Thursday, May 28, 2009

Work Conversations 2

"Text it to me. I'll ignore it."

"The maintenance guy in the bed next to me..."

"I don't know anybody who works in the temple. I've never been there."

"Seriously? How much snot do they have on that floor?"

"That falcon is a bad person!"

"What's with all the Mormons on Temple Square?"

"No, I want him to sweat: 'Oh, no! They've hire someone to take my place!'"

"Why do they have to do their work during the day while we're working?"

"I think maybe I'm getting what you've got." (said to a pregnant woman)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sweet Experiences

A co-worker just began serving as an ordinance worker at the Salt Lake Temple. She began this service very excited but more than a little apprehensive. Today I asked her how it was going. She was so overwhelmed with emotion that she could hardly talk. Finally she said, "I will never leave the temple."

In these few six words, spoken simply and reverently, can be found lessons for people of all ages:

Children: You haven't been into the temple yet, but maybe you've been to the temple grounds. Did you touch the temple building? The prophet has said that we should touch the temple so that the temple can touch us. The feelings we get while we are on the grounds of the House of the Lord are the feelings that we should try to keep with us all the time, because that is the best kind of happiness there is. A young friend from some years ago, Jason, said, "I just wanted to hug the temple." I never want to leave that feeling!

Teens: Some of you have been into the temple. You've seen the beginning ordinance, as performed by someone holding the proper authority. You know the beauty of the building. I hope you realize that that beauty is not just "skin deep." The temple is a beautiful edifice, built to glorify God; but its construction is just its appearance. The real beauty of the temple is what happens inside. The temple--the ordinances performed in the temple--strengthens, helps, leads, and blesses people. Should we not try to emulate that? What if we strengthened someone today? Helped them? Blessed them? Serving others is a way to never leave the temple.

Adults: To quote my friend--Life is hard. And then it gets harder. This doesn't mean that life is unhappy. In fact, I think as it gets harder, it also becomes more rewarding. Temple ceremonies symbolize this. We take baby steps (line upon line, precept upon precept) back to God. We can take them quickly or slowly, depending on our choices. We can even step backward. But if we never leave the temple, we will progress forward. Sometimes baby steps might include finding the strength to do yet another load of laundry, make it out of bed an into work, or NOT yell when we really want to. But if we never leave the temple we are given the power to do exactly that. And more. Daily. Hourly, if necessary.

I will never leave the temple.

I believe that will be my new motto.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Words I Never Expected to Hear

"Mom, turn the station to 106.5. It's Show Tune Saturday Night!"

(It would have been even more shocking if it had been one of our boys. :)

People I Love

There is a man at work named Larvas. (I'm not joking. His name is Larvas. If you or a person you love is named Larvas, you have my sincere condolences. If you have or are planning to name your child Larvas, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.)


Larvas is living, breathing proof that your name does not have to create your reality. (But be kind, just in case!) Sure, he wears really geeky glasses. OK, his hair is not super fashionable. And--he works as a custodian.


Larvas is maybe the most friendly, happy, non-weird man I work with. This is a man who answers radio calls, phone calls, and emails all day long about trash. He is the recycling, shredding, trash-can-delivery get-it-done man. And he is always cheerful. And he adores his wife. And he is grateful to have work. And he is trusted by everyone. And even the most irritated, impatient customers are glad to have such a pleasant man come to their rescue.

Larvas is a good man.

I Hate Tuesdays

That is all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What's Not to Love?

My friend always says, "I love it!" As you may or may not have noticed, I have now started saying the same thing. However, it got me thinking about things I don't love. Here are a few:

People who will not patiently wait their turn in line.

Macaroni and cheese. Also hot dogs.

Unwashed hair.

Pets that run/climb/sniff all over me.

Testimonies that aren't really testimonies.

The phone ringing in the middle of the night.

Doing yard work.

Bad or overwhelming smells.

Movies with 70's endings.

Too little sleep.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Can You Buy a Warranty Against the Dog?

Landon left his glasses on the deck. I don't know why. I can't figure out how he managed to play a game of lacrosse without his glasses on his face.

Nevertheless, this morning, the glasses were on the deck. Next to the Frisbee.

Until it was WAY PAST time for him to leave for school. He had no idea where the glasses were. And then I had no idea where the glasses were. He said they weren't in his room. I found they weren't on the deck.

