every Friday night out at the race track. I will always remember those years and cherish them. That time that I had with family was invaluable. I will never have that again and when I go out there it makes me a little nostalgic for the past. I miss helping my dad with his gear and pushing his car up through the staging lanes and being right there beside his car while I guided him into the water box for his burn out. Back then, I could be right there on the track and I could watch his run from behind him as he went down the track. I loved the times that he would let me guide him onto the trailer when we were done racing. I would stand at the front of the trailer and guide him up the ramps. The car had so much power that I can still see the car jump forward and stop, then jump forward again toward me and stop. We did that until the car is in the perfect position on the trailer. It was always a good night when we could make through all the racing without anything breaking. Back then everyone knew those Shiflett boys and when they could line up together to race each other you would hear the announcer say, "Oh, it's the Shiflett boys!" That wasn't always a nice thing to hear because it meant that they knew both would push their cars to the limit and one would break something. Once they were done racing it was almost guaranteed that the track would have to be closed down for a good half hour or more while they cleaned the track of whatever parts and fluids were left in their wake. It was good times!

We had so much fun last night and also learned a lesson; bring bug spray next time. We got eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Here is the quick little video that I took of my favorite car that out there last night; it is a Dodge Dart (forgot what year). Sorry for the shaking, my hands just shake (it's really annoying). The noise is the best, I love the sound of a good loud race car. Just wait until we go to a bigger race. I will subject you to many of these videos. Now if I ever ask you to repeat something you will understand what happened to my hearing :)

Now, turn up those speakers, ignore the shaking, and enjoy the most important and loudest part of the race!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

This last month for book club it was decided that we would read One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie. I really didn't know what to think when I first started to read this book and for me it started out a little slow. As I kept reading, I was hooked. I absolutely love how this book has so many twists and turns. Just when I thought I might have an idea who it could be that committed the crime something would happen and knew I had no chance to figure this out at all. I don't usually try to solve a mystery as I read the book. I really like to enjoy the ride and let the author lead me through their maze of thoughts. Sometimes the plot is really thin and I actually can figure out who did it. Other times, like this time, there was no hope of putting this mystery together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this mystery and would recommend it to everyone. I know I have left it really vague so that if anyone wants to read this book I won't ruin anything for you. I would hate to give anything away.

Kenny can always solve any mystery. He has this habit of leaning over just a few minutes into any television show and will tell me who did it. The same thing happens with most movies. So, I handed him the book to see if he can figure this one out before the end of the book. Even in books he can figure out the guilty one is within the first few chapters. So far he is four chapters in and hasn't figured it out. I can tell he is getting frustrated. I don't think it will take him the whole book like me, but I sorta hope it takes him over half way to put it together.

This has been a fun book to read and to watch Kenny try to figure out. I can't wait to see what everyone thought about it at book club tonight.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers Day 2011

This year for Mothers Day Kenny completely and totally spoiled me. He went shopping Saturday night to get a few things that we needed and he came home with a bouquet of flowers for me, my mom and Chris. These are the flowers that I received, they are so beautiful! My mom and Chris's flowers are just as amazing. He also found the best card for them. Kenny did an amazing job finding just the perfect thing for each of us.

Sunday morning Kenny and the boys brought in this so cute card for me and the Glee soundtrack. I love this card because it is so us. The only part that doesn't apply is the line that says, "rockin' the town." We are such homebodies.

And, yes Glee. I have gotten sucked into this series ever since we added netflix and they have the first season of Glee streaming strait to our blue ray. My name is Rachelle and I'm a Gleek.

We even made it to church and even though it wasn't the best Mother's Day program, every woman did receive a CD of Eliza R. Snow's Greatest Hymns. She wrote a lot of our hymns that we sing during our meetings and I can't wait to listen to this CD. Since any music that is religious (or country) equals to water boarding for my boys, I will have to wait to listen to this CD until I am alone in my car or Taylor goes back to school (he is off track for 2 weeks). I know I can't wait that long, so as one of the perks of being a mom, I will listen to this and enjoy every minute of the music and the torturing of my children.

We had dinner at my mom's house and Becca cooked for all of us. She wouldn't let anyone help. She did an amazing job and the food was amazing. She made us two kinds of Ribs (BBQ and orange chipolte), mushroom rice and cabbage. She then added for dessert, chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream. It was all so heavenly!!

My mom's also gave me this amazing flower container with miniature pink and yellow roses. Roses are my favorite (well, that is after daisies) and these are my favorite colors. I also love the container and the little birds on the top. I can't wait for the weather to be good enough to start planting our little flower garden on our deck and add this to the decor.

