Perpetual Plan B

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Morgan, David Archuleta and Me

Morgan and I have a fun little game we like to play. We like to hide this picture of David Archuleta in random places for the other one to find.

I usually like to hide it in places where she will find it in front of other people and be embarrassed, like her school folders or Young Women presidency binder. I'm still waiting for her to find it in the middle of a class or meeting so her friends will all find out about her secret crush. It is actually a full page article, which I have now three hole punched for convenience.

When it's my turn, I usually find it in places like the laundry room or my underwear drawer. I think he has been in my purse too.

Morgan thinks it's funny because half the time I'm too lazy to call him by his real name. I just call him "furry boy" because of his cool hair. (Doesn't he seem like a cute little furry animal?)

Anyway, Morgan had him last. She says it has been hidden for a while now, but I haven't found him yet.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

Here's a photo that I ran across a few weeks ago that I don't remember ever seeing. It's not really a spectacular picture, but I think it's kind of funny.

For a few years when I was first married, the entire Fronk family would rent one condo at Bear Lake for a week. Notice I said ONE condo. This is a big family, so basically you are never alone the whole week. This was a hard thing for me.

Now I love Bear Lake, and I really do love my in-law family, but I think that this is taking family togetherness a bit too far. And since Hal and I were the youngest, we would generally have to sleep on the couch in the main room. This meant we were the last ones to bed and the first ones up in the morning.

I liked it a lot better once some of the families started renting their own condos so we could spread out a little more. Still though, somehow I always ended up having one of my nieces or nephews walking in on me in the bathroom when I was changing into my swimsuit.

I would generally cry all the way home from Bear Lake because I was so glad to get home.

This photo was taken in 1993, the year I separated my shoulder. I'm sitting on the couch next to Hal's sister, Jill and next to her is Paul, Hal's sister Jayne's husband.

I think we all just look so thrilled to be there.

Really though, this many years later, I can honestly say I have some fond memories of those times.

This next photo fits in with the snow we unexpectedly received this last week.

Hal always makes pretty creative snowmen and this one was supposed to be a happy little elf. He was trying to get Austin to stand still for a picture but Austin was done. He wanted to go in. (Look at his poor little cold hands. Why isn't he wearing an actual coat? I have no idea.)

Anyway, I love how it looks like the snowman is scaring Austin half to death.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another Halloween Food that is Better in Theory

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present, "Ghosts in the Graveyard", a.k.a. Shepherd's Pie.

This is a dish that my kids usually love. It tastes much better than it looks, really it does, and it also takes care of the problem of what to do with that pesky leftover roast beef. I even put cheese on just one side so Ally will eat it too.

Well, one problem, the ghosts look more like slightly demented phantoms and the kids wouldn't touch it. I think it really scared them. Morgan gamely ate a little. Even once I disposed of those pesky ghosts the visual still lingered, haunting their appetites.

I ended up eating most of it myself, since I took the time to make it and I HATE throwing away good food.

But, after three days and not many takers, the ghosts have gone the way of the world.

They do look rather creepy, don't they? Kind of like sad, baby ghosts.

"Please don't eat us, we'll be good!"

I think we'll just stick with our old stand-by, dinner in a pumpkin. Mostly because it doesn't have eyeballs and stare at you while you are eating it.

The Wisdom of Youth

Someone asked my nephew, Joel, if he would like a fun size candy bar.

Of course he did. Until he actually saw what they meant.

"Fun size, you call this fun size?"

"This isn't fun size. If it was, it would be a LOT bigger!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Other Notice:

I only clean my house every other day.

Today is the OTHER day.

Thank you for your concern.


I can only please one person per day.

Today, unfortunately, is not your day.

Tomorrow is not looking good either.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Austin Has Learned So Far At School

Austin has been learning to spell words at school.

He came home the other day with this little drawing in the corner of his paper to prove it.

We are so proud. (I'm sure his teacher did NOT appreciate it though. I think she's supposed to be the person on the right.)

Also, the other night we came home from picking pumpkins and Austin was tired. I couldn't carry him in, so I woke him up and made him walk.

As he walked up the stairs he exclaimed, "I feel like H-E-double toothpicks!" Yes, he actually spelled it out.

(I can't lie, he really didn't learn that one at school. I will give the school credit though, he wasn't able to understand the bad words I would spell until recently. D-A-R-N I-T.)

20 Years Ago Today

Once upon a time.....

These two young kids decided to get married.

They had NO IDEA what they were getting themselves into.

(We got the engagement ring about a week before the wedding. Somehow it had slipped his mind. I kept waiting for a big surprise so I didn't really want to mention it. He has a strong aversion to jewelry so it wasn't really on his list of priorities at the time.)

Our wedding day, unfortunately, ended up being one of the worst days of my life. Up to that point anyway.

We've gone through some pretty awful things since then, so now it's not really the WORST day of my life. (That actually almost made all those bad things sound like a good thing, didn't it? See, I'm not always a pessimist.)

I had the usual amount of mishaps. (Seriously, is it just me? Nobody else has as many dumb things happen as I do.) Here are just a few of the more memorable ones.

The rest I've blocked out because it is too painful.

First of all, the engagement. I'm so glad we had a really short engagement - two months. I don't think our relationship could have survived a longer period of time. Even though it sounds romantic, being engaged is actually not very fun. My mom and I went out every night after I got home from work to look at wedding stuff and I actually lost a significant amount of weight, enough that my wedding dress had to be taken in to fit me. (I lose weight when I'm stressed. I think it's how I keep my girlish figure these days.)

Anyone else who got married in the 80s may recognize this dress. I think it must have been the standard issue from back then, puffy sleeves and all (and it didn't cost a fortune). It has actually held up well because my girls used it for dress ups for years and it has been stuffed in the trunk ever since and still looks brand new. - This is also after I'd found it in a back closet of my mom's house a few years after my wedding and it hadn't been cleaned yet. It was pretty dirty where the train had dragged the ground and also had mouse (or maybe my brother's hamster?) droppings along the bottom where the train had been folded up. I was terrified to get it wet but it cleaned up rather nicely in my bathtub.

The day before the wedding I went in to have my bridal portraits taken. It took longer than I had planned so I was going to be late for work. I rushed to my car and it wouldn't start. It was dead as a doornail. I called into my job (at LMC) and told them what had happened. I must have sounded really upset because my boss told me not to worry about even coming in at all if I didn't want to. (I didn't.)

