Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Adoration of the Shepherds," by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

Merry Christmas!




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"Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign - Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

PaperKarma

Are you tired of getting junk mail?
Do you open the mailbox, only to find nothing but advertisements?
Then I have the app for you!


Really, though.  Joel and I discovered an app called PaperKarma.  They're dedicated to being green, or something, I think, because it's free (currently - I don't know if permanently) and there are no ads or other catches.  They really are as good as they sound.  All you do is use the app to take a picture of junk you get in the mail, and then they unsubscribe you from that company's ads!  It's wonderful!  Scanning mail in is oddly calming, and, added benefit, there has been a noticeable decrease in the junk mail we get!  I would recommend this app to every person I know, especially those who (like me) enjoy signing up for free samples (and thus get their address sold to every ad-sending company in the world).




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I misplaced my bunch of book quotes... Don't worry, though.
I'll come back and add quotes in when I find the ones I've tabbed.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Believe" - Polar Express


I love this song, both at Christmastime and during the rest of the year.  Every single time I hear it, it reminds me of looking into the computer room, specifically toward the computer desk, from the kitchen at the Thomases' old house.  I'm sure I think of their house because that's where I first saw Polar Express, but I don't know why I always remember that particular room... 





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"The school nurse had seen what Aunt Petunia's eyes... simply refused to see: that far from needing extra nourishment, Dudley had reached roughly the size and weight of a young killer whale."
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Monday, December 9, 2013

the most bizarre note I ever intercepted

WARNING!
If you're uncomfortable with potty talk, this post is not for you!







Don't say I didn't try.  

As a teacher, I see a lot of funny things.  I see a lot of weird things.  I also occasionally see notes being passed around.  Usually they're notes like, "Wat did u bring 4 lunch?" or "Do you no were my backpack is?"  [misspellings intentional, on my part]  One time I got a girl's full after-school schedule, to the minute: "3:24 Get home. 3:25 Eat 4 cookies.  3:37 Watch TV.  4:18 Get ready for dance..." etc.  When I see kids passing notes, my policy is that the notes become mine.  I walk over, hold out my hand, and the contraband communication is handed over.  

A couple weeks ago, I intercepted a note unlike any other.  It was a poem, to be sung to the tune of "I Love to See the Temple."  I'm warning you - it's pretty disgusting.  But I also find it hilarious that someone would actually take the time to write this, so I had to share it with someone.  You're the chosen ones.  All spelling and grammar has been left as written by the original author.

Lyricts written by: [name removed]
tune: I [heart] to see the temple


I love to see the tolet.
When I have to poo.
I pee with the poo.
to make it more juciy.

Courus: because a tolet
is a wonder ful place, a
place of love and poopy.
I will poop in it evry
day.  and treat it
respectfuly.

2nd vers: on the back

2n vers:
I love to look at my
poo, when I am hungry
I use my pee for lovly
scrup [syrup]. and eat it respectfuly.

Courus: Because a tolet is
a wonderful place, a place of
love and poopy.  I will poop
on it evry day. and treat
it respecfuly.

the end:





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“You don’t think - not Moaning Myrtle?”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Thursday, December 5, 2013

that reminds me... "Happy" - Jesse Palter and the Alter Ego


I like this song a lot. :)  Every time I listen to it, I think of sitting in my craft room making roses out of squares of felt and feeling thankful for Pandora and songs that make me feel happy when I need the help.  

Also, of Joel telling me it sounds like a Sesame Street song.





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“You will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me.  You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Monday, December 2, 2013

you've just won... a new car!


Okay, we didn't win a car.  It's just, every time I get a really great deal on something, I hear Bob Barker's prize guy's voice in my head.  We actually just bought a new microwave.  

We had two microwaves.  They both broke.  One was an over-the-range microwave that broke a few months after we moved into our house.  The timer and fan worked, but it just stopped heating one day.  The other was the countertop microwave we already had that we used when the first one broke.  A couple weeks ago, it started sparking when we put food in it, and sometimes when you opened the door, it let out smoke and smelled like weird burning electricity.  In order to avoid blowing up our house, we stopped using it.  

When our second microwave went out of commission, I started doing some research.  And we found a new over-the-range microwave!  For only $250!  (which is a lot for a microwave, but really good for an over-the-range model. They're usually closer to $500.)  Home Depot carried the one we wanted - for $228!  And then, when I called to see if they had it in stock, I learned they were having a "Black Friday all month on appliances" deal, and it was only $199!  I had to do some griping (the advertised price - 199 - was not how it was labelled - 249 - was not how it was ringing up - 228), and it took us probably 20 minutes to check out, but we got it for the price we wanted.  Joel doesn't love when I argue over prices at the store, but man, can it pay off!  

Moral of the story: You don't get what you want unless you ask for it.  Also, you can [almost] always find a good deal if you look hard enough and are patient.

We now are the proud owners of a microwave that heats food and doesn't threaten to blow up, we didn't have to pay a fortune for it, and things are lovely.  