What an amazing Mothers Day!!! I am so thankful for my family and the love that we have for each other. I am thankful for a talented sister who shared her gift for cooking with us. I am so thankful for my mom and Chris and for all the other mom's who have an influence in my life.

I love you and am blessed to have you all in my life!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Adventures in the Desert

Both boys had an overnight scout camp Friday night. They both went out to Skull Valley to the Lone Rock. I've never been there but Kenny has been there several times for scout camps. They were both so excited to go that Thursday was like Christmas Eve, they were so wound up. Kelton's group left before Taylor on Friday. So, it was complete torture while Taylor waited for his group to leave. I tried telling him he needed to settle down or I was going to pay a coyote to take him away into the desert. He quickly informed that it wouldn't work because coyote's don't need money. When did he get so smart?

This is the only before picture that I was able to get. I love it!! I love my little redneck in camo!

Here is the aftermath of spending one night out in the desert. They had fun last night having a light stick war. I've never heard of that, but they had a blast throwing light sticks around their tent until one of the boys loaded them all up and threw them into the fire. Today they both did some hiking and spent time catching lizards and snakes. Taylor's group also did a 5 mile hike so they could pass off one of their requirements.

Poor Taylor finally gave in and just crashed on the couch. I love that all of their gear made it in the door and onto the floor next to the couch. I should probably go put that away and wash their smoky clothes. We made them both go shower as soon as they came through the door. Camp fire, bug spray and sunscreen mixed with teenage boys is just not pleasant :)

I'm pretty sure that both boys are going to kill me for taking their pictures of them asleep. Poor Kelton got so sunburned. You can see his cheek and ear here in this picture. He only sunburned on one side and is going to be hurting tomorrow.

They both had tons of fun and I heard all about each of the lizards that Taylor caught and how he held them so they could still breath. That's important, ya know. Kelton's group seemed to focus more on the snakes and even brought a bunch of them home to his leaders house. I know they keep birds out of your garden, but the idea of putting live snakes out in my yard totally freaks me out. There was only one problem with the whole trip. The same kid that threw the light sticks into the fire also decided to throw rocks off the top of Lone Rock and hit Taylor in the head once and the neck twice. I only add in this bad part of their camp out because my sweet little boy, my baby, yelled, "Son of a Bitch!" after he was hit the second time. Only my child would be out with a group from church and get frustrated, okay pissed, and have that fly out of his mouth. Where were his parents? Who lets their child talk like that? (yes, I thought all those things that I would have been murmuring if it had been someone else's child)

I'm glad that they get to go and have these experiences. I think Kenny's mom would be happy to know that he admitted today that he now understands why she reacted the way she did when he would get home from his scout camps. Mom's always love it when their children have an aha moment that makes them appreciate all that was done for them. When all is said and done, both boys had a lot of fun and got to enjoy being boys for a day. They didn't have me behind them worried that they would get hurt or bitten by one of those lizards or snakes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco De Mayo

Happy Cinco De Mayo!!!

I have to start with a story about my mom and I going shopping. I may need to warn you that this post may not be very politically correct, I'll try, but with the people involved and the subject matter I really can't make any promises. A couple of years ago I took my mom to Wal Mart and we were doing some shopping. We went to the store that is by her house, it is technically called the downtown Wal Mart, but somehow over the years it has been dubbed the "Mexican Wal Mart." I really have no idea why it has been dubbed that since there are so many different nationalities that shop there. But, that is the nickname that it goes by. By the time we had wandered through the entire store aimlessly, but with a purpose (seriously, isn't that how everyone shops?), we were ready to check out. We had completely filled a basket and the ridey cart's little basket. It was crazy busy and it took forever for us to get through the checkout. The entire time, there was a group of 4 teenagers behind us that were probably out on a double date. They were so patient and were just having fun visiting and waiting for us to ever finish up. Right at the end, my mom remembers that she needed to get some cash back, we had to start another new transaction. Being the kind person she is, she turned around and told the group behind us that she would pay for their stuff as well. They only had a couple of items, just some little treats. They said no, but that never works with my mom. I'm sure she knew what no meant when she was a child, but as an adult she doesn't hear it, it's like you never said anything to her she will just continue on with what she was doing. The kids behind us tried to say no that they were fine with waiting, but she insisted until they gave in and she bought their things. Cinco De Mayo had just passed and they were still struggling with having her pay for their stuff. My mom turns to them and says, "Happy Cinco De Mayo! just look at it that way." All four of them crack up laughing and we hear, "she thinks we're Mexican." We both just stood there not knowing how to respond. Lame I know. They left the store still hysterically laughing at us. We followed behind laughing hysterically at ourselves. I have no clue where those kids were from, they looked Hispanic, but I now know that that doesn't mean that they are celebrating Cinco De Mayo. I'm just happy that they took it so well and didn't get mad at us. Being laughed at is okay, it's fairly normal in my everyday life. Being yelled at wouldn't have been fun.