Don't worry we found them.

In three pieces (that we found so far).

With incriminating teeth marks on them.

Question of the day: Should I be angry with Landon? Or Bella?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Worth Day!

From Amy's blog:

I used to work with this lady named Kim and she thought it was unfair to only celebrate her kids once a year (on their birthday) so she celebrated their “worth day” every single month. She didn’t go all out or anything, no parties, cake, or favorite foods. Just a nice note with a candybar, or a phone call in the middle of the day saying “happy worth day, I’m glad you were born”. I think that’s nice.

I think today is a Worth Day for the following reasons:

1. It is no longer Tuesday.
2. Ashytn rode 20 miles yesterday, in spite of fighting the worst cold ever.
3. Lisa performed a marvelous solo piano recital yesterday. So much fun!
4. Karleen's daughter is going to graduate!
5. We've killed three GINORMOUS flies in our office today. And, believe it or not, I got the last kill--all by myself!
6. It's spring. Best. Spring. Ever.

Let's celebrate!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Play Nice!

Remember when you had those car fights when you were kids? Mo-om! Brant's touching me! What was Mom's answer? 99% of the time the answer was, "Play nice!"

One day when I was teaching preschool, one of the little girls came up to me and said, "Teacher! Amanda looked at me!" It happened to be a field trip day, so about 8 moms were sitting there snickering and watching me to see what I would do. I rolled my eyes, looked at that dear little girl and said--you guessed it--"Play nice!"

Every Tuesday I come out of staff meeting frustrated. This team undermined that team. The other team didn't communicate with us. He's pointing his finger that him. That tool doesn't fit what I'm trying to do with my people. I do this, he does that.

Seriously? Just play nice!

Bike for the Cure

Today Ashtyn and several of her schoolmates are biking 20 miles to benefit the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. This is a week-long activity for the entire middle school. Yesterday 1/4 of the students rode 10 miles. Today 1/4 of them will ride 20 miles. Tomorrow is a 30 mile ride, and Thursday is a 40 mile ride.

When they held their kickoff assembly, there were very few children whose lives had not been affected by cancer. Some have had parents, grandparents, or siblings die from this disease.

This is from the Huntsman Cancer Foundation's website:

Huntsman Cancer Foundation's sole purpose is to fund the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute: to understand cancer from its beginnings, to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments, to relieve the suffering of cancer patients, and to provide education about cancer risk, prevention, and care.

The Huntsman Cancer Foundation gives a Reason to Hope® to cancer patients and their families and is dedicated to funding cancer research, cancer treatment and education programs, research and patient-care facilities, and to ensuring excellence in these endeavors through the development and prudent stewardship of private resources.

If you would like to help Ashtyn and her classmates in this fabulous activity, please donate:

Huntsman Cancer Foundation
500 Huntsman Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
Call: (801) 584-5800

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book Review

I was pleasantly surprised last week to read an email from my co-worker recommending this book, which she had picked up at Deseret Book. I was happy because the author, Lisa Mangum, is an editor/proofer with whom I have worked. Because of the happy recommendation; because I wanted to support my friend Lisa; and because I'm a book slut, I decided to go buy this book. (I think it is listed at $19.95.) I finished reading it last night, and I am a fan!

For those who liked the "Twilight" books, I can guarantee that you will like this book: mysterious boy (who is NOT a vampire, by the way), fantasy mystery, a little romance. Good stuff. I will admit that I liked Twilight, but I frankly got really tired of the whiny main character. I liked this book much better.

And I'm not just saying that because I know the author. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Rest of the Story

Apparently Landon told the lady who was selling daggars that his mom wouldn't let him go into debt to get it. She said, "That's too bad." He said, "But I have five dollars."

Landon now owns a small, sharp knife in a sheath.

You gotta hand it to him, though. He's fearless--he negotiated with a grown-up who had a table full of knives in her possession!

Funny Phone Call

Me: Maintenance, this is Aundrea.

Caller: Mrs. Hill, this Dalton [one of Landon's teachers]. Hey, we're at the Renaissance Faire, and Landon is wondering if he can buy a daggar. I told him we'd have to get parental permission first.

Me: (a little bit speechless; then...) A daggar?

Dalton: It's got about a 4" blade.

