Monday, November 24, 2008

Have a Merry Crosseyed Christmas!

It's Christmas card ordering time. Since this summer I planned to use one of our Hawaii pictures. I thought I had the perfect set to choose from. Our clothes are not dirty, everyone's hair was pretty good and we were all wearing leis. Unfortunately Jacob chose this photo session to be a stinker and mess up all of them by crossing his eyes. There was one good one, but it was blurry soooo should we choose from this one... (click on the picture so you can get an up close view)

or maybe this jewel...

or maybe we could do a cousin reunion Christmas card where Taylor and Jacob were both ruining the picture.

So I thought I might have solved our picture dilemma when we went to Disneyland and had unexpected pictures with Santa. We have the cheapo Southern California passes with all the blackout days. After waiting to finally get a day off of school that coincides with a day we can go with our passes we were excited to go back. I even made the kids clean the house the day before with only a break to go and redeem their gift certificates to In-n-out. (Ashley told Jacob we were going to "Inside and Outside."

The beginning of the day was great and we breezed through rides. While Ashley and I waited for the boys to go on Thunder mountain we went and checked out Santa's village with live reindeer and Santa in his house. When they got off the ride they joined us in line. Jacob started complaining about waiting to get a picture with Santa so we reminded him about all the botched Hawaii pictures that made it necessary to get this one.

Fast forward to the end of the night. We are tired of slogging through the walls of people and more than one of us was feeling a little cranky.

(Come to find out it was the first day of the Christmas stuff and everyone and their dog was there to enjoy it. Lucky us.)

All the sudden I realize that our camera was missing. I dropped off Jeff and the kids at the 2 hour Small World line (thank goodness for disability passes) and tried to run/walk/squeeze my way back to the Astro blaster ride which was the last place I knew for sure I had it. Of course no one saw the camera, the ride operators didn't find it and it wasn't in lost and found. Unfortunately it had all our passes in it as well. Come to find out that there is a non-refundable $20.00 charge for replacing each card. Didn't they get enough money the first time, they want another $100.00! At this point it wasn't feeling like the "happiest place on earth".

With no camera our "back up" Christmas picture was no longer an option. That's OK we went on-line and we all looked horrible in the picture. Our clothes were rumpled, our hair was all messed up (post Splash mountain messed up) and Santa was sitting way back in his chair and didn't even look real.

Maybe I'll look through my brother-in-laws Hawaii pictures otherwise we'll just have to wish everyone a Merry Crosseyed Christmas.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just had to share

I was just so excited I had to share. Way back when, when I was still taking classes at BYU I was taking a "Writing for Children" class. Part of the class was to get things ready for submission to editors and stuff. I got into it for awhile and I loved the challenge of writing but actually getting anything published is pretty hard. Like a lot of people after a few rejection letters I gave it up and decided to spend my time elsewhere. Well today I got this e-mail...

Hi Christine,
Back in February, you sent us a suggestion on making
thank-you-note writing more fun. We kept it on file and I'm writing to let
you know that we would like to use this idea in our upcoming Feb 2009 issue.
We'd like to pay you $100 for this great idea.

If that's ok with you, please confirm your mailing address so we can send
out a check.

Debra Immergut
Senior Editor, Family Fun Magazine
Disney Publishing Worldwide

OK, OK so it's just a suggestion for a magazine but the fact that someone is paying me for my idea, my words on paper (or e-mail) is thrilling to me! (Ashley was thinking her mom was crazy as I'm jumping up and down reading my email)

Maybe I should pull out some of those other submissions...

Friday, November 14, 2008

A new addition

So we got a new addition to our family.

Another chinchilla.

You're probably thinking I'm crazy. Well it's a compromise for not getting another dog to replace Buddy.

Jeff met her breeder who works at PetCo. She said that she would be available mid November and then we never heard from her after repeated attempts to e-mail her. (I thought we might be getting out of it) All the sudden the lady calls and says "Your chinchilla is ready".

Well what could we do she's so adorable! She's a 3 month white chinchilla (kinda rare). Eventually when she's old enough we're hoping to put her together with Churro and perhaps we will have little chinchilla if you ever want a chinchilla...