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“Amazing!  Amazing!  This is just like magic!”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Monday, November 25, 2013

alisonism #20: boggarts

Joel and I are reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban right now.  As I do every time I read this book or watch the movie, I think about what a boggart would turn into if I met one.  An animal, like for Ron?  A person, as in Neville's case?  Or a situation, like for Hermione or Mrs. Weasley?

I don't know what one would turn into for me.  I don't know what my biggest fear is; it would probably be similar to Mrs. Weasley's.  But I do know this:

There are two public places - extremely common places for people (including myself) to go - that I am HUGELY afraid of.  I hate going to both of them with all my heart, they're so scary.  But no one will ever know what those two places are, because I also happen to have an irrational fear of someone using it against me.  I've never admitted this fear (with the places' names) out loud and never will, just in case someone I didn't want hearing heard.  I've considered writing about it anonymously, like if someone put out a survey about irrational fears or funny quirks, but I know I never would, in case someone somehow found out which answer was mine.  

Can a boggart turn into that?





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“Fawkes,” said Harry, “isn’t an ordinary bird.”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Friday, November 22, 2013

pop! went the question

As per your requests, here is the long-awaited story of how I proposed to my husband.  :)

Joel and I went on our first date in April, the night before I went home from college for the summer.  We talked some over the summer, dated on and off during the school year, around February decided to date each other exclusively, and almost exactly a year after our first date, got engaged.  

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, my last before going home for the summer again.  Joel and I liked to take walks at the park on sunny Sunday afternoons, so he came down [he wasn't attending the same school as I was] and off we went.  As we were driving to the park, I asked, "Is it okay if we go to a different park this week?  The one we usually go to is really busy, and I just found this cool other one that's not too busy.  It might be fun for our last sunny Sunday afternoon walk to go somewhere less crowded."  He agreed, thinking I was just being sentimental.  Ohhhh no.  I was setting it all up.  

We laid out a gigantic beach towel on the wet grass and sat down to chat for a while before walking around.  I needed to be home in half an hour to make Oatmeal Craisin Patties with my roommate before dinner, so I wanted to make sure I had enough time to pop the question without being rushed.

It was a pleasant chitchat.  And then...

"Do you remember how you told me once that sometimes a person has to make a decision first in order to know if it's the right one?"

"Yes."

"And how it can be scary, but sometimes you have to do something to know it's the right thing?"  [Joel later told me that he was DYING because he thought I was breaking up with him for the summer.]

"Yes."

At this point we were sitting cross-legged, so I elegantly got up (instead of down) onto one knee and then said some romantic things that ended with, "Joel [Middle Name] Johnson, will you marry me?"

He didn't get it.  

Or at least, he didn't get that it wasn't... a joke, maybe?  Because all he could say for like, five minutes, were variations on "Are you serious?"  

I finally convinced him that I was, in fact, serious, and presented him with a color-changing plastic ring I'd gotten at the Career Fair that he could put on my finger.  And that was that!  We were officially engaged.

taken right after the proposal

We waited until later that evening to tell people - that was one of the stipulations I'd made.  I was pretty nervous about getting engaged because it WAS one of those situations for me, where you have to make a decision and then later learn if it's right or wrong.  I was scared about deciding to be engaged and then finding out I was wrong, so right after we celebrated getting engaged, I told him it was on a trial basis.  I was still waiting for spiritual confirmation, so I asked him to promise and understand that if I got a confirmation and found out we weren't supposed to be engaged, we'd break it off.  He graciously agreed.  So anyway, we waited until later in the evening to tell people because I was hoping I'd find out soon if we were wrong.  

after getting the ring

The rest of the week was a whirlwind!  As you might remember, it was the last Sunday before I headed home, so we only had about four days of being in the same state while engaged.  Monday was my last day of finals, and then Monday evening we went ring shopping for the first time and bought both of our rings.  Tuesday I had to pack and work; Joel picked me up from work and proposed in the same park with the ring.  On Wednesday we got our engagement pictures taken; Thursday, he helped us [my brother, friend, and I] pack our storage unit; and Friday, I went home for the summer.


engagements!
We got married three and a half months later.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#2

There's a trend on Facebook right now to write a certain number of things about yourself as a status and then give a number to anyone who Likes the status.  They use the number you gave to write their own list... and so on and so forth.

I've been avoiding Liking anyone's status to avoid writing a list, but I Liked one on accident and was the lucky recipient of the number eight.  I posted...

1. I've never dyed my hair.
2. I proposed to my husband.
3. I'm obsessed with fairy tales.
4. I have the best job in the world.
5. My favorite foods are pizza and macaroni and cheese.
6. I once won an air guitar contest during a 3-stake youth dance.
7. I'm in love with all three High School Musical movies, have been to HSM: The Ice Tour, and own an HSM: The Ice Tour jacket.
8. HARRY POTTER.

