Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ivy the Princess

Well, I guess all those compliments have gone to her head, because Ivy is convinced that she really is a princess. According to Ivy, being a princess involves:

1. Putting on as many pink dress-ups at once that you can.

2. Applying lip gloss - preferably the real stuff, but if Mom's not feeling generous, pretend will do.

3. Don't forget the crown!

4. Looking at yourself in the mirror with one shoulder up and exclaiming, "Cute!"

and #5, my personal favorite: Spinning. Without warning, Ivy will throw herself around in a circle, landing on all fours, jump up and throw her hands out (like a gymnast), waiting for us to tell her how wonderful it was! She'll say, "I a princess!" (with her cute little lisp)

Oh, how I wish these days of complete self-satisfaction, enduring confidence, and self-appraisal could continue until she's a teenager!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

There's something about a learning institution

...that just makes me feel ... enlightened, inspired, fresh, intellectual... "like a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils" (10 points if you can name that movie quote!)

especially when I'm walking around campus with the knowledge that I already have my degree and I have NO homework, or even a backpack! Ha!

I have been on the ASU campus twice in the last week, and get to go again on Tuesday to sing in a Master Class. This has all been to prepare for this NATS competition on Saturday, and what a wonderful learning experience it has been for me. It's been great to have a goal to work towards and it has pushed me and I like that. I got to work with a professor in the collaborative piano program, and I'm definitely looking forward to the master class.

And maybe when it's all over, I'll just walk around campus sometime and get inspired!

Friday, January 25, 2008

100 Things about Me

Well, my favorite blogger, Tiffany, has issued a challenge to tell 100 things about yourself. It seems like alot, but I'll give it a go. Then, you do it, too! It's so fun to get to know you.

