Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Beach trip 07 #3-

Buff couldn't come with us this time since she had to work, which was too bad since the waves were totally great this time and the water was warm enough that even Kiera didn't mind it. Kiera enjoyed playing (walking in the water and attempting to eat the sand).
We had one of those huge shade cannopy things and had just finished putting all the poles together when we realized that we didn't have the actualy canopy/tarp part. ooops. So, we made this little make-shift shade thing for Kiera to be under. I ended up with heat exhaustion by the end of the day. We had fun though! Ya'll should come down and try boogie boarding!!!
Grandpa Groneman had his eye surgery yesterday. He is staying the rest of the week at Saundras (his idea). I think he knows that he has to have alot more help right now, and he would rather ask his daughter for things than his daughter in law. Works for me. It will be a nice break.

Chad, let us know when you have a move in date?
Do the Dastrups know if they are coming to Utah in August yet?

Oh, and Carrie had her baby boy yesterday. Like 8 lbs and 14 oz. Her family all came in from everywhere last week because several of them ran the St George 1/2 marathon, and Carrie was scheduled to have this baby started last friday, so everyone wanted to see him, but when she went in for it, the little stinker was transverse position, so they couldn't do it. Well, they could have done a C section, but that isn't the best way of getting them here, so she didn't. So Malesa and Jennie flew home over the weekend, and the baby was born Monday. Oh well! It's not like this is the first time a baby has messed up plans, right?
This was a bonus baby for Carrie. The Dr told her that she wouldn't be able to have any more children because of all of the scar tissue in her uterus. She had to pay the big buck to get Emily here...and so this baby is a welcome surprise!
I NEED babies in Utah Valley that are mine! BRETT, HAVEN'T YOU PROPOSED TO KATIE YET???
Yesterday was Brigham's day off, so in the morning we took the boys to the Rattlesnake Museum. Benjamin was very excited to see so many rattlesnakes in so little space (and it was little-- it was just a little house that had been converted into the museum). We even had one rattle at us through the glass! Just one more reason for you all to be lining up to come to Albuquerque! But don't fight-- we will make room for all!

We had some friends watch the boys for us in the afternoon so we could go out, so between that and staying up a little longer than we should have, we finally finished the last Harry Potter book. I thought it was great! It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience to read all seven books out loud with Brigham. I'm sad that it's over!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

So, in talking to mom about a week ago on the phone, she commented on how we need to put up more pictures on the blog. Well the Nelsons and I asked her why her and Dad never put up any pictures on the blog. Her response was that they don't have anything exciting to take pictures of. We then suggested that they should take pictures of them doing everyday stuff... Needless to say, they didn't quite take to the idea. So since we are the only ones putting pictures up it seems, we decided to set and example... there is a whole slew of new pictures from us if you click on the "nelson pictures".
Adieu to Kiera's Grandpa Groneman :(

Friday, July 27, 2007

The house mentioned in the blog entry below? Yeah, it's mine.

The sellers have accepted my offer. I'll start working things out more on Monday.

PROPOSED TRIP BY MA AND PA TO NELSONS AND DASTRUPS: We are just making sure that this would work for both of you, but we are thinking that after Kim's SysOp retreat is done in Las Vegas on the morning of Oct 12 we would drive to Nelsons (arriving at about noon) on the 12th and stay until 16th, which day we would drive to Dastrups and stay until Sat morning and drive home Oct 20th. We would also have to drive to Maryvale and pick up the Jeep and the ATV's that we would leave there (we are going there on this Sysop trip to do 4 wheeling). This would mean we will be gone for over 2 weeks with the retreat too. And that would probably mean that we would have to have Saundra put Grandpa in respite care the second week (I don't think she and Randy will take him for that long), but if this plan works for you people, we will talk to Saundra and see what she says. If not, then I will have alot of work to do to arrange to have him put in Respite Care (they make it quite a pain in the tush because of liability). So we will let you know when we have a solid plan.

I would appreciate your prayers for the Lord to bless my dad's heart. He is having alot of chest pain. They know that he has another blood clot in his heart, but he says that everytime he turns, he has a sharp pain (right under his left nipple). His Dr says (about the clot), let's watch it for a month and see what happens. In the meanwhile, he is popping alot of (I think they are Nitrogycerin) pills for pain when it hurts, cause it hurts several times a day. He is a prime canidate for a heart attack or stroke...and then of course there is the problem of my mom again. Dad did say that she is getting so weak she can hardly walk, and her legs and ankles are quite swollen. I am thinking that is probably heart related, by we aren't fixing any more physical problems with her...and she wouldn't be willing to go to the Dr even if we wanted to take her. But we sure need dad to stick around.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I've officially made an offer to buy a house. This house. Let me tell you something - It makes me very nervous. And I'll tell you something else - there's a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. There's the realty paperwork, the mortgage paperwork, and other miscellaneous paperwork.

