Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Ben and I remembered this the other day, and it was such a precious memory that I wanted to put it on my blog.
When Dylan was... 18 months or so, when he would see a star in the sky at night, he would say, "Look, Mom, there's a twinkle twinkle little star. How I wonder." He always added that onto the end - "How I wonder." And he didn't sing it. He just spoke it. It was so stinkin' cute.
Ben decided not to counter the offer. We did the number crunching, and yes indeedy, I'm going to have to keep working. My job with my dad will end when tax season ends - maybe a couple of hours of scanning per week, here and there, but nothing substantial enough - and I won't have to get a job to replace that one. I'm going to have to keep my job at the psychiatrist's office for the forseeable future.
I work that job on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Mom said she'd baby-sit on Mondays and Wednesdays for free. Thank goodness for that. Otherwise, I would give everything I earned to daycare. And then on Fridays, a gal from my ward is going to watch the kids. I'll have to pay her, and basically, all the money I earn on Fridays will be handed directly over to her. But that's life.
I feel soooooo guilty having Mom give up so much of her time to baby-sit my kids for free. She's been really sweet about offering, and she says she's excited, but I just feel badly. I hate taking advantage of people. And I'm not going to be able to pay the Friday baby-sitter as much as I think is right. She's being really nice about it, but I still feel badly.
We figured that my Monday paycheck is going to pay for insurance premiums for me and the kids. My Wednesday paycheck is going to pay for dental. (But we're thinking of screwing dental insurance in favor of some wiggle room in our budget. We can't decide.)
If I have to work, this job that I have is fantastic. I think it's probably the most fun, interesting job I've ever had. So pleasant. So I'm okay with that. And I would have felt guilty leaving them after only two months: "Thanks for training me and giving me a chance! Screw you! I'm outta here!"
Can you tell that guilt is one of the hugest motivating factors in my life? :) Ben takes full advantage of that. He is always giving me guilt trips to make me crazy. He loves to see me squirm.
So, Ben is now officially a C Shells employee. So funny. Seashells....
Oh, P.S. Sorry Ben put a picture of girls' bare bums on my blog. How embarrassing. He's all, "But it's a Led Zepplin album cover!" I'm like, "I don't care! It's child pornography!!!" I told him that, if he wants to put little girls' bare bums on a blog, he can start his own darn blog. As you can see, I took the Bare Bum Girls picture off and just put a picture of the band on his post. Robert Plant has the prettiest hair. Seriously.
Friday, March 27, 2009
2. Describe yourself: The Wanton Song
3. How do you feel about yourself: The Song Remains the Same
4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: D'Yer Mak'er
5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: I Can't Quit You Baby
6. Describe your current location: Bring It on Home
7. Describe where you want to be: Going to California
8. Your best friend is: In the Light
9. Your favorite color is: Tangerine
10. You know that: Your Time Is Gonna Come
11. What's the weather like: The Rain Song
12. If your life was a television show what would it be called?: The Battle of Evermore
13. What is life to you: Ramble On
14. What is the best advice you have to give: Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)
15. If you could change your name what would you change it to: Boogie With Stu
Ben didn't get called by Dome Dude yesterday, of course. So Ben called Dome Dude and got his voice mail. Fortunately, Dome Dude sent Ben his offer today.
It's.... not very big.
We need to crunch numbers, but it looks like he may end up making about what he was making before, with less benefits. I guess it's better than a kick in the pants. And, like I told him, would you rather do something you're not interested in for such a small amount, or would you rather do something you like doing for such a small amount? That's basically the choice right now. At least he can sit tight with Dome Dude and get his licensure hours - that's invaluable. And he can keep looking. And when the economy picks up, he may be able to get a better offer with someone else.
