Monday, March 30, 2009

Rob and I were wondering...

...if all our boys wiggled so much when they were four? Or is it just Nathan? Or did we just forget how much they wiggle when they're little?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sign Damage.

Recently our local Babies R Us sign wasn't completely lit up. The "I" was dark, completely altering the store's name:

Bab es R Us.

Rob's brother Chris stayed with us this weekend, and his female friend, Sarah, introduced me to Failblog. (This link is for the G-rated version of the blog)

I have compiled my favorites, and they are MANY. I've even categorized them and plan on posting a series on the matter. What is failblog, you ask? Today we'll start with ironic, idiotic, confusing, and just plain funny public signs (Sign Damage. Get it?).

I showed Rob my cache of favorites last night, and we were both laughing so hard we were crying!


Come again? The park bench sign reads: "Seesaw donated by Cambridge Savings Bank." Sometimes you need more than just a spell check.

Sign maker: "Woohoo! The Welsh translator immediately answered my email with the translation for our public sign! Let's get it printed!"

(Note: Translation reads "I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.")

This one cracks me up. You have to admit this restaurant was pretty sneaky at trying to hide their FAIL. Notice the paper with the "C" on it is a different font than the rest of the papers. It actually is a "C" sanitation grade that the Louisville Metro Health Dept. gave the restaurant.

Ya think? It's scary that usually signs like this end up being erected after someone with no common sense complains.


Anyone who has every played WoW (World of Warcraft) will recognize the irony in placing WoW merchandise on shelves labeled "Productivity." Crazyheads.

This one is much worse! The sign reads that since they are sold out of "WoW Battlechest," a perfect substitution is "Paws and Claws Pet Vet: Healing Hands." How in the world could a pet vet be a substitution for Wow??!!??

Oops. The secret is out.

The sign reads "Push the red button of your choice."
Oops again. And they even give you eight buttons to work with.
That are all BLUE.

Those are some, um, active-looking live lobsters there.

Come on, voters. Why won't you take this pole-littering issue seriously?

More self-explanatory irony.

Very funny irony. *chuckle*

This one isn't funny, it's kind of a sad irony. Poor WaMu.


Employee: "Boss, the competition is creaming us. What should we do? They're open 24 hours a day."
Boss: "We out-do them. If they can stay open 24 hours a day, we'll stay open 25 hours a day. We'll show them!"

Well, Am I?

Well, of course. A gas station is the most logical place to get my beer-hunting supplies. But how does one hunt beer?

My brother is going to love this grocery isle set-up.
Ken: "See, Shiann? Look, this sign says you can too have beer for breakfast."
Shiann: "Would you like some cheese with your whine?" ; )

So, are hot tamales more like a banana, or a strawberry? And the gumballs? They look like little portable oranges, dontcha think?

*Wipes tears from eyes*
Now that's poor sticker placement. Notice how the book touts its dog-cooking recipes as being "safe."

The sign on this rather normal, public toilet reads "IT'S THE LAW Under 18 years of age do not operate this equipment."

Ha ha ha! A man designed this clothing tag.

And the top 5 funny signs are --

Woohoo! If I get towed I'll find $50.
I wonder if the police officer knows why no one appears to speed on this street?
*wipes more tears while laughing*

*Rolling on the Floor Laughing!*
I'll pass, thanks. I'd rather keep my identity. No, really. Give it back!

*Tears are now streaming down my face*
Uh, YEAH. Buying minors will cost you. Like, 25 to life. In fact, buying anyone will cost you!
And, the number one funniest public sign?...
*Barely able to breath I'm laughing so hard*

Clueless customer scratches his head and stares at the sign for awhile, then slowly drawls, "Well, will you take a pig payment instead?"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Go to the Dentist! Just go now!

Regular preventative dental care= good. Free (or small copays).

Smelling burning metal from your own mouth= bad. (When they have to drill out a huge silver filling to get to the cavity hiding underneath)

Smelling the same acrylic used in fake nails, being put into your mouth= bad.

Getting 3 fillings and a crown = bad. (Especially when one of the fillings is almost a root canal!!)

Spending hundreds of dollars on fillings and a crown= bad.

Class, what have we learned?