This is by far the nicest house I've seen that's in my price range. I took Mom & Dad with me to view the house, and they both liked it. Downstairs it has the kitchen, living room, mud room, etc. Upstairs it has two "kids" bedrooms, and a big master bedroom. It also has a middle area that's a little bigger than a bedroom, that's kind of like the big upstairs room in aunt Kathy's house. Obviously smaller. But I really like it. Mom & Dad really like it. And Max Dastrup (Brigham's Dad, also my real estate agent) says he thinks it's really good. So, I offered the full asking price (it was just reduced). That's scary. But I've looked at what I've been able to save from month to month, and figure I will be able to make the monthly payments, as long as I'm thrifty with things.

I'm really excited, and really nervous. If my offer is accepted, I'll post another blog entry. And my wishlist will grow like it's never grown before.
Advice of the day:
Don't put your cell phone in your pocket and then get in a swimming pool. Cell phones react to water much like the wicked witch of the west.
So, yeah. Yesterday I went to Kohls to spend my birthday money. After much looking, I finally found the shirts I was after. When I went to check out, the bill came to $90+, the gal asked me how old I was and I told her 52. She said, well with your Senior citizen discount that is today, that comes to $70-something." I was surprised (the first time I have ever been given that discount) so I asked at what age you qualify as a Sr Citizen in their store. She said, "I dunno! But your close enough!!"
I was so pleased to get $20.00 off my purchase, I forgot to be offended!
The Senior Citizen: Yer mom got the senior citizen discount a Kohls. I was laughing to hard to get many more details of the story. Also: Feel the love: LINK

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

So, this last sat, our ward did an activity. It was a "bike to the beach" thing where people who wanted to ride their bikes to the beach came, we dropped them off at either the 30, 18, or 10 mile point and they rode their bikes to the beach. I didn't do it cause I'm a wuss and it was really hot that day but I was one of the drivers that dropped off the bikers and then was in charge of going to go find food for everyone. That was fun.....we got lost and had to call the pizza place a couple of times to get unlost. But after we got the food and people were coming in to the beach on their bikes, me and some friends took off and decided to go for a swim in the ocean. It was way fun, tho we did not go boogy boarding (the waves weren't that great). We just kinda bobbed up and down and the temperature of the water was glorious! Well, after we had been in the water for about an hour and a half we decided maybe we should get out for a while so we got out....but we didn't get very far. They buried me in the sand by the water and turned me into a ......Guess.....no really guess.....you'll never get it though.....oh alright I'll tell you if you insist. They turned me into a hotdog. With the bun and everything. As it turns out, I make quite and unusual hot dog.....anyways, after I got unburied, I had sand all over me so of course I had to go back into the water to rinse off. We then spent another hour in the water just playing around. The air started to get chilly and we started to get hungry so we got out and ate. I had just gotten dressed into my dry clothes when we saw a whole pod of dolphins! It was really cool! I wanted to go out and swim with them so bad but I had just gotten dressed and I thought that by the time I got dressed back into my wet stuff and got out there, they would be gone. Turns out I would have had enough time but It was really cool to see them jumping in and out of the water! Anyways, I had a lot of fun and decided I love the beach and I'm going to go back as much as I can :-) That's my little adventure of last week. Ciao fam!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Friday night. Date night.

I took advantage of the evening and actually had a date. It was low stress, fun, and it went like this;

After picking Katie up, we went to the PG Macey's as they're the only ones I could find that sold what we were going for -- "Fresh" Halibut fillets (It's Utah. Take it for what it's worth). We bought some of that and other food to make for dinner. We came back to the parent's house and made a really good dinner.

We cooked the Halibut on the barbecue with garlic and lemon pepper. We barbecued corn on the cob too since it was on, and barbecued slices of lightly brown-sugared pineapple. We made up our own recipe for Alfredo sauce. Not healthy stuff, but really good. We made it with garlic, cream, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and some chopped onion. To top off the dinner, we made PiƱa Coladas. After throwing it all together, we feasted in the back yard. Good food. Better company. I recommend it next time you're single and around the Utah Valley area on a summer evening.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Update on Grandma Haslem: (in case anyone was interested) Last Monday, I called a meeting of my siblings and Dad to Kathys house to discuss weather or not we needed to put her in a care center. Dad had told me he didn't want to discuss his concerns about her on the phone, as she has excellent hearing (as we found out last Thursday when they came for dinner. She was sleeping/snoring, but all we had to do was mention her name and she would wake up and start talking!). So it wasn't until we had our meeting at Kathys that we found out that dad had decided that perhaps when my mom said that "You don't belong here anymore" she was just talking to herself, as she does LOTS. Evidently he wasn't looking at her when she said it. Also, we think perhaps the reason that she hid all of the knives is because she thinks people are out to get her, and her stuff. She probably thought she was protecting herself. So, dad (being her caregiver) has decided to leave her at home. Ultimately HE needs to be the one to make the decision, not us. But I do feel good about it, because in all of my moms many complaints about my dad she has never once made any threatening statements against him. And she doesn't reason well enough to hide it if indeed she was planning a threatening event. So I believe he is safe. So what a huge relief that is to all of us kids! We were all just REALLY struggling with the idea of putting her in a lock-down unit, knowing she would hate it and us for doing so!
Dad has SUCH a hard time getting mom to come for dinner anymore, that this last week when He FINALLY got her here, he asked me not to invite them anymore: It is just too much work for him to get her out of the house....it isn't worth it. So I guess I will have to deliver meals to them every week. Mom also refuses to go to any resturants anymore. He took her to 2-3 resturants last week one day when they were hungry and she refused to even go in (even Maglebys, her all time favorite!) Pray for my dad! He could use it!