With lots of discussion of names Taylor agreed on Chimichunga. We call her Chimi for short. (Taylor wanted an Americanized Spanish word he was familar with and he could pronounce)

Thanks goodness for crazy hair day!

OK today is Cheri, Jeff's sister's, wedding and Ashley is going to be the flower girl. We were supposed to put curlers in her hair to make it beautiful last night but I got home late from my meeting and she was hopelessly asleep.

So Plan B. Today was crazy hair day at school. Sooo...we put the curlers in and hopefully they'll be cooked enough by the end of the day to have curly hair. I'm sure the weather will help. With only her bangs left to be super crazy we thought we'd go with the unicorn look.

Jacob decided on the simple "I'm just not going to brush my hair today" look.

Now here's Taylor home sick today. I knew he wasn't feeling good when he called me after school for a ride, when he normally loves to walk. He told me about his horrible day of forgotten homework, lunch that made him sick to his stomache, a migraine, body aches, a nose bleed followed by another nosebleed as he had to sit on the blacktop for an hour during the nationwide earthquake drill. (Ashley had to complain about that too)He woke up today feeling just as bad if not worse so he's staying home watching TV and sipping soda from a Hannah Montana cup.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween Aftermath

Here's our aftermath of Halloween...

First we have the prop 8 sign from the car. It's with gratitude that I'm retiring it. Just to let you know my 3rd prop 8 sign lasted through the rest of the elections, including a few overnight displays! I was thrilled. (I was glad I made sure to take it down Halloween night though, my brother-in-law who left his up got egged) After all the money, time, effort and heartfelt service from all those who worked to make it pass it would've been a huge let down if it hadn't. I think we all did our best to exercise our faith and then the Lord did the rest.

Then we have the candy wrappers from the candy I snuck while the kids were at school. (Shhhhh don't tell) It's horrible. Get me away from all this candy! It's not much better when they're home because they keep wanting it before dinner. Taylor doesn't even ask though he just sneaks it throughout the afternoon and evening. I see his bag getting more and more empty before my eyes...OK Taylor don't tell on me and I won't tell on you.

Next we have the aftermath of Ashley's pumpkin exploration project from her class at school. Let's start from the beginning. Here is Ashley's pumpkin. They were supposed to bring it to school so they could estimate how much it weighed, how big around it was and how many seeds it had. Cute idea...on paper.

So I was one of the parents who helped cut the tops of the pumpkins and scoop out all the goop. The kids were complaining a little about having to fish out the slimy seeds from the goop to put on their counter papers. I probably wasn't too sympathetic since I was up to my elbows in it.

So Ashley brings her pumpkin home and we put it on the stairs for a decoration. She never carved a face in it so I thought I'd just watch to see when it started to go moldy and then we would throw it out. Well this morning I was running out the door to drive a few sisters to the temple when I noticed that it had some mold on the outside. I thought I'd just quickly throw it away. When I picked it up it disintegrated in my hands and the black moldy bottom completely came off onto the carpet.

I ran to the kitchen trash with my fingers embedding farther and farther into the flesh trying not to drip all over my dress. I realized too late that without carving a face in the pumpkin it didn't dry out so as it started rotting it became a juicy mess.

This is what the carpet looks like now. I tryed sopping it up with some paper towels with no luck. I'm hoping the steam cleaner does a better job.

OK here's another souvenir from Halloween. Meet Blueberry Huffle Puff.

So Ashley and Jacob got goldfish from our trunk or treat. When we brought them home Halloween night Ashley was insistent that her fish was too cramped in the little baggie and she could see he was starving because we didn't own fish food. After about 10 times of stating this Jeff volunteered to go to PetCo at 9:30 at night to buy food and a fish tank. He even came home with a goldfish for Taylor. We spend the money, set it all up, got them their food and went to bed.

We woke the next morning to a tank full of dead fish.

So Jeff had to go back to the store the next morning and by Blueberry Huffle Puff the Beta fish, who is much too small for this huge tank.

So who was the nerd for Halloween?

Well there was Jacob...

And Jeff who I convinced to wear the nerd costume he concocted the night before when Taylor was taking pictures of him. He doesn't normally like to dress up but he sealed his fate when he walked out with it:) He really got into it too!

