Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Update 2008

Merry Christmas!! It is Christmas Eve and I finally made a Christmas card (of sorts)!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Temple Square 2008

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Friday, December 19, 2008

A Touch of Faith

This is a long post, but believe me, it is worth reading. (The majority of it was written by my friend, Wendy Fayles, who is a true writer.) The photo above was taken by Marshall Barker from my stake.

"And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole." Matthew 9:20-21

I have had a couple of wonderful experiences this year related to this woman. As a counselor in the Young Women program I got to go to camp in July. Unfortunately, because of tests at school, I was only able to go for 1 day and, therefore, was not a lot of help. We didn't have a camp director and our YW president had just had a baby, so the other counselor (Julie) had to totally take care of camp. We had an assignment to prepare a short presentation of a woman from the scriptures who had interacted with the Savior for a spiritual hike. Julie chose the woman who was healed and said she would write the material if I would present it. The week of camp came and Julie had not had time to write the script and asked if I could possibly take care of it. I agreed, knowing that she had so much on her plate already. The problem with that was A. I am not a great writer and B. I was trying to study for 2 big tests. I looked around for information about this woman and the only thing that I could find was the song "Close Enough to Touch". I thought about just reading the words to the girls, but knew that it really wasn't enough to bring the spirit. I was getting very stressed out about the whole thing, when, at 9:30 PM, I was prompted to call my writer friend, Wendy Fayles. I don't know why I hadn't thought to call her sooner, but I am so grateful that I was inspired to call and even more grateful that she agreed to write something for me. Here is the incredible monologue that she wrote and that I got to "perform" for the Young Women of our stake (I left her directions to me for visualization):

Kacie: After thinking about how to do this, I thought it would be easiest to present it from the woman’s point of view after she had been healed. So I envision the scene opening with you (as the woman) standing in your little kitchen sweeping or washing the dishes or some routine household chore like that—keeping in mind that this woman probably had not been able to do any of these things for the past 12 years because of her illness. So she performs the routine chore with joy and appreciation for being able to do it at all.

Sighing contentedly, the woman stops her work. “Oh, my,” she says. “I’m tired.” Slowly, she smiles. “Yes, I am tired. And it feels so good! It feels so good to be tired from working and caring for my family – and not from laying in bed with an illness no doctor could cure.”

Twelve years. Twelve years I was sick! Twelve years of exhaustion and pain. Twelve years of watching everyone around me live their lives while all I could do was watch and wish – wish that I could be whole, like them. Wish that the doctors could find some way to help me. Wish that I could just have the strength to do something as trivial as sweeping my own floor or … or, braiding my own hair! (At this point, if you were wearing your hair in a long braid, you could kind of touch the braid with a sense of wonder and awe.)

You know, I was even beginning to question God. I just didn’t understand how he could let this thing happen to me. And yet, I knew that there must be a reason. And I knew He cared. In my darkest moments, when it was almost impossible to feel anything but pain and despair, I could feel God. I could feel His love. And I hung on to that feeling with every last bit of strength that I had.

And then, one day as I was lying in my bed after a particularly bad night, a neighbor came to visit me. She said she couldn’t stay long because this man named Jesus had come to our town and she wanted to go see him. She had heard that he might be passing near where we lived.

Jesus,” I thought. Even as sick and bedridden as I was, I had heard of this Jesus. People were saying he was a mighty prophet. They were saying he could do miracles.

After my neighbor left, all I could think about was this man named Jesus. Could he really do what people said? Could he maybe even help me?

I decided I must try to see him. I carefully rose from my bed, praying that God would give me the strength to find Jesus and ask him for his help. One step at a time, I made my way outside, and then began to walk towards the center of our town. (Kacie—you can act all of this out as you are telling it.) I had not gone very far when I heard the noise. It was the sound of a large crowd of people, coming my way. “It is Jesus!” I thought, and joy leapt in my heart. I was actually going to be able to see him! But then the crowd rounded the corner and I saw the huge press of people, and my heart broke. How could I, a sick woman, ever make my way through all those people?

But then the crowds parted briefly and I saw Him. I saw Jesus. And there was such kindness in His face. Such love. Such compassion. I felt like I had known him forever, and yet I had never seen him before.

In that moment, I knew I had to reach him. Gathering all my strength, I pressed forward into the crowd. As the people pushed and jostled and bumped into me, I found it hard to breathe and even harder to stand. I could feel myself getting weaker but I knew I could not stop. If I could just get close enough to … to what? This man obviously had very important things to do and lots of people who needed him. Who was I to demand his attention?

But maybe there’s another way, I thought. And at that moment, I felt my strength finally give way. I crumpled to the ground. But as I lay there, gasping for breath and struggling to rise to my feet, I saw that Jesus was only a short distance in front of me. Without thinking, I reached out my hand and touched the hem of his garment.