1. My feet are stinky.
2. I love guitar music with raspy-voiced female singers. It makes me feel artsy, I guess.
3. I talked to the Virginia Tax Department today (a woman with a southern drawl named "Willa Mae").
4. Apparently, they thought we were cheating on our taxes, thinking that we owned the place we rented and were collecting money on it. Not true.
5. I love hot spiced cider.
6. I really don't like getting up when it's dark in the morning.
7. I love that my toes are pedicured! I keep wearing open-toed shoes even though it's cold outside!
8. I check my email way too many times a day.
9. Both my sisters and I all have the same middle name: "Elizabeth"
10. I have never had a cavity or braces or anything.
11. I have terrible eyes.
12. Adam has great eyesight and terrible teeth.
13. I hate going to restaurants if I am served food that I could have made better myself.
14. I used to melt chocolate chips in the microwave and dip pretzels in them for a late night snack. But I stopped because the caffeine in the chocolate would keep me awake for hours and hours.
15. I won a cha-cha dance competition when I was in college. Betcha didn't know that!
16. I've never won first place in any music competition. Ironic, huh!
17. Maybe I should have been a dancer.
18. I loved watching "So You Think you Can Dance" this summer. I usually taped it and watched it about 3 times.
19. I am so glad we moved to Arizona. I loved the idea of Connecticut, but it wasn't working in reality.
20. I still have all my Christmas cards up on the wall. I can't take them down! I love them.
21. I love to read.
22. I love to blog.
23. I love to read your blogs.
24. I love to teach my kids piano. I'm surprised by this, actually. I didn't expect to like it as much as I do.
25. I would love to go to Australia or New Zealand someday.
26. I would also like to see Mount Rushmore, but really, South Dakota? Come on. Who's idea was that?
27. I am usually late.
28. I get so frustrated about #27.
29. I feel guilty about things.
30. I love that my mom loves to cook for us when we come to visit.
31. I love that Adam's mom still has My Little Ponies from 20 years ago that the girls love to play with when they come over.
32. I love to sing.
33. I'm not good at "3's and 7's" on Guitar Hero 3.
34. I'm not good at playing by ear.
35. I should lose 10 pounds this year.
36. I have no plans of accomplishing #35.
37. I am turned off by most politics.
38. I love listening to Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion."
39. The only tv that is ever on during the day is "Sesame Street."
40. I hate cleaning the shower/bathtub. In fact, that might have been what sealed the deal for me when I was dating Adam. For our cleaning check in our apartment, I had to clean the bathtub, and I was totally stressed out and overwhelmed, so, Adam said he couldn't do my homework for me, but he could clean the tub for me. I was completely smitten.
41. Adam's been responsible for cleaning tubs ever since.
42. I hate to be bored. So I usually schedule things till I'm really busy. Then, sometimes I overdo it, and I get overwhelmed. I've struggled with this my whole life.
43. I can find many many excuses not to dust or do deep cleaning. Many excuses.
44. I don't like Rock Band as much as Guitar Hero because there's no good GIRL rock songs, you know? They are very male-biased.
45. I get nervous driving with people in the car that I don't know very well. I can't concentrate, and I usually drive very poorly.
46. Otherwise, I'm a pretty good driver.
47. For three years in a row, I got a traffic ticket on December 26th. That was several years ago, but I always get nervous on Dec. 26th anyway.
48. I make Lizzie a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every single day for lunch. That's what she wants!
49. I love fresh fruit, and I miss our vegetable garden.
50. I have decorated our kids' rooms so many times, and then we have moved. I'm burnt out, I guess, because I haven't done a single thing for their rooms since we moved here.
51. I love volunteering in Lizzie's classroom. It makes me feel like a good mom.
52. Making Lizzie eat dinner in the car on the way to gymnastics makes me feel like a lame mom.
53. I used to read to Lizzie all the time when she was little. I wish that I did as much for Ivy.
54. I miss our Enrichment group and meetings. We had so much fun.
55. I should really go to bed.
56. I'm so glad we moved as much as we did.
57. My hair is turning gray.
58. I got a copy machine for Christmas.
59. I'm good at picking out paint color.
60. I don't like shopping all that much.
61. Unless I do.
62. I love lemon sorbet. So refreshing!
63. I stil might send out a Christmas card.
64. I love watching the kids play in the greenbelt after school.
65. Adam had to teach me how to throw a Frisbee after we got married. We used to practice at Garst Mill Park right behind our apartment in Roanoke.
66. I get to sing at ASU next week for a piano professor's master class. I'm excited and nervous.
67. Singing in the Phoenix Symphony Messiah group this past Christmas made me rethink the way I understood that music. It was an amazing musical and spiritual experience.
68. I'm too dramatic sometimes.
69. In school when I was younger, I was very very shy and quiet. I watched everybody.
70. I would like to go back to Europe someday with my husband.
71. I love a cozy fire. Nothing like it.
72. Who doesn't love a cozy fire? That's not unique.
73. Anna Karenina is my all time favorite book.
74. I love classics. In just about everything.
75. When I start a book, it is very difficult for me NOT to finish it. Unless it's really crude or nasty. But if it's boring, I will just keep on plugging on till the end.
76. I started the habit of reading the scriptures everyday when I was in primary, and I've hardly missed a day since.
77. I have no food storage.
78. I can't quilt.
79. I can't wait to go to New York City this March.
80. I miss NYC. Just being there makes one feel hip and urban.
81. Using the word "one" in the line above reminds me of my brother-in-law John. I wish I had a vocabulary like him.
82. I like to read about Britney Spears.
83. I watch America's Next Top Model.
84. My feet are always cold at night.
85. I have low blood pressure (thanks, Mom!)
86. Adam and I both have really great families. Loving, kind, fun and funny, smart and together.
87. Adam and I met at King Henry apartments in Provo, Utah.
88. I used to be obsessed with Speed Scrabble. It was the only game we played for years.
89. I recently learned about a game called "Yuker" that is played by only mid-westerners.
90. I was not invited to play said game.
91. I took Latin for a year in 7th grade.
92. I saw my first Broadway play (Les Mis) in New York with my Latin class on a Field trip. The play was in English, the book was originally in French, but I had no ethical qualms about that.
93. I climbed Mt. Sinai in Egypt. In the middle of the night in August. It's too hot otherwise.
94. I think you should stuff as many dishes into the dishwasher as are humanly possible.
95. Adam always wants to go to bed before I do.
96. I love talking to people one on one. I love figuring out what makes people tick.
97. Sometimes I wish I could figure my kids out better and understand what makes them tick.
98. I always wished I had big blue eyes. Now, I get to look at Ivy's big blue eyes, and I think that's even better than having them myself.
99. I'm a big believer in family bonding. I like to create moments that are postive and memorable.
100. I hope the kids remember those wonderful moments, because those moments are not getting scrapbooked!