You, faithful blog readers, know many of those, but apparently no one knew about #2 because the interwebs went crazy! [I say, as if it were more than just that one status that went crazy...]  I actually thought that was something most people knew, but I guess not.  So stay tuned, blogosphere, for later this week, you will be treated to the story of how I, She, proposed to my husband.  :)  Same bat time, same bat channel.




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“There’ll be an attack a day with him gone.”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Monday, November 18, 2013

Makes Me Think

I occasionally read a website called Makes Me Think.  People submit short experiences - sometimes happy, sometimes sad - that made them think, and then we get to read them.  I recently read this one written by someone named Roo:

Today, an odd, very eccentric, but very cheerful man came in for dinner where I work.  I chatted with him as he ate, and he kept telling me, "You're so young, you can do anything you want!" It was only until I told him I hoped to get into grad school, when he became dead serious and said, "What does hope have to do with it?  Either you do it, or you don't. If you don’t get into one school, you apply to another. It’s a choice. It’s something you must truly want for yourself." Nothing has made me more determined and it MMT [makes me think].

It made me think, too.  I have talked to several people recently who have hopes for the future but won't start working on them.  It's so hard for me to look at them and their potential but also see them selling themselves short.  In fact, I recently said to Joel (saying what I wished I would've to someone else), "If you want to do something, do it!  Stop talking about it and thinking about it and waiting for it to happen, and DO something!"

A friend of mine once asked on Facebook for people to tell her what their dreams were.  I thought about that question for a long time.  Like, it was in my mind every day for longer than a month.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized I don't have many dreams. Everything I dream about doing in my life, I have either accomplished or have already started planning. That, in my mind, makes them goals, not dreams.  Dreams are more... unattainable? or, bigger, maybe?

"a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal"

Reaching your dreams takes work.  I dreamt of graduating, so I worked and studied really hard (even when I didn't want to because I knew what the result would be) - check.  I dreamt of having a job that made me happy, so I experimented in many different areas, did a lot of research, and said a lot of prayers - got it.  I dreamt of starting a family; I did what was in my power, and thankfully, I'm now married and we'll have children when it's time.  Together, we dreamt of owning a home, so we saved our money and made sacrifices, and we've reached that dream.  I dream of traveling to as many Spanish-speaking countries as possible, but I've already gone to one and have made more travel plans.

The one dream I do have is to live forever in heaven with my whole family.  My part of that is a goal, but since I'm not the only one who has to do something for it to be accomplished, it's also a dream.

I guess another current dream is to eat Oreos as cereal one day... I haven't been brave enough to do or plan that one yet.  The fear of excessive guilt afterwards is keeping me from it.

What are your hopes or dreams?  What is keeping you from accomplishing them?  And, "What [do dreams and] hope have to do with it?  Either you do it, or you don't.  If you don’t [accomplish them one way], you [accomplish them] another.  It’s a choice.  It’s something you must truly want for yourself."





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"Let no one ever say that a poor tailor cannot do great things and win high honors; all that is needed is that he should go to the right smithy, and what is of most consequence, that he should have good luck."
"The Glass Coffin," Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

Thursday, November 14, 2013

alisonism #19: brownies

I like chocolate.
A lot, actually.
But I really don't like chocolate chips in my brownies.





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"And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness as long as they lived."
"Cinderella," Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

Monday, November 11, 2013

that reminds me... "Somebody to Love" - Glee cast


This song always reminds me of doing the dishes at our old college apartment...particularly of looking into the inside corner of the corner cupboard above the countertop.  I was putting dishes away into that corner cupboard while singing this song when I learned I could hit that high note at the end (3:45) using my chest voice, but only if I swooped up to it.  It was a proud moment.




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“I think,” said Harry, more quietly still, “it’s time to get my dad’s old Cloak out again.”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Thursday, November 7, 2013

late night hashtags: #whyimsingle

A couple weeks ago on his late night show, Jimmy Fallon asked people to post things to Twitter with the hashtag #whyimsingle.  When the show was over, Joel and I went to Twitter and looked at what funny things people had posted.

I'll admit, I haven't always had the highest self-esteem, and there are still days when I struggle.  But some of what I read on Twitter made me so sad.

"Still don't understand #whyimsingle... I was cute that one time."
"because I don't meet people's looks standards"
"I'm ugly, boys don't like me, and that's it"
"because I look like this"
"There is nothing to love about me"
"wanna know why i'm single? one word... face."
"there's a reason why i'm single and it's called my face."
"well just look at me"
"because I'm convinced I deserve this: (picture of cute boys)"
"I know nobody likes me."
"Because who would love a girl with huge thighs, cuts up and down her arms and legs, and an ugly face?"

Recently I heard someone, in front of girls her own age and much younger (read: still dressing like princesses), talking about how she was so ugly she needed plastic surgery.  I later told Joel I never want our daughters to hear people they look up to talking like that, regardless of whether they're part of the conversation or paying attention.  

