Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I have a new best friend!

Her name is Malena.
She's my three and a half year old niece.
She calls me Aunt Sephernie!
She hugs me and kisses me.
She takes my cheeks in her hands and just loves me.
She squeals with delight at almost anything I do.
She says some of the funniest things.
She calls my mom "Dwam-ma" and my dad "Pop."
She freaks Darrell out a little.
Ok. A lot.
I got to spend just under two and a half days with her.
And I miss her something awful.



I think I'll pay for her to be Fed-Exed to my house.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Ask anyone, and they will tell you that Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas if they didn't do their traditions.

I am no exception.

In the Ingermanson family (the family I grew up in), we had some very specific traditions. Since my dad was in the Air Force, we didn't really get to see our extended family.

On Christmas Eve, we would read the Nativity story from a little navy-colored book my dad has. It basically was a compilation of the story from all four Gospels.

Ingermansons are very good at procrastination, so we would spend a lot of time on Christmas Eve wrapping presents. My mom bought all the presents we would give each other, so she would give us the presents we were to give and then wrap them. I think I was in my late-20s before I started buying my own gifts to give.

We never had a specific dinner that we ate on Christmas Eve--most years I think it was just something easy to make and eat.

We left a camera out for Santa to use to take a picture of the tree, with all the presents underneath. **SPOILER ALERT** I learned about Santa's true identity after seeing my dad's reflection in the giant window behind the Christmas tree in 1980. And yes, for those counting, I was 10!

Santa only wrapped our smaller presents--but never the big ticket items, which made it fun when we got to come out of our rooms.

We were told we could not, under any circumstances, come out of our bedrooms until 6 AM. It's a good thing there never was a house fire, because we were pretty obedient kids when Santa Claus was around.

At 6:00, and not one second later, we would run out of our rooms, line up in the hall from youngest to oldest, and run down the hall to check out the loot. I think one year I convinced everyone to line up oldest to youngest so I could be first.

My parents got tired of Christmas being over in 13 seconds, so they instituted a rule: Only one person at a time could open presents, and we went from youngest to oldest. This made Christmas present-opening time last a lot longer.

Always save the bows and boxes! They come in handy next year.

We would take our presents into our rooms, lay them out on our beds as artistically as possible, and take a picture of what we got.

Breakfast was always pancakes with blueberry sauce. Mmmm!

We lounged around the rest of the day, and helped prepare dinner.

Dinner was a ham, potatoes, yams, rolls, and other yummy treats!

Darrell and I haven't quite figured out the traditions we celebrate, but we do enjoy being with friends and family.

What are your traditions?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Never You Mind!

This new button-widget is nothing for you to worry about.

Really.

Just go to the next blog on your list!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lucky Star

When I was a freshman in high school, ever-so-long-ago, I took typing. I had a really mean teacher, Mrs. Groskopf (and, yes, that is her real name). She was really old, like 50. Many years before, she had had a stroke, which affected the right side of her body, which was apparently the side of her body that she used for writing and such. Okay. I just took out my yearbook and it doesn't look like she was as old as she looked in ninth grade.

She was a very strict teacher and had a rule for everything.

1. No talking.
2. No borrowing supplies. (And this was in the days of carbon paper.).
3. No using White-Out. She only allowed correction tape.
4. No getting out of your seat.
5. No doing anything but typing.

And no--it wasn't known as "keyboarding." It was typing. With a typewriter. An IBM typewriter with one of those letter balls. We had a "Return" button instead of "Enter." And "F4" was two characters you typed, not a "Function."

If you failed to follow a rule, and I honestly think there were about one-hundred of them, you had to type that rule ten times. The next time you broke the same rule, you had to type the rule twenty times. Get the picture?

So imagine everyone's surprise when she announced that she believed (and science supported) that listening to music aided in learning to type! And, because she wasn't the ogre everyone thought she was, we could bring in our favorite audio cassette tape (the thing that was used before CDs, which was what everyone used before IPods--back in the almost-Pioneer-days). All we had to do is sign up and bring in our music.

It seems she didn't really care what music it was. If you signed up, brought it in, and pushed "Play" before the tardy-bell rang, we could listen to it. The person who was playing DJ for the day could even get out of their seat to turn over the tape. (If you don't understand that, ask your Grandparents-they might be old enough to explain it.).

I don't really remember much of the music people brought in. It was the second half of 1984, so it must have been fabulous music.

