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Happy New Year!: Well, we are finally done with I-15, hopefully for at least a few days. Besides driving back to Utah, we've made three trips to Midvale and back, the last two of which were very windy and scary. I am exhausted. We stayed up playing games with the pretty much the whole family then crashed on the floor with the nephews again.

Now we're back and cozy at home. I have to work tomorrow, but I am really looking forward to the weekend. Of course, then John has to start school again.

We started reading our fancy Family Book of Mormon. It's neat, all kinds of pictures and quotes and stuff right along in it. This week I have also learned how to crochet quilt squares- I am moving on from scarves and straight lines!

Safe journies to all those of you still traveling.

[Comments] (5) More Yummy Recipes from Susie's Kitchen: Tonight, on the spur of the moment and realizing that I had carrots, I cooked some carrots. John wanted me to "cook them in a buttery sauce!" but I didn't know how to make said "buttery sauce". Actually, I didn't know how to cook carrots at all. At this point I remembered that I own an actual cookbook. Leonard bought it for me at the used bookstore. So I used it to make "Brown-Sugar-Glazed Carrots".

Cook carrots in water. Drain. Mix butter and brown sugar in pot. Add carrots. Yum.

John only likes cooked vegetables so I am learning.

Triumph Again: Since I am only working part time this week I've had lots of time to do stuff in the morning. I've had lots of errands so far this week, but still had time to cook yummy meals. I made curry chicken in the crockpot yesterday and hamburger pie and cheesy rolls today. The rolls were an experiment, but John really liked them. They were really soft and I didn't even burn them.

I love when John likes my dinners! I also like when I have time to cook ahead and make some actual food.

We had two interns start at work this week. It's fun to watch them doing what I had to do.

[Comments] (4) : It's only the third day of class and already John has tons of homework. Of course, he has to get up to his usual three days ahead. I have been scrapbooking like mad. Yesterday I finally got the last of my wedding pictures and I am finishing up that book. I'm working on pages 9 and 10 this week. I really am pumping them out. Almost done!!!!

[Comments] (3) : Despite the fact that I haven't been grocery shopping in almost a month and that we paid for gas to CA and back (and Midvale and back and Midvale and back and Midvale and back) on John's account, my credit card bill is the same as usual. It must be January.

I don't think I mentioned that my Christmas bonus was a free pound of See's candy. Yum. I got to pick out one of everything that sounded yummy, or that John might like, then I got the rest caramels. I've almost forgotten that I was expecting a $50 check. The box says "See's Candies... A Happy Habit."

[Comments] (1) : Does anyone know how to get rid of popups? We are getting more than ever and it's so annoying! Gah!

Testing: here is the link for mom.

[Comments] (3) : Last night we saw a comparably bad movie, Cold Sassy Tree. No plot, random people dying... John said it reminded him of Gone with the Wind.

In unrelated news, I managed to run a mile without stopping today. Ok, you can stop laughing now.

: Today I finally figured out that firetrucks parked outside the Fieldhouse just means the firefighters are in there working out. However, I did manage to realize this before I walked home and saw two ambulances and a firetruck pull away with their sirens blaring.

The past couple nights it has snowed about 1/4 centimeter, which stays around since it's, like, 20 degrees, making everything all yucky and gray. Plus it's been foggy*, making the world even less unattractive.

*In my five years living in Utah I have only once seen fog comparable to Bakersfield. About three years ago.

[Comments] (2) Trying not to open my eyes too wide: I woke up with an awful headache, even awful compared to the past few days. I've got a meeting at work, but not much else to do. Perhaps I will make a visit to the scrapbook store and use my gift certificate. I am trying to get started finishing up John's pre-marriage scrapbooking, but I need him to pick out pictures.

[Comments] (2) Even More Yummy Recipes: I made the best dinner ever tonight. I love this great curry we get at this Thai restaurant in town. Little did I know that when I got a recipe for coconut curry sauce on Food 911 the other day I would be making something just as yummy!

Here is the Susie-fied version, extended from a sauce into a delicious meal! I only used about half of the sauce to feed me and John. Remember to shake and stir your coconut milk before using... trust me on this one.

Coconut Curry Chicken
Sauce
¼ c. coconut
1 T curry powder
1 c. chicken stock
1 c. coconut milk
1 c. cashews
pepper

Mix with nifty hand blender.

Everything Else
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, diced
chicken, cubed
1 c. peas
rice

Boil potatoes until tender.  Cook onion in olive oil.  Add chicken.  When chicken is cooked, add sauce, peas and potatoes.  Cover and boil for a while.  Serve over rice.

I don't understand why recipes call for 1 cup or 2 cups of something that comes in a 14 oz can. What do you do with the extra? We have plenty of room in our fridge so I kept it. For now.

[Comments] (5) :

Mom: I'm glad you married so wisely
Mom: You have a cute DH too

Adventures in Scrapbooking: Today was the first trial of our Relief Society's Scrapbook Club. There were only two other girls on such short notice but it was really fun, plus John got to study while I was out of the house. I am working on finishing up John's old stuff and I am almost done with out wedding book. One more page. Finally. I haven't gotten around to using the cute things I bought with my Christmas gift certificate, but I am looking forward to it.

: This morning I made french toast and bacon for breakfast, John's two favorite foods. I was going to surprise him until he rolled over in bed and asked me to make french toast for breakfast. So much for that idea. We poured syrup from a little glass ducky syrup dispenser.

In related news, I have been using a cute little crab recipe holder. I never realized how useful a recipe holder is; my recipe is always in the same place when I look for it. Amazing. Thanks Leonard!

: Tonight at Nathan's birthday party Jodi (my sister-in-law) announced she is getting married on June 18th. We are all very excited and happy for her. The guy, Franco has been very sweet and nice since we met him at the New Year's party. They will be engaged for five months, but they haven't known each other very long. Yay for weddings!

[Comments] (2) Still Almost: I continue to be "almost done" with our wedding scrapbook. I spent the morning cutting up leftover picture of the two of us to say "John & Susie", but now I'm not sure what to do with the page. My fat alphabet stencils match my picture cutouts well, so I will use those, but I can't decide if patterned paper will make it too busy or not.

This is, by the way, the LAST page for the book. I have two pages left for John's old book (Disneyland!), then I will be caught up to about August 10. Luckily most everything else that will need scrapbooking is still on my camera.

I have been meaning to mention for the past 8 1/2 months that the walls where I work are plastic. Not in my building, but in the bathrooms and on the units, the school etc.

[Comments] (2) Sick: Bleh.

John has his first interview today, of three, so we are hoping. This means we have a social to go to every evening. Tonight I just have to go for the dessert, not any of the meeting part, which is good because the food/meeting ratio last night was not favorable.

Back to scrapbooking.

[Comments] (2) : I am feeling a little better, which is lucky because I've had to work all day today (and tomorrow and Monday). My groups went so well today, I am very pleased. I was only able to take four girls off campus, but they still let me go! Then the boys were so good for me (mostly) playing Ping Pong Basketball. I'm glad we're off to a good start because I have four more days of covering for Laura in the next week or so.

It's been a mess at work because our driver quit, Emily is sick, Laura's gone and someone needs to go skiing tomorrow. Mess mess mess. Why can't that all happen on different days so I can get more hours?? Next week I get to take Laura's boys to learn karate.

Hi-ya, sissy?

Update: My entry sounded weird rereading it- somebody actually has to go skiing tomorrow, I wasn't being sarcastic. Marissa finally agreed to go.

[Comments] (2) Done: I have officially finished our wedding scrapbook. Every page has a page protector on it, so it's official. What a relief.

In other news, I think I have an ear infection. It doesn't hurt but I can hardly hear anything. John is taking me to Leatherby's for dessert tonight.

[Comments] (2) Busy Day and Good News: I rushed home from a full day of work, whipped up some more scrumptious Coconut Curry, and John and I headed up to Jon and Sharon's to meet Alyssa's fiance. We decided to turn around when we were 20 minutes late and hadn't made it farther than Pleasant Grove, due to the awful traffic. To cheer ourselves up we a) made plans to go up and spend Sunday with our family and b) received a phone call from Ernst & Young in Orange County offering John a fly-out. Yay!

John also got offered a fly-out from PWC in LA, who also offered to take us skiing, but we have too many other things to do (sad). We don't expect to hear from KPMG until next week. Of course, we didn't expect to hear from E&Y yet either. They called John before their USC interviews; a good sign, we think.

Yay!

[Comments] (4) : Ray Oman called me this morning. He kept confusing everyone in our family, asking my if my mom was dating again, and didn't I live in the house I was born in?

[Comments] (2) : As an assignment for our calling (John and I are the Stake Public Affairs people), we are collecting dishsoap in our living room. We only have four bottles so far (out of a possible 46 couples who volunteered to help), but they look silly lined up on our window sill. We get to do some fun things with our calling, but we also have to go to lots of boring meetings. But not for three more weeks!

[Comments] (8) : I spent the morning making my weblog entries from my Romania internship print-able, and now I can't get the file to open on our computer at work. To make things worse, the survey I needed to create only took 20 minutes so now I don't really have anything to do. Since everyone else is in group, I am busily thinking of more projects for myself. I can have more fun with stats once we get the surveys back.

It's supposed to get up to 40 degrees today!

: Today I got a yummy free lunch. John is on the phone with, I assume, a recruiter. I cleaned the house today. We also took 36 bottles of dishsoap to Spanish Fork. I took a picture of our window sill with all the pretty soap bottles.

John was talking to KPMG. His office visit is on President's Day. Yay! Three for three so far!

: We are going up to go to church with John's parents today and drop by the Whitney's. Yay!

[Comments] (5) : Here is
my map. I don't remember visiting Oklahoma, but it Leonard said so. He also forgot Missouri which I'm sure was visited on that same trip.


Here is my world map. I am counting airports, which I slept in, but not Moldova, which I lived ten miles from but was never able to visit due to their political situation. John should make a map of countries with people he's sent EFY refunds to.

: This morning I got up before John for, like, the third time in our marriage. He is sick and I had to go take a test. A very stupid, important and expensive test I've been waiting eight months for. I passed. Yay! That means a huge raise and another letter ("C" for "Certified") to sign after my name.

Keri's baby is still here (at work in her tummy) despite all her efforts. This proves for more new hours for me than I thought because Anna still needs to take Level 5s skiing. Or I could just take them...

Baby!: Today after group we all went to the hospital to see Keri and her new baby (who finally has a name: Sam). Sooo cute! I got to hold him and he was all asleep and tiny. I miss Keri already, mostly because I had to cover her unit today. I played "Ring the Stick" with 14 13-year old boys, all with ODD and ADHD. You would not believe the arguing. On the bright side is more hours and more money.

This morning I made some very cute Valentine's Day cards and some yummy Taco Soup for dinner.

[Comments] (13) Lazy Sunday: John had some mission buddies over last night... They stayed until 3 AM. I went to bed this time and left John to get them to leave. Other than that, it was fun. We had pizza and played Scattergories.

I am learning how to crochet baby hats and I have finally gotten one that I think wll fit an actual baby. Although since I don't have one, I'm not positive. Booties to match! 6 weeks or less until Shiela's baby comes.

[Comments] (3) : Our poor cute little ducky syrup jar had an unfortunate incident. Since only the plastic broke, I'm hoping to be able to put it back together, but we don't have any glue. Maybe syrup will work? Other Christmas presents are having better luck. We made sugar cookies in Play Therapy yesterday and my farm animal sprinkles were a great success.

*Yawn* I've been so tired this week.

[Comments] (2) : Today is looking up from when I woke up feeling so tired and dreary. My job search (I'm looking for some additional part-time work) produced more results than last time and my group with Boys ISU was much more successful than Mondays.

: My mommy made it here all safe and we are excited for a fun-family-filled weekend. John did great on his test today. I am writing that because he never updates. He says I write everything important anyway. Well here's something important: John sent me tulips!!! Just like he did over a year ago and Mom said he was moving too fast. Well we're married now and we like it!

Glad my mommy is here safe and that Len is in Kentucky safe. Excited for a day off work to spend with the fam.

[Comments] (1) Memories: The other day I was telling John about the "Richardson Family Funnies" and saying that we should be sure to write down all the silly things our kids say. The only ones I could remember were:

Leonard: Over the river and through the woods, watch out my apple juice.

Dad: Who is answering the phone? Susie: It's Susanna! It keeps on being her!

Can anyone (Len and Rach) remember anymore?

[Comments] (3) More Memories: Remember "Spending Time"? We used to have half an hour with our dad every Sunday (or something, I was little, what do I know?) to do things like play Uno and get our nails painted "half and half". He also used to read us books at night. I remember one about a girl in Idaho and cornfields and sitting on the roof....

: Mommy's gone, but now I get to look forward to Leonard's coming, whenever that will be. Hopefully, for me at least, while John is gone so I have company. Then John may miss him, but he gets to take rachey to lunch so I feel no pity.

: John made this really cool Hong Kong Tourism powerpoint for his last project in one of his classes. He recorded himself speaking and some music even to go along with it. Plus, he is totally done with that class now!

Every other day of the week is fine: Today is awfully quiet after this busy weekend. Everyone, including John, is gone now. I began getting my house back to normal, but I have to go to work (unlike the 800 other people trying to do laundry this morning). I am still deciding whether or not I get holiday pay today.

Thanks for all the visits, family!

: I made beef stroganoff based loosely on Aunt Jeuney's recipe this past weekend. It was really yummy, yummier than I thought it would be. I am supposed to be somewhere, but I got distracted playing 20 Questions with the computer.

: Necessity drove me to the car wash the other day; I am out of wiper fluid. In other news, I finally bought krazy glue and have attempted to fix the ducky. He is partially fixed. It's harder than I thought. I've gotten a lot of extra work this week, which is good. Mommy brought me more scrapbook stuff and I am excited to work on that. Last night I went to a stamping party. It was fun, but lasted a little too long for my taste.

[Comments] (3) : We got a postcard today from Sumana from Hong Kong. We loved it, thanks!! I began the task of getting the pictures Mom brought me ready to scrapbook. It's fun to have fun stuff like that to do.

[Comments] (1) Cookies, Get Yer Cookies: John requested I make chocolate cookies tonight. He likes my cookies! Another triumph.

Today I worked all day and have scrapbooked all evening, minus the cookie baking. Well, I found it exciting.

: Leonard helped us get a Pop-up blocker last Sunday night. In the past week, we've blocked 100 pop-ups, plus we still get some! That is an insane amount of junk floating around out there.

: The firemen were at the track today. They ran one lap, then went running off to an alternative high school, a little like Heritage. We play their basketball team. We don't accept convicted arsonists.

Yay!: Good day.

I am doing Polynesian Culture for this year's Cultural Awareness (this is by default since Shiela will most likely be missing most of it on maternity leave). We had a nice meeting today, Shiela's units are combined with Anna's so I get to work with her again. It's going to be less of a big deal and pain this year (I think people schedule their babies around this). We are considering dipping dried pineapple in chocolate for an activity- yum.

[Comments] (1) : I forgot what I was going to say.

: I'm glad John has finally made it home and I'm glad that he's finally shared his good news because now I can talk about it! I say finally, but he really did at the first available chance. Well, the internship John is going to accept is one week shorter than we thought it would be, and it starts four days after Jodi's wedding, so we don't have to worry about that being a big hassle. We are very excited.

This headache has come back to haunt me. I complained about it to Mom and she says "old wounds hurt when the weather changes" which it certainly has today. It was over 50 yesterday and today it is raining. Anyway, my poor little broken skull hurts and I have to work all day today (and tomorrow). At least it's not snowing.

Yesterday I had to throw away a pair of PJs that Mom made me when I came to college (5 1/2 years ago?). I looked for more, but the only ones I found were the ones she left when she came up here. Well, they certainly are warm, Mom!

[Comments] (5) : It's me! And the pretty tulips John sent me.