In my experience, there are two major groups of people who call themselves ugly: those who really have issues and need help, and those who don't - people who think it's funny or acceptable or want someone to tell them they're wrong. (I'm not discounting their insecurities - probably all of us have days or moments where we don't feel 100% about ourselves.)  I had some rough years self-esteem wise growing up, and when I hear people discuss their insecurities with so much exaggeration, my experiences feel... is cheapened the right word?  When you talk vehemently about hating your body when you don't, I literally feel sick.  You make me feel like you cannot possibly understand real struggles people have regarding their bodies if you can make such jokes about them. 

Think of someone you love and admire.  A hero.  Imagine (s)he gave you a car.  How many of you would drive it around, with him/her in the passenger seat, complaining about how ugly it was?  And yet, how many of us do exactly that about our bodies?

Please, ladies and gentlemen.  Stop talking this way.  Stop teaching children it's okay to hate their bodies.  Stop shoving God's greatest creation in His face and telling Him it's not good enough.  When you talk about it over and over and over and over with so many people, it just gets worse.  You think about  it longer and more often; it becomes more real.  And you make it harder for me, too.

I'm pretty happy with my body.  It's a different weight than I wish it were, but I have learned to appreciate that that's me.  That's my body.  It is a gift and it is wonderful, and even though I have occasional rough patches, keeping that attitude has really been working out for me.  I purposely haven't weighed myself in three years because it only results in negativity.  When I go to the doctor, I stand on the scale backwards and ask the nurse not to tell me.  But when I hear my thin friend call herself fat, I feel like a whale.  And I'm not a whale!  If she can call herself fat when she's obviously not, what in the world does she think about me when I weigh more?  So I suck in.  Or I hold a blanket or pillow over my belly.  Or I leave the room, stand up to straighten the skin folds, or bury my face in a book so I can tune out the world.  And that's not fair.

Are you responsible for my self-esteem?  Of course not.  And the fact that your insecurities remind me of my own are merely a sign that I have more improvements to make.  But please.  Can we please support each other?  Can we please stop pretending like it's okay to trash talk our bodies?  Can we please accept ourselves as we are and help others do the same?  I'm not asking you to throw out your makeup or stop trying to lose weight, but please start letting yourself see that you are, in fact, good enough.  My future children will learn too soon that it's an option to dislike their bodies, but you can bet they will not learn it from my example.  And I'm asking you to please be a good example, too.    

As for those of you who think you're single because of how you look, learn what you can do to dress in more flattering clothes or learn to use makeup properly, and then get used to yourself.  Learn to like you.  Your confidence will make you more attractive than your attractiveness will.  

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."  - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20




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"The three dresses of the sun, moon, and stars she put into a nutshell, put on her mantle of all kinds of fur, and blackened her face and hands with soot.  Then she commended herself to God, and went away, and walked the whole night until she reached a great forest."
"Allerleirauh," Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

Monday, November 4, 2013

not too small for a mouse

As a general rule, I don't mind chore-type work.  Straightening, organizing, scrubbing - I don't always want to start doing it, but once I do, I'm fine.  There is, however, one exception:

Taking care of dried food crumbs.

When I wipe a countertop, table, microwave, or stove, I walk around with the trash can and wipe crumbs into it.  Even thinking about wiping them into my hand literally makes me feel nauseous.  Like right now.  I would rather clean 100 other people's toilets than my own dry food crumbs.  I don't even mind cleaning wet old food - like rotten stuff from the fridge.  Just please don't give me the crumbs.  At least, don't make me touch them.

I have to go distract myself now.




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"Turn and peep, turn and peep, / No blood is in the shoe, / 
The shoe is not too small for her, / The true bride rides with you."
"Cinderella," Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween, Johnson style

Joel's work has a Halloween party every year, and for the past three Halloweens, Joel's costumes have been the talk of the office!  It's hard to think of another good one every year, but somehow we've managed it so far!  It's fun to do costumes that utilize his height, so this year he went as "something that everyone wants and loves..."


The long skinny [teal] piece in Tetris.  It was a hit!  He had the Tetris song playing on his phone all day, and when he first walked into the office, he got a standing ovation.  Nice! :)



I had a hard time deciding on my costume, too.  If I went as something I thought was funny [like last year when I was a hipster], none of the students would get it, and if I went as something they loved [like a Disney channel character], I wouldn't think it was cool.  Or so I thought...


I sewed about a thousand strips of crépe paper onto a white t-shirt, covered two party hats with the same streamers, and voila!  A piñata!  And when the kids at school would hit the piñata, aka give me a high-five, they got a piece of candy.  It was so much fun!  Everyone loved my costume. :)

At night, a friend came over and we watched Halloweentown - a DCOM classic - and answered the door for a million cute trick-or-treaters.  When one batch of my students came by a second time [with masks so as not to be recognized], I even got to use the line, "What do you think I am, a piñata?"

