Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween



So, we're sitting at home with who knows how much candy and do you want to know who all's come by? Go ahead. Take a guess about how many children have wondered our way...Z-E-R-O! That's right...not one. And just when we were feeling the lowest of low, Sarah and her friend Becca stopped by. They don't really count as children since they are 17 and 18 and dressed as "cowgirls." Sarah had on jeans and a shirt with her hair in pigtales. Becca at least went through all the trouble to wear overalls and put some freckles on her face. We gave them candy anyway and had a nice little visit with them. So, now we're sitting at home, yet again...wondering if any children are going to stop by. I somehow doubt that since it is like...oh, 8:00 pm. Bummer. I'm sure we'll eat all that candy--over the course of the next 3 years!

Yesterday for Family Home Evening, we didn't ever get to carve our pumpkin. That's still sitting on our counter. Sad. I know. But, we had a good time anyway. We went to Sarah and Emily's marching band concert. They were so good! I was impressed. Andrew was impressed and he played for the BYU marching band.

It was so cold though! I really felt sorry for them! Especially Sarah, whose dance costume is short sleeved. Brrr... I was cold and I was in the stands with my winter coat and fleece blanket snuggling up to my warm husband!



Sarah, if I remember correctly, is the girl on the far left in the picture below. She's pretty wild and crazy. I think the band director described her as something much worse than that after she did a silly little dance on the field when he announced her name. She's pretty happy to have this be over so that she can have more time to devote to other things: like earning a 4.0!



Now, Emily. She's the 5th person from the left in the picture below (the one with the flute, not the suzaphone). She looked so great walking in. Marching band has become one of her passions. When we went to Sarah's (Nathan's wife) baby shower, Sarah's little sister was there. She's in the marching band at USU or SUU or UofU...I can never get those schools straight. Anyway, she and Emily had a good conversation about marching band. They both love it. Emily wants to go into music education once she graduates High School. I think that would be a good fit for her since she already plays a million instruments. She was very sad that this was their last performance, although...there's always next year. She was blubbering and weepy so Andrew and I were being kind of silly with her. As we were walking to the car she said, "Stop it! I'm trying to be depressed and you're not helping!" It was pretty funny. Don't make Emily smile or laugh when she's upset or you'll get what's coming to you!



Here's the first of their musical numbers that they performed. It was a pretty short concert--only 15 minutes long. Andrew things that's because they only know one show. Since this is Timpanogos' first year with a marching band, I wouldn't doubt it. It's a really good show though!





After the concert, Andrew's parents took us all out for dinner at the "New Chinese Buffet" restaurant. I was very confused about this. They told Andrew to meet them at the "New Chinese Buffet" place. He was like, "Okay!" And we were off. I was like, "Do you know where this is?" He's like, "Yeah. It's right on State Street." I was thinking in my mind about any new buildings that have gone up on State Street recently and I certainly couldn't think of a new Chinese restaurant. We get to the restaurant and it's one I've seen before. In fact, it's been around for years. The name? "New Chinese Buffet." Boy, did I feel sheepish!

Having a Chinese food buffet is really a good idea. I always want to try a little of everything, so this way I could. Unlike other Chinese places that I've been to where you have to choose only one or two items. Here, the choices were limitless. We had a very interesting dinner converstation at the restaurant. I'm not sure that the tables beside us appreciated it much, but it certainly was entertaining!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Kelli's Halloween Party

On Saturday, Kelli had a Halloween party for her kids and their friends. Mom, Josie, Andrew and I all went to help out. It ended up being a success. As Ricky said to his mom, "This party is so much fun!" So, I guess by his remarks we can feel like we did our jobs. We were really worried that there were going to be a ton of kids there when Kelli told us that she "didn't deliver all 50 invitations." I was like, "Whoa! Are you out of your mind! I would have invited like 10 kids. Maybe 5!" But, judging from the turnout we have (not to mention the lack of RSVPs) that our family tends to receive, I shouldn't have been surprised that we ended up with a great number of kids. There were about 15 in total.

Josie and Rosie dressed up as Bindi Babes...aka: Indians. Josie picked up her costume while she was in India this summer, and Uncle Bruce brought back salwar kamises for all of Kelli's girls. The twins stayed inside though, so they didn't dress up. They will be dressed as Indians on Halloween though.



I think it is so nice that the weather has stayed warm enough to have a Halloween party outside! The weather was perfect.

The first game we played was a "spider web" game to get to know each other. Kelli started by saying her own name and while holding the yarn, said the name of another child and tossed the ball of yarn to them. They would catch it and repeat what she did, passing it to another child. Because each child was holding on to the yarn, it made a nice spiderweb effect. That's little Andrew in the dragon costume (by the french fries).



Cute note on the Robin kid. He was so funny! We kept calling him Robin because we didn't know his real name. He would then look at us, sigh a heavy sigh, pull his "mask" up onto his forehead and say, "It's me, Warren." It was so funny just because the mask really didn't hide his identiy at all. But then, Lois never did figure out that Superman was Clark Kent, so maybe it's understandable.

The next game was a variation of musical chairs. We passed around presents though, and when the music stopped you got to unwrap a layer of the gift. There were 10 or so layers in all, so it ended up taking longer than I had expected. The kids' attention spans were right where the action was though. They all wanted what was inside the gifts! There's Merlin, er...Matthew, the Wizard, trying to figure out what is in the box! Most of the presents were big, plastic tarantulas.