So... I might have to still work. Sigh. Oh. And Ben will have to put in 45-hour work weeks - it's required of this job. I've heard that most architecture companies are that way. So. Ben's thinking of counter-offering; is this standard procedure when looking for a job? I told him to talk to my dad and his dad before he did the counter-offering thing. I don't want it to backfire on him. And honestly, at this point, I'd settle for Ben to get a job flipping hamburgers, you know? This isn't so bad. I'll let you know what happens.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Another updatey. Ben was supposed to get the official job offer from the Dome Dude "early this week." Ben didn't hear from him yesterday, so he called Dome Dude today, and Dome Dude said that they're almost done hammering out the details and will have an offer ready for him by Thursday. I still get the feeling that this is the real deal, so I'm not too worried. I'd just like to know when Ben gets to start, you know? And if he will be making enough for me to be at home with my kiddies again. You guys will be the first to know when the deal is official, and if the deal is any good. (Even if they don't offer enough, I want Ben to take it, because he would be working under a licensed architect, which would give him the hours he needs to get his own official license. You have to work a certain number of hours under a licensed architect [I can't remember the hours, but it's in the thousands] to be eligible to get your official license.)
P.S. The company's name is C Shells, for "concrete shells." But it will be hilarious if Ben gets hired. I can just see it: "So, what company does your husband work for?" "C Shells..." Which sounds like "Seashells," which sounds like a company made up of effeminate guys, who collect seashells and make little seashell-covered boxes to sell, or something... I don't know. Just a funny visual I always get when I think of the company's name.
Monday, March 23, 2009
I stole a bunch of valentine's candy from Dylan's valentine bag from school, which made the decorating even more fun. Though I personally only like sprinkles on mine. I think red hots and conversation hearts take away from the essential sugary goodness of a plainly decorated and sprinkled sugar cookie.
Here's Dylan - he was upset because he felt like he "messed up" decorating his lip cookie:
Sadie remembered the Frosting First rule this time...
though she went a little bit overboard on the candy:
This is Ben's step-grandma, whom her grandkids (except Ben) call "Tink." Sometime I need to ask why. Ben just calls her "grandma." Tink passed away last month.
Ben felt closer to her than he did his other grandparents. I would call them his "blood" grandparents, but he's adopted, so that doesn't quite work. :) Tink, or Lorraine, as I call her, lived with Ben and his mom and stepdad for awhile when he was in high school, so he and Lorraine grew very close.
Here is Lorraine at age 19:
She's the one that used to always brag that she was quite a "dish." I agree.
The one thing I remember most fondly about Lorraine is that she came to my temple endowment. I thought it was so sweet, because she has like ten million grandkids - blood grandkids - but she took the time to go to her step-grandson's fiance's endowment.
The woman never, ever rested. She never just sat and vegged. She was always up cooking and fussing over everyone. I don't know where she got all of that energy. She had to work as a single mom for most of her adult life, supporting six kids (I think), but she never complained. I think that's amazing.
I couldn't go down to the funeral, because I had to work (and I didn't want to ask for it off, because I had just gotten hired and didn't want to push it), but my mom graciously watched my kids all day while Ben went down to Salt Lake for the funeral. Ben's step-sister-in-law took these pictures at the grave site. Here are the three baldies - Ben's stepbrother Danny, Ben, and his other stepbrother Dave:
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I used to call Valentine's Day, Singles Awareness Day, or SAD for short. :) I hated it. I never, ever had a valentine on Valentine's Day, until Ben and I were married. Now, I love it. But for 22 years, I hated it. When I was in college, I discovered that, if I pretended that it was a normal day - kept pushing the fact that it was Valentine's Day out of my head - I was able to cope a little bit better. I'm so very, very glad that those days are over.
