Thursday, July 31, 2008

Anna's imaginary friends

Anna has several imaginary friends. Some of them are real people that she pretends are here with her. Most often, this is her cousin Danielle, who lives in Colorado, whom she hasn't seen in well over a year. Sometimes, it's Santa (Uh, Santa IS real). She has some imaginary friends who are not real, and they include: Kaitley (I think she made this name up), Ashley, Alex, Sally and Allie. It's really quite cute and I love it.
Today, she has a friend that she's never played with before. This is a real person. It surprised me a bit when this morning she said, "Mommy, me and Jesus are wearing capes."
Since then, she has brushed her teeth with Jesus (He had the foresight to bring his own toothbrush), ridden her bike with Jesus (she helped him put on a helmet), and watched Blue's Clue's with Jesus.

I think I could use this to my advantage. "Honey, why did you kick your brother? You know Jesus doesn't like that. He might want to leave if you're not nice to everyone."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

oooowww!

I don't really know the difference between a bee and wasp, but I just stepped on one! It hurts! I was going outside after I'd put the kids to bed to read and enjoy some potato chips and the cool dusk air and my first step onto the deck was a very painful one. I knew I'd just stepped on a bee. I bounced back inside, fluttering in pain, dropping my book and managing to save the chips. I looked down and there was the guilty insect, walking around on my welcome mat, with a string of nasty yellow-ish ooze following it out of what used to be his stinger spot. I pulled the stinger out of my foot and researched home remedies to soothe the pain. Right now, I've got toothpaste on the bottom of my foot. It took the edge off, but it still hurts.

It'll take more than that to convince me to wear shoes when I go outside, though. :D

Explanation of the post below

I worked very hard to get the layout of those photos and words just right. And it was. Until I posted it. So, instead of going in to edit it when I should be job hunting, just go with it okay? Ignore words like "below" or "to the left" if they don't apply. Yeah.

I'd like to thank Michelle for inspiring this very important post

Boys I want to kiss:

Let's start with crushes of my youth. To the right we have Uncle Jesse. Have Mercy. Wow, right?

Below is my ultimate youth crush, Dean Cain. I actually had a framed pic of him in my room that my mom would take away when I stayed out past curfew. It was actually very effective. I was so jealous when he married that country singer. It's because of Dean Cain that my favorite number is 11 (he was #11 when he played for the Buffalo Bills)












Above is Mario Lopez, in case you didn't know. While all my friends were drooling over Zach Morris, I was fanning over AC Slater. Come on, dark, handsome, dimples?? Yeah.

And to the right we have Drew Fuller. Now, normally I don't go for pretty boys, but after watching Ultimate Gift, I found beauty in this pretty boy. If only for Drew, you should watch the movie.

Below, the timeless Brad Pitt. You can't go wrong Ah, Hugh Laurie, ladies. Sexiest MD in the
with Brad. world?






Taye Diggs! I discovered this impossibly attractive actor on the movie Brown Sugar. I know he's been in other things but I'd never met him before that movie (dumb movie, cute guy).





And last but not least, the winner, the taker of the cake, the sexiest man alive, I present Jeff:


Monday, July 28, 2008

Ducks

So then my new friend Lydia and I went to the park. She's a nanny for three kids. We went to feed the ducks. As soon as we got there, the ducks swarmed to us, knowing we had a treat for them. I'd never seen anything like it.


Beauty Queen

So yesterday my new friend Lydia's husband Tyler told me about a job opening. He works for the Standard Journal here and he said they're looking for front desk help. And suggested that I go in and drop off a resume. Heck yeah, front desk at a newspaper? Sounds totally fun. So this morning I do my pilates, take my shower, get breakfast for the kids and get dressed in my looking for work attire. Do my hair, my makeup, almost ready to go. One last thing, brush my teeth. I brush and spit, you know the routine, then I smile at myself in the mirror to see my gleaming teeth. What I saw instead is a hillbilly. My tooth was missing. I looked in desperation for it in the sink, near the sink, in my toothbrush, on the floor. Totally gone. I'd either swallowed it or spit it down the drain. Who will hire this?:


ya know? I'm all freaked out but I need a job so I still go to the Standard Journal and drop off my resume trying to speak as little as possible. I was promised a call tomorrow for an interview. Great. I have to get a tooth! Oh, by the way, I never actually had a tooth there, not a real one, not since I lost my baby one. I had a fake one attached to what is called a flipper, which is basically a retainer without the wire. So I take my tooth out every night and soak in a cup of water. Funny huh. Well anyway, every two years or so, the tooth breaks off and I get a new one. It sucks. It actually broke off two months ago and I used super glue to put it back on. But, today, I couldn't because I'd spit it down the drain. And my teeth are tiny, so there's basically no hope of retrieving it.

