Showing posts from 2014

This post is for Jessie

Because you, Jessie, asked for it. I give no excuses for not blogging since May-ish.

I believe in love at first sight. No, it didn't happen with Jim and me (and that's ok. We've managed to remain married for nearly 26 years despite not falling in love the first time we laid eyes on each other. The first time I saw Jim at work at the Morris Center back when it was a cafeteria, my first thought was "He looks Hispanic. I wonder if he has an accent?" and then I wandered back to my job in the dishroom and giggled my way through the rest of my shift and didn't think anymore about that "Hispanic" guy") (I have no idea what Jim thought the first time he saw me. He probably thought "She works in the dishroom and I bet she giggles a lot" and then he went back to work on C line and did his job like he was supposed to).

Anyway back to love at first sight. It happens with your babies. I experienced love at first sight with Katie, Jimmy, Paul, Hayl…

Prose and Cons

It's a Sunday morning, I have an hour before I have to leave for church, my Sunday School lesson is prepared, the kids get themselves ready for church, I've eaten lunch, so now what? Blog!

It's almost the end of the school year, which means I tend to think about how old my babies are and wonder where the time went. Hayley is almost done being a junior and Matt is almost done being a freshman. I started this blog back in 2008 when Katie was just graduating, and Matt was in 3rd grade. It boggles the mind.

Ok enough of that.

I gots pictures.

 Ok, time to get ready for church.

Domo arigato

Styx song anyone?

This post isn't really about Mr. Roboto.

It's about Matt. And robots. When Matt was little and when he talked all the time, I thought he was going to be interested in theater. He liked hamming it up on the stage--one time he sang "Bob the Builder" for a church talent show when he was three or four. Another year, he told jokes. He seemed to like the limelight.

But now that he's a teenager, his interests have taken a very different turn. He came home from school one afternoon and said, almost as an aside, "Oh by the way, my friends want me to try out for the robotics team." and then he wandered off to help himself to a post-educational snack. He had never shown an interest in anything mechanical or computerical (other than using a computer to play games). Let me amend that: he did like drawing thousands of miniscule robots on pieces of paper when he was little. He could fill up every inch on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper with tiny little …

Over the river and through the woods

A picture I stole from facebook. Those feet are not Jim's and mine, those are Katie's and Christian's. So Jim and I get promoted from dad and mom to Granddad and Grandma! And all the kids get promoted to aunt and uncles!  (except Katie, who is already an aunt to Christian's nephews)(and besides, Kate will be promoted to Mom!)

First of all, my official mother of the mother-to-be congratulations to Katie! And mother-in-law congratulations to Christian as well!

Yes, I have known about this for a while, but Katie made me not broadcast it because she wanted to do it herself, which I guess I can understand.

I can't wait to be a grandma! I had two fantastic grandmas from which to draw some lessons on how to be a grandma. Sadly both of them have gone on to heavenly things, one just little while ago. Grandma Hawley, if you're listening, you are going to be a great-great grandma! I wish I could have told you while you were still here. And Grandma Talberg, you are a grea…

Cue the scary music

Early this morning, before the sun was even sort of up, I went out to the van to hit the gym for some early morning exercise (I joined a club at the beginning of the year. I am not thin yet. I am blaming the club). The garage was pitch black, even though the garage door was open to the driveway, but I thought "Meh, I don't feel like turning on the garage light. I know my way to the car door and that way I won't have to turn the light off later." So I stepped into the garage.

And promptly bumped into a box with a big squishy sleeping bag on it, which rolled to the side and bumped into something else.

That bump triggered a tinkly musical noise...a music box.

I don't recollect a music box in the garage. I wasn't familiar with the tune. I am familiar with horror movies though, and this seemed like the perfect opening to one.

So I hustled my buns to Vanna White (the vehicle, who was NO help at all) and squealed the tires out of the garage.

After I exercised off my …

It's a 52 things kind of day

But I'm not going to list them all here. Besides, really it's just a list of years; on the other hand, those years add up to Jim. And I'm kind of partial to Jim.

Yes, folks, it's make-a-cake day! And also eat-a-cake day! I'm sure you all saw pics of his cake on fb or instagram (or both) already.

