Friday, February 27, 2009

Science Fair Winner!

Look! Our daughter (who is incredible and wonderful and beautiful and talented and--for this week--WELL!) won the school science fair! Isn't that great?! We think so, too.

Hooray for Ashtyn!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Parent Teacher Conferences

The only good thing I can say about parent-teacher conferences is that they are over for the year (at the high school). Oh, wait. One more thing. At least at the high school we get to conference with the teacher.

At the K-9 school we get to enjoy a complete waste of time called "Student-Led Conferences." Our kids do a great job telling us what they've been learning about, but couldn't we learn that by checking their backpacks each day? When do the teachers get to tell me about their concerns? When do I get to address my concerns with the teacher?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spotlight on...

This is a picture of my sweetheart, Spencer. This particular picture was taken just last month as he ran 16 miles on Antelope Island. Yeah. SIXTEEN miles. He is in training for the Salt Lake City Marathon in April. He is a student at the University of Phoenix (with only 9 more credits to earn for his bachelor's degree!). He is the Scout committee chairman, the Scout award-tracking specialist, the Deacons Quorum advisor, and a member of the stake youth conference committee. He works full time for Boeing as the Traffic Focal. All of those things tell you a lot about Spencer, but they don't even begin to tell you about how wonderful he is.

Spencer has never, ever left me alone in any way. Even when what I needed was for him to change a bad diaper. Or when someone threw up. Or when paint spilled on the new floor and I called him at work all hysterical. In spite of the person he married, he just jumps in and gets it done. He even left work to take care of a paint-covered floor. He's also really good at holding me when I need to be held, and what could be better than that?

Spencer is a fantastic listener. Anyone married to me would have to be. The thing is, he likes it. At least he has convinced me that he does. With as much as I talk, that could be a full-time job.

Spencer is about as great a dad as anyone could ever hope to have. He is really good at balancing work and play. He is very patient. He is very calm. I wish you could have seen him trying to calm a screaming Briana (just a few months old) by telling her about the Stripling Warriors, found in the book of Helaman. Just as he reached that point she let out a huge wail. He responded, "You're right. It's not in Helaman. It's in Alma." That's just the kind of guy he is.

Spencer has the ability to get along with anyone. Again, I use Exhibit "A" (aka "Aundrea") to make my point. Seriously, how many of you would want to be married to me? I rest my case. He really can get along with anyone. To go back to the world of high school, Spencer got along with jocks, stoners, rockers, cowboys, and everyone in between. This amazing talent makes him a favorite among ward members, neighbors, family, and co-workers. He's just great that way.

I could fill this blog and yours and yours and yours with info about this guy, but it would serve no purpose except to make you jealous that you are not married to him yourself. So I will refrain. But let me just say,


Sunday, February 22, 2009

I've decided

For days I've been trying to decide what to blog about. There's a lot to tell you. Really. But how to make it cute and engaging and worth reading? Jazz game? All-day date with my sweetheart? Our family Valentine's Day (today)?

Tonight I decided.

I decided that I must have been in the angel choir announcing the birth of the Savior. I'm serious. I don't believe it could have all been based on talent. If it was, I was a marginal player. But if it was based on love of music and love of the Savior of the world, I was a shoo-in. I was SO there.

Last week I was on the phone with my mother for about 45 minutes. The phone beeped two different times. But since I believe that call waiting was invented by Satan, I did not even look to see who was calling. So when I got off the phone (because the battery was about to die), and I plugged in the phone, there were two new voice messages. They were both from my friend, Peggy, who was inviting me to go with her to Sterling Singers. This is a choir that is over 10 years strong in the Salt Lake Valley and is led my Kelly DeHaan, who is our children's choir teacher at West Jordan High School. I have wanted join this choir (and others over the years), but I haven't quite been able to justify the time away from our family. Now here was Peggy on the phone (I returned her call), telling me that I absolutely needed to come. After a quick check-in with Spencer--who was his wonderful, supportive self!--I decided to go to choir practice with Peggy. After practice I decided to go to a sacrament meeting performance on Sunday (today).