[Comments] (4) Doing Laundry on a Friday Night: I made a yummy dinner and we are going to Coldstone. That's about all I have to say!

[Comments] (7) : Today I am bringing Julie to scrapbook club. I think I am just going to make cards though. I don't have very much more scrapbooking to do, so I need to spread it out. I need a tiny screwdriver so I can open my camera and try to salvage the pictures that actually managed to get taken. I'm afraid I have dropped it one too many times.

It's snowed a bit over the night. Enough to make it pretty, but not so much there will be ugly piles of nastiness everywhere tomorrow.

I find myself constantly getting rid of stuff we don't like or use. I even get excited when we get to throw out an empty shampoo bottle. I just like getting rid of stuff!

: More snow over the night. John took me to Fazoli's yesterday, which was much yummier than anticipated. Tonight we are going to West Valley for Hannah's birthday party. This time last year (Hannah's 2nd birthday) I was meeting most of John's family for the first time, except for Traffic *wah!* and his parents, whom I met on Valentine's Day. Yay for family. I'm excited.

[Comments] (3) : Today was an interesting day at work. Maybe if there is anything in the news about it, I can say something.

: I am glad this week is over. I've worked a ton the past two weeks and I am exhausted. Tomorrow morning I'm going to Salt Lake to hang out with my roommates from Romania. Sunday I can finally sleep in *sigh*. Luckily, John helped me clean the house this evening so I am mostly caught up on my chores for tomorrow. He's such a cutie.

: I had fun going to breakfast with all my old friends yesterday. It's been two years since we were in Romania. Four of us are married, one engaged, one baby and, as of April, five degrees. Not to mention Lisa, who will be home from her mission to Romania in two months. We missed her yesterday, everyone else made it.

We are enjoying our lazy Sunday morning and my cute husband is making us a Break-the-Fast brunch.

Late for Work: and I still need to *make* a baby card and mail a birthday card I can't find an address for. So much to put off, so little time.

PS I am doing a group with Bertie Bott's Every Flavored Beans today.

[Comments] (3) : I had a great day at work today. I went to Shiela's groups with her to spend more time with the kids before her baby comes. We played Catchphrase and the person holding it when the buzzer went off had to eat a Jelly Belly and guess the flavor. It was hilarious. My two ISU groups also went well.

I got my NCTRC certificate in the mail on Saturday. I am now officially Susanna R. Chadwick, CTRS. I will get used to adding the "C" in there soon because I'll have four times the amount of paperwork once I am working Shiela's units.

I gave Shiela a ride home from work today and she was trying to decide if she was in labor or not.

I tried to make Sweet&Sour sauce from scratch tonight. I didn't think it turned out very good but John really liked it. It was a nice day and we went for a stroll. Also, I made a cheesecake yesterday. It is somewhat runny, so I wonder if I didn't bake it long enough?

[Comments] (1) : I read the Magician's Nephew last night, Book 1 of the Chronicles of Narnia. See? I know how to read!

A Good Day of Honest Work: I did a lot of work at work today. I mean work, not my usual running groups and charting and such. I had at least 3 hours of "free" time which I spent typing up ISU modules on different weekly topics, and my Leave No Trace memo for next week. I am proud of my modules project and it makes me sad to think that I might not get to do ISU for too much longer. Oh well, I will pass it on for posterity's use. It has really helped me be organized to have weekly topics, and planning ahead has helped me with my goal to do fewer games and more involved groups.

I am making Hamburger Helper strogannoff and John is sad because mine tastes better. Oh well, once this box is gone from my cupboard... The cheesecake is also almost gone from our fridge.

It is lovely weather and we are considering going for our third walk of the week (one of which was cold). Yay for Spring! It opens up a whole new world of outdoor challenge groups.

Events this week: Thursday I read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Last night Kristen came over to show me her scrapbook and reminisce over our list of quotes. (That link was harder to find than I though. I think I have had four roommates named Kristen and a Kristi or two.) Tonight we are going to the temple.

Still waiting for Shiela's baby, but in the meantime, Julie has left town and I'm covering for her. We have some elaborate plans in case the baby comes whiles she's gone, esp. today with our Director out of town. I will just have to be two places at once.

[Comments] (8) How to get your husband to buy you new shoes: Today is Saturday. In my hurry to get to the laundry room before everyone else (which is always either in vain or entirely unnecessary), I threw on some clothes, and dug out some old, worn out flipflops from my closet. An hour and a half later, John says "maybe we could go to Old Navy and see if they have flipflops yet and we could buy you some." I think he just doesn't like any of my sandals.

John has also offered to take me to dinner and to a $1 movie tonight. We didn't get to choose what to see though; there is only one movie playing we would even considering seeing.

[Comments] (2) : For FHE tonight John and I walked to Glazies and had some yummy donuts. I made an attempt at Scalloped Potatoes for dinner. I kinda followed a recipe, other than the baking for 1 hour part; I just simmered it until the potatoes were edible. I keep making things with sausage that have zero flavor otherwise (like my gumbo). What am I doing wrong? Well, I'm out of sausage now anyway, so hopefully I won't try that again!

: Shiela just called me and Jackson (the baby) should be here in a few hours. What great timing! Well, first of all, it's the due date. But Shiela got to come to the conference yesterday and get CEUs and Julie is back in town, so I won't be doing double duty. If all goes well, we may get to go see them in the hospital this afternoon!

Heritage hosted a conference yesterday on Youth with Mental Disorders. Most of it was a review for me, but the speaker was entertaining and put some new perspectives on things. It was also to interesting to hear her opinions on the drugs (medications) we use, since I knew nothing about most meds until I started having first hand experiences with them at Heritage; not exactly something a Rec Therapist has to learn in school (although I did take Anatomy, and didn't do so well, as John pointed out last night).

Anyway, today it'll be nice to do actual work, after sitting on my bum for 8 hours yesterday. And now I have my own kids to work with (for a few weeks).

: I got to go see Jackson today, although I couldn't go with everyone else because of ISU. I have had a busy day getting into the groove of having my own units with all the additional paperwork and work.

John is taking me to dessert tonight. Yummy! And we are going to see John's parents and Logan tomorrow and go see LOTR again.

John is the best!: He cleaned the whole house for me tonight! I was so tired from being so busy at work and I crashed before I remembered that we will be gone tomorrow. He also took me to Applebee's for blondies and it was yummy. John loves white chocolate. He's my best!

: We had a good weekend with the fam. We went shopping in the food storage, watch a Carebear movie, and ate Phillopino food. John made yummy sweet & sour. We came home to a nice clean house and our nice hometeachers and are relaxing for a long week. John has a lot of group meetings and other stuff to do. Well, it's bedtime; I have a lot to do tomorrow.

[Comments] (6) : John requested Yummy Balls for dinner tonight and they were yummy. John has a group meeting late tonight, so I will have time to go to the grocery store. I am exhausted from work and it's only Monday.

[Comments] (4) Fishies!: Please view Sumana's reasons for wanting fish. Now I want fish! But then I remember John's reasons for not wanting fish. You're both right. I'm torn. But they would have to be John's fish too. Ergo, no fishies.

: Yesterday I got a cute new shirt at the Gap and while we were there, the expensive pants we bought John had gone on sale. Jerks! Well, they gave us our $20 back, so we were satisfied in the end. But my shirt is cute!

Tonight we are having John's old roommates and significant others over for hamburgers. I am also going to make chocolate chip cookies while John goes to our boring meeting. Last night we did a really ard puzzle together and watched "A Knight's Tale" on TV. The nice weather has encouraged lots of walks out of us, although the past few days have been rainy.

Next weekend is Conference, and a baby shower, and a birthday party for Dad and Franco (Jodi's fiance). And an Easter Egg Hunt. I am hoping, since we have to bring stuff this year, that we will also get stuff.

[Comments] (2) I made a quiz!: See? Take it!

[Comments] (9) Today was a good day: My hair was cute, my outfit was cute, and my groups went well. I made aspargus with hollondaise and Aunt Jeuney's beef stroganoff for dinner, we went for a walk and now we get to have ice cream cake leftover from the party on Sunday. Ahhh, life.

: I had so much to do at work today that by the time I left, John already had to go to an E&Y thing before I got home. We have URTA tomorrow and Friday. So no groups! But I do have to drive to Salt Lake and have meetings all day.

That's about all I have to say. I may get to go to Craft Club this week- they're doing recipes!

Long Weekend: Well, we're home, and even though it should feel earlier than the time thinks it is, I'm exhausted. we had a lot of fun and a lot of food. I went to a baby shower, a double birthday party and an Easter Egg Hunt (which John and I got to participate in). Not to mention all the tickle fights, games of tag and red light/ green light, etc that go on with all those kiddlets around.

Here is my yummy Beef Stroganoff easy version recipe:

1 lb. ground beef
Brown beef and remove from pan.

3 T butter
1 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 lb. fresh sliced mushrooms
Cook in butter until onion is golden.

Add and stir until smooth:
3 T flour
1 T ketchup
1/2 t. salt
1/8 pepper

Gradually add 1 can beef broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer on low 5 minutes. Add 1/4 t. dill and 1 1/2 c. sour cream (I don't use that much).  Stir. Add beef. Simmer just until hot.

[Comments] (8) Long Weekend: Well, we're home, and even though it should feel earlier than the time thinks it is, I'm exhausted. we had a lot of fun and a lot of food. I went to a baby shower, a double birthday party and an Easter Egg Hunt (which John and I got to participate in). Not to mention all the tickle fights, games of tag and red light/ green light, etc that go on with all those kiddlets around.

Here is my yummy Beef Stroganoff easy version recipe:

1 lb. ground beef
Brown beef and remove from pan.

3 T butter
1 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 lb. fresh sliced mushrooms
Cook in butter until onion is golden.

Add and stir until smooth:
3 T flour
1 T ketchup
1/2 t. salt
1/8 pepper

Gradually add 1 can beef broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer on low 5 minutes. Add 1/4 t. dill and 1 1/2 c. sour cream (I don't use that much).  Stir. Add beef. Simmer just until hot.

[Comments] (5) : Rich (my boss) called me into his office today to tell me that the Rec Therapy program is for sure (again) moving to evenings and weekends. So, M, T, Th and F I'll be working 12-8, Wed 9-5 and a rotating Saturday. For Sure. Rich has three weeks to rework the original evening schedule we worked out.

In other news. Hmm what was my other news. Oh yeah. Now that I am finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia, I've started up on Harry Potter again. I finished #2 this afternoon. Jodi borrowed John's #3 so we took a walk to the library to check it out. Then John bought me KFC, yummy. The library had at least 30 copies of HP #5. We laughed. The demand is so high in the beginning, but now, they are all just sitting there!

Yesterday I went to the mall to buy a sweater for Jodi's wedding. We are all (sisters-in-law) wearing the same sweater with khaki skirts. I really like the sweater. It's lavender with trim on the 3/4 sleeves and the waist. I especially am happy we all found something we like.

Thoughts I had today: If chapstick (tm) were food, I would eat it.

: I am at work chilling until group therapy is over (about the only time we get anything done around here). Next week is Spring Break, and we will be starting our new schedule the day after that. hrmph.

This morning I made Stuffed Shells to bake for my cutie John tonight. It will be yummy. Well, I should get back to work and find something "productive" to do, or at least worth Heritage's money. Just thought I'd say that I made a yummy dinner for tonight!

A Long Week: Our department is being restructured, which isn't good news and we have all been quite grumpy at work.

Today John and I went around finding good deals on clothes we needed. We also cleaned out our closets. I love getting rid of stuff. I'm hungry.

[Comments] (1) : I have finished HP #5. When is the next one coming out? I understood them a lot more this time around. John and I bought lots of clothes yesterday with book buyback money.

Today I made two batches of pretzels and our yummy favorite, Zesty Chicken and Potatoes. Then we got lazy and had corndogs for dinner. Actually, I was going to make Chinese Cabbage salad, but, unbelievably enough, we didn't have any Ramen. What a sad, yet blissful, day of college life.

[Comments] (3) : What did I ever do in the mornings before I started reading? Sleep in, I guess. If I keep my current job (well, the one nearest which would be possible for me to have) I will be working 12-8 everyday. Seriously, what do people do all morning?

Luckily, today is a non-school day and John has left the computer home to go work all day. He's working lots for me this week, especially since he can take his final while I'm at Enrichment (gardening) and not have to take time off work.

I am making Cheesy Bacon Spanish Rice for dinner. Yummy. I guess it wouldn't kill me to leave for work now.

: John and I are going to see Grandma June on Saturday and do a puzzle with her. I also got a thing in the mail about Saturn owner's night at the zoo sometime in May, so we might take Ember and Logan.

At work today, one girl announced she wouldn't be reapplying for her job, so that at least takes some of the pressure off.

Dinner was yummy. Now we're going to the mall to return the skirt I originally got to wear to Jodi's wedding. Cute husband is coming with me. That's for FHE today.

[Comments] (2) : Enrichment tonight was on gardening. I got to plant some seeds in a little egg shell and now I am looking online for ideas about growing things with no outside space. This is the best site I've found.

<---- Look at the date!: Happy Birthday Dear Mommy!!!!! Happy Birthday to You!

[Comments] (2) : I have an interview with the "Executive Committee" in half an hour and suddenly I am really nervous...

[Comments] (6) : I lost my job today and I am very sad.

: Please refer to John's page for a history of yesterday's events. Today we went to Grandma June's again for dinner and some bridal shower planning with Mom, Dad, Jodi and Franco. It's nice to have a grandma near to spoil us, even though I miss the one far away. Grandma June is 86 and is very active. She is a fun lady.

On the schedule for tomorrow: Job Search, Job Search, Job Search.

[Comments] (8) : I have applied for approximately eleven jobs so far, one of which was as a Rec Therapist at a place similar to Heritage. Most of them are office positions, for which, according to the two office skills tests I took today, I am most qualified. I had to take the BYU one for the BYU jobs and the DWS one for the government jos (dept. of substance abuse etc), and if I don't have a job by Wednesday I will have to take the Kelly Services one. My ten-key scores keep going down; am I really that bad?

I made yummy-smelling BBQ chicken, rice and carrots for dinner. I am using a new kind of rice, "Calrose", because it was the least expensive. I usually buy just the long-grain white rice. This kind looks really fluffy.

: I found this story while looking for an address for BHS.

[Comments] (4) : Job is going ok. I had an interview at a place similar to Heritage the other day. If I'm hired they'll require (and pay for) Lifeguard, EMT, River Guide, and Ropes Course certifications and wilderness survival training. How fun! Tomorrow John is going with me to see if I can learn how to rock climb. If so, I can do anything!

Still making seminar confirmation phone calls. Could be worse.

Saturdays are great: John and I had a fun day yesterday. We cleaned the house, although John did most of it, since I had to go to the store early to get more quarters to do laundry with. Then we got our free tickets to Saturn Owner's night at the Hogle Zoo, to which we are taking Logan and Ember. Had a fun time rock climbing- I'm not very good but I wasn't scared. We had lunch at the expense of a Women's Conference signature card someone gave John, and then went to see Return of the King at the dollar theatre. Then we took a nap cause John's head hurt.

[Comments] (3) : Had our cousins over yesterday (Thanks for coming, guys!) and had good food and fun. I think John especially enjoyed the intelligent conversation on subjects I either know nothing about or try to stay away from.

John's boss makes really cute cards and my sweet husband asked her to bring some so that I could get ideas from them. Ideas, smchmeas, now I don't have to make any!, I said.

I have another interview tomorrow, and continued work with the seminar reservation confirming stuff. And we get to go to California later this week to see my mommy! Life could definitely be worse.

: This afternoon I had another interview, made some free stuff at the scrapbook store, we walked to the church to get an additional calling, and had a mint oreo shake at DQ. We also did a cool puzzle from Grandma June, all different colors of thread. And I've applied for more and more jobs today.