That night, the night before the wedding, nobody who should have been helping (ahem, like my brothers and dad) was there, so my mom and I (I think Brett might have been there) hauled everything into the church and set most of it up by ourselves. My Aunt Cora and Uncle Deloy came and rescued us and really helped out a lot, bless their hearts. We got out of there at about 11:30 and I was tired and worn out.

I couldn't stay asleep (I never could sleep the night before the first day of school, so this is not a surprise), so at 2:30 a.m. I finally got up and started watching t.v. My mom got up at 6:30 that morning, which is early for her, and found me eating a bowl of cereal and watching Little House on the Prairie. I also remember watching an episode or two of The Brady Bunch and some other different old sitcoms. It's all kind of a blur at this point.

We made it to the temple on time and all the important stuff went off without a hitch.

At the end of the ceremony, as Hal and I were kissing each other over the altar in our temple, there was a distinct ripping sound. The sleeves that my mom so lovingly made for my dress (because it was short sleeved and I wanted long sleeves) ripped out because of how they were sewn in. All night at the reception after anyone would hug me, I had to keep stuffing the ragged ends of the sleeves back into my dress.

When we sat down for our wedding breakfast, (Why do they call it a breakfast? It's always in the afternoon. Also, they served veal, which is about the only food I'm somewhat morally opposed to. I didn't dare speak up at the time. I probably would now.) Hal pulled out my chair and I lifted up on the seat, which detached, and when I sat down all the little nails holding the seat to the legs went into my fingers. My brother-in-law, Paul caught the look of surprise on the wedding video (more on that in a minute). It hurt!

My cousin, who was supposed to sit at the book, decided the night before that she'd rather go out on a date with her new boyfriend. So, we rounded up another cousin in her place at the last minute (I'm sure she was thrilled). I don't know why we really even had to have someone sitting there. It shouldn't have been that big of deal, but I found out later that my mom was really mad.

During the photo session, one of my brothers (who shall remain nameless but his name begins with the letter T) called me over and said, "Don't smile with your mouth open, it makes you look really stupid." I'd had about 3 hours of sleep, I think that was the least of my problems, though now when I look at all the photos taken at the church I hate them. I really do look pretty bad. And pretty darn tired. I put on extra mascara before the reception to try and look better. In retrospect, it wasn't a good idea.

(This is also when my littlest brother, Brett, had discovered peroxide. His hair is not naturally that color. He was the coolest little kid. Not many eight-year-olds were creative like that back then.)

Now here's my favorite part. Are you ready for it?

When Hal's family, which is very large and has since quadrupled in size, finally all arrived (very late) and finally gathered altogether for a photo, my nephew, Alex, (who is on the far right in the photo, on his dad's lap) said "I don't feel very good." and then he promptly threw up. My dad actually ran home (we lived around the corner from the church) and got a can of Lysol and a bucket to help try and clean it up. All night long you could smell the stench of vomit because where Alex threw up was right in front of where Hal and I stood. I don't know why we didn't think to just roll up the carpet piece and get rid of it.

I think this photo was taken after we'd gathered for the second time, after the mess was cleaned up. I think it's a pretty good picture, all things considered.

All my new little nieces were the napkin girls, but their dads took them all home early, so after about the first hour nobody got any napkins. I guess we should have thought this one through a little better too. I think on our tenth anniversary, I let my girls do whatever they wanted with most of the leftover napkins. There's still one more package floating around somewhere.

By the end of the night I had had it. Hal hadn't really wanted a reception, but at that time the only people who didn't have receptions were pregnant when they got married, so I insisted on it. Boy, did I hate the entire evening. I'm not real big into making small talk with people I don't know and I was exhausted! After I changed my clothes I dragged myself into the hallway to wait for Hal and darn near fell asleep right there. Hal was happy though, this was his type of deal. (I'm not sure if I mentioned yet that we are polar opposites in practically every personality trait.)

To top it all off, though the day started out nice and sunny, there was a huge blizzard that started during our reception. All the poor people traveling from Tremonton had quite the adventure to get to Providence. It was a little tricky to get to our hotel that night, though it had slowed down considerably by then.

The worst thing that happened in relation to our wedding didn't actually happen until about a year later. I brought my wedding video home from Texas to show someone and my mom accidently taped Days of our Lives over it. (Please people, if you have important videos, remember to pull out the little tab!) I remember my father-in-law asking me about it another year later. He didn't quite get what had happened and kept asking, "You taped over your wedding video? Didn't you want it?"

Thankfully the marriage has been better than the wedding day, though we have had our ups and downs. You know what they say, "Life happens when you are busy making plans."

But, we've survived it all and here we are, twenty years later. We are both a lot tougher now - and maybe even a little bit battlescarred - than we were back then.

Happy anniversary Hal, and here's to 20 more, even better, years. (Though, hopefully less entertaining and a little more mellow.)

I love you very much.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Virtual Exercise?

I am sore all over. Really sore.

All over.

This is how it happened. You'll never believe it.

I had a dream about a week ago. In my dream, I ended up in some sort of commercial building area with frosted glass and a long, skinny foyer - like they have at our church. I pushed through the double doors, with a shopping cart, into the area - only to find a tiger. Instead of being smart and backing out of there and shutting the door, I fought my way through, keeping the cart between me and the tiger, and pushed him into the next room, also with frosted glass. Then I entered this room instead of being smart and slamming the doors and staying out, only to struggle to get the tiger through the next set of double doors. I then shut the doors and through the frosted glass I could see there was not only a tiger, but another big cat with leopard spots.

That was the end of the dream, as far as I can remember.

I had another dream a couple of nights ago. In my dream I started out at Bath and Body Works. A big, fancy Bath and Body Works. And it was Christmas time. I was trying out their new cream deodorant that came in a tub, like a body butter, hoping it would be strong enough to work for me. They also had really good food samples sitting all over the place, but somehow I never got to try any. (Is this significant to my life? I'm not sure. I'll have to look into it.)

Anyway, next thing I knew, I was pushing a shopping cart down a busy street. A big, yellow busload of school children went by (it was the middle of the night, so why were they in the bus? Maybe they were coming home from a game.) and they all looked out the windows and started making fun of me.

As if this were not enough, I ended up in some sort of commercial area that started to look vaguely familiar.

Sure enough, I was at the same place as the dream from last week. What is really strange is that I started saying to some guy who was there with me in the first vestibule, "Wait a minute. I've already had this dream. This is what happened to me last week." He wasn't really listening and he was no help at all with the tiger. In fact I think he ducked back out of the first set of doors once I started going the rounds with the tiger.

Again I struggled to maneuver him with the cart through the second set of doors and on through to the last set. (And even in my dream I found myself wondering why I didn't just slam the doors and back out of the first two sets.) And, again, just like before I could see the tiger and the leopard through the frosted glass at the end.

What does it all mean?

I have absolutely no idea. All I do know is that I hurt all over. I'm sore in muscles that I didn't even know I had.

This has only happened to me once before that I can remember. About 15 years ago I had a dream that I was playing soccer. I ran up and down the field, kicking and heading the ball (and playing much better than I ever did in real life). I also remember going out of bounds to throw the ball in over my head many times.

I was sore from that episode for days. I remember my abs hurt like they had never hurt before from hurling the ball over my head.

I kept thinking that if there was only some way I could figure out how to be able to do this all the time, I'd never have to exercise again.

This time I'm thinking a little bigger. I want to figure out how to patent it so I can teach OTHER people how to do it and make my first million. I'd say that's multi-tasking at its finest.

Plus my other bright idea got developed by someone else.

When I was a kid I kept saying, "If only there would be a way to put shortening into one cup sticks, like butter. That's how I'm going to make my fortune."

Well, anyway, someone else did it and my life is much better because of it. Thank you, Crisco.

In closing, if anyone is able to take my idea and run with it, all I'm asking is for a small percentage. And a free membership for life.

Unless there are tigers involved. If that's the case, I might not be interested.

A Great Way to Start Your Day (Unless You Are This Guy)

I made pumpkin muffins the other day.

They were mighty tasty, even if I do say so myself.

The kids loved them too.

Until we ran across this poor little guy.

None of the kids would eat him. They all felt sorry for him.

So I had to be the one to put him out of his misery.

I didn't feel a bit bad about it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Fairly Clean Joke

I'm sorry but this joke just makes me laugh. I guess it could be a little offensive, but there are a couple others that are a little worse that make me laugh too. I may post them later, if I don't get any fallout from this one. Please feel free to let me know if you are offended.

Why is Santa Claus so happy at Christmas time?

Because he has a list of all the naughty girls.

Building a Better Burger (2009 Version)

There is one thing we all love here - hamburgers.

There is also one thing I don't love to fix - hamburger patties. But I have learned over the years a thing or two and it has evolved and changed along with our family.

Here is the new, improved, convenient version:

First off, I can't stand the plain hamburger patties you buy at the store. BUT, if someone were to invite me over for a hamburger and serve them, I would gladly eat one and not even complain about it. That's one of my good qualities; I never (well, hardly ever, I'm sure I may have done it once or twice) complain about something someone else is doing that makes my life easier, like not having to fix dinner myself that night.

So, it's homemade hamburger patties for us at home. This is also a problem since I can't stand to touch raw meat with my hands. I have this thing about meat germs, like the bad kind of e-coli ones from beef and whatever it is that you can get from chicken (is it salmonella?).

I have recently discovered the joy of using disposable gloves, which makes things so much nicer, especially with ground meat dishes like hamburgers and meat loaf or meatballs. I even unintentionally found a great way to get them for free. You just walk up to the nice man behind the meat counter and ask, "Will you sell me some of those gloves you guys wear when you handle meat?" and, if you're lucky, he will answer, "I can't sell you some, but I can give you some." This is how I ended up with a whole box of 25 pairs of the little beauties. The meat counter guy said they are too small for them, but the small/medium size fits me just great. It will also last at least a year or two, because if you make big batches, how many times a year do you really make hamburger patties or meatloaf or meatballs? (I always make at least a triple batch and freeze the extras.)

Ok, so I used to chop a whole bunch of onions to mix in, but one day, when I was in a hurry, I just used the dehydrated onions you can buy from the dry pack cannery (or food storage places, or wherever). To hurry and reconstitute them and give them some flavor, I soaked them in some Worcestershire sauce. I use maybe 3/4 c. or so, dehydrated onion in a really big bowl, and however much liquid it takes to fully cover it all.

Next, I throw in an egg to hold it together a little better, but you can skip this if you are squeamish about eggs. I happen to like them, or at least the idea of them, but only if I can't taste them. (I know that probably doesn't make any sense but it's true. I like scrambled eggs, but only if I can't taste the egg, so I put lots of cheese, salsa, etc. in them.)

I also throw in some barbecue sauce, maybe 1/2 c. or more, for good measure and a little oatmeal if I feel like the kids need a little more fiber, which is most of the time. Next, if I have any pureed vegetables in the freezer or somewhere I might sneak in about 1/2 cup of either zucchini or chopped carrot or whatever I have. I've even done butternut squash or sweet potato baby food, which is really good in sloppy joes. You really can't taste it at all. You can also leave this out if it freaks you out.

Now, don't forget the salt and pepper! (Add about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper per pound of meat.) I forgot to add them once and my poor family had to suffer through a meal of hamburgers and two meatloaves. You can NOT fix this later so don't get sidetracked like I did!

Now mix it all together and put on your gloves and add in 4 pounds of lean ground beef. Use your hands and really mix it up as quickly as possible, bringing the good stuff up from the bottom of the mixing bowl. Try to mix and shape them fairly quickly because the more you handle the meat, the more chance it will crumble and fall apart on the grill. (At least I think I read that somewhere and the fresh ones I did today seemed pretty crumbly. I've never had any trouble with ones I've frozen)

Now here's my best tip.

When you are shaping the patties, poke a hole in the middle of them. This helps it get cooked all the way through and it will practically close up as it cooks. I can't remember where I read this, but it really works. I also like to shape my patties pretty thin so they get done all the way through (again, think e-coli). Also, make them fairly big around, like 5 or 5 1/2 inches, because they will shrink up.

You can freeze any extra patties by cutting waxed paper into squares and then lining a big cookie sheet with them. Cover each square with a patty and then more waxed paper. If you use two sheets between patties it's easy to separate them out and get only two or three or however many you need at a time. Freeze on the cookie sheet for a few hours or overnight (or two or three days if you forget, like I do sometimes). Once frozen solid, put in a big freezer Ziploc bag to store until you need them.

Once you are grilling the burgers, (Please don't fry them in a pan. My mom used to do that when I was a kid and I hated hamburgers back then) I like to season mine with Montreal Steak Seasoning. You can just buy it at any grocery store. Mine is McCormick brand. It's also good on chicken and lots of other things.

This is how we do burgers at our house these days. If you have any other suggestions, I'd like to hear them.

(I would have posted a picture here, but we ate them too quickly.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Bonus

Here's an extra photo, in honor of the first Favorite Photo Friday.

It's one of my favorites from our wedding, which was 20 years ago, next week.

This is my husband with his two clean cut brothers and three of my five monger/rocker brothers. Kendall was on a mission then so he isn't in the photo and Brett was the "gift boy", so they didn't include him here because he wasn't in a tux. Brett's hair is worth seeing too, so I'll have to post a photo with him in it next week (or when I get around to it) when I post some old wedding photos.

Favorite Photo Friday

For a long time now, I've been planning on starting a regular blog post every Friday featuring a favorite photo of mine. I've especially been excited about this since I figured out our new scanner is wireless and I can scan something and send it upstairs to the computer in the dining room, which is the one I use regularly.

I don't know why I can't post a photo on a Tuesday or a Saturday, it just seems like it needs to have a cool name for the title and "Favorite Photo Friday" sounds better than "Yet Another Random Photo".

While this sounds great in theory, I just always somehow forgot to actually post any photos on Friday. (I also find this rather strange, since I'm a left-brained sort of girl. Aren't we supposed to thrive on schedules or routines or something? Of course since I've had kids I think even the good (left) side of my brain is shot. My kids have taken to calling me "the goldfish" because supposedly they have about a three second memory capacity. Or something like that, I can't quite remember.)

So, without further ado, here is the first photo.

It's a little something I like to call "Aliens took the girls who were supposed to be folding our laundry".

(If you look real close, or click on the photo to enlarge it, you'll notice that Ally is actually wearing Teletubby underwear on her head. I thought she'd appreciate me pointing that out.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

And Another Thing....

Something you may have noticed, if you've read this blog much, is that I have posted most of our funny or embarrassing stories.

What you may not know is that for all the ones I do post, there are still others that I haven't, sometimes because they are of a sensitive nature or too embarrassing for the general public.

If you don't believe this, just say the words "sound princess" to my daughters and see what happens.

(Unless they've learned to control themselves better than I have. I tell you, if I had a dollar for every time I've burst out laughing at an inappropriate time, I wouldn't be sitting here writing right now. I'd be out sailing on a yacht somewhere.)

Dear Readers:

By the way.....

Thank you to the four people who regularly comment on this blog. I really do appreciate it. You always have such nice things to say and it makes me happy whenever there is a new comment.

Plus, I really do like to remember who is reading this so I don't get too outrageous in the things I say. I think I have offended the church ladies more than once.

I really am sorry about that!

Also, last week an old friend commented on how she reads this regularly. I was shocked and had no idea she even knew about it. I've also had someone else that I hardly know, out of the blue, comment in person about something I'd written on the blog. It was rather surreal.

Of course, to be honest, I have read a lot of blogs, off and on, for a long time and felt too embarrassed to comment, especially on the ones that I don't really know, thinking they'd be mad I read their stuff or that I'm intruding into their lives, etc. So if you don't like to comment, I really do understand.


Now that I have my own blog, I get it. It's nice to know people care. So, if you feel so inclined, comment away. Even just leave a quick "Hi." so I know who all really does check in once in a while. Even if you don't really know us.

Plus, if I know you're reading this, I may feel inclined to post a story about YOU. (Or not, if you know what I mean.)

(I actually do have one great story from Jr. High that I really must post soon, because it's so awful. I need to check in with the other party involved, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to use fake names to protect the innocent - and the not so innocent!)

A Ghost of Halloween Past

"Elvis and Priscilla", alive and well in 1993.
(This is an actual prom dress made and worn by my sister-in-law in the 70s. Also, there is a washcloth stuffed underneath my hair to keep it up that high. I may or may not have used it to wash my face the night before. I'll never tell.)

Morgan's Amazing Talent

I was online searching, yet again, for some nice, uplifting, soothing music that the kids and I would like, that also isn't too sappy. It's a mighty tall order.

Since Ally's Linkin Park obsession started a year or so ago, I've felt the need to chill out a little more myself, in the music department. I was thinking Nickelback would be a nice compromise, but so far she hasn't gone for it. Or Daughtry or David Cook, though she did seem to enjoy him in the free concert we saw in New York last summer.

Anyway, on there was a free download for a Hilary Weeks song. I thought it was ok, but Morgan had a fit. She proclaimed it "too breathy", a term I understand because I, too, am not a fan of sugary sweet, breathy music. This one I didn't think was too bad, in fact I quite liked it, but Morgan was not impressed. She also said, "Anyone can sound like that."

Well, I know for a fact that I could never sound like that, not in a million years. So I told her to prove it.

And prove it she did.

I'll be darned if she didn't sound EXACTLY like the song. It sounded really beautiful.

Now I knew she was a good singer, all my kids are amazingly on pitch - a talent they did not acquire from me. In fact, Ally had fits when she was little and the bus would put on the air brake. She would cover her ears and cry. My neighbor said it was because she had perfect pitch, an idea that I laughed off, though in her little singing class when she was a preschooler they said her pitch was amazingly accurate. Morgan did well also in the class and the teachers were also amazed by how well Austin sang last year, especially since he was a boy.

Now that I think of it, I do have some somewhat famous cousins who have been in bands in the pacific northwest for years. Unfortunately, I don't love most of their music. Also, my most famous cousin, who was a founding member of the Screaming Trees and also played drums on a Nirvana boxed set and is now pretty much set for life, is only a step-cousin and therefore not blood related, so our talent didn't come from him.

Anyway, back to Morgan. I think we may have a future here somehow. I'm seeing standing in long lines for American Idol in our futures. I'm seeing duets with her sister at the County Fair talent show. I'm seeing, I'm seeing.......

.......a better nursing home when I get old.

(Don't all famous kids take good care of the parents who loved them and took care of them and nurtured their talents when they were young?)

Keep it up sweetie, together we could go far! (And you KNOW there is no sarcasm in there AT ALL.) Actually, you're pretty amazing in a lot of ways. Who needs American Idol when there's Oxford in your future? I'm not picky, I'll take either one. (I'm kind of a cool mom that way.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Moral to This Story? Pick One.

When I was around 34, I was finally able to achieve a lifelong dream (I'm not sure if that is really the correct way to word it) and I finally got braces. I had always had crooked teeth, especially on the bottom, and I was always really self-conscious about it. I had Invisalign braces, but my bottom teeth were so stubborn, with one tooth actually rotated 90 degrees in my mouth, that we finally had to resort to the old metal braces for the bottom teeth. When you envision nice straight teeth, you don't really imagine there might be pain involved, so I was surprised by how much it actually hurt. I now have a lot of compassion for all those teenagers running around with metal in their mouths.

Anyway, this was when Ally was in kindergarten and I always had a neighbor or my mom watch her while I would go in to get my braces tightened.

One day, around this time of year, Ally didn't feel well so I didn't want to leave her with the neighbor in case she was really sick. Since it only took about 10 minutes to tighten my braces I figured we could get in and out and it would be fine.

I had her bring her favorite new doll, a little African-American Kelly doll that Barbrina Beck and I had scoured every toy store in Connecticut and Long Island trying to find. Ally had seen it somewhere in an ad and had her heart set on this particular doll. Since they don't sell many dark skinned Barbies or Kelly dolls in Utah, I was hoping to find it back east. It took a lot of looking, but we finally found the exact doll she wanted.

On the way to the ortho, Ally said again that she didn't feel well. I gave her a little pep talk. I told her not to tell the orthodontist that she felt sick. I think I actually said, "When he comes in to see me, try not to look unhappy. Just smile at him and say hi."

What kind of a mother was I? The answer is, one that was desperate for straight teeth.

So anyway, we had to wait longer than usual and the second he walked into the room to see me Ally yelled, "I think I'm going to throw up!"

I rushed her to the nearest bathroom and sure enough, she was right. Unfortunately, she didn't make it to the toilet, but at least she only threw up on the hard floor, not the carpet, and all down the front of her coat and, sadly, all over her new little Kelly doll. It was a mess.

I told them I would clean it all up, which they gladly let me do. Not fun. I hurried as quickly as I could, while doing a VERY thorough job. I hate cleaning up other peoples' throw up, but I did not want to leave any residual germs. I also, obviously, had to miss my appointment. I was mortified. I kept apologizing profusely, telling them that I hoped nobody would get sick from her.

Two weeks later, when I went back, I asked if anyone had gotten sick from my daughter. Luckily, they said no one had. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. When I got home that night I told my family that I was so happy I had cleaned up everything so well that nobody had gotten sick. Come to think of it, nobody else in our family had gotten it either. When I talked to Ally about this, she had only one thing to say:

"Well, that's what I get for eating all of Morgan's Halloween candy."

(We looked and sure enough, it was true. Morgan usually saves all her candy for weeks and it was totally gone. She was not happy and neither was I.)

I learned a lesson that day too. If your kid says they feel sick, believe them!

(The Kelly doll actually washed up pretty well in the washing machine. I threw it in with her coat and all the other clothes she had been wearing that day. I was VERY worried about that because I knew there was no way I would be able to get her another one.)

Musing While Driving

Yesterday I drove Ally and her friend Chelsie to Primary Children's Medical Center to visit their friend McCall. McCall had surgery to correct a severe curve in her spine, caused by scoliosis. She now has two rods in her back and stands a whole inch and a half taller. She is doing well now, though it was a rough surgery.

While driving, I got the chance to just be quiet and think, something that really doesn't happen very often these days. Ally and Chelsie sat in the way back and kept each other engaged pretty much the whole time and didn't even complain about my music. I have to say it was a nice ride.

One of the things I decided was that it is a good idea to budget for unexpected expenses. (Ok, so probably everybody else already does this. Sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake.) It would be nice to have an extra $100 per month for when "life" happens. That way when you need to unexpectedly drop everything and go somewhere or buy extra groceries for a meal for someone, etc. you have money to put gas in the car or do whatever you need to do for someone, or your family and just not worry about the cost.

This would probably be a more effective idea if we actually had a budget and tried to stick to it, but it's a good theory. I think from now on if anything unexpected comes up and it costs less than $100, I won't worry about it, I'll just say it's coming out of the "life" budget.

Another thing I've been struggling with lately is the fact that I feel like I waste so much time. And sometimes it is because I let other people waste my time. From now on, I'm going to try really hard to not let that happen, either with other people wasting my time or just wasting it on the computer. I will also try to be more aware of not wasting anyone else's time. Time is more precious than money these days to me, especially with Austin only in school a couple of hours a day. We have caller i.d. for a reason. I need to take full advantage of it.

I think I've also mentioned before the fact that the older I get, the more I realize there is no such thing as black or white. I've been reading a really good biography on Charles Lindbergh and it is so disappointing when good, heroic people make such bad choices as he seemed to do sometimes. It's interesting to read the family history, which I'm sure leads people to the choices they make. Of course I am nothing close to perfect, so why should I expect anyone else to always do the right thing?

This also lead me to think about people in general and the different personality types. I am one definite type. If you know the color personality test, I am not one speck yellow. I can't remember if I am more blue or white, but I am the type that tries to be very responsible. In fact, I cannot understand how anyone can be a yellow (fun loving type) and not feel guilty. I just go nuts when people are late or leave me or other people waiting and don't really worry about it. How can you not worry about how the other person is feeling? I really think I try to look at things from other peoples' point of view. I like to try to work with other peoples' personalities and get frustrated if I don't feel like they are giving me the same courtesy. (But really, you are SUPPOSED to be on time. - See, you can tell there are some things I have a pretty firm opinion on. It's one thing to have something come up to delay you once in a while, but if someone is perpetually late, it gets to be a problem. It pretty much tells you how important you are - or not. Ok, jumping off my soapbox now.)

One last thing, I came across a great quote the other day, "You are only young once. You can stay immature indefinitely." Although, I'd like to say I draw the line at immaturity, there is a little bit of a void in the fun department in my life these days, I'm so focused on what needs to get done. Especially with Hal gone most of the time due to work and church commitments. I try to make things fun for the kids, but I need fun too. I am going to make a more focused effort on doing things that are fun for me. I have some really great friends, I just don't make an effort to do things with them so much any more. I also need to make more of an effort to make Hal feel appreciated for the things he is doing for our family. If I'm not having fun, it's nobody's fault but my own. I've recently gotten in touch with some old roommates and friends from high school, so I am planning a couple of get-togethers with them. Hopefully it will be fun!

These are the things I thought about and I hope I can incorporate them into my life and make it just a little bit better.

So, thank you McCall, and I hope you get well soon!

Monday, October 12, 2009

For The Record

We have a pool table in our basement.

It's a pretty nice pool table I guess, I don't really pay too much attention to pool tables in general. You too can have one. Here is all you have to do:

First, your husband needs to get into an accident in a parking lot in YOUR car. (In our case it happened in about 1993.)

Second, please remember to ask if your husband is all right before starting to ask the tough questions.

Once you've established his general health and well being, be sure to ask if the accident was his fault. Be very, very happy when he assures you that it was not. (And don't let him see the look of surprise when he tells you it was the other guy's fault. He might take it personally.)

Next, start the long wait for the insurance check to come in so he can get the ugly looking front quarter panel in your car fixed.

Six to eight weeks later, when a pool table mysteriously shows up in your basement, take a moment to put two and two together. Now carefully form the words in your head before asking if this means in no uncertain terms that the car is not getting fixed any time soon.

Finally, don't be as upset as you would have been, because in the time it took for the insurance check to get to you, you will have had time to purchase a second car, which you will now be driving and your husband will be the one who will have to drive around in the car with the ugly front quarter panel.

(Also, don't make the same mistake we did and do this when you have small children. They like to throw the pool balls and have no sense of the pain it will inflict on you if you are sitting on the couch, minding your own business watching a movie and get beaned in the back of the head by a ball.)

Oh, and one more thing, in case you were wondering. Just because you own a pool table does not automatically make you a good pool player. At least it hasn't worked in my case. (But it is a nice convenient place to park the holiday decorations when they are in the process of being rotated.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Feeling the Spirit

Today in church I was touched. I actually felt something that I feel only rarely. It was a strong feeling that reminded me of another time when I really felt the spirit of our Heavenly Father.

Now I am not musically gifted at all, so I don't LOVE church music like some people do, though I do like a nice rousing hymn now and then. The ones I really like tend to be more along the lines of How Firm a Foundation (especially the third verse), Praise to the Man, True to the Faith, and my favorite from when I was a kid, Master the Tempest is Raising. (When my girls were little, I taught myself to plunk it out on the piano a bit so when they would drive me nuts, instead of getting mad at them I'd go pound out, "The winds and the waves shall obey my will....") I do like A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, though I don't necessarily love singing it. I think it sounds really good when men sing it.

Anyway, today in Sacrament Meeting we sang the song, The Spirit of God (like a fire is burning). This is the song that the Stake Choir sang the night they dedicated our new Stake Center in Nibley back in 2004. That song was so beautiful and sung so well with the different parts and the way it was arranged that I just wanted to weep with joy. I have never felt the spirit so strong when a song was being sung. I literally just wanted to get out of there, the emotion was so strong.

The only other time in my life I have felt anything even remotely the same is when I was in Paris at the Louvre and saw the statue of Winged Victory of Samothrace. It was way back before I had kids and I felt this emotion that I didn't know what to do with. Again, the only way I can describe it is that I felt like I wanted to weep with joy. I can't even say what it is about that statue that touched me so much. I do remember the folds of the gown and the motion that it conveyed. Breathtaking. I wished I could be alone and just let out the emotionAlign Center that I felt.

Now I am not generally a weeper. (Not really, though I do shed tears quite often, but it is usually because I am embarrassed. I get embarrassed a lot. Especially at church.) I'm not necessarily an outwardly joyful person either. I try pretty hard to stay somewhat subdued. I just felt so overwhelmed by how beautiful the song and the statue were, on the two separate occasions, and how powerfully they affected me that I couldn't contain the happy emotions inside of me, they just came bubbling out. Now every time I hear that song I go back to those same emotions and struggle to keep my composure.

A lady in church said to me once that she could tell I was a "deeply religious" person. I kind of laughed it off at the time, because outwardly religious, I am not. I am not one to try to go out of my way to prove that I am religious, in fact I think I go to great pains to prove quite the opposite, that though I go to church and my husband is the bishop, I'm just a regular girl. I try really hard to not offend my friends who don't go to my church, or any church at all. And I am definitely no scriptorian or church historian. I'm one of those people who doesn't bother memorizing dates because I figure I can just look things up if I need to know them. (Well, it worked for Einstein, didn't it? What I sometimes forget is that I'm certainly no Einstein.) After thinking about it for a few years now, what I think she meant is that I keep it deep inside of myself.

This I think might be true. I don't like doing things in public, so the few times I have stood and shared my testimony, the emotions have been so strong I can't keep them inside or under control. They are powerful emotions, part fear - both of just standing up there and fear of forgetting what I want to say, or not articulating it how I want to - and the other part is because I am sharing something of myself that is so private that it is almost physically painful.

But. This blog is for my children and my family, so I do want them to know that I do have a testimony, though I struggle to share it publicly or out loud as much as I should.

I am so grateful to our Savior, Jesus Christ, for the sacrifice he made for us in the Atonement, and in taking everything upon himself so that we can repent for our sins and be healed from all things, even trials caused by other people that we didn't bring upon ourselves. He has suffered and borne our burdens so that we can lay them at his feet.

This is something that I also needed to remember today. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for this gentle reminder and all the tender mercies that happen regularly in my life, whether I notice and acknowledge them or not.

I am truly blessed. (And these are not words that I just throw around lightly.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Teaching Small Children to Use the Telephone

I just realized that Austin is five and he doesn't know how to use the phone. At all.

He can't even answer it. He doesn't know how.

This might be why I haven't even attempted to teach him.

Situation #1:

When Morgan was little, around 4, I taught her how to use the phone, including our phone number.

One night, she and Ally spent the night at Hal's parents' house for the first time. I was worried that they wouldn't do well, but Hal's mom and dad never did call and say they were having trouble, like I asked them to.

When the girls did come home the next day, Morgan was highly traumatized. I asked her why she didn't have Grandma call us to come get her and Ally.

She said, "She wouldn't call and I kept trying to call you like you taught me but a mean lady kept coming on the phone and wouldn't let me talk to you."

I started to get really upset, thinking about my poor little girl and the mean lady on the phone, and wondering who the mean lady was.

I asked Morgan, "What did the lady say to you?"

She said, "She kept telling me my call could not be completed as dialed."

(Isn't that sad? Hal's parents live far enough away from us that it was long distance. Morgan hadn't learned that part yet.)

Situation #2:

When Ally was about 4, I had seen a story on the news where a four year old had saved his mom's life by dialing 9-1-1.

Well, I was pretty sure I wanted to be able to be saved too, in case I had a heart attack or something, so I also taught Ally about 9-1-1. (I think I was going to wait a while before trying to teach her our phone number because of Morgan's experience.)

Anyway, we practiced it a little bit and I kept emphasizing the fact that it was only in case of emergency, like if I couldn't talk or help her.

Well one day I was on the computer downstairs and Ally was working on a little craft project. I was going to get her a few things for it when I was finished with the scrapbook page I was working on. She came down the stairs, talking to someone on the phone. I thought that was strange because I didn't hear it ring. She was having an actual conversation and was getting quite frustrated with whoever it was. I vaguely remembered her saying something about a box. Finally she hung up. I wondered if it was my mom so I was going to call her back when I was done on the computer.

A minute later the phone rang and I picked it up. It was the 9-1-1 operator.

She said, "Ma'am, your daughter called us and I just needed to call back and make sure everything is okay there."

I said, "Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. I just taught her about calling 9-1-1, in case of emergency, last week."

The lady said, "Well, I just wanted you to know that she was asking me for a box and kept saying she needed the box and it was an emergency and that you couldn't help her. I asked her to let me talk to you and she wouldn't let me. By law I have to call back and make sure everything's okay or I'll have to send the police to your house to check on you."

I was so embarrassed and it was starting to make sense. I remembered that Ally kept saying, "No, you can't." so that must have been when she was asking to talk to me.

I apologized profusely to the lady and asked if I needed to pay for anything. She said no, but sternly reminded me that if we tied up the line during an actual emergency someone else wouldn't get the help they needed in time.

Ally and I then had a long conversation about what a real emergency is.

(Funny, Austin has trouble with that too. I have low blood sugar, so I keep cans of Slim Fast in the car in case I need something fast. I call them "emergency" drinks. He's had lots of emergencies when I haven't been looking. I've found the empty cans.)

Anyway, that is why I'm a little hesitant to teach Austin about using the phone. But, he is five now and in kindergarten so it's about time.

Besides that, I'm getting really tired of answering the phone every time when just he and I are home. I think it's about time he makes himself useful.

The Corn Incident

We had Corn Chowder for dinner tonight, which sometimes reminds me of something that happened a long time ago with my father-in-law.

One evening, when Hal and I had been married a couple of years or so, we were at Hal's parents' house for dinner.

Whenever they would serve corn, Grandpa Fronk would always ask how many ears people would want to eat with their dinner and pick exactly that many ears.

He was always a little sensitive about his corn and would feel kind of insulted if people wouldn't eat all the corn they ordered. When he asked me how many ears of corn I would eat, I answered with my usual, "Two, if they're young." Unfortunately, he and I had VERY different opinions on if an ear of corn was young or not.

Dinner was served and I bit into my first ear of corn. I am really not a fan at all of corn that is past its prime and I knew there was no way I would be able to choke down much of the first ear, not to mention the other one.

I knew Hal didn't mind eating older corn and I was pretty sure he would help me out in this situation. Since we were sitting outside, I had a great idea for how to get my extra corn onto his plate.

I used the old "Hey, what kind of tree is that?" trick. When I pointed to the tree everyone at the table complied by turning and looking in that direction, away from the table. I hurried and sneaked the other ear of corn onto Hal's plate, taking one of his empty cobs to put on my plate.

Whew! I was almost home free. All I had to do was eat enough of the first ear of corn and then turn it on the plate so it looked like I'd eaten at least most of it.

What I didn't count on was Hal being oblivious to my plan. A minute later he asked (very loudly I might add), "Did you put this ear of corn on my plate?"

I was upset and embarrassed, so I tried to subtly kick him under the table, hoping he might get the hint. Unfortunately, what I thought was his leg was the metal table leg. All of a sudden all the dishes and glasses jumped as I gave the table leg a good swift kick.

Well, there was not much left to do after that. It was pretty obvious what had happened. Thankfully my in-laws didn't say anything directly to me, though I wonder what they did say to each other later that night.

Corn Chowder


This is one of the girls' and my favorite soups. It is true comfort food.

I made a big pot today and there is only one little serving left. If I'm feeling generous tomorrow, I'll save it for one of the girls to eat after school.

As far as soups go, this is probably the least healthy soup I make, but we do enjoy it. Hal and Austin won't touch it with a ten foot pole, so I only make it when I have leftovers that they like.

Here is the recipe in my non-exact terms. It has kind of evolved over the years:

Take a large heavy soup pot. Put in about 2 T. olive oil. Throw in a chopped onion and saute' on medium until soft and starting to brown, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, throw about 6 medium-large red potatoes (or about 4 regular potatoes) in the microwave to cook all the way.

Next add 5-8 pieces of chopped bacon into the pot with the onions and cook until bacon is done.

Throw in about 1/2 bag of frozen corn. Stir until corn is warm, about a minute or so.

Now add one can of Cream of Mushroom soup and one can of Cream of Chicken soup into the pot, along with two soup cans full of milk.

Season to taste with quite a bit of pepper and thyme. Today I also threw in some onion powder and a little seasoned salt, though I usually don't put in any salt.

By now the potatoes should be done. Take them and smash them up really fine, skins and all. I usually start by chopping them with a knife to break up the skins. If they won't smash, they aren't cooked well enough. Add then to the pot. The smashed potatoes gives the soup some good texture.

Now take the soup off the heat and add about four big (serving size)spoons full of sour cream. I used to use plain yogurt because it's healthier, but lately have gone back to the sour cream because it tastes so good!

Give it all a big stir and adjust seasonings again by adding more pepper and thyme, probably at least 1/2 t. pepper and 3/4 or more t. thyme total.

It's also REALLY thick, which I like, so you can add more milk if you want.

If anyone else has any other suggestions, just add them into the comments.

Good night!

Diann, "Donny" and my boyfriend "Rico"

I had a good friend in college named Diann. We got along fabulously and had kind of the same attitude and taste in rock music, much to the chagrin of some of our LDS "sorority" sisters. She was a great girl and took me to my first big city, San Francisco. I think it was there that I caught the travel bug.

Diann and I had lost touch after college for quite a few years but somehow found each other about ten years ago. She had been dating her boyfriend for a while and was planning on getting married.

Here is part of a funny conversation that we had around that time:

Di: "I'm going to London with Mike and some of his family."

Me: "Oh? That sounds fun. What are you going to do?"

Di: "We're going to go sightseeing and also Mike's sister's husband is in the Andrew Lloyd Webber movie of Joseph that they will be filming."

Me: "Oh, really? What part does he play?"

Di: "Donny."

Me: "No, I think Donny Osmond is playing the Donny part."

Di: "Yes, he's Donny."

Me: "No, I know I heard Donny Osmond is still playing that part in the movie."

Di: "He IS Donny Osmond." (Probably thinking to herself, "You idiot.")

Me: "Really?"

Di: "Yes, really."

After that I wanted to ask a million questions, but restrained myself so as to not act even dumber.

At Diann's wedding, Donny was behind the video camera. My girls were around 4 and 7 at the time so I said to them, "That guy is really famous, so someday when you are big and know who Donny Osmond is, I'll remind you that you saw him so I want you to remember this."

I asked Morgan if she remembered that and she said she did but she couldn't remember who the famous person was. Now that he's on Dancing with the Stars I'll have to remind them again.

So, there you have it. Someone I know is related to someone very famous. And he's lucky to be related to HER.

Another funny incident with Diann happened when I started dating someone new in college. Diann hadn't met him yet so we decided to play a little trick on her.

I had the boy call Diann and pretend that he knew her in San Francisco, where she spent her summers. He said his name was "Rico". He called her (this was in the days before caller i.d.) and talked to her and said he knew her. She kept asking him questions and I was on the other extension, so I would tell him the correct answers. Then he said he'd go over to her apartment and visit in about a half hour.

I had baked some brownies that day, so I put some on a plate and took them over to Diann's by myself, pretending to not know anything that was going on. I showed up and Diann started to tell me about this strange phone call she got. Eventually Garren, my boyfriend, showed up.

Poor Diann was trying to be so polite and not hurt his feelings when she was telling him that she didn't remember him at all. She kept asking him other questions, but since I was sitting next to Diann she couldn't see me mouth the answers to Garren. She almost caught me when I was holding up my fingers trying to signal another answer.

During the conversation, I casually whispered to Diann that I thought "Rico" was kind of cute. I started flirting with him pretty obviously a few minutes after that. I'm not really sure what Diann thought about that but eventually I ended up on "Rico's" lap. That's when she knew for sure that it was a set-up.

I think she thought something was fishy, but I'm not sure if she suspected that I was in on it from the beginning or not.

Diann was such a fun friend and I really miss those days sometimes.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How I Learned All About the Birds and the Bees

I've been waiting to get permission from my friend before I post this one, but since I'm almost out of embarrassing stories and this one is such a good one, I thought I'd post it with my friend's name omitted to protect the innocent (or in this case, maybe the not so innocent).

One night in 9th (or maybe it was 10th) grade, I spent the night at my friend's house. It must have been summer because it was warm enough for us to sleep out on the front lawn.

As we were lying there outside, a car pulled up quietly a little ways away and out came "Manuel" (a boy who had moved in from California, so that made him very interesting) and "Chang" (a boy who was a year older than us, who also had a brother two years younger with the same name, I'm not really sure why).

Anyway, I didn't really know either one of them and I really can't remember or don't even know for sure how they knew we would be out there. Maybe my friend had told them, though if I remember correctly, I don't think she really knew either one of them either. This fact is kind of relevant to the story. You'll soon see why.

So the boys came and started talking to us and we were all on our stomachs on the lawn, at right angles with each other (does that make sense?) with a pillow in the middle of us, where all our heads were.

The next thing I knew, my friend and Manuel started kissing each other. (She told me later that they had started by holding hands under the pillow while we were all talking. She said that she kept thinking, "Boy, I really hope that isn't Holly's hand I'm holding.")

Well, that would be all fine and dandy except it left me with Chang and he looked at me pretty expectantly. I was not about to start making out with someone I didn't know so I started talking about anything I could think about. Mostly I remember talking about the stars and pretending to see different constellations. I think I knew just enough to sound believable.

This would be a nice little story and all except for the fact that after about a half hour a window in my friend's house opened, the one right by where we were, and I heard her mom say, "(Friend's name), what are you doing out there?" and of course, my friend answered, "Nothing mom."

Well her mom must have been watching for a while because she then said, "What are you doing rolling around on the ground over there?"

(Now here is my very favorite part. Are you ready for it?)

My friend paused for just a second and then started saying, "Oooh, my stomach hurts. I don't feel so well." and kept right on rolling around on the ground a little bit for effect. (Personally I think she was a genius to have come up with that so quickly. I don't know what I would have done.)

Her mom asked again, "What's going on out there?" and my friend said, "Ooooh, I have a stomach ache, I feel sick!" again rolling around a little more.

Well, her mom's eyes must have adjusted to the light by then because she said something to the effect that she could see more people out there than there were supposed to be and they'd better get out of there pretty darn fast. They didn't waste any time running back to the car and heading out.

My friend's mom then called her into the house. She didn't say anything to me so I just stayed where I was.

I waited and I waited and I waited some more. I'm not sure how long I was out there by myself but I was getting a little nervous because it was a pretty deserted road and I didn't want to have any more uninvited guests.

Finally after what was probably about a half hour to forty five minutes later, I walked quietly into the house to see what was going on.

My friend's mom said she was glad I had decided to come in. I wasn't feeling too glad just then. She then proceeded to tell me all about the birds and the bees and how boys don't think like girls do, etc., etc. It was more than I really wanted to talk about with my friend's mom. I hadn't had even close to a conversation like this with my own mom. (I'm still not sure which would be worse since I never did have this conversation with my mom.)

Anyway, I got out of there as soon as I could the next morning and it was years before I could act normally in front of my friend's mom. My friend also told me later that when she told her mom who was outside, her mom assumed I was kissing Chang and she asked, "Is Holly desperate?" (She must have known who he was.)

I think the most fascinating detail of this whole episode is the fact that my friend and Manuel never spoke a word to each other after that day. She also told me that this story was used in Family Home Evening for many years as an object lesson for her younger brothers.

It's experiences like this that makes me terrified for my own kids and the stupid things that can happen when you are minding your own business and then just make a dumb choice.

But it is kind of a funny story. I can't really talk about it without laughing uncontrollably. My friend doesn't really appreciate that fact.