We sang in the Cottonwood 3rd ward today, and it was SO. DANG. FUN. I've decided it is fun to sing with people who REALLY know how to sing. I know that sounds conceited. But it is fun. It's also fun to sing with people who love to sing, and this group is that, too.

I get to sing second soprano, which is my part. I've decided that singing second is so fun because it's still in a soprano range (where my voice is better) but it's a harmony part. There just isn't much second soprano in a ward or even a stake choir. In Sterling Singers, it is SO THERE! I love it.

I've decided that I have the best family in the world. Especially my husband, who is so seriously supportive of letting me follow my dreams. He may not be the perfect man, but he is the perfect man for me. I've decided.

My biggest talent is not music, but I love it. I decided.

That's a lot of decisions for this weekend, don't you think.

I think so, too. I've decided.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Driver's License Announcement!

Our daughter, Briana, finally got her driver's license yesterday. No one is more thrilled that I am!

To be completely honest, we have been allowing her to drive for some time. This has not been without anxiety, let me tell you. But it has been something of a necessary evil for our family. She's driven herself to work and to and from school (Taylor and Ashtyn to seminary, too). We haven't let her drive other places unless we are in the car--she has had her learner's permit.

The hold-up has been her mean parents. Yup, the same mean parents who have let her drive illegally. It makes no sense, really. Create requirements for your children to get their driver's license, then allow them to drive anyway? Stupid, when you think about it that way.

The requirements for a driver's license at our house--the house with the really mean parents (who are mean because they love their children and believe it is their job to teach them):

1. B average grades.

2. YW medallion or Eagle Scout award

Meeting either of these requirements allows a learner's permit, but the license itself requires both. Bri got her medallion last year, so she's had her permit. Taylor has his permit, too. He met the grade requirement, but not the Eagle. Yet. He is short an Eagle project. Still. I could go on and on about that, but I will currently choose to let it go...

Suffice it to say that Briana's dad and mom are super happy and excited to finally have a legal, of-age, licensed driver in the house.

Now, about the insurance...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I love technology, but not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology. (If you can name that movie, you can join our family's Pathetic Club.)

Anyway, I am a complete electronic communication junkie. I have Facebook; this wonderful blog; and especially my friend, Mr. Email. Unlike some of you, I have two email addresses--not 4 or 5. Two is enough. Usually.

But you've never seen someone get so happy as when there is a message from someone I love in my email. In fact, the computer has taken the mailbox's place as a fun place to visit daily. And the computer didn't take President's Day or Sunday off!

My dad is also a computer junkie. He sends most of his communications to my work email. So if I have an especially busy weekend and don't look at my work email for two days, it's stuffed full on Monday morning. I like to spread it out throughout the day. I do something on my task list, then read a journal entry. Then another task, and then a Fishin' Hole. You get the idea. Mondays are fun.

This morning I've been exchanging email with my dad. In a way it's almost like IMing because we live in such a fast world with faster internet connections. Imagine! I can have a conversation with my dad, who is 600 miles away, in just moments. IMing is fun (I've done some of that in the past week). But one fun thing about email is that the other person understands if you don't answer right away. If I go to a meeting, I can still respond to my dad later, just as if our conversation never ended.

Email has made it a smaller world, and I love it!

Monday, February 16, 2009

They grew so fast!

This weekend we (Spencer and I) hosted a Valentine's Day date night at our home. It was really simple. We fixed a caramel fondue and invited nearly everyone we knew in the Salt Lake Valley to come with their hubby/wife for a fun evening. "A fun time was had by all," Bryan. :)

I don't particularly like to entertain. I love having people over, but you just have to be "at home," because I'm not much for serving everyone. I'm kinda like a buffet-style hostess. It's really all about lowering the stress level, really. Can't you just come over and have fun?