I am very excited for our now-official trip to California this weekend, even though it means missing out on a Chadwick party. There will be one the next week, and the zoo.

[Comments] (3) : Today I have a break from my current temp. job (although when I go to turn in my timecard later, they may have something else for me). I made a list of everything I needed to do, job related and otherwise, and I could hardly believe how much there was. I have to do my usual Saturday stuff, since we were gone, plus job-hunting stuff, plus other things I need to catch up on from putting it off. So far today I have balanced the checkbook and it's almost to the time when things are open and I can really get my day started.

Good news: All of my job hunting efforts may have finally paid off. I am going to celebrate by making a card for Jodi's shower on Saturday. Saturday! We get to take Logan and Ember to the zoo after the shower, plus see Grandma June and all the rest of the family, plus get a bunch of stuff out of our living room (Jodi's gift, Grandma's puzzles, Mom's Mother's Day gift and movies and stuff from California Mom*).

*Can you think of a better way to distinguish when I have already used one "Mom" in a sentence? California Mom... it's like a Beach Boys song.

[Comments] (6) Good news: All of my job hunting efforts may have finally paid off. I am going to celebrate by making a card for Jodi's shower on Saturday. Saturday! We get to take Logan and Ember to the zoo after the shower, plus see Grandma June and all the rest of the family, plus get a bunch of stuff out of our living room (Jodi's gift, Grandma's puzzles, Mom's Mother's Day gift and movies and stuff from California Mom*).

*Can you think of a better way to distinguish when I have already used one "Mom" in a sentence? California Mom... it's like a Beach Boys song.

[Comments] (6) Official Good News: My new job is official now. It's not, Kristen, at the place like Heritage, which, unfortunately for me, pays twice as much. It is at A place like Heritage (sort of), but not doing rec therapy, basically doing nothing while the girls sleep. I am very relieved to have a job, though, and I'll be able to do lots of stuff.

[Comments] (1) : Yesterday was an amazingly fun day. John dropped me off at Jodi's shower at Grandma's, where we ate, played one non-lame game, and got to watch her open gifts (free stuff!). Then we went back up to Midvale, dropping off Erin and picking up Logan on the way, and did nothing until zoo time. We took Logan and Ember to McDonald's, then to the zoo. Zoo!

The Hogle Zoo is fairly small, so even though we were only there a few hours, we got to see and do pretty much everything, including the playground and the train. We paid $1 for a little seed stick to feed the birds with; the kids loved that. A lot of the animals were being really active, including the elephants, which were eating, the tigers, which were fighting, and the camels, which were biting each other and I didn't know camels made sounds like that. A few of the large primates were sitting in front of the glass watching The People Show, which Ember was a large part of. We also got to pet an armadillo.

Words Ember knows (she is four): Exhibit. Aggressive. Meerkat. Tortoise. She can't read; did she really learn those words from TV?

[Comments] (3) : On Sunday morning, John and I started a new puzzle my grandma gave us. It's a 1000 piece Thomas Kinkade painting, and it's really hard. It's still sitting on our floor with maybe 100-200 pieces left. Of course I haven't been home much to work on it.

John has been very supportive with the crazy hours I have to work to train for my new job (not to mention the crazy hours I will be working). I am still doing some temp stuff this week too, so yesterday I worked 9-5 and trained 8-12 and today 9-5 and 6-8 and tomorrow and Thursday I have PCS training (physical interventions) then I have my interview for the Easter Seals job. John's been sending me cute little emails and working his stuff around my schedule so we can still spend time together. I think I will be reading a lot with this new job. any suggestions? I've already checked out tons of magazines to read at my temp job today.

Update: I got home late from running important errands (groceries, gas, scrapbook store.... ok I didn't get gas), John had made dinner! Just in time for me to go to my meeting tonight. Thanks, sweetie! Also, he did most of the puzzle while I was gone, and we have finally finished it.

[Comments] (2) : My aching body! *whine* I am sore in different places than I thought I would be from the physical intervention training I went to yesterday. This training was a lot different than the one I did at Heritage, where the intent was to help the child regain control of himself; this one hurt! My sides ache, when I laugh, cough etc. An of course my wrists feel all swollen and bruised; we mostly did adaptations of moves with names like Bent Wrist and Ulnar Shear- ow that one hurts.

We also learned some cool escape moves, from bear hugs, choke holds, someone choking you with their hands, pulling your hair, all that kind of stuff. My partner was 5 inches taller than me, so I got thrown on the floor everytime I tried to put her in a choke hold. I am done with training now, and my first shift is Saturday night.

I am spending today doing chores and getting ready to go to the Chadwick's tonight. My oil is changed and my checkbook balanced; now my apartment must be cleaned and I have lots of strawberries to dip in chocolate for Jodi's shower tomorrow.

[Comments] (2) An Actress in the Family: Last night John and I (and Logan) went to a play put on by the Heralders of Utah Children's Choir. It was "Pirates of Penzance", with Brynn Whitney starring as Mabel (and I mean starring; she was by far the best voice there, says John). It was fun, although went a little late. Kristan and Sara were also in it, Jon built the sets, Sharon did the makeup and helped with the music, and Camilla painted the sets and also did makeup. It was fun to see everyone, including Pam and Richard Oman, who asked about you, Mom. Brynn was really glad to see me there =)

: Getting ready for my first grave shift. I've made a whole list of things I can do to stay awake, and I tried taking a nap, but it wasn't so successful.

Today was Jodi's marathon shower. She got lots of cool stuff. It was fun even though none of it was for me. My chocolate-dipped strawberries were a hit!

[Comments] (3) : In Relief Society, I got to make a list of Fun Family Activities. Here it is:

acting out Bible stories
camping
sand dunes
pool
"tennis lessons"
Uno
puzzles
candy canes
My Little Ponies (Evil Pony)
wooden blocks
lego contests
dress-up trunk
bike riding
sheeptrail
band
reading
painting nails
sewing
birthday parties
piano lessons
snow
canning
picnics
out to movies
museums
zoo
gardening
Barbie Float Shop
"store" game
Monopoly
John's Burger's
Hot Cheetos
Pets: Kabooki, Ruffles, Morn
Rocket ships
walking Gretel
Family History
scrapbooking
trading sinks
pedicures
Illuminati
hot tub
singing hymns
dinner with missionaries
opening a present on Christmas Eve!!
sugar cookies

Still Awake Again: I woke up at 1130 (AM) and ran into the living room to do a headcount. It took three shifts in a row to get to me; I think I can live with that.

I have four minutes to leave the house on a job search, so I'd best be off. (yes, job search; I don't think I can do this forever.)

[Comments] (2) It's Saturday!: My work schedule has me completly (completely??) confused. I could never remember what day it was yesterday, and today I get to do whatever I want, as long as I get everything done that I have to. Yesterday I worked a few extra hours in the middle of the day. The kids were putting on a play for parents' weekend and it was quite the adventure. Like helping out in drama, only... worse.

[Comments] (2) Hot Date: I wanted to plan something special for John last night. Unfortunately, it rained (and rained and rained) so a picnic was out of the question, but we ate Cafe Rio and raspberry lemonade, his favorite. Then we went to see Hildago, which we both loved. I thought it was an excellent movie, so good I probably would have liked it even without Viggo Mortenson. And it was it's first night in the $1 theatre, so we got to sit in the nice theatre (the one we saw Moulin Rouge in and the ceiling fell.)

This afternoon was my first visit to Chili's and we both had yummy salads, with half of each left over for lunch tomorrow (nice since I have to work tonight). We also went shopping and bought one last shirt for John's internship (which we have planned on buying for six months) and some cute capris for me and my new job.

By the way, I have a new job. I got hired to work at a local loan place, doing office stuff and helping with loans- ok I'm not entirely sure what I'll be doing. Now I just need to rearrange my DA schedule so that I am not working all night before I work at this place! It's a good job, full-time and benefits eventually and it pays ok. I wlil keep working weekends at the other place until John comes home. The one drawback is that I won't be working at the Dinosaur place.

Monday is Memorial Day! We are going with John's Grandma and other Holbrooks to the Lehi, American Fork and Pleasant Grove cemeteries, then to the cabin. Hopefully, we will be able to meet up with the Whitney's to go to the Provo cemetery, but if not, we'll go on our later to take a picture of Aunt Jeuney's headstone for Mom.

Cooking Tips: I forgot to mention that for dessert last night I made blintzes. They were yummy and John especially liked them. It was so easy. I made crepes, but only cooked one side, then put the filling in and wrapped them up inside out. Then I froze them, and fried them frozen; that way John can make them warm himself, for breakfast or whenever.

Also, John really likes when I make chocolate chip cookies, so I usually make a whole batch of dough and freeze some of it. This last time, I made the dough into balls before freezing it. It was so easy to pop them out, put them on the cookie sheet to thaw and then bake them.

[Comments] (4) Dinner: I made a stew from vegetable beef soup and random canned and fresh veggies. It was ok. I also made corn on the cob and 90-minute rolls, both of which were quite yummy, if I do say so myself. I made myself late to church making the rolls, but that was mostly because I got up at 145, and no one can blame me. I am wondering if I can freeze the rolls after making them into little balls, then thaw, rise and bake. Probably.

Typical: Last night, I finished Return of the King, read five magazines, watched Center Stage and the last half of Spiderman and spent an hour playing solitaire games on the computer.

Memorial Day: We had a good, but long day (especially for me being up all night). We went to four cemetaries, took the pictures Mom requested (plural, Mom, because Aunt Jeuney's name was on the monument to war veterans), and went to the Holbrook cabin in American Fork Canyon. We had a little hike and I slept in the car while everyone else did yard work.

Coincidentally, we ran into the Whitneys at the Provo cemetary and Jon and Sharon took us to dinner at the Chinese restaurant. They had left me a message, but for some reason it wasn't there when I checked it.

Bedtime.

[Comments] (5) First Day: Today I started the new job. It was fine. I haven't been able to get hold of the supervisor at my other job to change my schedule. And I don't know if they're going to let me off for Jodi's wedding.

[Comments] (1) Picture Window: The girls' dorms at DA have skylights in them. The other night I was doing a check, probably around 1 or 1:30 and I looked up and could see the full moon shining on the tower (this place is at the Ivy Tower, btw), with all the backlit clouds- it was gorgeous. Reminded me of Mom's illegal picture in the temple.

New Calling: I think I forgot to mention that I got a new calling in our ward; I am one of the Relief Society pianists. I played for the first time last week, in combined RS and Priesthood meeting (which, in our married student ward, is almost everyone) in the chapel and it was intimidating. But fun, and I didn't mess up too much.

[Comments] (4) My Own Apartment: John left about 7 AM. Unfortunately, I kept him up late with talk about politics and other such things. I think he is excited to move on to something different (weather and jobwise), and to spend some time with Jamie and Dave and the boys and jumpstart his career.

I slept almost 12 hours last night. I am never really sure how much sleep I get and which naps get added onto which nights sleep. But I don't think it's been enough since this past week I'd rather have spent time with John than sleep. I have about 2 hours to call my own before I need to head up for Jodi's (last) shower. I have a lot of errands to run, though, and cleaning. I seriously slacked off this week on even picking things up.

By the way, I am back down to one job again. Heh. But I did already have three interviews set up for next week.

[Comments] (2) Free Stuff: When I called Nordstrom to see if John and I could return his shirt, it reminded me of when I lived in that house (May-Dec 2001) and my roommates and I were always complaining (genuine complaints) to companies and getting coupons for free stuff. I tried to see if there was an entry, but I couldn't find one.

It was probably around that time I learned to stand up for myself and not be afraid to call people on the phone; did anyone else have that phase? I used to make Mom make phone calls to even see what time a store was open, that kind of thing. Glad I'm over that.

[Comments] (4) : Maybe I am updating a lot because there isn't anyone to talk to. Funny, cause I just left my in-laws house, and Susan is always more than willing to talk. She reminds me of Grandma in that respect. Anyway.

I am driving up there three more times this week, twice for interviews, but I'm also sleeping there. On Thursday I am driving straight from work to the Jordan River temple. Then I'll be staying there (the Salt Lake Valley, not the temple) until Sunday, since John flies in late Thursday night. It will be a busy week, but I am excited I'll get to spend so much time with family.

The Chadwick shower held today was a "grocery shower" which was a great idea. Free food, plus it's ok if you get more than one of the same thing (I may just be saying that because she got lots of spaghetti, some of which I gave her). I want a grocery shower, just for fun.

: Movies I watched last night: While You Were Sleeping; Sabrina; Guarding Tess; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I also colored one page in a Bug's Life coloring book.

I got to play the piano in Relief Society today, and made friends with a girl whose husband is in Texas for the summer. I am so unmotivated to cook real food. Maybe that will be better next week when my schedule is a little more regular (not normal).

Ahhh Sleep: I slept until after 2 today, it was so nice to finally get to go to bed after work. Then I went to the temple to do some initiatories so some of my family cards can get done on Thursday when we go to the temple with Jodi. I am also getting a hair cut today. It's about time; it's probably been two or three years since I've had a professional hair cut.

[Comments] (1) : Over the past two nights I watched Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves *yes I know I watch a Ton of movies* and was startled to realize that the Sheriff of Nottingham is played by Alan Rickman, who also plays Professor Snape. I was even more startled to see, when I looked him up online to make sure I had the right name, that he has blond hair! and is much more attractive in real life.

: Today has been a Very Long Day, even though I slept most of it, and I am now going to bed until work time. I had to amazingly good interviews (I made one lady cry), and I did some stuff for the reception but that is about it. sleep sleep, then work work, then temple, then sleep, then John!, then wedding. Hopefully some more sleep, too. What a week.

: The news says that "D'oh!" has officially been added to Webster's dictionary.

: Today we went to see Prisoner of Azkaban with the nephews, Brook, and Jamie and Dave. I liked it, even the changes (from the other movies and from the book) except for the werewolf. That's not what I thought a werewolf would look like and I thought it was unrealistic.

[Comments] (1) : Jodi got married, and the first thing I wrote on my webpage was about Harry Potter. hmm.

The wedding was lovely. It rained and hailed while we waited outside the temple, but was finished by the time they came out. Of course the ground was nice and wet for her dress. We had a luncheon in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in the room (we found this out later) where Grandma June and her husband had gotten engaged. Grandmpa Holbrook died about 15 years ago, I think.

Before the reception, at Gardner Village, we took family pictures in our wedding clothes; The ladies (including Jodi) wore purple sweaters and khaki skirts, the men wores dark blue shirts and khakis, the little girls wore purple dresses, and the little boys wore light blue shirts and khakis. Dad wore his suit and Mom, a dress similar to the ones Rachel and Jodi wore at our wedding. Hopefully these will be nicer than our last ones where we were all wearing black.

I had some cheesecake. Jodi and Franco are on their cruise. John has also flown off to Florida for some training. I am here, eating a Melissa Taco. Dum de dum.

To Dos: Today I finally have some time to get to work on the giant To Do List I made Sunday morning. There are over 25 items on it. I am going to start with cleaning the house, then going to the library so I have something to read tonight.

I've been meaning to mention that "they" are finally extending I-15 below 106th South. Since Northern Utah is rapidly outgrowing it's freeways, this is good news. The freeway needs to be extended all the way to Payson if you ask me. The bad news is that I've had to drive through the construction many times in the last week. Mer. Nothing worse than being stuck in traffic on your way to a bed after being up all night.

"Well, I'm back".: I had fun at Grandma June's. The shades were down in the room I stayed in, and I slept for 14 1/2 hours!!! I couldn't believe the time when I woke up. I did a puzzle, we went out to eat (twice). Susan came down and we sat on the porch visiting. It was a nice day.

I am starting training for my new job as a receptionist today. I've finished running my errands for the day and I have an hour to work on the giant puzzle I borrowed from Grandma.

[Comments] (1) : It's June and I have already had five jobs this year. FIVE!

