NOTES FROM THE BURROW

NOTES FROM THE BURROW

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Soft Stuff





i
Lizzie ate some rice cereal today. She gave it mixed reviews. I think she'd rather have the Haagen Dazs next to her. Who wouldn't?

Thankful Thursday 2/26/2009

1. www.new.familysearch.org

2. A really good chili recipe

3. Mid Winter Break

4. Pellegrino flavored soda

5. Charlie Crews

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My heart is, and always will be, yours.

The father of one of Christopher's Steeler teammates passed away last week from cancer. We thought it would be a good idea to take Christopher to the funeral home so that he could offer his condolences and support to his friend. When we arrived at Schraders, his teammate wasn't in the room where the family and friends were gathering. Someone said he was in the lounge in another part of the building. We headed towards the lounge and I was overcome with a feeling of grief and sadness for this boy. I sent Chris and Christopher on ahead of me as I tried to compose myself. Christopher's friend wasn't in the lounge; he had walked down the street to Starbucks to get a drink. I was relieved because even though I wanted Christopher to see his friend, I knew it was going to be hard to witness this boy's grief. Just as we were getting ready to leave, his friend returned and we had a chance to see him. At first he did not want to see Christopher and stayed with family across the room but finally he came over to Christopher, who offered his hand and a few tender words of sympathy. I could see the mixture of heartache and embarrassment as this boy was in so much pain but did not want to show it in front of his football friend. My eyes were stinging with tears and my heart felt like it would burst. I had to go outside and walk for a bit to compose myself because I could feel one of those inconsolable cries coming on. (See: Emma Thompson in "Sense and Sensibility.)

I felt indescribable sorrow for this boy and his family who are now having to experience a pain like none other in life. I wanted to tell them that this is not the end but that they will see their dad, husband, brother, son again. I wanted them to have this knowledge for themselves to make the pain more bearable. I'm hoping there will come a time when I can share this most precious treasure with them.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weekly Top Five 2/23/09

Top Five Things I Love About Being Married To Chris

1. It is really fun. Our life together had never been dull.

2. We compliment each other really well. My weaknesses are his strengths and vice versa.

3. We have created an incredible family that will last throughout all eternity.

4. He takes such good care of me, worries that I'm happy and puts my needs before his own.

5. He accepts me as I am, flaws and all.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, CHRIS! I LOVE YOU!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Relief Society Video

I made this video for a RS Enrichment lesson I did this week. I think it turned out pretty well and I wanted to share.
video

Friday, February 20, 2009

Confessions of A Shopaholic

I saw the movie "Confessions of A Shopaholic" with my in-laws on Saturday. Chris was out of town for Valentine's Day and they were very sweet to take Lizzie and I out for dinner and a movie. I was a little worried about how Lizzie would do in the theater but she watched it for a minute and then fell fast asleep and stayed that way for the entire film.

The movie was delicious. I loved it from the beginning to the middle to the end. I loved the actress, Isla Fisher, who played the main character. She was cute and funny and delightful to watch. It was like discovering Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde" or Jennifer Garner in "13 Going on 30" all over again. The movie was funny and endearing and has the perfect ending. The main character, Rebecca Bloomwood, learns a lot in the film and it feels so genuine. I recommend it and if you are going, take me with you because I want to see it again.

The topic of the movie was one that I could totally relate to.

Hello, my name is Jennifer and I am a Shopaholic.

This is pretty embarrassing to admit because we are supposed to be frugal and wise with our money and I have not always lived that principal very well. I could shop all day and all night. I would buy shoes and purses and clothes and hair accessories and coats and perfume and makeup--for me and my entire family. The mannequins talked to me like they talked to Rebecca Bloomwood..."Jennifer, that sweater is fabulous. And, it's buy one get one half off...so get 4." There was a time when I heeded the siren's call and spent with no thought of consequence. I did it because, as Rebecca says in the movie, shopping makes you feel so good and so happy that when you are done you have to do it all over again. The labels mean nothing to me, however, higher end more expensive clothing feels better and fits better for some reason. I don't know why.

