Thursday, July 31, 2008

My 15 Minutes

If I were searching for blogging fame (which I totally am by the way hee hee) then I would consider doing a guest post on a really big famous blog to be the pinnacle of success.

I wrote up a review of my favorite show and it is posted at Mormon Mommy Wars here. Please leave lots of adoring comments.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What We've Been Doing

These last few days have been Crazy - in a good way. We are winding down our summer and getting geared up for school. Every year around this time we spend a day back to school shopping at Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe. The mall itself is like a race track - one very large oval. If you just walk the oval in a straight line it is exactly a one mile loop. I wore my pedometer and we actually walked four and a half miles in that mall! I try and get everything done and bought in one fell swoop. We were not as successful as in years past - but we did okay. Devon didn't want to go with us so it was girls only shopping. I took Devon out yesterday to get him what he wanted/needed.

tired girls at the mall

Alan was in Los Angeles this week during the earthquake. He e-mailed me a very cryptic message knowing that I would freak out before he called and let me know that everything was fine. On a related note, when he is out of town - we are complete slobs. We don't clean, we don't eat regular meals - it is bad news. I'm glad he doesn't travel that often.

Last weekend our ward had an awesome water party / barbecue. Everyone got soaked and soggy. The firemen came and let the kids spray the hose at each other - they loved that. Alan was completely dry until the very end. I was talking to a family that just moved in to our ward and he asked how Alan had managed to stay dry. I explained that Alan was using his position in the Bishopric as his weapon - he was threatening all of the youth with promises of talking in church every Sunday for a month if they got him wet. This wonderful new brother in our ward went and got a hose and told Alan that since they were new they expected to have to speak in church anyway and then turned the hose full on Alan! I laughed really hard.

I lifted this picture from Valerie's blog. The water coming from that young man's hands in a green soda bottle is about to land right in my lap.

We have been having amazing summer monsoon storms. Over the weekend we sat on our back porch and watched an endless show of lightening. We never got the rain but we enjoyed the show.

My daughter Courtney and I are preparing for the release of Breaking Dawn tomorrow night. We have both re-read the series and are planning to nap Friday afternoon so we can attend the release party at Borders and then stay up all night reading the book. I told her she has to buy her own copy or wait until I'm done. She opted for her own copy. Will anyone be blogging on Saturday or will everyone be reading?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Wii Age

Last night I aged 10 years! For real! We went to my brother's house for a fun game night. He has every video game imaginable and his kids have amazing hand - eye coordination. For the record, I don't.

He has this game/workout thing called Wii Fit. When you are creating your little Wii person you stand on this board and put in your vital information. It weighs you and then compiles the data that you have entered - your height, age, etc... and gives you some random balance tests. I found out that my balance is way off target and that I lean completely to the left and backwards. I lean so far to the left that I may be changing my vote come November. hee hee

Alan did it and of course his balance was perfect, his age was only 2 years off and he immediately became the 'Yoga Master'. My age came back 10 years older than I am and I really couldn't do any of the challenges. I even sucked at the hula hooping challenge and I am good at hula hoops!

If you play it a lot and your balance improves - your Wii age will improve - as will the looks of your avatar. Mine started out pretty round but she got a little bit of a waist before I gave up. I don't even like video games and I have never wanted my kids to get too involved in them - but now I totally want a Wii and Wii Fit. I think I would like that hunky virtual trainer to whip me into shape!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mosaic Meme

Questions and Answers:

1. What is your first name? Jolene

2. What is your favorite food? Sushi

3. Where did you go to High School? Mesa High

4. What is your favorite color? Red

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Harry Connick Jr.

6. What is your favorite drink? Diet Rite Zero

7. What is your dream vacation? Tahitian Islands

8. What is your favorite dessert? Chocolate Mouse Cake

9. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Senior Missionary

10. What is one word to describe you? Progress

11. What do you love most in life? My husband and children

12. What is one of your hobbies? Reading

Your turn to jump on the bandwagon! Go ahead and make one of your own. Here's how:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions above into Flickr Search.

b. Using only the first page, pick an image.

c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

d. Save image to hard drive and post to blogger.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm Not Shear Genius

I just recently (in the last 4 or 5 years)learned how to use a round brush and blow dryer efficiently. I was probably the last girl on my block to buy a flat iron and learn how to use it. I don't know much about hair products, nor do I use many of them. Usually when I go for my bi-annual cut and color (I know I need it after three months but then it typically takes me three more months to actually go and do it) the stylist will recommend a few things to help manage the mane. Sometimes I buy her recommendations, most of the time I don't.