(Pause here.)

And I was healed.

(Another pause.)

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. But then I heard Him speak. He said, “Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.”

The men who were with him tried to argue with him, saying with all the people crowding around him it was impossible for him to notice one touch among the many, but he insisted he had specifically felt one person touch him.

Now I was frightened. He was obviously a very powerful person. Maybe his power was only supposed to be for very important people. I was not anyone important! Was I going to be in trouble? I just wanted to run away and hide. So I stood up and started to back away, but then he turned and looked at me, and I knew he knew.

Trembling, I fell down before him, and told him what I had done, and how I had been healed immediately. And then I waited to see if he would be angry with me. but all he said was, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”

And so I went back to my home. For a while I had people coming by all the time, wanting to see “the woman who was healed” and wanting to hear the story. But no one comes anymore. They’ve all pretty much forgotten about it. But I will never forget. Never.

I had never thought much about this woman before, never really paused to consider what her life had been like for 12 years, never truly contemplated the incredible faith that she possessed.  Wendy's insight made this woman real to me and gave me such a profoundly better understanding of her circumstances and faith in our Savior. 

A few months after this experience, I got a phone call from my friend, Cheryl, who was the Enrichment Leader in our ward. Her committee was preparing for  our December Enrichment and were trying to find sisters who could sing to perform the "Women at the Well" program. She asked me to sing a solo and I reluctantly agreed with the condition that my song be for a low voice. Imagine my surprise when the song that I got was, "Close Enough to Touch". I was excited to again be portraying this woman for whom I had gained such love and admiration. It had been about 20 years since I had sung a solo and I was quite nervous. I practiced a lot on my own and spent some time with the pianist  to prepare. The entire group of singers and narrators got together only one time. I felt pretty good about my song up to that point, but singing in my own house, at my own piano and singing in front of a group of ladies with amazing voices are two different things. That practice did not go well for me. My voice shook and squeaked and just did not sound good. And then I was terrified. Why had I agreed to do this? 

After a couple of days of doubting myself I realized that my own faith was being tested. If this woman had faith enough to be healed simply by touching Jesus' robe, then certainly I could muster enough faith to be able to sing in front of a group of women who I love and who love me. I said a prayer that I could sing without being nervous & that I could help to bring the spirit to our meeting.  When my turn came, I felt peaceful and calm. I was able to get through my song without any major problems. It was as good as any time at my own piano. Was it perfect? No. Was I the best singer in the group? Definitely not. But, was it my own personal best? Yes, it was.

How grateful I am for the opportunities that we have to test our faith and to become stronger. I am so thankful for the experiences that I have been blessed to have based on the story of one woman who is mentioned only briefly in the scriptures. Her story and faith have helped me to lean on my Savior just a little bit more and to trust in Him more fully.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Kids on the Block Concert

What a blast from the past! Carrie posted a message on Facebook saying that she had extra tickets to the NKOTB concert if anyone wanted to go with her and I thought, "Why not? It could be kind of fun." So I replied and we decided to take our girls. It turned out to be a whole Keele Girls Night Out (aside from Rachael, who we wish could have been with us.)

When I first heard that the New Kids were reuniting and going on tour I wasn't super excited. I loved them when I was a kid in junior high, but I just didn't think that they could come back with the same kind of intensity they had the first time around. Trent and I watched them on the Today show and totally laughed at their dance moves because it was a little bit weird seeing almost 40 year old men dance together like that. But, after going to the concert I am totally converted! Their performance was so much fun to watch, they just pulled you right in. Part way through the show they popped up in the middle of the floor about 20 feet away from us. Samantha & Susan were sitting in a different area and Sam actually got to hold Donnie's hand for a few seconds (I'm totally jealous). 

I love their new album and cannot stop listening to it (Trent HATES it, but I think he secretly likes that I am listening to them on my iPod because then he can listen to his Talk Radio, which I am not a huge fan of.) Saige had a lot of fun until the end when it got so loud. By the last song she was just sitting on her chair, plugging her ears. She even started to cry. It was excessively loud. My hearing was muted for a couple of days afterward and I was a little bit worried that I might have some kind of permanent hearing loss, but it's all good now. (Note to self: take earplugs to any future concerts. Also, don't wear high heels if you have floor seats-my feet were killing me after standing up the WHOLE time...I should totally invent some kind of convertible high heels, with removable or collapsible heels, wouldn't that be awesome? Then a heel lover like me could wear stilettos that could also be comfortable when necessary. I've got to patent that...)

Even the two opening acts were great. Lady Gaga was up first, with a lot of great dancing tunes. (You can hear her song, "Just Dance," on my playlist.) She was followed by Natasha Bedingfield, who I totally love (in fact, she was the one I was really excited to see). The whole night was awesome! We had such a great time hanging out together. I am one of those lucky people with awesome in-laws, who I love spending time with. 

