The Worst Mom

To Angie, who inspired this sarcastic book that Rachel wrote for her kindergarten class. Thanks for continually reminding me that it's okay to let your kids drink soda, stay home from school, and even eat ice cream for breakfast. I am lucky to have you as a sister-in-law.

Quiznos Million Sub Giveaway

Quiznos is giving away One Million Free Subs. Right now, they're up to 75,000. Click here before it's too late.

P.S. My favorite is The Traditional, no olives.


Common Knowledge?

Last week Rachel needed me to send a text message to her Uncle Sam to request a souvenir from his trip. (She's running out of things to take to kindergarten show and tell.) She told me every word to write in the three-message long directive and instructed me to end it all with a smiley face.

I recounted the story to Steve later that night. It went something like this:

Me: Rachel had me send Sam a message and asked him to get her something in Vegas. When we got to the end, she even told me to type a smiley face.

Steve: Did you know you can do that?

Me: What did you just say? (In a somewhat analytical tone.)

Steve: You can make a smiley face when you're typing. You just put a colon and a, um, parenthesis.

Me: You're serious? (Now in more of an impertinent tone.)

Steve: Yeah, I just learned about it today.

Me: Actually, I don't think I said anything after this. I was laughing too hard. Way too hard to be nice to my poor husband who had just worked eighteen hours. (It didn't help that it was two in the morning.)

Five minutes later:

Steve: I don't know why you think that would be common knowledge.

Me: Still giggling. (Not in an egotistical way. Just slightly uncontrollable.)

That phrase has been used before. A few times. One of the classics came from a Jeopardy game we played for Family Home Evening. Steve, Rachel, and Derrick were all playing as contestants and the question was: What comes between yellow and blue on the color wheel? The time to answer came and passed without anybody producing one.

I figured Steve was just trying to be nice since Derrick doesn't know things like that (another story for another time). When I mentioned it later that night I was astounded to learn that Steve did not know what came between yellow and blue on the color wheel. My amazing, brilliant husband, who can memorize an entire order of drinks, appetizers, and meals with substitutions and modifications from a table of eighteen people, didn't even know there was a color wheel.

This prompted some late night laughter that turned into banter once I called Sam and Kacie to query them. Steve maintained his position that it was not common knowledge and constructed a little quiz that he passed around to his seminary students and the employees at Cafe Sabor.

I lost. But I'm not quite sure I agree with the results. I think the question might have been so basic that the participants thought it must be a trick question. We got a few indigos and violets. Proudly, there were even a few who produced the whole ROY G. BIV mnemonic. But I lost. Incredibly, I think there were less than thirty percent who answered correctly. (Green.)

To clarify, I am am not an excessive acronym user. I rarely use LOL, and I don't ever vary from the basic smiling or frowning face emoticons. I do not work with computer programmers, like Steve's sister. (And for the record, she knows more acronym slang than anyone I know. I had to depend on google to interpret what she was saying when we used to chat via Instant Messenger.)

So back to the question, which I am asking out of friendly curiosity:

Is the emoticon for a smiley face common knowledge?

Please share your input. Be brave. I won't think any less of you. But if you're under the age of. . . let's say 50. . . I might get a much-needed chuckle out of it.

For those of you who are interested in the history of emoticons, they actually date back to the 1800's. Wikipedia says that emoticons on the Internet can be traced to a proposal by Scott Fahlman (shown in above photo) in a message to Carnegie Mellon University from 1982:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:


Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use



And the winner is. . .


Before there are any complaints, let me just say that I have enough conflict in my life right now and did not want to make a decision that might offend or upset anyone.

So I decided to let fate determine the winner of this matchmaking contest and turned to my trusty friend, random.org. And you, Rachel, just won a date with Jed Platt. Please respond and confirm your willingness to participate. (It involves a really good dinner, so I would highly recommend your compliance.)

I would like to wholeheartedly thank each participant in this contest. I sincerely appreciate the remarkable response. If all contestants would please send me your mailing addresses, I will blissfully send you a little consolation prize from our corporate sponsor, Sonora Grill.


Waiting for Spring

A bunch of people were taking pictures of the ice at Hollywood Video on Harrison and 12th Street this morning, so I took a couple out the window while I was stopped at the light. Apparently, a waterline broke and sprayed water all over the store, causing quite a bit of damage.