I love Halloween!




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“'You know what, Harry?  If he doesn’t stop trying to save your life he’s going to kill you.'”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Monday, October 28, 2013

"give yourself grace"

Today I read the phrase "give yourself grace," which immediately got me thinking.  I'm not perfect - if I make a goal to do something every day or to never do it, chances are good that I'll miss at least one of those days.  But Christ offers us grace, so why shouldn't we offer it to ourselves?  This phrase can apply to so many different situations.  The author who used it was referring to blogging on a schedule but allowing yourself breaks when you need them.  I immediately thought of my friend Kathleen's post about appreciating yourself, including your body.  It could also be applied to how often you clean your house or practice your instrument.  Maybe you have a personality trait that you wish were different.  Whatever the imperfection, "give yourself grace."  Don't punish yourself for every flaw or misstep.  Allow yourself grace.  When you maintain a positive attitude about yourself, it's easier to recognize that changes don't happen immediately and then continue to make small improvements.  Then maybe you'll have to give yourself grace less often. :)




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"'Hagrid, you live in a wooden house.'"  - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Thursday, October 24, 2013

alisonism #18: quickly and correctly


I love this question.  As soon as I read it, I knew I wanted to answer it.  It actually took me a while to think of something to write about, though, surprisingly enough.  Not because there's not anything, but because nothing I thought of was something I wanted to write about.  After several weeks, I've narrowed it down to two things I feel like blogging about right now: cleaning a bathroom, and grocery shopping.

1. Cleaning a bathroom
not me
I was a janitor for a long time.  My family frequented a pool growing up, and when I was old enough to get a job, the pool was a good place to get one.  They liked me there, plus it was close to home.  There was one issue, though - I was way too nervous to be a lifeguard.  I did NOT want anyone putting their well-being in my care, just in case something happened and I lost my mind.  So my mom suggested I ask to be the poolhouse janitor.  It was a pretty disgusting poolhouse, I was a good cleaner, and I wouldn't be responsible for anyone else's life.  A match made in heaven!  When I called the manager and offered to create / fill the position, she was a little wary.  "We usually just have the lifeguards clean the poolhouse when they lock up..."  "I know.  That's why it stinks in there."  I got the job, I think on a trial basis.  I think she wanted to see if it was worth it to pay someone to do a job that other people were already doing.  

Ohhhhh man, was I worth it!  I was so worth it, in fact, that people raved about the clean smell when they walked in and complained when we were on vacation.  That job has gone only to my siblings since I moved away from home.   

I learned how to be an efficient bathroom cleaner at that job, and cleaning one thoroughly only takes me a few minutes.  If you're using a bathroom right after I've cleaned it, your bum is probably sitting on the cleanest toilet it's ever seen.    Whaaaaat!

Credit where it's due: We (my sisters, mom, and I) had a system worked out where, after the first month or two, one person usually worked with me (two man hours' worth of work and pay during one hour of time = more efficient).  They're really great bathroom cleaners, too.  

2. Grocery shopping



I am not a couponer.  I buy into a fruit / vegetable co-op, which costs $8/week.  We go to the store when we need milk and / or bread.  Otherwise, I only go shopping about once a month, sometimes less often.  This month I only spent $125 on a 7' receipt!  Literally.  I measured it.  And it wasn't the kind of receipt that has a million ads on it to make it longer, either.  There were 151 items and I only used one coupon (worth $5).  That shopping trip was at one store and took one hour, and we won't have to go again for a long time.  It takes me 30-60 seconds to look through a grocery ad and decide if anything's price makes it worth buying.  I plan our meals around what's on sale, and we're not just eating rice and beans over here, people!  We eat really tasty food.  I enjoy grocery shopping because of how awesome I feel afterward - I know that's difficult for some of you to understand.  But take note!  Because next time you're complaining about your grocery budget or shopping and I offer to help, teach, or go with you, now you know that I'm being serious.  For me, that stuff's fun!  :)




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"…[G]reat was her terror lest she should waken one of them.  But God helped her, and she got safely over."
"The Robber Bridegroom," Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

Monday, October 21, 2013

alisonism #17: jazzberry jam

As some of you (probably none of you) remember from my first post ever, my favorite color is orange.  Well, I have breaking news!  This has been a long time coming.  I officially decided last Wednesday that my second favorite color is purple.  Not as in, #2, second favorite.  As in, I have two favorite colors now, and one of them is purple.  

I debated for a long time - I know I like purple, but do I like it enough to call it a favorite?  That's really commitment. 

Also, when I was like, 12, a girl who I thought was cool made fun of purple and people whose favorite color it was.  So I had some weird residual effects from that...obviously... 

Well, the votes are in!  Yes, I do like purple enough to call it a favorite color!  Not lilac-y shades, but other ones.  Aubergine, byzantine, dark magenta, dark orchid, deep magenta, dark violet, jazzberry jam, fuschia, grape's okay, Mardi Gras, patriarch, purple, purple (Munsell), red-violet, royal fuschia, violet (RYB)... Those are my favorites, using, of course, the "official" names as per shadesofpurple.facts.co.  If that's not an official website for the color purple, I don't know what is. 

