Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Am I crafty or what?!

A few weeks ago in Relief Society we had an activity to make some hooded towels. I wasn't going to do it because Kian is the only kid who would still like it and he has one my BFF Kim made him when he was born. Then I remembered how I tend to be a hermit crab and not get out and DO things so I decided to go at the last minute.
It was so fun and the towel turned out so good that I decided to make another one for Brita's niece Arielle. This time it is a girl monster! Although Kian really does not want it to be a monster so his is a dinosaur :-)

I thought my craft gene was buried somewhere in with all of the Spongebob's and Ni-hao Kailan's I have been watching with my pre-schooler!

But I think it turned out quite cute and I actually had a great time being social...

Show and Tell

Kian has a new activity at school...Show and Tell. Tomorrow the Show and Tell Letter is C. I reminded Kian that he has to find something that starts with C to bring to school. His first one was CAT of course, but that's not practical :-)
So at dinner I was asking him again and he said "Castle starts with C".
I said "You're right, Castle does start with C".
"Can I bring my castle? I have one!"
Now I know that Kian can be very talkative and social, but in front of a group he's kind of shy and won't say much. So I wanted to "rehearse" him and I said "OK, so what are you going to share about your castle?"
Without a beat he replies,
"This is my castle, The End!"

Any other questions?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

At a loss

After watching 20/20 last night, I became curious. What is the cheapest house in Detroit? I was astonished! I found PAGES of houses for $50. Now granted, these are burned out boarded up and currently unlivable, but I never would have thought there would be so many. Where did all of these people go?
Then I wondered, what is the least expensive livable home? I found some that weren't burned out but were still boarded up at $2000. The boarding up means they are empty and it's the bank's way to keep out undesirables (a word the bank might have once used for the previous home-owners who lost their factory jobs and couldn't keep their homes) now it means vandals.
So I then see a picture of a home with green grass, large trees, no boards. A bank-owned, very cute, $2200 home.

Look closely and you will see what I saw. There is man sitting on his front porch. The front porch of his home. The home that the bank has taken away from him and is now selling for $2200. This home has been cared for. This home is not yet abandoned. This home has an occupant. How heart-broken is this man that he is in such dire straits that he cannot pay $2200 to keep his house? I couldn't help it. I cried. I cried for my own lost house, my lost American dream. I cried because if I had the resources I would buy this man his home and give it back to him. These were once great, lively, friendly neighborhoods. There were families and dogs and cookouts. There was bike riding and sledding and homework at the kitchen table.
Where have these people been forced to go? How long will this last? Will we ever get back that dream? I feel as if a whole city is dying. And yet, we cannot bail out the auto industry with the same gusto and abandon that we bailed out the financial industry? I bet those 450 financial employees who got their million dollar bonus' are not sitting on their porches in the sunshine wondering what will happen to their home. We should be ashamed.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Calah!!

Today is Calah's 19th birthday...it doesn't seem possible since I have vivid memories of MY 19th birthday :-)
Everyone knows what a great girl Calah is. She is funny, fairly patient, very compassionate and knows herself very well. She has an amazing self-confidence. I thought I'd post some pictures of Calah through the years and add stories along the way.This is Calah and a friend with Scout as a kitten. I got Scout for my birthday from my Mom and Calah LOVED that cat. If you asked Calah at that time "What's the rule?" She would respond with authority,
"Put him down!!" Yep, she heard that a lot!

Calah's third birthday in Oakdale California 1993. She loved Mickey Mouse! We went to Chuck E. cheese for her birthday that night and the next day she broke out with the first of her chicken pox (thanks Miguels! :-) So we are pretty sure we infected half the city of Modesto by that trip to Chuck E. Cheese!

Most of Calah's early years are memoires of times with the Miguels of Oakdale Califonia. They are dear friends to us and we did SO many things together (including chicken pox!) This is Calah with Adam Miguel in his backyard, spring 1994

For Calah's 4th birthday we went to Utah and she had a party with her cousins in Grandma's unfinished basement. It was a Barney party. This is Calah and cousin Kelcey Mecham.

Calah and Mackenzie. She looks cute, but she's probably thinking "Get this thing away from me!" 1995
This was about the time Calah got her black eye. She never walked anywhere. She always skipped, hopped, danced or ran in the house. One morning she was running to get some paper from the printer and as she hurried to grab it, she smacked her eye on the corner of the desk, She had quite the shiner, but she went to school anyway...probably to show off!

Moving to Utah in the summer of 1994 gave Calah an opportunity to get to know her cousins. This is Calah and Meagan Pruden at Vanessa's baptism lunch. It looks like they are enjoying what is to this day one of Calah's favorite meals...Fetticini Alfredo. And I do mean enjoying!!

Calah was baptized in March 1998 in Provo, Utah. Doug's siter-in-law, Lora made her dress for her. She LOVED it, but I think it was the last time she wore anything frilly.
Moving to Indiana the summer or 2000 was a big adventure for us and Calah sure made friends quickly. Here is her friends Amy Anderson and Tara Denkers at her 11th birthday party.

Even though Sarah Spotts was younger they just got along. They seemd to be kindred spirits on some level. Calah and Mackenzie stayed with the Spotts when Doug and I went to Utah one spring 2002 and Calah loved it! That's when Calah was being home-schooled. So she did her school work in a couple of hours and then was free to play with the "little" girls until Sarah got home.

Calah will probably hate this picture but I love that she wore a David Bowie shirt for her junior picture and I love her hair and she still has that Calah smile!
Now she is in her last year as a teenager...graduated on on the road to who knows where. But she will be loved wherever she goes and she is always a good friend and wonderful daughter.
I love you Calah!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dr. Suess Week

This week at Little Explorer's Preschool was Dr. Seuss week. Kian took his favorite Dr. Seuss book, Fox in Socks, they ate Green Eggs and Ham and today they dressed like their favorite book character. Their character didn't have to be from a Dr. Seuss book and Kian chose Arthur.

I think he looks great!!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today, my Dad would be 70 years old. Wow, that is hard to imagine since he passed away a little over 17 years ago.
My Dad was a great man. Not just a good man, a great man at least to me. He would do anything to make my Mom happy. He was involved with me in drill team and my brothers in Indian Guides and hockey . Even though he was often on the road as a salesman, he tried his best to be involved. That's how I remember anyway.

My parents were not active in the church while I was growing up, but in Lansing we had an amazing home teacher who showed up (all the time it seemed to my Dad) and we began slowly to go back to church when I was a junior in high school. Then my Dad lost his job and we had help from the church and we had a wonderful Bishop Lindy Robinson who helped my Dad get a job as a custodian of our church building. Back when that position was full-time. He was in the building, all alone all day. He began to read the Book of Mormon for the first time and that was it. My Dad's testimony never waivered from that point on.

In March 1980 my parents traveled on a bus on a ward temple trip to the Washington, D.C. temple which was the temple for us in Michigan and were sealed there. That's my Mom on the right. On the left is Marie Anderson one of their good friends from the ward.
At one point I might have said my Dad was a little bit of a bigot. It was the 70's and I know he loved some racial jokes with all of his buddies. But when Spencer W. Kimball revealed that ALL worthy men could hold the priesthood, that was it for my Dad. We were all equal in his eyes.

My Dad loved Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jim Croce and Porter Rockwell. He used to call me "Stinkweed" and when we were annoying he'd say "How would you like a knuckle sandwich?!" He liked to cook. I think his best meals were breakfast for dinner and he loved to go camping. Or maybe my Mom loved it and he loved my Mom. He did love our boat while we had one and he taught us how to water-ski. When I was born he decided he needed to take more care with his health and he quit smoking, just like that. Cold turkey as they say.
After he had a back injury that prevented him from working full-time he played Santa at the mall for several years. That's him with Vanessa on the left and my niece Maddie on the right.

My Dad was funny and he loved football. In fact during those years that we weren't going to church we worshiped at the 50 yard line every Sunday. Especially the San Fransisco 49ers. I think he would have loved to play football, but his Dad died when he was 12 and at 14 he dropped out of school so he could work to help my grandma with the household.
My Dad always won when we played Trivial Pursuit. He knew So much about so many different things. To this day I wonder how he knew so much with a GED and no college.
In September 1989, my Dad had a stroke. He was at his sister's in a mountain home near Shasta, California and it took about 45 minutes from the time of the stroke until the paramedics arrived. He was the same funny guy, but he couldn't express it anymore. I know it had to be very frustrating for him.

This is my Dad in Hawaii (my Mom's sister lives there). My Dad loved Hawaii. And in this picture he looks great.

I miss my Dad. I miss how he laughed and how he loved. He wasn't all that demonstrative, but you knew. My Dad would do anything he could for you. I wish my son could have known my Dad. I wish my Dad could have known Kian. I think they would have been proud of each other.
Thank you Dad for your wonderful example of how to be a genuine person. How to be stable in unsturdy times. You never let 'em see you sweat and you always knew that things would work out somehow. Your testimony was my testimony and you helped me figure out how to grow my own.
I love you, Dad!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Bachelor

For my feelings on The Bachelor finale please see Vanessa's post on her blog. She has said it perfectly. I am SO angry I cannot even post a picture of "what's-his-name".
Believe it or not this was our family TV for Monday nights and now it may be ruined for all time!!
So Rude!@

Monday, March 2, 2009

Peace or denial?

So, as of Friday the 27th...no job.
It's 3 days later and I don't know if I feel peace or numb. Is that bad? It came as kind of a surprise. He barely had found out that he now had a monthly quota, not just yearly. Yeah, in the middle of the month. Add to that there is a girl who has been there 9 or 10 months that has no revenue (Doug had been there 7 months). Add to that a peculiar comment made by the afore-mentioned new VP in the Monday sales meeting. It went something like this:

Guy: Well, Doug has made contact with the Mormon church about printer services.
Doug: Well, remember I told you that they had just signed a new 3 year agreement with Hewlitt-Packer and were not making any changes right now?
New VP: The Mormon Church?! They haven't made any changes since the 1800's!!

Yeah, kind of interesting. So was the firing simply based on performance or was it personal. We don't know, but maybe it is the kick in the butt that Doug has needed to make some changes that he has been too afraid to make. He wants to teach. I'm a little afraid of how that will affect our family financially. Not a lot of money in teaching unfortunately, but if he could actually find a way he would be happier and I believe in the end we all would be.
I asked him today to make some phone calls while I cleaned the kitchen and family room and he got a little testy...Yikes, we need a job SOON!!
I'm not afraid yet...am I in denial?