New Job (Again, Again): Today I started training as a receptionist. I learned how to use the switchboard and met tons of new people, signed tons of paperwork. I am excited for this job. It pays well, it is in a very nice atmosphere, and besides answering phones, I get to do fun computer and office projects. Back to my giant puzzle- it's taking up the entire counter.

Good Morning: Recently I've been scheduled for the boring place at work (my night job). There is no one to talk to and the TV doesn't work. I actually managed to stay up ok last night, but what happens once I've watched all of the available free DVDs on the laptop? I don't have that many free options.

I missed the ward campout last night. I was planning on going up with my neighbors for waterskiing and yummy food, but I ended up having to work at both jobs yesterday.

I think I will buy myself some new shoes this afternoon.

: I finally got to talk to John again today, for over an hour. Yay for weekend minutes!

: I made it to my in-laws' without falling asleep on the road and now we're getting ready for a big dinner party. Father's Day seems to be the only holiday we (Susan) invite people outside our immediate family. I am very hungry, and excited for food and seeing people. I'm glad I've got people to hang out with sometimes, cause it gets boring in my apartment doing my puzzle.

I bought Dad Coconut Joy ice cream from the BYU Creamery. He gets it for every holiday, and couldn't be more thankful. I'm glad we're the only ones in Provo or we might have to be more creative.

Almost a Year Ago: John and I were doing the same puzzle I am doing now. It is taking me forever. There is even a picture of it in our scrapbook on the dating page.

[Comments] (1) : I am really liking my job at Nature's Way. Everyone is so nice and, believe it or not, answering the phones is kinda fun. This nice lady from the legal dept. walks by after I've been here a few hours and covers for me so I can go grab a bagel from the lunchroom. I haven't gotten any projects to do yet, so it is a little slow, but I am allowed to read.

[Comments] (2) : Today was a little more exciting at work. I had one project to do, and a lot of phone calls and visitors. Plus my sweet sister has been emailing me, and I also got an email from my cute husband. Email me and I'll attach an endearing adjective to your name! (or relationship to me).

Tonight: Lehi Rodeo. Ta dum! I am going with Nathan, his scouts, his kids, and his Mom, and also spending some time at his Grandma's, although she may not be there. (Nathan is one of John's brothers, by the way.)

[Comments] (2) : The rodeo was fun, other than the time I spent refusing to let Hannah manipulate me. Secretly, she was still manipulating me because I was trying to avoid a scene, but hopefully she doesn't know that. The rodeo was about what I expected, except I didn't know people went all over to compete in rodeos. Around the world for 17 seconds, what a life. Oh yeah, and Logan got to come. He is such a good kid. Let's have some like that, John.

: We are having quite the summer thunderstorm outside. It's raining so hard it sounds like those "natural sounds" tapes you can buy.

I just got off the phone with Uncle Justin, scheduling a sojourn at his condo. Mom and John, you may hopefully look forward to a call from him. One thing I love about Uncle Justin is that he is so unpretentious. He asked me all sorts of questions to remember who I was, then asked about all our family and my inlaws, whom he remembered meeting.

Park City, here we come!

[Comments] (1) : We are getting ready for our third evening thunderstorm in a row. Today I got to hang out with a girl, Marcine, in my ward whose husband is doing an internship in Texas. I also sat by Jana, whose husband is in England for three weeks, and Desirae, whose husband works Sundays.

My hometeachers were supposed to come by, but one is out of town, so the other is bringing his wife to come visit. I haven't even eaten dinner yet. Or lunch for that matter.

[Comments] (5) : Jana came over for dinner tonight. I made arroz con pollo in the crockpot and it actually turned out yummy (not to mention easy). I also made chocolate chip cookies, but haven't eaten any yet. Then I painted my fingernails bright pink. Other than work, which was uneventful (you're the best, Rach!) that is all I've done today.

[Comments] (3) Game Night: I went over to a friend's apartment, in our complex, and we played games. Her husband is gone doing research four days a week, and he doesn't like games anyway *ahem*, so we had fun beating each other at Boggle, Rummy, California Speed, and Skip-Bo. She also has a 3-month-old baby boy, who loves attention and has a big smile.

On the cookie ball subject, My dough turned out stickier than usual this time and was hard to form into balls. Also, they stuck together more when I tried to put them on a sheet to bake them. Probably, if the dough is sticky, one sould form and freeze the balls on wax paper and then put them in a container. Probably, one should do it that way anyway. Probably, I never will.

[Comments] (1) : Isn't it weird how if you write down a dream and then read it months or even years later, you still remember it just as well?

[Comments] (1) : It's so slow today. Most of the calls I get (wait, I'm getting calls?) have been for people who aren't in today or who have already left.

There is a woman here who reminds me of Sumana. She talks like Sumana, says funny, intelligent, sarcastic, silly things like Sumana and reminded me of Sumana when she went running past my desk without shoes on. She is in Marketing; I like her.

I am ready for the weekend, not that I've done much this week. Yay, weekend!

[Comments] (3) : Well, it's been a long weekend. Here's the story.

I flew into LAX on Saturday morning, John picked me up and we drove to Bakersfield. Leonard and Rachel were both already there. We visited with grandma and grandpa Richardson, ran some errands, and did a ton of yard work. It was fun with everyone outside working in the yard together. The only drawback is that there never seems to be enough room in the trash cans. Mom fixed the fish pond, which sounds all pretty and naturistic now, and we also went in the hot tub.

Sunday, we all got up went to church early (to sing with the choir). Mom made the yummiest dinner ever- there was rosemary chicken and rice with rosemary chicken juice on it. Fried zucchini and the best salad ever- spring mix with avacado, candied walnuts, dried cranberries and homemade poppyseed dressing. I ate a lot of salad. I love salad. John and I took Gretel and Sadie for a short walk (it was really hot outside). I wish we could have a little Sadie-dog.

Monday Mom made a huge yummy breakfast (I helped) and we ran errands. Cut Rachel's hair. Drove to LA. Traffic. I had to go through security twice; they made me go back and check my bag because of a scrapbook tool kit mom gave me. (presents!) But there was plenty of time for me to read my book and I finally had a flight that was completely on time.

Jim and Susan picked me up at the airport. I fell asleep at their house, then we had an impromptu party with lots of fireworks. I wish John could have been there. That went really late and the Fire and Police Depts. had roads closed off everywhere so I didn't end up getting home until quite late. I remember when 11:00 wasn't the end of a very long day.

I got home so late that I still haven't unpacked, quite unusual for me. The plant clippings mom gave me survived the journey. Our other plant survived staying home alone. I had a great dream in which I planned this summer's public affairs project for the ward. I need to have more dreams like that.

Poor John is all alone at Jamie's house now. Hopefully he will have lots of work to keep him busy. Only six more weeks!

[Comments] (2) : Did I ever mention that I got an email from a very cool friend?

[Comments] (2) : Kirin just told me she is engaged and getting married on January 8th.

[Comments] (9) : I haven't yet figured out if these are making fun of Kerry or not, but I thought this one was very funny.

[Comments] (2) July 9, 2004: approx. 5:30 AM:I made a goal that I have to do two productive non-work things a day. Since I spent my evening napping (and still can hardly stay awake) I made myself crochet (two pairs of booties) and make fliers for the ward food drive. Now I’m going back to playing solitaire.

Today has been full of errand-running and Susie is very tired. I didn’t even get a present for my nephew, whose birthday party is the main reason I went out in the first place.

I’ve noticed that when I get an email or a phone call from an old roommate I never hear from they are announcing that they are engaged, or if already married, pregnant. Well, Julie called me today, and had the latter news. She and Jared are expecting a baby in November. I am very happy for them. Good thing I bought plenty of yarn today.

: I've had tons to do at work lately, and it's great. I was given the job of scanning all of our international labels. I am working on the Canadian ones right now, a giant stack teaching me how to say things like "Kelp" in French.

I am doing well on my productivity goal. I am working on another baby hat and tonight I am going to scrapbook some stuff. Also vacuum.

For James' 5th birthday, I bought him a Dr. Seuss book I had never heard of, "Ten Apples Up on Top." He read the title out loud and said "I like this book!" I am pleased I picked out something good for him.

[Comments] (2) : Cool sis!

: There is a big sales conference tomorrow and Friday, so everyone (or at least everyone non-CS who gets phone calls) is already in Las Vegas and once again, my job has become null. I am still scanning Canadian labels. Scan scan scan.

I have already completed my productivity goal for today. I vacuumed and started making some cards. Yesterday Jana and I went and made free cards at the scrapbook stores. She has never scrapbooked before but wants to get into it, so I had fun showing her stuff.

[Comments] (1) : If anyone [cool] is bored, please email me!

: This has been a good day. After work I bought groceries, scrapbooked and then went to play Ultimate Frisbee with some people from my Sunday School group. I got so hot and sweaty, yuck. It was only 3 on 3 so it was a lot of running. Then I got to talk to John, who sent me two wonderful emails today. We looked at apartments online and have found some we like for not too much. I finished one scrapbook page and got some more stuff organized. Rachel's graduation page is going to be very cute!

Due to the large amount of free food at work today, I have just eaten dinner. I had a baked (microwaved) potato. I was going to make dijon crusted chicken with cheesy rice-a-roni and peas. I guess I'll get to have that tomorrow!

Best Of: This is my first in a series of "Best of" entries, spurred by the nothing-to-do-ness that is my job. I read every entry from the past 4 1/2 years of my life and picked out most of the funny or significant ones. Have fun!

Pianos. Soapdish. Silly day. Injured. Another odd injury. Spot is killed. Susie plays a lion. Leonard buys me a Piglet pillow. wah. Fun with a sheet. The classic work complaint. Less than a year after Aunt Carolyn died. This made me laugh. A turning point. I’m a nut. That darn cat. I really don’t know what I lived off of. Adventures. I needed at least one link to hanging out with the fam. The most fun I ever had cleaning. Mud. My theories on exercise. The yummy sandwich. And the sprout caper. Pleather pants. An exciting day. I love this story. I told her we wouldn’t get Hepatitis. Maybe- More hospital The worst vacation ever. Family Funnies. Gretel- sitting. I’m a very funny button funny carpet Now who’s in bed late on a Sunday Morning? Oh, Mom. My Mom is the best! I’m old! New job. The best paper I ever wrote. I’m still proud of this. A fateful night I’m still teased about. Yay! Heh, squished trombone. Spoiled. John still does the dishes. I never did that cartwheel… yum. sad.

: I just scanned a label for Marshmallow root (Racine de Guimauve) which doesn't look as yummy as it sounds.

[Comments] (2) : I watered my plants with ice cubes this morning. I think they liked it.

[Comments] (2) Best of: Kitchen: Here is my part in putting together a kitchen-log. It is rather unfair of me to do this without posting the recipes. So I guess I won’t mention a yummy food without the recipe- in the future. In the meantime, let your mouth water. Warning: Some of these entries are about how my food didn’t turn out.

White Shells
Bean soup
Fry Sauce
Yummy sandwich
Don’t try this at home
Pretzels and Romanian food
Kitchen Triumphs
John’s Sweet & Sour
Shakes
falafel
casserole
susie’s kitchen
More triumphs
Curry Chicken
not-as-good stroganoff
Scalloped Potatoes
Yummy Balls
Aunt Jeuney’s Beef Stroganoff
More Stroganoff 
Stuffed Shells
No More Ramen
Bacon Rice
Rice
Cooking Tips
90-minute Rolls
Crockpot Arroz con Pollo
Mom’s yummy Rosemary chicken

Other yummy food mentioned: English Toffee, Cheesecake, Texas Sheet Cake, Taco Soup, French toast

[Comments] (3) : I've been thinking about food. Why is it that we only eat certain parts of food (and I'm not talking about not eating sheep's intestines)? This thought stems from (what else?) the labels I've been scanning. We sell herb, bark (secondary bark, root bark, inner bark and just plain bark), blossoms, fruit, berries, leaves, hulls, flowers, resin, root, stalk, husks, seed, and micro-algae (ok, that's probably a "whole" food). Why is licorice root so much better than the leaves?

For example, in Romania, they sell (and eat, use etc) celery root, whereas here we only eat the stalk, which sometimes comes with leaves, but I don't think people use them. How wasteful we are! We don't eat corn silk, although it apparently has healing properties (we sell that too). Let me look it up... It's a diuretic.

Well, I don't really care. Just thinking.

PS: Are potatoes a root?

Stupid Meeting: Last night I went to work early (they need to hire more weekend staff) and then stayed late for a boring training meeting I wouldn't have needed even if I did interact with the kids because I already knew all that stuff. I could say "at least I got paid for it", but I tried to figure out how much extra I earned and that job is so low-paying that it didn't make me feel much better.

I didn't get to bed until after 9 and now it's 6pm and I don't quite know what to do with myself. Last week I had so much to do I barely had a Saturday. Now, my house is clean and I can do whatever I want for eight hours tonight, so I'm not sure how to spend my time now.

[Comments] (1) : I've only ended up being up for about 3 hours today, one of which I was violently ill. I'm better now, which is good because I am working tonight. But I don't think I'll be finishing off those leftovers.

: Feeling much better now if anyone was worried. I got to talk to John for an hour this evening, then I visited some neighbors and made plans for my only free evening this week. Oh actually, I'm not doing anything Thursday. It's John's Birthday! but he will be out with E&Y folks. I guess that will give me some time to scrapbook and recover from working the night before.

Food!: For anyone who didn't read this, make a "Recipes" category and Leonard can create a recipe weblog for us. If you don't know how to make a category (like I didn't) email him and he will make one for you (like he did for me). It's easy, it's free, it's fun!

: Yesterday was a fun day. After work I went to a baby shower for one of John's many cousins, and then to visit with my Walch cousins (Kristen and siblings). We played Uno Attack (a scary game where a little machine spits (or doesn't spit) cards at you depending on if it likes you and how many people are ganged up on you.) Ok not really, but it was fun. Then I came home and tried to sleep. I've had a hard time getting to sleep since Sunday, although it doesn't make me less tired.

There is very little to do here and I am on my fourth crossword puzzle. Going to the scrapbook store and playing games with a neighbor after work.

: Back from the scrapbook store. I bought a little mat for eyelet setting that fits perfectly into the tool kit case my mommy bought me. It was also very cheap and I used a coupon. I also got some citrus paper, orange, lemon and lime, with credit John gave me for Christmas. Jana and I had fun making little tags and picking out wedding stickers for her. I also let her go through the ones Mom gave me a year ago.

[Comments] (4) Sorry: I don't know why anyone would read about my life.

: When I got home today, I thought, "This is what time I got up yesterday, and I have work 18 hours since then." This is my life.

A busy day today (I love projects!) and tomorrow. As if I hadn't put enough things off to do tomorrow, my first day off (an actual 24 hours with no work) in ages, I now have a random interview. But that is a good thing. Also on my plate: Grocery shopping, emissions check, and a Stampin' Up party. Hmm, there must be more things on my list at home because that doesn't sound like very much.

Saturday morning, after a 2 hour nap at Grandma's, we are heading up to the cabin for the day. I am bringing the chips, hence the need for grocery shopping. I believe I could live on cereal for another week or two, although I can tell the caramel colorant is starting to affect me.

: Happy Birthday, John! yay!

Embarrassing Story: The other day, I was making a page (on our overhead paging system) and said something to the effect of "Mary Jones, how may I direct your call?" and I said it in a paging voice, not an answering the phone voice. Then I started doing it again today! Luckily I caught myself. No one said anything. Maybe they are used to ignoring pages and didn't notice. Heh.

Good Luck and Pretty Chicken: I went to Taco Bell for dinner (sorry Sumana), out to eat for the first non-necessary (lazy) time since John's been gone. Then I went to the grocery store. One less thing to do tomorrow, which is good because I really did have more things than I mentioned. Someone took the spot I was trying to park in, but when I parked and got out of the car, I found six cents!