I'd like to finish with a few acknowledgements (because I'm a dork). To Carrie: thanks for a fabulous time! To my Saigey: thanks for liking to hang out with your mom and liking her music. To Cori: who is a true fan and bought the album as soon as it came out, I am really sorry that you didn't get to go. Next time, I will totally go with you. To The Block: don't wait so long for the next album! I'm ready for another one already!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Man in My Life & Then and Now

Our wedding day-July 30, 1994. Could I have gotten a bigger bouquet? 

Our 14 year anniversary.

I am combining two tags-one that I got a while ago from Adaire and a new, similar one from Lynsie.

1. What is your husband's name? Trent Roger

2. Where did you meet your husband? Discovery Research Center in Price (I always have to insert that I was his boss while we worked there.)

3. How long did you date before you got married? After 3 months we got engaged and 4 months later we got married. (That only happens in Utah.)

4. How long have you been married? 14 1/2 years

5. What does he do that surprises you? Very little. We share a brain. Although, he did get me an iPod and pajamas from PajamaGram for Valentine's Day this year-that was actually a HUGE surprise.

6. What is your favorite feature of his? His blue eyes.

7. What is your favorite quality about him? His sense of humor. He is really funny-weird, but funny. 

8. Does he have a nickname for you? Just the usual-honey, sweetie or babe.

9. What is his favorite sport? Lucky for me, he is not into sports, meaning that  I don't have to watch much of that on TV. He'll watch the Jazz if  they are in the playoffs and he likes to watch our kids play  ball. He loves to lift weights and has found a new passion for running.

10. When and where did you first kiss? At my parent's house in Huntington. He asked if he could kiss me and I said yes. Then he kissed me three times. Now, every night before we go to bed, he kisses me three times. 

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? We enjoy a good wrestling match, now and then. And when I say wrestling, I mean actual wrestling, so get your mind out of the gutter, you sick, twisted freak. It involves a lot of tickling and every once in  a while I get in a really great move that gets him incapacitated and laughing hysterically. If I should ever get attacked, my attacker is gonna be sorry. I've been practicing.

12. Do you have children? We have three great  kids.

13. Does he have any hidden talents? Yes, you should see him rip a phone book in half. Our kids think this is the coolest trick ever.

14. How old is he? 36

15. Who said "I love you" first? I told him that I thought I was falling in love with him after about a week of  dating him. Seriously, what was wrong with me? Not that I don't love him, but one week?!?

16. What is his favorite music? He loves classic rock like Def Leppard and AC/DC.

17. What do you admire most about him? His generosity. 

18. What is his favorite color? Blue, blue, blue. 

19. Does he do laundry? Once in a while, but just when he runs out of something.

20. Will he read this? Yes, because when I am done writing it I will hand him the computer and make him read it.
21. Who eats more sweets? That would definitely be me.

22. Who is taller? He is, thankfully.

23. Who can sing the best? Me again. 

24. Who is smarter? Depends on what you're talking about. Politics-definitely Trent, Spelling-definitely me.

25. Who pays the bills? Whoever gets to it first, most of the time it's me. 

26. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?  When we are in bed I am always on the right side. 

27. Who mows the lawn? Always Trent, never me. When we bought our lawnmower Trent insisted on getting the 
model without the self-propelling feature, so that mowing the lawn could be a workout. I begged him to spend the extra $20 for the self-propelled one, and then just not use it if he didn't want to, but he wouldn't do it. I told him that I would never mow the lawn with that lawnmower and I am proud to say that I never have.

28. Who cooks dinner? We usually make dinner together if we are both home. If I am teaching piano lessons, Trent will cook. He makes a killer lasagna.

29. Who drives? Trent

30. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Wow, I don't know about this one. We are both pretty stubborn. It's a toss-up, I guess.

31. Who asked who out first? Well, that is a long story. We were working at Discovery and I thought that he was cute, but he was really shy. I told another supervisor (Jay) that I liked Trent, so when I went on my lunch break, Jay told Trent that he should ask me out. After lunch I got to spend the rest of the day wondering what the heck Trent was thinking. He had to bring his surveys up to me, but he never said a word. I felt like such an idiot. I'm not sure how long it was until the end of our shift, but it felt like eternity. At the end of the night, Trent brought his time card up to be signed. He handed it to me and said, "will you sign this if you'd like to go out with me?" It was so cute and sweet, even though I had to sign it regardless of whether or not we went out.

32. Who wears the pants? Uh...I am the oldest of 7 children and therefore, am very bossy. So, according to Trent, I win this one, but I have yet to see him wear a dress (even for Halloween).