Let's Talk. Do you ever wonder if you've missed some comments on a blog entry...do you get tired of checking back on blog comments to see if you missed anything? Do you ever wish you could TALK about something someone posted? HAVE I GOT AN ANSWER FOR YOU!!!! I've created a private google group just for our family. It's linked right over <-- there. You all should have received an invitation (joining is by invitation only) to join the group in your email. Do me a favor...give it a go. What is it? It's a place to hold DISCUSSIONS. When you post something here on the blog that you think needs discussion, you can link to it right from the blog. Ongoing discussions can happen over time and you don't need to worry about finding the discussion because discussions with the newest posts in them move to the top of the list. You can also subscribe to the group to have it send you your choice of an email every time someone posts, or a daily digest of all the posts, or an abridgement...etc. etc. No need to ever miss a discussion or comments again. It's actually quite cool. Tell me what you think HERE.
Deathly Hallows
A box came in the mail on Saturday...it contained TWO copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. One for me (happy birthday me from Chad) and one for Chad. I'm about 1/4 of the way through it. Do YOU have your copy?!? It's also officially my most hated time of year. Camping is over and it's HOT and even in the evenings it doesn't cool down much below 70 degrees. I can't wait for October, the best month of the year.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

There I was, mildly drowsy, on a warm Sunday morning sitting in front of the church congregation of a BYU singles ward. To my left, was the person who would be speaking second in church. To my right was the third speaker. I was to be the first speaker -- the youth speaker. I decided it might be worth while to look up a few references and examples for my topic in the scriptures. As the book came out of the zipper case, a Camel cigarette came out along with it.

I may have thought for more than a tenth of a second how that got there, had I not done the same thing to him the previous week. He wasn't there to defend himself, so as I stood to deliver my "Who's on the Lord's side who" talk, I used Jason as an appropriately bad example, giving him credit for putting it in my case, and not offering any explanation as to why he had them.

He found them on the side of the road a week and a half ago.

Now the ward thinks he's a chain smoker who doesn't write in his journal and eats meat in excess too.

He's speaking next week. Brother Hall said his topic will be the Word of Wisdom.
NewsFlash! Brett Groneman caught on the stand at church with cigarettes secretly tucked into his scriptures!!! WHAT will the outcome of this true saga be??? Stay tuned: MAYBE he will fill in the details!
The Nelson family ran a 5k yesterday. It was mine and Kiera's first 5k ever and we didn't do so bad. We ran as a family and we got 28:18 for our time. I know that many of you out there could totally whoop me, but I felt like it was pretty good for a start. It was fun to run. I'm going to start training for a half marathon in november. Wish me luck-- I'll need it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

About Benjamin's play date when he's supposed to be sleeping....see Today's (Thursday, July 19th) Calvin & Hobbes (<--over there on the left)
Yer mom & I are going on a trip. The week of Sept 9th we've planned a trip where we'll ride our ATVs from Marysvale to Bryce Canyon, stay there 3 days, and ride back. Looks to be a whole lot of fun. There is a whole ATV trail system set up next to the National Park where you can see stuff just like in the park. See it HERE A national magazine wrote an article about one trail there being the most beautiful ATV trail in the US. Read it HERE. We'll be staying at "Harold's Place" where they have some log cabins. Be jealous. Be VERY jealous.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm enjoying my time off, while I'm between jobs. I've been mountain biking, seen the new Harry Potter movie, worked on learning things I'll need for my new job, and been house hunting. In some ways, I'm discouraged by seeing that I can't afford what I'd like. But, I'm excited about being able to move out of student housing and be able to have a fixer-upper.

Max Dastrup (Brigham's Dad) is helping me find a house. I kind of feel bad for him, wanting to get me in a good home with the small budget I have. But I'm happy with what he's shown me so far. We looked around Provo & Orem today. We'll go to Springville / Spanish Fork either this weekend or next week. There's two houses in Provo that I think I could go for. One is a little big, the other is a bit small. The smaller one only has one bathroom. That's fine if it was just me, but I want it to be a place I can have a couple of kids. For that reason I want two bathrooms. The bigger one is definitely bigger. Five bedrooms. It's older than the smaller one, and might need some more TLC to make it what I want it to be. Right now I'm leaning towards the older, larger house.