Your turn! It's like we just had a big long late night conversation, and I told you everything about myself, and now it's your turn to spill. Come on, it doesn't hurt. It's fun.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Just my Luck!

You'd think.

You'd think.

I mean, really, you'd think.

You'd think in Phoenix, Arizona, you could plan on a sunny afternoon.


When we were planning our Kindergarten co-op topics a few weeks ago, I said I would teach a lesson on "Light and Shadows" on January 24th. "All I need is a sunny day!" I snarked. I mean, I actually said that!

It was looking ominous this morning as I was out gathering supplies for making sundials. But, I had hope, since half the sky was a cheerful sunny blue. Surely, those dark clouds were on their way out!

But no. At 12:30, our starting time, there was nary a patch of blue to be found. Well, surely, we'll see sunlight break through at least once in the next two hours, I thought. I mean, this is Phoenix, right? The "Valley of the Sun?"

No. We received our once-quarterly overcast sky and light sprinkling between 12:30 and 2:30 this afternoon. I went outside with our homemade sundial to show them how it worked, thinking that, surely, a few rays of light would get through to emit enough light to create a hazy shadow.

Not even a faint one.

So, we came inside, turned all the lights out, crammed into the dark hallway with a flashlight and I showed them how a sundial will work to tell time.

At 2:30, the moms came to pick up their kids. As the last child left, I walked outside with them, and lo and behold, the heavens parted! I grabbed that sundial and was like - LOOK! See! See that shadow! See my shadow! See your shadow! It's true, I tell you! True!

So, next time your garden is looking a little parched, or you just feel like you need gloomy weather as an excuse to snuggle up with a good book and a bowl of soup, just call me up. I have powers. That's right, you heard me: Powers. Contrary powers, I admit, but powers nonetheless. I will plan something outside that depends on a bright sunny day, and just you wait - there will be clouds and rain soon enough!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I can't Resist!

Okay, okay, here's a teaser:

So, don't you feel like you're looking at that famous drawing of the hand drawing a picture of itself? Whoa. Deep.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Give me a hand!

Ooooh! I'm so excited about this Relief Society project we're doing! It's all about hands, and if so many of you readers weren't in RS, I would give you a sneek peek...but you'll have to wait!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Meggie's Here!

Megan came from San Fran to visit us this weekend! Yay! This is her first time to Phoenix, so we wanted her to like it so she would come back. We had BBQ ribs and veggie kabobs for dinner on Friday, complete with chocolate fondue for dessert.

Megan also gave me my Christmas present...a morning at Dolce Salon and Spa! It was AMAZING. We got facials and pedicures. We were glowing from head to toe! Well, actually...just head and toe...

We decided this would have to be a tradition every time she visits. I think she should come at least once a month! :)

Reflections Art Program

The Reflections Art Program is where you can enter original work in several different areas of artistic expression. The theme for this year was "I Can Make a Difference by..." and your artistic submission had to answer that question. So, Lizzie wrote a song called "I Can Make a Difference by Making New Friends" and she has a song that tells a story where a lonely girl is befriended on the playground and they play on all the different equipment until the bell rings and it's time to go in.

Lizzie's dear friend Audrey painted a picture of a bird and said she could make a difference by "Being Kind to Animals" These girls are going to make the world a better place! (And they both get to go onto the State level, so that's awesome!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ode to a Once-a-Day Pill

When my allergies started to flare again,
I bought me a box of some Claritin.
My throat was so itchy,
It made me act witchy,
But now, thanks to pills, I can breathe again!

So, Bless the makers of Claritin!
This blog is where I can share it in:
My head was congested,
My nose was molested
By tissues! But now will be free again.

My sneezes I won't have to blare again
Upon innocent brethren and sisteren.
My nose was so raw,
(I'm sure you all saw).
But don't take my word - I'm no charlatan!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Random Ramblings for a Tuesday Night...

1. My eyes are dry. Contacts at the end of the day and staring at the computer for hours aren't a good mix.

2. My allergies are acting up. blech.

3. The dishes aren't done. I feel like I cooked ALL day long today, because I dropped dinner off to the missionaries at 5, but we didn't eat till almost 7. I am so done with the kitchen.

4. Adam bought new shoes today. Sports shoes. This is big for him. I think his old pair are from before we were married. Next Footwear Replacement: Skis!

