Monday, August 24, 2009

A Random Occurrence at Mutual

I know that this might not be unusual back in PA, but you just don't see this that often in Utah. (His brother is serving a mission in Philadelphia.)

Another Kash Sighting

I forgot to include the latest Kash that showed up in our house. It turned out to be 2 CDs that were reflecting onto the ceiling.

The Ward Extravaganza, the Dunking Booth, and a Dreamcoat

Saturday (the 22nd) was a LONG day, starting with a hike at 6:30 a.m. in Rock Canyon with Wilbur. I decided that it would be good for him to get more strenuous exercise and so I took him over with me.
We got back around 8 and then, a couple of hours later, I went with Carma and Cherise to the Farmer's Market. Cherise had never been before and she enjoyed the atmosphere of the whole thing. (We knew she would.)

I got home and then was off to the theater with Griffin to see "Shorts," a reward for cleaning his room by himself. I was happy that we went to a theater that had armrests that lifted up. I pushed up a bunch and proceeded to lay down. The movie was, to be fair, horrible. After the movie, I came home, stared at the wall for a few minutes and then walked to the church to help set up a canopy for the annual Ward Extravaganza. This year's theme: the State Fair, complete with a giant inflatable, dunking booth, cotton candy, face painting (or body painting as illustrated by the pictures of Griffin below), games, displays and food! It was over 100 degrees out and we were all dripping sweat by the time we finished. The dunking booth was looking better and better with each drop!

Mags and I walked back home to cool off before we had to head back for the young women to practice the dance they would be performing. So by 5, we were back at the church and the girls were doing the Hoedown Throwdown.

John and the rest of the family came at 5:30, although it didn't start until 6. We helped with odds and ends and then the dunking booth was opened. (Maggie had been smart enough to change into her bathing suit when we went home earlier. All I did was make sure I didn't have a white shirt on--just in case.) While I helped out at the giant inflatable, people started lining up to dunk a few of the young men. After a while, it was Maggie's turn.

I don't know how many times she went in, but whether the target was hit or not, she inevitably was dunked. (As fun as it seems, she did bruise her arm and hurt her shoulder throughout the process. Wearing her heavy-laden backpack to school today was no easy feat.) Ellie's favorite part of the night was putting Mags in the water.

And then, it was my turn. My beehives lined up and I made it VERY clear that if they didn't hit the target, they couldn't run up and hit it anyway. (The picture post-dunk is unbelievably unflattering, but proof that I was there.)

Maggie had expressed to me how cold the water was. After all, it was just coming from a hose and had had no time to warm up through the afternoon. It wasn't until I went in that I understood. It is really hard to hold your breath when the chill of the water is sucking your breath away. Man, it was cold! The nice thing, though, was with it being 100 degrees, it wasn't cold to sit on the plank. Even when my turn was over (I think I went in 5 or 6 times), I was very comfortable temperature-wise. I sat down, dripping wet, and ate my dinner.
During dinner, they also started shooting off candy through the parking lot for the little kids. Griffin even got a turn firing.

While eating, I was approached by a woman in our ward who had just been asked to "produce" a major show in our ward for Christmas: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This was no surprise to us as we had taken the young women to a production a few weeks earlier to announce it to them. Little did we know that the major roles were going to be held by the adults in the ward. She quietly pulled me aside and asked if I would be one of the three narrators. Now, mind you, I really, really wanted to be Potipher's wife, or Mrs. Potipher as she is cast. If you haven't seen this, the role of the narrator is nothing short of major. I'm happy to know that they chose to cast three people in it (two women and one man) and even happier that Donny Osmond's son, Brandon, will be taking the role of Joseph. (Really, did he have a choice?) He'll be phenomenal.

After dinner, Mags and I walked back home to change clothes before the young women had to dance. Ellie's activity days group was also performing, "I love being a girl," complete with hair and make-up from a local beauty school. I know. She looks 20. Scary. Ellie did a great job, but is anxious to be done with the "little girls" and move on to mutual.

Then it was time for the YW to do their dance. Ellie had learned the dance as well and even performed it off to the side.

And after the YW did their dance, I was surprised to find that I was part of an impromptu production being put on by the Relief Society. Not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, the director of this play cast me as the dog. (She knew she could ask me and I wouldn't be offended.) Now, I had been dunked in the tank, sweaty walking back and forth, and now had to perform in front of everyone. My hair best illustrates this point.

The night ended with square dancing. My "corner" was a four year old little boy named John. He was very enthusiastic and several times didn't let go so I could return to my partner. John (my John) and I made it through one song and then, when the caller told us to promenade anywhere in the parking lot, we went straight for the car. Ellie and Mags stayed and Ellie had her turn to get dunked. (She'd been waiting all night so she wouldn't get wet before she had to perform.) Mags returned the favor of dunking her.

I checked my pedometer and found that I had walked 7 miles that day, and that didn't include walking back and forth when I was all wet (I made sure to protect my phone!). I think the best part of the day/evening was realizing that there was no church the next day due to the dedication of the Oquirrh Hills temple. Ah, to sleep in.....

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year 2009

On Thursday, August 20, three of the four kids went back to school. Here are the annual back to school picures. In all honesty, we just got Maggie's today, so it's really her "back to the 3rd day of school" picture.

Ian said the weirdest thing of the day was waking up to an empty house. (I had already left for work.) The weirdest thing for me was that everyone wasn't gone! Ian did leave later for work, but still, to have a graduate! Weird.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's Official: I'm Crazy

Congratulations! You have been provisionally accepted to BYU's Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) program. We commend you for your desire to finish your bachelor's degree.

Please note the word provisionally. I have to finish StDev 100 first before I'm formally accepted. I started the class last night and had to find out what kind of learner I am. Although it immediately brought back the anxiety I felt when I was eliminated from the education program based on my brain dominance results, I've decided to refuse the labels that come with these sorts of analyses (FYI: I'm an Active Experimentation "Doing"/"Concrete Experience "Experiencing" learner with some Reflective Observation "Reflecting" and off the charts in a negative way Abstract Conceptualization or "Thinking" learner) and just keep my eyes on the prize.

One of the downfalls I suffer from is to try to keep things organized. Part of that process was to go through the paperwork and find out what classes I still had to take. Unfortunately, I need to take about 30 classes in the next eight years. I know that doesn't seem like a big deal, but my plan was to do a couple of classes a year (you can read that as one a semester), but with the time constraint, it makes things have to go a little more on the "fast track." The other thing I did was add up how much this dream/nightmare was going to cost. It completely deflated my desire to see this thing through.

Showing that I'm still a little girl at heart, I immediately called home to talk with my mom and let her know that after all the vascillation of whether or not to see my degree through to the end, the costs of trying to finish it were too prohibitive. She encouraged me to start the process and that things would somehow work out in the end. It was comforting to hear as I have struggled for several years over the fact that I'm the only Hopkins child that doesn't have a degree. Education is important in both the Asplund and Hopkins families, and although I understand that a piece of paper or a few letters don't make the man, it's also a fact that not having them puts me at a disadvantage in all sorts of career back-up plans.

I guess we will see what the future holds for me. I did withdraw from teaching 4-H clubs. Well, let me rephrase that. I was going to teach a club, but the coordinator--who is also one of my best friends--told me that my plate was too full and that she could find someone else to teach it. The downside of that is that it takes away the potential to pay for part of one of my classes. I guess, though, that if I was dead from a heart attack or in a fetal position in the corner because of the stress, the extra $300 wouldn't do much good. I've already arranged my week so that I volunteer in the elementary school on Monday and Friday afternoons. Mutual is Wednesday night and that leaves me Tuesday and Thursday with some quiet time to work on school. (Okay, if I'm being realistic, I also need to include the fact that I have a 1200 page book to layout in the next few months as well, but I'll fit that in.)

So if my posts seem to become more random, please forgive me. I think I can receive my BGS in 8 years if I take four classes a year and learn to organize and prioritize my life a little better. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

And so it begins...

This afternoon Ian met with the Bishop to start the mission process. And here we are, going through the application. Tomorrow is his dental exam and Friday is his physical. His wisdom teeth are already out, so here's hoping for a not-so-bumpy ride (knock on wood!).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Loooooooong Day

With three of the four children involved in sleepovers, I thought I'd join my friend, Cherise, and a few of her kids on their weekly hike up Rock Canyon in Provo. Griffin was sleeping over at their house, but I thought he'd stay there with her boy until he had to go work on a merit badge around 8 or so. When she pulled up at 6:50 am, there he was, all buckled in and excited to hike. I double--and triple--checked that he really wanted to do this. She told me that he had been talking about it since the night before and was ready to go.

Now this is my kind of hike! It was lovely and not so steep as to cause me to wish to die. It was overcast and cool this morning and we tried to time it so we'd avoid the forecasted morning thunderstorms.

Griffin slipped and fell a few times, but he was quite the trooper, getting up each time and saying, "I don't even need a band-aid," even though he probably could have used one on his knee and hand by the time we finished. As we got in the car, I checked my cell phone which has a pedometer to find that we had walked nearly five miles in that little hike.

We were going to run home and grab more family members before heading to the Provo Farmer's Market, but the heavens opened and rains poured down. Grateful that we had made it out before getting soaked, we agreed that we'd just put off that adventure for another week. I decided to head to the elementary school and help my friend and Ellie's teacher work on her world timeline. (She wants to have it up for Back to School night on Tuesday; I think it will take until Back to School night next year before it will be ready.)

I worked there until about 1:45 when I went home to go with John to a friend's home to work on her in-home network. Ian and I had tried on Friday and failed miserably. After four hours, John had the house on a wireless network and everything up and running. Boy is he handy!
We got home in time to get Griffin (who was asleep on the couch) and head down to the Utah County fair. (Cherise and her family had gone earlier and had taken Ellie with them.) There was quite a bit of the fair dedicated to the 4-H program and Ellie had entered a ceramic plate she had made. She was thrilled to share that her plate won a blue ribbon! Along with the typical carnival games, there were lots of tractors and other equipment for the little ones to sit on.

The 4-H activity was to attend the Demolition Derby that closed out the fair, but the tickets were sold out, so we chose to come home instead. After lots of showers and a few moments of rest, I downloaded my pictures from the day. I'm sad that I didn't have my other camera on me for the hike as the picture quality would have been better, but all I had was the cell phone.Although long, I think it was a great day.