This last time I got my haircut - I fell for it hook, line and sinker. And I'm glad I did. Dear Treslee the magician/stylist did wonders with my hair using this amazing spray wax. I have used wax products before but always felt like they were pulling my hair down or making it look greasy. And, I have never really been a fan of Paul Mitchell products - but this stuff is fabulous. A little spray of this stuff on the crown of my head and I can keep body and bounce where I need for two (sometimes three) days! Not two hours but two days! You absolutely can not see it in the hair, it is not stiff - I can comb through it - but I can feel it in there holding my hair where I want it. I love it.

May daughters and I have wasting a LOT of time at this website looking at hair cuts and hair styles. They all want a new look for school this year. This is the one I am shooting for sometime in the next year - after I am done losing all of my weight:

Monday, July 14, 2008

He's Home!

I am such a wimp when my kids are away. Devon has been having the time of his life with his Uncle Will and Aunt Michelle but I am really glad he is home. After a week of riding his new dirt bike every day on our family vacation, he got to spend a little over a week in Santa Barbara golfing and surfing every day. They wrote a really nice post on their blog about him here. All of those things are true about our eldest - but I will say that they are true BECAUSE he didn't have any of his sisters there to fight with. He is a wonderful boy and a great brother, but he knows how to push those girl's buttons.

Devon is a pretty natural athlete. He does well in every sport he tries - but golf really is his love. He wants to play when ever he can. He especially loves his week in Santa Barbara receiving golf tips from his PGA Professional of an uncle. He also loves all of the swag he gets from Will. This year he got a new Taylormade Burner Driver, Taylormade rescue club, 52 degree wedge, and a putter. (He made me include the brand names - none of those things mean a thing to me.) He got two golf shirts, a windbreaker, new golf shoes, and a hat. All hand me downs from his uncle. He also got to work at the pro shop of the fancy schmancy country club where Will is the pro.

As his Mom, what I think Devon got out of his trip was an amazing bonding time with family, a sense of confidence in his abilities and an all around build up in self esteem. Michelle sent me a cd of pictures and videos that she took during the week and after every golf hit, you can hear Will or Michelle in the back ground saying, "good hit", "that was a nice one" or some other little piece of encouragement. Those kind of things go a long way and I can never thank Will or Michelle enough for that.

Here are some pictures and videos of our boy doing what he loves.

Devon told us the most hilarious story about a surfing adventure. Uncle Mike in Utah will be able to commiserate with Devon on this one. The art of changing into a wet suit on the side of the highway is learned by experience. It involves tying a towel around your waist and then stripping underneath the towel and putting the wet suit on. Devon was having a hard time keeping the towel up so his Uncle Will offered to hold the towel up to block the drivers from seeing anything while Devon got nekkid behind it. As soon as Devon was undressed, Will walked away.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dinner and a Movie

This weekend Alan and I saw the movie Hancock. I DO NOT recommend it. I was looking forward to it and I went in to it thinking it was going to be a cute, funny movie. Typically, I do some homework before I go see a movie in the theatre but I felt safe with a Will Smith movie for some reason. It was bad. The story was dumb, it was slow and there was so much CUSSING! I am not a prude or anything - I think a little swearing here and there is normal and can be therapeutic. Ask my kids. I just couldn't get over the non-stop profanity in this movie. It was too much. We did have a great dinner however and Alan told me that I looked foxy twice so the night was not a total loss.

This last week was almost a total loss however. I read all of the Twilight books again. I was such a sucker to think that I could just read the one and then stop. I had to finish. I was so disgusted with myself by the end though that I prepared my whole Relief Society lesson for next week. Did you know that Edward has a cold, hard body, or that his eyes are like topaz (or opals when he is hungry), or that Bella's heart beats irregularly when she is around him? Just checking, because it is only mentioned a few times in those books.