But here it is again:
Jim never did give me any input on how to decorate the cake, so I had to come up with it on my own. I picked what I hoped was a highlight of this past year (despite the red eyes--come to think of it, I should have put a pair of red eyes on the cake somewhere). He has also been complaining about the winter. Personally, I don't know what there is to complain about; it's Minnesota, winter is SUPPOSED to be cold and snowy. But whatev. He seems to like "warm weather" or whatever it's called.

Last night we went out for dinner and then he suggested a stroll around Barnes and Noble. Jim grabbed the one book he wanted and I had to limit m…

Do I need more skirts?

Yes. Always.

I've been on a sewing binge lately. I shared on Facebook this past week that I spent a whole day cutting out skirts, shirts, and a dress. I have started sewing up what I cut out.

So far, I have completed two of the skirts and one shirt.

 I love maxi skirts. SO comfortable and they cover up my legs. The pattern was one I got for a dollar and the fabric was close-out priced at Mill End (sniff. I am so sad that they are closing).

I LOVE this fabric, which I also got at Mill End for cheap. It's got a chevron pattern on it, and it is technically a knit so there is some stretch, but it's heavier than a regular knit. The only thing I don't like about the skirt is that I put an elastic waistband. I have half a mind to undo it and sew some darts in the back and put in a zipper and a waistband. 

I've sewed a teal shirt out of this pattern before and really liked it, so I decided to do another one. I have many skirts that will go with a lavender shirt. The mate…


Matt's turn for braces. He's the fourth and last kid of ours to get braces. (OJ never got them.)

So, the necessary before picture. Keep in mind, this is an uncooperative subject. He has to make a face.

 And the after picture. The braces were only fitted to the top teeth to begin with.

Because Valentines

I'm in danger of turning my own personal Valentine's day into Christmas-like intensity. It's been that way for a few years. I don't know why I like to have so much personal satisfaction sunk into Feb 14. And it's not about what's in it for me as much as what's in it for me when I watch the kids do their treasure hunt and what's in it for me when I sit down to a heart-shapes-and-shades-of-red-infested table at dinner time.

I guess I do it for love. And if that isn't a bad pun, I don't know what is.

I just love to do it. I love making up puzzles. Thankfully the kids are receptive to the idea of brain teasers and tests of random knowledge based on family favorite TV shows, movies, and silliness mixed in with general knowledge.

A small sampling of the puzzle clues from this year's treasure hunts for Matt and Hayley:

Where souffle girl crash landed
The poltergiest who fears only the Bloody Baron
The message John thought he got from the flashing …

The return of the elder

OMYGOSH you guys! Other Jim is HOME.

Matt says he should be given credit for spotting OJ first, and I will concede. However, I spotted him loudest, as you can hear in the video clip.

Jim got first hug, but I got longest (I'm so competitive) and I demanded a second one a few minutes later.

He is happy to be home, but of course he is unused to "regular" life. He says it will be weird doing normal things without having to make sure he and his companion are within range. He occasionally lapses into Spanish, and couldn't remember the word Sacrament--referring to it as Santo Sena. He'll start sentences with "Pues" or "Tambien."

We spent over an hour with the stake president. He asked Other Jim lots of questions about what he learned on his mission, about companions, investigators, etc, and at the end of the interview, he said, "Elder Evans, you may now remove your missionary name tags and I officially release you from your mission. You are now …


Has it been two years already?

Two years since Jim and I parted ways with EJ at the security gate and watched him talk to a random guy all the way through the security checkpoint. EJ seemed ready and excited to go. He didn't even look back and wave; he just WENT. I wonder if he's ready and excited to leave. His very brief email yesterday said it really hasn't totally sunk in, although it started to when he had his exit interview with the mission president on Sunday.

Right now (7:51 a.m. his time, 9:51 a.m. mine) he's probably still in Mexico. He and a couple other homebound missionaries most likely spent the night at the mission home, and got up this morning ready to hop in the mission van, CROSS THE BORDER back into the US for the first time in 2 years, and head for the San Diego airport. EJ's flight leaves at 12:30 p.m.-ish.

And I will post pictures as soon as I am able.


They're coming to America, TODAY! (I'm sure you can guess the song and perform…

1 more day and I can't think of anything else

What Super Bowl?

