Thursday, October 30, 2008


Romney is nearing the end of his first water polo season. It has been so great for him! He really loves the game, and he does very well with it. He has a great coach who sees a lot of potential in him, which is why Rom plays 3 to 4 full quarters every game! He's such a spazz, it's nice when he comes home so tired! Thanks to Janell Brown, team photographer mom, for taking such fantastic pictures! By the way, he's lucky #13 in all the pictures.

Click to play
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

You've Got Talent!

Thanks, Shandee -- this was fantastic! I can just see the young men in our ward doing this! I think Rom would want to be the front man.

See Johni Run. See Ana Run.

Ha! You don't actually get to "see" them run, because I suck at taking pictures of people moving!

Johnette and Anneli are both on the cross country team! This was their first actual meet. They both did amazingly well -- they trimmed at least a couple minutes off their personal best. I was very proud that they did not stop to walk at all!

Cross country is such a tough sport! Several of Johnette's friends tried to talk her out of it, but she is such a tough cookie. A couple of friends tried out with her, but they dropped out less than half way through the run. I guess they didn't see the fun in that kind of torture! I love that the girls are learning discipline. They're also developing a sense of teamwork -- after their race, they could have gone home, but they wanted to stay to cheer on their other teammates.

Congratulations, Johni and Ana!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ana and Johni's Choir Concert

Johnette and Anneli are both in the choir at school. Johnette is the president, and Anneli is the treasurer. Their teacher is VERY into it! I think this is what gives her life meaning. She requires complete dedication. When two students missed this required concert, she booted them from her class!

Poor Ana -- this concert just happened to fall on the same day her cousin Hannah wanted her to go to the beach! I'm glad she went, though, because she would have been heartbroken to be kicked out.

The girls did a great job! The choir sounded very good -- much better than last year. There were some technical difficulties, but the mic on our side was working perfectly. Maybe that's why they sounded so good! It is cute to see them perform with their smiles and little bouncing dances. Johnette in particular can't keep still.

This man also really loved the concert. I don't know who he is, and he was admittedly a little creepy, but he was really rocking out at one point. I think it was during their "Happy Days" medley. Johni thinks it's even creepier that I took a picture of him when he wasn't looking.

It was a fun day! Congrats to my girls, you're doing a great job!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Which Twilight Heroine Are You?

Good grief! Always the mom? Well, that kind of sucks.

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Book Review - My Sister's Keeper

OK, so I just got this book last week, but it was so good, I couldn't put it down. It was a very gripping story! When the story begins, Sara and Brian have the perfect family -- a four year old boy, Jesse, and a two year old girl, Kate. They feel like their family is complete. Then, Kate is diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and she is not expected to live very long.

To improve Kate's chances of survival, Sara and Brian decide to have another child. They fertilize several eggs in vitro, and then they select the one that is a perfect match for Kate. When Anna is born, they harvest her cord blood for Kate, and that sends her into remission ... for awhile. As Anna grows up, Kate's leukemia keeps coming back, requiring more and more invasive procedures for Anna as she donates her blood and bone marrow to keep her sister alive.

When Anna is 13, her sister's kidneys start to fail. This time, Anna is expected to donate a kidney, even though the doctors feel there is only a slim chance that Kate will be strong enough to survive the surgery and that she would recover afterwards. Anna decides enough is enough, and she hires a lawyer and goes to court to become medically emancipated and have the right to decide for herself how her body will be used.

It's not a perfect book -- the character of Julia is pretty useless, thrown in there as an excuse for housewife porn (OK, not graphic, but still unnecessary). Campbell's super secret medical condition is built up way more than it really is. The romance between him and Julia is silly. The author should have stuck with the cliche: worldly, hardened lawyer reluctantly accepts case, little girl helps him find his heart and humanity again. It would have worked better. I don't think the medium the author chooses for her narative works well -- she switches back and forth between the point of view of different characters. Her man perspectives don't work; it's like Lucille Ball when she has that Chaplin hat and moustache on -- you know she's supposed to be a man, but there's too much femininity going on to be convincing.

