Saturday, January 30, 2010

Trip to "Point No Point"

A year ago our YW/YM youth group went to a place called Hurricane Ridge for our big combined activity. This is one of the few places in this area that gets regular snow fall. The kids got to play in the snow and have chili afterwards. Because Hurricane Ridge is in the Olympic National Park there was an entrance fee. Instead of just paying the one-time fee Tom decided he'd just buy the yearly fee. Have we been back, no of course not. This yearly membership is going to expire pretty soon, so Tom decided he wanted to go back. We were planning on doing this today. Unfortunately, when he went online to check the road conditions there the roads had been closed for the next 6 weeks because of a rock slide. Needless to say he was totally bummed. He'd been looking forward to this for weeks. So instead we decided to go to a place called "Point No Point". It is one of the most northern spots in Kitsap County (that is my county).

One of the benefits is it cut the trip by about a third. The day was pretty nice for Washington. A bit drizzly, but pretty clear. When we got out there, it was this cute little spot with a lighthouse and a beach. The funnest part of it was Jake. He loved the beach! Lots of things to smell and look at. We walked down the beach, while Tom took pictures of everything. Sounds pretty typical huh? While Tom was taking pictures he noticed a container ship that was just bookin' through the water. A little while later the waves from the container ship started hitting the sand beach (it's very exciting to have a sand beach, most beaches here are rock). The waves were pretty big and Jake hated them! Jake is not a big fan of water. He takes baths only because he absolutely has to, but other than drinking it completely avoids it at all costs. We have yet to get him to go play in the water anytime we go to the beach. The waves started coming in and almost got him wet a few times. He backtracked up the beach very quickly so his little feet wouldn't get wet and then just started barking at the water. It was hilarious! It was a great day and I really enjoyed it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my Mom when I was little. Today is my Mom's birthday. I guess my sister pointed out to her that she is the same number of years as the year she was born. That won't happen to me for a very long time.

I couldn't have asked for a better Mom growing up. She was also very supportive of anything I was interested in. She always knew exactly how to stand somewhere between a friend and a Mom. I always felt like I could talk to her about anything I was concerned with, but at the same time she was not afraid to put on her Mom hat when she needed to.

I love you Mom and hope you're around for another 55 years! I'm glad you had a great birthday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My First Activity Meeting

Yesterday I had my first Activity Council meeting. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Most of the people on the committee have been a member of this or some other activity committee for a while. I am not only the newbie, I am also in charge. Interesting predicament. I get to make the final decision on things I really know nothing about. There were several times last night that they told me I was suppose to do something that I had no idea about. It's kind of a fine line, having them help me figure out what I am doing and at the same time staying in charge and keeping authority. I'm also a lot younger then most of them.

Another thing that was a little strange about last night was the amount of effort they want to put into each activity and the time for planning they want to expend. That just isn't me. I like to keep these as simplified as they can possibly be while still having things be nice and put together. I'm a big believer in delegation and not doing everything myself. I've found that the pickier I am with things the more stressful it become. They seem to think we should alread be planning activities months in advance. I should mention that in this particular ward, the majority of our activities are monthly potlucks. Not a lot of planning needed....which is fine with me.

I guess we'll see how it goes. I think I'll just have to learn how to be confident with something I'm not at all confident with. I'm sure that will come with time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jake's Issues

Ever since we moved to our new house Jake has had very itchy ears. It's so sad to see him with his itchy ears. He would try walking across the floor and have to stop every couple of steps to scratch his ears. It got to the point that he would scratch at his ears so badly that he would actually draw blood. Also at the same time, his skin was itchy also. As sad as this was, it developed the funniest quirk. He started to scratch his butt on everything he could find. His favorite spots to do this was on the railing of our bed and in the car on the back of the seat. At the same time, he would raise his head way into the air and bark and lick the air. Hilarious!