To conclude, I worked hard to find some ridiculous purple art for you, made by people who are obsessed.  It's impossible to know how many times I thought, "Someone took the time to make this?" while scrolling through the entries.  Enjoy.  

It bears repeating: Someone took the time to make this?

Of course!

I really don't get this one.  What does the horse have to do with purple?

Maybe she just got this coat for Christmas.

Not much to say about this. The next one, on the other hand...

What big eyes you have! Probably because she's looking at something purple and is...

...100% purple addict!

I'll let you decide which of these comes from a salon called Glamarama.

I guess that thing in the corner could be purple. I have no idea what anything in this picture is.

Does that make me an adolescent girl?




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"And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella."
"Cinderella," Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

Thursday, October 17, 2013

true love

Pink has a song called "True Love" that's been popular on the radio here lately.  (It's catchy, but if you look it up, consider this your warning that the radio bleeps out a few words.)  It came on the radio tonight while I was driving to the store for milk, and I noticed a particular line that I always notice when this song comes on: "Sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face."  That line is so funny to me.  She doesn't just want to slap him in the face; she wants to slap him in his whole face.  I always picture something between this:


and this: 

Harry grabs Quirrell's face on Make A Gif
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

and it makes me smile every time. :)




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"After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."  - Albus Dumbledore, J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Monday, September 16, 2013

Please pass the salt!

NSalt is one of Joel's old mission companions, and we used to live close to him and his wife.  Then, they graduated and got a job.  1400 miles away.  

The day they moved was so sad! partly because they'd just had a baby, and partly because we love them.  But this summer, N2's sister got married close by, and they came to stay with us for a week!  It was soooo fun.

A point that should be noted: Remember my favorite cereal?  Well, guess what the Salts gave us as a "Thank you for letting us stay with you" gift.



I'll give you a hint.
It came from South Korea.


And this is why we love the Salts.*


*There are actually a ton more reasons why we love the Salts.  But their coolness in remembering my favorite cereal is definitely one. :)




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"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking to a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."  - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


Friday, September 13, 2013

shaving: the results show

The day things started coming in the mail was so exciting!  Also, I was incredibly nervous. TERRIFIED. that I was going to mangle my legs.  So the first shave took forever.  I was suuuuper careful.  Now it goes much faster.



Fast forward three months, and I couldn't be happier!  I absolutely LOVE Tabac.  I will never buy another shaving soap.  It doesn't irritate or dry my skin out at all, which is great.  I am also 100% happy with my boar bristle brush.  Some people complain about the smell of Tabac mixed with the Omega brush, but I find the smell of old man cologne + barber shops comforting.  And anyway, the smell of the brush gets less and less strong the more you use it.  

I know this is a weird picture, but it's to show you how short my hairs are after a WHOLE WEEK of not shaving.

My Lady Gillette is great; I love its long handle, plus it's pretty and easy to keep clean.  My favorite blade to date is the Israeli Crystal blade, although I haven't tried the Japanese Feather yet and am expecting great things from it.  

My shaving setup. I do better with my glasses on, so I shave outside of the shower.

Now for the part you're probably most curious about (as I was) - the shave.  

People, I have never had a closer shave in my entire life.  Ever.  Baby legs aren't as smooth as mine are now.  My legs are the kind of smooth that literally makes them shiny.  Two days after shaving, I have the tiny stubble I used to get the night or morning after shaving with my Venus razor.  I used to cut myself every once in a while, and there was this part of my left calf that I had to shave like, fifteen times to get close.  With my double-edged, I've nicked myself maybe.... five times ever, and I only have to shave the difficult part of my left leg once or twice.  ONCE OR TWICE!  That never used to happen.  

I put on a thin layer of Tabac first...

Also, I haven't had razor burn in a single place a single time.  In the past, after I shaved and put on lotion, my legs would often erupt in red bumps.  Now, nothing.


I change my blade every 2-3 weeks (that's 2-3 leg shaves and however many armpit shaves were in between those).  That's not when the blade gets dull; it's just, after 2-3 weeks, I start to notice that the blade doesn't feel brand new anymore.  So I always have a fresh blade.  You know how great it is using a new razor?  Imagine if you had that every single time you shaved.  For cheap.  My total setup cost about $55.  The replacement cartridges alone for a Venus razor can be $8-$16 for three or four heads, and if you replaced one of those every time you started to notice it didn't feel brand new anymore, you'd be spending a BOATLOAD. 



A can of shaving cream can be anywhere from $3ish to $20, depending on what you get (please don't spend $20 on your shaving cream, readers).  It doesn't last very long when you're shaving legs, which are quite a bit bigger than faces.  I've been using my puck of Tabac for the last three months and it's like.... a millimeter shorter than it was when I bought it.  A refill will be $15 when I finally need one.  

