Party Time!

Sunday we were planning on having my parents over for dinner. Tom said he was going to be in charge of arranging everything, which I figured meant we would be celebrating my birthday (which is coming up this Thursday). We get out of church at four, and Tom takes the kids home while I stay for choir until 5:15. This Sunday, Ella was sick, so Tom actually took the kids home after sacrament meeting.

When Laura dropped me off after choir, my parent's car was in the driveway and the barbecue was smoking. When I walked in, not only were my parents, Grant, and Eric there, but my in-laws as well. My Grandma and Aunt Carolyn were on their way with Carolyn's fiancé Ed. The house was decked out with balloons and decorations.

After dinner was finished, I was ushered into our shed/storage area off the carport, where I was instructed to don a cap and gown and march around the house to "Pomp and Circumstance" playing through the windows. I entered the front door (which we never use) and had a seat in the middle of the living room for the "Graduation Ceremony." There was an impromptu choir number, speakers and prayers, and I was presented my degree. They even had me toss my cap. Then they sang Happy Birthday and we ate cake. I am so blessed to have such a loving family! Thank you!



In my last post, I was just so dang excited about being an official college graduate, that I omitted the obligatory and very well-deserved thank-yous that are due to numerous people.
  • First and foremost, my parents. College was never a possibility growing up, it was an expectation. But that doesn't mean it was funded. Oh no. We got to earn our way through, which made it that much more meaningful. Even when I moved home to marry Tom, my sweet dad still made sure that graduation was near the top of my growing priority list.
  • My most excellent freshman (and half of sophomore year) roommates. What would I have done without you? College is not college without at least one duct tape statue (wearing embroidered boxer-briefs, none the less), many late nights, road trips, and spoons in the freezer. And Lisa? I'm increasing your mass :)
  • Tom. Wonderful husband, excellent father; I could not ask for more. From day one he has been so supportive of my schooling, and making sure that I had time to get my work done. He never expects a perfect house, or dinner on the table when he gets home, and is always willing to lend a helping hand, whether it's playing with the kids, vacuuming, or reading through another paper.
  • And there's always the sweet children themselves. They put up with a lot. I'm sure that there was more than once when I just wanted to finish reading a chapter for some class or another, or get to the end of one more assignment when they woke up from their naps, and they are always patient, or at least forgiving!
There are many others who have helped in ways big and small, but I don't have all night, so I will leave it at that. Just know that I am grateful! I could not have done it without you!



It's official. As of today, I am officially a BYU graduate. It has been a long road, but I'm finally at the end. I wish I could say that I am currently in Utah, donning my own cap and gown, but sadly, that is not the case. Somehow I could not justify blowing several hundred dollars to fly down just so I could go to the convocation ceremony today and walk tomorrow. Besides, walking wouldn't be nearly the same without a loving family in the audience, which would only add the the expense.

But whether or not I walk tomorrow, I am official. It feels so good to be DONE!


More of Ella's wonderful outfits

I promise, I do try to help her match, but I guess she's more into individuality than coordination.

This is what she wore on Saturday when we went to get Rico's one-year-old pictures (about time, I know). I'm just glad we weren't trying to get her pics done too! When we went out earlier to do some shopping, she was wearing the same outfit, but with her pink argyle boots. The only bad thing about that was that you couldn't see her socks enough to appreciate them!

This is what she's wearing today... It started off with leaving her pajamas unsnapped so they could be like a nightgown, and it just got better from there. Quite the fashion statement if you ask me!


I did it

So, I took Kristy's advice and just cut my hair myself. Okay, I only actually cut bangs, and I still need a trim all the way around, but I decided to go for some bangs. What do you think?

Ella's art skills

Ella loves to color, and recently they are mostly pictures for her Uncle Jon who is on a mission. Yesterday, she was coloring while I was cleaning the kitchen, and when I came over to see what she was doing, she told me that she was coloring flowers. I, for one, was quite impressed.


What a wonderful week!

No, I haven't died! I know you all were wondering. :) Last week was Tom's spring break, and we were busy!