At first I honestly thought that he was having some kind of allergic reaction to something in our new yard. Then I thought maybe he had a little bit of an ear infection (those big floppy ears make him prone to them). I went through periods where I would give him a little bit of allergy medication. Sometimes it seemed to help and sometimes it didn't. It all seemed very confusing. Finally a couple of weeks ago I took him to the vet to try and decide what was really wrong. Tom thought he had mites, but I had my doubts. The vet gave us medication for the itchiness as well as steroids for the swelling in his ear canals. They couldn't verify completely weather he had an ear infection because his ears were so swollen for him scratching them. They did take a skin culture and were pretty sure he didn't have mites but the only way to be 100% sure is to do a biopsy. We decided to hold off to do that until we could verify it wasn't anything else. The vet also said if there are any allergic reactions it could be absolutely anything (including anything we were feeding him).

That night I tried to think of anything I changed with him in the past few months. I came up with a couple of options. I changed the snacks I was giving him as well as the laundry detergent we were using. I decided to change back to our original laundry detergent and snacks just to either solve that problem or rule it out. After the first night of medication there was an obvious improvement in him. Now we are through with the itchy medication and only have a couple of more days of the steroids but he is a completely new puppy. He's back to the happy relaxed puppy he was before. I'm pretty sure he was allergic to the laundry detergent. I guess time will tell, but I completely anticipate his happiness continuing because I changed laundry detergent.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Watching "Lost"

I've always been a fan of entertainment. I enjoy all the different mediums, including television. I'm a bit of a television junkie. For the past several years I've listened to people I know talk about the show "Lost". However, I was never really into it. I don't know why. I remember when it first started, I watched the first few episodes out of curiosity. It wasn't that I didn't like it, it just didn't grab me for some reason.

Since we moved into our house, we stopped getting cable TV. Because of this I found out how many shows were available online. This is how I stumbled back on "Lost". Because my sister Ashley had been talking about it a lot, I decided to give it another try. I have to admit, now I'm hooked. We've been at our new house almost 4 months now. I have watched all 5 seasons in that time and am looking forward to the final season in about a week.

I still don't really know where they are headed (what the big picture is). It's kind of fascinating to watch the character development on the show. Pretty much all the characters are messed up in one way or another, but they all have good sides as well. It's kind of interesting. It's like a garden of eden where the good forces and the evil forces are battling over the souls of people on the edge. Can't wait to find where they are all going to land.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Not a Morning Person

Pretty much anybody that knows me at all could tell you I'm a night owl not a morning person. Don't get me wrong, when I actually have a day job I get up and am to work on time. However, given the choice I would much rather stay up late into the night and wake up late the next morning. Through our 5 years of marriage, Tom has come to learn if he wants me up early he needs to schedule it with me ahead of time. (Although I do get up every morning around 6:00 am to take him to the ferry for work....I know I'm an amazing wife! You can say it, I know! When I get home though, I fall right back in bed and it's snoozeville for me for another few hours). I've also trained Jake to not wake me up unless he's starving to death. One day while Tom's parents were here, he nipped Tom's toe to let him know he wanted to get up and see the people outside (he sleeps in our bedroom on a floor pillow). He knows better than to try that with me. I'm the rule person, he tries that he gets put in the crate. So not cool! Tom just laughed.

Anyway, with my new calling at church it turns out they didn't take my sleeping requirements into account. In my last ward they had ward council at 7:30 (or something like that) on a week day. Peeeeerfect! Not here though. 8:30 on a Sunday morning. Are you kidding me! Sunday still qualifies as the weekend right. Even in a world where there are jobs, the weekend is sacred! Crazy people. I got up and went this morning for the first time and it was okay. I got up at 8:00 (the last possible moment to get there on time of course). I was showered and dressed. That was all they got. My hair was brushed but not done and no makeup!

