Thursday, July 30, 2009

Almost done!

I can't believe our super-long amazingly fun and awesome summer vacation is almost over! It has gone really fast. We leave on Saturday morning for home- which is gonna take about 5 days this time- no rushing the way back. Unfortunately, I think we watched all our movies on the way out here, so it may be slim pickins for entertainment on the way home :( The wedding was yesterday and it was fantastic. Wedding breakfast, then the sealing, then the reception- it was first class all the way. And could Nathan have picked a more cute, fun, adorable, kind person to marry than Linnley? I think not. She is perfect- we all love her so much already :) It is going to be sad to leave everyone here. We have seen most all of Jacob's cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers- you name it. They have all been so kind and accepted and watched Cindy and Luke as if they were their own. We are so blessed to have such a kind family. It truly has been FUN to get together and see everyone again. We have made a few stops and visited old friends- with a few more to go- and we realized just how wonderful our friends were when we lived out here oh those many years ago. I am still without the capability to download any pictures yet, but just you wait! They are going to be spectacular (as always) :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It will take WEEKS to blog about this...

Seriously, this trip is only about half over and I have SO many things I could talk about. I have taken hundreds of pictures and we aren't even to the wedding yet. Anyway, I have spent time with Jacob and the kids, my extended family, seen some of the most beautiful country you could imagine and really have just been having the best time in the world out here. I have been keeping notes along the way of all the funny stories and moments that need to be shared, so I think I have enough blog material now for the next year if I need it. Anyway, finding a free, reliable computer out here on the road has been tough, so bless you, Great Grandma Henrie for your super sweet computer set up (and letting me use it :) Not sure how many more of these totally lame updates I can squeeze out in the next week or so, but I will do my best. For now, gotta run, the post-Sunday dinner treats are coming out and I don't want to miss out!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Still Alive!

Just thought you would want to know.....Details soon :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

First Day On the Road

We made it to Tallahassee! I am using Dave's computer and the kids are going absolutely crazy with all the toy balls here. We had a smooth drive, no problems, we even stopped at a rest stop and then actually I missed the exit to my brother's rest stop because I was making Jacob take a picture of the BEAUTIFUL sunset we saw. Seriously, it was amazing. Anyway, it is 15 hours tomorrow to make it to Ada, OK and it will be a long day. Better get to bed right now :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Could it be.....Satan?

I thought that the last few days leading up to our vacation out to Utah were going to be tough. I'm not gonna lie. We have 4 dances to do, a Youth Conference class to teach (3 times), a lawn to mow, laundry to wash, a car to pack, oodles of diet caffeine free Dr. Pepper to buy, haircuts to get, you know what I mean. But just to make it interesting, yesterday Beelzebub decides to get in on the action and kill my computer and my garage door. Youth Conference PowerPoint talk: gone. Dance music: gone. Cars: trapped (unless the Hulk comes and helps me). I gotta admit, he is good. Satan knows how to hit me where it hurts. And pretty much I just want to curl up in a ball and let him rabbit kick me until I cry like a baby. (Which I did do just a little bit of yesterday afternoon :) I know I am not the first person to lose data on a computer and I am not the last. But if you have a small moment, remember my sick and dying computer in your prayers. I would really like to get all my photos back. They are important to me. How else can I amuse you guys with thought bubbles and goofy captions? Hmmm? This affects you too! :) I will keep you updated.

Anyhow, we leave tomorrow! Yay! (Focus on the positive, focus on the positive) We are going to have a great time. I am really looking forward to seeing all my extended family, enjoying more time with Cindy and Luke, finding random things along the way to take pictures of and blog about, eating weird roadside food, touring strange and mystical gas station bathrooms... And we will see just how magical I am with my blogging abilities. No pre-published posts for my readers on this one! Oh no, my friend, you are gonna get the real deal; live blogging updates from computers across this great nation! You can take the girl out of Sweeneyville, but you can't take Sweeneyville out of the girl. Stay tuned :)

So I wanted to end with a picture, but, oh right- Satan stole all of mine. SO, since we are using a old CPU that belongs to Jacob's mom, I thought I would open her picture file and see what was there.

I found this oldie (but a goodie). It has nothing to do with vacation, but I am exempt from having to make sense right now.

