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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I love my brothers!

Once upon a time my oldest brother, James wondered, "Why do dogs chase cars?" I'm sure others of us have wondered the same thing and have no real answer. James, on the other hand, didn't just drop it. He wanted to know. Now keep in mind, James was a child. In fact, we called him Jimmy at the time. Please don't judge him for it now.

What did Jimmy do? He hid behind a tree and waited for the next car to drive by. He then pretended like he was a dog and chased after it. The poor old lady driving was frightened half out of her mind. I'm surprised she didn't have a heart attack and die. She pulled over, told my parents and poor Jimmy got a talking to like you wouldn't believe. We all grew up hearing that story and how HE COULD HAVE DIED!

The most tragic part of the story? He still has no idea why dogs chase cars.

No, the story doesn't end here. No, no, no. Damian grew up hearing this story and also just HAD TO KNOW why dogs chase cars. Obviously Jimmy didn't find out because he wasn't prepared. Remember how HE COULD HAVE DIED? Well, Damian and our cousin, Justin, were two peas in a pod. Perhaps two hellion peas in a pod. They decided to repeat the experiment, but to learn from Jimmy's mistake. They weren't gonna die. No ways. They put on all their football gear to protect themselves. Then they hid behind a tree and waited for the next car to go by. The poor semi-truck driver had experienced many strange things in his day, but never two young boys chasing after his truck, decked out in football gear. When he pulled over, the boys realized Jimmy's other mistake. He got caught. So they ran out into the field and hid until their poor bellies were too hungry to stay. This worked out well for my parents, because they had a chance to get their laughs and giggles out before the boys came in so they could give them the appropriate talking to for being such naughty boys.

The most tragic part of the entire story? Neither Damian nor Justin can tell you why dogs chase cars.

(If Travis ever repeated the experiment, he was the smartest of all. He probably did it away from home so that he couldn't be traced and thus never got caught. He was the smartest about getting away with craziness like that in our family.)

You can see why this Garfield minus Garfield comic strip (which you should read on a regular basis, btw) made me giggle for far too long:

For the curious out there, the question of why dogs chase cars can be answered via Google. "It certainly is instinct, but what instinct it is is another question. Dogs evolved as pack animals that can attack and bring down prey many times their own size. Predation is more likely to require quiet than barking. Most large animals are herbivores, they are dangerous, and they hate pack animals that can eat them. A large animal making a lot of noise is probably giving a warning. Cars are large, they move, and they make noise, like an angry herbivore. (My dog ignores cars usually, but she never misses a chance to bark at a bus or a large truck.) A dog chasing and barking is more likely trying (instinctively, maybe without completely understanding the action himself) to scare away a threat than looking for lunch. Plus, the dog learns after a few tries that he always succeeds at scaring the car/bus/truck/train away, and he thinks he's good at it."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Vote to help my nephew on a school project!

My 9-year old nephew, Brandon, is doing a school project where he has to do a survey. The more answers he gets, the better his grade. His goal is 200. I find this a pretty high number since they live in the middle of nowhere Oregon, but that's what the internet is for! They've blogged it, but their blog is private so I can't share it with you. Instead, I will post it on my blog and ask for comments. He needs to know if the vote is from a boy or a girl, so please specify in your comment. You get one vote. (Though, you can ask other people. So if you put in more than one vote, please be sure to say "Dragons - 3 boys, 1 girl" or something.) If, perchance, I've already asked you this on chat, please don't answer again here. My poor pregnant brain cannot handle that kind of memory retention for me to filter through what I already have been given and what is new. Lastly, we ask to have all of your answers in by March 3rd.

Thanks you guys! You're fantastic!

What is your Favorite Mythical Creature?
Live Trees

Valentine's Week

We had been planning on babysitting on Valentine's day, so neither BJ nor I had really planned anything for then, figuring we'd just do something the next week (when everything was cheaper and restaurants weren't crowded). Turned out that the grandparents were in town and took the kids off our hands that afternoon. Having no real plans, we just kind of went with the flow. I've been into freecycle lately, so we picked up some nightstands on our way home. (More on that in another blog, methinks.) We just kind of dinked around until it was time to make dinner, which I planned on making Mozzarella Stuffed Peppers, but then realized I didn't have the ingredients. So we officially decided to nix Valentine's Day and instead celebrate Valentine's Week the following week. So I made fajitas instead (which we both love).