Next we did a mummy wrap. We divided the children into groups of three. They each got two rolls of toilet paper and had a race to see who could wrap their mummy the fastest. One team had Rosie and all of her friends in it. Since they were so much older than a lot of the kids, they were a lot more coordinated and won for being the fastest. Andrew and I cheated a bit though and helped them figure out that if the wrappers held the TP rolls on their fingers that the TP would roll by itself. Then, the person being wrapped could twirl one way while the TP wrappers walked the opposite direction. Yeah, they were super fast. We tried to help the other groups figure out how to invent other fast ways but the children in those groups were so young that they probably still thought that toilet paper was for pulling off the roll and clogging the toilet with!

Josie's group though, made the most authentic-looking mummy. They also spent the most time on it (well, the other group kind of just gave up after they lost so it wasn't hard to spend more time than them). They had the little girl cross her arms infront of her and wrapped her that way. Then they stuffed the empty TP tubes in her arms to make her look like she was holding things, kind of like King Tut.



My Andrew's part was to play the "mad scientist." He dressed up in my dad's art smock and did his hair really crazy! Kelli had prepared some cauldrons with different "body parts" in them: a boiled green pepper soaked in jello for a heart; cauliflower set in jello for the brain; peeled grapes for the eyes; spaghetti for guts; carrots for fingers. They were all soaked in jello to make them squishy and slimey. Gross. I'm sure that Andrew had fun though.

I didn't get to see him do this because I was inside with the twins at this point. They are both teething and so are pretty grumpy babies. It was so cute to watch them play with each other though! Olivia has started scooting now so she was "racing" Sabrina, who is getting pretty good at pulling herself around. They were finding various toys, soothers, and other yummy things to put in their mouths. They would find a toy and then carry it over to the other one, hand it to her and steal whichever one she was playing with. Oh, they're so cute!

We had to leave the party early to take Emily out for Sadie's...so we did that. As we were driving home, Emily told us not to bother! She found her own ride. Of all the nerve!

So, Andrew and I went out for dinner by ourselves (still to Wendy's where Emily was planning on going, although we didn't see her there). We also went and got some ice cream at Sub Zero, a place where they make ice cream with liquid nitrogen and where Andrew and I had our date before he asked me to be his girlfriend. Awww...how sentimental. Sub Zero really is pretty neat and it's educational, too!

After our wonderful date, we went grocery shopping because we had no food in our fridge. Well, okay. We had some moldy cheese, a half gallon of milk, and some hot dogs. Oh, and some ketchup and mustard and mayo and pickles and jam and soy sauce and butter. But that is really about it. We also tried to get a pumpkin so we can carve it tomorrow for FHE but, alas, all that was left were either gross or abnormally huge, so we're hoping to find a pumpkin somewhere else...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mind Reading

I suppose I should explain why we are neglecting our studies and household chores and spending a whole two bucks to go on a date. Well, one year ago (yesterday, to be precise), Andrew and I got engaged. Yup, one year ago (yesterday...only it was a Wednesday not a Thursday) we went to do baptisms for the dead at the Mt. Timpanogos temple. It was one of our weekly dates, for the whole 2 weeks we dated.

As some of you may know, Andrew sometimes has a hard time expressing his feelings. On our second date he was giving me a ride home and ran out of things to say, so he reached in the backseat and said, "Here, look at this, these are my scriptures. I have them divided up in sections and then color-coded by topic so that I always know where to find things." (Keep in mind that he'd just gotten off his mission.) I was like, "Cool." Then he said, "Do you have a scripture marking system?" I knew that this meant I think you're really cool and want to date you and then marry you. He just couldn't say that...yet.

Anyway, one year ago, we were at the temple and there was a kid from Milano there. That was cool because Andrew served his mission in Rome and I was taking Italian at school (perhaps because Andrew was serving an Italian speaking mission...perhaps not). I was too afraid to talk to a real Italian so Andrew and the kid were having a nice conversation, completely ignoring me. We did our baptisms and confirmations and ended up leaving the temple at the same time. Andrew and Mr. Italy started talking again. I was listening, and understanding a lot of what they were saying. All of a sudden Mr. Italy said, "Quando è che vi sposati?" In case you didn't get that, that means "When are you getting married?"

Upon hearing this, I kind of whipped my head up to look at Andrew with this shocked expression on my face. Mr. Italy says, "What? She speaks Italian?" And I was like, "Si..." And he mumbled uncomfortably, "I have to go!" With that, he ran off to his car and took off.

Andrew said, also uncomfortably, "Uhhhh...let's go." We started off toward our car in stunned silence. As we were walking down the sidewalk, Andrew said, "So, hypothetically speaking, could that ever happen?" I knew that meant Will you marry me? So I said, "Yes." Thus, we got engaged.

In case anyone is wondering, Andrew is a little better at expressing his feelings now. Yesterday he said, "So, we should go to a movie tomorrow...like maybe Superman." I knew that this meant Let's go see Superman. No Rocks. So I said, "Okay."

*****
To add to our strange communications habits, yesterday we went to the Mt. Timpanogos temple with my mom for her ward temple night. That was cool because that's where we were a year ago when he asked me to marry him. After changing in the locker rooms, we met up in the chapel. I always give Andrew my key because my dress doesn't have pockets in it and I don't like the key jingling all over the place. Before putting the key in his pocket, he looked at the locker number engraved on it. He laughed and then pulled out his key. They were the exact same number: I8D (Isle I, stall 8, locker D). So, not only do we finish each other's sentences, say the exact same thing at the exact same time, and agree on almost everything, we also choose the same locker. Mom thought that was a little creepy. What can I say? Andrew and I are just connected!

Think twice before you laugh...

Andrew and I are going to the movies tonight. We stopped by the dollar-theatre on the way home from work today. The only good things playing are Cars (which was saw in Jordan) and Superman, so we decided to go to Superman. I hadn't even heard of the other movies, but that's not saying much because I don't pay attention to such things.