Although the book is about Anna's lawsuit, and although the family revolves around Kate and her illness, I think this story is really about Sara, the mother. When Kate is diagnosed with leukemia, Sara chooses at that moment whom she will love and dedicate her life to. The rest of the family members -- Jesse, Brian, and Anna -- pale in importance. She doesn't define herself as being a good mother the way most of us do: happy, healthy, productive children. Instead, she puts all her success and worth into keeping Kate alive.

As a mother of six, I do not find Sara to be a sympathetic character at all! One of the things I love most about being a mom is discovering the uniqueness of each child. There are hidden treasures that you have to dig for at every stage. It is amazing to watch them grow and change and become. Sometimes there's crap you have to fight through, but you fight through it out of love for your child, and the reward afterwards is amazing. Sara missed all of that, even with Kate, the focus of her attention.

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read further if you haven't finished the book or plan to read it later.

There was one moment when I thought Sara would be able to redeem herself. It was at the very end of the book, the last entry written from Sara's point of view. At that moment, she could have reflected on the irony of the situation -- how she mourned the fact that she may never see Kate go to her prom or graduate from high school or walk down the aisle someday, but now it was Anna who would never have those experiences. She could have reflected that she was so worried about what she might miss with Kate that she missed everything about Anna, and Jesse, too, for that matter. She could have shown some regret or remorse. Instead, she got what she wanted. Anna donated her kidney, and Kate was saved. It's fitting that Anna's life should end there. After all, that was the only reason she was born in the first place.

I thought the epilogue was a cheat. It didn't follow the entire story line that the author so painstakingly created. It's like a magic fairy wand erased all the consequences of the last 25 years. The real epilogue should have gone like this -- Kate should have died during the surgery or shortly thereafter, Jesse should have continued in his hoodlum ways (maybe a drug overdose?) and drifted further from his family, and Sara should have lost all three of her children as a consequence of her having so myopically tried to save just the one. THAT would have been a very satisfying ending to me! Sick, aren't I?

Please feel free to comment! One thing I love abot my book club, and what I expect when I go to our discussion, is that there are so many different perspectives. I'm looking forward to hearing from someone who was able to find sympathy for the mom. I'll write about the discussion after we have it, too!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Most Beautiful Video

This is the most beautiful video I've seen, especially during this mud-slinging debate on proposition 8. This is the heart of why I support proposition 8.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

52 Weeks Blessing

OK, I'm going to kill two birds with one stone here (figuratively, not literally, chill out PETA!). Today I am grateful for my book club!

We read amazingly interesting books and then get together to have the most amazing conversations about the book. For September, we read the book, "Infidel" (pictured). It really opened our eyes to the shocking way women are treated in the Islamic communities she talked about. We had a great discussion on women's rights, religions of the world, freedom of speech, and what we can do.

I love the variety of books we explore. So many of the titles I never would have picked up on my own. Most of the time, I love them! Sometimes, I can barely make it through. Every time, we have a thoughtful, honest discussion that brings meaning to our reading, regardless of whether you liked the book or not. Sharing so many opinions really opens our minds to different perspectives.

Plus, I love the women in our book club! We laugh, get off topic, and have fun!

Our next book looks to be excellent. It's "My Sister's Keeper," by Jodi Picoult. I looked up a summary of it, and I shouldn't have -- I found a spoiler I wouldn't have wanted to know. I can't wait to get a hold of the book, enjoy a good read, and get ready for another great discussion!

I'll post about our discussion next month. If you want to read the book, too, and share your opinions, I invite you to join us! I'll even share your thoughts at our book club!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Moms Town Blog Party

I thought I'd post this in case anyone else wants to sign up.

You're invited to MomsTown's first Blog Party. Come meet your virtual neighbors. Let the neighborhood know what you're up to and find out what other moms are doing around town.

