Friday, January 30, 2009

Elizabeth's First Date Dance Invite - Sweetheart Dance


Thursday morning, as Elizabeth was leaving a little late out the front door, she ran face first into two heart shaped mylar balloons tied to a monkey holding a rose and a note. Immediately it became apparent she was being asked to a dance, the note was in Morse code. She wisely left everything home on the piano and went to school. Bear, our young, but protective Rottie, growled at the balloons for two hours straight before I put them in my bedroom, while I, of course, figured out who was asking her behind her back. After school she came home with her best friend Sharlee and hit the computer to figure out what the message meant. "Dear Liz, Would you go to the Sweetheart Dance with me? Benjamin James Perry" She was thrilled. Not only her first dance date, but as of now, her first official date. Ben is a really good friend of hers and she will be going in a group with a ton of other friends, including Sharlee. Now she is just trying to decide all the important things like what to wear, how to do her hair, and how to answer. More posts to come.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Washers and Dryers and Fridges, oh my!

Well, the great expansion so far is on! For those who don't know, we are planning an expansion of our home to add, mostly, a kitchen = ) and a downstairs bathroom as well as some other space (which you'll undoubtedly hear about later), and a garage, this spring and summer (and fall and winter). It just so happened that our first appointment with the architect fell 2 days after my birthday, sorry everyone, it was the best birthday present. It was like Christmas. I could hardly sleep the night before and bounced most of the day waiting for him to come. He loved our concept and looked at the house and definitely thinks we can do it. AND, he thinks it will take no more than 2 months before we have the ok from the city to go ahead - YEAH! We're going to have a general contractor, but most of the work, like the framing and the wiring and all, we're going to do on our own - whew! makes me feel tired before we even get started. Luckily we're doing this the summer before Jeff goes on his mission. The goal is to have it done so that everyone can come see it for an open house for the "last opportunity Jeff has to speak before leaving on his mission" since we can't call them farewells anymore.

But because of this, I have been researching - everything. From refrigerators to dishwashers to washers (I really want a front loader - we'll see if we can afford one - fingers crossed) to lighting. I have learned a lot. I know almost as much about decibels as my husband who does sound for a living. If I get my way, we will have one quiet kitchen. But here's my shout out to anyone out there who actually gets this far in my blog, I would love your input as far as brands you love, or hate, for appliances and why. This is my one time to really pick my kitchen and I want to love it for as long as .... well .... I plan to have my grandkids bury me in the backyard at this point. PLEASE help me. Tell me what you love, or hate, about your home and what you would, or wouldn't, change. I would SO appreciate it. Just enter it under comments (or for those afraid of comments, just email me). Thanks so much. And get ready for a lot more blogs about building materials and site plans. If it becomes too painful, I promise to cut back.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy 19 1/2 2nd Birthday!

Happy birthday to me - well, don't get the wrong idea, I'm not really that good of a sport about birthdays, but this year, I am really trying. Why, you ask? Because I'm getting old enough to enjoy the time as it passes, wow I actually made it another 365 days! , or at least realize it's not coming back so I might as well enjoy it... and it usually means a couple presents or so (free stuff is always a good reason to party). Now I'm writing this late at night, and I haven't even had the pixie stix Lizzy gave me yesterday, but I feel a little hyper from sleep deprivation, so you'll have to excuse me.
My wonderful family all wished me a happy birthday a whooshed out the door to school and work so I could clean, go to Costco and my PTA meeting before they started coming home. Ok, not the best schedule, but it could be worse, like when I got back to the dog throwing up and pooping on the carpet, unlike him but his own little presents for the big day.
Now before you think for a second I am complaining, DON'T. I'm a Bella at heart most years. I really would rather people just ignore my birthday, but I think I am moving slowly towards Alice... maybe.... Anyway, my sweet family made me a from scratch spice cake with Grandma's Butterscotch frosting. Yum! Rob had me run him an errand while I was at Costco and I got a lovely bunch of 2 dozen long stem red roses... they are so wonderful. He just couldn't figure out how to get them himself.
Monday evening he and I went and got my major birthday present... shoes... yes ladies, shoes... and my husband picked them out (picture included). Ok, so they are bike shoes and they come with cleats (see second picture of bottom of shoes). They are so I can start riding his Creamcycle. His lightly orange road bike, which he rides to work in the summer, fondly known as the creamcycle because of the color, is now going to be a shared road bike. See Rob and I have exactly the same length legs - there are so many advantages to this - like not having to move the seat in the car - so I can ride his bike with the right shoes and cleats. The fun part is you have to learn how to unhook the cleats when you come to a stop before you fall over. All the books and magazines I have read say you will, no question about it, fall over. It's just a question of when and where. Rob has a couple of times. I just hope I don't kill myself when I do. Well, now you've seen my pretty shoes and cleats, and my roses.
Elizabeth came up with the most creative gift. I am addicted to sharpies... especially silver and red. She found this site, run by sharpie, where you can put a custom design and a custom message on sharpies and then have them made for you for a minimal charge. Mine are red with puppy paws that say "Go Utes! Bear's Mom's Pen" . Totally cool. I get 6 of them to use as I wish! They don't have silver available for personalization so next year I'll have to pick a different saying - with Go Utes! of course. Liz you rock!
Now Jeff, Jeff has been doing Annie or Band at school every night the past almost three weeks and picked up the musical cold on top of it, so during "home school study hall" we went to lunch for my birthday and talked about his job interview and school, but not really my birthday. I told him that if he had nothing else he could do me a copy of "Lizzy's Legs" to hang, but whatever he wanted, so I'm not real sure what I'm getting. A healthy son is what I really want.