1. Floss daily. Really. My grandma always said, "Be true to your teeth or they'll be false to you." Several dentists have essentially told me, "If you want to keep your real teeth, floss."

2. If you have teeth problems, go fix them NOW. No, not next month, NOW. Do not put it off! Not even if your insurance switches and your favorite dentist (what an oxymoron, to put 'favorite' and 'dentist' in the same sentence!) doesn't take your new insurance for a year.

A procrastinated cavity can need a crown instead of a filling. A tooth needing a crown can turn into a root canal. A root canal untreated will result in DEAD TEETH, folks. You'll end up with partial dentures. It's just not worth it. Who cares that it hurts and it's uncomfortable to take care of dental issues. It's better than the alternative of letting the teeth go untreated. *shudder*

3. My dentist also constantly says, "If you take care of your teeth, you get to see less of me. It's a win-win!"

Daily Gratitudes:
1. Dentists. Think about our ancestors and tooth aches and lost teeth. It makes me want to moan in pain just thinking about it. I mean, just remember Tom Hanks in Castaway, having to knock out his own tooth. Blegh.

2. Insurance. At least it helps cover some costs. In my case, preventative maintenance is FREE, but basic and serious dental work is 60% and 40% covered, so my crown was NOT cheap. But at least I didn't have to pay 100%.

3. Flexible people. Both my chiropractor and Jeffrey's piano teacher were willing to change appt. times for me when I remembered my kids have minimum days this week due to parent-teacher conferences. And my visiting teacher stepped in at the last second to watch all 3 of my children for TWO hours while I was at the dentist. AND, my kids' principal happened to have a quick opening for me this morning instead of Thursday, very kind.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Drama

Never think you've got it figured out.

Why do we like to have this illusion of control? We all do it, don't deny it. We all feel better whenever we feel we're holding on to the illusion of control.


It's kind of amusing to me that despite my best efforts yesterday to teach a nice, organized scout lesson at 4 pm, before 5 pm Bryce ended up hitting and cutting his forehead in the cultural hall while playing with the other younger-than-scout-age-children and the poor babysitter had to run out and get me.

I left my scouts without a single word and went to assess the damage. A 3/8" long cut, but not as deep as we originally thought once the blood was cleaned up. I merged my den with another one and ran him home to put on butterfly bandages. Cross your fingers that I made the right decision (as opposed to getting stitches).


Rob came home early and I had a scout meeting to go to. I go, but not to the right building (Kimberly, double-check your email that contains the address *before* you leave!). By then I had quite a headache and felt a little nauseated, which is sometimes how I react after I've been the primary adult taking charge and giving first aid to bloody cuts. Once I know the person is safe and taken care of, my body allows itself to react to the mini-crisis.

Went to the right building 20 min. away, only to find the scout class I needed to take (that's only offered every 6 months) was cancelled at the last moment. Grr. Whatever. I attended Roundtable and I learned, so it wasn't a lost cause.

Came home, tired, had a LOT going on today. Brushed and flossed, and...

Wait, what was that? When I flossed? A piece of food? No, it's... part of my tooth. Lovely. A filling came out, which has never happened to me before.

So this morning all my plans were altered, calling the dentist, taking care of other things, going to volunteer, I have two parent teacher conferences, some X-rays to "check out" for a chiropractic appt. next week (they just called to say they're in storage, which is NOT organized), and a pinewood derby car to facilitate Jeffrey making.

Updated 3/14/09: Went to the dentist this morning, and learned I need a crown and two fillings besides replacing the filling that popped out. Grr. But the back-dr. office DID finally find my X-rays in storage so I can check them out and show them to my chiropractor.

I'm kinda laughing. Oh well. At least I keep trying.

Daily Gratitude:
1. Overheard Nathan just now, speaking to himself as though he were two different people:
Nathan 1--"Stop talking!" (with energy)
Nathan 2--"Ok. I'll stop talking." (quietly and politely)
Nathan 1--"I said stop talking!"
Nathan 2--"Ok. I'll stop."
Nathan 1--"Don't talk anymore!"
Nathan 2--"Ok, I'll stop talking.

This went on for about 2 full minutes. *chuckle*

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Clint Eastwood, step aside!


And they tell me girls are moodier.