5. It's hard to sing with allergies. blech.

6. My carpool buddy, Gordana from Serbia, gave me a big bag of grapefruit last night that she picked from her tree. Yay! Fresh fruit!

7. Eli told his Daddy on the phone that "I'm sorry that you're going to miss our beautiful dinner." It was so sweet. And funny! Where did he get that from? It would have been sweeter had Eli actually eaten that beautiful dinner.

8. Our floors are clean. Say what you want about the rest of the house, but the floors are clean!

9. Mopping is exhausting.

10. I think I missed American Idol tonight. I'm still mad about last year.

11. Lizzie caught Adam and I smooching in the hallway after she was supposedly in bed and started laughing her head off. So then we did too. I guess it was pretty hilarious!

12. I used a translator program today to translate an Italian love song text. The English version it came up with included phrases about "8x11's." I'm a little uncreative, I suppose, but I don't see quite how that could fit into a love song. Wait. Let me try. "How do I love thee, let me count the ways...I couldn't fit them all onto an 8x11 sheet of paper!" Now, that's inspiring!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Lost in Translation

I've been working on alot of translations lately. Texts for my music - in French, German, Italian and Latin. I really like languages, so it's been really interesting to work on.

There is one language, though, that I'm still having alot of trouble with. Ivy-ian. Today in the car as we were running errands, Ivy was growing more and more insistent and irritable with me, because I could not understand what she was saying. Maybe someone out there can help translate:

"Peek Farner" "Peek Farner!" "PEEK FARNER!!!"

It's not "pink farmer" or "pig farmer." I even tried "Pink Pharmacy," since we were heading to Walgreen's. That wasn't it either. I just made her even madder! If any of you have the picture book, "Knuffle Bunny", you know what I'm going through!

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'll let you know if I gain any more insight myself!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gutter-talk at Dinner

Eli: What are we having for dinner?

Adam: Steak.

Eli: What does a steak come from?

Lizzie: A cow.

Lizzie: What part of the cow?

Me: I have no idea.

Eli: I hope it's not from the gutters.

Lizzie: No! If it was from the gutters, it would have milk in it!

Me: I think you mean "udders."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Adam's New Camera!

Adam's Birthday present finally arrived this week! He has had more fun taking pictures, and today we finally figured out how to download them onto the computer! Here's our week in pictures:

Happy Adam...

...Me practicing with my accompanist for the NATS competition coming up in February...

Ivy dressing up as a "Bumble Beem," as she calls it...

...Eli laughing his head off at FHE...

...Ivy in her snuggly "Frosty the Noman" jams...

...Lizzie has the lesson for FHE...

...I was hoping for a bit of ice cream...

...Ivy wakes up...

...Stewart kids and Andrews kids on the trampoline...

...Eating dinner with the ham and cheeseball...

...Ivy just out of the shower...

...Ivy at dinner.

Hope you all had a great week, too!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Blast from the Past!

As I mentioned before, my friend Jenni is undertaking the task of putting all my family's home videos onto dvds. She has captured some screen shots that were classic.

I don't know why I felt like the lawnmower should be in the family shot, but there it is, preserved for history!
Check Erin out! That is some DRAMA, I tell you what!
And here we are, the three of us, twenty years later, doing the exact same thing, just with no bangs or pom-poms:

And here's my favorite. What seven year old in a Sunday dress would spin around a merry-go-round in this pose?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

It's like you TiVo-ed it!

From Erin:

For those of you who missed "Music and the Spoken Word" this past Sunday the 30th, you can watch it on the internet at any time! You will need a pretty fast connection to see a good picture.

1. Go to www.byu.tv/

2. On the right, it will say, "Choose a date:" Choose "January 6, 2008".

3. Right underneath the date, choose "Music and the Spoken Word, 3:00 PM"

4. Watch for my DAD! who sings in the choir and has glasses and is the VERY FIRST CLOSE-UP on the broadcast! Yeah Dad!

5. If you want to see a really funny camera shot, go to "Since By Man Came Death" (it's on the loud organ chord)

Here's the program:

by George Frideric Handel

"And the Glory of the Lord"
"For unto Us a Child Is Born"
"Pastoral Symphony"
"There Were Shepherds Abiding in the Field" (begins 9:01)
"And the Angel Said unto Them"
"And Suddenly There Was with the Angel"
"Glory to God"
"Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates"
"I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" (begins 17:51)
"Since by Man Came Death"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Our Elder's Quorum President is Ultra-Inspired

Well, what can I say. I'm impressed with Adam Dibble.