We were laughing so hard when we got back to my mom's house that we had to tell the story and it has been repeated many times since. In fact, I am still a little in shock that I admitted what that Wal Mart's nickname is. I hope you understand the warning now. There are times that we are not so PC and things are said and most of the time in front of my kids. So, I really shouldn't have been shocked when Kelton complained about Cinco De Mayo the other day. Alright, I wasn't shocked at all, but it did make me realize that I need to help my children understand that there is nothing wrong with someone coming to America and still celebrating their traditions. This is what makes us all unique and what makes America so amazing. We have so many different holiday's from so many different countries. How boring would March be without St. Patrick's Day? I can't even think of how boring Christmas would be with out all of the different traditions that have been pulled into that one holiday. I know that when my Grandma was little they would rent a cabin by Utah Lake and celebrate Icelandic Days. They would stay there for a week and enjoy their traditions. There are a lot of little traditions that each family has kept and handed down through each generation.

I really am not trying to sound like I'm perfect in any way. I am, however, seeing the big picture better as I get older. I know that when my ancestors came here there were great divisions between the different nationalities. How do you think we ended up with little Italy? We still have a lot of people coming from all different countries to our "melting pot" and finding a home here. I'm thankful for everything that each culture brings with them. The problem right now is that when you have two corrupt systems (governments) working against you it will make doing things the right way very difficult. There is so much of a focus on the Hispanic population that is here illegally and are involved in illegal activities. There is a large majority that have come here to give their families a better life, just like my ancestors. I'm not overlooking the fact that they are here illegally, but they are here and trying to work hard for their families. And, just like with my ancestors, there was bad that came with the good. I mean really, when you hear Italian your first thought is the mob. Don't lie, I know we all enjoy our Godfather and Sopranos :)

Even though I'm pretty sure that I will continue to make mistakes....I truly hope and pray for a time when we can see each other as just people. No race, color, income, or any other dividing lines. Just people all striving to be their best and care for their families. I know that I may sound like little miss molly sunshine who has no clue what reality is, but I do know reality and I want to make it better.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 4, 1995

This was the day that I promised to be with my best friend for time and all eternity. Even when I look back now I am still in amazement that we actually made it to the Temple and were sealed a year after we were married. Our first year of marriage came with so many trials that once we made it through all the funerals and postpartum depression, we really didn't have a good reason to ever throw away our marriage that we had worked so hard to hold together that first year.

When I say funerals, there was only two before we were sealed. Kenny's next door neighbor from his childhood died suddenly in an accident while he was away at Guard (he was in the Air National Guard). That was hard because he was one of the men in the area that had taken Kenny under his wings and helped him through those awkward teenage years. My foster brother, who had been battling cancer for several years, passed away not to long after. I think he was only six years old (or somewhere right around there) when his battle ended. It was nice to think that he was without pain but it was so hard to see his little casket. The third death was our little girl. We didn't get to have a funeral for her and neither Kenny nor I got to ever hold her. She was born early with several birth defects and died during delivery. I think of her often and think about each milestone that we have missed. Hormones are not one of those that have been missed :) Two months after we were sealed my dad passed away suddenly of a heart attack.

After going through all of this (even though my dad's was yet to come), here we are before we left for the Salt Lake Temple. We had worked so hard to reach this point and all though I was extremely nervous, I was as excited as I had been on our wedding day the year before.

This is the Salt Lake Temple and where we were sealed for time and all eternity. It was a magical day and I was so completely pampered while we were there. I had the most beautiful dress to wear that day. It was so me, it was more Victorian looking and had an empire waist. I loved it, I wanted to bring it home. I still remember it 16 years later. I promise that I do remember more than just the dress that I wore. I can remember everything like it was today, all the emotions that came with the commitments that we made and all the love that was shown to us and that we felt for each other. We do have the traditional pictures of us in front of the Temple but most of them are of us being silly and you can see Kenny pulling faces in them. The only one that sort of turned out has us so far away in the picture that you can hardly see us. So instead of bothering with any of those pictures I just have the Temple. Please also notice that along with all the other beautiful spring flowers that are in the picture that we also have the state summer "flower" in the bottom corner. I just noticed them myself, the lovely orange cones. Below is Kellie and Duane Shephard. Kellie was Kenny's friend from high school and she became my friend after we were married. Kellie was my chaperon that day because it was my first time going to the Temple. She was there to help me and walk me through each step. We have lost touch over the years, but I still remember her being there for me that day and how much love and patience she had with me.