So after I went to the Standard Journal, I went to a dentist office. They were rude and said they don't fix stuff like that, and, in fact, there isn't a dentist in town who fixes them and I'll have to go to Idaho Falls. The thing is, I have an uncle who makes teeth and he's actually made one for me before and I knew I could ask him and send him the impression of my teeth that I still have and he'd be able to make me a new one, so I'd want to ask him if I had to wait. But I have hope for an interview tomorrow so I was hoping for something a little more immediate. Anyway, I didn't believe them and I checked out two other dentists in town and the third one plopped me in the chair and took an impression and promised me a tooth by tomorrow. It's gonna cost $70 but I'll glad to sit in the interview chair not looking like a hillbilly, you know?

Yet another crazy day in the life of an unemployed single mother.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Matthias

He flushed an entire roll of toilet paper. The toilet flooded. Of course I was taking a nap. I keep forgetting I'm not allowed to take naps. Matthias reminded me by running into the living room (where I was dreaming), crying, "But it's okay, Mommy!" This is what he says when I lightly scold him for small matters such as spilling his water or going outside with just his undies on. This time, however, there was a great deal of distress in his voice, and he followed the statement with a woeful wail, and I knew something was terribly wrong. I went to the bathroom and noticed the water was just spilling over the inside of the rim. I also noticed that all the toilet paper was gone. I'd just gotten a new roll out yesterday. There was tons of TP floating on the top of the precariously still water, and there seemed to be a trail of it from the top to the flush hole. I don't have a plunger. I got the toilet bowl cleaner and tried to scoop out the TP but it was quite clogged. I scooped some more, even using my hand (GROSS) and saw a clearing. So I decided I'd flush. First, though, I got three towels and spread them around the toilet, just in case. Good thing. Should have put out more towels. I flushed and flooded the entire bathroom, and a little of the laundry room. Matthias was still crying. I wouldn't have been thrilled if he was laughing.
I started to cry. I can't afford a plunger, let alone a plumber! I didn't know if a plunger would even cut it. Also, I would have to wash all these towels now and I'm almost out of laundry detergent, which I really can't afford. A throbbing pain began between my eyes. I was so frustrated. I told Matthias he was in big trouble and because he broke the toilet, we wouldn't be going to Spray Park today, which he'd been looking forward to all day. I packed the kids in the car and drove to Ace to spend $8 on a blasted plunger and came back home to try to fix the toilet. The water was low, very low. Almost like it had resolved its own problems. I knew better than to flush so I plunged and plunged and the pipe sounded clear from the start. So I flushed. Perfect.
Now I'm frustrated that I spent $8 on a blasted plunger when it appears to have been entirely unnecessary.

woops

That last video wasn't the one I thought it was. Here's the one I thought it was: Sorry!
video

Yeah, and in other news, Anna and Matthias have recently discovered Veggie Tales. Matthias calls it "Weggie Tales" which stars "Larry the Cute Cumber." Funny, right?

Another Vid!