So now, I present to you, our Valentine's Week.

Monday - Candy Day!
Since Valentine's Candy was 50% off, we decided it was a great time to buy candy. We ended up with 5 bags of Hershey Kisses and 2 bags of Strawberry Twizzlers.

Tuesday - Romantic Dinner
BJ's favorite dinner that I've made was Mozzarella Stuffed Peppers, so I made them for a romantic dinner. It was accompanied with a salad, croissant rolls, and Sparkling Grape Juice. We ate it via candlelight.

Wednesday - Spoil BJ
I started with making sure I made BJ a really good lunch (including stuffed peppers leftovers) with a love note included within. The rest of my spoiling of BJ was mostly made up of doing things that BJ loves that isn't typically on my top 10 list. I originally offered to go out to Cafe Rio, but then we remembered that his sister, Jessa, had given us gift certificates to Bajio, which is largely the same food, so we went there instead. (For the record, I think I like Bajio better.) Then we played Mega Man. And by 'we' I mean 'me'. BJ has recently beaten Mega Man 9 and is in love with it. He's been begging me to give it a try for weeks now, so I played while he watched and cheered me on. I'll be honest, I didn't even finish a level, but I got really close to the end by the time I was just too tired to go on.

Thursday - Go out to dinner day
We had Buy 1 entree, get one free coupons to T.G.I.Friday's so for lunch, we went out to eat. (Unplanned for Valentine's week, we ended up going over to Jessica's and watched Robin Hood with Carli!)
Friday - Spoil Tianna
I picked BJ up from campus with these in his hands.
Awwww... aren't they so pretty!? Knowing that I probably wouldn't want to cook on my day for being spoiled, we went out to Cracker Barrel, which is one of my favorite restaurants. I got a beef stew bowl (in sourdough ... mmmmm....) and mac and cheese. Then we came back and met up with Jared and Megan for games. We had a few good games of Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers, and then a really good rousing game of Settlers of Catan - Cities and Knights, which I won magnificently.

Overall, I think our Valentine's Week was a great success and I'm glad we did it. Hope you all had a great day!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Call for help! (Cloth diapers)

So I'm buying some cloth diapers today. (I know it's early, but I'm getting a steal of a deal.) Anyone who has used cloth diapers, I need your help! Do I want bumGenius or Fuzzi Bunz?

Things to keep in mind:
  • Baby is due June 20
  • I won't be using them until I have a washer and dryer. That may not happen until December/January. It may happen sooner. Totally up in the air.
  • bumGenius is one-sized fits all, and velcro straps.
  • Fuzzi Bunz has different sizes and has snaps.
If you choose Fuzzi Bunz, please tell me what sizes to get, since I don't know when I'll be able to get them!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Couponing - Take 2

This time I decided to try my hand at couponing at Target. All this pictured? $3.50. Yup, that's less than you'd pay if you just went and bought that Listerine that's pictured below.

How? This time every coupon can be printed from your computer. No need for newspaper ads. All Target coupons can be found here. All manufacturers coupons I've provided a link for.

  • Listerine - On sale for $3.99. $1/1 Target coupon and $2/1 manufacturer's coupon here. Total: $0.99
  • Goldfish crackers - $1.79 each. $1/1 Target coupon here. Total: $0.79 each (or $1.58 total)
  • Kashi bars - On sale for $2.50. $1/1 Target coupon and $2/1 manufacturer's coupon here. (In the lower right corner) Total: Profit of $0.50
  • Cauliflower and Broccoli - Regular $2.49 and $2.29 respectively. On sale for $1.50. Target coupon $1/1. Total: $0.50 each (or $1.00 for both)
  • Baby Buddies soap - $0.97 each. $3/3 manufacturer's coupon here. Total: Profit of $0.09.
Subtotal: $2.98. Tax = $0.52
Total: $3.50

Story: I had to do this in two transactions so that I could use 2 broccoli/cauliflower and Goldfish coupons. The first transaction was everything except those two items. It rang up to $2.17. Now, For as many items as the cashier rang through, it could very easily be assumed that the "17" was the dollar amount. So she started to tell me the total, "Your total is seventeen ... [pause to double check the screen] Whoa. [shakes head] "Two seventeen." It made me chuckle inside.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Couponing - first real attempt