Lori Stevens was in my class. Now, don't think we were great friends or anything. I looked her up in the yearbook just now, too. She loved Madonna. No she didn't. She L.O.V.E.D. Madonna.

So I learned to type to Borderline, Lucky Star, Holiday, and Everybody.

Whenever I hear any of the songs on that album, I am instantly transformed to Mrs. Groskopf's typing class.

If you don't believe me, play one of the songs. I sit upright, looking forward, with the look of a scared deer, and assume the asdfjkl; position.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stream of Consciousness, or Wow! I didn't know I was so weird!

My friend, Diana, posted on her blog that it was Free Posting Day.

Here's my comment on her blog:

The word verification: dencer.

This sounds like dancer to me.

Or denser.

Maybe it's a fat dance.

Which reminds me of fat chance.

Which reminds me that I really need to eat better.

And work out.

Or maybe just get a serious amount of lipo.

But I don't think they like to suck out the equivalent of a five year old.

So. I'm off to make the crusts for the two pies I am baking for Thanksgiving.

That I will be the only one to eat.

I guess the diet starts after the pies are gone.

But then there's Christmas.

Maybe in the Celestial Kingdom, Heavenly Father will just let me be skinny.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Flash from the Past

This afternoon, as I was shaving my legs with a new shaving cream, I was immediately transported back to when I was about nine years old. Why? Is it because I shaved at an early age? Actually no. It was because the shaving cream smelled exactly like this:



Yep! That's Love's Baby Soft perfume, lotion, and powder. I had them all.

So, after I got out of the shower, I took a walk down memory lane.

Here are some of the things I remember from 1973 to about 1976:

We got a white, wood-paneled Ford Gran Torino Squire in 1972.



It had dark blue, vinyl seats. We seldom, if ever, got to sit in the back-back (that's what we called the area behind the back seat), facing backwards. My parents did make cushions for the back-back so that we wouldn't have to sit on the hot metal. We liked to lay down long-wise, and roll around when the driver took the curves. The black stuff that held the windows in place never "set," so it was something fun to play in. It reacted to being played in much the same tar would. You couldn't wash it off--it had to wear off. My mom would always catch us after we played in it. We would always lie and say we weren't playing in it. She never believed us. It probably was due to the black fingers we had.

A few day before my fifth birthday (in fact, I think it was the day before), my mom asked me to put the vacuum away.



I know this will sound difficult to believe, but I wasn't the most obedient child. I guess for those who only know me because of this post, it would be difficult to believe I was obedient at all--with the black finger story above. So I procrastinated putting the vacuum away. My mom told me if I didn't put the vacuum away right now, she would cancel my birthday party. Yeah, right! No one in the history of the world has ever been that mean! So I didn't put away the vacuum. Guess who didn't have a fifth birthday party? I still remember crying as I said to my mom, "But look, I'm putting it away. I promise to be better!" Still, no birthday. I just realized....I think I actually inherited that very vacuum. I really should kick it or something. Ok, I don't clean the bag as often as I should--that'll teach it a lesson!

We were a one-car family until 1976. That was the year we bought a Datsun B210. For those of you too young, or naive, to know, a Datsun was a Nissan, but Nissan didn't want Americans to think it was such a Japanese car. Because Datsun sounds SO American!



Ours was dark brown. A couple of years after we bought it, it developed a dandruff-like condition. The clear coat was peeling and nothing we did made it stop. Maybe we should have tried Head and Shoulders.

About this time, I got my second Barbie-like doll. My first was Skipper:



My second was PJ:



She was sporty. She came with a tennis racket, golf club and really squishy tennis shoes. I think I chewed on them. I remember at some point I tried to make her do the splits--the wrong way--and her leg popped off. Poor PJ was an amputee! It made doing sports difficult for her. I still played with her since I didn't have a "real" Barbie for a couple of years.

My mom was really good at making meals for us. Somehow I didn't learn well enough since Darrell is lucky to get one a week that I prepare. My mom made my lunch and put it in my Raggedy Ann and Andy lunchbox. I had this one in first grade:



I remember the school had a wall low enough that a first grader could hold her lunchbox on top of the low wall and scoot her lunchbox along the wall on her way to the cafeteria. I don't know who that first grader could be, but I remember the sound so clearly.

It's amazing all that you can remember about your childhood. And all that you can remember from just one sniff of a familiar scent.