Ok now here's a shout out to all my buds on facebook or in the real world who called or left messages, thank you so much, you make me feel so loved, which I really need right now. To the rest of my family, thank you for everything, especially the support. To my brother who is a super busy architect in Chicago, thanks for the long phone call, it meant a lot. Thank you to all of you who make me a better and happier person, I love you all (even if your shout out was in spirit only).
Now we finish the birthday season on the best note, the first meeting with the architect is Friday at 4 pm! OK, maybe, just MAYBE birthdays aren't so bad after all.
LOL!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Proud Parent Blog

Ok, I've gotten really bad about pictures, but I really need to blog about my two favorite teenagers for a moment and who knows what pictures I'll come up with. I have two of the best teenagers that ever lived. They both have their moments of being rebellious and whinny, but that's just part of being a teenager. So here are their best points as the first semester comes to a close.

Jeff is on his last semester of high school... Yeah for him, Scary for me. And although he has seniorititis really bad (I'm not sure I blame him) he's hanging in there and is getting the job done. He gets to have one class with me this semester, I'm home schooling him study hall/part time work 4th period since they messed up his schedule and he doesn't need the credits to graduate. I am really looking forward to this time together just the two of us.

Ok, now the cool part, he works the Sound board for the school productions as part of Stage craft (for the non-techies, he does all the sound work on the mics and sound effects). It can be quite complicated and attention needing to keep everyone at the same level and no extra noises, like feed back. They have one professional come in and make sure that everything is running right for the big productions like Annie who is paid and has been doing it with Bountiful High for 12 years. Friday night, after working with Jeff on Les Miserables and Annie, he told him that he was the best sound board operator that he had worked with in his 12 years at BHS and he should come in sometime about a job. Proud mom moment!! Unlike most of the kids, this is Jeff's first semester on the board. He's just taken to it like a fish to water, but he's always had a thing for good (often loud) sound, just like his dad. Proud dad moment!!

As for Liz, she is kicking butt at school pulling her second term of straight A's in honors and AP classes!! She is such a smarty and works so hard. Next year she is looking at taking 3 AP classes and 2 honors classes in addition to seminary and AP study hall. That doesn't count the 2.5 classes she is taking online over the summer. She is so dedicated to school. Right now she is working on two scholarships. One specifically for Sophomores interested in majoring in math and science fields in college. She, of course, is interested in Ballet with a second major in mathematics or chemistry (my two worse subjects - Rob has minors in both).

In addition, she actually got her drivers licence (stay off the sidewalks!) just kidding! Liz is a very cautious driver. Last night was her first solo flight driving to her friend Sharlee's house and back. And from the sounds of it (and the look of the car) she did a fantastic job! I knew she would given the push. Now we just need some of those cute, Mormon boys to ask her to the Valentine's Dance or at least to dinner or something. Dating as a Sophomore is hard when all the boys are younger than you. Oh, well. Dad has the dog and shot gun ready to meet her first date, however. jk. With how cute she is, once guys know she's 16, I think she'll start dating more and more. I hope we will have to beat them off with a stick, then she gets to be a little more choosy. The ramblings of a 16 yr. old girls' mom, sorry.

As for Rob and I, we're just getting ready to go to the architect this week to draw up plans for the house which is really exciting, but I'm starting to get nervous when I write anything down on anything other than graph paper since I am working with preliminary site plans and everything so much. I'll keep you updated on that progress. TTFN (Ta Ta For Now).

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Weather Outside is Delightful...

Yeah, it's warm outside! The January thaw has gotten here and I'm not running around in my coat and gloves wishing I was in Mexico. Ok, maybe I'm still wishing I was in Mexico, but the sun is out and the snow is melting away. I love the January Thaw, especially when the fog doesn't set in, like it hasn't yet (knock on wood). I love Utah, don't get the wrong impression. And I love the snow, for one thing it means water for next summer and skiers to help our economy - and sometimes it's even pretty, but I love the temperature of the 40's and sun that we get in January. It's one of the few great things about January that I really like.

The other great thing this week is that it is the end of the semester for the kids. Can you believe that the school year is half over already?!? It seems to have gone so fast in so many ways. And it looks like Jeff is actually going to graduate with his class in just a few short months (not that I had any doubts, it just kind of hits you like a ton of bricks or cement when only one semester is left). Liz is, of course, greatly disappointed with her grades because some of them are below 100% so her 4.0 is less than 100% - cry a tear - not. She is such a dedicated student, even in English, her least fav subject.

Next semester is going to be fun for both kids and about the same for me. Hopefully, actually, I'll come up with a new project to hammer on. Enjoy the sun while it lasts!! LOL!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Sweet 16 Liz!


Today is officially Elizabeth's 16th Birthday! Although she had a bit of a party on Saturday for her friends, today is the day where we get to celebrate the day she came into our family. Elizabeth is a wonderful sister and daughter. She is loving and caring and takes care of people and is so flexible most of the time. She makes it a point to better herself and try to make life easier for others, especially me. She is a friend to so many including me. And I love her to death. I know she is excited about her 16th Birthday.

Elizabeth is our little miracle daughter. When we got pregnant with her, I wasn't suppose to be able to get pregnant because of some medicine I was on, not that it would hurt her. And the medicine I was on was high in testosterone so she was suppose to be a boy. We actually only had boy names for her until the amnio. came back that she was a girl - what a pleasant surprise! And she is all girl. Besides the love of dancing, she loves dressing like a girl, girl colors (pink is her favorite) and doing girl type things (talking, and talking and talking).

Elizabeth amazes me because, not only does she get 4.0s in school with an honors/A.P. schedule, but her favorite classes are math and science. More power to her. She's looking at double majoring in college in ballet and math. I think it is wonderful. She actually understands pre-calculus (way beyond my ability).

Beyond school, Liz is a wonderful friend. She loves to include anyone in her group of friends. She had a birthday party and struggled when I limited her guest list because of space considerations. So many of her friends were not invited (15 came). She loves making new friends especially with people who look like they don't have any friends. And this goes beyond school into her dance community. One of her best friends is Katie who lives in Sandy but she dances Nutcracker and other ballet productions with. And she's just one of the many.

The joy of her birthday is I get to gush about how wonderful she is. But the best part about her, that I haven't mentioned yet, is that she has a strong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints and of the Savior. She may not bear it from the pulpit but no one has a doubt about where she stands on the issue because she just glows when she talks about gospel subjects. I am so proud of her.

Upon everything else, Liz is my best girlfriend. Happy Birthday to a special young woman.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bella Moment - Friday, January 9th

Ok, those of you who know me well, know I am into Twilight. Well the main character, Bella, is known to be a little, well, clumsy. I thought I wouldn't have to write about this, but so many people have asked by now, including a party full of 15 and 16 year olds, that I figure I might as well go public, I was who Stephenie Meyer was writing about when she created Bella's clumsiness. And I proved it, again, Friday morning. So, Bear and I went to get the newspaper and a package that was delivered for Lizzy's birthday when I, with outstanding grace and talent, managed to fall out of my front door, down the short first step onto my porch... onto my head. Since, of course, my hands were picking up things, most of the force was taken by my forehead (good thing I have a hard head). Now at this point I would like to point out that I didn't knock myself out and I didn't require stitches. Bear, did, however, escape over me to use the facilities, but came back when I called him once I got vertical again.

I then had to call Rob, because my parents were out of town and my in-laws were at the temple, to take an early lunch to come home and make sure I didn't need to go to the Emergency Room because I had a concussion. Once I convinced him this was necessary and he came home, he treated me like my own Edward (no, didn't want to drink my blood) but lovingly took care of me and got me all set up before he had to go back to work. No concussion, no ER - yeah! So the ice pack and pain meds and Bear and I hung out until the kids got home from school then went from there. Edward, I mean Robert, has lovingly taken care of me since then. Gotten me drinks and ice packs and helped me go to sleep and pain meds and everything. Robert, the non-Edward side, took pictures to document my now massive shiner, so I have included a couple pictures here (Emmett would be laughing at this).

Everyone has been really sweet, but wanted to know the story, so there it is. I'm a klutz. And I'm ok. A couple of days (or so) and I will be back to normal (looking). The only scary parts are 1- my face could still get worse before it gets better, 2- my shiner looks better than my make-up usually does, and 3- Stephanie, my good friend who I went to Twilight with, had a Bella moment just earlier on in the week when she sprained her wrist falling down her stairs. If only I could be made more sturdy in 3 days? Sunday pictures....

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas Break




It has been a long but productive Christmas break around our house. While many events were held with extended family, Liz and Jeff both found time for friends and some school work. Jeff also spent 3 days in dress rehearsals for BHS' upcoming production of Annie, since he is on the sound board. Performances start Thursday. Liz has been learning how to use her new camera she bought with Christmas money from her Great Grandma and her Grandparents (yeah, a new source of pictures for me). Of course, we all enjoyed the Sugar Bowl where the Cinderella team Utes pounded the Crimson Tide. Come on Florida, bring it on, we could be #1 legitimately, not just with the only no loss record. For those who don't keep up, we bleed red in this household.
A lot to keep us busy over two weeks of break, but still spent time playing games and watching DVDs with the family. The time seemed to go quickly this year, especially when we paused during something routine and realized next year Jeff will probably not be with us, but on a mission (we're so proud of him).
But now it's back to school. 2 weeks left of this term, 2 more terms left of this school year - yikes! We better get back down to work!! Oh, yeah, it means I get to find the bottom of the laundry pile, put Christmas away and clean up everything else after the holidays. Not a bad line of work.

Friday, January 2, 2009

ParTay the Teenage Girl Only Way




















At the Twilight Utah VIP Movie Opening, I won a $20 gift certificate for Mary Kay if I
held a party. I am NOT the home party type, but I decided a make-up party for a bunch of 15/16 year old girls could be a riot, and it was! The last Mary Kay I did was at was years ago for mine and my sister Jill's birthdays on a night of pampering from our sisters Janette and Marley. It was so cool, so this had to be, too.

This group of girls (plus a couple others that couldn't make it) hang out a lot, but this is really the first girly, girls only party for a while, so on December 30, Liz and 5 of her friends enjoyed a facial and colors make over with the cutest Mary Kay lady, Carrie. The girls were silly about taking off all their make up. Learned about putting on and using base. They all were darling as they tried out some new colors and fragrances. Carrie figured it would take about an hour. With 6 teenage girls, who were mostly serious although had fun, it took just over 2 hours.

After they all looked beautiful, and some actually bought things, a little pasta salad and an Enchanted movie, and it was a totally cool ParTay!!! I've included some fun pictures of the girls in various stages of make-up removal and application. They were all hams for the camera. I have to point out that I was only one of three cameras at the party. Bethany and Erin had theirs also, I just don't have their pictures. Thank you gals for being good sports and having so much fun, we'll have to do it again! Lizz, we're sorry that you missed the second part of the party because of a misunderstanding with your mom, but I'm glad
she liked your makeup. Big shout out thank you to Jeff who took care of Bear during the make-up part, it made it so much easier without the puppy.

If anyone out there is interested in a night of pampering with either a facial and colors or pedicure and skin care party at my house - leave me a comment - I love a good party!! And I'll throw in food again.