The Blog Party is an opportunity for you to link your blog to MomsTown. This little
soiree gets underway in the next couple of days, so send your link to

All we ask is that you also place a reciprocal link to on your site. The purpose of the Blog Party is to get the word out about you and the other moms in the community. This is an opportunity for you and other moms to really get the word out about your business, your blog, and you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Prop 8 Website for Young Adults

I found a great website that supports prop. 8 aimed towards youth and young adults. I know many of you have kids in college that may want to get involved. This is a super easy way to do it!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by my sister Lauri, so here goes -- seven wacky/unusual things you may not know about me:

1. I'm shy! I'm surprised to find out that people like me. It makes me give a startled jump when someone comes up and gives me a hug. I like people; I just don't realize they feel the same way!

2. I am secretly considering voting for Obama. My vote here in California is symbolic, anyway. I've never really liked McCain. I've already fallen for the old bait and switch when I voted for Schwarzenegger, because he was supposed to be better than Gray Davis. Um, WRONG! I may actually cast my vote for history. Then, if Obama gets elected, he'll most likely be as big an idiot as Carter, and Mitt Romney can then smoke past him in four years!

3. I used to skinny dip at public beaches. Off season, of course, but still during the day.

4. I have eaten pickled pig's feet, fried pork skins, rabbit, escargot, blood sausage, and chocolate covered ants. I've also licked a live snail (yeah, thanks, Cari!).

5. I am a mensa-qualified genius. I've never actually joined because I think it's stupid to pay money to hang out with people who think they're smarter than everyone else.

6. I am a closet World of Warcraft fanatic! I have a level 61 Alliance night elf hunter. I twink. I've also dabbled with a Dranei paladain, a human warrior, and a dwarf rogue. I suck at being a rogue. I've even had a Horde Tauren, but the horde is too evil for my taste.

7. I met my husband in July and was married in December. Sometimes, when we were engaged, I catch myself looking at him thinking, "I don't even know this man!" It was very surreal, romantic, and exciting! We'll be celebrating our 20th anniversary this year.

OK, now I'm going to tag Danya, Shandee, Amanda, Aunt Lynda, Mom, Jim, and Anneli!

Hilarious New Post!

Stressed out about the economy? You just need a little perspective! Check out TAMN's philosophy that she just posted on her blog. Loved it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why I Support Prop. 8

This is another great video that expresses why I support proposition 8.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why We Love Children

Thank you, Aunt Vicki!

Why we love children!

1) NUDITY I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'

2) OPINIONS On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.'

3) KETCHUP A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.'

4) MORE NUDITY A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?'

5) POLICE # 1 While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary ! school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop? Yes,' I answered and continued writing the report. My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?'

6) POLICE # 2 It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked. 'It sure is,' I replied puzzled. The boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?'

7) ELDERLY While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'

8) DEATH While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.' (I want this line used at my funeral!)

9) SCHOOL A little girl had just finished her first week of school. 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'

10) BIBLE A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. 'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out. 'What have you got there, dear?' With astonishment in the young boy's voice! , he an swered, 'I think it's Adam's underwear!'


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Best Week Ever!

Rom had a huge water polo week this week! First, they had a game on Monday. Their opponents, Tahquitz High School, did not have a junior varsity team, so he got to play one full quarter against their varsity team. Nice! They won that game.

Wednesday, they played a team in Temecula. It was a fun and exciting game -- made more exciting by the fact that Romney got "red-flagged." Apparently, none of the parents had ever seen this happen before, so it created quite an uproar. It's essentially like fouling out of a basketball game. If you get three personal fouls, you're out for the rest of the game. So, it means that Romney is getting aggressive (good), but he doesn't have that innocent look down (bad). This is the game were Rom finally took his first shot at a goal. Although he didn't make the goal, the goalie looks like he paid for it!

This weekend, there was a Freshman/Sophomore tournament in Temecula. They won both their games handily on Friday, which put them in contention for at least 4th place. They then won their game early today, putting them in the championship game. This was the team they most dreaded, Vista Murrieta. This school had a lot of kids feeding into it from water polo clubs. It was a tight game (their first all weekend). They won by two points! Go Dawgs! Romney played the entire game! Every minute of all four quarters. As you can imagine, he came tired but happy and excited.

I love to watch Rom play water polo! It is amazing how fast he has caught on to the game. He is fantastic on defense, and he got several steals over the weekend. He's not as confident on offense, but that's certainly coming along, too. It is fun to watch him progress and improve each game. He's a hard worker, and his coach loves him. Too fun! It definitely makes me proud of him.

Conference Observation

We have been watching General Conference today. As David A. Bednar got up to speak, Gavin said, "I know he's the youngest of the prophets, because he has the most hair."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Makin' Him Proud!

Go, Shel-li! Go, Shel-li! (me doing the Cabbage Patch) Go, Shel-li!

Yesterday, I covered the store to let Rom have a much needed day off. We chose Thursday because it is typically our slowest day of the week, so it would be pretty relaxing for me. Um, NO! I had much more traffic than we've had of late (very good news!) My first sale was in the morning -- a cheap, full size mattress for a bunkbed. No problem, easy sale. Sadly, it came right back an hour later, as she discovered she needed a futon mattress for the bottom bunk. Oh, well -- good customer service, and she promised to tell everyone about us.

My second sale was just before she got back. They had seen an ad a couple of weeks ago. I honored the price, sold them a mid-range mattress, and they were happy.

I was starting to wane by about 4 pm. Typically, nothing ever happens after 4 pm, so normally that would have been OK. However, I apparently am a customer magnet. I got another customer at about 5 pm. They chose a latex bed, a little more expensive than my last sale. I even sold them a mattress pad to boot (that's called "upgrading" and "add-on sales" in salesman lingo). While they were there, another customer came in. They had a good look at beds, but the wife said she had to check with her husband to find out how much she could spend (good sign, eh?).

Finally, the crazy lady Rom had been helping two days ago came back, and I finished the sale with her.

That's right -- four sales in one day! By moi, the clueless, inexperienced mattress lady! Rom was so proud -- he said he finds that as sexy as I find him when he's doing manly home projects around the house. He took me out to dinner at Chili's to celebrate, and of course -- we finished with their fantastic Chocolate Molten Cake, my all time favorite.

Go, Shel-li! Go, Shel-li!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Interesting Video

This is an interesting video. One of the main consequences of the California Supreme Court justices' 4-3 vote that concerns me is that children must now be taught same sex marriage in school. I definitely feel that it encroaches on my rights as a parent to teach my own children my values.

The Most Violent and Exciting of Pool Sports

Here is a brief introduction to water polo.

Water polo, essentially, is like a combination of soccer and basketball except it's in a pool. Not only do players need to tread water, they must be able to lift themselves to waist level in the water to gain enough leverage to launch the ball at the net.

And the pacing is much faster.

A match consists of four seven-minute periods. The shot clock lasts 30 seconds. Each team has three time outs during regulation and one during overtime. If there is a tie at the end of regulation, they have two three minute overtime periods. If the score is still locked, there is a sudden death overtime where the first team to score wins.

The best water polo players can dive into any position. The drivers are fast swimmers who move the ball down the pool. The two-meter, hole, or set player plays closest to the goal. Like the center in basketball, they are big guys close to the net. The offensive set players in theory have the best chance at scoring. It is also the most heavily defended position, and the players defending at set have a high risk of being excluded for fouls. Utility is the most versatile position, with players switching from offensive to defensive roles. The goalie is clearly a key defensive player, but he also calls out information to the offense at the other end of the pool.

Water polo is a fierce and intensely physical sport, especially under the surface of the water. Most of the fouls that occur are never called by the refs. One key skill is to be able to look as innocent as possible.

For fouls, think basketball in the pool. There is a good deal of contact, but only serious holding or kicking are grounds for exclusion. Three personal fouls and a player is red flagged and out of the game. Fouls can also lead to free throws and other penalty shots, usually if the refs feel the shot would have gone in if not for the foul. Offensive fouls are possible too, when the offensive player holds, hooks or pushes off of his defender.

And are the caps with the ear guards really necessary? Consider how the refs would be able to tell who was on what team. The caps are it uniform-wise. Every team has two sets of caps, one light, one dark. The home team always wears dark caps.