What are some of your early memories? Memories from when you were six or younger?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanks

At the risk of sounding uber-cheesy and also embarrassing him, I thought I'd post an early Thanksgiving Thank You about Darrell.

I'm going to explain some of the reasons I am oh-so-thankful to have him in my life.

He tolerates my need for stuff and piles of stuff. Until it gets too crazy. And then he helps me get it under control.

He takes care of the car and all the technical stuff around the house. I honestly don't know how I did all that stuff myself. I think I just didn't do it.

He unloads the dishwasher. And after I have washed the dishes, he dries and puts them away (my least favorite part of that job.).

He does most of the laundry. And knows which items go to the dry cleaners, which are line-dried, and which are stuff-into-the-machine-and-wash.

He lets me come into bed late. But he doesn't sleep well until I'm there. But he lets me come into bed late anyway.

He makes dinner about half of the nights in the week. In most weeks, we go out the other half.

He has all the faith and confidence in me that I will ever need.

He realizes that I am a social butterfly and need time with the girls way more than he needs time with the boys. He doesn't even complain when I am out more than I am in.

He is patient with my dinner-indecisiveness. I need to be "in the mood" for the "right food" for me to eat it. We have to go through a dozen or so choices each night before I can figure out what we will eat.

He makes me laugh. Especially when he freaks out when I pull scary food out of the depths of the fridge on "food-throw-away-night." Seriously. Last week, I almost peed my pants I laughed so hard.

He genuinely cares about our families and their needs. He's a good brother and son to both his family and mine.

I could go on and on, but I know he has died of embarrassment already.

The good news for him is that there is no photo posted. I love him enough to know that the photo on the blog would kill him, so I'll keep him around for awhile longer.

Thanks for letting me write a little about Darrell.

He's a good seed.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's all about the ring tone

At the beginning of last month, I became eligible to get a new cell phone with a pretty hefty discount. Darrell and I went to Best Buy (the BEST place to get a cell phone) and I picked out a Palm Treo.



It is a smart phone. Perhaps too smart. Like no-fun-smart. I tried to download a fun ring tone, but couldn't. You see, the Palm Treo is a serious phone. Not a fun phone. I was really disappointed.

But, then I remembered Best Buy has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee policy.

So I went to Best Buy (on election day, so I wouldn't have to watch the incessant TV coverage) and traded it in for an Instinct.



It, too, is a smart phone. But the fun-kind of smart. Even its picture makes it look fun! I now have the Charlie's Angels theme song as my general ring tone. And the Casino Royale James Bond theme song dedicated to Darrell.

Yep. It's all about the ring tone.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I have grown up cooties!

Yep. You read me right. I have cooties.

I got a cold over the weekend and Darrell wants nothing to do with me.

I'm quite contagious and he is quite paranoid.

He has been sleeping in the guest room so that he doesn't catch what I have.

But not tonight. The light from the street light keeps him up.

So he decided that sleeping with a sick-cootie-filled-room is better than not sleeping in a filtered-light-filled-room.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret....

When I was little, I was an exercising fool.

Yep. And I don't mean that I ran around a lot outside. Okay, I did run around a lot outside. But that wasn't the coup de gras of my exercising.

I did calisthenics. A. LOT.

My sister Jennilyn and I devised a whole routine. We did leg lifts, scissor legs, back bends, and lots more. I can't remember exactly because it's been like, I don't know, THIRTY years. Suffice it to say, we probably invented Pilates.

But here's the real secret. We shared a bedroom and we did these exercises at night. In bed. You know, when we were supposed to be sleeping.

We both had a favorite exercise. I don't think it has an official name, but let me explain it to you. Our beds had headboards. We would lay in bed, reach up and grab the headboard. Then we pulled our legs up and put our feet up to where our hands were. We then would do gravity-defying crunches--basically we pulled our butts up as close to our feet as we could. As kids, this was easy. I remember trying it as a teenager and finding it nearly impossible.

So, a couple of days ago, Jennilyn (my co-exerciser) called. She had been reading to Malena at bedtime a few nights earlier. Malena was laying in bed, enjoying the story. Partway through the book, she reached up and caught hold of her headboard. Minutes later, she pulled her feet up to meet her hands. I'm sure I don't have to tell you what happened next. Yep. She began doing the infamous crunches. Jennilyn stopped reading and asked Malena what she was doing. "I'm exercising," Malena replied. Duh, Mom!