And then there was me who really didn't look so much like a nerd...maybe a color blind grandma with bad makeup.

Who knew you could have so much fun with coke-bottle glasses and crazy teeth.

Taylor was perfect as goofy this year...

And Ashley wore her costume from her dance recital. She thought she was Mary Poppins because that's the song she danced too. Jeff and I both agreed that she eerily looked more like Jean Bonet Ramsey.

The kids had fun at the trunk or treat, got way too much candy, had shed 1/2 of their costumes by the end of the night and were way too tired when they got home. But hey that's what Halloween is all about.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just a reminder to GO AND VOTE.

Have you ever heard the quote that goes something like "the man who doesn't read has no advantage over those who are illiterate"

I feel that if we don't take the opportunity to vote we have no advantage over those who don't have the right or freedom to vote.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Why I'm voting yes on 8

OK I have heard the litany of advertisements by the opponents of prop 8. I’ve gotten e-mails from those who oppose it. They have become increasingly loud and insistent. They talk about prop 8 being unfair and wrong. They claim homosexuality won’t be required to be taught in schools or parents can pull them out if they want. They claim it won’t affect churches. They claim it has nothing to do with protecting children.

I disagree.

I am tired of being portrayed as someone who is putting down a group of people, discriminating them and stripping them of god given rights because I support prop 8.

I agree with the need for us to not discriminate against gays. I feel that children and or adults should not use slurs, tease or torment those who are. However I don't feel that the definition of marriage needs to be re-defined to "prove" that I will support people who are gay.

My sister in law is gay. We love and support her and her partner and she knows that. She also knows that we will be voting yes on prop 8 and knows that our love for her has nothing to do with it. I think that that the most clever and erroneous thing that the opponents of prop 8 have done is to make everyone who is for it appear to be hateful bigots that are denying people their civil rights.

Take all religion out of it. Take out the fact that homosexuality might or might not be taught in schools or that churches might or might not be affected. Re defining the family, which is our fundamental unit of society, is to change our society. It might not be evident tomorrow but it will be eventually. I really feel that allowing same sex marriages will have farther reaching consequences than any of us can foresee right now.

I have already seen the backlash of being a person who is supporting traditional marriage and family. I am very respectful of those who don't feel the same way I do. I think it is their right and privilege to display how they feel and have conversations about it. In return I get my signs stolen and defaced and hurtful things yelled at me. I feel that I am getting a glimpse of how I will be treated if Prop 8 doesn't pass and I still want to teach my children that traditional marriage is the best way to raise a family.

I don’t want a society that will villainize my children and grandchildren for teaching that a traditional family is ideal.

In my opinion prop 8 has everything to do with protecting children.

If this issue was about only allowing adults to do what they want I would have no problem with it. It's not about adults alone it's about children as well. It's not so much even about what children will be taught in schools but about providing the best home environment for them to grow up in.

Opponents of prop 8 have argued that we would be taking away fundamental rights. I feel that by not voting yes we would be taking away the fundamental rights of children to be raised in an environment that gives them the best chance for a healthy-well rounded upbringing.

Studies have repeatedly shown that the best environment for children to be raised in a low conflict home with a mother and a father. Both parents provide individual support, nurturing and training individual to their sex. That can't be replaced by simply having another adult in the home. My friends and family members who grew up in a single parent home feel that they lost out on the things that the other parent could've provided. If they could go back they would have all preferred to have both parents with them growing up.

So which sex is less necessary? Which parent does a child not need?

Opponents of prop 8 argue that prop 8 is wrong and unfair.

I think it’s wrong and unfair to make the rights of a few dictate the rights of the majority.

I have a family that has three members that will never get taller than 4’2”. Every time my husband goes to the store he can’t reach about 1/3 of the items on the shelf. It’s inconvenient for him and all of those who are his stature but I don’t think it would be right to change the laws to force society to make everything within his reach. Fulfilling his needs and those of his stature alone would come at too high of a cost for stores and the majority of the population. We can see that and we don’t think life and society is unfair to us because of it.

Acceptance and tolerance is about supporting people and treating them with love and respect. Acceptance and tolerance does not require redefining laws and society.

That's why I'm voting yes on prop 8.