Monday, January 31, 2011

Something I'm Really Good At

R comes to my desk and says, "J tells me I'm supposed to be using this form now."  I've never seen the form.

I nod confidently.

"Is it OK if I input my own dept ID and account code information?"

I nod confidently.  And smile.

"Do you still want me to attach my itinerary with all the flight information, even though it's not on this form?"

I nod confidently.  And smile.  And say, "Yes."

"I knew you could help me.  I just don't want to mess anything up."

I nod confidently.  And smile.  And say, "Yes.  Absolutely.  All is well.  You are welcome."

Am I a good faker, or what?

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I spent 5.5 VERY productive hours at school today. 

But the last two of those hours were in vain.  Why? you ask.  Because I READ AND STUDIED AND MADE NOTES ON THE WRONG CHAPTERS.

Ugh.  I seriously hate being stupid.

Spencer reminded me that the only thing we take with us to the next life is intelligence.  I'm not sure if he was trying to encourage me by celebrating the things I "learned" during those two hours; or making fun of me, because if I have no intelligence here, I won't be taking ANYTHING with me to the next life.

Do you have to be smart to keep your family?  I'm just wondering...

Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Years Ago Today

25 years ago today* I was sitting in my high school chemistry class when the principal came on the PA system to announce that the Space Shuttle Challenger had just exploded during launch.  The Challenger had been a big deal on the lead-up because they were sending a civilian up--Christa McAuliffe, a school teacher.

My chemistry teacher looked dazed, and he said, "I'll be go to hell."

*How can I seriously be old enough to be saying "Twenty-five years ago..."?

Just Some Random Stuff

When I was a little girl I wanted to grow up to be "The Mighty Isis" or "Wonder Woman."  Silly?  I don't think so!

Yesterday I ordered a cake for my boss and others to take to a co-worker on another floor.  We decided on chocolate cake and chocolate icing.  My boss came back and said, "It wasn't very chocolatey."  I said, "It wasn't?"  He rolled his eyes and said, "You are gonna love it."  He brought me a piece back.  He was right.  It was delicious.

It turns out, not everyone appreciates chocolate the way I do.  Go figure!

I learned last night that my re-write on my final for my first class PASSED.  So yeah!  I have one class under my belt.  Woot!

There is more good news, but it will have to wait.  I'll keep you posted.

(If this were "The Biggest Loser," this is where I would input the words TO BE CONTINUED...)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Way Life Goes -or- Our Kids Are So Different!

Since they were very young, our children have known that in order to get their driver's license they had to meet two requirements:  A "B" average in school and their Eagle or YW Recognition award.  Either one of these allowed

Bri got the YW Recognition, but her grades were not good enough to get a license till after she turned 18 and was a senior in high school.  However, when we needed a driver, we always just sent her.  I'm not talking about "Eh, I don't wanna go to the grocery store."  I'm talkin' "You have to get yourself to school."  Dumb, dumb, dumb--but there it is.

Taylor got his permit at 15 1/2 because his grades were fine.  When he turned 16 he came to us with a deal:  let him get his license now, and he would a) be able to drive friends to school by the time school started, and b) have his Eagle earned by the end of the summer.  Because we were worried about all the illegal driving that was being done, we caved.

But no Eagle.  And no Eagle all during jr. year.  And no Eagle during the summer.

Taylor turned in all of his Eagle Scout paperwork this past Friday.  The day before his 18th birthday.

Ashtyn struggled with her grades because of illness.  She was able to get her permit just before her 16th birthday.  And Saturday she finished the Book of Mormon, which was the last thing she had to do to earn her YW recognition.

Ashie got her driver's license today.  She is the first to get it (on our terms) while she was 16.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wouldn't It Be Cool If I Had Something Wonderful to Say?

Week #3 in Primary, and yup, I'm still in heaven.  There are two little girls who do not actually live in our ward, but they come consistently with their grandparents, who do live in our ward.  These little girls are kind, sweet, thoughtful people.  I love them so much!

Ashtyn's meds and new wheat-free diet seem to be helping.  She's all signed up to finish her junior year through electronic high school.

Taylor has a real girlfriend.  She's darling.  They went on a date on Friday night. 