I bought chips for the party, flour for the food drive, and some pretty chicken. It was very expensive chicken, but I was smart and got it cheap. I am going to make something especially yummy for John with it, like Chicken Cordon Bleu.

I had a nice conversation about artichokes with several ladies in line. Yum, artichoke. I learned, while reading about different herbs, that artichoke is an aphrodisiac.

: I am in the unfortunate position of having to choose between sleep (I've had about three hours total today and I am leaving for work in an hour and a half) and making my home presentable. Thankfully I have good books and movies tonight. Is today Saturday? It's going to be a long week.

I do realize I am making very little sense. I think the only real communication I had today was drawing pictures for Ember while she guessed what they were. Who knew I could draw a whale.

: I've had the longest weekend ever. I had fun at the cabin yesterday, and at the stamp party, but I was so unbelievably tired at work. I read a book, then watched Lion King 1 1/2 and I am Sam. I didn't get to bed until 745 and of course I had to go to ward council.

My hometeachers just left. I am slowly collecting a few things for the food drive (supposed to end tomorrow). I am really rather sad about the turn out so far, but hopefully lots of people will donate at the pool party tomorrow night.

I can't believe July is already almost over. I can't believe John's internship is almost over. I can't believe we've already been married a year. Life seems to be flying by. I am so blessed.

[Comments] (2) It'd be easier if I was the Mom: Last night we had two girls up all night throwing up. One has serious stomach condition. The other had the flu. We were supposed to give pain meds twice in the night to the one poor girl, who didn't sleep until she got them. But of course, none of us were "trained" and we had to wake up several supervisors to get permission. But the absolute worst part was that we couldn't do much for them. If it was my kid, and I had to be up all night anyway of course, I think it would have been easier.

An interesting tidbit about my job: If a kid throws up, we actually have to see physical evidence of it. Fun.

[Comments] (10) Yay!: I am very excited for this weekend. John is coming up and we are going to Park City for our anniversary. We're going to shop, eat, sit in the hot tub and do lots of nothing. I love going out to eat and John loves shopping, so we will have lots of fun and spend some of the money we've saved by being apart this summer. (It's no fun spending money on fun stuff when you're by yourself.) Since this will also partly be a birthday celebration for John, including a party at the Chadwick's on Sunday night, we may have to go out and eat seafood. But twice in a one-year marriage, isn't too bad.

I am very excited! One more day!

: Home safe. From the treacherous mid-summer drive down I-80. John is, hopefully, safely on his way back to CA. We had a great weekend. I dumped my purse out while unpacking and found a note reminding me that I have an interview tomorrow morning, so rather than write more details, I am going to bed. Besides, I'm sure I'll write again before most of you even read this entry.

It is always nice to be home, even though today it meant leaving John at the airport. 13 more days!

: Ok, since everyone knows how much I like food...

For dinner on Saturday, John took me to this tiny Vietnamese restaurant, where we had potstickers and curry- how much better could it get! I haven't had potstickers in forever, I almost forgot how yummy they were. Yesterday for lunch we went to Pizza Hut where John let me get stuffed crust pizza and a salad. Plus, since stuffed crust only comes in large, I had pizza again for lunch today, and I will be having it for dinner and lunch tomorrow, I'm sure. Yum.

We had lots of fun shopping and walking around town and around the neighborhood. The weather was lovely, especially on Sunday. I am tired of being all hot and sticky.

I had an interview this morning, and another one on Thursday. I am trying to find a morning job because I am a little tired of working at night. Or at least I will be once John comes home. Busy week, but I get to go see Grandma June.

[Comments] (3) : I bought a cookie ball maker at the outlets for $2. Hopefully it will make my cookie ball making days easier.

: I have more than an hour left and my job has gotten very slow. It is also raining. I am about to get out my crossword puzzles.

[Comments] (4) : Several months ago, John put a book on hold at the library, "Confessions of a Tax Collector". Today they called me and said it was in, and since I was picking up some magazines for tomorrow night, I got the book too. Now I am reading it. It is slow and has a lot of bad language. I started it because the random page I opened to had an interesting story. Hopefully I gets better.

John, this book is due August 26th and we can't renew it.

Road Work: The upper ramp on our parking structure is being redone. Although the ramp was in dire need of this, I have some complaints. First of all, they are using jackhammers and other such machines to remove the cement (they started on Monday and are still doing this. And are supposed to be done tomorrow). This has: a) set off car alarms and b) woken me up at least three times. Second of all, they tore up the sidewalk in front of the lower ramp too. I think my car might actually fit through on the tiny amount of cement left, but I risk hitting the bulldozer, or the guys’ truck that is blocking the way if I try to get through. So I parked on the street. When I come home after 5 there are places to park on the street, but not when I come home at 7AM. So I parked in the BYU lot we were told we were allowed to park in for the week. And I got a ticket. Luckily, I finally got a hold of the manager who said she’d take care of it. I have had a number of BYU parking tickets so I hope they will take this one off my “record” or whatever. Also, I don’t understand why they need eight guys 14 hours a day to do this job. Also, parking on the street and in the BYU lot exposes my car to the sun and makes it very hot. We pay an extra $5 a month to have a lower parking spot so my car won’t be too hot. Mer.

I have an interview in half an hour and I'm going to park illegally in another BYU lot. Maybe management will take care of another ticket for me.

Fun Stuff: I forgot to mention all the impossibly cute scrapbooking stuff John bought from Jamie for an anniversary gift. (Jamie has a scrapbook store) He got me a pack of different green papers, one side is textured. Some little wooden tags, which I've already used on a Park City page with green papers. Some little greeting punch outs to put on cards, with striped paper and multi-colored brads to match. Also some plain tags and walnut ink to dye them with. And some stickers that are tags that says Home Sweet Home type things on them.

He says there is more stuff but it's for my birthday. I have such a sweet husband!

Fun Stuff: I forgot to mention all the impossibly cute scrapbooking stuff John bought from Jamie for an anniversary gift. (Jamie has a scrapbook store) He got me a pack of different green papers, one side is textured. Some little wooden tags, which I've already used on a Park City page with green papers. Some little greeting punch outs to put on cards, with striped paper and multi-colored brads to match. Also some plain tags and walnut ink to dye them with. And some stickers that are tags that says Home Sweet Home type things on them.

He says there is more stuff but it's for my birthday. I have such a sweet husband!

The good and the bad: When I was walking to my car, down the middle of the street to get around the cement truck parked outside our complex, I dropped my ID badge and a car ran over it. I need it to get in and out of every door at work, except of course the door I lock every night. I essentially would have had to lock myself into the lobby and jump over the desk, then begged someone to let me out the employee door. Fortunately, someone was there to rescue me.

Highlights of the day: Email from Leonard, Dinner with Susan and Grandma June, call from mommy, scrapbooking, paycheck and a good interview. I was also very busy at work and made it to the store to buy some real food. Look, lots of good things happened! Tomorrow is Friday! I can wear jeans to work!

: On my way home from work I decided I was going to cook dinner. I made another attempt at Scalloped Potatoes. I fried the potatoes in butter, then added a cheese sauce with bacon pieces stirred in, and some sour cream. It was actually really good. I think part of it was that I fried the potatoes the way Mom did the zucchini, so they got a little burnt.

: Just now while organizing our CDs I found a CD of John's called "Mannheim Steamroller Meets the Mouse." (Mannheim Steamroller playing Disney songs, obviously). It was really good! I am having fun cleaning and organizing, althought it is Very Hot. I'm working tonight. I'm going to watch Return of the King and any special features that are on the DVD. In the meantime, I have some more cleaning to do, and some scrapbooking to finish. I can't wait to show some of it off to Mommy when she gets here!

[Comments] (2) Lucky Charms: Today while cleaning out our “junk” drawer (Like I said earlier, I organized a lot today), I found a coupon for an A&W rootbeer float that I had saved. I found an excuse to go to that part of town and got my float- yummy. Rootbeer floats remind me of my dad, but I don’t know why.

Today while cleaning out under the bathroom sink (Like I said earlier, I organized a lot today), I got out my charm bracelet and all the charms that need to be added on. Rachel and I have these gorgeous silver charm bracelets and the last time we were home, while going through Mom’s jewelry, we found all these charms she’d bought for us (It appears that no charms have been added to the bracelets since 1996). We got to pick which ones we wanted. These things are so cute! I have a little hat, magnifying glass and pipe one from England (from a visit to Baker Street), a covered wagon from Utah, a butterfly from Victoria’s butterfly garden, an oil derrick from Texas. Those are some of the ones I need to put on. My favorite ones on the bracelet are a little outhouse with a door that opens, a bat from Carlsbad and a totem pole. Judging by the charms I have with price tags still on them, I think this bracelet cost at least $300.

: I tried to take a nap like a good girl but when I realized I was lying in bed singing, I decided I might as well be productive. I got some more scrapbook pages ready to do. I need some pictures from Jodi's wedding; Maybe she'll give me some she doesn't like, since there are hundreds. By the way, I don't know if I mentioned that Franko had back surgery a couple weeks ago. He is slowly improving, and looking for a new job (he was working as a painter).

At the stamp party I went to two weeks ago, I bought a set of stamps to use to make cards, Happy Birthday, a candle, Merry Christmas, a bell, etc. They are so cute and I've been wanting to buy a set of stamps like this for a while now. Really, how many other stamps does a girl need? Now I need some different colors of ink. I am going to buy a couple "ink spots", those little tiny ink pads that are less than $1.50. I wouldn't use an ink pad enough to merit spending $5 on one just for one new color. I am excited to make some new cards.

[Comments] (4) : I've had a few projects to do at work today, but now it is dead. I was up late watching Return of the King. Also, my mommy called. Also, John is back from Florida, so I get to talk to him tonight. Five more days and he comes home!

The other night at work we watched Win a Date With Tad Hamilton, which I really liked, Along Came Polly which was ok, and the last 30 minutes of The Butterfly Effect which I didn't understand and am not sure I care to.

I really want some salad.

[Comments] (3) Opinions Please!: Is there an easier way to iron linen? I never had linen clothes before this Summer and I've finally had to start using the iron we got for our wedding, but it isn't quite effective enough.

Can I wash throw pillows in the washing machine?

If I want to freeze bread dough, at what point in the process should I do it?

[Comments] (4) : One of my new hobbies (for when I'm bored at work) is to browse Amazon for random things I would like. I will probably never own most of these things, but it makes me think about things I want to do or make or decorate with.

Someone needs to do this for Leonard; I looked today and he has 283 items on his wishlist!

Last Night: I went to the temple as soon as I could and still got there much later than I'd ever gone before. It was very crowded, probably because ward sessions start then, and I ran into Joe and Louise. Afterwards, I talked to Mom and Tom Jackman on the phone, bought a ton of groceries and called John. John got his offer from E&Y on Tuesday, so he's all official now. I am very proud of him, and exciting about him coming home in two days! Yay!

This morning I did some more cleaning and made bread dough which is now in the freezer. I will be sure to let everyone know how it turns out.

[Comments] (2) Are Ya Achin'? (yup yup yup): I bought some of that pre-cooked bacon that you keep in the cupboard and heat up in the microwave. John loves bacon but I hate cooking it. We had some at Jamie and David's and it tasted the same. It was on sale for the same price as regular bacon. So I bought some. And I've had that song in my head the whole day. (yup yup yup)

Casual Fridays: We are a lot more laid back around here on Fridays, I've noticed. Maybe it's the jeans. More likely, it's the fact that anyone who's anyone isn't in today. I find myself yelling at the admin. assistant and the marketing girls down the hall rather than calling them (and vice versa). Linda brought me a cup with different candies and some animal crackers. Then I had to do some research to find out what Boston Baked Beans were actually made of. On the website, you can watch a virtual tour of how they are made. I may yet live to see 5:00.

[Comments] (1) Times Have Changed: While I was at Target this afternoon, I heard a woman tell her kids TO hold onto the cart. Amazing!

[Comments] (1) Bacon Ranch Bread Bites: I made some awesome bread from the frozen dough. I read that yeast loses some effectiveness when frozen, so I put in extra, but it still didn't rise very well. But it was very yummy! I used my recipe for 90-minute rolls, rolled it out and cut it into little squares, added bacon, mozzerella and ranch dressing mix and baked it at 3:50 for about 15 minutes (our oven cooks very quickly). You can use any type of dough. Try it!

[Comments] (2) Dear Leonard: I have been bruising the "categories" section of your site. I'm of the opinion [the pig must pay/the polling section should make a comeback]. Is there somewhere I can look at old polls? Last week I read just about everything on your webpage, except the archives. And where did "Tonight's Espisode" go? Also, I found an entry where you spelled my name wrong. Or maybe it was one of the ones where you were talking about Sumana and I thought it was me. Anyway, thank you for hours of entertainment at work.

Your loving sister.

[Comments] (4) : John, where is my plant?

Someone in CS just got back from Europe and brought me a couple pieces of Swiss ciocolata. I feel bad eating chocolate in wrappers with such pretty pictures on it, but I am starving!

I am having yummy Southwestern Chicken Salad for dinner (without the chicken). I made the dressing with sour cream, salsa, and some cumin and chili powder. I bought cumin just for this purpose. I am always wanting to make things and I never have the spices for them. I also need to find some new way to organize the spices in my cupboard because they are taking over. Anyway, my dressing is yummy and my salad is good and I am excited to go home to it.

: I noticed on my "stats" page that there are three versions of the word "today" on my list. There is "Today", "today." and "today". I think if they were added up they might surpass "going", which is number one, and certainly "really" which is number two. Anyway, since I noticed how often I use that word, I try not to. I'll say "this morning" instead or just take it out. I am obsessive. I am bored.

Busy busy busy: I say that and then realize I was so busy yesterday because I was trying to sleep. I got about 3 1/2 hours before work and 3 after before John came home. Then we watched the Olympics for 1 1/2 hours and went to bed. Hard life, I know, especially since my night shift was particuarly easy.

After work I get another dinner out with Susan and Grandma June. Nathan and Ashley (and James and Hannah) are also stopping by after a BYU football thing. I've had lots of extra hours fit in places, which is great since I am taking next weekend off to be with my mommy. Yay, my mommy is coming to see us! I love my family!

Good Morning Everyone!: I like working in the mornings (Val and I traded again) because the sun shines through the front doors, because there is more work to do (especially on Fridays) because I get more hours, because I feel productive when I get home so early in the afternoon. Also, I can wear jeans to work on Fridays, which for some reason makes me extremely happy.

I also have a yummy lunch. I made a burrito from leftovers (refried beans, black beans, corn) with cheese (I only had mozzerella) and green peppers from the freezer. Green peppers freeze very well, which is good to know. I like making a lot of things that want me to use green peppers but I never plan ahead enough to buy them, and they aren't always on sale. I bought several on sale, ate most of them and now have some cut up in the freezer and have been eating them on very good burritos.

[Comments] (1) : Cover up, please! (Mom, you especially!)

: My theory is ruined! I got an email today from a very excited former roommate who got a job as a CNA in the newborn unit at LDS Hospital. I guess technically it's ok since I never really lived with Angela (see last paragraph).

: I had a great weekend, even though I had to work. It was cause John was home and I got to spend time with him!!! Work was awful, on Saturday at least, because I had a terrible headache and a very hard time staying awake. I ended up walking around the room, putting little braids in my hair. A very long night.

Other than that, I love having church at 8:30 AM. It is so nice to come home and have the entire day to do whatever we please (in my case, get a few hours of sleep finally). We also went on a nice walk, made some cookies and watched the Olympics.

Mommy is coming to visit us in three days. We are so excited to have her, also because we are all going to the temple together, to do some family temple work.

[Comments] (4) : Last night I ended up going into work for a few hours. Luckily, John and I had walked to the library and gotten some things for me to read. I am currently reading "A Series of Unfortunate Events". I'm on Book 1 because when I first checked them out, there was no Book 1, but I've also read 2 and 3. These books are quite obviously directed towards young kids- any difficult word is explained in the text, which gets annoying.

