Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Door One Or Door Two

Do you ever feel like you're doing everything you should be doing and somehow life still doesn't seem to be working out for you? That's how I've kind of felt this last year. I feel like saying "Okay Heavenly Father what am I doing wrong? What do you want me to do?" Just a little FYI Stephen is pretty much on the verge of losing his job. He works hard but things aren't exactly working out with him in Sales (he's just not a desk jockey) and so they are thinking about moving him back to Customer Service which is a pretty substantial pay cut, at least for us since we are kind of living paycheck to paycheck already. Last year when he worked in CS it wasn't so bad because we were living in my brother-in-laws basement apartment paying $255 less rent than we are now. But with higher rent, food and gas prices rising we are looking to what our other options are. For those of you who knew that Stephen had tried to get into the California Highway Patrol, that is pretty much out of the picture now. Which makes me really really mad because last year when his brother Nathan was in the CHP academy they told him they weren't really going to be hiring this year. But when we talked to Stephen's background investigator we asked if that was true and if there was any point in spending money for him to keep coming out to finish his testing if they weren't hiring. Well, Stephen's background investigator who took 2 years to complete Stephen's application process said those were untrue rumors, blah blah blah. Well, they were true. What a waste of two years. So, I've been looking into other Police Departments in different states that we might be interested in living. We looked in Oregon, they aren't really hiring right now, Washington you absolutely have to have a WA driver's license, and the same for almost every single police department in California as well you need a CA drivers license. (We also looked in Idaho but the pay is really bad, except for Boise, and Utah only had one opening where the pay was acceptable, but Stephen doesn't want to live in Utah anymore, he really hates snow) I could only find 3 in CA that accepts out of state applicants (not including L.A. but I really really don't want to live to L.A.) those 3 are Marina, CA, Simi Valley, CA, and San Diego, CA. The first two are very expensive areas to live, and compared to those first two San Diego isn't so bad. Plus look how pretty it is.

I lived in San Diego when I was really little and Stephen loves palm trees. I talked to a recruiter today who said he could take the first test in June and if he passed with all flying colors he could be in an academy as soon as this upcoming October. So that's door #1. Here's door #2...the military. Anyone who knows Stephen, and I mean really really knows Stephen is like "Oh yeah, I could totally see him in the military." At first we thought the Air Force because he has a friend in the Air Force who told us all about it and it seemed like a good idea, the only problem is if he were to apply now, the soonest he could get into the Air Force as an officer would be 2 years from now, and we don't have that much time, at least not anymore. (He's too old to go in as an enlisted) So then we started looking at the Army. They said that if he were to start at the next local board/test in July and passed he could get in as soon as September. The military has excellent benefits, but the three types of training that he'd have to go through alone is about 10 months of us not getting to see each other at all, except for at two of his training graduations. Not to mention if he were to get deployed right away...but at least to apply to the army he doesn't have to fly anywhere or take time off from work to take tests like he would have to applying to the San Diego Police Department. But in the Army we have no control over where we live, I don't necessarily have a problem with moving because I moved so much growing up, but not being able to pick where we had to move is more difficult. However, Stephen and I have talked about how cool it would be if he got stationed in Germany, or Italy. So, those are our options right now. If anyone has any suggestions as to other job openings they know of that Stephen would like, I'm all ears.

Say Cheese!! SAY IT!!!

Last Saturday James had his pictures taken, professionally (well... semi-professionally, it was at walmart) for the first time. At first he was okay for about five minutes so we got some good shots in, but then he started freaking out. I don't know if it was because the woman taking the pictures was kind of over the top bubbly and doing the baby talk (where's the bear? the bear is on my head googly goo!! say cheese) but he was not happy. She took a total of like 20 pictures, and only about 8 I found acceptable. I think next time I'll just ask my sis-n-law Megan to do it. James is familiar with her and she has an amazing camera. But you know how it is, for me it was always exciting to go and get our pictures taken. Although I hated to when I was a teenager because I hated how I looked. Anyways...here are some of the good ones that turned out. (yes, it's from the walmart website)

Ok so we chose the flag background because his birthday's in July and his name is historically patriotic, but when I went to go get James off the drop when we were done I noticed that it totally smelled like pee, and it wasn't James. I couldn't help but think "do they ever wash these things? especially with little kids sitting on it you never know when someones had an accident. I was too shy to tell the lady but after we pick up the pictures in 2 weeks I'm going to send a nice e-mail letting them know.