I spent Super Bowl working on book 2 of EJ's mission emails/pictures. I got through April 2013. His book from the first year is sitting on my coffee table, waiting for him.

Yesterday at church, many people stopped me to ask, "are you excited?" One lady said, "Two weeks til EJ comes home, yes?" and she was floored to hear "no, two days." It has gone by so very fast, yes it has. Nobody told me that it would. The only slow time is on Mondays from about 1 p.m. until I get an email from the missionary. Next Monday won't be so slow. I'll still be waiting for the Peruvian to email but he usually gets his correspondence in the internet mail system before 1 p.m. Usually. Also, only a year and a half until EP gets home. Can it be that he already has 6 months?


2 days and I didn't realize until now that it's Groundhog's Day

It's EJ's last Sunday meeting in a Mexican ward. He has been invited to speak in the Spanish ward here in Minneapolis but we don't know the date yet. Jim's friend is the bishop of that ward and I look forward to EJ speaking there and watching him converse in Spanish.

Groundhog's day: not a big holiday, although it does remind me of my college roommate Karen. She loved all holidays with equal fervor and would send Groundhog's day cards to her friends. She had to make them herself because it's not a card-intensive holiday (and believe me, she looked for Groundhog day cards).

Karen and I got along really well (inasmuch as I can get along with people--it's not one of my strengths). She and I lost contact just a few years after college and I've always wondered where she was and what she was doing.

When google got big, I tried googling her, but never had any success. I even tried googling her husband because it's usually easier to find people through…

3 days and I was too busy yesterday

So I missed blogging.

I was at work at the actual office (where I mistakenly spelled "an" as "and" and got called out for it--rightfully so) until 1, then I ate lunch, locked up the office, and drove four hours to get home. The elders came over for dinner and got to our house right as I got there. So we ate dinner (Jim cooked, because I was out of town--isn't it the wife who is supposed to be cooking dinner and the husband who gets home from a business trip? We must be just so liberated from stereotypes!) After dinner, I said, "I'm going to lie down for half an hour. Wake me up at 7:05 p.m." Aaaaaand it was 7:05 a.m. when I got up.

Here's to sleeping for 12 hours:  YAY

Now I'm up and relaxing on a Saturday morning.

I do have one picture to share from my trip out to SD. Thurs night I accompanied Jen to a vocal showcase of Mimi's 2nd grade and a 3rd grade class at their high school basketball game. Before the game, there was a fundraiser…

5 days and I'm at work

I'm in South Dakota today at the office.

I drove in yesterday afternoon/evening. It takes about 3 1/2 hours to get to Mike's from my house, and I usually stop for a fast food dinner somewhere. I shouldn't, but I do.

In order to keep myself awake, I have invented a little routine. I have a bag of some sort of vegetable, yesterday it was baby carrots. I have a cut up fruit of some kind, yesterday it was clementines. Then I get a bag of what I call packing material (cheese puffs of some kind. Guess why I call them packing material?). And then I get a water bottle.

After every small town I pass through while driving, I eat one baby carrot, one clementine, and 3 pieces of packing material, then I take one drink of water. And yes, that helps me stay awake. I don't get too bored either because I think, "9 miles til the next town and then I get to eat a little snack after that." It's very helpful. The only trouble is that once I get through Clarkfield (taking one…

6 Days and the kids are finally back in school

Matt and Hayley weren't that much trouble though.

Another missionary came home yesterday. When we had EJ's farewell open house, we combined with two other families who had missionaries leaving the week before EJ. Well, those two other boys are now home.

From the mother's point of view, waiting for a missionary to come home is a lot like being pregnant, only when the child comes, 1) he'll be fully functional and will be able to communicate (although I expect some Spanglish), 2) I know the exact date and time of his arrival, and 3) I won't feel like I've been beat up afterwards.

I drove Hayley and Matt to seminary this morning and when I got home, Jim had made breakfast. This was a first! I almost wondered if he had an ulterior motive. But no, he was just being nice. I think he's going to miss me a little (I have to go to the office today and I'll be there til Friday).

7 days and it's REALLY hard to be the first one to get up

ONE WEEK. I can hardly stand it!