Matt makes some seriously funny faces in this video. Oh, and before we proceed, I'd like to complain. You'll notice a slide nazi. This girl thought she was the boss of the slide and got to tell all the kids when to go. I guess it's really okay since no child seemed to have a problem with it. I just thought it was annoying. Who is she to tell my kids what to do! Plus, the video would have been much cuter without her. Also, I'd like to complain about the parents who think they can place their itty bitty children on the slide whenever the beans they want to. I totally understand not wanting to go up on the platform with the small children who don't want to get sprayed. I've done the same with Matthias, in fact, before he was brave enough to climb up to the slide himself. But you know what I did? I waited until there was a break in the line so he wouldn't be taking anyone's turn! What, just because your kid is 2 means s/he doesn't have to abide by standard playground take-turns rules? I just think it's rude. I try to be fair, but what good does it do if everyone else in the world doesn't care about fairness?
hehe.
So my next soapbox speech is about little girls in itty bitty bikinis. This never used to bother me. I even still think they're cute on babies and very young girls. I wanted to get Anna the cutest little two-piece when she was two years old. TWO. Randy discouraged it. Um, I'm not stupid. If my daughter's father, a man, says my daughter shouldn't be wearing something, I'm going to listen! You know? Anyway, now that I'm a parent, when I see these barely pre- and post-pubescent girls running around in teeny two-pieces, all I can think of is predators! It seems to me if you don't want your daughter to be the object of some sick man's fantasy, don't dress her like an advertisement! I'm probably being way too harsh but it does seem like an invitation to perverted men. True, we shouldn't HAVE to worry about stuff like that happening, but it does happen, and it doesn't seem like letting 11 to 16 (ish) year old girls expose most of their bodies in public is a good way to guard against it. You know? I mean, for the sake of the child, get her covered... We all know how men and boys think and it's not fair to them or to the girls to so expose our daughters. Am I right? All I know is I'm not going to encourage the curiosity of boys or the perversion of men by allowing my daughter to wear almost nothing in public.

Stepping down. Please enjoy!

video

Spray Park Video!

This is my first time posting a video. Enjoy!
video

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Yellow Slide at Spray Park

So I'm hangin out watchin the goings on and then I look up to see Anna in line at the Yellow Slide! I rush over to capture this amazing bravery on camera. Neither of my children has ever before dared to go on the Yellow Slide due to its twists and tube. Talk about scary. There she is sandwiched between two bigger boys:
Weee!

Wow, I did it!
This is Anna telling me all about how she went down the Yellow Slide. I love it:
And here's a general view of the entire park when the bucket is being emptied:
They love Spray Park, and so do I.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Trying

Since I have all this free time, I'm trying to organize my life. It's really hard because I'm really lazy. I'm trying to become a neat and tidy person. The problem is, one or two items of trash or whatever on the floor simply doesn't bother me. Some people, they hate to see it. Not me. I'm totally comfortable with it. And so by the time it does bother me, it's too messy and I don't want to clean it. Well, I'm a much much much better housekeeper than I was 18 months ago. Much. So, celebrate the improvements, right? But I've a long way to go. But I'm trying. I've made some goals recently. I want to be an early riser. On the very few occasions that I've managed to get out of bed before 7, I really loved being up that early. I was more productive and chipper even. There's something about the morning hours that's inspiring and motivating, and I have a genuine desire to be a part of that every morning.

Until the morning comes. Then I have a genuine desire to never get out of bed.

Ugh.

Well, last week I did pretty well. I goaled to get up and read some scripture each morning at 6:30. I'm pretty good about goals. All last week, I did exactly that: woke up at 6:30 and forced my lids-of-steel open to read a chapter in the Bible. Then guess what I did? Went back to bed! LAZY! That wasn't what I had in mind when I made the goal, but at least I didn't fail. Maybe soon I'll dare to goal (I don't know if it's a verb technically) to get out of bed and stay up. That will be so hard. So hard! I could just get so much done if I could follow through, though.
Also part of my trying-ness is I've started an exercise regime. Okay, not quite so strict. I've had this Winsor Pilates DVD and mat for like 2 years. When I first got it, I did it every other day for about a week. It was so hard! It wiped me out, and it's only a 20 minute program. I hated it. Well, I busted it out yesterday. I've lost about 50 lbs since the last time I tried it and yesterday I kept waiting for it to get really hard but it was over in no time and I was like, "that's it?" Sweet, I can do this! Today my abs are sore, so that's a good sign, right? Well, I decided I would do this 20 minute workout every day. So today I put in the DVD but I couldn't find the DVD remote. The menu on this particular disc is set up in such a way that you actually need the remote to get to the workout. Retarded. I looked everwhere. It was a noble effort. Couldn't find it so I put the mat away. Oh well I found the remote a while ago so tomorrow I'll be hittin the mat again. Anna and Matthias did it with me yesterday, it was SO CUTE. They didn't last the full 20 minutes of course. Anna got a towel and Matthias dragged his car roads mat thing from the bedroom and they stuck their legs up in the air just like mommy. Hilarious, that's what it was.