I guess I better get used to it though huh? But I still doubt I'll ever get me fully put together that early!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Shipyard Job Fair

As a lot of you probably know, I've been having quite a bit of a hard time finding a job. I've tried everything from things I'm qualified for, to local grocery stores or variety stores. I've had a couple of bites, but no official job offers. It is very frustrating on several different levels. I'm not used to not having a job & I am tired of constantly looking for something and getting nothing from it. A couple of months ago I decided that I might need to widen my search to things I'm not really comfortable with. I started to consider some trade jobs at the shipyard. I am completely unqualified for anything like this, but in a lot of situations they are willing to train you.

They have a couple of programs at the shipyard where they train you and pay for your education to get the education needed. Friday and Saturday they had a job fair for all the trades positions they hire for. I was very uncomfortable and nervous (due to feeling out of my element), but I went anyways. It was a little crazy. Something I've never experienced before. When I got to the location, there was a line the wrapped all the way around the building. Lots of people, all there for the same reason. Luckily the line went quickly. Being the shipyard, there was a metal detector that we all had to walk through and of course security people that checked baggage.

Once we got in, the warehouse was completely packed with tables and exhibits to help people understand what each department does. I was able to give my resume to an HR company, apply for their programs, and visit a couple of their booths. Due to my math classes being over a decade old, I get to take a test to prove I have the math skills to take their training classes. It won't be a problem. I took one of their practice tests and decided they need a math person to help them. Several wrong answers on the answer key. Oh, well.....the actual test is given my the local community college, it shouldn't have a problem. There were two areas that actually fascinated me. I guess we'll see if anything comes from it. Even if nothing does, it was a fascinating afternoon!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Book I Just Finished

by: Brandon Sanderson
A while ago, a friend of ours recommended a fantasy book to me. At the time I was in the middle of another series that I was reading. I've always been really interested in Sci-Fi and fantasy stories. I guess I can blame that on my parents for our many family activities of watching Sci-Fi TV shows and movies as a family. Now as an adult, I really enjoy reading Fantasy books. Recently I got tired of the skanky sex scenes I was finding in my books. I had been trying to ignore that part of the books because I liked the rest of the stories so much. Finally, I decided no matter how good the books were it wasn't worth it to put up with that crap. I asked for some friend to recommend some good fantasy books to read that didn't have that kind of stuff. Than I remembered that Aaron had recommended a book to me a while back. Aaron would never recommend something that wasn't completely clean!

The book is pretty long, so it took me a little while to read it. It takes place on a planet or something other than earth. It's not an alien book, just a completely different culture and reality than on our earth. The book is about political and religious unrest in a world that has experienced a lot of problems in their world. Mix that with a lot of cool fantasy story lines and it was a completely entertaining and fascinating book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

My Birthday

I just had my illustrious 34th birthday. One of the fun things about my gene pool is I happen to look a lot younger than I actually am. One of the fun moments I experience constantly is when people find out how old I am. I constantly get looks of shock and surprise. Hilarious! The only thing I have to show for my age are a few gray hairs starting. I wish I had inherited the lack of gray hair from my genes as well!

I had a pretty great day! I did a few household chores, and then read my book for a few hours. This is usually something I would love to do, but don't have a lot of time for during the day. I really enjoyed it. When Tom came home, we hung out for a while and then went to dinner with some friends. I love oriental food and one of my favorites is a good Chinese Buffet. We did find one in Silverdale that we would go to occasionally. A couple of months after moving to Port Orchard we happened to pass one on the street. I've been wanting to try it ever since. This is where we went. And I loved it! We'll definitely return. We had a great dinner and a fun time with friends we haven't see in a while!

Thanks to everyone that gave me birthday wishes and gifts! I appreciate all the loved ones I have in my life! Thanks for the flowers Tom. I love you babe!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our Utah Visit

Because we brought Jake along for the trip, we had to find a place to stay that was okay with a little puppy. Normally, we would have considered staying with Tom's parents, but his mom is allergic to dogs. It's different when she comes to visit us and can leave at the end of the week. But if we brought Jake into her house for an entire week, she'd have a hard time weeks after we left. We asked my friend Shelli to let us stay at her house. Normally, she doesn't like dogs in the house but luckily she felt like she could trust us enough to allow us to stay at her new house with Jake.

