This has been a good weekend. When I left work on Friday afternoon, I was wishing it was Monday so I didn't have to face it all; but it's been a lot of fun.
Friday Landon cleaned up the house so he could have his friends over for a Halloween party that night. We provided treats, and they entertained themselves. I finally got home at midnight after taking everyone home. I don't remember the last time I was up till midnight. I must be getting old.
We awoke to toilet paper in our trees again. Man! Those people were up LATE! When I went to clean up, the kids across the street came over and said, "I don't know why some keeps TP-ing you. Do you want us to rake your leaves?" I told them they were fine, and thanks for the offer. Then--seeing their faces--I said, "You're welcome to come over and rake and play all you want." The boy yelled, "She said yes!" And pretty soon there were 5 or 6 children in our front yard, playing in the leaves. It was adorable. (Just a few years ago, our children did the exact same thing in our neighbors' yard. Where is the time going?)
I got a lot of laundry done and cleaned our bathroom and my side of the bedroom, including changing the sheets on the bed. I finished putting together final touches on prizes, etc. for the ward Halloween party.
At 3:00 Landon and I headed to the church to set up the party. Three and a half hours later I got home with a lot of stuff and another successful party under my belt. Many, many thanks to everyone who brought food, helped with clean-up, did games, and just participated. Kayle and Kaitlyn manned the cake walk, which was organized by Mandy, who also provided some fun Halloween music. There were some darling, darling costumes, and they were not just limited to the children. There was plenty of food (my biggest worry). And Jen had the hit of the night with the donut-eating contest. My hero was Spencer, who was at the store until after the party started (it's hard to eat chili and stew when there are no bowls!).
Ashtyn had spent the day (about 4 or 5 hours) working on a ceramics project to make up for her attendance in that class. Within 1/2 hour after she finished, the pot had cracked. She was devastated. So Spencer stayed home from the party set-up to help Ashie throw another pot. After they shopped for me and dropped things off at the church, they left again to go to Dylan's, where Ashtyn asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. She also got texted on Friday night, when Zach asked her to go out with him. Her first date is on Friday night--they're going to a movie and Jamba. :) Once they got back, they came to the church. Spencer picked up Landon, and they went to get Taylor from work. Ashie helped me clean up. Except for Lando, my family missed the party entirely.
I came home and got cute, and Spencer took me to dinner and a movie. I had gotten to have a bowl of stew at the party, so I just got a milkshake while he had his dinner. We were both pretty quiet during dinner, but it is a blessing to simply hang out with my sweetheart. We did some quiet visiting and some laughing together. How I love him! We saw "Hereafter," with Matt Damon. It was slow and very long and not at all what I expected. We were glad to get home and climb into our beds.
Going out meant we missed all of the trick-or-treating this year. That's the first time EVER for me. We don't get many t-o-t-ers at our house, so Ashtyn was willing to take care of it. Megan was going to come over and "help." When I left, Logan and Landon were watching a scary movie on Netflix, pausing it to pass out candy. Taylor worked till 6:00 and then went to the WJHS choir Halloween party. Briana had gone to a party with friends in Logan.
Today is church (of course), visiting teaching (no, we DIDN'T procrastinate till the last day of the month), and a choirside with Sterling Singers.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
This has been a good weekend. When I left work on Friday afternoon, I was wishing it was Monday so I didn't have to face it all; but it's been a lot of fun.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
You MUST watch this. It's Tay's audition that I told you about. It turns out that someone DID film it. He's AWESOME!
You know how when you comment on some peoples' blogs you have to do a "word" verification? The computer spits out some random image that includes letters and sometimes numbers, and you have to type them in a response screen. I've never really understood what this does, but whatever.
Today I had one that spelled a word: "PARCHES." Do you know the meaning of that word?
1. (n.) Southern Utahn for "porch." (pl.--PARCHES) All the neighbors were sweeping their parches in their gargeous arange farmals.
2. (v.) Southern Utahn for making one thirsty. Hiking always parches me.
This makes me think of my grandma, who was Southern Utahn. Thinking of my grandma makes me smile.