I dropped off several resumes today and applied online for some other places as well. This is getting ridiculous! I would hire me in an instant!

Today I wanted pizza. Last time I got pizza from Pizza Hut, I ordered their pizza mia thing, where you get three pizzas for $15. It'd been for delivery. First of all, it took like one hour to get here. Secondly, they'd only gotten one out of three pizzas correct. I called and they said they'd give me a $20 credit rather than fixing my order. Okay. So today I thought I'd get me some free pizza. I ordered the same thing I did last time, but for carryout. I went in and they charged me and I reminded them I had a credit. They said no, I did not. I explained the story and she looked at me like, Okay, Whatever, and did something on her register. Then she said, "the credit won't take this time. You'll have it next time you come order." So I had to pay today! I was so disappointed because I have, like, no money.

So right now my computer is doing this creepy thing where the CD Rom thing (whatever it is you put CDs into) is opening and closing spontaneously and repeatedly. Over and over and over again. So I think I'm going to shut off my computer now.

Discouraged

I'm a little bit discouraged. Many of you know that I moved to Rexburg in response to a feeling that God wants me here. I was given a blessing in which I was promised I would find answers in the scriptures, which answers I found, which filled me with the assurance that I would be taken care of. The thing is, I don't have a job yet. I'm running out of money. I have just over what I'd have earned in two weeks at my old job. Two weeks. That's pretty scary to me.

I admit, the thought has entered my mind, I could go back to Nampa, get my old job back (Tami would rehire me in the very instant I asked), live my old life. My old life that was taking me nowhere! But what have I here? Nothing. No family. No job.

The kids love it here. I love it here. I feel like this is where I'm supposed to be, and I still have faith that I will get a job before I become completely desperate. I've been looking everywhere, applying everywhere, leaving resumes all over town. I have had four interviews. It's unusual for me to have so many interviews and no job. It's very, very frustrating and discouraging.

BUT. In the blessing, I was told I would have trials and that I would rejoice in those trials. I think this is one that I'm supposed to rejoice in! And, I tell you what, in a way I really am. I'm rejoicing that I get to be with my children most of the day every day. I rejoice that I actually have the resources to sustain me during this time without work! These many weeks have been awesome, not having to work! Also, when I really think about it, I'm not actually worried because I know that if my life is in God's hands, everything will be okay. If I get to the point that I have one dollar in my checking account and no job, God will provide, as long as I do everything I can do. And in that, I do rejoice. I wonder what He has in store for me. I'm excited about His plan, whatever it may be!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shadow Fun at the Lake

Me. Hi!
Matt and me:
Anna and me:

Last Week, Summer Fun

Sometime last week we went to Spray Park with some friends:
Oh, Mommy, I'm so cold:
I have some things to learn about photography. This is Anna's friend Kali. She lives in our complex. Actually, her grandma lives in our complex. Kali is visiting for the summer and is leaving next week back to Oklahoma. Anna will be heartbroken. So will I; I adore this little girl:
Two other ladies in my ward went that day. One of them is a nanny to this little sweetheart named Shelby. I love how Anna makes friends instantly (they'd only met just minutes before this was taken):


Last weekend we went back to Rigby Lake. My neighbor Lynette tagged along, with her adorable daughter Elora.

Hey, Ma, there's sand on my apple:
This pretty cool log was just hangin by the sand. So I had my pretty daughter sit upon it.Playin with the sand toys:
I'm floating!
Isn't that the cutest little swimsuit? Got it half off at Kmart. We left her good one in Nampa four weeks ago.
Lynette and Elora. She was falling asleep:Anna and Elora:
Family:

Here's what happens when you don't get sunscreen on your back. It still hurts and it's been four days:

Anna and her family

My little girl has a powerful imagination. She was playing in the bath with all her ponies and asked me if I'd document it with photos. She called them her family. Here's my daughter and her family:

Potty Training! Success!