Friday, October 3, 2008

If you want to laugh at me,

Read this (from my friend Lucinda's private blog):

Yesterday at church I had a note passed to me from Stephanie, (see Steph and Darrell blog) and the giggles got the best of us. Because of the pew bouncing from the giggles the note was shared and the pews were positively levitating. The note said the following...

"Megan lifted her dress to show me her new underwear. I whispered that we don't show off our panties. She then lifted my skirt to check out my panties!"

The note answered why Stephanie's face was red and Megan came to sit by me!

If you want to laugh at Darrell, keep reading.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Glendale (and came back in under 4 hours!) to visit Darrell's aunt Paula. She was in town from DC helping her son and daughter-in-law welcome their third child into the world. We ate yummy dinner and were sitting in the family room, talking. I held baby Landon for awhile (he was only three days old and tiny). I then told Darrell it was his turn.

He was scared to death.

He is afraid of all children, but particularly those that are helpless. He knows he will break one.

He sat in the rocking chair and held out his arms to take the baby. He was rigid! I told him he could pull his arm closer into his body, which would make things more comfortable. He agreed and ended up not breaking anything.

After about 15 minutes, I asked him if he wanted a break and he said he was okay.

About 15 minutes later, Darrell started squirming and panicking. The baby had a leaky diaper! Darrell was wet.

He handed Landon to mom Amanda, who changed him. Darrell went into the bathroom and washed his hands.

Amanda came in and told us Grandma Paula had mis-diapered. The "hardware" was all out of the diaper.

That would explain why a three day old baby had drenched Darrell's pants and shirt.

Oh. It doesn't end there.

A couple of days later, I remarked on how brave he was. I wouldn't have been able to stay an hour longer with baby pee on me.

He said, "It's not like he ate anything weird!"

I said, "Amanda's breastfeeding."

Darrell freaked out, "I thought he had just been drinking water! That's gross!"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Me times twelve

I've seen this on numerous blogs and had to add it to mine.

Just call me a lamb!

First, the questions:


1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your nickname.

Now the answers:




In case you can't tell from the photos, here are the answers in writing:
1. Stephanie--duh!
2. Chocolate--double duh!
3. Kaiserslautern American High School
4. Green
5. Aaron Eckhart
6. Dr. Pepper. Although I'm totally off it now. See two posts down.
7. Fiji
8. Brownie Sundae. Or anything with chocolate and ice cream, really.
9. Hmmm...I can't remember what I chose! Oh yeah--HAPPY! Not that I'm unhappy now.
10. My family. Especially Darrell.
11. Fabulous!
12. Ladybug--that what my grandmama calls me. I always think of her when I see one.

Since I still can't figure out how to make a link, if you want to add this to your blog, you'll have to look elsewhere. I really do need to figure out how to do all the fun stuff with the blog, but that's for another day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cutest Niece in the World

Look at the cute outfit Malena is wearing:



I don't mean to brag, but I bought it for her!

Ok. I guess I mean to brag. But that's what aunts do.

Duh.

Tip to self

After giving up caffeine because of all the side effects, don't drink 64 ounces of Dr. Pepper in a 12 hour period.

You won't sleep for about 483 hours.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I heart Aunt Spicy!

I just found my favorite aunt!

Ok, she isn't my aunt, but she's my favorite blog-friend!

Since I don't know how to link to someone else' blog, just go to auntspicy.blogspot.com and check out her site. It's great!

Plus, I won a yard of this fabric:



She had a giveaway for her 100th post and I was one of the lucky winners! I was even luckier, since I discovered her blog just hours before the deadline.

I hope I can be as good of an aunt as Spicy is!

Friday, September 5, 2008

This one's for Freaky

Ok. So in my family we have really weird nicknames for each other. We'll start from the parents and go in sequential order of age and I will list some of the nicknames:
Dad--Lou; Pappy
Mom--MAHW!; Penny; Mumsy
Stephanie (me)--Sis; Sissy; Stepharennapey
Jennilyn--Nee-nee; Jen-jen; Neen
Todd--Todd-a-rina; Toddy; Superboy
Julie--Juge; Ju-ju; Jingermanson
Emily (she has the most--probably since she is the youngest and we ran out of kids, but not nicknames)--Freaky Friday (Freaky for short); Ma'am; Carolina Gadget; Me-me; Meemers; Ems; Uuh-emleay

So the topic of this post isn't really about our names--I'll have to explain those later. I read my sister, Emily's blog earlier tonight. She cracks me up. Go to the Geeks in Love link to the right and see what I mean.