I could have meshed those questions together in a better order, but I'm too lazy to do that. This post is also having technical difficulties. Why does Blogger sometimes seem to have a mind of its own? I'm supposed to be in control. (I do wear the pants.) Anyway, I tag everyone who ever reads our blog. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Photo Tag

I love getting tagged! It makes me think about things that I wouldn't normally write about. I have a few waiting to get finished, but I will get to them. This one was quick, so here it is. Megan tagged me with this fun idea-going to the 4th folder in my photos and posting the 4th picture. So, this seems like a really strange's the story. When I was a little girl my Grandma Christiansen held "Pink Day" for all the girls in her family. We all wore pink clothes, ate pink food and just did generally girlie things. When Grandma passed away a few years ago my Aunt Rene' held another Pink Day to remember her. We had such a blast that it has become a yearly tradition. The sock exchange has been a big hit each time we've done it. Each girl brings a crazy-silly-cozy-or-comfy pair of socks and we play some silly game to exchange them. The first year it was the Left/Right passing game played with a story about Grandma. Other years it's been truth or dare, which always proves to be exciting. (Think Aunt Becky running around the block in nothing but her bathrobe and shoes, Lindsay kissing Seleste's husband, Rene' mooning everyone or Katie eating a spoonful of dirt-who knew a pair of socks could be so important? Grandma would be so proud.) We love our Pink Day. Thanks, Rene', for bringing it back! 

I tag Cheri, Lynsie, Adaire, Cori, Carrie & Melissa. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

King's Peak Hike

Dad has wanted to climb Kings Peak for years now. After talking about it I found time to go in August. So we planned to spend 4 days after our Lake Powell trip. We had to plan menus, buy or borrow proper gear and get tents fixed. I was concerned about Gavin, this being his first real hiking experience, I didn't know if it would be too much for him. Dad and I hadn't done any real hiking in some time either, so I wasn't sure if any of us were up to the challenge. While we were at Lake Powell I tore the skin off the ball of my right foot, while climbing some cliffs to jump off of, and wasn't sure I could even go. It seemed to heal enough, and we took Mole Skin just in case. 

I didn't want to take our big, bulky camera, so Kacie asked us to stop on our way and buy a disposable camera to take pictures, but I forgot and we were stuck with just my BlackBerry for pictures. I'm glad we went on a Monday, because there was almost no one else on the trail, so it was hard to get a picture of all three of us together. We couldn't ask for better weather, almost no wind and sunny all the time, it was just beautiful and peaceful. We were disappointed we didn't see more wildlife. Other than small birds, one of which my dad nearly killed while at the summit, the only wildlife we saw was a mamma moose and her calf on the third day. The first day we hiked about ten miles to Dollar Lake and set up our base camp, we were all very tired and sore, but I think Gavin was in the worst shape. We kept telling Gavin the hard work would be over when we got to Dollar Lake, that the climb to the summit wouldn't be that hard because we would only be taking daypacks. As it turns out the climb to the summit was just as hard and longer than our first day. We didn't get back until almost 8 PM, and we were tired. The view from the summit was awesome, skies were clear with some clouds, you could see the wind turbines along I-80 in Wyoming that will increase our electric bills. (Thanks for vowing to bankrupt the coal industry, Obama, putting millions of people with high paying jobs out of work. But I digress...) The third day we just took it easy trying to recuperate a little, we hiked about halfway back to the trailhead and set up camp. The truth is my feet hurt so bad I could barely make it as far as we did that day. The fourth day we packed up and headed back to the truck, we must have passed 50 or more people all going in. As I said earlier, I'm glad we went on a Monday-we almost had the place to ourselves.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Newest Teenager on the Block

I officially became the mother of a teenager last Sunday. We have had a crazy, busy week, so I am finally getting around to posting this. We had a really great day, Grandma & Grandpa Keele were here in the morning and came to church with us. It was our ward's Primary program, so it was really nice to have them with us for that. After church, we went to Lehi to celebrate with the Powell's. Grandpa Powell's birthday is Nov 11th, so we celebrated both their birthdays. On Monday, we went back to our new favorite place, Jump On It, where we, once again, had a ball.

It's a tradition in our family to record the birthday boy or girl's favorite things each year, so here are Gavin's favorites:

Food: Pizza
Treat: Blondies
TV Show: Lost
Movie: Iron Man
Book: Capt. Hook
Game: Madden 2009
Hobby: Playing PSP (I'm convinced that his actual favorite hobby is making random sound effects to annoy me. It's what he does nonstop throughout the day.)
Color: Red
Sport: Basketball
Music: Dashboard Confessional
Friends: Jake & Zack
Girl: Mom (That's a big fat lie, but it's what he says every year to get out of telling me who he really likes. Lucky for me, he has a little brother who doesn't mind spilling his secrets.)

Last year, we took a picture of Gavin and I standing back to back and we were about the same height. This year he has at least 3 inches on me, possibly 4. His feet are HUGE and he eats so much that I frequently worry that there will be nothing left in the fridge when I go to make dinner.