Then put on another layer and froth it up!

I will most likely never need to replace my razor handle.  Are you kidding me?  I bought it used from the 70's - 40 years ago - and it's in almost perfect condition.  As for the blades, the sample pack I bought has 40 blades in it.  If I change my blade every two weeks, they will last me 80 weeks, or a year and a half.  I can buy a package of 120 of my favorite blades for $18.88 on Amazon.   That's about 6¢/blade, and I will have the feeling of a brand new razor every time I shave for 240 weeks, or FOUR AND A HALF YEARS.  



And the craziest thing about it all?  I look forward to shaving.

Are you kidding me?!  No.  I'm not.  I get excited to shave.  Every single time.  Sometimes I wish I shaved more often; sometimes I shave more often than I need to.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is unheard of. 

Plus, you just feel so classy putting on shaving soap with a bristle brush and then using your double-edged.

This is also a weird picture, but I tried to take it at an angle so you could see how shiny
my skin is after shaving now! Without lotion.

The moral of the story is this: I would recommend a DE razor every single time.  If you want to try it out and have any questions about what else I learned while researching (there's so much more than I shared!) or how to shave with a DE (the technique is a little different), please ask.  :)  Especially if you're a girl.  While I'm hardly an expert, there are very few women out there talking about double-edge razors, so finding what you're looking for can sometimes be tricky.




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"Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they, but I know I'll be in Slytherin, all our family have been - imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I'd leave, wouldn't you?"  - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

a close shave

In addition to being The Summer of Sequels, this summer was also The Summer of the Double-Edged Razor.  Having heard good things, I decided to research the double-edged razor because my Venus razor was dull and I needed a new cartridge anyway.  After hours of research - literally - I made my purchases.  

I chose the Lady Gillette to be my razor.  In all my research, I learned that there's basically only one razor made for women, and that's the Lady Gillette.  They haven't been made since the 70's, but you can find them for cheap and in good condition on eBay.  It's a good women's razor because it's longer than the typical face-shaving razor, making it good for maneuverability.  I looked at several razors made for men but ultimately settled on the Lady Gillette.

1 used 70's-era Lady Gillette - $17

For my shaving "aide," I decided on a shaving soap rather than a cream or gel.  I'd be lying if I claimed part of the reason wasn't because of the nostalgia of using a soap.  It reminded me of a barber shop, and I really wanted to have one of those sweet brushes used to lather it up.  But that wasn't the only reason.  I learned that shaving gels often have glycerin in them, which can make for a slipperier surface and be great for shaving, but it also tends to reduce the lather.  My personal opinion is that shaving through a lather is more comfortable.  And I mostly decided on a soap versus a cream because creams come in a spray can and are, therefore, more expensive.

When it came to choosing a soap, most reviews and articles I read said that the most popular women's soaps were those with a pretty fragrance.  I decided I'd rather have the best soap than the most feminine-smelling one, and discovered Tabac.  Many people refer to it as the "gold standard" of shaving soaps.  They also claim it doesn't cause irritation, lasts a really long time, comes in a ceramic dish (if you're going for old-fashioned, might as well go all the way!), and "in just a few brushes, it produces a lather so thick you could practically call it a solid."  I'll be honest, that last review was the one that really pushed me over the edge.

1 Tabac Original Shaving Soap with Ceramic Bowl - $20

I did a ton of research on blades because eeeeveryone said the blade you choose can really make or break double-edge shaving for you.  They recommended buying a sample pack, so I found one with five kinds of blades I wanted to try - Derby, Astra, Personna Platinum, the Israeli Crystal, and the Japanese Feather.

1 DE Blade Sample Pack, Choice - $10.50 (40 blades)

Finally, I bought myself a shaving brush.  Most of what I read said that, although badger bristle brushes are better quality, they're also more expensive, and boar can be just as good but is way cheaper.  So I got a boar.  I also researched brands and styles of brushes and decided on the Omega because of its quality for the price.

1 Omega 10049 Boar Bristle Brush - $9

TOTAL: $54.50

Tune in next time for the exciting finale!  Same bat time, same bat channel.





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"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."  - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Monday, September 9, 2013

reminder

About me: I listen to the Christian radio station.
That's right.  And proud of it.  I appreciate that I can be reminded of Christ in my everyday life without just listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  

Also, I always pay more attention to movies, TV shows, and songs that refer to everyday activities and items.  If a TV show mentions "puffed rice cereal," whatever.  If it mentions Rice Krispies, now I'm paying attention.  If a song mentions specific actions, like in "Mr. Mom" or "You're Gonna Miss This," my ears perk up.  