A movie is being made from the first three books, starring Jim Carrey. The movie looks much better than the books, sort of Harry Potter-ish. We saw the preview when John took me to see Spiderman 2 on Saturday (also a good movie).

Someone at work gave me some peaches. They are sitting on my desk and smell very yummy!

Husband of the Year: John has been so amazing this week. Twice when I got home from work he was making dinner (according to an incidental list I had made, no less). He also helped with the laundry while I was at Enrichment, and forgave me when I had forgotten to wash some stuff he needed (and then did it himself). I just want everyone to know that I have a wonderful husband, who is also a very good cook. Of course, school starts next week... =)

[Comments] (2) The Best News Ever: A children's book by Susanna Chadwick.

I finally have a job worth writing about (not that it's stopped me before). Yesterday I started a new job here at Nature's Way, it's a fulltime position in HR where I get to do a huge variety of things and keep very busy. It pays well, the benefits are great,and it will look terrific on my resume. I'm very excited.

: Mommy is here safe and sleeping on my couch. Eventually, she is planning on hanging out with Aunt Anne until I sneak away from work around 3. We had a good time at dinner with Susan and Jim (Jodi and Franko were there also). We had root beer floats!

I am really enjoying my new job and responsibilities. Right now I am at the front desk, so I can't do any of them, which is unfortunate, but I am looking forward to a busy afternoon.

Last night I had a dream that I visited Romania and one of my little boys (the shakey one) was much older and could speak (English, for that matter). He still acted the same, clingy and he couldn't move well.

: We had a great weekend with Mom visiting, and seeing baby Lily and various other family members. I especially enjoyed going to the temple with everyone. Mom, Anne, Jon, Sharon, David Oman, John and Louise all came, all of us doing family names, and afterwards we got to do a sealing.

I also had lots of fun listening to Mom and Richard Oman talk and making peach milkshakes with Pam. It was a fun, exhausting weekend, and although I'm excited about my new job, I feel very busy and overwhelmed and tired.

: I read in the AAA magazine that more people die each year from being hit by coconuts than attacked by sharks.

I have a ton of work to do and I am wasting time before clocking back in from lunch. Because I'm not sure what to do with an hour, if it's ok to leave early every day because I had a short lunch, or if I can work overtime. When I got back to my other desk, I was shocked to see an entire pallet of stuff for the store; Did I order that much? What am I supposed to do with it all? Ack!

I am feeling a little overwhelmed.

: Last night I put little stickers on the cool alphabet stamp set my mommy bought me. I am excited to use them, but I seem to be very busy lately. Maybe it's because I try to get to bed early. Maybe it's because I am tired from working all day *slave slave slave*. My entire dept. was at an off-site meeting all morning. I cleaned out the left side of my desk. It's so organized now!

My receptionist position closes tomorrow, so if anyone was thinking of applying, your chance is slipping away. Soon I can do my new job fulltime.

[Comments] (2) : If anyone didn't know, my birthday is in 16 days. I will follow Rachel's cue and post a wishlist because she actually got stuff on it.

A yummy dinner made by someone else
Cookbook I would actually use
A non-killable plant
New jeans
HP5 (paperback)
Half a day off work (paid)

I am so picky. You may also buy me items from my Amazon.com wishlist, but beware that they are prioritized. Also beware that if you give me money it will go into my savings account.

Not that I'm expecting presents!

[Comments] (3) Smooth: Mom, today I am wearing your dangly earrings with the little eggs on them. You have gotten lots of vicarious compliments.

I've been eating a lot of smoothies lately, and I am especially pleased to report that freezing banana slices is possible. When I looked online, all the info I found was on freezing rotting bananas whole, or mashing them up. I sliced mine, mushed them with some lemon juice in a Ziploc bag, and the slices come apart pretty well when you bang the bag on the counter. Anyway, last night I finally remembered to put ice in my smoothie so it would be colder and it was delicious!

My freezer is getting full of frozen fruit and vegetables, because I am tired of not having them on hand when I want to use them. I have zucchini, green pepper, strawberries and raspberries (John bought them already frozen), peas (of course!), bananas and two kinds of grated cheese, so it won't get moldy in the fridge.

: I was just reading an article about a girl complaining that her boss never remembered her birthday and wondering when Secretary's Day was, when my boss (not my real boss, of which I only have on in HR and I am being the receptionist right now anyway, but the CEO) came by and gave me a German chocolate bar (actual German chocolate, not like the cake). yum!

Ah, Clean: I just took a shower to wash off all the dirt, smoke, sweat, blood and horse snot from this weekend. Maybe I should back up.

We spend Sunday evening and today at the cabin at Tibble Fork. We played games and read all evening. We also made smores in the fireplace. Roasted marshmallows turn out so much better when you aren't cold and you have the patience to do them right. Susan slept and Jim played video games downstairs, and Jodi, Franko, John and I slept in the loft upstairs. There are two double beds, two twin beds, a crib and a water heater up there.

We had french toast for breakfast and us kids went on a nice long hike up the mountain and halfway around the lake. We would have gone all the way around but I was very thirsty at that point and we still had a 1/2 mile hike up the road to the cabin. We met a few pairs on horseback on the trail. One group had a middle horse with no rider. This was our conversation:

Horse: *very interested stare at Susie's fattened up bones*
Susie: Don't eat me!
Lady on the next horse: Don't eat me?

She stopped to let me pet her horse, which looked much less hungry, although his name was Buck so I don't think I would want to ride him. We all chatted and patted Buck's head, and then he decided to sneeze all over me and Franko. Yuck.

Back at the cabin, Nathan and Ashley had arrived with their kids and Grandma June (whose cabin it is). We had foil dinners and veggies with different dips and salad for lunch, then we all sat around the fire eating the rest of the marshmallows and talking. My nose was running practically the entire time we were up there, and it decided to give me the second nosebleed of my entire life. Luckily James is completely clueless, because he was laying on my lap and got a nice spot on the seat of his pants.

John and I dropped Grandma off since it's the least out of the way for us and we finally made it home. I feel like the dad in Big Fish: very dried out. I may be a little sunburned on my face from out hike. We had lots of fun though, it was such lovely weather, and it was my first ever paid holiday!

: I got an email from Brynn (a cousin, but on the other side as Grandpa Dalton) saying that she had her hair cut short with layers last night.

Not So Small: Guess What! My flight was late! Both of them! Leaving! Getting There! Getting the Plane there in the First Place! I finally made it home. I found it hard to believe there was an entire (small) plane of people trying to get to Bakersfield. I began to think that it wasn't really that small of a town, until we got off the plane and were welcomed by one security guard and a tiny (closed) gift shop).

Sadie (and the rest of us) are sad John couldn't come, but I agree with him that the trips we made to visit Grandpa when he was alive are more important.

My Tribute to Grandpa: The funeral was this afternoon. It was ok, I managed to get up and tell my story. This is something like what I said:

Just about everytime I visited Grandpa he would tell me that when I was little I refused to go to Grandma and would only go to him. I never knew how proud he was of me until a few years ago. After I went to college, I wrote grandpa and grandma occasionally, mostly Grandma. I didn't even think Grandpa ever read my letters until about 2 1/2 years ago when I got a note from Shannon saying he had showed her my letter. When I got home, I found out he had showed my letters to EVERYONE, people at the doctor's office, at the grocery store. He loved to brag about his grandkids, and he always made me feel so special.

Then Garry got up and said that Grandpa drove everyone nuts with my letters. =) Well, good! He was a proud Grandpa, and he deserves to be, because he worked hard to leave a wonderful legacy for his grandkids, and he did.

[Comments] (3) Home Safe: And by now, my luggage should be, too. Mer.

[Comments] (2) : Update: If you haven't bought me something, you are too late. I've gotten just about everything on my list. I had some wonderful surprises from my siblings on Saturday. Grandma gave me this little terra cotta frog planter (she used to collect frogs), and I put a clipping of one of Mom's succulents in it, once it was retrieved from my missing suitcase. This plant will live. I also got some cool jeans, a cool CD (formidable!), and some mysterious somethings wrapped on our wicker chest. I am also working on the half-day off. It's actually considered a holiday!

By tomorrow, someone will be hired for my receptionist position and I am SO excited. Today was such a busy day, luckily with tons of stuff that could be done up front. But I just feel so rushed knowing I only have four hours to do all my HR work. Of course, I'll still need to train the new girl, but I like teaching people, so it should be fun.

: The HR Dept. was supposed to go to a conference tomorrow. Except the conference was today.

I am excited for this weekend. I'm leaving work four hours (the boring four) early, then we are driving to Park City for the weekend, and down for a birthday party on Sunday. Ember's birthday is next Saturday. She will be 5.

[Comments] (5) : A few days ago, John and I were walking home from campus and saw three deer on the path. They eventually ran up the hillside into the bushes. There was a fence there with a sort of opening. But what were three deer doing there in the first place?

[Comments] (2) : I think making the switch to apple was a good idea for the green SweeTTart.

Busy Susie B.: It's 4:00 and I've finished everything I wanted to do in the past four hours (my free four hours off work!). At work I had to clean the whole office, because the Board of Directors is coming next week. Then I ran some errands to Target, the mall and the library; made two more batches of peach cobbler filling (recipe later) to add to the four I made last night; did two loads of laundy; wrapped Ember's present (two Dr. Seuss board books and some Skittles); and reconciled my credit card. I guess I do still need to pack for the weekend.

John, by the way, is adorable. He looked in my closet to get my pantsize to surprise me with a nice pair of khakis for my birthday. I had one pair of size 6 and a pair of size 9, which he assumed was a 6 since the other one was, and why would I have pants of two different sizes. I guess guys buy pants between 32-34 or whatever, so it's weird for me to have pants between 6-11. I also exchanged this cute pair of jeans Leonard, Sumana and Rachel picked out for me, for a smaller size that is not as tight! Weird. Now I have two new pairs of pants, and it's not even my birthday yet! Thanks everyone!

Famous Peach Cobbler: This is another recipe from the super-cool recipe collection Mom made all of us for Christmas last year.

For biscuit topper, sift together 1 c. sifted flour, 2 T sugar, 1 1/2 t. baking powder and 1/4 t. salt. cut in 1/4 cup butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. combine 1/4 c. milke and 1 slightly beaten egg. Add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring just to moisten. Set aside. Prepare filling. Pour filling into baking dish. Immediately spoon on biscuit topper in 6 mounds. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with cream or ice cream. Makes six servings.

Peach filling: Combine 1 1/2 T. cornstarch, 1/4 t, ground mace, 1/2 c. brown sugar and 1/2 c. water in sauce pan. cook and stir till thickened. Add 4 c. sliced peaches, 1 T. lemon juice, and 1 T. butter. cook till peaches are hot, about 5 minutes.

I just realized I forgot to add the lemon juice and butter to the last two batches. Oh well! I am putting them all in the freezer and giving four to my in-laws with the biscuit instructions written on the bag.

So Spoiled: I've had the best birthday ever. First of all, we had a great time in Park City, doing pretty much nothing. Linda, a coworker, laughed when I said we just sat around and read, but that's so much fun! Plus, I had such great books to read.

As John said, I am spoiled completely rotten. I got so many new clothes, books and other fun stuff. John bought me a new purse and black skirt, and a cream sweater, besides the khakis. I also got two gray sweaters (one for weekends (from Leonard and Sumana) and one for work(from Brook and Erin)), new jeans (so cute!), HP 5 (from Rachel) which I am rereading, lots of scrapbooking stuff (both from John and Nathan and Ashley), and a super-extra-cool book of crochet blocks (for afghans etc) from my Mommy. I spent half the weekend just reading the book. Oh, and a cool DVD (from Leonard and Sumana) we haven't watched yet (we barely watched Emperor's New Groove, which John got for his birthday three months ago). Also, Susan gave me the family pictures we ordered (ones we took at Jodi's wedding in June) and I have just scanned them, so if you don't see them on my page soon, bug Leonard.

Like I said, spoiled rotten rotten rotten, but you know you had fun doing it!

Let me plug once more for Taste of Saigon, the yummy Vietnamese restaurant in Park City. It's so quiet, so fast, so yummy, and so cheap (relatively). We had the curry and the potstickers again- yum! We have had a hard time with both Mexican restaurants we've been to there, but this place has exceeded expectations both times.

[Comments] (5) : The new afternoon receptionist starts today, which means two things: I get to train her and soon I can do my new job fulltime. Today's training consists of 15 minutes with the supervisor, 1:15 with me at the front desk, two hours of helping me serve brownies and filling out paperwork, and another half an hour sitting at the front desk.

By the way, these are delicious brownies from BYU Catering, plain, nuts, mint, and cream cheese ones! (Maybe I'll sneak some extras home...)

: On my lunch break, I went to pick up my last paycheck, for a night I worked three weeks ago. It;s partially my own fault; payday was Monday, but I couldn't pick it up.

Since I was out and the cafeteria offerings were slim today, I am having a TacoTime veggie burrito for lunch. This burrito has sunflower seeds in it, which I think is yummy. It is also in a whole wheat tortilla.

[Comments] (6) : We had a nice relaxing weekend, and for once got to stay home. We watched our new movie, Spirited Away from Sumana. My favorite part was No-Face and when the baby got turned into a big fat mouse. Good movie.

: The travel coordinator (for whom I am also the assistant) is out of town this week and I am covering for her. Only one problem so far and her job is harder than I thought. Maybe that is because I got the five minute training version.

[Comments] (2) : Choo! Today is my first day doing my current job fulltime. Maybe I will be busy because I can start bigger projects, and have time to have them explained to me etc. Today I am: stenographer; storekeeper; interior decorator; travel agent; cashier; hiring manager; mailwoman; allergic.

[Comments] (2) : Sumana: I read this article and remembered that you watch the Daily Show.

Things I'm finally getting around to mentioning: On Sunday when I was walking (under the complex next door to cross the street to go visiting teaching), I ran into Shelley (who lives in said complex). I apologized for Mom's bad-auntiness (she forgives you mom, and she wasn't out here yet anyway), and later she brought a roommate over and talked with John and I. Right next door!

As I have forgotten the two other things I've been meaning to mention, the title of this entry is now officially "Thing I'm finally getting around to mentioning", or would be if I knew how to make letters with lines through them.

[Comments] (4) : Does anyone else ever feel like someone is watching your every move? I used to worry about this occasionally, then I got a job where I had a camera on me the entire time. I feel more secure now that I am in the back, with no camera, and also that in all the time I've spent filing in Darrell's office, I've never seen the reception desk on his security screen. No one was watching me after all.

I bought John some medicines from the Company Store. He has been joking about "homeopathic herbs" but that's exactly what he got. The only Nature's Way product I got him was Zinc lozenges with echinacea and vitamin C. Most of the rest were made by a homeopathic company Nature's Way has bought out. The B&T products, I have learned, do not expire.

Hope for Music Majors Everywhere: Today I learned that Alan Greenspan majored in music. Of course, his job is kind of a one and only shot.

Quick Fixes: I wanted to note two easy recipe substitutions I have used recently. The best part is, they were both recipes I already use often and have memorized. The first is the Mornay sauce I used when we had Chicken Cordon Bleu. It's really just cheese sauce with Swiss cheese. (1 T butter -> 1 T flour -> 3/4 c. milk -> 3/4 c. cheese).

The second is the cream cheese frosting I used on the Pumpkin Spice Muffins John and I made this weekend. I had never made cream cheese frosting before, so we looked it up in a cookbook and I discovered it's really buttercream frosting with cream cheese instead of butter. Go figure. 3 oz. cream cheese -> some milk -> some vanilla -> enough powdered sugar to make frosting. I didn't measure, sorry.

From last night (dumb internet): We are watching the Presidental Debate. I am tempted to vote for Bush because he is more attractive, and I don't want to look at Kerry for the next four years. But I wouldn't mind some of these tax cuts being promised.