So, today, Adam and I decided that it was finally time to remove our dead ficus tree from our front yard. I mean, it's been a year already since it froze, so I think it's really, truly dead for sure. We just wanted to make sure, you know.

Anyway, as we were cutting up all the pieces of wood, we put them in a box for the Dibbles because they have a firepit in their backyard, and we thought they might like some really, really dry wood to burn in it.

Next thing we know, Adam Dibble drives up to the house.

"Did you call him?" I ask my husband.

"No, but I was about to. Did you?" he asks me.

Wow. That was good.

He was stopping by delivering a book for Adam's birthday, and so we gave him the two boxes of firewood all set and ready to go.

Just then, as we were standing there, we heard a loud hissing sound coming from somewhere near our van on the driveway. At first we didn't know what in the world it was, and I got scared that something was about to explode. Apparently, Adam Dibble did too, because he jumped behind me. I made a mental note to warn Xan about that - don't plan on him taking the bullet for you, honey.

Anway, I digress. The hissing noise turned out to be our tire, which suddenly decided to pop! It was the strangest thing! Luckily, our Elder's Quorum President was already there on hand to help jack the car and put on a spare tire.

Truly, it was impressive. I mean, I would have been satisfied with the EQ prez asking at church if there's anything he can do for us. But I tell you what, in this ward, our man is there before the tire even goes flat. Not to mention he knew to come pick up the firewood also. That's right! We are well taken care of in this ward!

That is, unless, there is an explosion and the EQ Prez decides to use you as a shield. Then you are on your own.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Lizzie-ism

For my parents' Christmas present, I am putting all our family's home movies onto DVDs (well, Jenni Layton is doing all the real work - thank you, Jenni!).

So, today, I was going through some old home movies, and I came across one from about 1988 when Erin, Deborah, Heather (two of my cousins) and I were putting on a show in our apartment in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We had just been to Washington, D.C., and we'd bought feather quills like they used in days of our Founding Fathers, and we made up a skit called "We the People" about writing the Constitution. It was mostly ridiculousness, really. So, I'm watching this and I decided the kids HAD to see it, so I called them over.

"Lizzie! Eli! Look, that's me in the middle, and Aunt Erin, and Deborah when we were alot younger!"

They come rushing over. Once they figure out who's who, (yes, that's me in the big glasses), Lizzie, with all the seriousness in the world, looks at me as a child, looks at the scene we're in, and says:

"You guys used feathers back then??"

Wow. I'm old.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's time to meet the Muppets!

Today, we went to the Jim Henson exhibit at the Arizona Museum for Youth. They had several muppet puppets in cases to view and at the end, the kids could make their own show! It was really fun.

New Year's Eve 2007: A Time to Reminisce

Every New Year's Eve, I try to remember what I did all the previous New Year's Eve's and think, WOW time has really flown by. For example, New Year's Eve, 1999... the Dawning of a new Millennium...

I was 6 months pregnant with our first (maybe we should have named her "Millie"?!), and had just graduated in December in Elementary Education from BYU. I had just finished my student teaching in a first grade class at Hillcrest Elementary in Alpine School District in Orem, Utah. We lived in my cousin's basement in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and Adam had a horrendous job with a horrendous commute at Compeq International up near the Salt Lake Airport.

Adam and I, sensing that our freedom was coming to a close, met up with a bunch of college friends, ate at the Spaghetti Factory, and went to First Night in Salt Lake City. I remember that it was really foggy that night, and we thought the streets looked "bizarro."

Not content to leave the partying at that, we went home to P.G. for a couple hours of sleep and then, before the crack of dawn, we drove to Kennecot Copper Mine to meet my sister Erin and her then-boyfriend Everett Peterson. We wanted to get a good view of the "Sun Dawning on a New Millenium" We also blasted the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey" ("Also Sprach Zarathustra") from the car stereo while the sun inched its way up.

I admit, it was a bit anti-climactic, but at least I can say I did it in a blog 8 years later!

So, where were you 8 years ago? How did you celebrate the incoming millennium?