I am terrified about what being the mother of a teenager means. The attitude is already more than I can take some days, but there are rare moments where we just connect in a way that is so absolutely cool that it makes all the hard stuff totally worth it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday's Nightmare

Sacrament meeting was interesting yesterday (and by interesting I mean sweating-bullets-terrifying). Our organist was out of town, so as the assistant organist, I was assigned to play for the meeting. I have substituted for her before, but that was before I was really trying to play the organ. I just played it like a piano and they are two completely different things. I didn't have too many problems playing it that way. (Although, one time I accidently hit a key while the Bishop's counselor was conducting, and he turned around and looked at me like he was afraid I might break into a rousing rendition of "If You Could Hie to Kolob" or something. That was embarassing. He felt bad and apologized after church. It wasn't his fault-everyone turned and looked. But he felt bad that he called attention to it. Brother Hall redeemed himself yesterday-I'll tell you how in a minute.) Anyway,  I practiced really hard all week. I spent about 8 hours at the church trying to learn the feet and put them together with my hands, which had to play completely different fingering than they do at the piano. I practiced until my hands and back ached.

I ordered organ shoes, which remind me of my childhood tap shoes. Did you know that there are special shoes for organists? That was news to me. They are not my usual kind of shoes and yet, they are probably the most expensive pair that I own (and I own a LOT of shoes). LaFaye, our organist, who has been teaching me, highly suggested that I get them. I have been playing simple postlude hymns for a few months now in bare feet, but I thought this might be a good time to get some fancy organ shoes. (I was secretly hoping that organ-playing-super-powers would be included, but, sadly, they weren't.)

So, I practiced my little heart out all week and I went to church 45 minutes early to get in a little practicing before the meeting. I talked to the chorister and the Bishop and told them to get their poker faces ready because I knew there would be mistakes. The chorister told me that he would go slow and I told him to just go at the regular pace and I would survive, but when I started the opening hymn, "How Firm a Foundation", at what I felt was a good pace, he slowed it down after the intro and the congregation was singing in what felt like slow motion to me. Maybe that was just my nerves wanting to play faster to get the whole thing over with, I don't know, but it felt very slow. All the hymns went like that, really slow, yet still riddled with mistakes because I was so nervous. 

Just before the sacrament hymn, as the Bishop was returning to his seat and I was about to start playing, Saige came hiking up the stairs on the stand to talk to me. (Trent was at work, so I told my kids they had better behave sitting down there alone, but I guess I forgot to cover the part where I would be unavailable for conversing.) She needed to go to the bathroom and wanted my permission. That was my favorite part of the whole day and I don't even mean that sarcastically. It reminded me that we are all just human.

After the sacrament hymn, I went and sat with my kids and totally forgot to pay attention to when the rest hymn was coming up. Of course this had to be the sunday of 5 speakers, so I couldn't even figure it out. This is how Brother Hall redeemed himself and gained my complete forgiveness. He pulled out his Hymn book as one of the speakers was finishing up, saving me from looking, once again, like an idiot. So, thanks, Lee, we're even.

This whole experience has me thinking a lot about my Grandma Christiansen. She was an amazing pianist and organist. (She actually gave Clay Christiansen, her nephew and now Tabernacle organist, his first piano lessons.)  My cousin, Megan, got to have organ lessons from Grandma, something I wish I had thought to ask her for. I really miss her. She was all the things that I hope to be someday.

Here are the life lessons I learned from my day as an organist:
1. Shoes cannot give you magical powers. LOTS of practice is required to do anything well.
2. Tell your kids exactly what you expect of them, leave nothing out.
3.  Doing something slowly doesn't always make it better.
4. Take extra deodorant with you wherever you go, it may come in handy.
5. Really listen when someone is talking, so you don't get caught off guard.
6.  If your Grandma is still around, ask her to teach you everything she knows about everything, so that you will be prepared for whatever comes your way.

These are my organ shoes. Stylish, right? They have a felt sole so the pedals don't get scratched and a 1 and 1/4" heel to help in moving from note to note. (You play with your toes and heels.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Simply Fun

It has been a very eventful week at the Keele household. My sister, KeriAnne, and her daughter, Jolee, were here from Las Vegas, so we got to do a lot of fun things with them. We spent a lot of time in Lehi at my parent's house, which the kids totally loved. We also visited two very fun places. On Monday, we checked out a new place called Jump On It in Lindon where we jumped and played on wall-to-wall trampolines. It was so cool! They even had trampolines propped up at an angle on the walls. We played tag, did tricks, and wore ourselves right out. Ryker loved it so much that he requested that we spend Christmas there. Sounds good to me, but I'm not sure the owners will go for it. On Thursday we went to an old favorite, Classic Skating. We had a good time there, but it was busier than I have ever seen it because it was UEA. We have been there lots of times and I always thought that Trent liked it, but apparently he likes it about as much as tuna casserole.

