Sunday, April 26, 2009

"The Noticer" by Andy Andrews

"The Noticer" by Andy Andrews was a surprisingly good read. I was contacted by the publisher about itt 2 months ago. They said I could review this one as part of a special promotion to generate notice for the book the day before it comes out to the general public. The cover looked good, and the few sentences summing it up seemed ok, so I thought I would try. I had gotten my second book in December I think. It is a self help book and I thought it would be good to expand my reading repertoire. I think I am still under 50 pages. I am not much of a self help book reader. When I got "The Noticer" it's 156 pages seemed like they would be an easy afternoon read. Then I turned the book over. Above the bar code there is a place to print the genre type. My heart sank when I read "SELF_HELP / Personal Growth / General. I did NOT want another self help book. But I had promised that I would read it and blog about it on April 27th. So I got to work, because I thought, this was surely going to be work. It only took a few pages to realize that this was not your typical self help book. I guess if I have a self help style, this would be it. It is really a story, or several grouping s of stories with a few characters that are woven into the whole. And these stories, really just have some great morals with a few simple yet true and helpful bits of wisdom tucked in there so skillfully, that you don't realize you're being taught.

"The Noticer" is a story about a man named Jones. Not Mr. Jones, just Jones. He's a noticer. He seems to pop into someones life right at the crossroads and starts to point out things that only an outsider with some extra "insider" knowledge could. Andy Andrews does a good job at making you care about the people that he introduces you to. He makes you excited to meet the next one and I found myself trying to guess how he would handle each situation. This is a fun and easy read that made me want to go back and reread a few parts. Perhaps what I like the best is that he didn't try to pack as much information, advice, parables, theories and anything else he might have wanted to into this little book. It seems like he chose a few of the most important things that he wanted to say and get across and stuck with that. I didn't come away from this book overwhelmed, I came away refreshed and feeling like I could be a better person. Would I recommend it? Yes, most definitely!

You can go to to find out more!
Here is another link you can follow about this book.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Slumber party

Spring has sprung and it seems like she is sprinting to make up for lost time. It was a hot 87* today. Yesterday too. I spent the afternoon sweltering upstairs putting away winter clothes and get out the spring and summer stuff. By dinner time, the upstairs was pushing 90*. We had to turn the AC on. Amazing though is that in our one little house, the temperature upstairs can be so totally different from the temperature down stairs. 25* different! We decided that we would let the kids camp out in the basement where it is a cool 63*. They thought is was very cool and have begged to do it again tonight. It is lights out time for the little buckaroos, so goodnight to you too!

Kindergarten field trip

Friday Cedar went with the other kindergarten kids in his school to the aquarium in Gatlinburg. Jonathon got to go with them and they had a really good time. Cedar was the most excited that Jonathon wore the "Kindergarten Kids" matching t-shirt that we got to wear to the field trips. How cute are they!
Cedar and a friend from class.
Playing on the sea horses.
Matching boys!
On the river out front.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Wednesday and Thursday is carpool day. I take my friends daughter to school, she brings Aspen and Cedar home. I think that I am probably getting the better end of the deal, but she seems to like it too. On carpool days, Olive almost always ends up on the front porch at 3:15 waiting for Aspen and Cedar. She watches very carefully and reports that each car that turns onto our street is not Ms. Christine. She is so excited for them to come home. I think that when you are the third, and you are used to having brothers and sisters around, when they are not around, it is nice, but it just doesn't feel quite right. I think that I can agree with that. An empty house, all alone is nice sometime, especially when I need to get something done quickly, but it never is quite right until everyone is home.


The missing pans have been found! It seems that the kids weren't to blame. Jonathon was very nice and put away the dishes for me three weeks ago, and he put them where he thought they went. I didn't even think to look under the stove... oops!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Wanted: My three bread pans.
Last seen: 3 weeks ago, maybe. The last time I made banana bread
Reward: A loaf of Yummy banana bread.

Who would take my bread pans? Well, actually, I know the answer to that question. You see, bread pans are just the right size to make small doll and stuffed animal beds. My kids take them all the time. I just usually know where to find them, or they put them back. Olive and I made banana bread, it was all ready and the oven was preheated. I looked in the cupboard to get them out. My cupboard was bare! I sent Olive to the bed room and play room to retrieve them. Not there either. Really, my house isn't that big, and where would a person hide 3 bread pans? Why would they hide them? Usually people like my banana bread. So now, I have 1 loaf, 1 mini loaf and 2 casserole dishes baking in the oven with banana bread in them. If anyone knows where my pans could be, please call!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow

Today has been cooler, but by far the nicest day we've had in a while. The sun actually decided to shine on us! We were so inspired that even though Aspen was home sick with a fever, we decided to go and get some plants. Our little "gardens" look so forlorn without anything growing in them. Aspen wanted to plant a salad so we got lettuce, a red pepper, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The last sunny day we had we planted peas and winter garlic. The kids got cute little shovels and rakes for Easter and they finally got to break them in!

I don't know if my luck can hold this year again. Last year our little "gardens" were so much fun, and I couldn't stop bragging about them. This year, we are trying to do all of the right things. We got good dirt, we have vowed to care of and nurture our plants, but will it be enough? I don't know. My luck is like this with cooking. 90% of the time I try a new recipe, it is a wild success. It is so good and we are all excited to try it again. And then, 90% of the time I make that same dish, for the second time, it is a total flop. If you are ever at my house and I say that I am trying something new, prepare to enjoy a great meal, but if I say that this was great the last time I made it, you might want to secretly call the pizza guy or make up an excuse to leave early and hit the Chinese place down the street.

So, now that it is gardening time again, I wonder if that is just the way my luck goes, or if it is only a cooking thing. So stay tuned. But please be kind and don't rub in all of my last year's bragging if I am buying all of my tomatoes at the store.
Aspen growing a salad.
Olive raking it even and smooth.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We hope that everyone has a wonderful Easter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pre-Easter fun

Friday Jonathon got off work a little early so he got to join in the egg decorating fun. This was the first year that the kids ALL really got into the process. Next year, I think I will try some natural dying ideas...

Jonathon concentrating on making egg-art!

Olive going for more color.

Aspen and Cedar in deep concentration.

Cedar experimenting with a white crayon before dying.

Aspen holding an egg in half way.

Saturday was the ward Easter Egg hunt. I had been keeping an eye on the weather all week. I REALLY didn't want to have the hunt in the church. The weather was iffy, but we decided to have it outside anyway. We had a really good turn out and I was really impressed that so many people in our ward donated eggs. It was cold, but lots of fun!
Olive, Cedar and a friend checking out the goods.

Olive and her friends showing us what they got.

Cedar had a busy morning. His first soccer game and then rush back to the church for the egg hunt. He's wearing my fleece because it was really cold!

Aspen showing us what she got! A little jacket wasn't enough on the windy hill.

Aspen and Olive were quite the troopers. The went up to the church at 8:30 to help me get everything set up. By the time it was time to start, their feet were soaked and frozen. The were great helpers and the egg hunt was a success because of them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lego world

Aspen spent a lot of time making this Lego world. She wanted to share it with you!
Here she is to tell you about it.
I found some green to make the grass.
That guy is watering flowers!
Here it is!

Here is the swimming pool! Yippee!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A girl's best friend

Long ago, in a land far, far away a girl was living in the cold and barren land of Wyoming. That girl dreamt of skiing, snow and a larger dating pool. (and maybe a few classes now and then..) One day, that great institution that the girl was going to sent a letter for orientation. The girl would spend several days exploring the land and meeting the natives. The girls grandmother, who lived in the land of Utah heard about the upcoming journey and mentioned it to a neighbor. Well, as fate would have it, that neighbor also had a daughter who was setting off on the same adventure to the same land. Arrangements were made and a deal to split the gas bill settled. The day for the journey came and the girls met. The second girl remembered the first. They were once neighbors! Kindred spirits kissed by fate had once again been united, never to be separated, at least not in spirit. And so started the the journey, that first adventure turned into hundreds of adventures. Secrets kept, boys talked of, dreams discussed, mountains climbed, oceans surfed (ok, body boarded) Schemes made, dances danced, tears spilt, murders solved, kitchens cleaned (but only when the last dish was dirtied) songs sung, letters written, husbands met, weddings attended, children talked of and long distance bills piled up. Though fate tried her hardest to separate the two again, thinking that 2000 miles was enough, the bond held strong. And now, that girl from Wyoming owes perhaps even her life to that girl who first split the gas bill with her. And now that the second girl is officially OLD, the first wants to say."Happy Birthday Cristy!"
A blast from the past! Who wouldn't kill for that red hair?
I think that's in front, or maybe back of the Pizza Factory in Cedar. Mmmm, the bread sticks were the best, but the company was even better!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

To the most influencial woman in my life

What does a a mother mean to a daughter? I don't know for anyone else, I can only speak for myself. My mom means everything to me. Maybe you don't believe me. But it's true. I can't even have a baby without her. This might not seem too difficult of a thing, but the fact that I live 2000 miles away from her does complicate the matter.
She has taught me about working hard and caring for others. She is always there for me (or for anyone else, too) if there is a need, or often even if there is a want.

She is kind and loving and selfless. Even though I have always been a perfect daughter, (Really, it's true, you can ask her...) there have been times when I haven't always been the kind of daughter to her that I wish I would have been. I'm sorry for that mom. The amazing thing is, is that she forgives me.
She had worked and fought to keep us a strong family. It's worked. I admire so much about my mom. I hope that some day I can figure out how she does it!
Happy birthday mom! I love you!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fool!

I hope that everyone who read yesterday's post isn't so mad at me that you're not reading my blog anymore. Really I feel bad. I do wish it were all true, but it is not. We are getting better at liking Tennessee. The kids are making new friends and we feel like a part of the community now. I think our eyes will always be open to the west, but (especially in this economy) we are thankful for where we are and what we have been blessed with here. I am glad to know that we would have a welcome party of people who wanted us back though, if we ever get out there! Thanks, and Sorry!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I only have a minute, but I am so excited! I came home from the gym and Jonathon was home. **Not the best idea, it scared me that he was home, especially with the number of layoffs that have been happening around here.** Anyway, I got inside and he was on the phone. OK, at least I know that he's not sick. When I walked in he just smiled and went on with his conversation, in Japanese. Well, long story short, he was talking with a company, apparently they have talked to him a few times, by email and then they actually talked on the phone back in October. The company name is ALM TREX. They are located in Draper. They are an international company that specializes in custom system development, integration, training and support. They have a fairly large presence in Europe and South America and they have just won some bids with some fairly large Japanese companies so they are going to expand into Asia. They are flying Jonathon out this Thursday to do another interview. (The one I walked in on was a phone interview.) The position they are considering him for is "Trainer" with some functions of development. I'm not really sure what that means, but that's ok! He said they liked his background, especially his teaching cridentials. Unfortunately We don't get to go with him this weekend, but I am soooooo excited! Anyway, click here to check out the web site about the company! I'll let you know more later when I've had a chance to talk to Jonathon more. He had to get back to work, he had a meeting to get to!

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