I have worked really hard to keep this part of my personality under control. Having little to no money really helps. :) I stay away from malls as much as possible. I try to shop with an exact knowledge of what I need. I take my husband with me so that he can keep me in check. Last week, I found an old store credit for Parisian in my wallet. It was for $33. I hadn't been shopping at a mall on my own in a really long time. I decided I would go and spend it. I went to look for something for Lizzie but they didn't have what I wanted. I lingered at the tiny little Ralph Lauren baby clothes and had to clothes my eyes and walk away. $36 for a baby dress is too much, I told myself. It's just too much. I wandered over to the women's department and fingered a fine cotton sweater in the most lovely shade of pink that cost $189. I almost couldn't breathe as I looked at the Laura Ashley dresses for the upcoming Spring season. They were gorgeous. I turned and walked away...I didn't need these clothes, I told myself. I descended the escalator and a banner was before me declaring that It was Clinique Bonus Time! Did you hear me? CLINIQUE BONUS TIME!!!!!!!!!!! There is almost nothing more satisfying than a tiny little makeup bag full of goodies from Clinique. But, I kept on walking. I was sucked into the Juniors department where I found three really cute shirts for Emily that were all on sale but, I am embarrassed to admit, the bill was over the $33 that I had in store credit. I made my purchase and couldn't get out of the store fast enough. I didn't feel wonderful as I had in the past. I felt wasteful and stupid. I sat in the van for a while just thinking and breathing and wishing that I hadn't spent anything over the $33 that I had in the first place.

One thing I have learned over the years is that there are other ways to achieve the good feelings that I get from shopping. Helping others, writing my feelings down, working on a project at home and completing it, serving in the temple, talking with friends and family...all of these achieve the desired affect that shopping also brings about. However, they don't send me a bill at the end of the month plus interest. I have learned to be happy with hand-me-downs and Kmart clothes because I know that in the end, it's just clothes. It's not what's on the outside that matters. The Lord cares about what is in my heart and doesn't care if the shirt I wear cost $4 on sale or $100 at a fancy store. I'm grateful for this knowledge.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday 2/19/2009

1. Mad computer skills

2. DVD Burners

3. Quality Dishsoap

4. MEL Interloan Library Program

5. World of Goo

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed...


Does anyone like salesmen?

I really want to know if there is someone out there who likes salesmen.

I don't think anyone does, yet they exist for whatever reason.

They keep coming to my house and trying to get me to buy gutter grates, siding, a new roof, windows. When they come to my door, I make all the kids freeze and we pretend we aren't home. If they see me, I have to pretend I'm deaf. They want to put some kind of sea salt on my finger nails. I was downright rude to some guy at the mall who wanted to touch my nails. JUST LET ME WALK DOWN THE MALL HALLWAY WITHOUT GRABBING MY HANDS AND RUBBING CRAP ON THEM! They want to spray me with perfume and change my telephone carrier and bring my kids in for a family photo. They want to sell me a month's worth of meat from a crappy pickup. (Thank you, Chris, for saving my butt on that one.) They want to sell me a vacuum that costs triple my house payment and suck 4 hours of my life away trying to convince me that I need it. (Again, thank you, Chris, for getting rid of her.) They yell at me to buy Girl Scout cookies, Boy Scout popcorn, Band candy bars from the front of the grocery store. I'll buy them from a friend, thank you.

Who are these people that can do this job? I know that I could not do it. I don't understand them at all. How can they do this job knowing that everyone hates them?

They bother you in your home or while you are doing something else. I just want to be left alone. I don't want to be talked to. I don't care if you have discovered the cure to fatness and think I might be interested. Just put the cure on the shelf and let me find it myself. I am ALWAYS just browsing, so get away. I don't care if my shingles are flying off the roof, when I want a new roof, I'll get a new roof.

The worst part, however, is that they don't take no for an answer. How is this acceptable behavior? You say, "No thank you" politely and they treat you like you are a four-year-old and can't possibly know what you really need. They come up with every reason in the book why you need to spend $20 on cleaning chemicals. They make you feel like a moron for not wanting to spend your life savings on a vacuum cleaner. They tell you you must not really care about your children if you aren't spending $300 on a set of educational CDs for them. They try to convince you that you are going to fall off a ladder cleaning leaves out of your gutters every fall. When they start these high pressure tactics on me, I want to slam the door in their faces. Does this really work on anyone? I really want to know.