Also, Tay completed his Eagle project on Saturday.  Since his birthday is just 6 days away, it's still a race to see if he can complete all the paperwork, etc. in time to actually RECEIVE his Eagle award.  If he does, I'll probably have to go buy him a uniform that fits; and a bandelo; and sew on all his merit badges.  And find all his merit badges.  Don't even get me started on the BSA--suffice it say, I'm not a fan.  

I bought food for the boys and men to take to Mosida.  I got a big hug.  Spencer worked for 6 hours outdoors in January.  I'm bettin' he got nothin'.  Someday our children will know how AWESOME their father is.

Landon has become one of the funniest people I've ever met. You should hang around with us if you get the chance.  You're guaranteed to either laugh at him or roll your eyes at me ("It's just not that funny, Mom.").

Saw "Secretariat" last night.  Loved it.  Except for the part where the 1973 daughter said, "Mom, you are awesome."  That was about 10 years too early for that word.  Remember when AWESOME received its new definition?

Time to go to school. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Trying Not to Sweat the Small Stuff

At work, our department was split into two departments a few months ago.  There were three floors occupied by the one department; now they are combining the two departments, which means that all three floors are being remodeled and everyone is getting moved.  I am staying on the same floor; but since it is being remodeled, I had to move out of the way.  I am in a window cubicle during this week. 

I packed all of my stuff into bins to transfer it to the new digs.  Since I'm only going to be here for a week, it seems silly to unpack, just to have to pack again a couple of days later.

Only it feels like I'm sitting in my kitchen in the middle of lunch.  Quel disaster!  And when I leave this cube, I walk into the thick of the re-construction--quel disaster!

The truth is that there is nothing I can do about it.  Whining doesn't help, obviously.  But I find myself taking large breaths, several times a day.  I think I'm a nut job.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's Like Christmas!

I received a large box fromWGU several weeks ago.  It has been sitting on my cedar chest, unopened.  Here's why:  the smaller box they sent me was a webcam so I could legally take my tests.  Only, guess what?  Graduate programs only do papers.  No test-taking.  So I keep waiting for someone to contact me and say, "Uh, Aundrea?  About that webcam.  Send it back."

So, why open another box of disappointment, right?

(And also, it was Christmas and I had many, many more things to do that anything school related.)

So last night I finished writing a seriously fabulous paper.  I nailed it (but it took a long time, of course)!  And when I finished I decided to clean up my "study" (read: corner of the bedroom), so I finally opened that box.  What I found was a binder, some time-planning sheets, a pen, a party mug, a do-not-disturb door hanger, some magnets, some cool post-it notes (!), a t-shirt, a stress ball, and a picture frame. 

Dang!  I should have had that box under the tree!

The picture frame is "leatherette."  Can anyone tell me what that means?   Taylor says it is girl leather--duh, Ashley!  The frame is also stamped with the words "What keeps me going."  I think I'm gonna take a picture of the copy machine and the binders.

And BTW, I got my scored paper back today, and it was marked with many words such as "excellent," "good job," "nice discussion," etc.  Thank you very much.

Friday, January 7, 2011

How It Did Not Happen

The stage is set with a lovely little girl, with stars in her eyes:

Aundrea:  (sighs longingly)  I hope when I grow up, I can spend one day out of every five standing dumbly at a copy machine.  Nothing would make me more happy!  Unless I could fill binders and binders up with paper.  Oh, bliss!


Look out, MBA!  I'm coming for you!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Daddy's Book

"A Day At the Fishin' Hole"

443 pages $19.95

eStore eStore URL click here to order.

Word of mouth will be the key to my success with this book. It’s ALL fiction – but, of course, is based on life experiences and combined personalities we encounter through life. Thanks, again. jbf

Monday, January 3, 2011

Best. Sunday. Ever.

The leadership of the Church decided that there will be no more activities committee.  So I was released from that. 

I went in to substitute in Primary a few weeks ago, and had a bit of a run-in with one of the children.  I was very calm (and I sincerely love her!), and the Primary president walked directly the bishopric's office.  She said, "I have asked for Aundrea about 4 times this year.  Now I am telling you.  We need her.  I am not asking.  I am telling you."  Brother Hughes agreed.  Within a week, Briana and I were released from teaching in Relief Society, and now we are team-teaching in Primary.