Well it's been five days straight, and no diapers or pullups! Hooray, Matthias! At least he did it before 3 1/2. Last week I told him I couldn't afford to buy any more pullups or diapers so once we ran out of our current supply, that was it. So he finally agreed to consistently wear big boy underwear. He has lots of choices; spiderman, batman, Lightning McQueen, and baseball. But these stripey ones are his favorite. Mine too:He's doing the undy dance.
Pooping for the second consecutive time!

Goodbye diapers. Four and a half years of diapers, and I'm finally finished! (for now)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Church

Every week, I go to church. When I have the kids, they come with me, obviously. For the most part, they do okay. It's not easy being a single mom at church, though. Not only is keeping track of kids who don't much enjoy sitting still a challenge (for any mom, single or otherwise), but it's like a constant reminder to the masses that I am divorced. Divorce is kinda an awkward badge to wear in the LDS community. I feel like either people feel sorry for me or they make judgments about my failed marriage. I don't want either. It's really not so bad, but it is something I sometimes worry about.
ANYWAY. This morning was awful. First of all, the kids and I ALL slept until 9:30! I could scarcely believe it when I saw the clock. Church starts at 10:30. Usually the kids wake up at around 7:30 or 8 and so do I so I can't imagine what inspired this household over-sleep. So I had an hour to get me and the kids ready for church. Plus, Anna had a talk in primary today. Plus, I was substituting Anna's primary class today. Anna and I went over her talk like twice the night before. I'd planned on taking most this morning to have her really learn it, but that became an impossibility when we slept so late. I forfeited a shower. Gross, I know, but it was still early enough that it didn't really show. Hehe. About ten minutes before we were finally ready (about 10:45), the kids went all crazy berserk and were screaming about who knows what and fighting and crying and whining and stressing me out. I got the screaming kids in the car and drove to church. We were only a half hour late. Unbelievable. Well the church is around the corner, so the kids hadn't had time to really calm down. Actually I think the issues escalated. They were still screaming and whining there in the church parking lot and I turned off the car and just sat there and waited. Then they started screaming that the wanted out the car. I told them I would not take them into the church until they were ready. They screamed. I was seriously stressed out.
Finally we made it inside the building and since we were so late I didn't even bother attempting to find a pew in the chapel. We just sat in the foyer. Anna finally settled down. Matthias thought it would be a grand idea to run around and make noises and when I tried to stop him, he loudly protested. I took him to a different room and managed to get him calm. The rest of Sacrament Meeting was.... okay. The kids were okay. But I could still feel the anxiety ball between my eyes.
Then, finally, the closing prayer was given and I deposited Matthias into the nursery, glad to have him off my hands for the next two hours. I love him very, very much.
Then I took Anna to her class and I went in, too, for I was the teacher today. The lesson went pretty well considering my lack of preparation (not TOTAL lack, just less than I'd wanted it to be). There were three four year old girls and two five year old boys. Really great kids, the lot. I really enjoyed teaching them (we learned about why saying Thank you is so important, and went over the story of the Ten Lepers from the Book of Luke).
Then was Sharing/Singing time (for my non-LDS readers, that's where all the kids ages 3 to 11 get together and learn Gospel songs and have an involved lesson. Actually that's not true. Most wards around here split it up, one group is kids 3-8 and the other is 8-12 but our ward's primary is tiny). Anna had the talk, as I said earlier, which they did during closing exercises. So when her turn came, I was really worried that she would freeze like she did last time. I went up to help her. She held up the pictures that she had colored (all except one, which she asked me to color) and repeated the words I whispered in her ear. She did great! She was so cute.

She finished and we sat back down for the song and prayer. When we were dismissed, a member of the Primary Presidency approached me and asked if I would save all the parts of Anna's talk so she could deliver it in the Primary Program! My daughter is going to be famous! Oh, again, for you unbelievers... er, I mean, wonderful people who aren't LDS... the Primary Program is when the whole primary (kids ages 3 to 11) is in charge of Sacrament Meeting. It happens once yearly. They get to sing all the songs they've been learning all year and some of them give talks or just little blurbs that are Gospel-related, and it takes the entire Sacrament Meeting block. It's really quite wonderful. I look forward to it every year.