However, one of the great things about entertaining is that it gives me a mighty excuse to put everyone to work to clean the house. I just have to tell you how great our family is! They were given plenty of warning, which could be deadly because they have time to think about it, pout, find excuses, etc. But they spent several hours just cleaning, and they all got along and did the work cheerfully. I love it!

Spencer and I started talking about how great it is to have older children. I need to say that our children are really great people. We feel so blessed because we not only get to be their parents, but we get to associate with them. We've enjoyed the heck out of them since they were born, but nothing has been more fun than having older children. Landon is 12, so in a year, all of our children will be teenagers.

Don't get me wrong. They are not perfect. There are still times when I want to change my name to something other than "Mom" and run away. But, honestly, they are just wonderful! We just could not be more blessed.

So how is it that they went from being so little to being so big?! (We enjoyed them then, too!) (BTW, this was taken in Cancun in 2001.)

Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 13, 2009

Twenty-five Random Things About Me

I'll be honest. I'm not good at Facebook. I love checking in with people. I've had several fun IM conversations with people. I can put a message on my wall or yours. But I can't figure out these "tagging" things. You can go ahead and say it. I know. I'm not too savvy.

So here is my response to so many of you who have tagged me for 25 random things. I'll have to think about it. If there's a fire at the COB, you'll know what happened.

1. I was the president of the Shaun Cassidy fan club in, like, 4th grade. OK, so the club was just me and my friend, but we were die hards. I had Shaun Cassidy on my wall (my very first poster--and my mom even had it laminated for me!), I owned his record(s?), and I was fairly certain that if he'd just wait for me to grow up, I was the girl for him! My friend's parents even took us to the Shaun Cassidy concert at the Salt Palace. Ooooo... Ahhhhh...

2. I single-handedly keep M&M/Mars in business. I love M&M's! I really love the plain ones. I eat them in 3s and I tuck them on the roof of my mouth to melt--I rarely chew plain M's. I also love the peanut M's. Those are the only two kinds I like.

3. I think popcorn tastes better the longer you chew it.

4. I can remember the birthdays of the only two boys I really loved (or thought I did) besides the man I married. Random! I know the birth months of a couple of other boys, too. It's weird the things that stick in our minds!

5. I love just about any kind of performance or production that involves music: grade school, middle school, high school, ballets, symphonies, classical, rock, country, musical theatre--I love it all. Yes, I am a High School Musical fan. (Who isn't?)

6. I think going to the car races is fun. I'm not much for watching them on TV, but the raceway is a blast.

7. I have been skiing. Twice. That's all. That's two times too many for me. I lived for 4 years about 12 miles east of Park City, Utah. I went skiing in California. Go figure.

8. My favorite sport is reading.

9. The doctor told me to find another sport. I chose scuba diving. I didn't like it much till we went back with our kids. Then Spencer and I went to Cozumel to dive, and I fell in love with diving!

10. On the inside, I am a grammar Nazi. I try not to henpeck people about it because I realize that it's just not that important. I blame my 7th and 8th grade English teacher, Mr. McCormick, for this.

11. I HATE sweeping and mopping. I blame my mother for this, but it's a long story, and I won't share. Besides, most of our kids hate it, too, and they will blame their mother for it.

12. Babies do not like me. I don't much like them. But toddlers and young children and I are buddies. I love them! Spencer says every kid in the store wants to come home with me. I wish they would--I would love it!

13. Even though I really love the little kids, being a mom to teenagers is the best thing ever!

14. President Monson invited me into his office. It was cool.

15. I still wonder, "What will Mom and Dad say?" whenever I do something. That's not a bad thing.

16. The only time I ever stole something from a store, I was 5 years old, and I stole a zipper. Yup. A zipper. It was that important.

17. I like to make greeting cards, especially using stamps.

18. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.