Ben and I went to our ward's annual Sweetheart Ball on Feb. 13th - my friend Megan took pictures, and I need to bug her to put them on her blog (consider yourself bugged, Megan), so that I can put them on mine. The Sweetheart Ball was incredibly fun and well-planned. A bunch of the young men and women served us, so we didn't have to do the cheesy buffet-style eating that we usually do at ward functions. That was a nice touch. While we ate, there was a big screen with a projector that showed clips from famous romantic comedies, which was fun. The entire cultural hall was decorated with wedding photos from all the couples in the ward, some dating back to the fifties. It was so fun to walk around and try to figure out who the couples were. A lot of people said they didn't realize that Ben's and my wedding photo was us, which surprised me. (Am I that much fatter now?) Then some people in the ward that like to sing sang romantic songs, which was also a nice touch. Oh, and the best part of the evening - The Newleywed Game. About four couples from the ward, each married for a different amount of time, played, and it was really funny. It was a fantastic evening.
Here are some pics from the following day, Valentine's Day Proper.
We give our kids one small gift every V-day (my mom used to do that for us, and I loved it). I cannot for the life of me remember what we gave Sadie and Micah, but I do remember that we gave Dylan a bow-and-arrow. The arrows had those sucker things on the end instead of actual arrowheads. Dylan had fun affixing them to his 3D glasses:
Ben got me some cute decorative baskets for our living room:
Dude, he doesn't even play with his bow and arrow now. Why do we even give kids toys? Seriously.
So. It was a nice, low-key Valentine's Day. And I'll post our pic from the Sweetheart Ball when I get it.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I tried to get an action shot, but it happened too quickly:
I really should get the poor kid some proper Dominoes. Maybe for his Easter basket...
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Let's celebrate, shall we?
That's some good old 1994 action.
I really shouldn't celebrate just yet. I'm scared that I'm going to jinx it. And who knows what the offer will look like. But it does include benefits, including dental and vision. I would die and go to heaven to have dental and vision again. We haven't had that kind of coverage since Medicaid. I may still have to work; you never know. I do know that we have to make more than we did before Ben lost his job. We just weren't making it. I want us to be self-sufficient. So I may need to still teach. We'll see. I'll keep you updated.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Since nothing seemed to be happening on the job front for Ben, I went ahead and started applying at the school districts around here. Word on the street is that one high school teacher in a certain district is retiring, and a junior high school teacher (same school district) is getting fired - that's what my "inside contacts" are telling me. :) Just kidding. I just happen to know a few teachers. We gravitate toward one another, naturally.
Anyways, there was a job fair last Saturday at this district, and I signed up, thinking it was some kind of weird open house where you schmooze with the district people and beg for a job. After I registered, I got an e-mail, saying that I had an interview time with the district director of secondary ed. Wha??? Sa-weet!
So I hurriedly begged my old teaching friends from Roy, Utah, to write me glowing letters of recommendation, gussied up my resume, and wrote an amazing, tear-inducing letter of introduction. And I finished my stuff to get my teaching certificate in Idaho, and I finished my online application at this district. All of these were really huge projects, but I got 'em done. (And I just got a letter from the Idaho Department of Education on Friday. My copied transcripts aren't good enough for them. I need to purchase official transcripts, of course. Which will probably cost me another $30. Here a buck, there a buck...)
And I went in to my interview on Saturday. And it went really well!! Some of the questions she asked me were similar to the essay questions on the online application, so I felt well-prepared. I had prepared myself for the "What was the time you took initiative?" question and the "What is your biggest weakness in teaching?" but luckily, she didn't ask those. I hate those ones. They're killers.
Anyways, I felt like I answered her questions succinctly, and I felt comfortable and relaxed while she was interviewing me. I was really bummed that I couldn't find my favorite pair of earrings to wear for the interview, though. I felt naked without my cute earrings. Anyways. I will know at the end of April if I made it to the second interview. This one will be just a bit intimidating - all of the principles of all the schools, sitting behind a long table, on a stage, looking at me, alone in a metal chair in the auditorium, below them. Okay, that's just what I imagine. I don't know what the setup will be. But I know it will be me, with many powerful people looking at me. I'm not too nervous, though. I truly believe that, if I am meant to teach again, it will happen. God is at the helm. And I'm comfortable in front of a crowd. Obviously. Otherwise, would I have ever become a teacher? Nope.