So, my friend Meagan got me into couponing recently. I've been trying it out, saving coupons, reading blogs, etc. and even had one minor attempt at it (using coupons on a massive grocery shopping trip). Today, however, I made my first ever shopping trip focused solely on couponing. I picked Walgreens to start at, because you can get some pretty great deals there if you know what you're doing. (Who knew?) I wanted to share my results with all of you. Here's what I got:

  • Kellogg's cereal - On sale 4/$10 with a Register Rebate of $3 (it acts as cash for future visits). Total = 4/$7. (Or $1.75/box)
  • Yes to Carrots chapstick - on sale for $2.76 (25% off) with a manufacturer's coupon $2. Total = $0.76. (Check out this blog for coupons and details. They suggest an additional $1 coupon that makes it free with overage even, but it wouldn't work at my Walgreens.)
  • Glade Sense & Sprays. Originally $8.99 each. Buy 1 Get 1 free coupon here. $4 off 1 coupon from the 02/08 SmartSource newspaper insert. $3 each rebate from Walgreens. Total = profit of $1.01
  • Colgate toothpaste - originally $2.49, on sale for $1.99. $1 coupon from newspaper... somewhere. (Not sure where it came from.) Total = $0.99 (Supposedly they had toothpaste on sale for $0.99 so it would be free, but not at my Walgreens. The only one they had that cheap was the trial size and was too small for the coupon to be valid.)
  • Garnier Fructis Moose. $3.99. Full rebate. Total = Free
  • Candy. Twizzlers on sale 2/$3. Hershey Kisses on sale 2/$4. Valentines Candy 50% off. Total on all = $10.75. Rebate for $5. Total = $5.75
  • Oatmeal. Originally $3.29. In store coupon for Buy 1 Get 1 free. Total = $3.29
  • $1 to the Heart Foundation (not pictured). Total = $1
So, from what I can figure (I am counting sale prices as listed instead of trying to figure out what they were before, for ease of math), I bought $53.47 (before tax) worth of product, I saved $19.70 at the register in coupons, I got $3 back in Register Rewards, and I will get $14.99 back in rebates, making a total spent of $15.78 for all of that pictured (and $1 donation not pictured)! Making a savings of $37.69.

I am pleased with my first attempt at couponing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


So, I'm really enjoying the beauty of the snow, and I'm not really even minding the coldness of winter. (Except when our heater broke... but that's another story.) But I am really tired of the practical side of winter. I'm tired of scraping the windshield (although BJ is a dear and always does it when we drive together), and huddling up with a blanket in my car. I'm tired of Pete (our car) squealing when he's cold and embarrassing me to death when I take BJ to campus. I'm sick of trying to navigate over ice and snow on foot, especially since I wear church shoes every day except Saturday. They're simply not made for that kind of weather. I fell for the first time the other day. Luckily for the baby, it wasn't a bad fall, nor was it very far. I have a red mark on my knee, but that's the extent of the lasting damage. But it's really frightening to think that a bad fall could hurt not only me, but my unborn child as well. It's just a lot of pressure, y'know?

So, knowing that I'm very ready for Spring to be here, you can imagine my excitement when I came home the other day to see this poking up in my front flower bed.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


The Gandolphos on University Avenue, north of Provo, serves all you can eat pancakes and milk on Saturdays. Even better, with every paying adult, you get two kids to eat free. Sure, I could make pancakes for a lot cheaper than that, milk included, but there's something fun about going out to eat. I've been wanting to take James' kids for awhile, but have never gotten around to planning it. As luck would have it, BJ and I were babysitting them this morning, so we decided to make it a reality. (We were going to go up to IKEA for free breakfast (still running until the 16th if anyone wants to go) but due to multiple things not going as planned, we decided Gandolphos was a much better option.)

I was a little disappointed at first when Hunter declared upon seeing his food that he hated pancakes. (I know this to be false, because when I asked him that first night what he wanted for dinner he yelled, "Pancakes!!!") Nothing we could say or do could convince him to eat them. Bailey finally got him to taste a bite of her pancake (with the bribery of candy later) and he pulled the most disgusted face ever and was more firmly set in his declaration of hating pancakes. Deciding it wasn't really worth it (and knowing that lunch was only a few hours away), I didn't press the issue. About 5 minutes later (of absolutely no prodding from anyone), he sighed and declared that he would eat his pancakes. You would think by the way he said it that he had just volunteered to give his life for a cause or something. Which was made even better by the fact that he was replying to nothing. After one bite he lit up and declared the pancakes as "Delicious!" After two more bites he said he would be done after one more bite. Deciding to milk it for all it was worth, I asked him how old he was. "Five." (He's 4. Though, to his credit, he turns 5 this month.) "Then you can be done after five more bites." (This really is my favorite tactic to get kids to eat just a little bit more. For the record, I'm certain I ate more than 25 bites, so I'm not a hypocrite.) He sighed and agreed. 5 bites later he told us that we all owed him lots of candy because ate five bites!