So, between the two of us, we had about 60 cents, a credit card, and a check book. We got up to the window and there was this nice big sign saying, "Cash Only!" There was also a sign stating that there is an ATM inside so we decide to give that a try. It took us about 5 minutes to figure out how to use the ATM (we kept putting the card in upside-down) and when we finally got it to work a nice message popped up saying, "This will incur a $1.50 service charge on your account." We decided to go home and scavenge for change. I was not about to spend $1.50 in an attempt to spend $2.00!

We got home and opened up Andrew's "laundry fund" from his days of living at BYU. We had about $3.00 inside. We counted out all the pennies (75 cents), and added a bunch of nickels and dimes until we had two dollars. Then we grabbed a few more random coins just in case taxes were more than we thought.

We ran back to the theater and asked the guy inside if we could buy tickets. This guy possessed no customer service skills whatsoever. He grumped, "Come over here." And led us to the window whereupon we presented him with all of our spare change. I handed him 75 pennies and 5 nickles and said, "This is a dollar." As I transferred it to his hand a penny fell on the ground and Andrew said, "Now it's only 99 cents!" The guy didn't even crack a smile, so Andrew handed him the other dollar's worth of coins and we got our tickets.

I was looking at the tickets as we walked out of the theater. At the very bottom it says, "Price Includes $0.07 Amusement Tax." Did you know we pay an amusement tax? I wonder how much money I owe the government for all the times I've giggled without paying up...

Monday, October 23, 2006

White Cat + Red Spray Paint =

So, I'm at home working, and I get an Instant Message from my mom. It says, "I wish I could go home, but David is borrowing my car. Josie just called and said that she accidentally spray painted the cat. That raises a series of questions..."

I volunteered Andrew and me to go check on Josie (incognito, of course...after she got feeling better I asked if I could put pictures of Winter on the blog). This was a good thing because Andrew and I had to return a movie to his parent's house, send a fax, take some mail to my mom and take Josie to the Dusara's to get her movie back, so we could show up without many questions asked.

We walked into the house and shouted, "Hello?" I hear two muffled "hellos" coming back to me. One is Patrick from downstairs. The other is Josie. She's in the back room watching TV. I head in that direction. On the way, I see the not-too-happy looking cat, Winter. At first, she looks like she got in a bad fight, but then I remember that she just got in a tangle with a can of spray paint.





I continue on my way to the room Josie is sulking in. "What are you doing here?" she asks. "Just dropping some mail off for mom. Do you want to go to Sister Dusara's?" I answer. "Sure," she says, "Uhhh..." "Oh," I said, "What happened to the cat? She looks like she got the tar beaten out of her!"

She was pretty much recovered at this point and could give us a play by play. If we had arrived 5 minutes earlier she probably would have locked herself in the bathroom and cried.

Here's what happened:

For her TLC (Technology, Life and Careers or something like that) class, Josie had to build a rocket. She did a really good job, and was putting on the finishing touches in the garage: spray painting it fire-engine red. In this case, it was more of a rocket red.



She went inside for some reason, just into the bathroom (probably to wash some paint off her hands or something). Anyway, when she came back out her rocket was gone! She looked around to see where the rocket would have run off to, and there it was, streaking across the yard...stuck to Winter, who was quite distraught about the whole thing. Josie ran over and caught the cat and put her in a brown paper bag.

Then, while holding the cat inside the brown paper bag, she went to telephone mom to tell her what happened. The first thing she said when mom answered the phone was, "You're going to be so mad at me..." That's the part that made mom worry...and why I volunteered to go check on Josie. Mom told her to put the cat outside so that the paint could dry without getting on anything in the house, but Josie was, with good reason, worried that someone would see the cat and think that something horrible had happened to her. Okay, getting red paint all over your beautiful white coat is pretty horrible, but she wasn't mortally wounded or anything. So, Josie kept her in the brown paper bag until she dried off.

Josie thinks Winter was trying to jump over the rocket, or rub up against the rocket or something, when it got stuck to her fur, causing her to become a little startled.

No real damage done (well, the rocket is a little bent, but I think that's fixable). With time, both Josie's and Winter's pride will heal. Winter will stop cowering under the kitchen table, and Josie will be able to tell this story. (She already laughed at it when I told Karen, with Josie's permission, of course).

Inuit Day at BYU

I work in the Widtsoe building, which is an anciently old building on campus. They have been remodeling it all summer because it was fairly hazardous (asbestos, bad wiring, etc.). I'm glad that I missed a lot of it because I was gone all summer.

When I came back from Jordan, we had no ceiling and no lights in the hallway. That was pretty interesting. We just got our ceiling put in a few weeks ago--they're still working on it. Some of the floors don't even have ceilings yet. It's pretty amazingly ugly right now. There's a joke going around that we're going to continue to take apart the building until the university agrees to give us a new one.

Anyway, this morning it was pretty cold. Not terribly cold, just pretty cold. By the time we got to campus our car had just started to warm up inside. I was wrapped up in my fleece blanket that I keep in the car just because I hate being cold! I was pretty warm, and believe me, I did not want to get out of the car! But because I had to, I was sorely tempted to bring my blanket with me. It didn't take me long to convince myself that that would be a silly idea. The weather here is such that even though it is freezing cold in the morning and I need my winter coat, it gets pretty warm in the afternoon and I don't even need a jacket. So I would have felt silly enough carrying around a coat this afternoon, let alone a blanket. I decided to leave the blanket in the car and complained about how cold it was all the way to Andrew's classroom...