(He was trying to make a cowboy maze, and his brothers wanted to play on the maze because part of it was a horse. They all looked so darling, I wanted to take a picture, but Jeffrey would not smile. You can see how pained he is over the injustice of his thwarted plans)

I've decided to start Daily Gratitudes, because I love reading them on Natasha's blog. Though I probably won't try to keep it to a set number:

1. Online bill pay. *

2. Beautiful skies and such pretty clouds. I've been noticing and thoroughly enjoying them this whole week. Because of all the rain, the smog is gone. At least for a week or two.

*Online bill pay is the BEST! If you don't already do it, and think it will be a hassle, just try it out. It is SO easy and SO worth it! I haven't thought about paying rent in over 3 years, because electronic checks are scheduled to be mailed to our landlady every month, and since it's a set amount, I never have to enter it by hand. In Houston we did the same thing with our mortgage payment, only adjusting it yearly when our escrow amounts increased. I even set it to pay extra on principal every single month so I never had to think about it, but could consistently pay down extra on our loan.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reflections Awards--"Wow!"

This post will probably be boring to everyone but grandparents and immediate family.

You're forewarned.

For anyone who doesn't know or doesn't remember, Reflections is an annual fine arts contest at public schools, and its theme changes yearly. You can enter in several different categories, and you can enter as many pieces as you want. Last year our elementary school had at least three students' art that won at District and went on to Regionals. The next winners go to State, then National.

This year's theme was "Wow."

This year both Jeffrey and Bryce won at the school level in the visual arts category, Jeffrey won at the school level twice in the photography category, and Jeffrey's third photograph went on to District, even though it didn't win an award there.

I'm so proud!

Since none of Jeffrey's visual arts entries have ever won at the school level, this was a real treat to have both Bryce and Jeffrey win for their grade levels. It was also amazing that every single one of Jeffrey's entries won an award beyond the 'participatory' award (he entered four different pieces of art). Especially after I learned that this year, the photography category had TONS of pictures, so he was picked 3 times (!) out of all those photo submissions.

If you can't read the text, it says "These are all the Reflections Contest Winners from K-6 grade at our Elementary school. Four of Jeffrey's & one of Bryce's entries are up there!" And I've circled them in white. Remember, the judging is blind; they don't know the students' names when they do the judging. They had no way of knowing that all four of Jeffrey's entries were from one student. So cool.

Bryce's "Candy Store," marker and crayons.

Jeffrey's "Mountains with Reflection" watercolor. (watercolor pencils, they are so cool)

Jeffrey's two school-level photography winners, both taken in our yard one morning when there was still dew on the leaves. Jeffrey did an especially amazing job on the left one, I think.

Jeffrey's district-level photograph that he took of Nathan Danger holding his mommy's hand. He was only 2 months old at the time (he's 8 months old now, that's how long ago we submitted reflections entries).

Jeffrey poses for the Visual Arts winners, grades 3&4.

Jeffrey poses for the Photography winners 3-4th grade; this is before they came back and gave him a fourth ribbon for having an entry that went on to District.

Bryce with the Visual Arts winners, K-2.

THIS is Jeffrey's strength. He was SO happy today, and people complimented him all day long, and, most importantly, the girl he likes was beaming for his accomplishments today. After school he told me, "Today was the best day ever." At the end of school the principal randomly pulled Jeffrey's class name out of a hat, when she was giving out extra recess time, and his entire class got 10 extra recess minutes. So he was one happy camper after school!

Bryce accepts his award. That's his principal over there on the right, in the black shirt.

Proud Bryce. : )

Bryce's "Star Wars" entry, for which he earned a 'participatory' ribbon because he entered. Yay Bryce!

Double Date (Translation: two dates in a row! Unheard of for us!)

Rob and I rarely go on "real" dates.*

We went on one for Valentine's Day 2008, only because Sarah and Brent were visiting us and thought up the idea, so we did a very fun double date at my good friend Lauri's house while Lauri's girls watched both ours and the Aarons' children.

The next date was our 11 year anniversary, where Rob took me to Red Robin and a movie on May 9th, 2008.