We had so many loved ones with us that day, both in person and in spirit. Kenny's Aunt Katheryn (and her now ex-husband Dave) were there along with his Aunt Patricia and his Uncle Steve. Bob and Sharon Brand came which was so extremely nice. My Aunt Fran even surprised me and came on her lunch. I had no idea she even knew that we were being sealed that day, but she arranged her lunch (she worked right down town then and was only a couple blocks away) so that she could be there for me. Kenny's mom was even there to meet us outside and be there to celebrate with us.

I can't believe that all of this was 16 years ago. There were so many people who helped us to get through each of our trials and I am so thankful for each and every one of you. Without you, we wouldn't have been blessed with the blessings that we now get to enjoy forever!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

I sat awake for a long time last night thinking about this movie and the life lessons that I learned while watching it. I should probably read the book now, books are always better. There are so many times and places that we learn little life lessons and I am thankful to all of you out there that are willing to share the lessons that you are learning, they help me a lot. In my stupor of sleepiness, I decided that I am going to start a new subject called life lessons and share all of the silly, thought provoking, or inspiring life lessons that I learn along the way.

I truly did not think this picture would be this big!!

I love the journey that Liz went on through this story. I don't think we need to travel the world to have some of the same eye opening experiences and to grow and learn like she did. I'm really only saying that because I can't travel the world to learn about myself, I have to do it here from my home and drag ya'll with me.

EAT: I think this was my favorite part. I love to eat, it was fun to see her in Rome, and it was wonderful to see a woman learn to appreciate herself just as she is. Since I was raised Italian, it was fun to see her eating some of the food that we love and to see her in situations that I can relate to (not being Rome), the noise of the family and the expressions that are shared with each other using your whole body. Very seldom can I get through a conversation without using my hands and once they start they can really get going as fast as my mouth. Back to eat; I loved the part where her friend is having a hard time with her "muffin top" and Liz asks her if she has ever undressed for a man and had him make a mean comment or leave. Her friend answers no and Liz says that is because they don't care. Once they are done eating their pizza they go off to buy some "fat jeans". Throughout this entire part of the movie I learned that it's not just to eat food that we need to be able to appreciate all that is offered to us to take in and digest. We have our families, our friends, and anything else out there for us to enjoy. That will be something different for each of us, but we need to take the time to slowly take these things in and appreciate them. And, we still need to remember the food, we definitely need to eat our food slowly and appreciate good food (not just any food, only good food).

PRAY: There is that part of us that needs to know that there is someone who is more powerful than us that is watching over us. That this person is there for us to hand our problems over to and take them off of our shoulders. Once again, that is going to be different for each of us. Spirituality is so unique and deeply personal for each person that I wouldn't even begin to preach or say how you can find that place for yourself. For me, I read my scriptures, I pray to God, and I have developed over the years a strong testimony of God and that he is there. He knows me and knows my needs and He will take my problems off of my shoulders and help me when I will allow Him. Whatever journey each of you are on, I hope that you can find your center and have peace in your life.

LOVE: In the movie Liz has been through one emotional relationship after another and is scared to open her heart again and love someone again. A large portion of her journey is to forgive herself so that she can move forward and learn to love and accept love again. Forgiving yourself can be the hardest part. I know that I will hang onto things that I did years ago because I just can't forgive myself for being a dork or what ever else it is that I did. I know that by doing this that it has made it hard for me to completely let God in and to feel of his love and to also let Kenny in and completely feel of his love. I know it's there but I'm always so busy nit picking everything that I do wrong that I don't stop and just accept that compliment or accept that my wonderful husband does love me just how I am. We have to love ourselves first and that is a journey that I am still on. Somewhere in there I got stuck at a Jr. High stage and I just haven't progressed much, but I'm getting there. This is one of my hardest journey's that I am going through in life.

While I watched the movie I didn't think to much about all the lessons that applied to me in my life. I'm not even sure if anyone else spent the time to think about this too deeply either or even see any resemblances to their lives. Even though I am about ready to fall asleep right now because I was up so late with all of this running through my mind, I'm glad that I had that time to look at my life and check to see if I am working to move forward and enjoy this life that I have been blessed with or if I'm stuck or heaven forbid moving backward. Pretty sure I'm not moving backward. Now my job is to take all of this and use it in my life so that I can become a better person. One who can truly eat, pray, love!