I get to my office and the building is freezing cold. Wind is rushing down the hallway. And there's this email tagged as "important" in my inbox. It says,

"The Widtsoe Building is open this morning, however:
-The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is not operating. Most areas are near 70 F.
-The fume hoods in the building are tagged to NOT be used.
-The anatomy laboratory is closed.
-Hazardous or volatile chemicals CANNOT be used in the building.
-All low temperature freezers in the building are operating, but some rooms housing them are warm.
We will send an update at approximately noon. Thank you for your patience."

It is signed by the dean.

So, I made up a phone message to send to all the faculty asking them to please not blow us all up today. Who knows what would have happened had someone used something volatile. Perhaps we would have been warm!

As it is, I sat in my office with my door closed and my winter coat on. It was horribly cold. It made me think back to my days of elementary school at good ol' Leigh Elementary in PoCo, BC. I attended that school from kindergarten until halfway through grade 4. We had some trouble with a gang...I think they were called the "Razor Blades" or something. They would often spray paint their name on our school, but I couldn't read too well when they were really into spray paint, so that might not be what they were called.

Anyway, they were pretty much a pain. They broke into the school numerous times and just messed with things. I remember that we had kindergarten in the library for a few days because they broke into the kindergarten rooms, broke a lot of the windows and scattered the glass and toys all over the floor. That took a while to sort out, so while our room was being fixed, we were stuck in the library.

Another time, they broke in and smashed up some of the pipes in the school, essentially the heating pipes. So, we had "Inuit Day" for a few days where we all got to wear our winter coats to school. Not that Inuit wear coats to school... Anyway, I was just thinking about that today.

The Widtsoe heating problems was not due to vandals, however. It was due to some construction work that was being done on Saturday. The full article that was publishing in the Daily Universe can be found here. Some guy was doing some wiring and it started to spark and then the power went out. And there was a little fire. And the power went out and blew something up so now the ventilation systems aren't working.

No big deal. No one was seriously injured. No research was lost (at least, not yet...we'll see if that stays true in the near future). No extensive damage occurred. It's all on the up and up.

Except for that update that the dean sent... The problem probably won't be fixed until next week sometime. This Wednesday at the soonest. I'm definitely bringing my blanket to school with me tomorrow!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Homecoming Parade

Andrew and I, of course, had to go to the Homecoming Parade at BYU. Our first date ws our high school Homecoming Dance way back in 2001, when I was 16 and Andrew was 17. Our second date after Andrew came home from his mission was right after the homecoming parade last year. So, we had to do something on Homecoming again this year. We might do something cool tonight, but it isn't tonight yet, so I don't know what we'll be doing.

We tried to go get some blue pancakes this morning, but by the time we arrived there was a huge line up, so we just went to watch the parade on empty stomachs. It was still fun. We knew quite a few people in the parade.

The band played the Cougar Fight Song...Andrew was upset becaues the clarinets were way in the back. He played the clarinet in the marching band his freshmen year. It was fun to see them march and bob their heads to the beat. It makes the feathers in their hats go crazy!

BYU Marching Band



Right after the marching band came the International Folk Dance Team. This is the team that David is on. We tried to get some good pictures of him, but they didn't close the road off all the way so we were on the complete other side of the street and had cars between us and them. Rumor has it that Josie has some better pictures. We did get a few of David anyway. He's in blue pants with a yellow sash right at the front of the line, after the balloons. If you zoom in, you might be able to see him...but then again, maybe not...





After the folk dance team was done their dance, we ran up to the top of the street to watch them again, but we were on the wrong side of the street and couldn't get any more pictures of him. Oh, well...

International Folk Dance Team


We saw quite a few people that we know. Andrew saw some ROTC students who are in his Arabic class and yelled some Arabic greetings to him. We saw Jake Price, who we went to High School with; Mehul from Andrew's parent's ward; Becky, who lived in Jordan with us for awhile, Devin Duval who worked at the pool with me, and Clark who worked in the library with me. And of course, there was David, who was dancing.

It was fun to see all the people we knew!





There's a book about Mehul, written by Andrew's dad, Reid. It's pretty cool. You should all check it out.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oh, the irony...

For our Thanksgiving dessert, I made little pumpkin cupcakes using our pan that is shaped like roses...It looks like the one on the left. It turns out some pretty cool cupcakes but I find it terribly difficult to clean! After scrubbing it multiple times, I gave up. It still had little bits of cake stuck in the petals and I just couldn't seem to get it out. Andrew said that he could do it.

Yeah, right...I thought.

So, our pan sat in the sink for the rest of the week--soaking.

After the Integrative Biology social, we were left with a lot of leftovers, including gallons and gallons of Tang. We had made 5 gallons of it and I think we had 3 1/2 gallons left over, or something equally outrageous. Andrew emptied the big container of Tang into everything we owned that held liquids so that we could wash the container and give it back to my parents. After filling up virtually every container we owned, he was left with a little bit of Tang and just dumped it down the sink. Well, you all know what was still sitting in the sink. That's right, our cupcake tin. So naturally, it got filled up with Tang, too. And then it sat there all night long and well into the next day.

When I finally got the nerve to look in the sink, I admit that I was kind of disgusted. Great, I thought, now we have a cupcake tin full of mushy cake stuff and Tang. Andrew, upon seeing my face, said, "Oh, don't worry about that. Tang is...uhhh...better than dish soap. Yeah. You...uhhhh...soak things in it and it comes right out. I...uhhh...left it like that on purpose." Well, I know a lie when I hear one, especially if it is Andrew who is trying to lie because, well, he can't.

So, he picks up the cupcake tin, starts scrubbing and, what do you know, everything came off just fine. He's like, "Uhhh, yeah...see...I told you Tang works well. It leaves this white film all over the dish and then once you wipe it off, it just takes everything off with it. Cool..." Again, a very botched "cover-up" on his part. But, he got the dish clean, so I can't really complain.