Me: And does he have enough money to buy this on his own, or is he borrowing from someone?

Dalton: He'll need about $3 from Malachi.

Me: Tell him his mom is mean and that she will not allow him to go into debt for a daggar.

[Don't tell him that his mother is completely freaked out about a daggar!] (sigh.)

Doing Stuff Together

Here is the list of the things I love to do, even though Spencer can't really do it with me:


Here is the list of the things Spence loves to do, even though I can't do it with him:


Here is a non-comprehensive list of the things Spencer and I like to do together:

Read, hang out, watch movies, go for walks, fix dinner, eat dinner, clean up dinner (and breakfast and lunch), play, clean the house, work in the yard, travel, watch our boys play lacrosse, go to plays, go to sporting events, go to museums, shop, go to concerts, go to meetings, go to church, go to the temple, do laundry, take a ride, scuba dive, kiss (and other mushy stuff), laugh, joke, help with homework, go to youth conference, prepare lessons. You get the idea.

Let's be honest here: I don't like to do all these things. I'm pretty sure Spence doesn't like to do all these things. But if we're going to do them, we love to do them together. Sometimes we do stuff together separately, like he works on the kitchen while I fold the laundry. But we're at peace if we can do things together.

All of that said, I am really grateful that we both have something we like to do, and that there's little to no jealousy or irritation because the other person is doing that thing. Just yesterday I got an email that invited me to participate in a choir which is singing at a concert to benefit the Veteran's Hospital. They're doing all big band stuff. How fun does that sound? I asked Spence what he thought of my participating and he replied, "Sounds great! Sing away!"

This is the email I got from Spence today: Hey great news; I get to run Ragnar (Wasatch Back) from Logan to Park City. 187 miles in 24 hrs. 12 person team. June 19-20. I am Runner Eleven, My first leg is 3.8 miles all uphill; my second leg starts at the Spring Chicken Inn, and runs past Rockport Reservoir 7 miles around lake; and the last leg is 7 miles downhill from the top of Guardsman Pass almost into Park City.

I love that he is so excited about this trek through hell--oops! I mean fabulous run. I love that he is so prepared. I love that he get the chance to do what he loves.

In October he is going to run the St. George marathon. I am going to St. George with him for the weekend. While he has fun running, I will have fun crafting and watching General Conference in a silent hotel room (bliss!). And then we will have fun doing whatever we want to do TOGETHER. I really love that.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Miracles and Tender Mercies

My friend and supervisor has a daughter who has also been scrambling to complete packets in order to graduate. We have done a lot of laughing and hoping and praying. Both of our daughters are fabulous young woman. They are responsible, caring, hard-working, and excellent in many things. But now we are facing the very end of high school--and these young ladies are facing the consequences of poor choices earlier in their high school careers.

As a parent it is difficult to allow your children to make choices that you consider wrong. In this case it's not necessarily wrong, but it will have difficult and far-reaching consequences, maybe for life; it's difficult to see that happen to your children. Additionally, it is very hard not to let pride set in: I'm smarter than that--how come she couldn't be? She's just as good as that other student, maybe better! How must I look to others when I couldn't even get our daughter through high school? What will people think of her? Why didn't I ____________?

Of course, none of those pride issues is the real issue, and most of them aren't even true! But Satan will work on us to make us feel like we are failures in any way that he can.

And so, we work; we tell our children that they are great and that they can do it; we stay up late; we tell our children that they are great and that they can do it; we help with homework, even when we aren't sure what we're talking about; we tell our children that they are great and that they can do it; we tell them that again. And we pray.

This is another hard thing. What I want to pray is, "Father, please make it all OK. Let her finish and succeed. FIX IT!" What I try to pray is, "Father, please make it all OK, whatever that is. Let her succeed, even if it means she has to fail. I haven't been perfect. Neither has she. But we're working, and we're trying to do all we can to fix this and make it right. Help us to accept thy will. Please help us."

This morning my dear friend came into the office completely frazzled and announced that it didn't look like her daughter was going to graduate. She was heart-sick and emotional and disappointed and frustrated. She told us later that she hardly even remembered walking to the bus stop because she was praying so hard. And finally she found it in her to say, "According to thy will..." As soon as she truly prayed that, her burden was lighter. She was still concerned about her daughter and the situation, but she was doing all she could and leaving the rest in God's hands. This afternoon her older, married son and his wife called and offered to sit up with her daughter all night to get as much done as they could. And then a dear friend contacted her roommate, who was a high school chemistry teacher, who agreed to help them all through the night if necessary in order to get this packet completed.