Well, she talks about how sheltered we were in relation to the "bad" words. We grew up in a home where, I kid you not, dumb-dumb and poo-poo-head were the worst of the worst. It is actually very difficult to type those words. Not because I can't figure out the question of to hyphenate or not to hyphenate. It's because they still carry a sort of power of being "bad" words.

Now, you must know that Emily and I are 11 years apart. So by the time she came around, the majority of the family knew there were words worse than the above-mentioned two. Like "stupid" and "shut up." Ok. And the four letter words that can take a G rated movie to a PG and a PG movie to an R. (PG-13 didn't exist yet). But, they were banned from our home. (Except on the rare occasion when a parent-who-shall-remain-nameless would get really mad and utter a profanity. We would all get eyes as big as saucers--the flying kind--a wish we could become invisible and slink into the other room. I can still remember one such occasion in El Paso, TX, in pre-1983 when this occurred. Yes, they were that few and far between.)

I think I have sufficiently set the tone for the following event.

When I was old enough to attend Senior Sunday School, in the days before the block, I remember thinking it was pretty cool that we would sit with our Sunday School classes and have opening exercises. We'd sing an opening song, have a prayer and then take the Sacrament. Yea, for all you too young to know. We had the Sacrament twice each Sunday.

I remember that I was just getting to the age where I could pay attention enough while singing to make it through the whole song--yeah, all four verses. Well. If you have never noticed this before, all LDS hymns are pretty tame. Except for Sacrament hymns. I hear you asking yourself what I mean by this. A large percentage of the Sacrament hymns in the rotation during the late-70's and early-80's contained some choice "bad" words. Like "hell" and I think even "damn."

I was shocked!

What was I to do? I knew these were words that were off-limits. I got my mouth washed out with soap (dirty Lava, even) and got hot sauce poured on my tongue for words that were far tamer. (I was a back-talker, not a swearer!).

I was supposed to sing. But I couldn't use "bad" words. What to do?

I devised the perfect plan. I would sing along and then sing "H. E. Double tooth-picks" in lieu of hell. Yep! I was plenty pleased!

Until I realized that I just missed my opportunity to say "bad" words WITHOUT the hot sauce.

I was always so disappointed. I would resolve to sing the words with gusto next week. But I always forgot. I think the Lord tried to keep me from developing a love for colorful language.

Even now, when singing one of the few remaining songs with hell in it, I sing that particular word a little louder than the others.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Oh!! The Humanity!

**Warning to my readers who are a little faint of heart: This post may not be for you. I am not in a "good place" right now, so I may offend. Please proceed with caution!

So a couple of weeks ago, Dunkin Donuts made a comeback to the Valley. They have been shunned for the last several years by Phoenicians and Valley-ites. Thanks goes to Krispy Kreme and the sugar-induced hypnosis they brought with them. KK's donuts are only good when hot, but they thought it was in their best interest to over-saturate the market with those glazed dough-fluffs until almost no one wanted another donut in their life.

In fact, about two years ago, Darrell and I were watching a Boston Red Sox game. On the back wall of the Green Giant, is a huge ad for Dunkin Donuts. We talked about how long it had been since we had been to a DD and talked about our favorite of all time donut--The French Cruller. We went to sleep a few hours later and I dreamt of French Crullers. When I awoke, I told Darrell we HAD to go. We tracked down the one Dunkin Donuts left in business and made the trek. Oh the Joy! Oh the Deliciousness! But since this shop was far enough away (and in the Mesa Grid of Stupidity--a post will need to be devoted to this later), we didn't go back.

Fast forward to the present. (Insert your own sound effect here). Yesterday I missed the turn to get on the freeway from work, so I took an alternate way home. I passed two billboards for Dunkin Donuts and decided we had to go. Darrell was not about to argue with me, especially since this meant I would be out of the house on an adventure before noon on a Saturday, with no prodding from him.