That night we sat down to dinner and for a beverage we had Tang (we're trying to reclaim our refridgerator which has been full of meat and salad and Tang for the last week). Andrew was telling me about how NASA created it for astronauts and how it's so cool because it's astronaut food. I was like, "Yeah, right...whatever. NASA has better things to do than sit around creating fake orange juice." So, he looked it up on Wikipedia to prove to me that NASA created it. We found out that NASA didn't create it, but it is the drink of the astronauts. (So, I was right, yet again!)

We continued reading the article and stumbled across this:
  • An often heard household tip says Tang is an excellent dishwasher cleaning agent due to its high citric acid content. Although Kraft does not recommend it, they also do not advocate against this use. Their web site says:

"We have heard that some consumers have used TANG Drink Mix to clean their dishwashers. TANG does contain citric acid which can act as cleaning agent. TANG Drink mix is intended to be a food product and Kraft Foods does not advocate its use for any other purpose."

Who'd have thought that Tang was a good dish cleaning agent? Andrew discovered it by accident, but apparently some people use it on purpose! So, next time you have a dish that you just can't get clean, do wht the pros do! Soak it in Tang!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The twins doing fun things!



Here is Sabrina attempting to crawl. She's developed her own method of crawling which includes some scooting, pushing, pulling, and grunting. Andrew is practicing the piano in the background. (ps-sorry the picture is so dark!)



And here is Olivia in the walker. I tried to get her to do something cool but she's really just so interested in the camera. It was hard to get her to play.

Happy Birthday to Kelli

This morning I went to Andrew's cousin's wife, Sarah's baby shower. That was really pretty fun. A little awkward since I still don't know many people on Andrew's side of the family very well, but Sarah and I are in that boat together, so I suppose if she can go to a shower where she hardly knows anyone, then so can I! Sarah and Nathan got married the day before Andrew and I did.

*****

My sister Abra turned...well, I suppose I'll just say she had a birthday on Tuesday. My other sister, Kelli, had her birthday today. We all went over to my mom's house for dinner (and cake and root beer floats). Besides which I am singing in church with my mom tomorrow so we had to practice.

Kelli and the twins are spending the night at my parent's house, so right now, Andrew is helping Kelli with her algebra course. She asked me to help her! Fat chance of that!

Anyway, here are some pictures from her birthday party. It was pretty low key, and I definitely had a hard time taking a picture of her. She kept hiding. I eventually convinced her that her picture would look fine if she'd just hold still and smile!




Us Singing "Happy Birthday" to Kelli




You'll want to zoom in for the next picture. David thought that I had already taken his picture so he made a face at the camera, right when I took the picture.



Speaking of David...there's a really funny story about him. My mom asked him to sign the card for Kelli. He went and did that and then left the card in the other room. My mom walked into the kitchen and said, "David, where did you put the C-A-R-D?"

We spell a lot of things out in our family because...well, it's just what we do. The idea is that if you spell a word out that the "children" will have no idea what you're talking about. In this case, the child is nearing 30 and knows very well what C-A-R-D spells. Not that it really matters. When we were young children it wasn't uncommon for one of us to say, "Mom, can I have a coo...I mean a c-o-o-k-i-e?" Or to say, "But I don't want to go to bed" in answer to "Should we put the kids to b-e-d?" We all can spell, and because our parents insisted on spelling things over our heads, learned to spell at a young age. At least, we could all spell cookie, cake, nap, bed, dessert, McDonald's, and a few other key words.

Anyway, David went to answer my mom's question of "Where's the C-A-R-D?" by spelling back to her. He said, "It's on the D-E-Eeeegh..." Then he burst out laughing. My sister Kelli also burst out laughing. They tried talking to each other but were laughing too hard. Everyone was left in the dark. Finally Kelli gets out, "You're...trying...to..." and then before she can finish has a laughing fit. So we all waited around for an answer to why they were laughing so hard. Giggling along in that uncomfortable I-really-have-no-idea-what's-going-on-but-I
-feel-left-out-if-I-don't-laugh-too way.

As it turns out, he was trying to spell "DVD player" but couldn't decide how to spell DVD. Is that D-V-D or is that D-E-E-V-E-E-D-E-E? D-V-D is a little too obvious, if you ask me. We all had a good laugh about it. Man, spend one night with my family and I'm not sure you'd consider any of us of normal intelligence.





After dinner at mom and dad's house, Andrew and I went home to clean up our house a bit. We invited Kelli (and the rest of my family), as well as Andrew's family, to play games at our apartment. Kelli put the twins to sleep and then she and Josie headed over. Andrew's parents and Emily also stopped by. It was a pretty fun evening, even with all the silly antics going on!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Correction

Andrew's OPI final OPI score wasn't Intermediate: High, as Nancy reported. It was really Advanced: High, which gives more sense to that post.

Integrative Biology Opening Social

I work in the Integrative Biology department, for those of you who don't know. My job description (when I was hired) was this:

"The Graduate Secretary works with fifty to sixty graduate students, the graduate coordinator, department chair, and other faculty and staff. This position maintains student records and forms and tracks student progress. He/she coordinates with the department secretary in matters relating to graduate student tuition, contracts, and travel. This position also acts as department seminar coordinator, working with faculty to host off-campus seminar speakers and helps to organize three department banquets annually. "

If you add to that: maintains the website, writes articles for MyBYU News, designs new brochures for the department (both undergraduates and graduates), publishes newsletters, gives computer help to anyone who happens to walk into her office, maintains the bulletin board in the hallway, creates new budgets for people to follow, does office allocation, coordinates scholarships for undergrads and graduates, and many other things. And, if you take away: "helps to organize" and fill that in with "organizes with little to no help and/or support," then you'd just about have my position right there.

