Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Walmart made me do it

I’m back from my Canadian journey, but I don’t have access to my camera at the moment to recap the trip, so I’m posting something else in the meantime.

My sister-in-law, Lianna, discovered Walmart Bingo over our Christmas vacation:

Anyway, we thought it was so funny that we decided to make one of our own. Introducing…

It’s not in grid format, but get over it. Think of it more as a scavenger hunt. Ready, go.
  • Member of the bishopric sleeping
  • Someone writing a particularly large tithing check in full view
  • Toddler making it all the way up the stairs and behind the pulpit before being caught by angry parent
  • Someone texting
  • Cheerios ground into the carpet/stuck in the pew-crack
  • Dandruff on a black suit
  • Child crying for over two minutes before parent removes them – BONUS if the parent doesn’t remove them at all.
  • Off-key, warbling soprano outsinging everyone
  • Severe combover
  • Child playing with electronic toy
  • Obscene coughing directly behind your head
  • Someone saying “Bear with me” at the beginning of their talk – BONUS if they also begin an idea with “Merriam-Webster defines _____ as:”
  • Child defacing a hymnbook
  • Young Woman singing a solo from an EFY CD
  • Baby girl wearing a headband with an enormous bow or flower attached to it – BONUS if she’s wearing at least two other accessories at the same time
  • Little kid picking his nose and wiping it on the upholstery
  • Knock-you-out Old Lady Perfume
  • Cellphone ringing during the Sacrament: BONUS if it’s a highly inappropriate ring tone
  • Person disclosing sensitive details of their latest malady/financial troubles over the pulpit
  • Child kicking your pew
  • Siblings (that aren’t twins) dressed identically: BONUS if it involves denim
  • Old lady with enormous earrings stretching her earlobes beyond recognition
  • Man with clean-shaven face, but sporting flagrant ‘neckbeard’

PS- Yes, we came up with this list during Sacrament meeting.
PSS- Lots more ideas could come from this post that I did a while back, but it wouldn’t be very original of me to post them all over again now would it?
PSS- A handful from the Wal-Mart bingo could go on this list, as well. Not sure if you noticed. I figured I'd point that out. Just in case.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Prep

I got called onto the Activities committee a few weeks ago. Of course I automatically assumed this was one of those made-up callings (“Sister Jensen doesn’t have a calling…throw her onto the bottom of the committee list”), and my hunch was strengthened when the activities leader left a message on my phone saying “Um, I guess you’re on the committee…we heard your name announced today in Sacrament, so we figured we’d get in touch with you…”. Looks like a strong case for made-up calling, right? WRONG. As it turns out, I am THE ONLY person on the committee! Except for Jon, and he doesn’t count because he’s never in town anyway. So yeah, I’m the only person on the committee. It’s me and the couple in charge, THAT’S IT. So we’re scrambling to get a Christmas party planned, since we were all called about three weeks away from the blessed event, and the woman asks me, “Would you mind making the fliers? Would you mind running the rehearsals with the children? Would you mind building the nativity?” BUILDING THE NATIVITY!! I am not even exaggerating; All of these things came out of her mouth. She may as well have said “Hi, thanks for joining the team, will you do everything?”. Well as it turns out, the Christmas party got postponed from last weekend to THIS weekend, and HOORAY – I’m not going to be here. And neither are the committee leaders! The bishopric ended up calling another two couples as “Christmas Party Specialists”. So I while I still helped with a lot of the details, I don’t have to set up or clean up or actually attend the event. Though the fact that we’re leaving tomorrow for our Christmas vacation in Canada didn’t prevent the original activities committee leader from asking me to make a breakfast casserole for the party, anyway. And when I told her that I didn’t think that was a good idea, seeing as it would sit in someone’s fridge for four days before making its debut at the event, she got kind of huffy and said “Well since we dumped this whole thing off onto these other people, I just think it would be the respectful thing to do.” WHOA WHOA WHOA, wait, what?? Dumped? They were called by the bishop to do this. What, was I supposed to change my flight so I could mop up spilled food off the Cultural Hall floor? Why don’t YOU just NOT go to your grandchild’s baptism in Flagstaff? And what? Respectful? “Thanks for helping, please keep this casserole in your fridge for four days, then feed it to people.” And besides, wasn’t it respectful of me to make the flier? And to find someone with a nativity already made? And to line up the musical numbers? And to help with the children’s rehearsal? She really confused me with that one. Anyway, that’s that.