Tomorrow we are going to brunch with Grandma June. Yay! I love grandmas. We are also both getting eye exams, and hopefully new glasses tomorrow. Yay for vision insurance!

John's sore throat has gotten worse. I'm sure now that he got it from Ember, because he sounds just like she did when her voice was gone for two weeks. Poor John. And now I am getting a little sickie.

Good So Far: I can't believe it's already 4:00! I slept in, and then we went to IHOP with Grandma. It was very crowded, but we all had very yummy food an.d it wasn't very expensive. We went shopping at Target and the mall, and got our eye exams and new glasses. Unfortunately, we had to pay more for the glasses than we thought, but we are going to be so stylish!

I am quite tired and the apartment still needs some cleaning. I also have to go make copies for Relief Society (mer). I scrubbed the bathroom yesterday, maybe that is good enough for this week.

[Comments] (3) Last Night, I Had a Dream: We all lived in this huge house where everyone had their own giant room. Someone had died and everyone went to the funeral except for me and Sumana who was taking a nap. For some reason I was in her room, maybe looking in the closet or something. It didn't look so much like a Sumana-room though. I also had another dream where I was late for the airport and I wasn't packed yet.

Sewing and Cooking Exploits: On Saturday I made an attempt at sewing something. It was supposed to take 60 minutes, but 3 1/2 hours later and 2 phone calls to mom, I still wasn't done. Mom, I still have more questions for you.

Dinner tonight was lame, but I made a yummy mexican enchilada-type casserole for tomorrow. Also, I was invited to a luncheon with some ladies at work and I made John's yummy salad. Spring mix, berries, sunflower seeds and John's homemade dressing.

For FHE we had the rest of the raspberry-boysenberry cobbler I made last night, read an Ensign article, and drew faces on tiny pumpkins. Sometimes, we amaze ourselves.

[Comments] (1) : When I got out my sewing box, I thought of all the things I am missing. My pin cushion (I actually tried to pin something and I only have a few). And both of my seam rippers (a must-have for Susie sewing). Luckily I found one in my drawer. I wonder where my pin cushion got to. And my other seam ripper, the pink one I really like. John bought me donuts tonight. I have eaten much too much chocolate today.

Update:I have remembered that I also used to have two seamstress measuring tapes. Once again, the pink one is missing.

[Comments] (3) : Yesterday one of my coworkers quit. She will not be replaced right away, so we spent the morning dividing up her duties. Linda got most of it, which means I will be getting a lot of Linda's stuff (like ordering hundreds of turkeys to give out at Thanksgiving). I was given lots of compliments on how quickly and well I get stuff done. My boss (Kathy) is so busy she hasn't had time to give me anything to do quickly and well, but someday she'll show me how she likes things done and she can learn for herself what a good job I do.

: Today I brought home some more medicines from the company store for John. Poor baby is still sick. I bought some nightime cough syrup and some other menthol syrup that's supposed to be good. I have had a lot of people ask me to order one new product, macadamia nut oil, so I am going to start stocking it. In fact, I think I am going to bring some home to try. The other oils we sell must be drunk (at least those that don't come in softgels) but this one can be used to cook with, and it sounds delicious! I mean, who would want to cook with Flax oil? I am excited to try it. $8.99 at the company store, and that's with my employee discount of 25% of wholesale. Yikes.

Since I have such an aversion to taking pills (multivitamins are one thing, but why would I want to take five different kinds of herbs?), I'm glad I've found a way to use my credit with things we may actually use. And I get $200 more next year!

[Comments] (3) : John is out taking a test, so I have been cleaning. Today I am going to a baby shower for someone I used to visit teach and a wedding reception for the daughter of a coworker. We went to BabyGap last night and bought a cute little green onesie and a little hat with duckies on it. So cute. And on sale. Can't beat that. I would have made booties, but I learned how to crochet at Enrichment, and I suspect Allyson did too.

[Comments] (5) : Last night, some of our neighbors invited us over for ColdStone type ice cream, with mixins. They have a granite slab they keep in their freezer. Afterwards, we played Apples to Apples for a little while. We've never really hung out with anyone in the ward (at least people we didn't already know, like Julie, and Kristi, and Jana) so it was nice.

Speaking of Julie and Kristi, I think I mentioned Julie is expecting a baby next month, but not that Kristi is having a boy in January. They no longer live next door, a wise choice if you're going to be starting a family. Our apartment would just be too small for that.

Among the things I have to do today are gather up some products from the company store for Senator Hatch who is visiting today, and fill out a questionnaire for the comedian/magician who will be performing at our Holiday Party.

I had McDonald's for lunch (yay Dollar Menu). I haven't eaten my parfait yet; I'll let you know if it's as good as it looks.

Paper Cuts: I remember writing once about the odd things I've gotten paper cuts from (cardboard box, binder etc). Today I was cutting open a box for the company store, using a box cutter very safely, and I cut myself on the tape. Tape.

John got another 100%. He is so smart. It gives him more time to be with me!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels: John asked me very nicely to make him some more chocolate-covered pretzels, so I did. They are so yummy! Here is my recipe: Melt some chocolate in a double-boiler. Dip pretzels in chocolate. Lay on tin foil, shiny side down. Put in freezer. Eat!

[Comments] (5) : We had grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner (I know I've been lazy this week). John really loved the soup, though. I made it with milk instead of water and added about 1 t. basil. Ta dum! Creamy Tomato Basil Soup! (the easy way).

Ok, just to excuse myself let me say that I've had a terrible headache for two or three days. And my car has refused to start after work. Twice. Yesterday I called AAA, jumped it, had my battery tested, fine. So I didn't worry about it. Today some guy from the maintenance dept. at work and a friend from our ward who works there came out and stood in the rain with me. We decided it was dirty battery cables affected by the sudden drop in temperature, so he cleaned it with a wire brush and the car started on its own. If it happens again, I really am going to the dealer.

So after trying to leave work early with a terrible headache and waiting in the rain for an hour for my car to work two days in a row, I didn't feel much like cooking. Sorry, honey. *whine* But the soup really was good.

[Comments] (3) :

My spam name is Relieve J. Clubbed

What's yours?

[Comments] (1) : We had a fun but exhausting day with the kids. Ember and Logan (the redheads) visited us. Brook and Erin dropped them off on their way to a weddding reception. We went to Wendy's, the Corn Maze and various barnyard activities, and Krispy Kreme. Then we watched The Emperor's New Groove, although Ember and I didn't make it all the way through.

Today we watched Spirited Away and went for a nice long walk (which the kids were oddly excited about. We walked around campus and fed the ducks at the botany pond. We went to Eatza Pizza for lunch and played a few games in the arcade. We dropped the kids off back home and hung out with Brook and Erin for a while. Ember showed me how she can draw the whole alphabet (she just started preschool).

Then we went to Mom & Dad's. We went out to eat with Jodi and Franko. Talked about politics. John and I went to the mall so that I could get a new phone (this one works, call me!). We are finally home. John hasn't done any studying, so it will be a busy week for him. That's ok, because then I'll get lots done.

Incidentally, it is pouring again. It didn't rain from about late Thursday night until 2 or so this afternoon. Just enough time for us to stay dry (but not un-muddy) at the corn maze. Other than that, it has rained solid the entire week. Brighton is possibly opening next weekend. For once I am excited for Winter- perhaps because it will be my last in Utah.

[Comments] (6) : Tonight I made Aunt Jeuney's famous beef stroganoff- yummy! We haven't had it in forever, as John so gently reminded me. I went through the calendars of things I have cooked, which I've kept since we got married, and made a big alphabetical list of everything I've ever made (and would make again). Before I went to the store just now, I had John just look at the list and pick out some things that looked good. Now I can finally get his imput in a non-annoying way.

Still raining. Today a sales lady came to see me at work. I want to buy some pedometers from her company. She brought me some samples, and also some candy! I read that "the average person" walks only 3000-5000 steps per day. I (apparently) walked 1600 just on a trip to the grocery store! 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles) is the minimum for health benefits. Too bad the pedometer is so cheap, I'll never know how many I really do.

[Comments] (4) : I am watching my new favorite show, He's a Lady. Finally an original reality show, and it's hilarious and fairly clean (if you can handle seeing a guy in a dress). Mom, thanks for letting me put my run-on sentences into parentheses; I can ramble all I want.

Leonard just called me with a food question; I feel so special!

[Comments] (1) : On my "pictures" link, there are three new pictures, if you haven't seen them already. One is our whole giant family, one is just our cute nieces and nephews, and the other is just cute us. Enjoy!

[Comments] (2) : I got to go to lunch with some ladies that do our insurance today. We went to a local Japanese sushi and steakhouse and had hibachi (sp?). I did have one piece of sushi, but I didn't like it very much. My steak, vegetables, and fried rice was excellent. Free lunch!

: Clean house!

[Comments] (1) In the workplace, but not of it.: At work, but not working; I am trying to take a lunch break. My boss returns tomorrow and I am hoping for no comments when she views my timecard from while she was gone.

So many tasks are waiting for me... I'd so rather be working.

[Comments] (2) : This girl came into my office today. I asked if she'd voted and she said "Eh, I'm not a voter." So much for Sumana-esque.

I have a lot to say today, but I am very busy at work. Perhaps later.

[Comments] (2) : My sweet husband bought us tickets to go see Mannheim Steamroller in December. I'm so excited, and spoiled! He also did the dishes, even though I didn't really make dinner, and he planned a great FHE.

I voted for the first real time this morning. (My absentee ballot was extremely late for the last presidential election, and the last time I voted for governor, all candidates were so lame I didn't pick one.) There was hardly anyone there when I went before work, and I got a sticker! You have a right to vote, people; Use it!

[Comments] (1) : I've been working like crazy today, but I seem to have just crashed. Hopefully I'll get a second wind soon, because I have a lot of chores and errands to do tonight. That's about it. We are kind of in a bad mood here, but I won't say why. Work Work Work.

[Comments] (5) : Today my boss gave me, of all things, a PalmPilot.

I am going to a Bunco party tonight with people I work with. I'm excited, it should be fun. We also got our tickets for Mannheim Steamroller. And John got another 100% on a test. He is just too smart!

Tomorrow's Friday!

: Genealogy, I am doing it, my genealogy.... I wish I was singing Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday, but James and Hannah are coming over later, and I don't want to clean beforehand.

[Comments] (2) : I just found Grandma Jessie's dad married to his brother-in-law. The good news is that I found his brother-in-law. But not his mother-in-law. And not the Illinois census.

[Comments] (7) : We are getting a table. Mom is buying a new dining room table and giving her current one to Nathan and Ashley, so we get their kitchen table. We will have to do a little rearranging, but it will be nice for when people come over.

We also bought a Christmas tree. I had just asked if we could have one, then we were at Target and saw a small (fake) one for only $9.99! I was sold when I saw how tiny the box was. We got it, and a small think of gold and silver (not tacky) ornaments, and a lovely mesh star to be our special ornament this year. Don't worry, we aren't going to put it up until after Thanksgiving.

My eclair crust for tomorrow is baking. My last eclair cake was a disaster. I tried to use the non-instant pudding, so the filling was all runny and my crust was funny, all thin and burnt. I know I have the right kind of pudding this time, and my crust looks terrific! I even remembered to pop the bubbles.

[Comments] (3) : We had a nice dinner and game and chat with Kristen and Aaron (and Julie and Joe and Louise). Kristen and Aaron made yummy curry with peppers and coriander. I made the eclair cake, which I'll probably finish for breakfast. Lily is looking so lovely, like a little doll, and let me hold her for quite some time before she got too tired.

I am trying to finish crocheting a baby hat for Julie (my old roommate). I have done almost a row while reading weblogs. I also painted my toenails red for the approaching holiday season, not that anyone will see them. It's still nice to have cute toes.

For some reason, our house looks especially clean to me now. Everything is picked up, and I love when John rearranges things on our bookshelf to make it look nice. Also, the plant clippings Mom gave me are finally flourishing. Except for that branchy thing you gave me from your windowsill- it doesn't look so good. Should I be doing something special?

The Official Eclair Cake Recipe:

Éclair Cake
Crust:					Filling:
½ c. margarine				2 small or one large package French vanilla pudding
½ t. salt				1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 c. water				3 c. milk
1 c. flour					
4 eggs.

Topping:
1 package Cool Whip
Chocolate syrup

Heat water, margarine and salt until boiling. Remove from heat and add flour.  Stir until mixture pulls away from sides. Add eggs, one at a time and beating well between each.  Spread on a greased jelly roll pan and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Poke bubbles with a fork while baking.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pudding and milk.  Beat until blended; mixture may be lumpy.

Spread filling over cooled crust.  Top with Cool Whip and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

[Comments] (1) : John surprised me at work by calling to see if I could get off early to go see The Incredibles. It was a great movie! Afterward, we walked around the Riverwoods, then went to the mall to buy a birthday present. Now I am making Thai Pasta Salad for the ward party tomorrow. We are planning to go to Park City tomorrow to do some Christmas shopping, then go to the party (at Timp Lodge) on the way home.

: Tomorrow is our official Benefit's Fair, where employees can sign up for 2005 stuff. Linda is in charge of this, and about a million other things, so today we will be decorating and setting up. It's only 11:00. I have redone a spreadsheet, answered 100 phone calls and received one fax. Oh yeah, and I got the mail.

[Comments] (14) Ok, Fine: I will post my wishlist. But only if Sumana does. I would like:

Socks
Slippers
Work clothes
Cookbook
Yarn
I can't think of anything else

Last night at Enrichment, I won the early bird drawing. I got a cute Winter blanket, a book about a perky turkey and a cookbook I haven't had a chance to read yet. I had a long day yesterday. I am excited to go home and do nothing for a bit, and also for the weekend; We have no plans!

[Comments] (2) : I have a dentist appt. this morning. In the meantime I am playing "recruiter". Linda and I are the only ones in the office (and Hugo). It seems quiet and we are getting work done. I'd best be doing the store order.

: I have thought of some more things I want:

Body cream (the thick stuff. My skin is so dry, bleh.) I think I'd like vanilla-brown sugary or... I had to go look. Right now I have "Mango Mandarin", something orange like that.

Ink Spots. These are tiny little ink pads, only $1.50 or so. Let me clarify what colors of ink I already have: Black. Red. I have had this red ink pad for approximately 12 years. Still works!

John and I would also like Hildalgo on DVD. There are probably more DVDs we want, but I can't think of any. See Amazon wishlist for CDs I would listen to if you bought for me.

Last night I wrapped presents! for family peeps. Most of it is stuff I bought for stockings but turned out to be too large. I still have quite a pile of stocking stuff. More shopping will occur later today. We are going to Salt Lake, to the Gateway (this fancy new shopping center) and to "The Soup Kitchen", an incredibly yummy, hidden, cheap restaurant I ate at with Susan one time. I had the tomato soup- this is where my obsession with homemade tomato soup began. It will culminate (probably) when I get around to trying Alyson's yumilicous Tomato Fennel Soup Recipe.

Last night, also, John and I spent some time making cards. I complained about not being able to get out and leave out all my scrapbooking junk (hence the excitement about getting a table) and John suggested I just use the desk in our bedroom. There still wasn't quite enough room on the desk. It is very oddly shaped (took us ages to get it out of the Chadwicks' basement) and we keep books on it. Anyway, we had lots of fun. John is so creative at making cards. He made a very very cute one for Jodi's bridal shower earlier this year. It had a bathtub full of presents with a shower curtain on brads. So cute. I mostly copy other cards to make mine; all of my original ideas turn out funny-looking.

[Comments] (2) : We made some Peppermint Bark this afternoon. It turned out yummy, not counting the entire bag of white chips we had to throw out because the chocolate seized when we tried to melt it.