We get to Dunkin Donuts and there is a line almost out the door. This means that we have time to get REALLY hungry. We also have time to decide we want more than one donut. We (finally) get to the counter and order our French Crullers. Here is how the order went down:
"We don't have any," said the Dunkin Donuts Employee (DDE for short).
"Are you just out?" I ask kindly.
"No," replied DDE.
"So you don't make them at all?" I ask. I like that I have to use my communication skill acquired from several years of annual customer service training. You know the training....Active Listening 101, where you learn the difference between hearing and listening, reflecting vs repeating, etc.
"No," replied DDE. (Do you notice a trend with DDE? No Active Listening 101 for her--she must not be a "Career-Path" DDE.)
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I cried, falling to my knees, hunched over, as if the wind had been knocked out of me. It wasn't "as if," because it had.
YEARS of anticipation--gone out the window. Like yesterday's donut-frying vat o'grease!
Why? Why have I been forsaken? I'm a good person! I call my mom. I don't litter. I don't pinch babies and make them cry. I've never even run over an animal (not even the tarantula I tried to squash in Tucson!). I'm a good person. Is this the thanks I get for years and years of doing the "right thing?" (I do need to give Darrell credit for this line of thinking--it's something he's said for as many years as I've known him and I want to make sure he gets the credit.).
So now I have to learn to make French Crullers. And this means I probably will need to buy a deep-fryer. And that will probably lead me down the road of making other fried-foods best left to professionals. Not because I can't make food as good as the professionals, but that I shouldn't. I mean, easy access to FRIED FOOD (a drug of my choosing) can't be good.
Thank you Dunkin Donuts.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yeah. It really IS all about me!

Leave a comment on my blog of a MEMORY that you and I have had together. It doesn't matter if you've known me for a short time, or a long time, anything you remember...next, re-post these instructions on your blog and let people leave a memory about you. After all, a blog is nothing if it isn't self-promotion.



Along with (as my friend Jennifer says) self-deprecation, as evidenced by the above.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How I saved $41.96

Me, "We need to go to the grocery store tonight."
Darrell, "Why?"
Me, "They have a great sale on hamburger."
"Do we need hamburger?"
"We can freeze it."

Just before going to the store I sort the mail. We got a coupon pack in the mail, so I look to see if there is anything good. There never is, so I'm just doing my part to look like I save money. But this time, there's coupons for $1 off two jars of PB. I AM getting a little low on PB. And there's a coupon for those soft pretzels in the freezer, and we will have just enough room in the packed freezer for the hamburger and pretzels. So we leave. With the coupons.

Darrell, "Should we get a basket?"
Me, "Yeah, I guess so."

Keep in mind, we go to the store to get hamburger and now 2 jars of PB and 1 box of frozen pretzels.

Here is what we bought:
4 2-pound "logs" of hamburger (Darrell, "Why do we need so many?" Stephanie, "It's a good price.")
Creamy PB
Chunky PB
Pretzels
Raspberries
Strawberries
Blackberries (Darrell, "Do you promise to eat this fruit? You never eat the fruit." Stephanie, "Yes. I promise." Let's see if I keep this promise.)
2 Axe shower gels (Darrell, "Which scent should I get?" Stephanie, "Get them both, it's on sale.")
4 boxes of Fiber One bars (Darrell, "You better buy them--they're on sale.")
Shampoo
Conditioner
Williams-Sonoma cookbook on Soups, Salads and Starters (Darrell, "Why do you need that?" Stephanie, "Don't you see a book you like?" Darrell, "Let's get out of here before we find more stuff.")

So, our little trip to buy hamburger saved us $41.96. Nevermind that we spent $79.87.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Life Recapped, or at least since the last post