For me, this week has been all about simplifying. I got released last week from the Young Women's presidency, which I am relieved about. I will miss the girls, but it will be really nice to stay home on Thursday and watch The Office and Grey's Anatomy, woohoo! I now have 3 callings. I am the Assistant Ward Organist (which means that I am learning to play the organ), the Primary Pianist and the Ward Choir Director. That last one terrifies me a little. I'm trying to think of a way that I can get out of leading the choir with my backside facing the congregation. Any suggestions?

I also gave up my job as a teacher's aide. I am so relieved about this. When Saige started first grade last year I was feeling bored and I needed something to do, so I got this job at the school. At the time I wasn't sure what I wanted to be when I "grew up" and was debating between becoming a teacher or a nurse. This job gave me great insight that helped me to make a decision. I greatly admire the teachers that I worked for and have a greater appreciation for all the teachers that I have had in my life. They work so hard and do so much for our kids. But, having this job helped me to realize that I would not enjoy teaching, so I decided to go back to school and major in nursing. School has been keeping me very busy and I was having to miss work for school related things. My own education has to come first and I decided that it wasn't fair to the teachers, so I decided to give it up. While I didn't particularly love this job, I am grateful for the experience and insight it gave me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tagged! Six Quirks About Me

I got my first tag the other day from Apryl and it has taken me awhile to try to figure out which of my many quirks I would really like to make public. So, here goes:

1. I am the queen of clearance shopping. I literally cannot leave any store without checking their clearance section. I mean, if I go into an auto parts store with Trent I will wander around until I find an area where everything is marked with bright orange discount tags. I have found some pretty awesome things (never at an auto parts store). My favorite stores to clearance shop are Target, JC Penney, Kohl's, Sears and the ultimate in clearance shopping, Market Square. In case you have never heard of Market Square, let me enlighten you. It is a whole store full of all the things you never knew you needed/wanted. It is always an adventure, you never know what you might find when you go there, there is always something waiting for you. Trent is always saying, "it's not really saving money if it's not something we need", which is true and I am trying to break myself of this addiction, but those darn racks just seem to call to me.

2. When I get cold, I break out in hives. Obviously this one is not under my control and it is apparently inherited, since this happens to my aunt Michelle also. It is very annoying.

3. Rollies. This one is a leftover from my childhood. I used to "roll" at night while sucking my tongue, that's right, my tongue. (This is why I am now such a great kisser.) I always have little balls of rolled up something in my pockets, which I roll between my fingers. What makes the best rollies? Straw or toothpick wrappers made of paper, the inside bits of a cardboard box and tinfoil gum wrappers, but lint will do in a pinch. Yes, I am a freak, but rolling is therapeutic and relaxing for me. Trent says that the next time you see me you should ask to see my rollie. I would actually appreciate you never mentioning this unusual habit, as I didn't want to tell you about it in the first place, but Trent says it is my number one quirk and therefore, essential to write about.

4. I am passionate about paper. I love the feel of a brand new package of patterned paper, cardstock, or even a spiral bound notebook. Paper rocks! I have an entire room full of mostly paper. This is not an exaggeration. Trent could not be happier about this. He doesn't think there is any better use for a room than to fill it right up to the ceiling with paper. 

5. I love to watch the same movies and read the same books over and over. Before Breaking Dawn came out I reread the whole series and then, after finishing Breaking Dawn, I started over and read them all again! By the middle of September I had read Breaking Dawn twice and the other books in the series countless times. Movies I love to repeatedly watch: Pride & Prejudice (the new version and the older 5 hour version), Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion (anything Jane Austen related, really), You've Got Mail, The Count of Monte Cristo, Tristan & Isolde, The Notebook, etc. 

6. I have an "addictive personality" and since I'm sure I am not using that expression right, let me explain what I mean. The things that I like become addictions, (obsessions, really) I have already mentioned some of these. Here are some of the other things that I am addicted to: music, high heels, boots (with high heels), sweaters, skirts, scooter riding (to the point where I think it would be awesome to drive a motorcycle, don't freak, mom) candy, scrapbooking, rubber stamping, jewelry, dancing, chipboard and rub-on alphabets, Facebook, trampolines, roller skating, the list goes on and on. I cannot get enough! It's a good thing that I had sense enough to "Just Say No" or I would have some serious problems. (Okay, I have serious problems, but can you imagine me drunk?!?)

Well, that's the real me. I hope that we can still be friends. Try to forget everything that you just read and I'll keep pretending that I am normal, deal? 

If you know Apryl, go check out her quirks, too.

I tag Karen, Karla, Carrie, Shaylyn, Melissa and TyAnna. Have fun exploring your inner self!

