Monday, February 29, 2016


Annie walked in the front door after school with a wad of bloody tissue sticking out of her mouth, and more wadded up in one hand.  In other words, she looked like a mess.  Did I miss a phone call from the school?  What happened?

With my eyebrows raised, I nonchalantly asked what happened to Annie today?  Speaking around the bloody tissue mess was going to be difficult, so Maddie answered for her twin.  Annie's tooth fell out on the bus.  

Then came the full version:  Well, actually a girl on the bus dared Annie to pull out her own tooth, and Annie happily obliged.  

Annie dropped her handful of kleenex on the kitchen table, and she started uncrumpling all of them trying to find the little bitty baby tooth.  She couldn't find it.  There was a moment of panic.  I calmly stepped in and was able to find her tooth tucked into a scrunched up corner of one of the tissues.

Crisis adverted.  Mom saved the day.

It's Dr. Seuss spirit week at school, and the reason Annie is wearing her soccer jersey in this picture is that it was sports day.  We don't actually own sports gear, exactly.  So the twins wore their own soccer shirts, and Elizabeth wore a BYU hand-me-down t-shirt from someone in the ward (which isn't precisely sports, but BYU does have basketball, football, etc. teams, so we're all good, right?).  When I was in volunteering, I realized the closest thing I have to sport clothes is a Quidditch "World Cup" t-shirt.

I think that means I prefer books to real sports.

I'm Aliiiiiiiiiiiiiive

Look out world- I have a computer again.  

Let me rephrase that: I have a working computer again.  

I've had my old computer sitting propped against a wall in the corner of the family room since the day in the middle of November when it went ka-put.  It has sat there, mocking me, every day since.  It reminds me of all the pictures, and projects, and papers, and files, and programs that were swallowed up into the black hole of death when it died.  I'm still grieving over these things.  Of course, the fact that I haven't had a computer since has kept the wound open and fresh.

I told my friend Chantel this morning on our first walk of the year that I finally have a computer again.  She looked at me and asked how I've managed to get by this long without a computer.  Well, my cell phone and our first generation iPad (that was "a free gift" when Ryan signed up for his master's degree) has kept me connected with the outside world and Pinterest.  And Ryan was kind enough to bring his school computer home in the evenings and on weekends.  But let's face it, it's been a big pain in the derriere not having a computer.  

We had our taxes done and submitted to the IRS before the end of January, and we were one of the very first to get our tax refund.  This chunk of change was my ticket to a computer, and I stalked our bank account for the refund to show up.  (Well, it's also been assigned places in our student loan repayment and roof repair fund.)  

The day after the refund was in our possession, an order was submitted to Dell for a new computer.  We were not going the ultra cheap route this time, as the last two were not great.  Well, inexplicably the order was cancelled without any notification to us.  All of a sudden, we no longer had a ship date.  (We think what happened was our credit card company was hesitant to authorize such a large purchase.  We never spend that kind of money.)  But instead of a phone call to see if we could call Discover and authorize the purchase, the order just went dead.  So, we tried to contact Dell to see if we could fix the problem.  

We tried chatting on their website, Facebook messaging, and calling.  This was Ryan's first phone call on hold:
Soon after this, #Dell kicked him off because they were getting close to closing time.  We tried calling again, trying to use another option on their line to see if we'd have a shorter holding time to actually speak with a person, and they were unhelpful and put Ryan on hold again.  We tried again, and no helpful customer service was to be found.  

#Dell is now dead to us.  Two crummy cheap computers and the worst customer service imaginable, and we won't be buying from them again.  The last one died completely and it wasn't even 1.5 years old.

Well, last Thursday brought our new Lenovo ThinkPad in the mail.  I was cautiously optimistic about the whole thing, considering my luck over the last several months.  (My iPod died, the computer died, the roof leaks, our upper oven, aka the one we always used, doesn't heat up, the iPad is getting slow and finicky, and after all this time I couldn't even buy a computer with money I already had.)

But I think this new computer and I are going to get along.  I sure hope so anyway.
I finally checked my blog, over a lunch of left-over stroganoff, and I realized how much I have to catch up on.  But I figured a note to let the online world I did not mean to give up on my blog was in order.  I hope to fill in that big gap a little over the coming weeks.

But right now, I think I need to change out of my exercise clothes so I can go volunteer in Maddie's classroom.  7-year-olds might not get embarrassed about mom's lack of clean and presentable clothing yet, but I might.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Church Art

 Today during sacrament meeting, I had two kids drawing the same picture.  Elizabeth was doing one of her usual brightly colored, somewhat abstract pictures on one side of me, and Annie copying it to the best of her ability on the other side.  It was cute to watch.  As Elizabeth would finish with one of her markers, she would pass it to Annie and Annie would copy what Elizabeth had done.
Elizabeth's is on the left, and Annie's version is on the right.  It's a volcano.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Science Fair

Whew, Emma's Science Fair project and display board is finally complete.  The good news is, we got it done before the day of the Science Fair this year.  I call that a win.  The local Science Fair is tomorrow, and poor Emma is being abandoned by her family.  Emma gets to spend the day with her friend Kendra and spend many hours stuck at school on a Saturday, while the rest of us head over the mountains to attend my cousin's wedding reception.  My cousin John was probably about 8 years old when I got married, so I don't know him very well.  This is more of an excuse to see family I don't get to see very often.  And I am excited!

Emma's experiment this year was about extending the counter life of tomatoes and strawberries.  In other words, I had shriveling produce on my counter for two weeks.  Pretty awesome.  I'll have to go back and post some of the pictures we took and explain more about it.

Here's Emma with the completed board!

Elizabeth's surprise

Today was Professional Development day at school.  This means that the teachers spend a day as a student, and administrators get to take their turn as teachers.  Ryan was at work late the night before to get ready.  He's really feeling the pressure to do well at his job with it opening up again.  Not that he hasn't been trying really hard all year, but well, now he has just a touch more incentive to show everyone how indispensable he is.  

Anyhoo.  Emma also got to spend her day at school.  All of these extra activities she's involved in has really cut into her days off.  She spent President's day at school getting ready for Science Fair, and today she was to work on her prosthetic/robotic arm.  Emma was not pleased at all to be missing free time again.  

Ryan went into work earlier than regular time, and after we dropped Emma off at 9:45 (she didn't have to be at school before 8, so that was at least a silver lining), I took the girls to Tri-Cities.  Annie really wanted a hat for Hat Day for Dr. Seuss week, and I needed to pick up a gift or Target gift card for my cousin's wedding the next day.  I also wanted a new skirt for said wedding, but with three kids in tow, clothes shopping for me is iffy at best.

After lunch, I decided I was not going to find a skirt for me.  There were skirts- too short, too expensive, not my style, and not what I was looking for.  I did find one I really liked, but the smallest size was a size too big for me.  I am not confident enough in my sewing skills to fix something like that, especially in the time frame I had.  So walking by Claire's at the mall, I decided to blow my skirt money on Elizabeth.  It's been over a year since we decided it was best to leave her poor, infected ear alone to heal without an earring hole, and Elizabeth has been reminding us that she would really like to have her ears pierced again.  I felt extremely sneaky not informing Ryan of the ear piercing decision ahead of time, but it's not like Elizabeth's yearning has been a secret.  And we had informally agreed she could probably get her ears pierced for her birthday.

I didn't photograph the event this time.  But on the ride home, I let Elizabeth take some pictures of herself to send to her dad.

This, I assume is her happy face:
 And this of the actual, exciting pierced ears.
Elizabeth had the option of getting both ears pierced at the same time, and she jumped at the chance. She was close enough to the previous event to remember the pain of doing one at a time.  She was a trooper and shed not a tear.

As we were getting into the car to come home, I got a call from Emma saying that she was done early.  Dang.  I had planned on being back a little bit before we thought she would be done, but I was off a bit.  I told her to try her dad, but the next phone call told me Dad wasn't available.  I was already hurtling down the freeway a bit faster than I should have been, but I was on my way.  Luckily Emma keeps a book with her at all times, so she was able to pass the time easily enough until I showed up.