And, oddly, this application process has been kind of... exciting. I've found myself getting really excited, which is surprising, because my true heart's desire is to still be at home. Maybe this is the Spirit, telling me that this is where Heavenly Father wants me to be? But what could be more important than for me to be at home??? I don't know. There are a lot of things I keep asking him. But I need to remember that he knows all. Maybe I'm supposed to touch the lives of some kids who need me. Maybe I need these kids to touch my life. I don't know.
Alright, now to the "Dome" part of my post. Ben has an interview today!!!! Yeeeee! For an actual ARCHITECTURAL JOB!!! Not joking. This company is a local company which builds dome-shaped buildings of all kinds. A dude in our ward used to pour concrete for them, and Ben applied, thinking he'd be hired on as a laborer, a concrete pourer. But they actually want to talk to him about joining on in an architectural capacity. Oh, this would be such an answer to our prayers.... I need lots and lots of prayers and positive thoughts from you guys today.... Do a mental pre-kick football foot-stamping excercise on our behalf, friends. And I'll let you know how it goes.
My cute nephew, Brock, turned four last week, and we had a leetle party for him. I forgot my camera, but Nat took pics.
Here's Miss Mercurial:
She is soooo moody. She was pissed that night, for some reason. She's pissed most of the time.
Me and my cute little stinker:
A close-up. He had just woken up from his nap and was a little bit confused as to where we were:
Ben, Pete, and Ivy:
I don't know what Ben is doing in that picture. I'm glad Ben and Pete get along so well. It's awfully nice.
So... Happy Birthday, Cute Brock!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Although the deaths of these appliances has been a huge pain in my butt (and in my pocketbook), they have opened the door to three new appliances with which I'm in love:
1. My fridge. Oh, baby. If Ben gets a job in Timbuktu, I will insist upon shipping this fridge there so that I can have it forever. It has a freezer in the bottom, and the fridge doors open french door-style, so you can fit big trays in. No skinniness to worry about. I had no idea what I was missing when I had a side-to-side fridge/freezer thing. And now, I'm not sure I could ever go back. Love it, love it, love it. My mom is very covetous of it:
Oh, and how could we afford such a gorgeous piece of appliancehood? Home Depot and Idaho Energy (I think that's the name of our power company) have this program where, if you buy an energy-efficient appliance, Idaho Energy will finance it, it's zero interest, and the payments (split up into 60 payments - five years) are just added on to your energy bill.
2. Our new, over-the-stove microwave:
3. Our second-hand washer and dryer:
Ben's dad and stepmom gave us their "old" ones (they're only three years old). We were sure that, though our dryer hadn't busted yet, it would die at any second, since it was olive green and from the seventies. And it squeaked really badly when it ran. Ben's uncle hauled these beautiful white pieces of appliance heaven up from St. George, and Ben met him in Salt Lake and drove them the rest of the way home.
We also realized what a pain it is not to have a working clothes washer. (We are such brats! How many people in the world don't have a clothes washer/microwave/fridge??) We did our laundry at my folks' house for about a month, and I felt really bad for taking up precious laundry space and time at their house. Thanks, guys, for letting us do that for a month. It sure beat hanging out at a laundromat. And thanks, Tim and Brenda, for the washer and dryer. They are amazing. We love 'em.
Here's hoping that my dishwasher holds out for a little while longer.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Here we are at said sushi restaurant. It looks like I have cords sprouting out of my head:
The tables are really close to each other, and we sat next to this couple who, we could tell, were on a first date. All kinds of awkward pauses in their conversation. Lots of efforts at trying to impress each other. It was funny, and it made me so very glad that I'm not in the dating scene anymore.
While we ate, Ben and I wondered what we would do if he lost his job. And he ended up losing it two days later.
These pictures may look familiar - my friend, Megan, took them of us in December. As my anniversary gift, Ben had some of them developed, and then he framed them and arranged them on our wall in our living room:
So... yay! Eight years and counting!!