Here's links so you can check these two out and give input:
Bigger House
Smaller House

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This week has been a really fun week. Crazy, but fun. Erin was here visiting so of course we had to give her the california experience. Mon wes FHE so we went and played steal the flag at a park and then we went and watched Transformers till 1 AM (which by the way is a pretty good movie). Tues, we went to go see the midnight showing of Harry Potter. We got there at 8 PM and there was already a huge line around the theatre. We were lucky though and we had people there already waiting in line so we got in line and waited for 4 hours until the movie started. It was a great movie but it probably would have been better if I had gone to see it at a reasonable hour. I didn't really want to go see the midnight showing but erin and the rest of my cali gang was going to see it that time so I figured I'd tag along. Wen, we went up to do a service project for the young womens of our stake. They were at yw camp and the leaders got a whole bunch of singles to do a "hold to the rod" thing. It was way cool. There was a whole bunch of scenes that were supposed to show what worldly things were like and we were supposed to tempt the girls to come off of the rod. It was actually fun. I was in the great and spacious building scene. Before that scene though, me and a few other singles were supposed to go and as the girls were going through a tunnel, they would see and hear our silloettes (sp?) mocking and making fun of them and then we'd run up to this building where there was loud music and party lights all around it. It was quite realistic. There was a whole bunch of singles (myself included) "partying". We had the IBC root beer bottles and rolled up peices of paper that looked like weed and we kept trying to pull the girls off the rod. We didn't succeed but we tried. It was really fun. On Thurs, as you can see from the pics, we went to the beach. We built sand castles, buried Jed, played in the water, and built a fire so we could make smores on the beach. It was awesome! Fri, we went and danced like there was no tomorrow at one of the dances that they have every week. Sat, although I have no pictures to prove it, we went to Six Flags. I decided not to take my camera along as last time I took my camera there, it fell to it's doom. But we went on a whole bunch of crazy rides! It's 10 times better lagoon. The only reason it's not more so is because the lines were huge! For the first part of the day, every line that we waited in was about an hour and a half to two hours long. But we had a lot of fun. Anyways, those are my adventures of last week. Thought you'd all be interested :-) Oh and by the way, Cambrie put a new video of Keira up on youtube. Go check it out, it's really cute. It's the one entitled Kiera eating Yellow Death. Ciao family!
Scientists cure cancer, but nobody pays attention. Read about it Here, Here, and Here and a bunch of other places on the internet. Why is nobody paying attention? "Pharmaceutical companies probably won't invest in research into DCA because they won't profit from it. It's easy to make, unpatented and could be added to drinking water"

Kiera has decided she is done attempting to learn to crawl. She now thinks that it is our job to hold her little hands while she wanders around the house babbling and exploring. It is cute, and it's fun that she's getting better at it, but it sure does her my back after a while!

As you can see from exibit B, most of the time she does attempt to crawl she ends up on her feet instead of knees. The trouble is, she doesn't move her arms-- so no matter how much she kicks and wiggles her little legs and bottom, she doesn't get anywhere. She gets so frustrated and then just wants to walk. It's cute though!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Went camping again at Reservation Ridge over the weekend. Just me, Saundra, Randy. The problem is that when S&R got up there with their Jeep pulling their ATV trailer (we left trailers up there from the week before) they realized they forgot the key to their trailer. Whoops. Well, we were able to force open the emergency exit window and got around that problem. However, when we went to unload their ATVs, guess what...yup...they had also forgotten their ATV keys. Well, we played a lot of Rummy 5000 and got a lot of reading in. I went on a couple of little rides by myself. Temps were around 70-75 when it was over 100 in the valley. It made it hard to come home...but the trailer is still up there......

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Low's in my mom's development of Alzhiemers.

The slide seems to be getting steeper. Yesterday I talked to my dad. He told me that my mom had informed him that "you don't belong here anymore", and then all the butcher knives in the kitchen disappeared. This frightened my dad, and in fact he has been anxiously concerned with her decline (especially in that she thinks that he is the enemy) that she might come after him one night in his sleep with butcher knives to finish him off. So when she said that and then the knives disappeared, that night he locked the door where he slept so that she couldn't get in. He said at 4 am, he could hear her trying to open his door. She didn't call to him or anything, but she was trying to get in.
Dad found the knives, and hid them from her, but it isn't like that is the only thing that she could possibly use as a weapon against him, if she decided to do damage.
My poor dad. We have got to figure out how to get my mom into a lockdown unit/care center. Cambrie says that if mom is hospitalized for any reason, then she can go into one free of charge, but she doesn't know for how long. I know that Medicare picks up the first 90 days, but what after that? At $4K per month, if it falls back into our laps, that is a problem.
Here is my dad's current night-time and morning routine: At bedtime he goes out the front door, locks the door shut from the outside so mom can't open it, then he goes around to a gate that he has installed between the garage and the house and locks it, then he locks the side garage door so she can't go in there and then go out the main garage door, then the locks another gate that leads to the garden. That protects the neighbors from her visiting them at 2 am, as she can't get off our property. Then he goes in the house, hides all of the phones so she can't call people all night long, as she was doing before, and then he goes in his room and locks the door to protect himself from her.
Makes me very sad. I SOOOOOOO...............don't want to have to put my sweet mother we have been so blessed by and that I love so much in a care center!!!! But things are pretty darn hard on my dad right now too, and he doesn't deserve it either. Cambrie thought that Medicare would pick it up if she went into the hospital first. I checked on that. Medicare only picks up the first 90 days, and then the family is responsible, just like as was the case with Grandpa G.
Anyone have any words of wisdom on the financial concerns about care centers, I solicit your wisdom! And I would also welcome any ones prayers for my sweet mom that the Lord see fit to take her home, and thus avoid the trauma of putting her in a lock down unit/Alz. care. If we love her, it is absolutely the best thing for her at this point.

That's what I've got. In both arms. The veins that the ER used for IVs and such on my last little trip there are both very stiff. I went to go have a doctor look at it yesterday, (He wasn't there, but a PA was) and he told me that it's Phlebitis (Way to go on your over-the-phone diagnosis Cambrie) in both arms. In other words, my veins are infected with something and I have big fat blood clots running up my veins. He told me to put a heat pack on it a few times a day and to take Aspirin as a blood thinner until it went away.

Breanna, if the clot should get to my brain, I donate my collection of glow-sticks to you. And my green frog.

Otherwise, I'm hoping my veins will be cleared out again hopefully within a week or so. I really don't know how long it takes.

Friday, July 13, 2007

For the last 4-5 days Benjamin has been crankier than normal-- prone to mini-fits and crying spells. I thought he was acting tired, but I didn't know why he would be any more tired than normal since nothing had changed. Tonight I found out why. About 20 minutes after I put him to bed, I needed to get the laundry out of his room. I knew he was still awake because I could hear him, but I expected to find him playing in his bed like always. When I walked in, he was at his car table, playing with all the cars we had put away only a half an hour earlier. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, "I'm having a play date. It's okay, mom. You can just leave. You don't need to worry about it-- I'm just having a play date for awhile. Go on out." What a funny boy! I told him that we don't have play dates at night and let him choose a few cars to take to bed with him. Not long afterwards he was fast asleep. Hopefully I'll have the happier Benjamin back tomorrow!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Like the true Harry Potter fans that we are, Brigham and I went to see the new movie yesterday. There were a few things about it that were different than the other movies that left us feeling a little disturbed (I'm curious to see if anyone else will even notice), but we enjoyed it very much! Brigham says that he thinks that it is the best movie yet for sure. I am not quite the movie critic that he is, but I can agree with that. We look forward to getting the book on the 21st!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I've officially quit my old job and accepted a new one, as "Associate Software Engineer". It makes me happy. Rejoice.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tutorial: Real Estate Agents. There are usually two real estate agents involved in the sale/purchase of a home. The listing agent (works for the people selling the home) and the buying agent (works for the people buying the home). They usually each get a commission of 3% for a total of 6% which the seller pays. If you don't go through an agent to find the home, the selling agent usually gets the entire 6% unless you can talk them down. Agents aren't a bad thing though. They take care of all the paperwork (LOTS!) for you and watch out for your interest in an area most people don't know much about since they only do it a few times in their lifetime. If you buy a FSBO (for sale by owner) it's usually because, like us, we didn't want to give the 6% to an agent....IOW the price of the house isn't generally going to be lower for the buyer. I suppose if you know what you're doing, you can do things yourself and probably save some bucks, but I'm not that smart. When we sold our AF house, we had an agent that listed it on the condition we could still sell it ourselves and not pay commission, which is what we eventually did. She helped us with the paperwork in hopes that we would use her services sometime in the future. Nice gal. Unfortunately I don't remember her name. If you are a buyer, you can have multiple agents looking for you though. If you DO happen to get to a situation that there is no real estate agent involved, a title company can do most of the paperwork for you.
Have you all checked out "the invisible rope" on the Funstuff part of the blog?
I've been offered a better job. Not the one I blogged about a few days ago. This one is looking pretty good, and I'll probably accept it. It's got slightly better pay than I have now, 9.5 regular holidays, 2 floating holidays, 18 days off per year (starting point, grows with time), and standard heath benefits (80/20).

IF I take it, my next action will be to find a house. Okay, my first action will be to quit my current job. If they'll pay me for the overtime I've done, I'll do another two weeks. But they've previously told me they won't pay me for the extra time I've worked if I quit. In which case I see no reason to continue working.

After I quit, then I'll start searching for a house VERY seriously. Ideal home: Good neighborhood, 3 bedroom, unfinished basement, yard, $150,000. Reality sets in, and I know I can't get the house for that price. A fairly thorough scan of craigslist on real estate for sale in Utah Valley area reveals that houses cost $200,000, minimum. Unless it's built in nineteen-oh-something. Townhouses are less, but they have no yard. And they have a wall with neighbors.

Also, if you have any furniture, home decor, etc. that you might be wanting to get rid of, hold onto it for another month or so. If I get a house, I want free stuff to put in it.
Your mother does her part to help fight fires currently raging in Utah

Monday, July 09, 2007

Last night we did something highly adventurous. We had 19 couples from our ward, and their children over for dinner. It took us a few days to prepare our place for the crowd, and we were sure that there would have been some distruction, but it was actually a great event. There was no distruction more than some trompled flowers (no big deal). We got tons of comments...."this is fun, you guys should do this again some time!" I think the next even we plan will be at the park though : )
Stupid question from Dad time: I know you Dastrups moved to Albuquerque and somehow in my mind I assumed that Brigham was doing residency at UNM but then I got thinking to myself: "Self, do you ever remember them saying he was at UNM? There are other hospitals in Albuquerque you dummy!" Anyway...here comes the stupid question: In which hospital is Brigham actually doing his residency? "If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?" - Scott Adams
Happy Birthday Mom!

On this the 9th day of July 2007, we'd like to offer our congrats on having your age change, or whyever it is that we celebrate a number change in your life.

And though I can't quite figure out the logic of celebrating changing numbers, I'm glad you're my mom. Thanks for being a good one. Love ya. Happy birthday.

BrainBashers - June Results: http://www.brainbashers.com/commonprevall200706.asp
Wow...look at Brett! I think that's the highest score our family has achieved.
48 Brett Groneman
156 Kim Groneman
442 Cambrie Nelson
481 Breanna Groneman
974 Chad Groneman

OK you slackers. Participate in the JULY COMMON ANSWERS - no you don't have to log in.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Big Bad Brett Update ~ 7.8.07

I applied for a new job yesterday -- If I get it, it'll be job #3. Actually, I'm applying for it 'cause as it turns out, I'll have to be leaving MountainStar Blood Services in the fall when school starts. I wish I didn't have to, but with my school schedule, I won't be able to work there. I'm not too happy about that. Oh well. Life. Anyhow, if I get this new job, I'll be a "Dialysis tech" at the hospital, on call.

As for MountainStar, we had a staff meeting last week. I was named "Employee of the Month." And that noble prestigious position is awarded based on phlebotomy statistics I think. I had a 0% QNS (Quantity Not Sufficient) rate, with the help of some coworkers adjusting for me twice I think. They made me look good. So that was fun.

As for the 4th of July the day happened something like this: I woke up after getting off of a very busy night of work the night before at Macey's, which got me home just before 3:00 AM. I had invited some people over for food and fireworks for the evening, so I went back to Macey's and got food for the event. Mission accomplished. Came home, put it away, and decided to take a nap. Then I started dreaming. All I remember in my dream was admiring mom and dad's new car stereo they put in the Prius, being asked my name and if I was allergic to anything, and someone taking my shirt off. And none of those events were connected with any of the others. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in the chair in a hospital ER, looking around, and realizing this wasn't a dream. None of you have experienced low blood sugar levels, and so none of you know what it's like for your mind to come out of that. It kinda wild trying to figure out what's real and what's supposed to be normal. I was sitting there in the ER before my memories start, as they worked on me, apparently conscious, as they hooked me up to IV's and took vitals. I was watching it all happen, and then my blood sugar started to raise from the IV, and I could think again -- sort of -- maybe what I would describe as 3% thought capacity. Right after where my memories start again, and I saw Jason (my roommate) and Breanna, I said 'Hi' to them, still trying to realize what was happening. After a little while to look around, I asked which hospital I was in and if it was still the 4th of July. It took me a while to remember that UVRMC was right by where I lived, and that I lived in Cinnamon Tree, so it made sense for me to be there. My shirt was off, and they had the sticky heart monitor button things on my chest and a pink ER ID tag on my wrist. The rest of the stay in the ER was just waking up, snapping some photos, eating a little hospital food, stabilizing my blood sugar levels, and going home. Some friends took me and Jason to the ER, and took us home after it all happened. I got in the car and saw her stereo -- the one I had seen in my "dream" before. She told me that I was playing with it on the way over.

Now the rest of the story as told to me by those who were conscious and saw it happen. I took my nap. That's where my memory leaves the story. Jason came in the room and I was laying on my bed just sort of staring at the ceiling. He said, "Hey, my family got to meet Mitt Romney today". I made a sound but didn't really respond. Jason tried to talk to me more, and noticed I wasn't responding. He came over, shook the bed, and shook me to wake me up, which didn't work. He went outside and yelled if anyone knew anyone who was diabetic and what to do. Our friends were in the pool right outside the door, (the ones that took me to the hospital) and came in to try to help. Jason/they got me out of bed and tried to give me something to eat. I wouldn't take it. I was standing and walking on my own. Jason says that a bunch of times, I'd just start shaking. They took me out to Kathy's car to take me to the ER. I was apparently talking to them and playing with the car stereo (Don't ask my why I remembered that part and forgot the part about 3 girls in swimming suits taking me to the hospital. . .I can't figure it out) Jason went in to get someone in the ER and Kathy thought I was alright again 'cause I was just talking to her. (I wish I had this recorded. I have no memory of it and I'd like to know what my brain comes up with when it's just automatic and I can't think.) But I went back into it, shaking and all, and yeah, I needed to go to the ER. I went in there, answered their questions they gave me, which I don't remember except for the allergy question and my name, and hooked me up to stuff and brought me back to where I needed to be. The girls went home, got changed, and came back.

Right after coming home from the ER, I went swimming with the other ward in a sort of July 4th pool party with the inflatable boat. It was a lot of fun. I had my heart monitor patches on my chest still and my pink ER tag. Then Katie Boren came over and we cooked burgers, corn on the cob, and good food. We watched stadium of fire from Freedom Blvd. Yeah. That was my Independence Day.
HEY BRETT! You said you were going to do a post about your not so fun experience on JULY 4th...I don't see it. Were all waiting....
While you are at it, you might as well tell the rest of your fun on the 4th. Anyone else care to share? Cambrie, how was Kiera with the "noisey day" of the 4th? Dastrups?

Well, we had some interesting experiences on our camping trip. Adventures even! When I got there I heard that there was a bear close to our camp. I was a bit nervous about the fact that Brett was sleeping in a tent that night. Especially since an 11 yr old boy was drug out of his tent and killed by a bear about 1 am just 3 weeks ago up American Fork Canyon. But everyone said, "that was the first recorded instance of a bear killing a person in Utah's history, it isn't going to happen again..." So Brett slept in the tent, and I prayed for Brett, and all of the other people who were sleeping in a tent in our camp. That night, the bear killed a couple of lambs that were in the flock that we had to keep chasing out of our camping area, so that day, a professional bear hunter for the state of Utah, went on the hunt for the bear with his hounds. We heard the dogs barking and we heard the gunshot that killed the bear. That morning Kim took Brett down so he could go to work. On the way back Kim saw the hunters coming out of the hills with the remains of the bear (he took the head and the pelt of the bear to turn in to the Govt -for pay). He came back to camp and so we went to see the bear that had gone to his happy hunting grounds. It isn't everyday you have to share your camping area with a bear after all. They actually had the story of "our" bear on the news, we heard. Why? Who knows...maybe just that after what happened to the 11 yr old, everyone would like to know that "no bears are out tonight". Incidentally, the hunter was the same one who killed the bear that killed the boy.

We were camped in the "New area" at Reservation Ridge. It was probably only 5 miles from Strawberry Peak. When went riding the first day we arrived, we saw that a Huge forest fire was burning somewhere in the direction of the Uintah Basin. That night when people came up from the valley they told us it was the Neola fire, the biggest fire currently in the USA, and that it had already killed 3 people. So on about day 3 the Thomases came into camp and said that the Lightening storm we had just had had started a fire on the top of Strawberry Peak, close to the Meadow that we all LOVE up there, as it is so Beautiful!! I was just as concerned about the meadow as I was camping that close to us (especially if the wind came up again coming our direction, as it would carry the sparks out and start many fires closer to us which would of course spread in the wind too.) If the fire got close enough to need to get out fast, we would have only been able to save either the travel trailer or the ATV's and their trailer as we could only pull one out at a time. Thus the concern. We went and took pictures. We saw the helicopter come and investigate the fire, and we checked it again before we went to bed. And then the next morning, we checked it again and the fire was out, so we went on our ride up there. The firefighters had arrived at 11pm, and had most of the fire out...but it was still smouldering. They were just eating their MRE's while waiting for more water to arrive. ....so we got some fun pictures with Saundra's camera when she sends them, I will have to put a couple on the blog. Incidentally, there was a 3rd fire that started before we left that was relatively close. Things were very smokey by the end of the week, thus the haze in the pictures.

We saw some new great areas, that you will all want to explore someday...truly beautiful!
Anyway...it is back to the 100 plus heat of the valley...and back to the real world. Grandpa had a great time with Buffy, who took him out to dinner 3 times, to a play, shopping...etc. Thanks to Buffy for doing such a great job.

Our Camping Trip pictures are here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

For those of you who don't know, I've been looking to leave my current job. On Friday, I unofficially received a job offer with a banking software company. I need to meet with the company's CEO for a few minutes before I can officially receive the offer, which should happen this coming week.

The job is one that I see myself really enjoying. It's working with C# (one of the newest programming languages), and s/390 assembly (s/390's are IBM's most expensive computers, assembly is low-level stuff [meaning everything else eventually gets broken down to assembly, so it can run on the processor]). It's this kind of stuff that I studied for in school.

I'm hesitant because the pay & benefits don't appear to be very good. I would take a small pay cut from what I make now, with a "review" within a year to see how I'm doing, and be raised from there. I'm not a fan of that. The health benefits don't start until a new month starts. For the first six months, I don't earn any time off (meaning I would have to work through the holidays, except for the actual holidays). There's only 7 recognized holidays. I would have thought that a banking software company would get all bank holidays off.

Even when I start accruing time off, it's at a very low rate, that increases every 5 years. I would have to work 15 years to get to the slowest rate Novell offers. And then the health plan is kind of weird. It's 70% / 30% through IHC. I don't like 30%. The company contributes an additional $700 per year that I can use to pay up to 10% of the costs, so for a while it would effectively be like only paying 20%.

It would look great on a resume, and I would enjoy it, but the compensation is very low. Which makes it a lot less fun.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Our daughter is being a teenager! She knows what she wants and nothing is going to sway her...


Sunday, July 01, 2007

We just wanted to announce our ascension to postions of power and great leadership in the Ventana Ranch Ward. Today we were sustained as... nursery leaders! I think it will be fun, and it will be good since Brigham will only be around about half of the time. He missed his first day of molding little souls today, in fact.

Other news in the Dastrup clan-- Jacob continues to try to eat everything that is not edible-- crayons, a bouncy ball, rocks, etc. Yesterday on the way to the Emergency Medicine opening social, Jacob started eating the stuffing that he pulled out from a hole in his car seat. I tried to get him to spit it out, but I couldn't get it all, and he ended up gagging on it and throwing up all over himself. We were very late and not close to home, so we stopped at Target and got him some new duds off the clearance rack. That kid... manipulating us into getting him new clothes at an early age!

Friday was a big day for us-- it was PAYDAY!!! We haven't had one of those for 4 years! It almost felt like we won the lottery or something since Brigham has been doing basically the same thing for free during the last 4 years. It felt very good to hold that little piece of paper in my hands!
The short version of my hard day:

I worked saturday from 3-11. It was a horrible day at work. I stayed 2 hours after my shift ended still trying to get things done, but at 1 am I was too frustrated, tierd, and I didn't have enough info to be able to do what I needed to do (lack of proper job orientation) so I went home-- leaving my tasks undone.
Got home at 1:30 AM and I was pulled in the driveway and pushed the garage door opener button and nothing happened. Thought to myself 'figures--everything else in the world has gone wrong today so might as well add one more!' So I decided to park the car and go press the button in the garage. I was driving steve's car which is a stick-shift. I RARELY drive it, so I'm not that famililar with it and where things are. I turned off the car and all went black (it turns out that the power was out-- no street lights, no light from the neighbors--nothing). I opened the car door and stuck my foot out and only then did I realize that the car was rolling. (It was too black to be able to see that I was rolling. Of course, immediate reaction was to put my left foot down to try to stop the car (didn't work), so second reaction was to slam on the break with my right foot, which of course didn't work since my left foot was on the ground instead of the clutch. My brain was just transitioning to reaction #3 (e-brake) when I heard the crunch into the next door neighbor's car. Ooops. The trunk on steve's car now won't close properly and there was a large dent in the bumper of the neighbor's car (that we saw only after the power came back on. Needless to say, I was a bit upset about everything and didn't get much sleep last night.
But the silver lining on this cloud was when I called the neighbor this morning and he claims that the dent that we saw was always there--he backed into a propane tank last year. He claims it looks no different at all which seems impossible when you look at steve's car. Anyway, we'll probabaly just sell steve's car now.
fun fun fun!
Well, I got on here to be enlightened one last time by the blog before I head of to the top of the mtn for the next week tomorrow morning. Alas and alack! No one has been being informative! Which means I will have to wait a week for my blog fix! This is sad. Except, BUFFY is here right now (well, NOW she is in Provo) but she is going to take me up to Reservation Ridge with Grandpa G tomorrow and stay the day so that Grandpa gets that much of the experience at least, (which he is happy about) and then she will bring him home tomorrow night to sleep. It really is nice that he is able to stay here because BJ is here. It works so much better for him in many ways.

Yesterday was my parents 59th wedding anniversary, so I had all the couples come over for dinner last night. Next year is their 60th. We will have to do something that involves more of the family. Course, that may not even be possible. Twice in about 8 days now, mom has gone over at 1-2 am to the Opsitniks (next door) and gotten them out of bed because, she wanted to talk to me, and she was sure I was there. I am not sure what she was after the second trip, but that has got to stop, post haste. So my poor dad has installed a chain lock on the front door (with a padlock he can lock) which he will enable at night, and then sleep on a foam in front of the back door, which should keep her in the house. I need to ask him how that went. She continues to be more difficult, about many things. I will be surprised if we can manage to keep her out of a lockdown care situation for even 1 year. And my guess is that my dad will have to sell his garden property to pay for it ($4000.00 a month). It would sure be good for him and her if she could slip peacefully away in her sleep. I really don't know how my dad is able to put up with mom with all her issues, but I am certain that he will qualify for the Celestial Kingdom JUST for taking care of her her last years...

Brett is also coming up tomorrow camping, so I get to catch up on their lives. Wish we could transport the rest of ya'll there for the day!!

By the way, my parents could sure use some more Grandparent support from everyone. Especally , well, both of them really. Andrea and Terrance usually go over every week to visit with them, but they are the only ones. Last week they didn't make it and Dad called them and said they had missed them, and "wondered if they had decided that they just weren't worth it?"
I realize (boy do I realize) that they aren't Fun to visit with anymore. I have to keep on myself to have them over for dinner every week and go visit them when I am in orem...especially since I feel alot of the time that with Jack around, I am tolerating just about all the geriatric hangups that I am capable of without adding some more: But the fact is, they are my parents, and it would be pretty selfish of me not to try to include them more in my life just because the visits aren't Enjoyable to ME. They have sponsored alot of our familys fun both at their house for dinner with all the cousins, and on the mountain, and giving gifts for Birthdays, Christmases, and scholarship money, all with really no expectation of anything in return other than our love. We may have outgrown our need for wanting to see or talk to them (to different degrees), but they still need to know of our love for them, and that only happens with a visit or a phone call. Ten minutes a week would thrill them, just to know that they are still loved and remembered. Cambrie has been good to send an occasional letter to Jack. I don't know if she is doing that for my folks or not. But it is a free phone call after 7 pm, so I do hope you all will try to meet their needs too. You will feel guilt when they are gone if you don't. I know Brett makes a phone call every Sunday to an old lady in No Carolina, which I have really admired...but maybe you could cut your visits with her in half so that you could call some old lady in Orem UT too! Good IDEA!!