I did read two really good books in the last few days as well. I read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe for our book club this week. The plot is a little slow, but the descriptions of life in the Igbo tribe in Africa are amazing. I enjoyed it.

I also read Sundays at Tiffanys by James Patterson this morning. It was so fast that I read the entire book in just a few hours. It was cute - about a woman who realizes that the love of her life is really the imaginary friend she had as a child.

I also recommend the movie New York Doll. Alan and I watched this documentary about former New York Doll's bassist Arthur "Killer" Kane who joined the church in 1989. It was so interesting and bizarre and touching at the same time.

The next book on my summer reading schedule is a totally saccharine novel by Jennifer Weiner called Certain Girls. I am balancing out my serious reads with some trash. Does anyone have any recommendations in either category?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vacation Run Down

I have put off doing a vacation run down because I have been totally run down since we returned from vacation. Our family trips each 4th of July to the cabin are the perfect vacation. We are not out trying to see everything or visit everyone like we do on other vacations. We are sleeping in, playing games, reading, relaxing and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The only sad part about this year's trip was that there weren't very many of us. We were missing two of Alan's brothers and their families. I am not going to bore you dear reader with all of the details, instead, I am going to bore you with all of the glorious pictures!

The cabin. It is officially known as "Leavitt's Red Roof Inn" - that is one of my favorite things to do while we are there - is ride around and look at all the cabin names. There is one called "More Altitude, Less Attitude" (love that one) and then my favorite has two big stones at either side of the driveway - one says "Rock" and the other says "Hard Place".

My kids with their cousins at the creek. L to R - back row; Morgan, Courtney, Devon and Luc - front row; Whitnee, Nicole, Haylee and Sydnee. (you can click on the pictures to get a look at the kids up close - you know you want to!)
All of the cousins with Grandma and Grandpa after a ride down to the meadow.
The cousins on the 4th of July. Sydnee (on Courtney's lap) has a handful of flowers. She always did, she picked flowers everywhere we went. Nicole has every one's dead glow bracelets from the night before chained to her belt loop.
Our good friends Michael and Becci came up from Cedar City to ride with us one day.
The lake.

A typical afternoon, me reading a book, Grandma with some of the kids drawing and painting. This would be right before we all took naps.
He-man Devon holding the fallen trees up so all of the girls could pass under them.
Looking up the creek to the area that my kids call the "Sacred Grove".
Looking down the creek to the trail bridge. Maybe because I live in the low Arizona desert - I just can't get enough of the green or the trees! I love it!
My sister-in-law Jen with Whitnee, Nicole and Morgan. I need to do a whole post on how much I love Jen. She is Alan's only sister and she has been my sister for over 15 years now and I think she is fabulous! I wish we lived closer so that we could do more things together - she is fun and funny, a great mom and friend.

This is her husband Mike giving my youngest a pep talk before she takes off for a solo ride.

He did such a good job that she started riding with her feet.

Just keeping it real here - that is Alan with a REALLY dirty face after a long, dusty ride.

Lastly, I had to post this picture of Mike and Jen's youngest - Whitnee. Don't you think she looks like Shiloh Jolie-Pitt?

Monday, July 7, 2008

They're Here!

Actually, we are back - no one is here. Just us! But we are home and I am up to my ears in laundry and messy house. I am also in a post-vacation funk. Why can't everyday be a day where the biggest decision is if we are going to get an ice cream cone or a shaved ice when we ride down to the village?

I will post some pictures and details of our awesome family vacation later. Right now I just want to brag that I have read (skimmed) almost 275 e-mails and checked (mostly) over 300 blog posts that came while I was gone. Some of you were very prolific over the last 10 days.

Blogging will be a priority this week, but I must tend to the afore-mentioned laundry and the fact that we have no food in the house. I am down one slave (he is in California with his Uncle and Aunt) and the remaining three think that the school clothes shopping has to start right now. I need to schedule more eye dr. appointments, register the middle child in Junior High, prepare a RS lesson, make new dentist appointment for the one we forgot about two weeks ago, schedule orthodontist appointment, go to the post office to pick up all of our held mail and make dinner for our neighbors. And, my 13 year old daughter convinced me to start reading the Twilight series again before the 4th book comes out next month. I don't know why those stupid books suck me in but they are doing it again and I may not get anything done this week.