Cindy was about 2 and decided to look in Grandpa's exhaust pipe. Nice work.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Only In Florida

I just wanted to document the fact that I finally came upon an alligator on the path where I was biking today. Just like crashing my bike, I figured this experience was inevitable and sure enough, it happened this afternoon! And it was a much better experience than wiping out, I must say. He was about 3 or 4 feet long and I almost got a picture of him on my phone, but at the last minute, he unfroze from his reptile-in-transit pose and scampered back into the grass by the bridge. He also completely broke my momentum on the bike while going uphill, but it was worth it. I am going to have bike that route more often until our paths cross once more and I can put his picture on this blog. I'll get you, Gadget!! (I was saying that in my most menacing Dr. Claw voice...)

This is NOT the actual gator, but this is pretty close to about how big he was- although my guy was a little chunkier. He was nice and stripey, though. And I like this photo because true Irony is a man wearing Crocs and holding one at the same time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Road Trip!

Yes, it is true. The family and I are embarking on a big ol' road trip out to Utah in a few days. Really. On purpose. We are heading out for Jacob's brother Nathan's wedding in Salt Lake City and a family reunion down in Panguitch, Utah. So we are taking Rocket, our trusty Honda, and heading out for a nice 5,000 mile journey. AND during our trip out I have even conned Jacob into a side-trip the Grand Canyon! (Apparently it is quite grand) We will also be taking time for family visits in Tallahassee, Oklahoma, and seeing who knows what else along the way. Hopefully some very, very blog worthy adventures will ensue- I am always thinking of you.

So as this week has been a time to start getting ready for this little adventure, Cindy started to "pack" on Monday night. She was very proud and came in to show me. Here is her handywork:

As you can see, only the barest of essentials for my little nomad. Tiara, high heels, 3 bags within the suitcase- one for books, one for a stuffed animal and one for her swimsuit. There is a secret part of me that wants to let her pack for herself, just to see what happens- (and show her that 8 mermaids is probably not the best game plan for necessities over the next two weeks). But I already unpacked all her stuff, all while being watched by her flabbergasted expression at my utter lack of respect for her needs. I have decided that the official motto of motherhood needs to be: "One day you'll thank me." Which she will! (And it will probably be the second day on the road and she realizes I packed her some underwear. Yeah, I know, I rock :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Incredibly Creepy and Strange- but True!

I just happened upon these Michael Jackson items while I was perusing eBay the other day. Yes, these are real, I am not making them up...

MJ Toe Nails

Now some ridiculous Michael Jackson potato chips...

Chip #1

Chip #2

Chip #3

Chip 2 comes with this story:

"After Michael's passing, my friends and I recently were enjoying a bag of potato chips when we happened to stumble upon a chip that embodies the true King of Pop! A fight broke out over the chip and after hours of deliberation, I was lucky enough to emerge as the chip's rightful owner. Don't miss out out on this rare one of a kind piece of entertainment history. I don't want to sell this chip but I'm hopeing the winner of this auction will charish it forever as a keepsake of Mr. Jackson's enduring legacy. As with other Michael Jackson memoribilia, this chip is surely to appreciate in value with collectors all over the world." Chip 2 is aksing $500, by the way. Nope, not kidding. Chip 3 is $100, chip 1 was $5.99.

The MJ Marshmallow with a touching story

"This Marshmallow has a ghost image of Micheal Jackson's face ingraved into it. I am a big M.J fan and I think his parting gift to me was to let his spirit live inside this marshmellow. As you can see in the picture his face looks a little bit squashed but it is still there."

HUH??? I see nothing in this mallow!

Hideous MJ Candle
It's not if I want this candle, but rather how many do I want?

And finally, this amazing watercolor painting.

Not sure about the resemblance to MJ, to me it looks like a cross between ET and a girl I new in high school. Maybe she ended up marrying ET and this is their child.

In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for more high-quality eBay items. I did find the Barack Obama Pet Rock, complete with display easel- there are 10 available. You know you want one...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Miracle on Lake Minneola or triathlon #2

Let me start out by saying I know Heavenly Father loves me. Some people know this because they prayed about it, some people have had incredibly spiritual experiences in the temple, some have even had dreams or heard voices to confirm this fact. I know this fact because of what transpired in the swim portion of the triathlon on Saturday. And the story goes like this..