19. My grandpa pierced my ears using a long, sterilized needle. It also involved clothespins and a potato. I was 5.

20. I have a long memory. I can remember being in my crib crying for my mom before I ever had any siblings. Brant was born when I was 22 months old.

21. I talk in my sleep. This has led to embarrassing moments--including one on the bus just this week! (Enough about that.)

22. I do not like to drive.

23. The last 3 times I threw up were: when I was 11 and got sick at KFC; when I was 22 and in labor with our first child; when I was 35 and got sick the night before Easter. I just can't throw up, even though I know I would feel better. It's too traumatic for me. :)

24. My nicknames have been Andy, Aud, Dray, and Ahhh-deee-ah. You can call me odd, but don't call me Andrea! (go figure)

25. Of everything that God created, my favorites are the sky and tulips.

And if you're still reading, you must be really desperate for good literature. Call me--I have some recommendations!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm becoming a blog-a-holic AND I found a TV show that I really like

Second post in one day. That's all I'm going to say about that...

OK, I am completely behind the times. So behind, in fact, that you will think I'm a total square and a loser and find yourself saying, "That is SO last year (or last decade, maybe)!" I should explain by saying that I never watch TV. No, really. I never do. Ever.

But our kids were watching American Idol, and I walked in. This was Episode One of Season Eight, and I sat there like a complete idiot, cringing over some of the HORRIBLE singing, and finding myself awed by the talent of others. I'm hooked.

I know. Season EIGHT. I've listened to the kids talk about it, my co-workers talk about it, my neighbors talk about it, my sister talk about it, the radio and TV personalities talk about it...The list is endless, but until now it the list has NEVER included me. Ever. Really. I'm not exaggerating.

So, there you have it. I'm an Idol fan. I like Cara, Randy, Paula, and yes, even Simon. I really do. I like the drama (most of it). I like the music. I like Ryan.

I don't like the woman who screamed and giggled forever, though. Don't vote for her.

Laughing through life and task lists

When we had small children I did not laugh enough. I was so worried about teaching them how to be good people, responsible, respectful, etc. that I just didn't laugh. I was also afraid they wouldn't take me seriously if I laughed too much. Thankfully Spencer has always made me laugh. And I don't think I was grumpy, because I was genuinely happy. But I should have laughed more.

Last night at 10:00 p.m. I was still trying to get through my task list when our four children (all four of them!) came home from the Draper Temple Open House, where they'd gone with the ward youth. They were all full of stories of the temple, people they'd seen, things that had happened, etc. (Did you know, for example, that it's possible for two Mormon boys to give their phone numbers to the same--unknown--Mormon girl, and have her accept them? Apparently the temple is a great pickup spot.)

Taylor said, "Mom, you would have cried tonight." I asked why and he said, "The second we walked into the building my heart started going Nnce, Nnce, Nnce." You'd have to hear Tay doing this--it's sort of a beatbox sound.

I had to grin, because it was just so cute. I also wanted to weep in gratitude that our son felt the spirit at the temple. I'm hoping this means that I did an OK job with them when they were little, after all.

Just before he went to bed, Tay told me that when he talks to me his heart goes Nnce, Nnce, Nnce. Everyone should have a good laugh--child induced--before they cross the last item off their task list and go to bed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Field trips are wasted on kids!

I work in the maintenance department of a large, worldwide organization. The headquarters campus of our corporation, I'm told, includes approximately 28 buildings--give or take a few. Little by little over the past year and a half, I have come to learn my way around. (Emphasis on little.)

My manager has decided that we need to upgrade the mechanical rooms and electrical vaults throughout campus. The focus is on clean-up, and it involves cleaning, painting, re-insulating, and other cosmetic items. For each room, a punchlist of items is created.

Enter the secretary.

You have no idea how much fun it is to go see these places. I am walking THROUGH places I've never been before, INTO places I've never been before. I am ALLOWED and EXPECTED to wear my tennis shoes and a jacket. My husband would love this stuff; although seeing a bunch of pumps or transformers time after time might be boring to anyone besides me. Nah, I'm pretty sure he'd love it all.