Other note, last week Stephen's parents were in town (sorry no pictures, I'm so bad at remembering to take them, I'll bring the camera, and then forget to use it.) They were nice enough to watch James so Stephen and I could go to the temple. I asked Linda if she would mind taking James to get a shot that he needed. Apparently when she took him to get his shot he was really good, which doesn't surprise me since he has only cried once in the last 2 years when he's gotten his shots taken, but what did surprise me was that after they gave him the shot he turned and said "thank-you." The nurse said that has never happened before. I was so proud because we've been working really hard making sure he always says please and thank-you. It's nice to know the hard work has paid off.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Take Me Out To The Ball Game...

On Saturday Stephen's work had their Summer Party a little early this year, and decided to have it a Salt Lake Bee's Baseball game. It was such a blast, despite the fact that I am not a sports person. First, we had a barbecue in the center field, then watched the game, and then there were fireworks. No matter how old I get summer barbecues and fireworks never get old. Every year they have a kind of raffle, and everyone in the office gets 2 tickets, well somehow Stephen did something nice in the office that got him 4 tickets, and so I thought, hey that will totally increase our odds. We only had 2 out of the 4 picked, and we were like the very last ones, so everything was kind of picked over. BTW, they do the raffle in such a way that everyone pretty much gets something. Out of like 64 tickets that were handed out like 58 were picked, so, anyway ...it was still fun.

We ran into the SL Bee's mascot and James loved him. In fact, when I went to take him back after the picture was taken he was upset, he wanted to be held by the bee. He was the same way at Easter he took a picture with the Easter bunny, but afterwards he didn't want to leave to give the other kids a turn. Most kids are afraid of Santa, the Easter Bunny, Clowns, etc, until they are like 4. James, however loves seeing people dressed up as giant stuffed animals, or insects.

These are some good friends of ours, Mike and Becca Bell. Stephen works with Mike and works out with him, and I go walking with Becca in the mornings.

I was really excited for James to see the firworks but when they started he wouldn't even look at them he was so scared he just held onto Stephen for dear life until they ended. Hopefully he'll be better for the 4th of July.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

There's nothing as sweet as a...

toe-suckers toe? Yuck!

Don't ask me why, but lately James has taken to sucking on his big toe. He's never sucked on his thumb, and the most he's ever taken a pacifier was for one month at 7 or 8 months old when he started teething. But toes? Crazy!
Anyway, guess what? We got James a new changing table. Out with the old...

(two shelves broken, one missing, and the top starting to go as well) and in with the new.

I really love this changing table. And even though James soon will be past the diaper wearing age, we do plan on having more kids, so this was a good investment. We found it used on KSL. Paid a little more than I had wanted to. People in Utah tend to ask too much for used things. But it was still cheaper than a brand new one and still looks practically new to me. A few scuffs/marks but nothing too noticeable. The only thing is it doesn't really match his crib,

or his rocking chair.

Oh, well. Not to mention the dresser, but I plan on getting rid of the one he has asap, and getting something a little better. Maybe if I ever get enthusiastic enough about his room looking a little more professionally interior decorated I might try to stain the crib and rocking chair to match. But...we'll see...
I know you are all just sitting at the edge of your seats wondering what I sewed this week. (Yeah, right, like I'm Miss grosgrainfabulous. Ha, I wish!) Well, I haven't sewed anything this week, I'm actually trying my hand at crocheting. My mom taught me when I was young and I've kind of been fibbing at it the last couple of years. Stephen got me this book for Christmas over a year ago called Crochet Adorned.

When I first tried it I got so frustrated that I gave up Now I'm trying it again. Starting out small. This is what I attempted to make...

and this is what I made.

I'm not sure where I went wrong, as you can see the real image has four picot fans, and mine only has three. I even counted out every individual one. Oh, well. Maybe some day I'll be so good at it I'll make something like these. If only...

Being a mommy sure has awoken all these mommy homemaker desires I never knew I had.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother I love you!