I’ve been busy at work mailing out Christmas cards and organizing an Adopt-a-Family type of a thing for the employees to participate in. And I’m glad to report that it looks like this is NOT going to be a repeat of last year’s food drive. It was kind of embarrassing when the representative came back for their behemoth cardboard box only to discover that it contained two things of canned vegetables and a box of mac and cheese. With that memory fresh in my mind, it was kind of hard for me to commit our office to this new charitable effort, but I decided that if I guilted people enough that it just might have a happier ending than last year. And it seems to be working. Some people brought their presents in unwrapped, so I made a quick trip to Walgreens for some bags and boxes. This was where I encountered the Most Melancholy Bell-Ringer of All Time. I honestly didn’t even notice him until after I’d walked past. He gave his bell two or three sad peels before dropping it again to his side as he leaned against the wall. It’s quite a change from the guy last year at the same location. He was a Constant Ringer, and whenever anyone walked past he would hold it out and ring it double-time, double-loud for a few seconds before resuming his typical tempo. You wouldn’t think anything could be so annoying yet so hilarious all at the same time.

Like I mentioned before, we’re preparing to leave for our Christmas vacation (TOMORROW) and we have so much to do between now and then it’s UNREAL. I’ve got a to-do list with about fifteen things on it. We haven’t even begun packing. We have errands to run. Kitchens to clean, dogs to wash, blah blah blah blah. But I’m excited like crazy to leave work behind for a while and spend time with family, eat yummy food, and celebrate CHRISTMAS, hooray!

Thursday, December 11, 2008



Unaltered, fresh from the lens. Just imagine how it looked in real life. You should have been here. It was great.

Vegas, Baby!

So this post is kind of late, but I’ve actually been crazy busy at work, and Jon has amazingly been home for the past several days, so I haven’t had a moment to write anything up about our WEEKEND IN VEGAS. Originally Jon was going for work and we were going to be staying at the Wynn for free, Jon’s flight would be free, he’d be getting paid each of the days he was there, etc. But then the workshop got cancelled. We’d already bought my flight and tickets to a show, so we decided this would be our anniversary gift instead. We stayed at our friends’ house and had fun eating good food, shopping, visiting, and watching Mamma Mia. Poor Jon lost a bet. A few months back when he was promised a raise at work, we placed bets on the percentage his salary would increase, and chose the stakes. I was the closest, so I got to pick the show. Plus, Mamma Mia leaves Las Vegas at the end of this year, so it was now or never. It was lots of fun. At least I thought so. Each time I ask Jon what he thought of it, though, he says something like, “the songs sure are catchy” or “there sure was lots of energy” or something like that. He’s a good sport though. Kind of. This is us before the show.

My first time ever playing the slots: I was a little anxious.

(That's our friend Addie. Not some random gambler sitting next to me. Don't even worry about it.)

I didn’t do too well. This is the highest payout I got the entire time.

That's ninety quarters, not ninety dollars.

Other random pictures…

On Saturday we met up with one of my good friends from Gardnerville, Brittany Keele. We went to lunch at Café Rio, then just spent some time at her cute apartment talking and reminiscing. I laughed until I almost peed.