Our children have seen and done things that we haven't had the chance to do, all through school and school-related extracurricular activities. They tell me it's "boring," or "OK," or "so-so." I think they're nuts. I've now seen 3 electrical vaults, a wall of transformer switches, and about 15 different pumps of all shapes, sizes, and jobs. It is such a fabulous break (because "A change is as good as a rest, right, Daddy?) from the normal routine. It is fascinating to witness all the equipment and work it takes to run our large campus. It is cool to learn new stuff.

But I'll be honest. It could be ANY field trip and I'd be pleased--for all these same reasons.

Children's Museum? Fabulous!
The park? Awesome!
The Oval? Love to!
The bread factory? Count me in!
The grocery store? Do I get to go in the freezer? Please?

I'm telling you, field trips are wasted on kids!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Can you say "Doctor"?

Here is how our Friday and Saturday looked, from a doctoring perspective:

Thursday I left work at noon, picked up Ashtyn, and took her to the hospital (which counts as a doctor) for an EKG. We left there, picked up Taylor, and the three of us headed to see the pediatrician (doctor). After talking to the doctor about 400 things, and still coming up with nothing, we headed back to the hospital (doctor) for a chest x-ray. We got home from all these doctors at about 6:30.

Friday morning Ashtyn had a doctor (kinesiologist) appointment at 9:15. We were at the doctor FOR.EV.ER. I took her back to school, and got home to pick up my stuff at 1:30. I called my supervisor and begged the remainder of the day off.

Tomorrow morning at 6:30 Taylor has a dentist (doctor) appointment. Thursday I am leaving work early to--you guessed it--take Ashtyn to see the doctor (allergist). We have another appointment with the G.I. doctor in May (the first appointment they had available), and we still need to schedule with the rheumatologist (doctor).

And, to add insult to injury, I've paid out about $200 to doctors in the past week and a half.

I might need to see a medical professional

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Things that have made me laugh over the past few days...

Tay and Bri were talking about their great SBOs at school. Taylor said, "I think I'm going to run for SBO my senior year." Briana laughed and gave some examples of how many people love him. He nodded and said, "When I'm a senior, I'm going to be Ferris Bueller."

Ashtyn and I went to see "New in Town." You'll laugh.

Landon was having a telephone conversation with our young men's president about "serving" (passing) the sacrament (tomorrow is his first time). He asked, "What about when they line up after they serve? Do they line up tallest to shortest or something? (pause) Oh, so the ugliest one has to stand in the back?"

Ashtyn spent over an hour curling Briana's hair for tonight's Sweethearts Dance at the school. Briana pinned it all up.

Taylor paced a hole in the floor for forty-five minutes, waiting for his date to pick him up. (A little nervous?)

My mom saw Amy's post before I did!

Our checking account (I laugh to keep from crying).

Bella chasing a tennis ball. She'd make a great goalie!

I found the camera 3 hours AFTER Bri and Tay left for the dance.

I'd love to tell you more, but I'm too tired to think. And THAT is no laughing matter!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Random Stuff

I had planned to write a blog which had the word "doctor" in every sentence. I still could. Except you gotta read today's edition of my friend's blog, "Two Scoops." That will top any day! And the funniest part is that my mom knew before I did, because she read the blog first! Amy laughed and said, "I LOVE your mom!" I replied, "What DON'T you love?"

For any who would like to join us, Amy and I are celebrating on Monday by having a Hawaiian Day! I'm wearing a hot pink lava-lava (which will look wonderful with my jacket from Alaska that I wear constantly so I can stay warm), and she's wearing a flower in her hair. We will eat chocolate chip cookies (they have chocolate chip cookies in Hawaii, don't they?). We will hug and maybe dance the hula. OK, maybe not the hula part. I'm going to download...Never mind. :)

You should come. I'll see you there!