My favorite part of the entire trip, and the part that made paying for pancakes worth it, however, was tile counting. In order to pass the time, we were having Hunter count the red and green and black tiles right there by our table. Bailey, being silly, then asked Hunter to count all of the white tiles. You know, the walls, the floor, the hall, the bathroom, basically the majority of the restaurant. Hunter was smart and with eyes wide at the prospect, politely declined her offer. Braiden, however, took her up on it. He started out simply counting, but then I reminded him that he was learning his times tables for a good reason. But when he had to start multiplying really large numbers and adding them together (he was doing the restaurant in sections), Bailey decided she wanted to be part of it. Next thing you know my iPod Touch was out for the calculator. BJ and I had long finished our breakfasts and were just watching them walk around the other customers, counting tiles, then leaning over the iPod to do the math. Whenever they declared they were done, we'd point out various other parts of the restaurant to see if they had counted there. Most of the times they had, other times they sighed and went on to count those parts, too. (Honestly, I didn't think they would agree to count the bathrooms and the hall that led to them... at least I didn't make them ask the employees if they could go back to the cooking area to count.)

Total? 2,730 white tiles.

Yes. BJ and I will have nerds for children.

Super Mario 3

Tonight in approximately 12 minutes I beat World 1 of Super Mario 3. In those 12 minutes I cleared every level (yes, even the ones I didn't have to), I got a spade card (what are those things called? Where you get to turn over cards and if you get a match, you get the item), and had the following in my stock pile: 2 whistles, mushroom, flower, leaf, star, and a p-wing. I ended with 2 star cards and 19 lives. (I'm a little irritated because I should have 23 lives, but missed one star card. Grrr.)

In the time I wrote this blog post, BJ is still on World 2-1 and has lost 4 lives. [sigh] ;)

To his credit, he could destroy me in Mega Man any day of the week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hunterisms part 2

  • "Pepperoni?! I love pepperoni! I know how to make it, too. Cheese and spots."
  • "Fricka fricka frack word."
  • "I got fifty zero coins!" (Interpretation: he got 50 coins.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


BJ and I are babysitting for my brother and his wife this weekend so they can have a getaway. I have no qualms with this, as they're among the easiest kids I've ever babysat. Anyway, so Hunter is the youngest at age 4 and is definitely at the age of "Kids say the darndest things." Here are my two favorites of the night.

1. I was giving Hunter a piggy-back ride, and he wanted me to go upstairs and then back down. It took me a bit to get up there, since I tend to go a lot slower during pregnancy, and by the time we were on the way back down, he informed me that I could go faster.
Me: "Well, the baby in my belly makes me tired faster, so it's hard to go fast."
Hunter: "Oh."
Me: "Did you know I had a baby in my belly?"
Hunter: "No. Did you eat one?"

2. Instead of Tabasco sauce, Hunter says Tabasketball sauce. hehe

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dear Idaho Friends

For anyone still in Idaho, I'm coming up today and staying until Monday morning. My dad wants me to give a fireside, and somehow I let myself get roped into it. I've been asked to let y'all know when and where it is, so you can come see me! It really has been too long, my friends.

So, the fireside is Sunday, February 8 (tomorrow) at 6 pm in the Ririe Stake Center. (Map here. It's the one marked with a "1". Also home of Ririe 1st and Ririe 3rd wards.) It'll only be an hour and I promise to try my hardest not to be boring, but won't be offended if you fall asleep. I'll probably just use you to liven things up by calling you on it from over the pulpit. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's a... [suspense!]

Tianna had her 20-week ultrasound today. They checked for cleft palate, spina bifida, problems in the heart, etc. Everything looks great there; no problems.

But that's not what you all care about. You want to know the gender.

Well, here are some pictures of the ultrasound. (Click to see a larger version of the picture.)

Okay, in case you couldn't tell, it's a girl!