Somehow, God helps us through things. And it is still possible that--after all of this--there will be no graduation ceremony. But there have been blessings and understanding and learning that may not have come in any other way.

(As a follow-up: we are still hoping and praying in our family, too. But friends--Bri's and ours--have stepped up to the plate to help in many, many ways. Bri, too, has kept on plugging. She's had lots of late nights, but she's getting there. We are cautiously hopeful. And we are grateful for the blessings and the understanding and the learning.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I think I'm offended!

Spencer told me the other day, as we looked at our Temple Square pictures, that I was looking like a mom. I'm not sure exactly what he was saying--fat? gray? wrinkly? happy? snuggly? What exactly does a mom look like?

Dave told me he was going to look for a really good business services person to help us figure out how to do something. Ouch!

And just now when I got onto my Facebook account for the first time in months, this was waiting for me:

Utah Breast Augmentation
Virtually pain free - instant recovery - Go out enjoying yourself with “just the right curves” the same day. Back to work in 24-48 Hrs

I'm hurt! Just because it's true, doesn't mean you have to say it. Filters, people, filters!

Monday, May 11, 2009

You know it's a good day when... hear the alarm, you wake up, and you can lie in bed for a while, not even caring! get to pray with your children. get to pray with your children without being sniffed, bumped, or otherwise interrupted by the dog.'s spring and it's warm.'s spring and it's warm, and the dog will spend more than 30 seconds outside. get to work and have good-smelling stuff waiting there for you to experience and love (thanks, Jessica!).
...the elevator that actually goes all the way to your floor is the one that comes! laugh with a co-worker before you've been at work for 10 minutes. finally get to physically meet someone you've spoken to dozens of times. finally get to physically meet someone you've spoken to dozens of times. And she knows who you are, too.

It's 10:18 a.m. How is your day going?

My Mother's Day

This is what I received for Mother's Day:
The Christmas lights FINALLY got taken down from the roof!
Our family got out of bed early yesterday morning so we could go to Temple Square and take some family pictures with the spring flowers. Aren't these pics great? Everyone got along fabulously, and they even offered to go the Music and the Spoken Word with me. Believe it or not, I said no because the pictures and our sacrament meeting were more important to me--but I would have LOVED to have gone to M&tSW.
Bri got me the DVD of "Sleepless In Seattle," my favorite movie. Taylor wrote me a poem and gave me some M&M's. I'll share the poem tonight or tomorrow. It was sweet. Ashtyn made me 15 coupons for nice things to do for me. She chose 15 because she is 14 and a half; so she rounded up and made a coupon for each year of her life. She's also making me some flowers for my hair. Landon also wrote me a poem. Spencer gave me a lovely card and some flowers.
Spencer's sister, Jenny, hosted a lovely Mother's Day meal for the entire family. She's an incredible, talented, giving woman of faith. She sent me home with M&M's, and Whitney even bought me some Rocky Road ice cream--just for me! Wasn't that sweet?
Sacrament Meeting was lovely, too. No guilt for me! :) Lisa Montgomery (Bri's friend) was my favorite speaker--she was darling about moms and about her mother. I got to take the sacrament and listen to our Primary children sing. What could be better?
It was a great day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Laughing Through Life

In the course of the past 4 hours, here is an abbreviated list of conversations I have participated in:

"Just a warning. If you ask [this person] how he is doing, HE WILL TELL YOU."

"Does anyone know why Deseret Book pulled 'Twilight' from their shelves? You do?! Seriously, is there anything you DON'T know?"

"Yeah, and then there was the time when one of my Tongan extended family members left their 10-year-old with me for two weeks, and then just never came back."

"So I said, 'President, when you die, it will NOT be of an enlarged heart.'"

I also received my email offer for Oprah's free KFC meal and I got called a witch (by myself) and a bouncer (by someone else) for trying to keep someone out of a manager's office.

If you can't laugh at my job, it is time to die.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Fairy Godmother's Apprentice

This is the official photo of Ashtyn from her school's production of "Cinderella's Glass Slipper." She was the godmother's apprentice.
But she's OUR beautiful princess!