Now that you have the background information... 
The other day was rough at school, and it was on my mind as I was driving home from work today.  Also while I was driving home from work today, this song came on the radio:


It mentions specific actions right at the beginning, so my attention was caught immediately.  The chorus started, "While I may not know you / I bet I know you wonder sometimes / Does it matter at all?"  And I thought two things.  First, That's exactly how I feel sometimes at school, and second, He's about to say, 'Of course it matters!' They always do in songs about parenting.  It's good advice for teaching, too.  Routines and discipline help and teach when you are consistent, so even when it doesn't seem like the correcting is working, it is.  Sometimes it just takes time to take effect.

He sang, "Well, let me remind you / It at all matters...," and I thought, Toldja! 

And THEN he said, "...as long as you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you."

Oh yeah.

Then, "Do every little thing you do to bring a smile to His face."

And all of a sudden, the reasoning behind discipline and routines and correcting and teaching respect... made more sense.  And all of a sudden, it seemed like less of a chore to go home and clean the kitchen.  Because Heavenly Father wants us to be clean, right?  Right.  So my cleaning the kitchen could literally make Him smile, right?  Right.  

I teach my Primary kids that our good actions make God happy.  For some reason, though, thinking about my actions putting a smile on His face felt more concrete.  Doing things "to make Him smile" makes more sense, feels more real.  This song reminded me that everything we do, we should be doing to glorify God.  Correcting students when they're disrespectful to each other?  That would bring a smile to His face.  Overcoming laziness and making dinner even though I'm tired?  That would, too.  

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  - 1 Corinthians 10: 31




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"Every man...doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God."  - Doctrine and Covenants 82:19

Friday, September 6, 2013

the next great screenwriter

J's family has a cabin up in some mountains where it is so nice to go and relax, and we got to go this last weekend!  It was great.  One thing we did while there was play with Rory's Story Cubes (thanks Michael and Brooke!), and let me tell you - we could totally write movies.  Potential plots include...
  • magic wishing well - medieval time period - peasant girl - peasant dad who sells chicken products - If you take a coin out of the magic wishing well, you become of the same economic status as the person who threw it in.  
  • medicine man named Wolf Who Howls At The Moon - Indian tribe that was friends with Pocahontas - lightning fire - magical moon tears
  • The Girl in the Red Baseball Cap - a ghost - 15 years old
  • fairy wands that either explode or turn into new fairies in fire
  • cavemen - the discovery of magnets - kind of like a compass that points "family"
If you steal our ideas, I'll go Hugo-The-Boy-Detective-Who's-Only-Trying-To-Prove-Himself-When-He-Finds-A-Dead-Body on you.





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"As soon as... you are rejected, left alone, or abandoned for a short time, you might find yourself thinking, 'Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.'  What you need to realize is, these other people are NOT worthy of YOU.  Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of emotional growth because it contradicts the sacred inner voice that calls you 'worthy.'  And being worthy constitutes the core truth of every human existence. Say it out loud if you have to:  'This is my journey, and I am worthy of the trip.'" - Marc & Angel Hack Life

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

devastation

I have some sad news, readers.

Really sad.

Devastating.

Yesterday, when I got out of the shower, there was only one of these left: 
That means today, if I don't get to the store, there will be zero.

Now that's motivation.


UPDATE: The situation has been remedied!




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"I tend to be a storage junkie, with a dream of a bare house.  No stuff visible anywhere.  Everything has a place."  - Ana White

Monday, September 2, 2013

pet peeve

I don't mind if you complain or vent to me about a problem you're experiencing.  However.  When I (and/or others) present you with a variety of GREAT solutions and you don't even consider trying any of them, I hate that.  Also, you lose the right to complain or vent to me about that problem (and have me listen patiently) for the foreseeable future.   If the excuse you give for not trying anything is realistic and justified, you're okay.

Clarification: It doesn't bother me if you don't take my advice.  It bothers me when you hear everyone's advice and take none of it.  ...and then continue to complain (either about your lack of action or your bad actions).




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"I have learned that we believe it is a strength to conceal weakness."  - Russ Hill

Friday, August 30, 2013

cute things my kids [students] say

I keep a Google Doc of funny things my school students and my Primary students say.  Today I felt like sharing a couple of them.  The following gems are from four four-year-olds at church.  We'll call them A, B, C, and D.  

me: Have any of you seen an angel before?
A: I have!
[At this point I'm really curious as to what she's talking about and decide to get details, since she's offering them.]
me: When have you seen an angel?
A: Once when I was sleeping, I saw the tooth fairy.

B, while giving a talk in Primary: John the Baptist descended in a clown. [giggles]

C: Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be chubby.

me: What would you say if you saw Jesus or if He came to your house?
D: Thank you.
me, touched at her spiritual and mature answer: What would you thank Him for?
D: Like, Thank you for getting me some cereal.




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"Love that has been tested is far more awe-inspiring than love that has never known anything but bliss.  Don't look for a partner with whom you have no problems, but one you are good at overcoming problems with.  Just remember: the story of the old elm tree is no fairy tale.  It has a scar, and it is real."  - Po Bronson, Why Do I Love These People?