Yesterday was Day One.  Our ward now meets at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., which is the best time for those of us in Primary.  The handbook for Primary leaders has changed, and our ward presidency decided that it was best to combine the junior and senior Primary.  It is now 2011.  So yesterday was a day of big changes for us and for the kids.  And I. Loved. It.  It was my week to teach.  Briana gets to teach next week.

Yeah!  Hooray!  I love Primary!

2010 in Review (from my perspective)

In January our boys turned 13 and 17.  Spencer and Briana continued in school. I officially bid a work goodbye to my dear friend, Amy.  And Bri and I started teaching Relief Society as a team on the 2nd Sunday of each month (that has been a blessing!).  I also continued as ward activities committee chairperson, which I dislike.

Amy's leaving 2LL caused all kinds of inner turmoil for me (see, Amy?  it's all your fault), so in February I accepted a different job and moved from 2LL to 8.  Spencer and Briana reached the half-way mark in their schooling, so there was suddenly light at the end of the schooling tunnel.

March started bringing the promise of spring, so my new boss on 8 left permanently (OK, three years) for Hawaii.  Suddenly I had nothing to do.  So I looked  forward to watching the falcons.  But they didn't nest at the COB this year.  Ashtyn was very ill and I was very sad.  And we had our first ward activity of the year, which was an adults-only fireside. 

Ashie continued ill through April and was on home and hospital care through the high school and the seminary.  But we did all that we could to get her on choir tour, which meant that Briana and I got to go to San Diego.  The WJHS choirs rocked the convention, and the entire trip was FABULOUS.

In May Ashtyn went back to school and I finally got warm.  Despite snow on Spencer's birthday.  Little did we know that we were going to see lots more of the white stuff before the end of the year.

June's highlight was running the Ragnar Wasatch Back.  I accomplished something I didn't think I could do, and I made (and re-made) some friends along the way.  Ashtyn nearly failed some classes based on the previous months, so I spent more time talking with people at WJHS.  You'd think we would all be best friends by now!  Also, a trip to the West Jordan Care Center changed my life.  AND we finished our last year of 7th grade--Hallelujah!  (7th grade should be outlawed.)

I turned 42 in July.  I ran a 5K with Amy (which proves that I do not hold a grudge :) ).  With Spencer in school we didn't do as much organized playing as we usually do; but there was still a lot of fun goin' on!  We had a super-fun, overnight family reunion in Heber, where we got to see aunt and uncles and some cousins we hadn't seen in over a decade.

August was wildly busy.  My parents and sister (from California) came to visit, so we did lots of running around to be in different places.  My brother and his wife and their family moved in with us, so we painted and shuffled and organized and "moved" into the upstairs-only of our house.  The three younger children went back to school, and I started yet another job, this one taking me from 8 to 11.

Briana and Spencer finished school in September.  Also, Spencer won the statewide Forklift Rodeo, which we are still laughing about.  We spent Labor Day weekend in California, celebrating our annual Hilladay with a trip to the beach and to Apple Hill.  The Donut Dash was the next ward activity.  Jen made this a huge success, and the kids in the ward loved it.

October continued the busyness--Halloween. a ward activity, General Conference, and another Ragnar relay (this time in Las Vegas).  Briana started running with us and covered Spencer's legs in the relay.  She was a hater at first, but now she's becoming a runner.

November brought the C-word into my life.  My mom had breast cancer.  My sweetheart was wonderful, and at the beginning of December I got to go to Sacramento for a few days right after my mother had a mastectomy.  In December she was declared cancer-free!  Remember that awful mammogram in July?  So do I, but I will not be skipping those any more for the rest of my life.  Briana and Spencer passed their massage therapy licensing exams and graduated in November, and Bri started a new job in December.

In December I started school for an MBA at WGU.  Apparently we just can't really be finished with school (Spencer says he'd like to do a master's program after I do mine).  We had a beautiful, busy Christmas season, and the last ward party of the year.  Taylor, who is a Madrigal singer at WJHS, participated in 74 performances during the month of December.  And Ashtyn went back on Home & Hospital care again, which means more pin-cushioning and doctor visits for her.

Now it's on to 2011!

Everything is OK, But Busy

It is when things get stressful that I stop blogging.  Or if I am very, very busy.

Quick update:  We are well.  the kids go back to school today.  Christmas was lovely.  My schooling is taking over my life (exactly as we expected). 

That's kinda the end.  :)