Girl Party

Tonight Janessa threw a little party for our neighbors.

Brent and the Blood Clot

You've heard the expression, "he has rocks in his head." Well, my husband does.

Okay, not exactly ROCKS per se. More like globs. And guess what else about Brent? After 22 years of marriage, he finally did something spontaneous :) I have been waiting for that since the day he let me borrow his electric pencil sharpener in college.

So what is up with my husband? Brent SPONTANEOUSLY developed a dural sinus thrombosis. A blood clot in his head. Had a lumbar puncture with high opening intracranial pressures. Drained the CSF and felt some relief from headache. Had 5 injections of Lovenox and now taking 8 mg Coumadin daily and started on Diamox. Consulting with a hematologist. Has significant papilledema and must see an opthamologist to monitor visual fields. Symptoms? diplopia, perioral numbness, palpitations, constant headache, dizziness, fatigue.

So, spontaneity isn't all it's cracked up to be. The next time you decide to do something crazy babe, I was thinking more along the lines of a surprise trip to Greece. (It would be cheaper!)

Love you Brent, and hope you get feeling better soon.

Week of Lasts

This is the last week for several things in our lives.

1. Last week I am working 24 hours / week. Starting next week, I will be working one day a week (for a paycheck) and two-three days/week in dr's office as a preceptee (not for a PAYcheck but a hefty PAYment in tuition).

2. Last week of Sean's graphic design job. Next week he is going with friends to climb King's Peak and then prepare to move to BYU.

3. Last week we will have a big dirt pile out our back door! Cement was poured today. Yeah!! Can't wait to party on the patio!

4. Last week Stockton and Landon have their days free before school starts. Next week they will be at Lake Powell, then family vacation, then school begins.

5. Last week I will ever be 41 years old and Brent will be 45. I need Justin, Amy, Gheen and Beth to cheer us up with a limerick.

6. Last week Janessa has driver's ed. (She thinks having a license means she can drive!)

7. Last week of any remaining hint of green in our grass. Our poor yard..what a sad saga of failure. We have now managed to kill two front yards. We've been told we have a virus - obviously it crept from our computer, to our washing machine, into our suburban's air-conditioner, and now took a bloody toll on our grass.

8. Last week of swim team for Stockton.

9. And finally, it is the last week I am going to eat cheesecake. Just kidding! If that were the case, it would have to be my last week. Period.

Goodbye to all the lasts. Cheers to the firsts: age 42 and the big chunk of concrete around our cement pond.


When the boy grows up

My oldest son is heading off to college soon. I will miss him something awful. But, I am determined to make the best of it. Today, I created a chart of some of our family's most popular and commonly made recipes for him to post on the fridge of his apartment. This should:

1. impress any visiting girls
2. be a lovely decoration for the kitchen fridge
3. remind Sean that cooking food requires work and that busy college students should come home on weekends
4. show people that his mom knows how to make columns in Word

If you would like to use this handy cheat sheet for oft made common recipes, a printable form is below. Click on the down arrow next to the word ipaper.

Read this document on Scribd: Favorite Recipes at a Glance

My mother

Justin (10), Jordan (1), Kristi (3), Jeremy (8), Jenni (12)

My mom is one of the greatest women I know for so many reasons. One of them is that she helps people. For example, for MANY years, she faithfully drove her friend, an elderly widower without a car, to the library to get books once a week. Another reason: every Sunday, she sends a homemade postcard she calls "Portraits of the Past" to her children scattered all over the country. It usually includes a photo from our family's past. Often it includes anecdotes or stories from her journal or other sources. I LOVE getting the weekly bits of nostalgia.

This week's edition included a quote from my brother, Justin. He wrote this in a book we made of childhood memories and gave to our parents in 1996.

Justin writes, "I remember that when I was two years old I was so depressed because in one day my age had doubled and I remember thinking, 'if this keeps up, by the time I'm five, I'll be sixty!'"


Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Today was boys baking day! We made Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from the bounty of summer squash. They turned out yummy. Moist and flavorful.