Um. Yeah. That’s about it. OH. Except that on the flight home, we sat kind of near the back of the plane near a noisy group of people on their way home to Mexico. Anyway, it was hilarious, because there were two of them originally, but then they made friends with some other people in the vicinity, and about halfway back to Phoenix the entire group was singing songs together. Songs like “Paradise City” and “Achey Breaky Heart”. So we were cracking up, because seriously, who can get on an airplane, make friends with everyone around them, then get everyone to break out into random songs? Well anyway, it was a completely full flight, and some woman had been separated from her husband and ended up in the midst of it, and as we were disembarking, we overheard her freaking out to the flight attendents, “I WAS SCARED TO DEATH. SCARED TO DEATH!!!!” Whaaaaat?? What a psycho! People were singing around her, and it made her fear for her life. Some people’s kids. OH YEAH. And on our way through security in Vegas, some old guy got in a fight with TSA over his half-full Fiji water bottle that he was trying to take with him. Cussing, yelling..it was awesome. We put our shoes and belts on as slowly as we possibly could so that we could see the whole thing as it panned out. In the end, though, it wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped. If I’d have known you could abuse airport security to that point without being tazed, I’d have been doing it this entire time. They just explained the rules to him over and over while he shouted and swore and tried repeatedly to grab his water bottle. Then when Andre-the-Giant-Security-Guard wandered over and put his two cents in, the old man shut right up, albeit a few grumblings under his breath. Borrring.

And that was our trip. That’s all.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

More Thanksgiving Pictures

Before the big meal, we took advantage of my grandma's beautiful backyard and the perfect light by snapping some pictures outside.

(They're laughing at the previous picture.) That's Kyle's new iPhone, btw. "My iPhone is ringing. Do you know where my iPhone is? Someone's calling my iPhone."

Jon was being silly so we didn't get any really good ones of the two of us. Not on my camera at least. My mom has some others that possibly worked better. This one is the best out of the ten or so we took with the old Powershot A520, though. Meh.

A couple of days later: The outfits below were completely unplanned. Somehow were were all wearing shades of purple?? Except Corinne, but she doesn't really count.

The end.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Turkey Day Recap

We’re back from Salt Lake! It went by way too fast, of course. We spent the days shopping, eating good food, and playing Uno and Trivial Pursuit. Let’s just jump right in.

The whole thing starts with a hurt foot. Two days before we left, Penny sprained her toe. Okay, so I sprained Penny’s toe, but it was an accident. Her toenail got stuck to the blanket I was using, and when I moved positions, it wrecked it. Poor thing. Before we knew what exactly was wrong with her, I did a little internet research to see what we should do for her and came across this exchange on Yahoo Answers.

I think my dog has a sprained leg, what should I do?
We took her out to the park today and she was running around like crazy, when we left I noticed her right leg was shaking, and now she's limping when she walks. She won't bend her ankle (is that what they are on dogs?) and so I think it might be sprained. Should I take her to the vet now or wait until tomorrow to see if it gets better? Should I...I dunno, put an ice pack on it or something? I need some advice here.

ANSWER: dang woman.. well my dog got runned over last year and we didnt take him to the vet cos hes vicious.. so we just kept him here and within a week he was better.(his leg was f$#@ed up too) so its up to you if you want to take her.. if its just a sprained ankle then i dont think its such a big deal.. but you are extremely concerned about her then i say you take her to the vet

This person single-handedly convinced me to take Penny to the vet. So when we dropped her off at our bishop’s house Tuesday evening, we left also left them some doggie pain-killer/anti-inflammatory and strict instructions to keep her calm and off her foot as much as possible. Poor little thing. Anyway, no time to worry about her too much, because then it was OFF TO PHOENIX to spend the night before our 6:30 flight the next morning. We only got to visit with my cousins and aunt and uncle for about two hours since we had to wake up so early, but it was still fun to catch up.

On Wednesday, just a few hours after we landed, my mom, Annie, Jon and I met up with Darcy and Kelsey (Jon’s brother and sister), Lianna and Jake (their spouses), and Pearl and Norah (their baby girls). We’ve never met Pearl before so it was so much fun seeing her for the first time. And seeing everyone else again, of course. We had them meet us at Robintino’s – kind of a weird old place, but good food. My grandparents have been eating there at least four times a week ever since before they were born. We had a fun lunch catching up and taking pictures of babies.

They grow up so fast. I always feel ninety when I say that. But it's true. One minute they're born, and the next thing you know, they're teething on lemons.