For those of you who don't know, Tom is taking some classes at UW-Tacoma in for his ProCert and in preparation for applying to their Masters of Education Administration program next year. Monday was spent doing school work and he had class in the evening.

Tuesday, I painted. Wednesday, I painted. We own a 1991 manufactured home and both bathrooms, the kitchen, and the laundry room were, um--how to say nicely?--hideously ugly. For some reason the builders decided it would be a good idea to use ugly wallboard instead of drywall. It's like drywall with an ugly wallpaper-like design directly on it. (Have I said "ugly" enough times?) And instead of taping and plastering the seams, they just cover them up with a one-inch strip of wood(?) covered in the same pattern.

We had originally planned on painting before we moved in. We were supposed to close on a Monday and paint during the week and move on Saturday, but since we didn't end up closing until the following Wednesday and moved in that Friday, we didn't have time. And somehow we've made it eight whole months without finding time.

But now, the guest bathroom and the laundry room are painted and it is such an improvement! I forgot to take "before" pictures, but the laundry room and kitchen had the same pattern and this is a photo of the atrocity that is my kitchen. I did, of course take after pictures (just now) and this is my BEAUTIFUL laundry room. I'm so excited to do laundry now! The paint in the bathroom is a little brighter than we had planned, but it's growing on me. I'll post pictures of that once we get a towel bar and new towels, etc. and it's finally put back together.

Thursday we got to go to the temple! My mom was an angel and met us there to take the kids, and afterwards we got to spend time with my family. Well, my parents and uncle, anyway. We spent the night up there and then took my mom, Eric, and Tom's mom with us to the zoo the next day. The weather was perfect, so we weren't the only ones with that idea, but it was well worth it.

Tom was supposed to have class Saturday morning, but it was canceled so we spent the day running errands, cutting hair (his) and cleaning house. Not too exciting, but necessary nonetheless.

And now the week is over. Breaks always fly by way too fast. There is always way more to do than time to get it done. And the worst thing is, I didn't even read a single book.


The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick

Well, since no one really guessed, no one really got it wrong, but no one got it right either. The correct answer is page 100-101 of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but Brian Selznick. The book is five hundred-some-odd pages, but is a really quick read, given that over half of the pages are beautiful illustrations that move the story along. I was quickly drawn into the story, and enjoyed the combination between novel and picture book.

The story takes place in Paris (!) in 1931. Hugo Cabret is an orphan who lives at the train station keeping the clocks working. He has some secrets of his own that have turned him into a thief. His life gets complicated when he is caught by the owner of the toyshop, and his notebook is taken.

I found the book enjoyable and enchanting. Hugo is a boy, maybe 11, I don't remember, and sometimes he and Isabelle seemed a little childish, but they are, so it's understandable.



Some of you may know that I enjoy drawing. I'm not trained in any way, and I mostly like to doodle, but occasionally I enjoy a little forgery. It's been a while since I picked up my pencils, but I felt inspired this morning, and here are the results. I know it's not the best pic, but I don't have a scanner, and it's the best I could do.
The question is this: Who can tell me what I was copying? Please throw your guess in whether I know you or not!

P.S. I'm enabling comment moderation so you can't all look at each other's guesses. I'll post all the comments when I tell you the correct answer. :)


This is what happens...

when Ella chooses her own outfit. Um, yeah. Lookin' good!


Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine

Having a daughter named Ella, I figured I should read this book. Besides, I enjoyed the movie.

Let me start with saying that I'm glad I saw the movie first. It was NOTHING like the book. Okay, the characters have the same names, Ella is blessed cursed with obedience, and they live happily ever after, but that's about where the similarity ends.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not bitter. Really, I'm not. I just don't like it when they make movies "based on" a book and then change everything about it. Why don't you just come up with a new title too? I mean really. Did anyone see Cheaper by the Dozen? Cute movie, but it would have been cuter if they had a different title and not claimed association with the book.

But back to Ella Enchanted. I loved the book. And I agree that it needed little more plot action to make a captivating movie. But other than that, I say read the book. And don't expect it to be like the movie. In fact, pretend they aren't really related. It's better that way.