So, it's Thursday night last week, and Team Top Run is staying in the Casa Blanca
dive inn and casino in Mesquite, Nevada. And at 3:30 a.m., we all meet at the car (which is when the picture below--where I'm in my skirt--was taken). We had a 5-gallon water jug we were going to fill, but no real good place to fill it. So we decided it would just be easier to make a fast stop at Walmart to purchase a couple of gallons of water.
Because I was in the back, and because it was 3:30 a.m. (which is, by definition, NIGHT!), I stayed in the car. It took quite a while for everyone to get back. They fill the water jug and climb back into the van, shaking their heads. Mary Kay then tells this little tidbit:
They found the water, grabbed three gallons, then grabbed a couple of other items. They stand at the cash register, but no worker is there. Mary Kay goes to find an employee to ask for someone to come check them out. She says to the woman, "We're in kind of a hurry here." The woman responds, "You shouldn't have come to Walmart."
That, my friends, is what we call CUSTOMER SERVICE. *sigh*
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Our fabulous--and extremely handsome--driver!
Team Top Run: Kayla, MaryKay, Aundrea, Dan, Spencer, Sarah, Blake, Jeff, Kari, Bob, Stacy
Posted by wjmom at 6:46 PM
Monday, October 25, 2010
I came back from Las Vegas to 130 emails *sigh*
But now that I’ve gotten things at least sorted, I wanted to thank you for your support and love for Ragnar Las Vegas. You are a dear, cherished, wonderful friend (still!).
And NOW (you lucky lady) I will tell you about the run. Wasatch Back was a very empowering experience for me. It made me feel like I could actually maybe be a runner (although we’re still using that term very loosely). As far as my running goes, I came away from Las Vegas with some goals for my own progress in terms of distance and speed.
But Las Vegas for me was mostly about Briana, which was completely unexpected.
When Spencer realized last week that he would not be able to run, he suggested we have Taylor take his place. Then he said (with Bri sitting there), “Or Briana could do it.” Both Spencer and I immediately jumped on that, knowing how empowering and fun Ragnar had been for both of us. However, the truth was that since Spencer is a strong runner, he had a tough runner position. But when Bri said that she might be interested, we both kinda downplayed the difficulty while playing up her strength and ability to really conquer this.
During Bri’s first leg she had some tough hills. At about Mile 1.5 she came up to where we were ready to support her, and she looked MAD! She said (and I will laugh about this forever, but it wasn’t funny for her), “This is about as flat as my chest!” I ran with her for a bit, and she cried a bit. I told her she was strong. She said she was going to kill your mom because NOT anyone can run a mile. We both laughed a little, and she started a downhill stretch. I told her that the next two miles were downhill, then she had a mile of uphill, and the last mile was downhill. I also told her that Mary Kay and Rich both thought they could take over the remainder of her leg if she wanted them to. By the time we’d gotten that far, she was feeling calmer. We agreed to meet at the bottom of the hill in 2 miles. When we met there, she was good. I asked her if she wanted us to meet her at the end of the next uphill mile, and she said, “No, I think I can do it from here. I’ll see you at the end.”
She was wiped out and very like me in that she didn’t want to talk to anyone at the end of her run. But it gave her some power, and she rocked her second run (which was around 4 miles). She did lots of walking, of course, but she did the distance.
After our van was finished with Leg 2, we went to a hotel room we had gotten, and we all pulled out our sleeping bags and sacked out everywhere. We got about 3 hours of sleep there. When we woke, Bri was nearly instantly in tears and she told me everything hurt and she didn’t know how in the world she was going to do another 6+ miles. I told her not to worry about it because we could all pitch in and do the distance for her. Immediately after that, however, everyone started talking about how tired they were and how everything ached and how they were dreading Run #3. I worried like crazy about Briana.
Our Van 2 had a very difficult night, so we had an extra hour to wait at the exchange, and there were three runners before Briana, so she slept like the dead in the back of the van for another couple of hours. When she woke up, she was feeling so much better. She got some food in her and started preparing for her run (her choice, as I gave her the option again).