We are headed to CA tomorrow. Susan called and said I-15 was closed and there was a big mess trying to get a hotel room, but I don't anticipate any such problem for us. We're very excited to see the family, and to go to San Francisco.

There, mom, are you happy now? see you soon!

[Comments] (1) : We are having a blast here in San Francisco. Currently, Leonardr is cooking us biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Then the four of us kids are going to walk the Golden Gate Bridge while Mom rests up for the rest of the day. We are planning to go to Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown, but I won't be driving! I barely made if between Leonards' houses. It doesn't help that Mom's care is making an odd noise.

We had a lovely meal yesterday, the five of us with Leonardw, Jeff, and Jeff's sister, JoEllen. JoEllen was fun, she played a game of Settlers of Catan with us, and sat and chatted, even though she kept talking about how old she was.

Leonardw has a very nice new house: John keeps saying how I told him how scary the staircase was at their old house. I remember being scared of that thing as a five-year-old!

More adventures later.

[Comments] (7) Youngest Child Seeks Same: While at Leonardr's apartment, Mom was examining his old cherry dresser for her brother Robert's name which he had apparently carved into it some time ago. Not only did we find it, we also found a scratch that read "Rachel" which no one remembers her (or a conniving sibling) putting there.

The title is also in reference to our fun evening reading the diverse personals in a San Franciscan newspaper.

We are home safe (barely) after two snow storms and 25 miles of inching along in Southern Utah. Yes, we could have walked faster but we would have frozen to death doing so. We are very lucky that our car was not one of about 20 we saw off the road. As it was, it took us 14 hours to get home.

John is sickie and I am exhausted. It is very hard to drive 5 mph with a manual transmission!!! Tonight we will have fun putting our Christmas tree up, buying food, and being home.

: I forgot to mention that while we were at Mom's house she spoiled John like a grandchild. She made him his requested dinner (tacos with guacamole) and bought us some snacks for our trip: baby carrots with little ranch tubs, yogurts, cheese and crackers. Thanks, Mom. That was all we ate yesterday.

We also got to have a nice long visit with Grandma. Garry was also there for a while. Yay for Grandmas!

: Last night, I attempted to make a tree skirt for our Charlie Brown tree, as well as stockings for John and myself. Ours are in Mom's scary shed and we didn't remember to get them until it was dark. There is no light in the shed and I don't think I'd want to go there at night anyway.

I followed Mom's tree skirt pattern: Fold fabric in half. Cut giant semi-circle. Hem. Trace around dinner plate in center. Cut out. Hem. Unfortunately, this will only work on fake trees. I think real tree skirts (including ones previously made with this "pattern") have slits down the side. But I had already hemmed it (twice) so we took the bottom off our tree to put the skirt on. I am going to glue some trim to the edge once I borrow a glue gun. All in all, it didn't turn out too badly. John helped me pick out red fabric with embroidered snowflakes and a white and gold twisted trim.

I also followed Mom's pattern for stockings: Draw a stocking on newspaper. Cut out. Repeat until husband is convinced this pattern will make a decent stocking. Fold fabric in half and cut out two identical pieces. Turn wrong-side-out and sew (but not the top!) This is all I've done so far. We used red and white fleece. I am going to put a contrasting cuff on each and I'm thinking about doing a slip stitch around the edge in contrasting yarn, at least for the red, and embroidering our names on the cuff. I don't know how to embroider. Oh well. The fleece was on sale.

[Comments] (6) Sorry, Mom: Today I mailed letters from Santa to 100 or so children. It was fun! That's saying something, considering I was really just stuffing envelopes. They also got a picture to color for the coloring contest. I brought home the ones we had printed out but decided not to use, and John and I each colored one after dinner.

Speaking of dinner, I got home and it was all made for me! John made chicken with a peanut orange ginger glaze and rice and carrots. It was delicious, especially that part I didn't have to cook. We have determined we will be unable to make Tomato Fennel Soup, and Mazto Balls. Couldn't find fennel or Mazto anywhere. Mer.

I may have already mentioned this, but Linda and I have been told we are wrapping the employee gifts this year. It's been quite the ordeal, but today our errand-runner took the wrapping paper to Maintenance. She had the entire rolls cut to the width we needed, then made one of the guys hold it while she cut it into lengths on the giant paper cutter in Graphics. Brilliant. Linda and I have a quota of wrapping 20 per day to get them done before the party.

You would think I am becoming an expert wrapper, but I just wrapped something for Leonard that didn't turn out so well. All of you coming to Utah post-Christmas are getting more gifts than are at Mom's (sorry, Rach). I keep remembering things I was supposed to buy, or that have been hiding the closet.

[Comments] (5) : It is v. cold (as Rachel would say). Today driving to work the bank told me it was 15°. Brr!

Is there anyway to make a little "degree" sign on the computer without doing anything complicated?

John made dinner again tonight. And did the dishes. And did laundry. He says he cheated by taking it to his parents, but I say it's the same number of stairs.

We have to take a White Elephant gift to a work party on Saturday. John suggested bringing Cold Sassy Tree, which is the worst movie I've ever seen. Well, maybe Cat in the Hat is still worse. Of course, bringing our plaqued wedding announcement is another option, but perhaps a bit over the top?

Crescendo!: Last night we went to Mannheim Steamroller. I learned that the group is named after and 18th century music technique now known as the crescendo. I am relieved; when I first heard of them I thought it was some hard-rock-punk group. Anyway, it was really, really good. The presentation was awesome, the songs were great, I had a great date. We also had great seats- the first row of the balcony, and not all turned sideways or anything. There were only a couple songs I hadn't heard, between our two CDs and FM 100. We were definitely in the minority as far as age goes.

Anyway, it was really great. Thanks for a hot date, John!

I have finished the tree skirt. And given up on embroidering the stockings (turns out I need embroidery thread). Eventually I will find something cool to do with them. In the meantime, they can be plain.

Free Rolling: You can listen to clips from all the songs on their new CD at this website. Enjoy!

[Comments] (2) : It's snowing! This is the first actual snow I have seen fall in Utah County. It has been so cold that the teeny bit of snow on the ground when we got home from Thanksgiving is still there. That's a nice thing about snow; It is warmer today (already, this morning) than any other time this week. The banks I passed on the way to work indicated it was between 28° and 33°, warming up as I went south. Much better than last weeks 15°.

[Comments] (6) : Kathy gave me a cute little snowman decoration. I like snowmen things. She gave Linda and Audrey little ornaments too. She meant to give them to us at the party but forgot. I don't think I mentioned we had a party at her house on Saturday night. It was a lot of fun. We had stuffed pork chops and carrot cake, and a white elephant gift exchange.

: This morning was our work Children's Holiday Party. It was fun, I guess. We took a picture with Santa, and I got three (more) hours of overtime. I think I like December in HR!,p> We also went shopping, handed out reminder fliers to everyone in our ward that hasn't brought us their gifts for the Angel Tree yet. Then we cleaned the house and rearranged the bedroom. Oh yeah, we also really got our table a few days ago. It looks so cute in our cute little apartment, although I don't think we've actually eaten a meal on it. Now we are going to make Peppermint Bark. Is it really only 7:00?

[Comments] (2) : John and I have been going over our tithing slips and paystubs in preparation for tithing settlement this afternoon and were astonished to see that we doubled our income from last year. Between us we have had 8 jobs this year (John is doing some temporary work over the break). Hopefully work will be more steady next year, at least after we move to Orange County.

[Comments] (1) : Did a lot. Not doing anything now. Should go home. The travel coordinator was supposed to go on vacation on Friday. Instead she is leaving tonight. It's not so much the three extra days of doing travel (did I mention I'm her assistant?) as that everyone had to all of a sudden get all their January travel stuff in. Today. So it was crazy. Those Procrastinators!

Travel, by the way, makes me very nervous. Luckily, this is supposed to be a very quiet time of year (hence, she is actually taking a vacation). I guess placing recruitment ads made me nervous at first too, but I'm used to it now. This will be good experience though.

: Sooo busy! My coworkers are slowing leaving for vacation, surgeries etc. I am feeling a little overwhelmed. On the other hand, it will nice to be busy since I'm not taking any vacation until after Christmas. Quickbooks was installed on the Company Store computer today. I have three weeks to learn how to use it, and IS has three weeks to transfer all the info from the current (lame) program we use. I am going to have to start taking inventory. It is going to be a big job to get it all set up, but hopefully this program will help things run more smoothly, and be easier in the long run.

John made me dinner again tonight. He's so great! We bought another bookshelf today at Target, with some of the gift certificates Kathy gave me. Definitely a nicer Christmas bonus than the See's Candy last year. Mmm... Candy...

Movin' On Up: Today I got my first Holiday Card from a vendor. Addressed to me! Everyone else's are already plastered to my window, but this one is just for me.

[Comments] (2) Orange Peanut Ginger Glazed Chicken: I thought I would get around to posting this recipe, since we have used it twice now and it's very yummy and easy.

1/3 c. orange juice
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 T. grated ginger
some peanut pieces

Slowly stir orange juice into peanut butter until it is creamy. Add ginger. Dip chicken into sauce and then roll in peanuts (or if you are too lazy to chop up the peanuts, just sprinkle them on top). Bake at 400° for 25-35 minutes, or at 375° for 20 minutes if you have a hyperactive oven like ours. Serve with rice. Yum!

: Yesterday we got to go up after church and have a big family party with everyone before Nathan and Ashley go to California. It was a lot of fun. I made Jello jigglers, which were a surprising hit, especially with the adults. John got to play with Tyler and Ember to his heart's content. We are going up again tonight to make gingerbread cookies with the kids. Then we'll go up on Thursday and spend the whole Holiday weekend doing fun stuff. Yay!

Darrell and I are here holding down the fort. I am busy doing a little bit of everything (but thankfully not too much travel). He is busy closing out a 401(k) account for a company we bought, before the year ends. I guess I should be busy eating lunch.

: John took me to see "The Work and the Glory" on Saturday. I was trying to guess what movie we were going to see and he told me it was "Nora Jones' Diary" which made me crack up. John, you're so funny!

: Gar! I spent the first four hours of my day not doing much and now an entire list of things is begging for my attention. Gar, I say!

[Comments] (4) : On my way home from work, I heard the oddest collection of Christmas songs on the radio. First was the worst version of "What Child Is This" I've ever heard. The tune was hardly recognizable. Then was an off-key hoe-down version of "Do You Hear What I Hear". It was awful! Then came "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", sung by a babershop quartet. That one I actually liked.

It was a very long day at work. I have lots to do for tomorrow, but I am hoping to get my desk cleared off in the morning before people start piling up more things for me to do.

Dear Sumana: We are sad you won't be coming to Utah too. There's always the summertime!

Love, Susie

[Comments] (1) : Mom, Look! As cute as this idea was when I was just joking, it really is a little sick. There really is only one Jellybean. Jelly Belly Beanie Baby. Give her a kiss for me.

: We had a very long and fun weekend. I came home from work to a wonderful surprise- my very own ten-year old! Jodi got into an accident and Logan got sent home with John rather than with Grandma and Grandpa to rescue her. Unfortunately for him, and the rest of us, there was a mess on the freeway, and it took us 1 1/2 hours to get to my in-laws'.

Friday we went to see Series of Unfortunate Events, which I enjoyed very much. It was better than the books, but that's only because the first 5 books aren't very good. We have finally read Book 11, by the way, and it's excellent. The whole family came, from Grandpa to Tyler, although Grandpa did not enjoy the movie.

Friday night was the big Holbrook Christmas Eve Party in Lehi. It was great until I got picked to be Santa Lucia (itchy crown!). Franco and I are apparently the only people who haven't done it (Well, Ember, but she refused), and boys are only used as a last resort.

Christmas Day we got up around 7 AM (how fun to have kids around!) and opened our stockings, gifts from Santa, and from each other(interfamily). We had eggnog waffles for breakfast and Brook and Erin came over around 10 for gift exchanged between families and from Mom and Dad. I have been much spoiled, although not so much as the boys. I have some desperately-needed new work clothes. I bought John the "Peanuts Classic Holiday Collection" on DVD (I know that's what it's called because I called 7 stores looking for it and paid more than I wanted to). I had to mention that because I am very proud of getting him such a perfect gift and even surprising him with it. He also got some new ties.

Today we played games with the kids all day (although I also got some Boggle in with Jamie and Erin). I am working tomorrow and Thursday, and spending tomorrow night getting ready for Mom and Leonard to visit. We haven't bought groceries in two weeks, but our house is pretty clean.

A Disneyland Christmas (or perhaps Thanksgiving) has been discussed for next year, since we will be living down there. We'll see!

[Comments] (6) Mayo vs. Miracle Whip: What's the Point?: I have heard more than one argument about the various aspects of mayonnaise and Miracle Whip that make one better than the other and I have just one thing to say: Neither!

While the general idea of putting pure, flavorless (and in the case of Miracle Whip, sugar-loaded) blobs of fat on a sandwich is entirely revolting, I must admit that mayonnaise (which is what I call both of these condiments) has some good points. Well, one good point. It keeps a sandwich from becoming dry. But why add fat and no flavor just because you are too uncreative to think of a better alternative? There are so many other possibilities. One excellent example is Subway's Sweet Onion sauce, which is entirely fat-free. Oil and vinegar, vinagrette dressings, even Ranch dressing will add some flavor in with its calories. European Connections offers cranberry sauce as a dressing for their savory crepes.

In closing, I would just like to say, give a try to some of those wonderous possibilities out there, and let me know what you find.

[Comments] (4) : Having a good time with my family. Yesterday Mom, Leonard and I went to the BYU Museum of Art to see the Ancient Art exhibit. It was pretty neat and we got Mom a wheelchair so she could actually enjoy it. Then we dropped her off at home for a nap and Leonard and I went to the mall for returns and lunch, and then to a used bookstore.

Today we are trekking up to Salt Lake, to visit with the Whitneys and to see the Planetarium. We are also planning to go to the Soup Kitchen, if it is actually open today.

I was quite spoiled with a Second Christmas. I got a whole stocking full of stuff, including a new ducky syrup pitcher and matching salt and pepper shakers. We got some awesome books, and some adorable magnets with decorative Chinese characters on them. Mom also got me an awesome garlic container with lots of fresh Gilroy garlic. And countless other wonderful things.

Sumana bought me lots of things that smell delicious. I love smelling yummy things. There is a bottle of lavendar pine soap that reminds me (and Mom and Leonard) intensely of something we used to have, or use, or something. It's scrumptious.

I too got a wonderful book, written by myself over the past four years. "Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate: by Susie Chadwick" I am definitely enjoying reading it. However, I think I'll have to pay more attention to things that I write in the future. Somethings I don't understand, or I don't know who or what I'm talking about.

[Comments] (2) : Thanks for visiting us, Mommy and Leonard! It was fun to hang out with you. Hope you made it home safe, too. Sumana, I am listening to the CD you got me in my car. I like it, some of the songs have made me laugh.

I got to come home from work a little early today, since I worked through lunch. I didn't bring lunch because food sounded nasty to me this morning, and I didn't think I'd make it through have the day anyway. And the cafeteria was closed. Luckily, keeping busy at work helped keep my mind off my aching tummy, and it feels a little better now.

I spent several hours today doing inventory in my little store. I am nervous about starting our new system (we will be using Quickbooks) next week. I am still unsatisfied with the way some things on it are, and with my knowledge of it. But it really will be a much better program in the long run.

[Comments] (1) : While I was making dinner tonight, I enjoyed lots of my new posessions. I used garlic from my nifty garlic container. I read about olive oil in my new cookbook before using some. Then, while it was baking, I filled my new ducky salt and pepper shakers.

Tomorrow I have a day off. I am going to clean the house and run some errands. Then I plan on organizing my new scrapbooking stuff, and perhaps making some cards. (Rachel and Sumana both got homemade cards for Christmas, and I hear they both liked them!) I got some adorable animal-shaped rubber bands that I think would look cute on a page.

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