The rules: Link the person who tagged you.
Tell about 6 Quirks of yours.
Tag 6 fellow bloggers to do the same.
Leave a comment to let them know.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Field Trip

Gavin and I went with the Quest group on an awesome field trip the other day. We started out at the Bodyworlds exhibit, which was really impressive. I wish that we could have taken pictures, but they wouldn't allow it. I never cease to be amazed by the complexity of the human body. I don't know how anyone can see and understand this amazing creation and doubt the existence of God. I loved being able to see it preserved so well. The cadavers in my Anatomy lab have been at SLCC for approximately 15 years and they belonged to the U before that, so they resemble the shredded pork roast we ate for dinner a few nights ago. (I'm sorry, I know that is disgusting, but it is also true.) I was worried about seeing the embryos and fetuses, but they were actually really interesting. I was mostly worried about how they got them, but if I read the sign right, they could not be saved and were somehow acquired in the 1920's. (If anyone reading this has different information, please let me know.) I am curious about how that is possible, but didn't have time to read any further information. I think that I may go again with Trent and my mom and sister-in-law, so I'll be sure to spend more time in that section. 

After Bodyworlds, we hiked Ensign Peak. Pathetically, I had never been there before. The view of the Salt Lake Valley from the top was incredible. I found it hard to imagine what Brigham Young and the other saints would have seen. We were very short on time, so I didn't get to read all the plaques that they have at the bottom, but I'm excited to go back and learn more about the history of the peak. I will be taking my family up there in the near future, so that we can all say we have been there. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Vacation is Over

Well, that's enough relaxing for a while...I guess. We had a really nice time in St. George,though Monday was kind of weird. We didn't really have any plans, so we played it by ear. We ate at a crappy Chinese restaurant, walked out of a crappy movie and Trent sat on my awesome pink sunglasses and broke them - I shouldn't have left them on the bed, my bad. We did discover a Massage Therapy School next door to the crappy Chinese restaurant and made appointments to get massages the next day before we headed home. When we arrived on Tuesday, the lady had forgotten to enter our appointments into the computer, so there were no students to give us our "couples" massage. So, instead of paying $35 each for 1 hr massages, we got free 1/2 hour massages from the instructor. That made up for the crappy chinese, crappy movie and broken sunglasses. It was so relaxing. What a great way to end our trip. 

The kids had a great time without us, too. They got to hang out with Grandma Karla & Grandpa Kerry, who spoiled them excessively.  Gavin went fishing with Grandpa, Uncle Bill & Kris. He caught 3 or 4 fish. Ryker and Saige went to Trafalga with Grandma. They ate at Wendy's twice, got new shoes and Saige got a haircut. I don't think they missed us at all. (Don't tell them, but we really enjoyed our time without them, too.) Gavin also took 3rd place in his Cross Country meet (the only one I've missed). He decided he wanted to race with the junior varsity team and probably could  have taken 2nd place. He ran the whole race with a friend and told my mom that he let the friend beat him because "he doesn't win much". (He has such a good heart.) 

All in all we are glad to be back home. We had a nice break and now it's time to get back to the real, work, fighting kids, laundry, dishes, piano lessons, homework, making dinner, scubbing get the picture.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Playing in St. George

After my Girl's Weekend (with my mom and sisters) got cancelled on Thursday, I talked Trent into taking me on an impromptu getaway to St. George. I managed to get us a couple of hotel rooms (couldn't find any that had vacancies for all three nights, so we had to switch after our first night), and I also got us seats at the Tuacahn for Les Miserables. We didn't get the greatest seats, but I don't think there is really a bad seat there. I have wanted to see this show since I was in high school, so I was really excited. Trent was less excited (musical theater is NOT his thing), but he agreed to take me anyway. It was amazing! I totally loved it. He didn't, but he endured it well. I guess I will have to go and see Hell Boy 2 with him now. (Personally, I'd rather literally go to hell than see that movie, but when you love someone you make sacrifices, especially when they make sacrifices for you.) We also ate dinner at the Tuacahn, which was delicious. The only drawback was the hornets swarming our food.

Today, we drove into Zion National Park and hiked Angel's Landing, which is a very strenuous and difficult hike. The last time I was in Zion I had my kids with me and they were too small to hike it, so we thought this would be a great time to go see it. It was hard, but we made it up and it was SO worth it. The views were amazing. 

At the top, Trent made friends with a chipmunk that came right over and stole some of his granola bar. Apparently, the chipmunk didn't read the "Don't feed the wildlife" signs posted all around the park.