Anyway, this sister told me it was a really cute talk, and Anna was so cute when she was giving it, and they've been looking for some talks that they want to include in the program. And Anna was chosen. I'm excited about that. I just hope the Program isn't on a Sunday when Randy is scheduled to have the kids. That would be so sad!

So church didn't start out so great, but it ended up not too shabby. I do love church.

And Matthias is becoming a peeing pro. Took him to church today in underoos, for the first time! No pullup today! And I picked him up from Nursery dry (and he was grinning and was so happy to see me and asked me if I was happy. I love him very, very much).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Best News I've had all Month!

My dear friend Kim is tired of Nampa (tired of her CRAZY family -- she's the only one who turned out okay, which is remarkable considering her childhood) and is thinking of moving here, to Rexburg, or near it! That would be SO COOL! I'm going to pray her here, man. She is one of the awesomest people I know, and so his her son, Kadin. I love, love, love Kadin! Kadin is my kids' older brother, and he's actually in our family pictures. It would be so great for me to have them so near, and so great for the kids to be near Kadin. So I hope she does! I told her if she can handle the Mormons, it's a great place to live.

Plus, then all of Randy's kids would be in the same place and she and I could either carpool on Randy's weekends or we could alternate. It would be GREAT. It would be so awesome to have a close friend nearby!

We would rock this town togetha.

Final Camping Photos

Pretty baby sister Melanie:Anna and Morgan:
These are the sheep which kept us company, and awake sometimes:
Casey and Jaybo being brothers:
I thought these flowers were pretty. Matt and I saw them on our walk:I found it:
Where's the magic carpet?
Oh there it is. No longer the magic carpet stance though:
Just some wonderful family, Anna, Emmy and Christine. Aaron trying to figure out the magic carpet:
Ever the family fanatic....er, I mean....political sage (I love you Chris, my first brother!)

Interview Thank You Letter

So, it's customary to write a thank you letter following an interview. The point is to show your continued interest and it also gives you on opportunity to remind the prospective employer of your skills. Every time I have to write something official-ish, I get all anxiety-filled and it takes me FOREVER. This letter took me like 45 mins to write, but I'm so impressed with the finished product that I'm posting it. If you ever need a thank you letter, feel free to use mine as an example!:

75 N 5th W APT 2
Rexburg, Idaho 83340
208.936.8497

Penay
Valley Wide Cooperative
P.O. Box 365
Rupert, Idaho 83350
July 10, 2008



Dear Penay:

Firstly, I apologize for not knowing your last name. I tried to learn your last name by calling the company phone number and listening to the list of extensions, but even that revealed only your first name. I have also likely misspelled your first name, and for that I likewise apologize.

I want to thank you for taking the time to interview me yesterday for the position of accounting clerk for Valley Wide Cooperative. You and Christy both exuded warmth, and I know we could all have an excellent working relationship (including both Daves).

As I further studied the job description for the position, I grew even more confident that I could give to the Company exactly what it seeks, including dependability, security and integrity. I realize that my lack of experience in accounting itself may appear discouraging, but with my ability to quickly adapt to new situations coupled with my desire and determination to learn, I know this is a stumbling block I could expediently conquer.

As I mentioned when we met, I would like to use my successful office experience in the capacity of accounting clerk to enrich the relationships that Valley Wide shares with so many people and groups, as well as fulfill my own occupational goals. From what I've learned of Valley Wide and the accounting clerk job, I'm positive I would be proud to be part of such a team while performing duties I would be confident in performing exceptionally well.

I am convinced I would fit in snugly with the already-established professionalism and productivity that Valley Wide clearly exhibits, while adding to it a fresh, creative perspective and a new and genuine smile.

Penay, I thank you again for considering me for this position. I eagerly look forward to the possibility of working with you.

Sincerely,



Stephanie J Montano

That's me. Stephanie. Dude I hope I get that job.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Just stuff

So I had one interview today. I don't have a clue what happened to the other one. It was the one for the jewelry store. I even called this morning to make sure it was still a go and I was told yes and that I would get a call as to what time later today. Never got that call.
Oh well. The other one was for an accounting clerk at a co-op. Accounting. I don't even know why I tried, considering I have no experience in accounting. Well, the interview was exciting because it seems like a fabulous place to work and I REALLY want that job! So everyone send good thoughts about it!