Monday, May 4, 2009

On Graduating and other pains in life

OK, at this moment in our lives, there IS NOTHING more painful than graduation.

Spencer is on his very last class. It will last for another 27 days (but who is counting?). It requires a lot of paper-writing and reading, neither of which is Spencer's forte. The good news is that my Superman is committed to finishing, though he is, admittedly, trunky.

Case in point: I took a nice 45-minute snooze yesterday. He wrote a paper. I rest my case.


Briana now has 8 days to complete her online class, which will make up for a class she failed in 9th grade. 9th grade. We already bought the packet for this one once. (sigh.)

Up till now we've sort of taken a hands-off approach. No more. It's time to roll up our sleeves and be the parents. It's probably past time, but there's no use beating ourselves up, right?

So yesterday Spencer sees her headed for her room. He mouths to her, "Work on some homework." She gives the martyr's sigh and moans, "OoooooKaaaayyyy." Three minutes later I am in the kitchen when I realize that Bri has headed for her room. I was unaware of what had taken place three minutes previously, so I call out, "Bri? Whatcha doin'?" Long pause. "Reading." "Get out your homework and get to work, please."

5 minutes later she exits her room with pen and notebook and red eyes. Her supportive parents clear the entire upstairs of obnoxious children and pets (read: Landon and Bella) so that she can work in peace and quiet.

This morning I taught our daughter how to create an outline for an essay. If she hadn't failed 9th grade English maybe she would already know this.

And we have 8 days to complete this. And 15 days to complete a geometry packet. And 30 days to do attendance school and pull up four (count them--FOUR!) classes that she is currently failing (her last quarter of her senior year!).

Do you think we'll all pull it off? Vote at the right...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bragging #5

Spencer is the proud owner of a Bachelor of Science/Business Management degree from the University of Phoenix. Today was commencement!
(He is still finishing his last class. He will be officially finished on May 31st. Stay tuned for a party announcement!)

Bragging #4

Ashtyn spent the past week on a backpacking trip with her classmates. They went to Coyote Gulch (isn't it lovely?). I think they said they hiked 15 miles over three days. They found spots to camp, carried in all their food, carried out all their garbage, and had a fun time. Ashie says she lived on tortillas, beans, peanut butter, rice, and oatmeal. She was glad to come home and eat a real meal. (Spencer says he could live on that stuff every day for a year.) She was also glad to come to her bed.
We got an update via a satellite phone once during the trip. It included latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates. That was cool.
At one camping area they found a permanent toilet structure built sort of in the middle of nowhere. There were wood chips to place in the toilet after using it, and they happened to be cedar chips, so there was little smell. The girls declared it a 4-star perma-potty!
Ash is currently working on getting ready for a 20-mile bike ride with her class to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Pledges, anyone?
BTW, every once in a great while I see myself in one of our children (physically). This picture of Ashtyn is one of those times. Apparently I wasn't dreaming that I had something to do with the physical creation of our children. :)

Bragging #3

The West Jordan JV lacrosse team had many ups and downs as a team this year. Taylor loves the sport but he gets really frustrated when his team doesn't act like one. Yesterday was their last game of the year. They finished the season at 8-4.

Taylor is #11, on the faceoff. This isn't the best example of a faceoff, but it shows him diggin' in!

We're glad he's played the game. We're glad he loves it. We're glad the season is over. We hope he'll have a driver's license by next season! :)

Bragging #2

Landon has just started playing lacrosse. Taylor caught this awesome shot of Landon's very first game (he's in the blue pinny). Landon is playing tough, but fair. Today's game included a fight, which he was not involved in (whew!). They do not score the games in this league (Thunder league); it more about teaching the boys to play the game.
Landon is much more willing to mix it up than Taylor was when he first started. It's also been really fun to have both boys go outside to shoot, practice, and play together.
Our boy is getting so big! I love it!
So far he's having

Bragging #1

This is the dress Briana made for her senior project. Isn't it lovely? She's a lovely seamstress, and she worked very hard on this dress.
Briana was asked to prom by Derek, and they had a great time. They went with about 5 other couples to dinner and to the dance. Then they all went to one of the boys' houses for ice cream.
Prom was held at the State Capitol building. Briana looked like a princess. She's so beautiful!