I was all ready to go, totally stretched out, feeling good, waiting on the shore, eyeing the buoys and ready to tear it up. This time I heard the horn, ran into the water and was confident. Then about a minute later I feel that the time chip that is velcroed around my ankle is coming off. This is the timer for the entire race, without this you might as well have stayed in bed because you get credit for NOTHING. (Plus, I think I would have to pay $50 or something to replace it.) I started to panic and try to fix it only to realize that I was already out to deep to stand. So now I was trying to raise my leg, tread water with one arm and put the thing back on with my other hand all at the same time. I thought I had fixed it and then began to swim again. Then I felt it fall off. I had a total heart attack and then by some absolute MIRACLE, I caught it between the toes on both of my feet. I dove down to grab it, sucking in a ton of water from all the other people splashing me at the same time, yet somehow got my act together and swam the rest of the way with it in my hand. It was AMAZING. I still can't believe that happened. I don't know what I would have done if I had lost that thing in the water. Unbelievable! Needless to say that the swim portion did not go as I planned, however, my time was faster than last time by about 20 seconds. Is that crazy? Yes, it is! (And see? Heavenly Father loves me because my time chip was important to him too. :)

Anyway, I did better on my time in transition 1 by 30 seconds (just as planned) and that was depsite putting my helmet on before my running shirt. Duh. But my shoes were untied this time! Boo-yah!

The bike part was fun. If I ever do a relay for one of these races, I am the biker, for sure. I feel totally comfortable on the bike and I don't have giant quad muscles for nothing, people. It was actually not as bad as I remembered it being and going up the giant hill at the end I realized that my bike has one gear lower than I had realized. Bonus! My time on the bike was actually 40 seconds slower, but it still felt good and I know on the last one I can get faster.

So it was down to the run. I always feel as if I have nothing left in the tank by this point and I can't feel my legs, which helps nothing. And seeing as how my 'stride' is about 5 inches long, I get passed left and right by those on my age group. But, my overall time for the run was a minute and half faster! Yes, you read that correctly. I did improve my time :) Yay! I still need to focus on sprint training, which is my goal for the week I spend at the hotel out in Utah. They have a treadmill there and I intend to use it!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Spandex Pants

I love that this picture makes me look like I have a second set of giant muscular arms of triumph, yet those belong to the guy eating my dust, I mean, the guy behind me.

My good friend Davina, who I am sure drank 3 Red Bulls before the run. Seriously, she is not human to have run the 5K in 24 minutes. Smokin'!

We're smiling because it's over :)

So here is the breakdown:

SWIM 8:06
BIKE: 29:07
RUN: 27:58
FINISH 1:09:04

So that makes me faster by almost 4 minutes! Too bad some more really good people decided to show up this time and put me in 7th place :( But if I can just finally get a good swim and fine tune my run, I know I can do 1:05. I got 34 days. Let the countdown begin!!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Cindy quickie

I was reading the story of the Golden Calf from the Old Testament to Cindy for scriptures the other night. I was explaining to her that while Moses was up on the mountain talking to Jesus, the wicked Israelites asked Aaron to make and idol for them to worship, so he made a big statue of a cow. And to that Cindy said, "Well, that's random." Indeed!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Anyone for seconds?

So tomorrow is the second of my three summer triathlons. I had such high hopes for this race, but sadly, I feel that turning in a time that is equal to my first would be a miracle. I have trained since the last race, to be sure. But I just have not felt this sense of dramatic improvement. Plus, I know going in exactly what the race is like and it ain't pretty. However, after reviewing the last race in my head, I have 4 goals for tomorrow that hopefully will add up to a respectable finish:

1. Start out in front at the swim and cut the buoys as close as possible by swimming way to the inside. (and try not to swallow a face full of water right off the bat- I hear that helps)
2. Cut down on my transition #1 time by running a little faster out of the water, and avoiding silly mistakes (shoes not being untied, bike facing wrong way, etc.) T1 time from the last race was 3:31, so I am hoping to shave off about 30 seconds to a minute right there.
3. RUN FASTER. What an amazing strategy!!! I am just going to have to think "long strides" and make myself get to a faster pace. 29 minutes is WAY too long- I must be in the 27s to even start to feel good about the run. I will possibly just find someone passing me and try to keep pace with them.
4. Stretch out- a lot. I didn't really get a chance on this last one to feel loose and warmed up, so that should make a big difference.

I heard this quote the other day and loved it:

See you on the flip side :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The World of XBOX

I just have to start out by saying that today's post was supposed to be Experience #13- but thanks to the MJ memorial on every TV station in the entire known universe, I was pre-empted and it will now have to wait a few more days. Sigh.....

So, I now turn your attention to my musings about XBOX. (Prepare for total fascination!!!!) Like many gaming consoles, you can play XBOX games online against your family, friends and total and complete strangers. Of course when you sign up for XBOX live, you have to choose a screen name, or 'handle' as it is called. This is the name that is displayed on the screen as you play and how you find your friends online to play against them. This handle can be pretty much anything you want. And I have seen it all! Each time Jacob fires up a new game of Halo, which is about every 7 minutes in our house, we see a whole new set of about 12 screen names. I have been scanning them for the past 2 weeks and writing down my favorites. And here are just a few:

ShamW00w (probably my all-time favorite handle)
Evil sofa leg

And just last night Jacob was on a team with willsmith555 and on the other team just happned to be VanillaIce49. And true to real life, willsmith555 totally killed VanillaIce49!

The other amusing thing about XBOX live is that you can plug in your headset and talk to all the other people on your team. Consequently I get to hear all the chatter while Jacob plays, and I am shocked by how much of the time Jacob is playing with 9 and 10 year old kids! (But what am I expecting, really? Most 30 year olds should be a work with jobs, right? Yet another blessing of being a teacher...) The funniest thing I heard the other night was one little kid talking to another saying, "I know you are on my friend list in XBOX, but will you be my friend in real life?" Classic.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Another adventure in Motherhood

A few weeks back I was shopping at Publix with the kids. Among the many reasons I love to shop at Publix is that they have the option of shopping with the "car cart"- you know the cart with the plastic seats and the fake steering wheels? My kids love that cart. (Ony downside is that you need to take a class on how to drive the thing- it's like an RV for crying out loud...) Our ritual whenever we go to Publix is to get the car cart and then the free cookies at the bakery. (Yet another reason why shopping at Publix really is a pleasure!) So after we made the rounds the kids were getting a little restless- they were out of the straps and had been climbing all over every part of the cart. So I quickly ended the trip and headed up to the line. As I was unloading the groceries I noticed that Luke had a blue raspberry dum dum sucker in his mouth and his massive drooling problem told me that he reeeeally liked it. I didn't remember giving him that sucker, so I asked Cindy where he got it. She said, "Oh, he found that at the bottom of the cart." EEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! I'm not gonna lie, I let him finish the sucker. It's all about choosing your battles. And your germs. Besides, this is a kid that picks his nose, eats dirt and doesn't wear pants- at the same time. What's the worst that could happen?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A 4th of July memory

As kids, my brothers and I loved the 4th of July. We were (and still are) a do-it-yourself fireworks family. Mostly because both of the houses we lived in here in Lakeland did not have neighbors that lived across the street, so we had to take advantage of the situation and shoot off all kinds of bottle rockets and other flying exploding pyrotechnics each July 4th. We have had roman candle duels in the street, we've blown up all kinds of junk from the garage with Black Cat firecrackers, we even had contests a few times where we would see who could launch a bottle rocket and hit the basketball backboard on the other side of the street. The smoke cloud over our house at the end of the night was probably visible from space. Anyway, even as all my siblings and I have married and had our own kids, we still either shoot off our own fireworks or still gather back at my mom and dad's for a night of fountains, rockets and sparklers. One of the most memorable 4ths, however, was when I was about 17 or so and we were shooting off bottle rockets at the end of the driveway. Somehow our bottle rocket launcher (yes, we actually constructed a bottle rocket launcher out of a coffee can filled with cement and then a pvc pipe stuck in the middle. Necessity IS the mother of invention..) tipped over right after we lit the fuses on two rockets and it was on the ground facing US. So we were were all sitting in our lawn chairs facing the street when we suddenly realized "FIRE IN THE HOLE!!" The bottle rockets came whizzing underneath our chairs and into the garage where they exploded under one of the cars. A tense moment, you might say. But certainly one I haven't forgotten :)

Exhibit A of our love affair with fireworks: My brothers having a sparkler duel two years ago....Don't worry, Chris is a doctor.

I totally trust him.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Am I talking about the anniversary of the founding of our country? My wedding anniversary? The anniversary of the invention of the margarita? (July 4, 1942. Yes, really) No. I am talking about the fact that today marks exactly 10 YEARS since the very day that I met Jacob. TEN YEARS. Seriously, I can't believe that much time has gone by. We met at the ward pancake breakfast on July 3, 1999 at the Lakeland chapel. Jacob had been home from his mission to Pocatello, Idaho for just a week or so and he knew nobody there since his family moved to Lakeland 4 weeks before he left on his mission. I was pretty much his only option as far as anyone to hang out with or even someone to show him around his new summer home. So we hung out, played soccer, worked together in Orlando, went back out to Utah for school together- me at BYU, Jacob at LDSBC- and the rest is pretty much history. I can't imagine my life without Jacob. He is such a good husband, dad, provider, and friend. And he looks just as young and cute as the day I met him :) Here's to ten more years!

(and can my window be any more smudged? Great Caesar's ghost, I need some Windex!)