Okay. So my life hasn't been exciting enough to blog about recently, but then I realized that I don't think anybody who blogs has a very exciting life. I don't mean anything rude by that, it's just that we all think our lives are dull and everyone else has a more exciting life. But PUH-LEASE all you friends (and strangers) whose blogs I read--do NOT stop blogging. I would have nothing to do, except be productive. There really isn't anything more disappointing that going to all the blogs I have bookmarked and finding that there have been no updates to any of them. I guess it's too much to ask for people to blog 6 times a day.
So, since the bowling adventure, let me tell you what has happened in la vie de Stephanie....
We went up to Flagstaff to visit Darrell's dad. And to get out of the 375 degree heat. Okay, so it' not really 375, but sometimes I think of jumping into the oven to cool off. Oh, but before we left, Darrell donated blood. It was his first time and he was excited to give blood, since so many people had given blood to help his mom the last 16 months of her life. He wasn't nervous, but didn't know how he would react, so he asked that I drive him to the church, in case he was too lightheaded to drive home. I stayed with him until it was his turn. He had decided to donate plasma (I think). They take your blood, remove what they need and then give you the leftovers. He was told it would take about an hour to complete this process. I went home and loaded the car with all the stuff we would need for the overnighter. I will have you all know, I am a severe overpacker. I just need to make sure I am prepared for any situation that may come up. For Flagstaff trips, though, I am an under packer. I took one change of clothes. Yep, that's it! I picked Darrell up and told him we needed food. We drove through the restaurant that rhymes with McRonald's.
Darrell's dad (Dennis) suggested that we drive an alternate route. I didn't know there was such a thing. We always take the hellacious I-17. He told us we could drive up through Payson and then cut across. It apparently only takes about 15 minutes longer. We decided to go that way and it was worth it! No semi's that think that since they can drive 37 MPH through the treacherous mountain passes and the truck in front of them is going 36.5 MPH they should pass. No more crazy people driving like fools. It was wonderful! I think this will be the way we drive in non-snowy months. Next time, we may even stop at some of the cute little shops in Payson, Pine and Strawberry.
We got up to Flagstaff and said our hellos. Dennis rode up on his new bike as we pulled up to the house. His new bike was Darrell's old bike we were going to give away. Last time Dennis was down, he spied it and asked if he could take it. We obliged. After all, we had just taken a bunch of stuff from his house. We are recycling, within the family. No one can say we aren't green. Just don't call us environmentalists!
Back in May, Darrell and Dennis went to the Last Chance dog shelter in Flag and chose a dog for Dennis. He already had a rez dog, named Hoshi that he adopted after Darrell's brother's family couldn't keep her. But Hoshi was feeling sad by herself all day since Darrell's mom had passed away. And Dennis loves dogs almost as much as he loves anything. In fact, there's almost nothing he loves as much as dogs. So, in May, he adopted Kid. Darrell had been anxious for me to meet Kid. Kid is a great dog, who would even be welcome in my house. (And she is much too big to be the acceptable size, but she is so mellow, it makes up for her size.).



Over the last 6 months when we have gone to Flagstaff we have helped Dennis sift through Lynda's (Darrell's mom) things and determine if they are special and saveable or not. Most have fallen into the "not" category. I was tasked this time to go through the some of the kitchen things Darrell's sister Marilyn had sorted last time she was up. I found 6 big boxes of all sorts of things. I sorted through them and saved some of the more exotic kitchen things she had and brought back 2 big boxes. Somehow after sorting, we still had 6 big boxes to donate to a garage sale Lynda's friend is having soon.
Dennis also wanted help in his search for a HDTV. We went to Best Buy and Sam's Club and ended up buying one at Dead Sam's. We ate yummy dinner at Bun Huggers--a local hamburger place that flame grills the burgers. We love that place!
The next day we went packed some of the china Lynda had left for me and headed back home. That is adventure number one.
Adventure number two would have to be last Sunday. There are 3 wards that meet in our building. While we were in Flagstaff, the stake presidency announced that there would be some re-aligning of the wards that meet in that building. So the following Sunday, there was a fireside to announce the changes. I really believe they should not have announced it so far in advance...it led to much speculation and it was difficult to go about callings, not knowing if what you were planning would even matter. So, I went to the meeting with my pal Lucinda. We got there early so we could get soft seats. I hate sitting on the hard chairs, plus if you end up in the cultural hall overflow, it is so echo-y you can't hear. Well, we live in what is now the Ray 1st ward. (For those not-in-the-know, we were in Ray 2nd Ward). I was the Enrichment Counselor in the Relief Society and we were having Enrichment meeting on Friday after the changes were announced. The presidency decided to have a hello-goodbye night, since what we were doing was so flexible.
SO, on Friday night we did just that. We had Midnight Madness--a non-slumber slumber party. We encouraged people to wear their PJ's, which most people did! We ate a nacho bar and goodies brought by the sisters in the ward. We played games and had karaoke, but mostly just talked. It was such a fun evening. It wasn't anything that we had planned, but it was a success. Sometimes we just don't have time to be with the sisters in the ward and talk. I was running like a chicken with a cut off head. The building was double-booked. The kitchen was being used by a family doing a wedding reception. We heated up most of the food in crockpots in the part of the cultural hall we used. My good friend Becky Haymore (Georganna's sister) took the meat to her house to cook and brought it back just perfect. Everyone either was flexible or pretended well. We just sort of flew by the seat of our pants. Thanks goes to so many of the sisters who helped me that evening. I'm not naming names, but if you are reading this and were there, consider yourself named. I got home just after midnight and it took about 2 hours to calm down enough to sleep. I had been suffering from insomnia all week, so I really was tired Saturday. I had 2 naps, even.
Today is Sunday--the first day in the new ward. It was good. The church is true in the Ray 1st Ward. Or at least it was today. There are lots of friends from the 2nd ward that were there. I even know a couple of people that have been there for awhile. (Thanks to book club!) (Ooh! I need to read the book!). Things will be okay. I miss my friends, but since they haven't moved to Jupiter, I should be able to see them. Movie night, girls' night, pedicure parties--we'll be okay!
Oh! And I can't forget Malena! My niece, who turned 3 the end of July! She is shy around adults and lives far, far away. I've done one video call with her in the past and she wasn't too excited. Last Sunday, while at the fireside, my cell phone rang. Yeah--in the middle of the fireside. It was Jennilyn, my sister. She left a voicemail, with Malena screaming, "Me talk!" Malena left a voicemail that she loves me and to call her. I called Jennilyn the next day and was told that Malena had asked to talk to Pop and Grandma (my parents). Jennilyn started the video chat, when Malena had a complete breakdown. "Not Pop! Not Grandma! I want Aunt Stephie!" She doesn't even really know who I am!! So Jennilyn tried to see if I was available. We decided to try on Monday evening, so I connected everything up to the new computer and started the chat. Okay, my microphone wasn't working. So, I called on the phone. Malena was not excited about this. Who is this crazy lady talking to her? Once she got to hold the phone, she was better. We chatted for a couple of minutes and then she sang songs. It was hilarious! Demanding to speak to Aunt Stephie, but not really knowing what she was in for.