Sorry to all you salesmen (Chris) out there for this rant. Just do your job peaceably and take no for an answer and move on to the next victim. Leave me and my leaky roof alone.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why Jennifer Does Not Predict the Future nor Play the Lottery

Setting: Sophomore High School American History Class

Time: Early 1990s

Mr. Robertson: The World Wide Web went public today. Anyone can access it...blah blah blah...internet...blah blah blah...big deal....blah blah blah.

Jennifer (In her head): Who really cares about this?? When will I ever use the world wide web or something called the internet?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekly Top Five 2/16/2009

Top Five Things I've Learned While My Husband Has Been Gone

1. Parenting is a two person job.

2. My house would be very messy if Chris was not here. Actually I already knew this, but his absence reconfirmed it for me.

3. I don't sleep well without him there. I thought I would like to have whole bed to myself. I was wrong.

4. I don't like to cook if I'm not cooking for him.

5. I can do what I do because I have him. People ask me all the time, "How do you do it??" I always give them a mysterious smile and shrug my shoulders. I never knew until now that I can do what I do because Chris is always there helping, supporting and loving me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And I know I'm late and I know don't deserve it, I need you I love you.

I am not in love with Valentine's Day. As a child I liked the party at school and giving out Valentines. I can remember picking my favorites out of the pack and giving one to the boy I thought was cutest in my class. As I got older, I hated Valentine's Day because I never had a boyfriend and hated watching the stupid happiness of girls who did. At my high school we could send Candy Grams for holidays to the all-boy's schools in the city and they would send them to us. I rarely got one but Valentine's Day of my senior year I did. I was so excited about it until I read it. It was a huge joke from some boys at one of the schools because of something I wrote about in our school's paper. It was humiliating. What I wrote in the paper is another post for another day.

I continued to hate Valentine's Day until 1994. I was living at MSU and still didn't have a date. My roommate did, however and she couldn't stand him. She was going out with him and two other couples. Half of one of the couples happened to be one Chris Vos, on whom I was totally crushing. I had to work until 7pm and my roommate kept begging me to come to where they would be after I got off work. She REALLY didn't like the guy she was going with. I told her there was no way I could crash someone's Valentine dinner. Around 5pm at work I get a call. It was Chris telling me that he wished I would join them at dinner. He hated for me to be alone on Valentine's Day. He said didn't like his date but had promised that he would take her out for Valentine's Day. Eeek! I was excited. I hurried home after work and changed into my cutest red jeans and a cream colored sweater. I put a red bow in my hair. Yes--I loved to wear bows in my hair. I'm pretty sure it was acceptable in 1994. I met the group at Chili's where Chris bought me dinner. He insisted even though everyone else was finished. I could tell the other girl was pretty pissed but I honestly didn't care. After dinner, the other girl went home (I can't remember her last name, but Kristen from MSU in 1994, I hope you are happily married somewhere) and the rest of us went to one kids dorm and watched a movie, "Heart and Souls." I can't tell you one thing about the movie because I was so nervous to be sitting next to Chris. When it was time to go home, we did a big cinnamon roll hug where everyone holds hands and then rolls together...can you visualize it because I can't write it. I positioned myself next to Chris so he was going to have to hug me. :)

The next day, he asked me out for our first official date. The date of our first date was February 18th. Exactly one year later on February 18, 1995, I took out my endowments at the Toronto Ontario Temple because we were being married on the 23rd.

Since then, we don't really make Valentine's Day a big to-do because our anniversary is just 9 days later. One year he wrote me a beautiful love letter that I read every once in a while because it is just wonderful. This year he is gone to Houston. I had the kids make Valentines for him and we were going to send them to the hotel where he is with some candy. I went to mail them but for Saturday delivery it was going to cost $95. That's NINETY FIVE. He is going to have to wait until he gets home. This morning I made heart-shaped pink pancakes for the kids. We had a fun breakfast.

So Happy Valentine's to everyone and have a great day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just a suggestion

Could Mormons quit competing on Survivor please?

I'm sorry that good-looking people like us made you throw up and feel bad about yourself.