Also, this really hot hot hot guy talked to me. Even when you're 27, receiving attention from hot men is exciting. :D He's from Meridian! I mean, he lives there. He's been hangin around my apartment yesterday and today because he was asked to do the weeding and trimming and yard work for the complex. So he's going back tomorrow. And I'll never see him again, which is sad because not only is he hot, and not only did he initiate a conversation with me, but he's in school to be a doctor. A SURGEON! $$$

Okay, anyway. Hehe. Speaking of dudes, there's another one who I think digs me. Lives here in my complex. Seems nice. Appears to be LDS (wears a BYU-I shirt a lot). He asked me and my kids to a picnic with him and his friends but I said no because one of his friends is my next door neighbor and I think this neighbor already thinks I like him and I don't so I didn't want to give him any more reason to believe that I do. I actually thought he was asking me because my next door neighbor wanted him to. So anyway, I said no. Shortly after they left, the same neighbor I think likes me came over to borrow salt. He didn't even go! So now I think he asked me because he digs me. :)
Or he's just being friendly?

Men. Why can't I just get married already? haha.

Bye now.

Interviews!

Well, finally my efforts are paying off. I've had several interviews already and I have two today. The two I have today I think are the two I most want. One's for a jewelry store, and it's my second interview. One is for the administrative end of a Co-op. The latter is in Rexburg. The other is in Idaho Falls but I think it would pay the most. So, assuming I'm offered both positions, I think I'd take the co-op, just because it's closer.
I called my Relief Society president and asked if she knew of anyone I could call to ask to babysit while I'm interviewing. She said she thought her daughter would and she would ask and call back. It was about 30 mins before she called back. Her daughter couldn't do it, so she made several calls until she found someone for me! I thought that was great. She totally went the extra mile, just for me!
Well.... I'm off to my first interview!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fourth of July -- the trip home (longest blog ever)