Monday, March 9, 2009
This has caused no end of confusion for our poor family. Last October, on a Wednesday, I picked Sadie up, and then dropped Dylan off at school. But then I forgot that he gets home an hour early on Wednesdays. I had scheduled a hair appointment for Sadie and I, and when Dylan got home that day, there was no one to greet him. I had accidentally left the front door open, and it's a good thing. Apparently, he wandered around the house, crying, and then fell asleep on the couch.
It didn't hit me that I had messed up clear until I came home at 3:15, the normal time that he gets home. I was thinking to myself, Phew! Just in time for Dylan to get home! And then I saw his backpack and coat on the floor. It still didn't hit me! I thought, Oh my gosh, did Dylan get sick, and someone just bring him home?? I saw him asleep on the couch, and I woke him up. When he woke up, he immediately started bawling. I was like, "Why did you come home early, Dylan?" He wailed, "It's early day, Mom!!!"
Oh my. I am a Loser from the Street.
I felt soooo badly about it. Before I started working again, I forgot about early day like three more times. I just can't seem to get it into my head.
So. About a week or two ago, on a Thursday, I was checking my phone for messages on my lunch break, and I had gotten a message from Dylan's school. Apparently, Ben thought Thursday was Wednesday, and he had dropped Dylan off at school. They were wondering what the heck was going on. So Dylan goes sauntering into his classroom, and there is the morning kindergarten class, and he was like, huh? I quickly called Dylan's school back, and they said he was fine - he was just hanging with the morning kindergarten class!
Did we have weird, skewompus schedules like this growing up? I don't remember that we did. And I know we didn't have these schedules when I was a teacher.
And Ben has been such a better stay-at-home-mom than I ever was - the house is sparkling, the meals are cooked on time... It's made me feel so badly about the job I did when I was at home. So this incident made me feel a teeny bit better, somehow. :)
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I love how she was using my shoes as cars for one of her My Little Ponies and what we call her Blood Bear - the teddy bear the hospital gave her when she had to have her blood tested last fall.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
1. Take a picture of yourself.. riiiiiight.. NOW!
2. DO NOT change your clothes. DO NOT fix your hair.. Just take a picture.
3. Post that picture with NO editing.
4. Post these instructions with your picture.
5. Tag 5 people
So I was obedient. I took a picture of myself as is. Unfortunately, it was right after I had jogged on my treadmill. So you get to see Sweaty Kar:
But I was Happy Kar, because back wen I took this picture, Ben had a job and I was blissfully at home with my kids. Sigh...
So. I tag... Nat, Beads, Lex, Em, and Mindy.
The other night, he was in the bathroom, washing his hands, and the rest of us were at the table, waiting for him so that we could pray and eat, and he apparently saw a capital B on something. He's usually really good about identifying letters, but maybe he was having a brain fart or something, because I guess he saw a capital B as two capital D's, one on top of the other.
He said, "Mama, what do a D and a D make?"
Ben yelled back to him, "A nice pair!!"
We laughed for a long time about that.
Me: Titty yips? I don't know what you're saying, honey.
Sadie [starting to frown darkly]: Titty yips, Mama!
Me: Sweetheart, I don't know what "titty yips" means.
Sadie [stomping her foot]: TITTY YIPS!! Tuff you put on yo yips to mate dem pitty!!!
Me: Ohhhhh! Lipstick??
Sadie: Yeah, titty yips.
I figured out later that she was saying "sticky lips." Cute.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
We painted one wall a deep chocolate brown. It turned out gorgeous:
Then we painted the opposite wall a chocolate milk color, with the shelf-indent-thingey above it that deep chocolate brown:
See? Truly the color of chocolate milk:
Here's the "after" picture of the kitchen. I think the paint looks so cool against the light cabinetry:
It ended up taking all day long, and when I got home, I didn't do one dang thing but lie around. Painting is exhausting!!