The following was our conversation while ordering dinner--

Rob: I've been wanting to bring you here, since our work sometimes goes out to Red Robin for lunch. Their food is so good.
Me: (While looking at the menu) What?!? $10 for a hamburger?? Holy cow. Ok, ok, how about we share a burger?
Rob: (Assuring me this several times during the ordering process) It's our anniversary. It's ok. Don't think about the money (He was probably thinking 'Helllo, we're at Red Robin, dear, not Outback'). We are each ordering our own thing tonight. And a drink, too.
Me: No way. Water for me please.
Rob: (laughing) Kimberly. It's. O.K. This is our anniversary! (Orders a rootbeer, his favorite)
Me: Yeah, but you know who you married. I don't like to spend money on certain things, and eating out isn't one of them.
Rob: Fair enough.
Me: Ok, you order this one, and I'll order that one, the safer choice (I'm SO picky). Then, if I don't like yours, it's all good, and if I don't like mine, we can switch. Deal?
(And yes, his pineapple chicken burger was MUCH better than whatever I chose. Mmm, mmm good. And yes, of course we went to the dollar theater. I'm me, after all.)
Ok, back to today's title--Double date.

At christmas we were given gift certificates from Super Villain Studios for bowling at a posh singles-type bowling center, Lucky Strike, in Orange. So, from May 9th '08, to Feb '09, no dates. The certificates expired end of February, and we used them once as a family to bowl in January, but decided to use the remaining balance for a date. I even got a babysitter three weeks ahead of time.

Just before we left on the date Friday, Feb. 20th, I double-checked the cards, only to see they weren't good on weekends! Aaargh! And me, dressed up so nice. So, we decided to go on a date anyway. We dropped the kids off at Annie's, decided on a place to eat (after driving up to two diff. places because I'm so picky and not good with instant decisions), and took our food home to eat while watching a Netflix movie. It was nice, even though I was pretty bummed about the change from our original plans.

Now comes the double part. Three days later, we went on ANOTHER date! Two dates, almost back to back. Sweet Tami watched the kids for us, and we went to Lucky Strike on Monday night for a couple FHE.** It was like being young again! SO fun! And the bowling center was so upscale, I was sort of joking, "Oooh, lah-dee-dah, look at us!"

Even the food was like these upscale appetizers. I love orange creamsicles, so sharing an orange soda float was also quite the treat. We had a ball. We played three games and still had time to go browse Borders afterwards, a favorite passtime of ours in our 'early' years. (snicker)

*We do love going to the temple, and usually count that as a date. We also love to have "dates" with our children, and one of our fondest anniversary memories was taking Jeffrey and Bryce to a Houston park and just being together as a family, and carving that time out just for us.

**Family Home Evening

Hope is a funny thing.

I was just thinking about the nature of HOPE.

Its very nature uplifts-I wish I knew how to articulate my thoughts about how cool hope is.

It sounds cliche, but choosing between hope and despair should be a no-brainer, because when you lose hope (and I've been there more than once), you lose the point, which should be the definition of despair.

Hope gives you a reason to keep trying even when times are tough, be they piddly but irritating daily things, big scary things, or catastrophes. Hope gives you, well, hope!

It's nice to have hope. : )

A cake "success" (as opposed to a cakewreck)

I made a simple 9x13 cake for our "Wild Wild West" themed Blue and Gold Cub Scout Banquet a few weeks ago.

Sure, I do frosting stars (old-style next to the age of fondant), but that's what I grew up learning from my mom, who is a champ at "star" cakes--she even makes her own cake pans!

I just had to post this after The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from "professionals."

Though it's not perfect (I'll spare you the details if you don't notice the imperfections), it turned out nicely.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I've noticed many people post about their guilty pleasures, and I've thought about posting mine.

Well, at least about the ones I'd be willing to post in public.... (admitting that I can accidentally eat an entire bag of Riesen chocolates in an afternoon is highly embarrassing)

So, a guilty pleasure that's kind of funny. Anyone who knows me knows that tv shows are definitely a guilty pleasure for me. I'll sacrifice sleep to catch up on the plotline of a gripping drama (Kevin, thanks a lot for getting me hooked on Burn Notice. No, wait, all sarcasm aside, I LOVE Burn Notice!) .

My guilty pleasure: I often watch just the season finales, because I want to know how a couple of shows turn out, without following the whole season (time consuming and booooring!).

So.... The Bachelor. Yes, I'm admitting that I watched the end of it today, and sort of fast-forwarded through the last few episodes, only watching in places where I was interested. I've done that before, at the end of the "Brad" Bachelor, or Dancing with the Stars, etc.