Her last leg was on dirt/rock road. It was tough running, but it was flat. We met her at Mile 1.5 and Mile 3, and she was good. When we met her at 4.5, she was hurting mentally. She asked me how much farther, and I told her I thought it was about 1.5 miles, maybe a bit more. She said, “I can do that.”
It was actually a full two miles, but she did it. When we were at the exchange, we could see her way out there, and once she saw the exchange she ran all the way in. There was another team there, and we asked them to make a bridge with us. They were very sweet about it, and they also provided a tp finish line for her to cross. We all yelled and yelled, and I want to cry when I think about the kind support those strangers gave to our runner, who may have had no business being in the race at all.
I gave Bri as much support as I could through all her runs because she was kinda mad at her dad while in the heat of the moment. But when she finished, he was immediately by her side, and she laid her head on his shoulder while he told her how strong and wonderful she was.
She told me after Leg 1 that she didn’t think Ragnar was as fun as we had made it sound. But after she was breathing again after her last leg, I grinned at her and said, “Determined enough to run a half.” She grinned back and said, “Not stupid enough to run a full.”
We are in training for a half marathon in the spring.
And Briana has a Ragnar shirt and a medal to show to the world how cool and strong and capable she is.
I am very grateful. And proud.
Love to people who make us more than we think we are and more to you (a two-fer!)
P.S. Our team name was “Top Run” (my brilliant idea), and it was really fun. We yelled and texted movie quotes at each other through the race; Mary Kay bought these glow sticks at the dollar store that we waved like we were on a runway; and Stacy lent us the Top Gun soundtrack, which we blasted intermittently throughout the course. So. Much. Fun. At the finish line we all wore our Top Run shirts (I’ll post pix later) and our Aviators. We were very cool. (Who knew when I saw Top Gun 400 times as a teenager that it would be such a huge part of something I did in my 40’s?)
Posted by wjmom at 12:15 PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Yesterday I was just mad at everyone I come remotely close to working with. Fortunately I have therapy readily available on 2LL. Nevertheless, when 4:30 came, I left work RUNNING.
Today I can't seem to get anything right.
Basically, I vote to go home, go to bed, and start fresh tomorrow.
Or--ya know--try again after lunch. Whatever.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Today is red day. Nanci and Sharon are in red today, too, but the best part was going to my former home to find Sara and Deb in red as well.
Karleen missed the memo, so she took the picture. We told her that tomorrow we're all going to wear the same underwear. Sorry, no pix. :)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
When I "lived" on 2LL, we always figured we got just about every call there was to get for the COB. Which we did.
Except, apparently, for those calls that come to the 10th and 11th floors, which all eventually land at the 11th floor receptionist's desk.
Today I covered phones for the receptionist. I was in Dean's office, doing some filing, when my headset beeped. I answered "Facilities Finance. This is Aundrea." There was a pause, and then my dad said, "Uh, hi, Luv! What are you doing answering _______'s phones?"
When my dad isn't calling me but gets me anyway, I call that proof that eventually ALL calls come to me.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday night was the fall concert for the WJHS choirs. For those of you who were not invited, DON'T LOOK AT ME! The kids called me on my way home from work and said, "Are you coming to our concert tonight?"
(And while I am thinking about it, the Christmas concert will be $5 per person and is a fund raiser for the kids' choir tour. Tickets go on sale on November 1st. Taylor doesn't need to raise this money, so call Ashie if you wanna go.)
Anyway, the choirs were all really fabulous, but I gotta give huge kudos to Concert Choir, who seriously wow'd us with "Lord of the Small." Their diction, their intonation, their balance, their dynamics were all incredible.
The Madrigals are also WONDERFUL, and they look beautiful and oh-so-modest, which I love.
Did I remember the camera? Of course not. But hey! I didn't even know I was GOING to a concert!
Eh, who am I kidding? I would have forgotten it anyway. How do I know this? Because last night was the Spotlight Players auditions for The Wedding Singer, and I did not have my camera there either.
Mr. DeHaan gave each student involved 4 tickets to give to friends and family. We went and watched the auditions and then got to vote on who we would choose for the parts in the play.
Ya know those cheesy home videos that people post on You Tube? And ya know how sometimes those are really cool? That would have been Taylor last night. Seriously, he ROCKED his audition and his song and his acting.
