Saturday, November 29, 2008

No, you're a potato head!

Sean has a new book meant to get him ready for writing letters and numbers. It has mazes and activities that make him control the pencil/pen. He was really funny doing it! He had to write his name on every page (he's getting so good at it) and he kept it open by doing a funny shuffle-kneely thing... I can't explain it, so watch it. Also, Reilly was having a really bad day and told me about it while I tried desperately not to laugh.

** UPDATE **

Stupid Blogger sucks really bad! I can't seem to upload videos anymore! So, here's a link to the video on YouTube.

Before and After Dresser

When Dustin and I got married, we took John's old drawers so that we each had one. I used Dustin's old one and he used John's. He never really had all the room he needed, but made it work. So, recently, when I was filling Reilly and Sean's dresser (they shared) with their winter clothes, they really didn't fit. On Saturday, Dustin decided to re-do John's dresser so that Sean could use it. I was TOTALLY against it because the drawers are messed up and it's just a piece of crap, but he persisted. BTW, it looks like it's 10pm outside in the pic where he's sanding it, but it's actually 6:30pm. Anyway, so after he sanded, primed and painted it, I was convinced. It looks great! Sean got to pick the colors - green for the dresser and drawers and blue for the handles - and he could hardly wait until it was done to start using it!

It's done now and he has so much space. Reilly was bummed at first that she couldn't paint hers (I told her we could do rub-on-transfers instead), but the more she helped with his, the more excited she got for having her own drawers.

This week random events...

This week, Sean and Reilly did their Thanksgiving parties at school. I got to go to both because Reilly had school when Sean's party was going on and Sean was at school when Reilly had hers. So, in Reilly's class (sorry, no pics) she made a drum, necklace, Indian vest and head-dress. They had a pow-wow and we learned that Reilly can't do a rhythm dance. They did step-hop-step-hop-hop. She had the hardest time, but certainly wasn't the only one. Sean did really well during the school portion of his party, but when they came out to do the program for the parents, he froze again. He wouldn't participate again. I sure hope he grows out of that!

Sean's Birthday

We celebrated Sean's birthday the Saturday after it and had cake and ice cream with Ian, Dianne and fam. Sean got a motorcycle, some new cars and a Leapster. For Christmas, we aren't spending much, so we got them both a Leapster and a game and called it good. They love it!

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Blueberry Nights

Overall, the movie was good. Very artistic, but not in an annoying, 'am I still watching this,' kind of way. I just have a couple of problems with it.

First, recently, I saw an interview with Norah Jones (lead female) and she said that the three years that she spent touring with Come Away With Me and Feels Like Home, were the worst years of her life... BTW I saw her on that tour and she did great. She also said that she had her cake and ate it, so she didn't need to be famous anymore. The problem is, acting as a lead-role in a movie that did the independent circuit puts you out there to be famous... no?

The second problem might be nothing, but one of the songs from the movie that plays sporadically during the movie seems to be a knock-off of a Sarah McLachlan song. Last Dance is the last song on her Surfacing CD and follows the knock-off song note-for-note. Seems highly suspicious... Hopefully that didn't plagiarize.

I really liked the movie and was very impressed with Norah Jones. For never acting (EVER), she worked it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Filthy Rich CEOs

After all of the media's revelations about how the CEOs of floundering companies are running business, it got me to thinking. Why is Washington so quick to do a handout? Why haven't they done any auditing? It's because the CEOs are paying off high-seated policital leaders so that they don't have to give up their lavish lifestyles.

Here's the deal: Even among the car manufacturers, CEOs and other execs have maintained their salaries and bonuses, along with company perks (such as living across the country and reporting for work each Monday on a private jet), while their companies have made dramatic cuts to avoid from going bankrupt... for example, laying off over 50,000 employees. That's the average American right there.

It seems to me that by keeping the money at the top, they are sealing the fate of the company. If you break down the spending, it does the company NO good to continually beef up execs pocket because they're not the ones making the company money, nor are they the ones who keep money circulating to other businesses. The average-American is. Let's call him Joe.