Ok, so.

1. How does one act like oneself when the cameras are on? I can't imagine, though it appears that Jason was very humble and real about his decisions, just as I saw Rob's turmoil when he realized he was in love with both me and another sweet gal, Kathryn Degaston. Rob never realized that he could be in love with two people at once. At least on camera, Jason appeared to be a good, decent man who really wanted to make the best decisions for his life.

I would never, ever, Ever, EVER put my dating life, or life, for that matter, in the hands of greedy voyeurists. How could I ever be myself or believe that any of my dates were being themselves? I'm telling ya', I'd know those cameras were on.

2. The reason I even posted about this (I crawled out of a warm bed and came downstairs to my laptop to write even though I'm tired and my toesies are cold!):

I am extremely grateful for both the faith and knowledge that I have of God's plan for us, that there is a guidance system in place to help us make life-altering decisions. Both our conscience (the light of Christ in every human being), and the gift of the Holy Ghost/Spirit, are such a great strength and guidance to me when I am making important and/or difficult decisions in my life.

I looked at some of these Bachelor/Bachelorette clips that pop up on Youtube around this time, of people who pick someone, then they end up breaking up, etc, and with Jason regretting that he picked Melissa over Molly, and the grief he went through in the decision-making process. I felt compassion for him (hopefully it's not all just scripted to pull my heart-strings, but who knows).

I feel immense gratitude that when I was trying to decide who I wanted to marry, I had extra help. I didn't have to navigate it all on my own, especially in the 'rough' patches.

As I prayed tonight and then cuddled up to my sleeping husband, the feelings that went through me were so strong and quiet, so much more than lust or even simple love. I feel a deep connection to my husband and truly believe that we are sealed to each other for eternity, something that continues to deepen my love for him even though we're still very mortal and fight hard sometimes. ; )

When I was young and dumb and in love with the idea of love, I also happened to fall in love with Rob. I sort of thought everything would just fall in place, but it didn't (and gratefully so; it gave me a LOT longer to get to know him, and him me).*

As I realized Rob had serious feelings for me in the summer of 1996, and that I was attracted to him (oh. my. gosh. I was so in love it was nauseating to everyone around me), and that he was the man I wanted to marry, I still felt so nervous because it is such a life-long decision to make.

I fasted for two days to know if Rob would be 'the one.' I believe that there are any number of men that I could meet and marry, and live a good life. But I also felt like Rob was the one for me, if he returned my affections. I feel like we fit together, and even though my bad habits drive him nuts, and his social quirks drive me nuts, we fit each other so well.

At the end of the two days, I knelt down and prayed to Heavenly Father, asking if Rob was 'the one.' I felt so giddy and happy I couldn't contain myself, and then after awhile I wasn't sure if that was answer to prayer or me bursting because I was so in love with Rob. So I knelt down and prayed again, explaining that I felt I had received my answer, but I was asking for a confirmation. What happened next was tender and special and very precious to me, as I had a powerful spiritual experience confirming to me that this was indeed my answer.

Once I knew that, I didn't have to worry or regret or second-guess myself. I knew that if Rob decided he wanted to marry me, it was right for me to say yes.

Now, he didn't catch on for several months yet, girls (guys are dumb that way, but that's another post that Rob will cheerfully write for us at one point). But when he did, and when he received his answer to prayer, he couldn't contain himself, either, and we were engaged within the week.

And Rob, I know we often say "I toldja I loved ya when I married ya, and if it changes, I'll let you know," or that we "decided" not to "take each other back" like a simple store-return, but in all seriousness, you're a keeper.

I knew that you were a keeper on the first day I met you in July 1995, when I unwittingly wrote in my journal about you being 'different', and how meeting you opened a new chapter in my life. By month three of knowing you I knew I wanted to marry you.

Thank you for being my dear, darling husband who is truly with me through thick and thin, who treats me with love, tenderness, and respect despite my faults.

Olive juice, honey. Olive juice. Celebrating 12 years in May.

*Tell me if you want me to do a post on our two year courtship etc, but I warn you that I see it in a fairy tale light. : ) .....

Oh, c'mon, just pretend you really want to hear it! : )