Congratulations to a niece who got accepted to a great place to go to college (which is the same place EJ went for 2 semesters, and where he will return to in April most likely--we hope)! Since EJ and Niece could possibly cross paths, I suggested to my sister, Niece's mother, via text that EJ could possibly set Niece up with a couple of returned missionary friends. I think that would be great! My sister must think it's a great idea too, because she texted back a couple of exclamation points.

Dang, it was hard to get up today. Hayley and Matt got the day off school and seminary AGAIN because of the cold, and Jim didn't set his alarm. 6 a.m. came very early. I did not want to get up. It was frigid outside, the bed was warm and cuddly, my pillow was cushy and molded perfectly to my head. The room was soothingly dark. No one else was up. I could find so many more reasons to stay where I was, but because of yesterday's decently low bp readi…

8 days and blood pressure

We got our missionary emails today and that leaves JUST ONE MORE FROM EJ. Only one more mission email EVER from him! And at that time, he will probably be finished with normal missionary work because it will be Pday and he will most likely be going to the mission office and staying there until Tues morning when his flight leaves. HIS FLIGHT TO MINNEAPOLIS!

I went to the dentist today (not the one that I work for) and got my teeth cleaned. I like going to my local dentist because the hygienist and the dentist spend the whole time telling me how great my teeth are. It's a half-an-hour love-fest. Today we added another hygienist to the party, because my regular one had carpal tunnel surgery. Whenever I need a self-esteem boost, I get my teeth cleaned. I can hardly leave without feeling like I've won a beauty pageant.

Anyway, yes, my teeth are still beautiful, but I was worried about one thing: they like to take my blood pressure. I was concerned because certain members of my fami…

9 days and a stupid cat

I got a Samsung mini-tablet for my birthday, and with it came a very lovely white charging cord. The best thing about this charging cord is that it's fast. It juices up my phone and the tablet much faster than any of the other cords I have hanging around the house.

Servo has recently discovered this cord and likes nothing better than to chew on it. I keep it in my room and over the last two days, if I forget to shut my bedroom door for any length of time, I'll go in my room and find Servo with the cord in his mouth.

This makes me very angry.

Magic likes to come in our room too, but all he does is hide out under the bed and lick himself.

So, now I have to be better at remembering to put the cord in a drawer when it isn't being used, and I have to remember to shut the bedroom door. Magic will have to find somewhere else to lick himself and Servo will have to stay out of my way for a while.

In other news, I made the mistake of taking Hayley out for driving practice yesterday…

10 days

Bet you can't guess what I'm counting down.

Anyway, this post isn't about that.

It's about this:
It's a snow cave. It was also where Matt slept last night (well, for most of the night). The details are still unknown, but I have verification from Jim that Matt dug the cave, shoved the cardboard in it, and bundled up in whatever woolen gear he had and zipped himself into the heavy duty sleeping bag and spent the night in this hole until 4 a.m.

All I can think of is COLD and hopefully he slept with his feet towards the back of the cave, because I would get the willies, the heebie-jeebies, the creepy-crawlies, and the hackles raised if he had gone in head first. I don't consider myself especially claustrophobic, but if I went in head-first and stayed there any more than a minute, I'm pretty sure a panic attack would find its way in there with me and take up most of the air available for breathing.

By the way, yes, Matt and Jim are at a scout campout overnight t…

One of those days

In a good way.

I was actually motivated to do housework. I also actually had time to do it. I had the whole day yesterday to get things accomplished. Too bad my quadriceps felt like dogs had shredded them, thanks to an overzealous personal trainer who "just wanted to see where I was at fitness-wise." Never trust personal trainers! after three sets of walking lunges, I wanted to chop my legs off. And then his. (I signed up at a little fitness club and with the sign-up I got two free sessions with a personal trainer. First they get you to sign up, then they try to kill you for free) But I kept going--squat/jumps, squats on a half-ball thing, a wall sit, and then the trainer said, "Last one, burpees." I said, "Nope. I'm not going to do them." I would have put my foot down, but everything from my hips downward seemed to be possessed by Jell-O.

So anyway, my legs hurt. But I did housework anyway. In 15 minute increments. I love the 15 minute plan. I set th…