So, I've been typing for about an hour and caught you up on most of my life. Check back sort of often. Leave comments. Say hi!

***Editor's Note: The dog above was purchased from Second Chance Dog Shelter, not Last Chance. Don't fret, they don't execute the ones that aren't chosen.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y! NIGHT!

If you sang along with the Bay City Rollers like I did, then you are alright.
I decided if I am going to have a blog, then we have to do exciting things. Blogging about last night's episode of re-run Law & Order, although a favorite show of mine, doesn't make for exciting reading. So for our first adventure, we went bowling. Nothing says Saturday Night Date Night like wearing shoes that perhaps hundreds of other people have worn, putting your fingers inside a sweaty ball made of urethane and hefting said ball down an alley hoping to knock over tall Weeble-Wobbles. So, of course it was romantic!



We had two choices of alleys an equal distance from our home. One in the ghetto (across the street from Targhetto) or a newer one that we tried last year. We waited for a lane for 3 hours and ended up going home last time. So this year we opted for the ghetto-bowl.
It has been YEARS since I last bowled (Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down had just been released), so I wasn't quite in my prime. Darrell had just bowled about 6 weeks ago for a work bowl-a-thon, so he definitely had an unfair advantage.
In our first game, Darrell was the undisputed winner. He scored a 128 to my 80. Game two was almost the same--Darrell 115, Stephanie 81. Game three was a little better at 138 to 109. We even were tied at one point. Actually, there was a point in game one that I was leading. I guess I shouldn't have gloated!
We finished in about 90 minutes and decided next time to take more people. We contemplated trying Xtreme Bowling next time, but since Darrell isn't quite as much of a night person that I am, that was nixed.
Darrell got 5 strikes to my 2; 7 spares to my 3; 11 gutters to my 12.
All in all, a good time was had by all.



Check back next week for further i-lund living adventures!

I just can't seem to get enough!

So I found a new background I like and I think I can live with this for awhile. I want a new header, so that will be my first project as a digital scrapbooker.

Clearly I lied!

I cannot for the life of me figure out how to change my blog layout so that it looks like I want it to. This is so beyond my comprehension. I see that it is similar to digital scrapbooking and I think I will just have to get one of my more talented friends to help me.

Welcome to the i-lund!

So I decided I should take another stab at blogging. I am trying to figure out computer code so that this blog looks cute, and I am having an awful time. I tried to have a left and a right side bar, but all I have is two right side bars with the same information in both. Nice! I will not stop until I get my blog to look the way I want it to. Wish me luck!