I feel that I do a lot of things in addition to my "job description" that I was hired for and people keep giving me more things to do. It's kind of frustrating. The department chair will walk into my office and give me something to do. If I start to say something he says something to the effect of, "You're going to ask me how to do this. Well, don't. You figure it out." And then he'll leave, even if what I was going to say was, "Oh, by the way, I've never done this in my life, have no access to these records, and was never trained to do this. This is part of the other secretary's job." It's impossible. He won't listen. He intimidates me so bad! He travels a lot, which I'm kinda grateful for since work is always a lot more calm when he's not there.

Anyway, last night was the Integrative Biology Opening Social. I had planned this for 300 people before I left for Jordan. I arranged the park, had a preliminary list for the food. Had it all prepared with fliers made up and everything. I even had it approved by the Department Chair (the old one, whom I adore!) and the Financial Secretary. Well, I come back from Jordan to a split department. 1/3 of our faculty and students are gone. The BYUGSA activity was scheduled for the same night and the weather was horrible. So, we rescheduled.

Last night was the next available Friday. The department chair said to go for it. So I did. I invited all the undergraduates, the graduates, the faculty, the staff, our student secretaries, the post-docs...and their families. So really, that should have been quite a number of people. I mean with only graduate students and faculty we have about 60--and then with spouses and children, the number should be higher, right?

So I dropped off my count to about 200 when I did the preliminary ordering for the food. I asked for the students to RSVP (the professors generally do that anyway). In total, 7 professors and 5 students RSVP'd. 3 of them yes, the rest no. So, out of 200 people invited, that really is not a very good count to go off of at all.

Andrew and I left to go set up at 4:30. We had a few mishaps. One being that there was no spigot at the park. There was, however, a drinking fountain. Andrew got all creative and made a funnel out of paper cups.





In all, it took us a full hour to set up, so we were done by 5:30. No one was there. The park is one of those places that is hard to find and hard to give directions to, but once you find it you realize that "duh"--it is right there and was totally easy to find all along. I told everyone..."It's right before Reams [a grocery store]. It's on 2230 N, just head west, you'll go over a bridge and you turn right after you're over it." Yeah, so I went out and stood on the corner for like half and hour being a land mark for everyone. And then I sent Andrew out to be the landmark. We eventually just started dinner at around 6:10.



There were about 10 people there.



I phoned my mom and she brought over Kelli, the twins, and Josie. And a few other people trickled in as the night went on, so all in all we had about 30 people there. The people who came had a good time, I think. We played a little game to get to know the faculty. That was pretty fun. I just got a random fact that no one would ever suspect of them and posted them around and had people guess who they were. Only 7 people turned in facts (we need to work on this in our department. It's a big problem! No one turns in anything! No one RSVP's!) but it was still fun. We had things such as:

I once had a set of 7-eleven floor mats stolen by a gang of Hell's Angels bikers.
I was an extra in Footloose and you can see me in 3 or 4 scenes.
I have a BB embedded in my left hand.
I drove a tank for the US Army.
I received two scholarships--one for dance and one for the engineering program.
I play volleyball for the A division.
I lived in Latin America for 7 years as a teenager.

I had no idea was had such a diverse faculty. It was fun to learn these things about the faculty--I was asked to do it again...and try to get more answers from the faculty. I'm in charge of the Christmas party as well, so maybe we'll be repeating this game then.

So, even though the social was kind of a flop (it was Friday the thirteenth) the people who came had a great time and the park was beautiful. I decided that I really like fall. The trees are just so pretty. It still is pretty warm-ish during the day... The only downside is that it leads to winter...yuck. But even that isn't too bad this far south.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

5 hour date

Last night Andrew and I had the most enjoyable evening. We went to the temple with Grandpa Frank & Grandma Sharon, and Brock & Layla. It was nice to get to do that with them before Grandpa and Grandma leave on their mission. After we went to dinner at Los Hermanos. The service was terrible, but that gave us a lot more time to visit with each other. Grant came to dinner with us as well. We pretended it was his birthday. It is his birthday in a week, so we didn't have to pretend that much, it was still pretty funny. He kept insisting that it was his birthday and demanding things.

Because Grandma and Grandpa won't be here for Christmas, they gave us our presents already. With specific instructions not to open them until Christmas. Andrew is having a hard time with this. He really doesn't do well waiting to open things. So, I hid the presents from him. We'll see how long they stay hidden. Hopefully he'll leave them be until Christmas.

Layla was pretty bad, too. She kept hinting about her Christmas present for Grandma and Grandpa all through dinner.

It's only October. We still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to go through until we have to worry about Christmas!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Andrew's Arabic

Last month, Andrew took the OPI--that's the Oral Proficiency Interview, a government test for languages. We've been waiting for his score all month and trying to guess what he got. Andrew guessed that he would be at an Advanced: Mid level. When he took the test before we went to Jordan he didn't really do all that hot, so he thought he'd jump a level and then add a little bit more on to that.

Well, we finally got his score today. He got an Advanced: High. That's one step below a superior! Okay, so it's not really a step down, it's like a whole level down. He still has to study for a few more years before he could be a superior, and live in an Arabic-speaking for a while. But, Advanced: High is still a really good score.

Wow, the miracle of living in Jordan.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mini-Thanksgiving from the microwave



Thanksgiving just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a hand-turkey, and a nice home-cooked meal. Unfortunately, Andrew and I were on campus until 4-ish and by the time we got home we were starving! We have this little habit of sleeping in and getting ready in twenty minutes, only remembering to grab a pack of fruit snacks or something equally un-filling. (See, mom, fruit snacks are useful!) This morning we had bagels because Andrew had been smart enough to take them out of the freezer yesterday. I suppose before I get into today I can tell about yesterday. I will provide minimal details because this is Thanksgiving and it's supposed to be a happy day.

Andrew's grandparents (Frank and Sharon) got set apart as missionaries yesterday. They are going to be humanitarian missionaries in charge of the Middle East and eastern Europe or something...they will be based in Germany (Heiss...Germany...Heiss...). They had previously served in Lebanon but that mission is closed now (I wonder why...) so they are glad that they will at least still be involved with Lebanon, even though they won't be living there.

Naturally, the whole family came to celebrate. We had a wonderful dinner after fasting all day. Dinner somehow tastes so much better when you've been going without all day--even if it is just a sandwich. We ate virtually everything there. And we did have a good visit with Grandpa Frank, Uncle Matt, and Aunt Nicki. Unfortunately, the family dynamics were quite interesting. Sarah and Emily were mad at each other. Emily and Jacob were mad at each other. Katherine was mad at the world. And a lot of people were upset with her. That, and Sarah was playing boss. So with so many "happy" attitudes going on we had a very interesting evening. But, we are glad that Grandma and Grandpa will be going on a mission. That will be such a blessing for them and for us.

******

So, now I can get on with today. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Andrew and I came home from school and ran into our first dilemma. We had forgotten to take meat out of the freezer, but we were both starving so we didn't want to wait for dinner. So, we made a lovely stove-top/microwave Thanksgiving dinner.



We had canned stew (because that has meat in it), instant gravy, stove-top dressing, potato pearls from the cannery, frozen corn and frozen string beans. It took us about fifteen minutes to make dinner and about ten to clean up. Thanksgiving has never been so easy. We still have tons of left-overs. I'm not sure how because we tried to not make too much. We should have invited the missionaries over...one of them is from Canada...

And, I have pumpkin cup cakes in the oven right now (because making a pie takes so much more time)! Boy, do they smell good. There's nothing to get you in the mood for fall like the smell of baking pumpkin, I'll tell you what!

For FHE (Family Home Evening), we did our lesson at the table. Andrew has so much homework that it's hard to get a good block of time set apart to give a nice sit-down lesson. So, what we did today (since he has two papers due on Wednesday) was your typical Thanksgiving traditional go-around-the-table-and-say-what-you're-thankful-for thing. It's kind of nice when there's only two of you because you don't have to sit dreading that people will say all of the things you're thankful for before it gets to you. Instead we just kind of called them out. We were thankful for a lot of the same things, too (go figure), like our house, our car, each other, temples, our jobs, our school, our families, and the fact that we don't live in a country like Congo. Wow, that would be hard. Our country is pretty good, really.

Boy, those pumpkin cupcake sure are smelling good. I'm thankful for pumpkin cup cakes, too.

Two last items to discuss before I quit this post. We got a new computer desk that I really like (I'm thankful for that, too)! It's a corner desk so it fits nicely into our dining room. My little brother got one at BigLots! (a glorified dollar store) and I really liked it when I saw his. Andrew and I went to BigLots! this weekend and the one we got was the last one they had in stock. It was pretty inexpensive so we just got it because we didn't know when we would find that good of a deal again.

I was getting so sick of sitting in the office. At work I'm in an office all alone all day...and then I was coming home and working away in the office all alone. Andrew was just in the next room, but I couldn't really talk to him or anything, so it was pretty boring. Now I'm right where the action is! Yippee!



Lastly, I made two little baby hats this weekend. Andrew's cousin Nathan's wife, Sarah is having a baby (did you follow that?) so I thought that I would make her a hat. I'm planning on going to her baby shower this coming weekend and I was bored so I sat down and out popped this hat. I wasn't sure if she was having a boy or a girl so I made a hat in what I thought was a nice neutral color: yellow. I had three choices: peach, yellow, or green--all baby pastels. Really, peach would be too girly and green would be too boyish so yellow was my only choice.

Apparently I was wrong because Andrew was kind of disappointed in the hat when I was done. It was too girly, he thought. I'm pretty sure that David has a baby blanket that matches that hat, but whatever...so I started making one with a green base, just in case. We called Andrew's mom (she's in Arizona at Andrew's cousin Bethany's wedding this week) and asked if she knew what Sarah was having. Well, Sarah's having a boy. So, I finished the green hat last night. Andrew was happier with that outcome. I think that I would dress a newborn baby boy in either green or yellow, but since Andrew's the boy I suppose he's the expert. Who knew that yellow-shorts boy would be so concerned about fashion?


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Provo Temple and Dinner at Marquita's

Andrew and I were going to go the Provo temple on Friday with his grandparents and his cousins before his grandparents leave on their mission, but his cousins (Brock, and Layla) couldn't make it, so we rescheduled. Instead, Mom, Josie and Marissa (one of my cousins) came over to watch Swadesh, a Bollywood film. We had an enjoyable evening. An enjoyable dry evening. We tried to invite Emily to come but she was playing in the marching band for the High School football team. Sarah is on the colorguard. I'm sure they both had an enjoyable evening getting soaked in the freezing, pouring rain. It was coming down in buckets!

I'd forgotten how crazy Josie and Marissa get when they are together. They are pretty much really crazy! And loud! We had to send them into the office a few times to let them calm down (which means be really noisy and crazy without disturbing us). Needless to say, it was an interesting evening with those two!

On Saturday morning, Andrew and I headed to the Provo Temple, by ourselves. When we left for Jordan they were still working on the temple grounds doing some new landscaping and installing some fountains. I must say that it is shockingly more beautiful now than it was before. They remodeled it because no one was getting married there. Instead, everyone was heading to Manti, Salt Lake, or Timpanogos (where Andrew and I got married). The day Andrew and I got married, 50 other couples were married in the Timpanogos temple! Even more get married each day in the Salt Lake temple. I think the church was hoping to share the wedding load a bit...and it seems to be working. I know of quite a few people who plan on getting married in the Provo temple.

Here's a before and after picture:

This picture doesn't really do it justice because it's so dark (it was still pretty stormy yesterday morning) but you can still see some of the work that they've done.




We did a lot of work organizing our house on Saturday afternoon. When we're finished, I might just post some pictures of it for everyone to see...but it's not finished and some areas are still rather unorganized and cluttered (the, ahem, office)!

On Saturday evening we went over to Marquita and Daniel's place for dinner. I forgot my camera which was really too bad. Marquita had prepared a wonderful, authentic Korean meal. She had a griddle on the center of the table and we fried our meat and vegetables right there. She also had a ton of little dishes full of sauces, vegetables, and spices to add to our meal. We ate with chopsticks (even Andrew)! It was so much fun! We played games and did a lot of catching up. We're planning on having them over for a Middle Eastern meal. Perhaps I'll remember the camera then.

It was amazing to see their baby, Maya. She is 17 months old now. The last time we saw her was in December! That's so long ago and she was just starting to get mobile. Now she's walking and talking. When we came to the door, we were carrying Cranium. Instead of saying hello, Maya put out her hands and demanded, "TOY!" It was pretty funny. She spent the whole evening trying to open the box and get into the game.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

More pictures of more nieces and nephews!

Andrew and I had lunch at his parents' house and then watched the last session of General Confernce with them. My friend Annik was there--I haven't seen her in forever, so it was nice to get to see her again! After we wore out our welcome there, we headed over to my parents' house to help out with the twins. Kelli was gone to pick up her boys, so Andrew and I did a lot of helping. We took the twins for a walk and that was really fun. Andrew even helped get them dressed. He's a lot more comfortable with them now that they're older!

After Kelli and her kids came back, we had dinner. I took some pictures of her kids. Matthew and (little) Andrew got haircuts this weekend. They look strapping...after they finished washing off all the dirt and chocolate from their faces (boys will be boys!) I took their pictures.





After dinner they headed out to the trampoline to show me their tricks. Don't worry... Although I did egg them on a bit, no one was seriously injured in the taking of these pictures (unlike last time)! They were flipping left and right and doing backdrops and bellyflops. I was sure there were going to be some minor injuries, but it all ended up happy.




And, even though Sabrina wasn't feeling very well, I did get her to smile. She can now scoot herself backwards in the walker...she doesn't know that she's doing it yet. It kind of surprises her everytime she does it!




(look at all that drool!)

Olivia was very active and very happy the whole time. I had a difficult time getting a good picture of her though. She's developed an astounding interest in photography. Everytime I would pick up the camera, she would reach for it. Maybe it was a hint that she didn't want her picture taken anymore...


Photo Shoot with the Twins

It's conference weekend! My sister, Kelli, came down from Salt Lake with her girls (they boys are at their dad's house this weekend so we'll get pictures of them up later). Andrew and I went over so that I could hang out with my mom and sisters during Priesthood session...and also so that I could hold the babies. And so that we could take pictures of them to put up on the blog for our family to see (Auntie Abra hasn't met the twins yet)!



When we went back inside, I was given both babies because everyone else was busy. This was not just any balancing act. These babies are relatively...ummm...large. Let's just say that they are as big as I was when I was around two years old--they are only 6 months old. They are 20 pounds each! That's 40 pounds of baby that I'm holding which is nearly 40% of my body weight, so if I look like I'm grunting, I probably am!



Dad took Sabrina and gave her a kiss. She promptly started crying (with real tears streaming down her face). We figure that he scratched her with his 5 o'clock shadow and scared her half to death. Although, she was relatively had to get to smile the whole evening so I think it might have something to do with her diaper rash.





The girls have gotten so mobile recently. Sabrina will push herself up on her hands and knees. She so desperately wants to crawl but can only scoot backwards. This is very frustrating to her when she is trying to get something placed in front of her. She'll get it soon!





Olivia is also getting a lot more active. She learned to roll over (finally!) a few weeks ago and ever since then has been a much happier baby. She's a lot more interested in toys and playing and moving. Here she is enjoying the walker (that they can't really touch the ground in yet!) that, believe it or not, they fight over. Yes, these 6 month-old girls fight over toys. It's pretty funny to watch. I didn't know that infants fought over things but apparently they do.



They get a long most of the time though. It's fun to see them interact with each other. Whenever they are together they like to hold onto each other. It's hard when you put one down to sleep and the other one mauls them until they wake up...but, it's cute to watch them play together.



One of Olivia's favorite chew toy is...Sabrina. For some reason, Sabrina doesn't really seem to mind and won't pull her arm or scoot away. She just lets Oliva do it.



We also decided to put up a picture of Rosie on our blog, even though most of you have seen her. We love her, too, though and even though she spent most of yesterday hiding in the basement with Josie (playing the computer, obviously, we made an effort to catch her on film. I think it is nice that Josie and Rosie are such good friends. I think it would be so hard to be an aunt only 3 years older than your niece. Josie and Patrick are 5 years apart. Josie and I are 9 years apart... Josie is closer in age to her niece than any of her siblings! Talk about role confusion! Anyway, they get along well most of the time. Well, by special request, this picture has been removed. We will try to get a new one up shortly.