I probably should have been able to analyze the situation and come to that conclusion immediately. . . but my first thought was that the poor store was frozen over because of its proximity to the mouth of Ogden Canyon. And it made me very thankful to have increased my distance from the mouth of Logan Canyon's harsh winter winds.

Anyone else happy that they don't ever have to walk across the Quad to get to another 7:30 AM class at Utah State?

But I do miss spending the afternoon eating bread ends on the TSC patio.



As if anyone needs another frivolous-but-fun online distraction, look at this neat website that transfers your digital photos into polaroid-style pictures: www.poladroid.net.

I was enjoying the application of giving recent photos a retro look, but then I decided to throw some dated pictures in there to see how they turned out. I love them.

I think it probably falls into the same category as Google Earth. You probably shouldn't even go there, unless you have some serious time to squander.


Win a date with Jed Platt

This is my neighbor, Jed Platt:

He told me this afternoon that my blog was funny. I really hope he is of the same mind after he reads this post.

Jed is our favorite neighbor. Rachel and Lucy run over to say hi whenever they see him outside. Sometimes he even lets them "help" rake leaves. I really hope we can still be friends, even though I'm taking the liberty to host this contest without his permission.

Here's how this is going to work. I am going to give you a few reasons why you (or someone you know) would want to win a date with Jed. Then you need to leave a comment and let me know why you (or someone you know) should be the winner.

Since I am presenting this contest without Jed's consent, I think it is only fair to offer that you can enter someone into the contest without their consent.

1. He is a talented designer and a devoted historian. There were a dozen other pictures to choose from (oh, the perils of facebook) but this cute little kitchen kind of makes me wish I was going to be the caretaker of his bed & breakfast.

2. He has an incredibly sweet mother.
3. He is still in his thirties.

4. He throws a pretty impressive Halloween party. (Five years running.)

5. He's the only LDS guy I know who owns a Methodist church. (It's part of his current renovation project.)

6. He shoveled our entire sidewalk today, by hand, even though he knows we have a snowblower. He didn't know that it was broken. (Thanks. I was going to bake you cookies or something to show you my appreciation, but then I decided this would be so much more fun.)

7. He likes to eat at Sonora Grill. Which brings me to the concluding details of this contest. This contest will close on Sunday, February 15 at 12:00 midnight. Jed and winner will enjoy a dinner for two at Sonora Grill.

If you think someone who reads your blog might be interested in this contest, feel free to post a link!


Seven Weeks Old

Derrick took these pictures today. Can you believe how big she is?

I am still hoping to get some real pictures someday.

I am still hoping for a lot of things. . .

Be careful out there

This is a public service announcement for all Utah residents about SONAR - Sex Offender Notification and Registration:

Click here to search for sex offenders by address. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check the box. (You are agreeing not to use the information to harass or threaten offenders or members of their families.) This allows you to search for offenders in your area (or your sister's, daughter's, mother's, or friend's area) and register for email alerts, so the Utah Department of Corrections will notify you when an offender moves within the radius of your registered address.

I do hope your neighborhood fares better than mine. There are 60 registered sex offenders within a 1/2-mile radius of my house and 149 within 1-mile. Probably the scariest statistic is that there are 9 within a block. Yikes! I would be interested to hear how Ogden compares to your neighborhood. . . in and out of Utah. (I'm guessing there are similar sex offender registry searches available in other states.)

But don't think safety it all about the numbers. Living in downtown Ogden, I am very aware of the perils around me. In some ways, I feel like the increased consciousness of our surroundings keeps us better protected than those living in more secure communities with an incorrect assumption of safety. For example, the very same day a registered sex offender moved onto my road, a neighbor went door-to-door distributing papers with his photo and information.

I am happy to be living in downtown Ogden and do feel like we are contributing to the progression of this area. But that doesn't mean we don't have plenty of interesting stories. I am sorry that the latest was this infraction involving my parents' van:

We do hope you will come back to visit us again. Please know that you are always welcome to park in the driveway :)


I have a boy

Here are a list of his accomplishments from the last 36 hours:

Snuck into Steve's leftover birthday cake and helped himself to a few handfuls.

After I cleaned him up and moved the cake, he climbed up onto the counter, stole the Red Velvet cake with red frosting, and carried it upstairs to my bedroom to eat in private. (His little scheme left red frosting stains on every other stair.)

Dumped out half a bowl of SpaghettiOs onto the floor and wiped the rest in his hair.

Pulled the dirty, soaking dishes out of the kitchen sink, poured the dirty water out on the floor, and lined everything up on the counter.

