Thursday, January 29, 2009

Working Girl

I have been the back-up official scorekeeper for the Utah Jazz now for about 11 years. At times it is fun, at other times it is stressful. This picture was taken last week when I worked the Jazz-Timberwolves game. The Jazz ended up winning, but I count it as one of my least favorite games. There was just too much going on and I found it a little stressful.

The league is changing and because of the "referee gambling scandal" last year, there are more controls on employees. Since I am a back-up, the league is not letting me work as much. I think it is in everyone's best interest to have two sharp official scorekeepers who have lots of practice, but they don't see things exactly like I do. Anyway, I've had fun for 11 years and if they let me keep doing games, I will definitely do it. I'm a bit of a cult hero at church and with my kids' friends.

The game versus the Timberwolves helped me with Project 365 (We are taking a picture every day of 2009 and putting them together in a scrapbook). Jake said, "I'm finding this project so much more interesting than I thought I would." Each day we review the day and decide what would best symbolize our day. Sometimes it's a little bit of a competition. Sometimes people are unhappy with mom's choice. There are always lots of opinions and suggestions. The kids wander through my room often and look at the completed pages. Last week I was lucky enough to have Sam looking out for my Project 365. I went to work at the Jazz game and when he saw me on TV, he rewound and had Craig take a picture of the television. This is right before my fist pound with D-Will, a fun pregame ritual.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tequila, Shopping, & Mariachi

We have enjoyed two more days in beautiful, sunny Guadalajara. Our second night here we went to the home of one of Craig's colleagues for a wonderful catered dinner. Hugo's home was in a very nice part of the city where homes were surrounded by very high walls with barbed wire at the top and many homes had guards. It was beautiful. We had a catered four course dinner and enjoyed a mariachi band.
My favorite picture from Mexico, taken in Tlaquepaque. This is a part of Guadalajara where there are many shops and we enjoyed buying a few items, stopping for a snack and taking pictures.
After our afternoon of shopping, we had a reception and dinner with a local Guadalajaran law firm. The dinner was held at a grand Mexican palace. It was beautiful. Again, we had a live Mariachi band and we enjoyed the party late into the night. I am a little Mariachi-ed out at this point though.

This morning, after visiting the pewter factory (cheap, cool stuff), we hired cars and nine of us went to Tequila country. We had an authentic Mexican family style lunch (at 4:00, which is a normal time for lunch here) and toured the tequila factory. It was very interesting and the fruit from the agave plant tasted really good. Tonight we are headed off to our last dinner with the Meritas group. I am enjoying the warm weather and the interesting sights.This is a field of agave plants, used to make tequila. It takes 8-10 years for the fruit to ripen.This is the agave fruit after it has been harvested. It is being prepared for the cooking process. We tasted it after it was cooked. I loved the flavor.

These are some of the homes at the distillery where some of the workers live. The distillery was really like a little town. They have a library, a chapel, soccer fields, school teachers, and homes. They had armed guards at the entrance.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Heart of Mexico

Craig and I are in the heart of Mexico. While it would be fun to visit one of the beach resorts, we are inland getting a taste of "real Mexico". Guadalajara is very interesting and warm (something important to me since we left 20 degrees behind in Salt Lake City). The architecture downtown is very European and we had a good time last evening walking around taking pictures and watching the native people. We ate wonderful food at an authentic Mexican restaurant. I had chicken with mole sauce on a cactus bed and Craig had yummy pork. It was beautifully presented and we enjoyed the beautiful restaurant. The people here are very poor and we passed through very sparse neighborhoods with dirt roads on the way from the airport. It reinforces how lucky we are to live in Utah and have so many privileges. While Craig attended meetings today, I sat by the beautiful hotel pool in the warm sun (80 degrees) and read a book. I have thoroughly enjoyed my day in Mexico.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Skiers & Sledders

We've had amazing snow this year. The boys want to ski all the time. . . Jake does ski all the time, going seven times over the Christmas break. Craig, Evan, Sam & Icky went four times! I wish I could get Caroline excited about it again so I could have a whole day to myself once in awhile. I like to sew quilts while they are skiing. I have retired from snow sports because the cold gives me actual hives. I want to stay home by the fire.

The glorious day at Park City that this picture was taken started out a bit bumpy. Craig forgot Isaac's epinephrine (necessary to keep him alive if he eats a nut or a lentil or shrimp. . .). Craig made sure to know what all the first aid options were on the mountain. That ended up okay. Sam forgot his snow pants AND his ski pass. Craig made Sam ski in his pajama pants (which he normally wears under his ski pants) and they issued him a temporary pass for the day--didn't cost anything but the time it took to wait in line. When Craig was done solving this problem, he met up with Evan and Isaac. Apparently on Isaac's first run (Craig hadn't even been on a run yet) Isaac lost his pass. At the ticket window they made Craig buy a new one, so it cost Isaac $100 to ski on that day instead of $50. Most days run a little more smoothly. Thanks to dad for driving, paying and trouble-shooting.

No winter would be complete without a few sledding days at Mueller Park. This is Isaac with his friend Sam (Sam is actually older than Icky, though you'd never know). They had a fun time going off jumps.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Down With White Bread

In an effort to better myself (and my children for whom I am responsible), I made a decision (it's the only nutritional resolution I made for the whole family) that we would make the switch to wheat bread. I declared that I would not be buying anymore white bread! Jake (the ever nutritious child) was happy. Everyone else. . . not so much. This morning, Isaac decided he'd had enough of my nonsense and under his very own initiative, decided to go on strike. He even made pickets to "march on mom". I think the fact that he used plastic baseball bats for his picket sticks is the funniest thing I've ever seen. When Craig came home and saw what Isaac had produced, he offered to march with Isaac because he likes white bread too. If you can't read the signs, they say, "Strike on Brown Dread" and "Brown Bread Stinks and Sucks". He also wrote next to his white bread picture: This rocks! I have laughed all day and as I do almost every day, I had a grateful heart for witty children.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Beautiful Winter Day

It's a sacrifice to be cold. It is. My toes don't quite reap the benefits of circulation. My nose is red and cold to the touch. I have a fire going in all three fireplaces. I have to bundle up to hit the fridge in the garage. On this bright, sunny, cold day with a beautiful carpet of white, the cold was worth it. Enough said!