I hope everyone had a Happy Mother's Day. Stephen was sick, and James is at the end of whatever it is that he had, but they still managed to make it memorable. Well Stephen did, James was just his regular stinkery self. During sacrament the primary kids sang to us a song about mothers. It was sad actually because during one of the practices for the song that they sang yesterday for mother's day one of our students started crying. Stephen asked him if he was okay, but he just hid his face. I know he's in a step family but I don't know what the situation is, if his parents got divorced, or if his mother passed away. It pulled at my heart though and I almost started to cry with him. Anyway...Because I was the only one not sick I had to teach by myself yesterday. Stephen and I teach the 5-6 year olds at church. Word to the wise, if you ever get assigned to teach junior primary treats work. That is the only way to get them to behave. I know they discourage it. But, it's the only way to keep sane and it works. We have 9 students, but we usually have about 5-7 kids show up every Sunday. Treats work. Our system is that for every 3 questions that they answer they get a dum dum. And the dum dums are so small I don't feel guilty giving them out. The maximum dum dums any given child will ever get during class is 3, but usually it's two. It keeps our kids in their seats and paying attention. Mostly. It's funny though. They are so desperate to get candy that they will just shout out gospel answers that have nothing to do with the lesson. For example: "Okay class, how old are we when we get baptised?" "Heavenly Father!" "Uh, Joseph Smith" "Pray and read your scriptures!" We have one little boy in our class who is autistic and every 5 minutes he gets up to ask me how many points he has. "Well, Brennen remember you have to answer a question to get a point." "But I asked a question. Don't I get a point." "Um...that's not how it works." But they're a fun class. Two of them are wanna be boyfriend and girlfriend and we have to remind them to sit in their own chairs, no kissing in class. Last Christmas before we got our classes rotated here is how one of our lessons went. (Yes I wrote it down, Stephen was teaching and it was just to hilarious not to.)
Stephen: Does everyone believe in Jesus?
Student: Some people don't believe in Santa!
Stephen: Well, some people don't believe in Jesus!
Student:Yeah like people in China, people in China don't believe in Jesus.
Stephen: Well...some do, but most don't.
Student: Yeah, like this one guy, he's Chinese, but lives in Japan. Do Japan people believe in Jesus?
Student: Jesus was resurrected on Easter?
Me: Well, His Resurrection is what made Easter. When He was born, that made Christmas. When He was resurrected that made Easter.
Student: Well, then what made Halloween?
Student: Maybe candy made Halloween!
Student: So, today we're learning about resurrections?
Me: Who wants a sucker? Ladies first, ladies first.
Student: Ahh man!

With all the funny things that go on in our class I've debated actually recording them and making a kind of comic book, like "Family Circus" but the kids are our students and not our actual children. Maybe we could call it "CTR Circus". Our class is CTR (Choose the Right) 5A.

Here's a picture of the two sickies.

Here's a shirt I made this last week. I look really frumpy in this picture. Hopefully I don't always look like this.

But the shirt really is cute. It only cost $1.50 for the fabric. Stephen and I went to the Thanksgiving Point Dinosaur Museum. Tons of fun, sorry no pics, but I totally recommend it. James is getting his first pictures taken this Saturday and I'm super excited. Have a good week!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Birthday Week

I believe that a birthday is not just one day, but a whole week. People have to be nice to you the whole week. Well, hopefully people are nice just because it's good to be nice. But, for the the birthday week we have to be especially nice. That's what I use to say as a kid anyways. Being the youngest of 7 you can get teased a lot. So, I would use that as a way for my siblings to remember as a kid. "Hey be nice, it's my birthday week." It worked for the most part. So, having said that, if you didn't get a chance to call Stephen on his birthday, or e-mail him, or facebook, whichever it's not too late to tell him you love him and Happy Birthday!! For his Birthday I got him "Sherlock Holmes" the movie, and "Iron Man 2" and he loves them. We had a small party yesterday, not much, the usual: pizza, soda, cake, some fruit and veggies. Our friend Valerie who is about 4 or 5 months pregnant did something very pregnant and spread the hummus dip on her pizza. hmmm... i usually use it for sugar snap peas, but I'll have to try putting it on pizza. We had a good turnout, a total of 12-13 people (not including ourselves) that came. Luckily they all came in stages (because our apartment isn't huge) from 3:30-ish, and the last people left at like 8. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures, too busy socializing. Before the party Stephen and some friends went to a Utah Defensive League Pistol Match and had a blast. By the way it snowed yesterday. (These are pictures from our apartment window)

*sigh* That's one thing I hate about Utah. Winter and Summer tend to hog the other seasons. I'm the type of person that likes 4 very distinct seasons. I like them to start on time and end on time. Each season should get 3 months. Period. But what can ya do. James was sick again this last week. The usual, runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. Now I'm starting to feel a little tickle in my nasal passage as well. grrr. James learned some new words this week: hot, two, and okay. I'm glad he's starting to understand "hot" so that now I can use it to refer to something that can hurt him or is dangerous. "No" has pretty much lost meaning for him. BTW I made myself a spring skirt. See.

Have a good week!