Ate a mouthful of half-chewed gummy worms, and then threw them up.

Poured a cup of hot chocolate onto the kitchen floor and then danced around in it, in Lucy's shoes.

Threw everything from the two night stand drawers in my bedroom out on the floor.

Spent the afternoon jumping off Lucy's bed.

Drew on my white desk with a purple Sharpie marker.

Dumped out folded laundry from two laundry baskets.

Caused a flood on the bathroom floor with water from the tub.

Hung from the towel bar in my bathroom. (At least he weighs less than Lucy, so he didn't rip it out of the wall like she did in her bathroom last week.)

Peed on the rug in his bedroom.

Entertained himself by climbing up the side of his crib, falling in head-first, and then climbing up on the top ends, riding it like a horse, jumping off, and then doing the whole stunt over again.

I put him to bed tonight in his crib and he stood up and begged, "Gum, gum, gum?" He stuck his fingers in my mouth, pulled out my gum, and quickly put it into his mouth and started chewing. And then this charming boy laid down, grinned from ear to ear, and blew me kisses.

I think he was quite pleased with his day.


Thirty Pictures

The idea was to post thirty pictures from thirty years. But I can't get my scanner to work, and I am too busy with some other projects.

So here are thirty pictures of Steve that are already on my computer to commemorate his thirtieth birthday. Happy Birthday, old man.

Causey Dam, June 2001

Glacier National Park, August 2001

Truck Driver Steve, August 2001

Waterton, Canada, August 2001

Rocker Steve, September 2001

Home, Sweet Home, September 2001

Logan Canyon, September 2001

Logan Temple, October 2001

Backyard View, October 2001

Kino, Mexico, December 2001

Roller Skating Party, 2001

Steve, Gabriel, Tyrone, January 2002

Nahoon Beach, January 2002

St John's Port, March 2002

Coffee Bay, March 2002

Mossel Bay, March 2002

Steve & Rachel, February 2003

Logan Canyon, April 2003

Dave, Steve, Mike, June 2003

Teton National Park, Father's Day 2004

Tampa, Florida, February 2005

California, November 2006

American West Heritage Center, April 2007

Adam's Baby Blessing, June 2007

Spiral Jetty, September 2007

Rachel's Birthday, January 2008

Snowbasin, February 2008

Farmers Market, September 2008


iPods are great for kids

Here's the whole story:

Rachel and Lucy each got a Fisher Price Kid Tough FP3 Player when Adam was born. The idea was that they could put on their headphones and listen to music or stories when he was crying. I wasn't impressed. At all. The FP3 player was indestructible and it was simple to use, but I became very annoyed with the FP3 file format used to load music. And while volume control might be a good idea, the loudest setting was way too quiet. Profoundly quiet.

So we gave up on the FP3 players and got the girls iPod shuffles last year. They were similar in price ($39), but much smaller than the FP3 players. They are easy to use, don't require batteries, and are fairly durable. I became a big fan of shuffles for kids. Even little kids, like Adam. My kids love listening to their own music in the car, and I enjoy being able to talk on the phone without little ears hearing my conversations. Rachel and Lucy have even learned most of the Articles of Faith by listening to the Primary songs.

I recently inherited an iPod nano, and I quite enjoy it, as well. They are a bit pricier ($79) but very impressive. Last week I loaded some 500 pictures on my nano (it barely took up any space) and now I take it with me everywhere I go. Even church. The girls love looking at pictures of themselves and Adam loves to pretend it's his iPhone. Sometimes I pretend I have an iPhone too.

I downloaded Pac-Man onto the nano and I honestly believe it is helping me become more patient since I have something fun to do while I wait for things. Like Steve. And I kind of feel like a real grandma since I have pictures of Mykaeleigh on my iPod and can pull it out and show them to people when they ask about her. But I still haven't decided if it's okay to let the kids play Pac-Man at church. It seems like it should be kosher since there is no sound and it will keep them quiet?

When I was looking through old photos to load on my nano, I finally found this video of Rachel. It's been missing for a couple of years and I was afraid I had lost it.

Maybe I should see if SpaghettiOs will put Adam to sleep. He's climbed out of his crib six times today.

Rachel and her weekly after-church SpaghettiO nap.
September 2004.

Update: I have been informed that I posted the wrong video. Here is the other, apparently funnier, video of Rachel. I have no idea whose voice is in the background: