My First Icee

I had never had one of these (29 years old and never had one before!).  I met up with a friend who invited me to lunch.  I was not hungry, but I was thirsty, and had never had one, and saw the machine, and so I had to have one.  How is that for a run-on scentance?

So the camera decided to focus on the brick behind my head and I was not in the mood to keep taking pictures, so this is what you get.  Me “enjoying” my first (and probably last) Icee.  Unless I find myself in urgent need of sugar without caring how it tastes.  And you can sort of see my cute haircut, one side of my head anyway.

We got gas

A few years ago, when gas prices crossed $2.00/gallon, I decided that gas cost too much and I was going to save money by buying a bike and riding it to school and for other transportation around town.  Of course, I discovered that I really enjoyed riding the bike, and became a pretty hardcore cycling enthusiast.  I bought a nice racing bike, have discovered the wonders of spandex cycling shorts, and have legs that are disproportionately strong when compared to the rest of my body.

But I digress… The point is that yesterday, more than 3 years after $2.00 gas prices prompted me to make a major lifestyle change, we filled up our cars for $1.93/gallon, a price unseen since early 2005.

Here’s how:

We have a local grocery store that has an associated gas station.  If you buy items at the grocery store, you get a discount on fuel from the gas station.  The discount is progressive – spend up to $50, get 3 cents off; up to $75, get 5 cents off; up to $100, get 8 cents off; and if you spend more than $100 at the grocery store, you get 12 cents off of each gallon of gas.

What enables this whole plan is that the grocery store’s customer service counter will accept payments for our gas/electric company.  So yesterday, we went to the grocery store, paid our utility bill (which was well over $100), and got our reciept, complete with 12 cent gas discount.

Gas prices have fallen pretty dramatically over the last few week.  The going rate for the cheap stuff in town was $2.05/gallon yesterday.  $2.05 – 12 cents is $1.93!

So we, filled up both cars for under $2.00/gallon.

One Month Ago

Cher had 71 babies. 53 are surviving as far as I know. That is how many babies there were when I let them out of the confining smaller floating tanks into the big tank to “swim free”. I have been checking the filter to make sure no babies have been sucked up, and I have not found any in there yet. I also have not seen Sonny or Cher eating any of the babies, so I can only assume that there are still 53 babies in the tank. I also have not found any dead ones. The babies are growing pretty well, and swim out there with mom and dad.

I finally returned to the project of putting the birthing video together. This is only a few of the babies coming out. Some are born faster and some go slower, I guess it just depends on the size of the baby fish. In part of the video we can see dad hanging around trying to get to the tasty little fry.

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By the way, Cher is pregnant again. I can see little baby eyes in her, and guessing on the size they are and how big she is not compared to last month, I do not think she will be having 71 this time. Good for her.

Update May 19th: I woke up this morning and she had her babies, there were 8 of them and I think only 5 will make it.  So, now is the chance for anyone to speak up if their little one wants to name a baby fish.  Noah, what do you think?

Love & Compassion

I was working at the preschool today, and there are stories to come later about that. When I got home and looked at my inbox, I learned that a very dear man passed away yesterday morning. His name is John Hadfield. He was my first Mission President. Most of you don’t know him, so let me take a stroll down memory lane.

When I arrived in Chile, he greeted me with a smile and a handshake, and his lovely wife took me in as if I were her daughter. The first place we went after the airport was the big hill with the huge statue of the Virgin Mary. There was a beautiful view as we could see Santiago from up there. He gave us some loving words up there and we headed to the mission home to prepare to meet our companions. Elders upstairs, Hermanas downstairs for showers and naps. I insisted I was not tired, and the Hermana told me I would be, and to take advantage of it, as it would be my last opportunity for 18 months. I had no idea just how true that was at the time. They told us they love us and sent us off with our trainers.

Three months later, less than a week with my second companion, and I had an accident. Carbon monoxide poisoning put me in the hospital. (At some future point I will write more about that.) I was in and out of conciousness, but the first face I saw that I knew, was Presidente. It was a scary time for me, I did not understand what was going on or really even where I was, but I saw Presidente and Hermana, and the love and hope I saw on their faces gave me strength. They brought me three roses when I was recovering. I kept the roses have and dried them and have them laminated in my album as a special reminder.

Almost two months later Presidente called me to let me know that my Grandpa had passed away (and some other bad news). He had me come into the office and gave me a blessing and told me to call my family. The compassion he had for me and my family was immense.

A couple weeks later we had our final Mission Conference with Presidente and Hermana Hadfield. They had served a beautiful mission with us. And we all love them dearly. As his final act of love for his missionaires, Presidente shined our shoes and gave us each a blessing and a hug. I will always look up to him and the memories I have of him and Hermana.

Living in the Midwest doesn’t really give me many opportunities to see people from the mission. However one day when I was at the Nauvoo Temple, I turned a corner, and what do you know but Presidente and Hermana were there. It was a delightful surprise. They called me by my name and gave me a huge abrazo. A year had passed since I had returned home, (and at least two since they had returned), and it was as if time had not changed anything. The love we shared in Chile is the same love we shared in 2003 and it is the same tomorrow (if not stronger). That was the first time I had run into anybody from the mission and since then I have only had the fortune of seeing one companion, Kathie (Slade) Longmore (in person-so if anyone else wants to come and get a tour of Nauvoo, let me know).

Time, There Is Never Enough Time

There was an episode of Saved By the Bell where Jessie was on speed and that was her “melt-down” line. I am not sure why, but that is one of the random facts stuck in my brain.

As part of my new calling, I get to clean out the Primary closet. This is a great way to exercise my obsessive-compulsive abilities. In doing this, I am finding some great stuff, and then there is stuff from the early 1980s. Why on Earth is there stuff from 1981 in that closet? OCD to the rescue. 1981 to the dumpster!

Don’t get me wrong it was a decent year. The musical Cats began its 8949 performance run on London’s West End. Simon and Garfunkel performed a free reunion concert in New York City’s Central Park attended by over 500,000 fans (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1981_in_music&oldid=184211809).  Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female judge on the Supreme Court. (http://www.multied.com/dates/1980.html#Anchor-35829)

However, garbage from 1981, that does nothing for me.

All Caught Up Or Information Overload

I have been keeping a list of things I needed to post about, and the location of pictures to go with said posts for a long time now. Today I finished posting them. Now I can get back to a regular routine of posting. That means on Monday the Quiz is back!!!!

Today we got a Christmas 2006 card in the mail, from Kansas. I love you! This brought back fond memories. Thank you for the card.

Merry Christmas

We started off the day by running an errand**, and then heading over to Jacob’s parents’ house.  I think everybody was pleased with everything they got.  I got cool soup spoons.  For those who don’t know, I love spoons.  I love to eat cereal with soup spoons, and I love to eat any other creamy thing with a tiny spoon.***

We then proceeded to Iowa for festivities at dad’s house.  Where Ronda made it known that they are expecting G4!  We had a lot of fun.  I kissed Jacob  while he was holding Geneva and she grabbed on to his shirt and pulled herself up to his face and puckered.  Geneva and Gretchyn are mimicking a bit now, and they like to mimic laughing.  Only I think they sound more like dolphins.  Listen for your self.  Gretchyn was not too interested this time.

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From there we headed over to Galesburg for Christmas over there.  Everyone was extremely pleased with the project Karen has been working on.  Good job Karen, all the hours paid off, even if they don’t all know how many hours you put into it.****

*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so.

**If you know, do not say anything about it, please.

***some people call this a baby spoon, I call it a dessert spoon.

****Karen got a hold of Grandpa Carl’s slide from over the years. This whole years she has scanned them in to make digital prints,  put them in order and cleaned them up to made a DVD for her mom and brothers and sister.  It was a lot of work, and turned out great.

Bye Bye Birdie

The choir program went well.  I think there were plenty of voices and it sounded ok, if not pretty good.  However since I was a part of the choir, I am not really allowed to say how we sounded.

Also I was released as a Sunday School teacher today.  I will still teach next week, but that will be my last.  I will miss teaching the class, they are a good group.  I love them, and they have been great this last year.

After church I went over to Karen’s and helped her finish the DVDs and with Erin’s help they got all copied quickerly and have pretty labels.  Yay for team work.  Jacob did some tech support too in the project.

*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so.

Sing Sing Sing

The practice went well I think, Jacob thinks so too, at least that is what he tells me.  It has been a while since I have been excited for a choir program, I like being excited for them.

Karen has spent all year working on a top secret project and is in the final stages of the project when it decided to revolt against her.  So we went over to help her get this done, and mostly it works ok.  But it takes up too much space on a DVD and refuses to be read, so we will have to split it in two.  It is a good thing I enjoy the kind of project this is.

*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so.