Apparently she loves them. This went on for two full minutes. Kels, I'm sorry but the red-eye removal didn't work on this picture. I tried. Really hard.

Thursday was THANKSGIVING (duh), the second best holiday of the year. I put in a good word for some crab drink and was not disappointed.

The chunks you see are crab (imitation crab, maybe?) and grapefruit. The liquid is some mixture involving Clamato juice. Don’t think about it, just eat it. Cold. DELICIOUS.

Here’s the turkey coming out of the oven…

And being carved. See the guy on the left? That’s my cousin, Brandon. Does he not look just like this guy on a billboard plastered all over Paris?

That's my mom's hand, whisking the gravy. It was delicious, for the record, as were the mashed potatoes. At least Kyle thought so.

He actually made them, and the apple pies, too. But he couldn't have done it without my excellent apple-slicing skills.

Jon was hunting while all this silly food preparation stuff was going on. He and the General squeezed a couple of trips out to the marsh to properly murder some ducks (pitiful quacking noise) :-(

No trip to SLC would be complete without a visit to Epic, our favorite restaurant. As a good rule of thumb, I’m a happier person when I’ve got lots of hummus and mascarpone in my stomach. It was amazing, as usual, but unfortunately Klutt was not our waiter this time around. KLUTT!! Someone named their kid KLUTT!!!!!

Holy longest post ever. And I’ve still got more. We took some really good pictures of the girls and the couples (well, everyone but me and Jon, more on than in a later post), and some REALLY hot pictures of me and Corinne. Corinne and me. Whatever.

Is that all? No. Our flight was scheduled to leave at ten on Sunday night, which would get us home around 2:30am (keep in mind that once we flew into Phoenix, we still had to drive two and a half hours to Tucson). Well when we got to the airport at 8:30, we discovered that our flight had been delayed until ONE O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. This is why you call before you leave, kids. Ridiculous. This was me after we found out and were trying to figure out what to do.

So we called my mom and she turned around and got us. Thank goodness we had that option, otherwise we would have been stuck in the airport for FIVE HOURS before our plane took off. Ew. Instead, we went back to my grandma’s house for a couple of hours and slept. I managed to sleep in the terminal, too, once we got through security (it was a hassle, but not because there was a long line. It was the exact opposite. There was NO line, and everything was roped off. Nowhere to even form a line if we wanted to. We stood there, lost and confused for a few minutes, until we literally had to rouse a guard in order to get screened). I also got a few minute’s sleep on the plane once we finally left (not at one, as it turns out, but at one-thirty. Of course.) And I slept all the way home in the car. We pulled into our parking spot at 5:20, went inside and slept for forty minutes until the alarm went off at six, then jumped (jamp?) into the shower to get ready for work. Since I managed to get some sleep, I’m not too bad off. I can’t speak for Jon, though. Bless his heart for getting us home safe and sound.

This entire saga ends with a hurt foot. In the morning when I stumbled into the living room, I smashed my foot into the plastic paneling on Jon’s hockey bag. To say I “stubbed my toe” would be like saying Annie’s winking face is “sort of funny”.

Severe understatement. I RUINED my entire foot on it. Two of my toes now are completely swollen. I’m limping around like an idiot. If this had happened twelve years ago, I would have demanded that my mother wrap my entire leg in an ace bandage.

Anyway, that’s our trip, in a nutshell. If you read this whole thing instead of just skipping through to pictures, you have my respect.


Explanation: Annie and I are the only two people on earth that can’t wink both eyes. I can at least wink one, and with years of practice Annie believed she had mastered her right eye. Not so.

Further reading: When Jon came in to see what all the commotion was after I destroyed my toes, he stubbed HIS foot on his hockey bag, too. But not as badly. At least, he hasn’t complained about it as much as I have.

PS- Do NOT go see Australia. SAVE YOURSELVES. I only hope I’m not too late.......

PSS- I can't for the life of me figure out how to salvage the second half of this post. It's acting like a link, but it's not a link.... thoughts?