There are some people out there that are so beautiful I just can't take my eyes off them. I'm talking both men and women. My eyes become transfixed on their faces. There was a another mom at preschool when Calvin was there who was so gorgeous that whenever I worked with her, I couldn't stop looking at her face. There's a high school girl in our ward that is so pretty, I can't look her in the eye. I had a HUGE crush on a guy once that was so good looking that whenever he got close to me, I backed away. I was frightened of his gorgeousness. I imagine this is how I would feel around Katie Holmes, Jason Lewis or Colby Donaldson. All of them are so good looking.

Yesterday I was wasting time on Facebook and I saw that a friend of a friend is a girl that Chris briefly dated in college. I have never met her but I have always liked her because she did a really great thing for Chris. She encouraged him to go on a mission. I have always been really thankful to her for doing this. Girls have such a big influence on boys in this area. I'm glad she used her influence for good. So, I logged in to Chris' Facebook account and requested she be his friend. **Aside Note--Chris rarely logs into FB. I manage his account for him.** She accepted "his" request and I looked at her photos and started to feel completely insecure. She is gorgeous! She is one of those people that you can't take your eyes off because they are so completely good looking.

I have been married to Chris for 14 years and never once have I worried that he wasn't in love with me or that he wished he had married one of the former girls that he dated--until now. This girl is so pretty. How can he not wish that he was with such a pretty wife? I called him right away (because he is in freakin' Texas!!) and had him reassure me that he does love me and thinks I'm pretty and that he won't leave me to go in search of his gorgeous ex-girlfriend. He tells me I'm pretty all the time but I never believe him because I am fat. Fat people aren't pretty. Telling them they are is just pitying them. The prettiest fat person isn't as pretty as a skinny normal person.

I don't worry that he is going to run off with her. She's married and looks pretty happy with her pretty husband. However, it's the thinking I worry about. He might be thinking he missed the boat on picking a pretty wife. He might be thinking why am I not as pretty as her. He might be wishing I was 10 or 100 pounds thinner.

I wish I had never found the friend of a friend. Facebook is the devil.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday 2/12/2009

1. Nico and Vali

2. Chris' plane landed safely in Houston even though one passenger totally freaked out on the way.

3. Wii Fit

4. Free Cell Phones.

5. Really good visiting teaching message this month

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I think we should shoot her

I got some more fillings done on my teeth today. The ones I had done last week are still sensitive so I can only eat soft stuff and chew with my front teeth. Maybe this would be a good new diet--the dental diet.

Chris leaves for Houston tomorrow and returns on Monday. Six whole days apart! We've never been apart for that long. I'm sad.

Today our stupid dog escaped when Cameron opened the front door for a second. She ran across the street. Spencer and Emily ran out to catch her. She ran around the neighbors yard for a while. He was out hosing his driveway off. (Why do men like to hose the driveway? Chris could do it for HOURS.) Emily and Spencer kept narrowly missing the dog. It was like the cow scene from "Anne of Avonlea." Spencer was tramping through their backyard which was FULL of dog poop. The man kept hosing. Nala would not listen to Chris on the speakerphone. Usually that will get her in. Spencer, Em and I were all trying to catch her. Finally the three of us cornered her between the neighbor's two RVs. He kept hosing. We dragged her across the street and put her in the bathroom for punishment. I dislike her so much.

On Sunday, I came downstairs from feeding Lizzie to find our silverware tray out of the silverware drawer and pushed up against the pot of chicken that was cooking on the stove. The silverware tray was plastic and was rapidly melting and smoking. I asked around, "Who did this??" Of course, no one did it. I was perplexed. I continued cooking dinner and realized that I hadn't seen Cameron in a while. I went looking for him. He met me at the boy's room door slamming it in my face, shouting, "No, Mom!" I opened to door to find four containers of chocolate pudding lined up on the desk with a knife nearby that had been used to open the lids. There was some pudding on the desk and on Cameron and on the floor. The mystery of the silverware tray was solved. He had taken it out to rummage around in the drawer and find the knife to open his puddings.