These cupcakes are a great way to use zucchini. I love what one website said: "You have to understand, summer squash are sensitive and passive-aggressive. While they might be pert and vibrant when they first make the jump into your basket, it is all downhill from there as they wait impatiently to be turned into something spectacular. As the hours pass, they sullenly pout and begin the slowly but steady decline into a flaccid, rubbery incarnation of their former self. Use them quickly, because as they sit there on your counter - mark my word, they are judging you."

Below is the recipe. Note: I used unrefined coconut oil in place of vegetable oil. This adds a layer of richness, moisture, flavor as well as a health benefit that you wouldn't get otherwise. If it is scented, a hint of coconut will hit your nose before you take a bite, and permeates your house as these bake.

The batter is a deep dark brown. These are very chocolate and rich. Next time I am cutting back slightly on the amount of cocoa.
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
1 ½ c brown sugar
¼ c. melted butter

¾ c. vegetable oil

3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

½ c. buttermilk

2 c. grated zucchini

1 c. chocolate chips

2 c. unbleached flour

1 c. cocoa, sifted

½ tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp allspice

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease muffin pans and line with muffin cups.
In med bowl, mix together the sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips. In separate bowl, mix together dry ingred. Add the liquid ingred and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into muffin pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 15-18 minutes. DON'T OVERBAKE! Cool on wire rack. Yield: 24 standard cupcakes.



Do not let the numbers fool you, like the number 154 million to be exact. That is the amount of money already siphoned into The Dark Knight dynasty, the wildly successful box office hit of the summer (maybe even the year). The critics are singing praises to the Knight, and worshiping Christopher Nolan like he is royalty.

Those staggering financial numbers have put me in a state of disbelief because I finally saw the movie tonight and I am not ashamed to say, I did not like it. No wait, to say I did not like it is like saying the sewer has an "earthy" aroma. It is a gross understatement. Actually, I loathed and hated every painful minute. I am probably the only person walking on the terra firma to admit this. But I am so angry about this movie and the amount of attention, positive reviews and absurdly high amount of cash flow it has generated.

This movie is simply a vehicle for Hollywood to glamorize blatant destruction of life and property. I can hear the directors now: "let's see how many senseless murders we can cram into 2 1/2 hours. Let's justify domestic surveillance, terrorism and torture. We'll throw in a weak story and a cool car and the public suckers will condone it all in the name of good vs. evil." The joker, an amoral sociopath, is especially disturbing, and yet he is the one providing comic relief!!

Besides the unending human slaughter and unabashed property destruction, the wretched film was a painful exercise in watching and waiting for hope to die. Although it never does completely, the film ends without a clear winner. Good does not definatively triumph over evil. And that smearing of the lines is just the type of blur that causes gradual acceptance of villianry.

As with many movies, there are political overtones. For example, none of the protagonists (Batman, Dent or Gordon, the policeman) can leverage his public image into the utopia they all seek. Each one suffers for his dreams and ambition. It seems that only the people can save the people, a timely democratic message, and perhaps one of the few reasonable messages to come from the movie.

I am really sick about this movie. I am sick my children saw it. I am sick that so many people LOVE it. What is happening to us? And why is is not rated R? This movie is as lawless, violent, evil and disturbing as it gets.


Thumbs too big?

If your phone keypad is not visible to the naked eye or your thumbs are the size of small bananas, you might be interested in this article.

Written by James Benfly
Thomas Martel, 28, of Bonnie Brae is a big guy. So he has a hard time using the features on ever-shrinking user interfaces on devices like his new iPhone. At least, he did, until he had his thumbs surgically altered in a revolutionary new surgical technique known as “whittling.”
“From my old Treo, to my Blackberry, to this new iPhone, I had a hard time hitting the right buttons, and I always lost those little styluses,” explains Martel. “Sure, the procedure was expensive, but when I think of all the time I save by being able to use modern handhelds so much faster, I really think the surgery will pay for itself in ten to fifteen years. And what it’s saving me in frustration - that’s priceless.”
“This is really, on the edge sort of stuff,” explains Dr. Robert Fox Spars, who worked on developing the procedure. “We’re turning plastic surgery from something that people use in service of vanity, to a real tool for improving workplace efficiency.”
The procedure involved making a small incision into both thumbs and shaving down the bones, followed by careful muscular alteration and modification of the fingernails. While Martel’s new thumbs now appear small and effeminate in comparison to his otherwise very large hands, he says he can still lift “pretty much anything I could lift before the surgery - though opening spaghetti sauce jars has been a problem. That was a big surprise.”