I know, I know, you think I'm exaggerating just because he's my (AWESOME, TALENTED, HANDSOME, AMAZING, WONDERFUL) son. Well, I'm not. He's seriously a shoo-in for the part he auditioned for. Seriously.
No, really. Seriously.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
If you're itching to see the last of the summer flowers at Temple Square, you are too late. On the Saturday after General Conference, dozens of volunteers come in and pull out flowers. When I came in to work on Monday morning, most of the summer flower beds were empty.
One of my gardener friends said, "Yup, this is the beginning of the end." And then she threw a handful of tulip bulbs onto the bed.
Which is the beginning of the beginning.
Everyone should get to hang out with perfect people. A lot, if possible.
A little is good, too.
Sunday I got to play the piano at our Care Center branch again. The speaker in sacrament meeting was the mother of one of the residents. She and her husband have other, older children. When their youngest was born, she came very prematurely, and the doctors told them that her development would be somewhat slower that other children. Therefore, the mother didn't think much of it when the baby wasn't doing the things that other "normal" kids did.
It was not until their daughter was 9 months old, they were living in a distant state, serving as mission president and matron, and the baby got ill that they learned that she was "not normal." I tried to imagine what it must have been like for this mother, the Mission Mom, living far away from home and extended family, to learn that her adorable and adored baby girl was "not normal." I wondered how many tears and prayers and discussions she and her husband had together, considering what was the best way to care for their daughter and what it would mean for them to have the care of this child through the remainder of their lives and what aspirations and dreams they would never realize for her.
When Jesus Christ visited the people of the Americas, following his Resurrection, He taught and blessed and visited with them--one by one. He bade them good-bye. And then--sensing that they did not want him to leave--He said:
"Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy."
Vicki was so perfect in her pre-mortal life that she now gets to live in mortality completely free from Satan's influence. Her parents understand that. So if Jesus came, would they take their daughter to Him and ask Him to heal her? And what would He say? In the eternal perspective, Vicki needs no healing. If He healed her mortal mind and body, would she then be accountable, and would she know how to use her agency? Would that truly heal that girl?
The people in the Americas, healed at His hand, knelt before the risen Lord and kissed his feet and bathed them with their tears.
"And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought. So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him...and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them."
There is more to this beautiful story, but what struck me was that even if a parent had not taken a child like Vicki to be healed of the Savior, they could certainly have taken her--though in an adult's body--to Him when He gathered the children. And either way, she would have been blessed at His hands.
It is sweet to be taught of the Holy Ghost. It is blessed to know the Son of God. I felt God's love on Sunday, along with profound gratitude.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Shortly after I started working for the Church, one of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles passed away. His funeral was on a weekend. While there were many of our "crew" on the Temple Square campus working the funeral "event," the building was empty and quiet. I volunteered to be on campus working the telephones and radios during the funeral.
Just before the funeral was to begin, we received a telephone call from the secretary to the First Presidency. His first words, after introducing himself, were, "Bless you for taking care of us."
My boss daily uses the words "Bless you" as a phrase of thanks. It would not be meaningful, I am sure, if he seemed insincere or if the words became trite. But every time he tells me "Bless you," I am grateful, for I believe that somehow God will bless me, just because Dean said so.
And perhaps the greatest blessing is the opportunity to work with good, sincere, imperfect people.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Of the 10 or so secretaries on the 11th floor, 7 of us wore some form of purple today without consulting with one another. I think mine is more red, but they said that I counted. :)
Pam (Real Estate), Nanci (Meetinghouse Facilities), Shana (Temple and Special Projects--Headquarters Facilities), Aundrea (Facilities Finance), Amber (PFD--Human Resources), Rebecca (Temple and Special Projects--Headquarters Facilities), Karen (Temple and Special Projects--Interior Design).
In the 1970's movies always had sad endings. I like to think that the directors, writers, actors, and everyone else simply had faith in the public's ability to think through to the (happy) ending of the movie rather than think that they were all horribly depressed. For an entire decade.