Joe, works a 50+ hour week as an engineer at a medical device company, we'll call it Meditronics. Meditronics is a small business that declares a market value of $4 million. Joe makes just about $79,000 a year with no perks. He doesn't recieve a company car to travel the 45 miles to work, nor does he receive compensation for gas or time. He buys his own life-insurance policy so that his family is taken care of if he should die. He also spends his own money on a PDA-cell phone so that he can keep in touch with co-workers off-the-clock. Joe is constantly being railed at work about making the devices better; lighter, easier to use, and, above all, cheaper to manufature. He works tirelessly with other members of the team to produce the best possible product. Joe works a little with their CEO, we'll call him Todd.

Todd is the only CEO at Meditronics, but he's also the mayor of a small town just south of Meditronics. He makes just over $400,000 with plenty of perks. He has a company car so that he can travel as much as he needs to. He also has a company cellphone and bonuses that are 10% of his salary. Todd comes to the office three or four times a week, but because he is also a mayor, his time is limited. He checks in with his officers and other execs to make sure business is running smoothly and on time; then, he's out to work elsewhere.

Back to Joe. Joe just bought a house and is penny pinching so that he and his family can buy new furniture in the near future. They could use some home upgrades, but can't afford them yet. They could also use a second car, but couldn't budget a car payment on his salary. They are the average spenders for our economy, but can't spend money they don't have. Todd on the other hand, drives a company car, gets a life-insurance policy through the company, has a lavish home and declares his vacations as company business. He is not the average spender for our economy, yet he makes the money.

Todd, Joe and Meditronics are small-potatos compared to car manufacturers and banks, but the story is the same as far as the aveage Joes in their companies. Joe makes the company more money and is being laid-off. After he gets laid-off, he has even less money to spend. So, all that construction that was going on, stopped. All those new cars at the showrooms, still there. Joe can't make the economy go anywhere if he doesn't have money and Todd isn't spending his own money on those things anyway. He's using the company dime to live, but taking a salary while he's at it.

Does this make sense to anyone? I think the best form of action would be the following:

1. Audit Todd's company.
2. Get Todd a list of unneccessary spending to change.
3. Check back with Todd about how company is shaping up after much needed changes.
4. Bail Todd out with a loan if he continues to have problems.

Stop overlooking the problems! Deal with them! CEOs should NOT being showing up to beg for money in a private jet!

**Note: Joe, Todd and Meditronics are a fabricated scenario researched through**

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Rolling Apple - Part 1 "Silence!"

I'm sure there are many ways in which I have implemented my parent's techniques, so as I'm aware of them, I'll add blogs about them.

*No saying, "Shut up!"*

When I was first married, a four- or five-year-old told me to 'shut up' at church. It was seriously APPAULING! I couldn't get over it. I know it's a commonly used thing to say, but hearing it from such small and innocent lips was just too much. It was then that I stopped saying it. Well, I mean, pretty much. It still pops out occasionally, but I try SOOOOO hard to say anything but. Other words/phrases have the same effect, but aren't 'mean.' My favorite alternative is, "Stop talking!" It's really great if you drag it out in a monotone... 'sttooopp taaallking!'

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blogged out?

I have had every intention of blogging for the past week, but haven't been feeling up to dealing with my STUPID internet! See, the thing is that it can't stay connected for long enough to upload any pictures anymore! I've talked to Comcast (don't get internet through them) several times and have had them out twice in the last two months. I don't know anything about it, but if I did, they would certainly hear a few words from me! Right now, this is what a typical conversation will be like:

Me: My internet doesn't stay connected while I'm uploading anything.
Them: Have you tried restarting everything?
Me: Yeah.
Them: Have you tried unplugging everything, waiting five minutes and then rebooting everything?
Me: Yeah... (but thinking, 'Why the crap does the five minutes matter? If you cut off power for 30 seconds, isn't that the same??')
Them: We can send a tech-guy out to check it out if you'd like.
Me: Are you going to charge me for it?
Them: No. Unless the problem is something on your side of it.
Me: What does that mean?
Them: If you've striped any wires or threading... or if you've damaged any of the connection boxes then you'd have to pay to have them repaired...
Me: Do people damage their own property often? This crap was expensive!
Them: .... No... Not often.
Me: Then, why do you even say that?
Them: I don't know...
Me: Yeah, then, send them out.
Them: How is Monday between 8am and 9pm? (just kidding, that's a dramatization... but is the real thing any less obnoxious??)
Me: Yeah... well, I think I'll be home all day?! I'll make it happen.
Them: Okay, you're tech-guy's name is 'blah-blah' (like I care what they WT guy's name is!) and he'll call you when he's about there.
Me: Thanks??
Them: Is there anything else I can help you out with today?
Me: No? (but thinking, 'Did you help me yet?')
Them: Okay, have a great day!
Me: Thanks?? Bye!

Was that too long? It would've been better if it were a video, huh?!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best day EVER!

Usually Sundays are the busiest days for us. We wake up early, everyone bathes and dresses for church. Then we have church for three hours and head off to Nuns park to visit with Dustin's grandparents. We have dinner with them and then hang out for an hour or two. We usually would get back home just in time to get the kids to bed. Well! Let me tell you, they are back at their house (so we don't visit everyweek) and aren't going back down to the park to host anymore. Yesterday was the first day we didn't go to visit them and MAN was it great! Not that visiting them isn't fun, but just imagine hearing the same two or three stories every week and/or Grandma brag about her daughters that are sooooooooo white trash. :/ It gets old very quickly.

We had the normal rush to get to church, mostly because the Primary program was happening and Reilly and I had to get their early. She gave a talk and I played the violin with one of my students during a couple songs. Reilly's talk was great! But the funniest part of the whole program was her and her friend, Miki, entertaining themselves with their name cards. The presidency put up cards so that each kid would know where to sit. Reilly and Miki took off the cards and fanned themselves, stuck them to their shirts, and, best of all, covered their faces during songs. I had so many different comments about it. Reilly's preschool teacher said that their whole family was laughing hysterically the whole time. Miki's parents joked that Reilly and Miki would have to be seperated for next year's program (they did a similar thing last year - lifting their dresses). I had other people ask me if I was embarrassed... or how stressful it is when you can't control your kids and they don't know how to read your facial expressions... I was like, Reilly could see me. I was across the stand from her and she kept looking at me. I could've told her to stop and she would have, but it was funny! I was laughing, too. She won't like doing those things if they're not fun. Can you imagine, being five and having to sit still for a whole hour in front of a crowd? No way! It was good times.

So, anyway, after church was over, we had no where to go and nothing to do. We hung out in my room the rest of the day. We rented a movie on Saturday, but didn't watch it until yesterday... BTW Kung Fu Panda was as bad as I remembered. After the movie, we harassed Dustin for a while. The kids took off his socks and tried to take off his pants... when they couldn't, they resorted to giving him a wedgie. Then, I changed the sheets and the kids found that our king-sized pillow sheets were big enough to be 'sleeping bags.' So, while they weren't paying attention, I closed Sean into his and hoisted it over my shoulder like a sack and walked around the house saying, 'Ho! Ho! Ho!' They took turns being the sack and laughing uncontrollably! We must have been really busy because while I was walking around, I noticed how much warmer it was in my room... even with the fan on and the window open! :)

After a few hours of sure craziness, they were ready for bed. The end! Great day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Presidential Election 2008

I was Sarah Palin for Halloween (pics to come later), but the things that I learned from being the VP candidate for a day was SICKENING. I went to my ward activity, the store, around the neighborhood and a karaoke cafe dressed as Palin and was SHOCKED by how many people didn't know who I was even after I said her name. :( Not good. Not good!

I have been unimpressed with the potential leaders of our country, and have resolved that voting really doesn't do us much good in the long run... the members of the electoral college will ultimately vote how they want (or have been paid to). However, this is NO excuse for not staying informed! Be active about getting to know who will be running our country because we will pay the price!

Please! The vote is tomorrow, don't go into the ballot and vote blindly. There's still time to find out about the candidates. Figure it out and KNOW who you're voting for before you vote.