I'm not sure when exactly I got old, but my knees were whining all the way down (okay, it was me whining, but it was my knees' fault). I love that we live so close to so many beautiful places. You can drive a few hours and see some incredible things. We are having a great time hanging out together and being a couple instead of mom and dad for a few days. Don't get me wrong, we love our kids, but sometimes you just need to take a break. Thanks to my mom for taking care of them. Ryker, the picture above is for you, my little poser. Luv u most! (You too, Gavin and Saige!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Patriot Day

My mom sent me an email today that was a video collection from 9/11. It really made me think about how grateful I am to all the men and women who serve our country and try to protect us from things like this, whether they are in the military, law enforcement, fire department, paramedics, whatever. Thanks to all of you and your families who sacrifice so much for the rest of us. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First Cross Country Meet

After practicing for just two weeks, Gavin ran in his first cross country meet yesterday. It was held at Bonneville Jr. High. The race was 1.2 miles long. It went around the grounds of the school and a couple of times around the track. He was the only 7th grader from Kennedy to make the varsity team. There were 90-100 boys racing in the varsity race and Gavin came in 15th out of all those boys. I got a little choked up watching him. I could tell that it was hard for him, but that he was determined to do his best. His stomach hurt when it was over, but he felt good about how well he did. I hope that he will stick with it because he obviously has a natural talent for it. 

Friday, August 29, 2008

First Day of School

Wow! Gavin's first day of Junior High! Every year I take the kid's picture in front of our house. The door makes it easy to compare their growth from year to year. I think Gavin has grown about 6 inches from last year. He has about 3 inches on me now. Anyway...before he left for school I asked him what he was most nervous about. He said, "not being the tallest kid in school anymore." He has gotten used to that I guess, but being as tall as he is I don't think that he'll have any problems with kids bugging him. When we went to the orientation he actually tried to fit himself into his locker, but it just wasn't happening. One of his friends, who is about Ryker's size, was also trying to squeeze himself into his locker. (He got everything in but the lower half of one leg.) Apparently, that is a pretty big concern when you are a 7th grader. I told him not to worry, that he would probably fit in a garbage can if someone really wanted to get him.

For the most part he is really enjoying jr. high. At his school they have A & B days, so that he only goes to 4 classes per day. "A" day is mostly Quest classes, so he is with the same group of students all day. He is enjoying his French class, but P.E. is his favorite. He made the cross country team, so he is really excited about that. He loves to run. He is thinking that he will try out for the Boy's Volleyball team, Basketball and Track (maybe he'll learn how to do hurdles, though, I'll probably still try to tell him how to do it right).

Ryker is in Mrs. Baker's 4th grade class this year. We really like her so far. When I asked him what he was most excited about this year he said "wearing my new clothes and shoes". He loves the color pink, which I think is totally cool, because he doesn't care what other people think. I love it when boys wear pink (in a masculine, non-girly way) and Ryker can totally pull it off. Ryker is my fashion guy. He loves to look good. When Ryker was in 2nd grade he would come home and tell me all about his "girlfriends" (he had about 9 of them) and he is still trying to impress them. He loves it when his best friend, Jared, will ride bikes to school with him, that totally boosts his image of coolness. I think he is a total "Hottie".

Saige is in Mrs. Sutter's 2nd grade class. Ryker had her when he was in 2nd grade and we really liked her. Saige is into all things "Hannah Montana". This year we got her a Hannah messenger bag, water bottle, 2 shirts, pajamas, a wallet, a purse, 2 hats, notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, and just about anything else you can think of. What a spoiled child! When you're the only girl and the youngest, I guess that's what happens. As soon as Saige gets up in the morning Hannah can be heard rocking the house from her room. She is so much fun. I love it when I can hear her singing at the top of her lungs to the music. (The girl can sing.) Saige was most excited about having 3 recesses this year. Her 1st grade teacher only let them have 2, so she is totally excited for that extra 15 minutes of play time. Hopefully, she doesn't use it to break another arm!

My kid's are so cool. I am totally proud of them. They make me laugh. (They frequently make me crazy, but with them back in school I am enjoying them much more.)

I started my Physiology class this semester. It has been really interesting, so far. I have a really good and entertaining teacher, who makes class fun, so I'm excited. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lake Powell

We had a great time at Lake Powell this year. We had a couple of mishaps - the wheel flew off the boat trailer just outside of Price, crossed both lanes of the highway and climbed 8 feet up a tree at least half a mile down the road - one of the houseboat motors snapped in half - and we couldn't get the electrical power on the houseboat to work until the last night, but we didn't let that keep us from having a blast! The weather was beautiful (very hot, perfect for spending lots of time in the water). Here are some of the highlights:

Ryker playing in the water.

Gavin tried to ski, but his gigantic feet were too big for the kid size skis.

Trent did some skiing.

Saige and Ryker in the boat.

Tony taught me to drive the boat, which was cool.
(I only almost hit one big rock below the surface.)

Gavin and Ryker after a swim to "Ryker's Island".

Saige playing in the sand.

Saige in her glamourous sunglasses.

Climbing around on the cool rocks.

Saige and I went for a little walk.