Anyway, we watched Fiddler on the Roof this week (thank you, Netflix!). Briana said, "Why do they keep doing those weird camera shots?"
"It was the 70's," Spencer replied.
"Is this going to have a 70's ending?" she asked.
"I've never seen this movie [insert exclamation here (!)]," he said, "so I don't know. But it's funny so far."
Two hours later Briana looked accusingly at me as Spencer said, "That was a 70's ending."
Hey! It's not my fault!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
When my eyes water and I blink, my eyes splash. I can prove it, because every time I cry or I go out running or my allergies act up, my glasses are all spotty when I get back. I had to wash my glasses three times today at work.
My left foot is a half size smaller than my right foot. I always try on shoes with my right foot so I can be sure to get a shoe that fits that foot. My left shoe always flops around on or around my foot. When I walk down stairs in noisy shoes, I sound a bit like a horse: CLOP, CLOP, CLOP.
I love pink. I always have. I also love flowers and ruffles and sparkles and tiaras. I wish I could dress up in little-girl clothes and pull it off.
I still wear retainers at night.
What's not to love, right?
Posted by wjmom at 5:51 PM
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
On the first day of 4th grade, I got sick. It wasn't cool, because the first day of 4th grade also happened to be the first day in a new school. When I came to school on Day Two of 4th grade, I was assigned to a new class. I had gone to the school to find the original classroom. Now--just one day later--I had a new teacher in a different part of the school, and I had a hard time finding my class. Therefore, absent on Day One; tardy on Day Two. Day One + Day Two = Tears.
But that's not what I wanted to tell you about.
On Day One (you remember, I was sick), Mom took me to the doctor. She had seen Dr. Ely before, but that's the first time I remember seeing him. He was a loving, gentle man. He gave me kisses. Which a doctor could never do now. But he was just a sweet, kind man, and I believe he loved his job.
Anyway, Dr. Ely looked me over. As part of the general examination he checked my eyes, and guess what? Not only was I sick, I was blind! Sick + Blind = Tears.
Mom and I did not pass go, and we did not collect $200. We went straight to the eye doctor and then straight to the department to order glasses. Which was not cool. Because what 4th grader wants to wear glasses? 4th grade + Eyeglasses = Tears.
Two. Weeks. later, I had new glasses. Which I was dreading. For two weeks. (Modern-day miracle: 60-minute eyeglasses!)
But they put those hateful specs on my face, and I learned that there were individual bricks on the buildings, there were individual leaves on the trees, and it was really possible to read the street and restaurant signs on the way home!
Oh, lovely, beautiful spectacles!
I never washed my glasses. I hated the way there was a glare when they were clean. When they would get particularly bad, my mom would lick her index and middle fingers, hold them up like a number 2, and smudge them down my glasses (one finger for each lens).
Ann's grandma just cleaned her glasses for her. My mom licked mine. But both are sweet memories.
Funny how life is...
That was her way of MAKING me clean my glasses. I hated it when she did that!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I am so glad to have the family that I grew up with. My parents are about as great as parents get. My brothers have been my friends, as has my sister. My siblings married wonderful, wonderful people, who I love. I ADORE my nieces and nephews.
Two weeks ago my SIL spilled scalding water on herself and got terrible second-degree burns. Last week my her husband--my brother--got a scrape on his leg, and it turned into cellulitis. And last night their youngest broke his wrist. These things are all terrible, and their luck is obviously not the greatest right now. But I'm so grateful that things weren't worse in any of these circumstances.
I'm just so glad that our family is relatively healthy, well, whole, and happy!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Ashtyn: Landon, get out of the bathroom. I need to shower.
Landon: Can I at least pee before you get in the shower?
Landon: Come on!
Ashtyn: Just don't pee on the floor!
Landon: Yeah, Ashtyn, because that's what I do!
I realize that I'm very tired right now, but this struck me so funny!
(With thanks to Noelle for the inspiration...)
When Spencer snores, it means he's really tired. When I snore, it means I'm asleep. But sometimes it also means that I'm really tired.
Spencer ALWAYS falls asleep before I do. He has this knack for being out before I can count to 10. (Really. I've tried it.) And when he's super tired, he's snoring before I can count to 15.