Word Clouds

This is a word cloud made from the text on my blog. Isn't it artistic?
It would make great wall decor with words meaningful to you (and/or your family).

Oh the temptations and toys which taunt and entice those of us (ME) who can't bring ourselves to do something worthwhile and productive.

To make your own word cloud, go here.


Could be your lucky day


Want to be the subject of a fine-art photograph? Unbelievably, this blog is offering an opportunity for a free sitting from Justin Hackworth Photography, a professional photographer with a cult following and in high demand. He will shoot any combination: individuals, couples, families, couple of individuals, families of couples, families with horses.

This is the creme de la creme of summer deals! And not only is the sitting complimentary, but other sweet deals are included. Hurry, contest ends on 7/29.

I love Justin Hackworth Photography. To fall in love yourself, visit the photographer's website and blog. Or for a teaser of his work, check out a few of his photos below.

All photos Copyright 2008 Justin Hackworth Photography

Hurricane High Website

Hurricane High School finally has a new website to be officially launched soon. Here is a sneak peek. Built by Sean and James.


Music Man

Tonight we went to the Music Man Junior Version performed at the High School. The cast consisted of kids in our community up to age 14. Sure, I expected to enjoy it, but I did not expect to be blown away! The cast was large. The kids were full of energy. They projected their voices and spoke their lines slowly (most of the time) and with feeling. They were great singers, and danced like high schoolers. The choreography was simple, yet complex enough to be interesting. The kids moved the scenes on and off the stage quickly and smoothly. Winthrop (Thomas Christiansen) and Amaryllis (Sera Manwaring) were absolutely delicious. You just won't find any cuter actors on the planet. Professor Harold Hill (Jared Worwood) and Marion the Librarian (Allison Christiansen) were believable in adult roles. They did a fantastic job. Kudos to the entire cast. Way to go directors Scott Morrise, Kenzie Draw, Kimber Worwood and Kyle Turman. What an absolute delight.

I just love our Hurricane community!

Happy Birthday Otto & Andy

Stockton, Taylor Parker, Zach Jensen

Braxton Peterson

Taylor Parker

Landon likes something that just happened

Stockton - hard to see, but true to his form, the tongue is out!

Some of the guys

Sean and Boston Gubler

boys are always hungry

Landon and Ryan Brubaker


I am a lame, late poster. But at least I'm doing it, which is more than I can say for the twins' first 13 birthdays. Stockton and Landon turned 14 on June 1st, 2008 and celebrated with a party. It was a beautiful summer evening. Temps were moderate. 14 boys played ultimate frisbee at the church, and then came to our home for swimming, snacks and eventually a movie. Watching the boys play ultimate frisbee was the ultimate for me. They are athletic, agile, accurate, quick and competitive. Upon leaving, they were able to choose either a Ute or BYU baseball cap as a party favor. Guess which cap was the most popular??

S&L's gift from us was a ripstick and a new fangled thingamajig which is a cross between a ripstick and roller skates called an xglider. Watch a clip of it below. They zip around on them like it is as easy as shelling peas. They also received official Barcelona soccer jerseys. Happy Birthday Buddy Boys. You are the joy of our lives. Thanks for making me laugh. Every day.


Smoothies are summer's perfect meal accompaniment (or perfect meal, for that matter). With boundless fruit combinations, they never fail to please the palate. Tonight was peach, blueberry, strawberry!


Mood Lighting

I LOVE paper lanterns. Can't wait to have a big backyard bash where I can use them. It is amazing how something so fragile could make such a strong statement. They can totally transform an ordinary event into something extraordinary!

They are so fun- I might get some for Janessa's bedroom. I just found a great inexpensive supplier.

Mamma Mia

Tonight the movie Mamma Mia opens. With Meryl Streep. LOVE her! I'll be seeing it!!

Course, you do realize that it will make us all want to go to Greece.


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