So on the way home I decided to stop in Blackfoot for two reasons: 1. to take the kids swimming at the reservoir I always pass on the freeway, and 2. to see my grandparent's old home. These are my paternal grandparents of whom I speak. They've both passed on. Indulge me for a moment as I explain the old homestead which I went to see. My family and I would visit my grandparents in this home from the year of my birth (1981) to the time they moved in with my aunt in SL due to illness (both were afflicted with dementia) in, I'm guessing, about 1997. Yearly, my family would make several trips to this home to visit. It was a magic home, on magic land. In my memory, it seems much more like fantasy than reality. I mean, it seems real, but... it was so . . . perfect, that it can't be real. It WAS magic! It was a kingdom, a small one certainly, but a kingdom nonetheless. The house was a great palace. A small creek ran through it, and this creek (ditch) separated the palace grounds from the great, mysterious beyond. My grandparents, of course, were the king and the queen. They were magic, too. The palace was huge and white. It glowed and sparkled in the sunlight -- I'm not kidding about that, either, it really sparkled. The yard smelled like home. It was a wonderful scent, created from the Idaho country setting, Grandma's amazing lilacs, the irrigated grass, the open sky. Even in the winter, it smelled this way. We'd step out of the car after the trip and the first magic that happened came from that scent... I suppose I can only speak for myself. It was that redolence that put a smile in my heart by wrapping me in its welcoming, accepting arms. I belonged there. I was a part of something there.
No one was ever happier to see me than Grandma and Grandpa Martin. I miss them. I was never particularly close to them, as some are to their grandparents, but they did make me feel like one of a kind and special. I just knew that no matter what I did, they would love me. That's why they were magic. That, and... they seemed perfect to me from my childhood point of view. They were one, and they were perfect.
ANYWAY. We'd like to welcome Stephanie back into our realm.
It WAS a magic place and the visit proved it. After that visit, I can never be convinced that Grandma and Grandpa's kingdom wasn't magic.
One more little escape: There was a time when I, as a child, could stand at the back door of that house and I could scarcely see to the ditch, so vast was the distance between. It would take so long to run from the door to the ditch, not to mention to the mysterious great beyond, because there was so much green comfy magic grass to cover.
Okay, so, I called Dad to remind me how to get there. I almost didn't need him. I was looking for the house (I knew it was to the right) and then I saw a house that looked like their next door neighbor's house. I was passing it. Wait, what? I looked back and I had totally passed the magical palace. Know why? It's not a palace anymore! First of all, and most shocking, the house isn't white. This is so far beyond my powers of comprehension. It makes NO sense to me. It's now some nondescript darkish color. (Tangent beginning): You know, I'm not so much a sentimental person. I don't place much value on objects or places. I have no problem getting rid of things. The home I spent most of my childhood living in, in Bennion, UT... I could take it or leave it. If I was in the very near area, I might stop by and show my kids where I used to live. But I KNOW it wouldn't cause in me a reaction like the one I experienced in visiting my grandparents' old home. I don't know why, why it means so much to me.... but it does. Must be the magic. That Bennion home wasn't magic. Also, I only have one object that I value sentimentally. Incidentally, my grandmother made it. It's my stuffed Care Bear (Love A Lot Bear) and I will never ever get rid of that because it means too much to me. It means more to me than my piano does. Again, I wans't particularly close to my grandparents so I don't understand the value I've put on it. Again, must be the magic. (close tangent)
So, I turned around and entered the driveway. Gave my kids a short history. Stared a while at the nonsense color of the house. Marveled at its tiny size. Marveled that I could see the ditch from where I was parked, and it was not a far distance. That backyard was small. SMALL. Much smaller than my growth justifies. WELL. Here's the house:
I'm telling you, that used to be a palace. WELL. I gave up trying to understand the color and got out the car. Guess what? There was that smell! Some magic remains! I felt like I belonged and like I was home, just to breathe the air. Hooray! I knocked on the door to ask if I could take some pics. No one answered, but it seemed like there was someone home, so I stole two pictures quickly, so as not to get caught, and left. Here's the old garage:
I remember the Buick being parked there, and the really old bikes that I liked to ride, especially the green one with the big seat. The back yard was a mess (the driveway goes past the house so you see the backyard from it). There was magic lost there. But, again, some magic does remain. It's in the very foundation of the home. And the magic recognized me. I'd like to live there one day.
Moving along. I drove around looking for the blasted reservoir. I knew it was right near the freeway and I wasn't far. Couldn't find it. So I planned to get back on the freeway and get off on the next Blackfoot exit. Well, the second I entered the freeway, I saw the reservoir. Curses. Also, there was no next exit. Oh well, I knew there was a lake closer to my home.
We stopped at a rest stop that has a ton of trails through lava rock. I really wanted to check it out. The idea terrified the kids. WHAT? No matter how many times I tried to convince them that lava rock is not lava, nor is it dangerous, nor is there a volcano anywhere around.... they could not be calmed. I forced a picture anyway:
I'm not strangling Matty. I'm trying to guide his face toward the camera because he was burying it in my neck, so concerned was he. Here's what they were so afraid of:
Oh, my children. So we left. My kids were so filthy from camping that I really wanted to let them swim somewhere so I could spare myself the cleaning-the-tub chore that would inevitably follow their after-camp bath. So I took them to Jefferson County Lake, which I think is way cooler than that reservoir in Blackfoot would have been. I had to pay $2 though, but the kids had SO MUCH FUN. Here's Matt, testin the waters:
Anna, doing the same:They quickly got used to it and then they could not stop smiling. I have never seen Matthias so filled with ecstasy. It was like he literally could not stop laughing. It was the cutest thing I ever saw. Wow, he loves the water! They had so so so much fun that I'm taking them back this weekend. This pic would be so cute were it not so blurry: So happy are they:A view of the beach area. The sand was so lovely and warm:
TThe fun really began after I put my camera down and got in with them. We all three had a great time. The water wasn't too cold. We swam and played and splashed and rinsed off two days worth of dirt.


And, Finally, I end with this beautiful creation. I made this myself, by accident. I was just munchin on a tostada and I was about to take another bite when I realized it resembled remarkably the USA. So, without editing the work at all, I snapped the photo. So, in honor of the birthday of this great nation, I present USA: The Tostada:
I'm proud to be an American, where I can eat Mexican food without fear of punishment, and where I can turn a symbol of Mexican culture into a model of the greatest nation that ever was!