Those are the nights when I sleep on the sofa. I'm not being a brat. It's just that I know how tired he is. So rather than try to figure out how to get him to stop snoring, I just leave the room and let him get some well-deserved sleep.
Several years ago, I was exhausted. Seriously, seriously tired. And for nights and nights in a row, Spencer kept touching me to make me roll over and stop snoring. Only it didn't work, because I was TOO TIRED AND THAT'S WHY I SNORED! On about the 50th day of not sleeping (I NEVER exaggerate!), I finally said to him (rather irritably, I'm sorry to report), "Honey, I'm tired. If you are the one having trouble sleeping, then do what I do--go sleep on the couch!"
The next morning I found him on the couch. I had slept the entire night through.
But guess what? I felt bad that he was on the couch!
Ya just can't win in situations like these...
I have a good job. I am surrounded by many good people. I am busy all day every day. I get to dress up and feel pretty. I've made many, many sweet friends. I am able to contribute to our family's welfare in a very measurable way, including paychecks and insurance.
I am very thankful for good, steady employment.
Posted by wjmom at 12:44 PM
This morning I wore a new outfit to work. Many people have commented on the beautiful purple color, which I prefer to call "Plum." This is something, because most of the people I work with are men. I know it's an unfair generalization, but here it is: men don't pay attention to clothing!
Here is what happened. Thursday night Briana and I were home alone. I needed to pick up some muslin at the fabric store, and I asked Bri if she wanted to go. While we were there I remembered that I needed something at Robert's, so we went there next. As we were leaving Robert's, I decided to make a stop in at Dress Barn.
Those of you who know me well know that I don't like to shop. So you will believe me when I tell you that this was a pre-meditated stop. I hadn't planned on doing it right then, but I had considered doing some shopping for a couple of weeks. Briana was flabbergasted that I was going to walk into a clothing store. She was also excited! Pretty soon she was handing me stuff to try on left and right. A rather large sum of money and an hour later, we walked out of the store.
The outfit I'm wearing today includes a sweater, a skirt, a necklace, earrings, and a bracelet. Briana pretty much chose all of it, but I love it, too. It makes me feel cute and fashionable, but still professional. There are a few other items that we also picked up, and I will use those in the coming weeks.
Sorry no pictures. I'm cute, but not THAT cute. :)
Friday, October 1, 2010
From Jodi's blog:
The Bumper Effect
The third graders went bowling today, and oh, what fun it was! The bowling alley had bumpers up in all the lanes, to assist the kids in knocking down the pins. Some balls were thrown with great strength, while others actually stopped in the middle of the lane. Some bounced from bumper to bumper, while others sailed gracefully down the long, slippery lane. And yet again, a little parable for life hit me, this time at the bowling alley.
On hard days, it seems as if our balls will never go straight, as though we are destined to land in the gutter, no matter what we do. But just when all hope seems lost, a "bumper" appears to straighten us out, give us a little bounce and send us on the Right way again.
In my life, these bumpers are a wide variety of things and people. Friends, neighbors, family and loved ones are often the bumpers that help me, guide me, and even correct me when I am off course. Inspirational books and music can also give me a little bounce when I am leaning too far to one side. My dedicated husband daily gives me extra strength to keep going down the lane when it feels I am too slow to ever make it. And for me, the good words of the gospel of Jesus Christ give me constant help when I am too fast, too slow or too crooked. And, on days when I am sailing straight down the line, my bumpers are there to cheer me on my Savior awaits with a warm embrace and encouraging word, whispered through his Spirit.
No matter how many pins we knock down in any given frame, we can always be grateful for the bumpers that helped us get down the lane. Who and what are the bumpers in your life?
My bumpers are the same as Jodi's and I'm so very grateful for each of them! Now if I could just find the parables in life the way my sweet friend does!
Posted by wjmom at 1:04 PM
I'm sorry to say that I learned this word at work. It is an ugly word. Because of the world we live in, it probably won't be the only time I ever say this word. This, however, will be the only time you will ever hear the words "Aundrea Hill" and "defalcation" in the same sentence.