The first things we did when we arrived in Salt Lake City was go and visit Tom's brother Shaun. They were very nice and fixed dinner for us. Jake also loved their train set they had around their Christmas tree. He would watch it go around one side of the tree, not understanding it would soon come up behind him from the other side. There were a couple of times he did some fast backpedaling to get out of the way before the tree bowled him over.

During the week we had, we had some great time with our friends and family. With my girlfriends, we were able to get together for several of the nights. We went out for pizza, went and saw the movie Avatar, and played lots of games. Like usual, I loved spending time with them and I wish we could do it more often. For me, that has been one of the hardest things for me about being in Washington. I really miss being able to spend time with my friends and family. These girls are almost like my family in a lot of respects. We've been friends for more than 20 years now, and have been a part of my life since we met.

We were also able to spend a lot of time with Tom's family. We got together with them for a couple of different nights. Because we were able to come to Utah after Christmas, Tom's family decided to postpone their Christmas celebrations until we could be there. We had a fun night of present sharing & food. Then on New Years day we got together with the immediate and extended family for some family time. We were able to hang out with most of Tom's Mom's family. It was great to see everyone and hang out for a bit.

We loved our trip to Idaho (see below) and Utah! We wish we could got more often ans see everybody on a more regular basis!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas with the Family

This is the second time I'm writing this post. The first one I deleted because I was writing too much information and it became too long. So, here we go again!! Maybe with the important stuff this time.

Tom and I were originally not going to spend Christmas with my family. We were going to spend it at home and drive to Utah for the "Week of Tom". Since we moved to Washington about 1 1/2 years ago, I've been back to Utah 2 times but he hadn't been back any time. The shipyard gives most of their employees the week off between Christmas and New Years. He decided he wanted to go back to Utah for the break.

We were planning on spending Christmas here in Washington and heading to Utah the day after. Instead we ended up changing our plans a little bit, left a little earlier, and stopped in Idaho Falls first to spend Christmas with my family. We were able to get there in time for the Christmas Eve celebration at Alli's house, Ashley's sister-in-law. I think it was the first experience I had with a fancy traditional Christmas Eve dinner. We were also able to have a family picture taken. The pictures turned out great! Tom's still finishing the finalization of the pictures. I'll post some when they're done.For Christmas, everyone bunked at Ashley's house. We had a couple of air mattresses and Blake on the couch. Luckily Ashley had a fair amount of space. It was nice to see everyone again and spend Christmas together. I don't know when we'll have that opportunity again. Christmas day was a lot of fun, but pretty laid back. After the present festivities we were blessed with a delicious breakfast made by my loving sister. I think the grand hit of the day was my Mom's creation for the grandkids. They were miniature houses, made from cloth. To see a picture click here. All the kids absolutely loved it! I am not too proud to admit that I spend the entire day in my pajamas and took 2 naps!The next day (and our last day in Idaho) the entire family went sledding. Everyone had a really great time! The high point for me was probably watching my nephew stand in the door of his parents truck, pull his pants down, and relieve himself. Ahhhhh, the class! It made me laugh! Tate on the other hand was fearless. He had already sled down the big hill with his Dad, but when we tried to get him to sled down the smaller hill he was not into it. He pointed to the steep hill instead. He's his fathers son for sure. Kinsey, true to form, was good for a laugh too. While we were getting all our snow clothes on Kinsey started freaking out. Ashley was trying to get all her clothes on her while Kins was trying to climb out the window of the Landcruiser. Turns out Grandpa was on the 4 wheeler with Austin and Tate and she was terrified she was going to get left behind. She was screeming Grandpa over and over. Don't worry, Grandpa waited for her.

We were able to bring Jake along for the ride too. Luckily he is a good rider in the car, long though the trip may be. He loved hanging out with everyone, but especially Kinsey. They bonded over the weekend. They even went so far as to both sit on the floor and scratch their ears with their feet together! Too cute!