I mean this with all sincerity: I love my life.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Christopher celebrated his 11th Birthday this weekend. We celebrated with a fun friend party at our house and a party with Anna and Tony yesterday. He got some fun Wii games, Bakugans and money and gift cards. We also bought him his Boy Scout shirt and Boy Scout Handbook. I can't believe my son is a Boy Scout. I'm dreading the Eagle Project!!

Here's 11 Photos of him that I love!!

I love you, CV!

Happy Birthday!

Weekly Top Five 2/9/2009

Top Five Things I Miss From Utah...Surprisingly I was able to come up with five. :)

1. Fry Sauce

2. Sconecutter

3. Caffiene Free Coke on Tap

4. DI

5. Temples all over the place

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Smile! It increases your face value!


I think my mom has the world's most beautiful smile. She doesn't just smile with her mouth; she smiles with her whole face. In fact, her Patriarchal Blessing talks about her smile and how it will bring joy to others. I notice smiles on others faces because they make me feel so good. On Sunday, at church, I saw so many smiles from good friends. I love looking at my Facebook page because I see so many friends smiles. A smile is a beautiful thing.

I was talking with a friend this weekend about how your face changes depending on your behavior and attitude. She was mentioning that she didn't recognize a mutual friend that she hadn't seen in a while. This friend went from living a Christ-like life to a more worldly life and perhaps it was showing on her face. I think it is so interesting that you can see on people's faces how they are living their lives. It is hard to keep the Spirit from glowing within you when you are living a good, honest, spiritual life. You don't put a bushel over your candle--you let your light shine!! I have a favorite poem that talks about this exact principle.

It Shows In Your Face

You don't have to tell how you live each day,
You don't have to say if you work or play,
A tried, true barometer serves in it's place,
However you live, it shows in your face.

The false, the deceit you wear in your heart
Will not stay inside where it first got it's start;
For sinew and blood are a thin veil of lace'
However you live, it shows in your face.

If you have battled and won in the great game of life,
If you feel that you've conquered the sorrow and strife,
If you've played the game fair and you stand on first base,
You don't have to tell it,It shows in your face.

If your life's been unselfish and for others you live,
Not for what you get, but for what you can give,
If you live close to God in his infinite grace'
You don''t have to tell it -- It shows in your face.


So smile! Let your light shine forth! It brings joy to a cold, dark world.

Thankful Thursday 2/5/2009

1. My new Sunday School class

2. My winter shoe/boots

3. Texting

4. $1.50 Happy Meals

5. My regular sheets are back

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm really hungry and it's not like we're at Denny's.



Today Anna and I took some of our kids to Denny's for their free Grand Slam breakfast. My dad always said there is no such thing as a free lunch, but Denny's proved him wrong today. The breakfast did not cost a penny. It was funny to see the line of people around the building just waiting to get their free food.

Thank, Denny's, for the free lunch! We enjoyed it!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Yes, she really is breathtaking.

Lizzie is almost four months old. It's hard for me to believe that she is so old! She is such a sweet little baby girl. She smiles so happily every morning when she wakes up and seems so genuinely excited to see me. It makes my day start in such a nice way. She isn't rolling over yet, but is trying really hard. She hardly ever poops her pants without it being a blow out. She has taken to her binkie finally! She is still really soft and smells soooooo wonderful.

She was given a name and a blessing yesterday at church. Her dress was complements of Grammy. She looked so gorgeous. I feel so happy to have been given such a wonderful family. They are the highlight of my life.




Weekly Top Five 2/2/2009

Top Five Favorite Fruits

1. Blackberries

2. Raspberries

3. Peach

4. Concord Grapes

5. Mango

Speed. I am speed.

The Cub Scout Troop 1535 held its annual Pinewood Derby this past Friday. I am not a big fan of the Derby. This year, however, was a good year. Chris and the boys did all of the car construction and decoration by themselves and I didn't have to do a thing. Christopher's car was black with a Steelers football logo on it. Calvin's car was white with an Ohio State logo. They both looked really great. But would they race great?

Christopher's car took first in the Webelos den and second overall.

Calvin's car took first in the Wolf den and first overall.

I don't know what we did to those cars this year but somehow we beat out all the engineers in our troop to take a first and second place sweep. It was pretty exciting! Way to go, boys and Dad!

I love how excited Calvin is for Christopher's win in this video.
video
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