The Gold Girls

Just save c3p0

Yesterday I took my car into JiffyLube to get the annual Safety and Emissions Inspections. While I was there, the technician told me that I would need new brake pads on my rear brakes to pass the Safety test. I told him to go ahead and put them on so that I could just be done with the process all in one day.

After a few hours, he called me out to the auto bay, I paid $250 for all the services received (safety, emissions, oil change, radiator cap/top-off, air filter, rear windshield wiper and rear brake pads. ) He said the other technician had perfect timing as he was just walking up from taking my beloved mini-van on the test drive for the brakes.

I had papers, keys, and receipts in hand ready to be reunited with my car. It took me a minute to figure out what was going on as tech2 walked behind me and said to tech1, “Dude we have a problem. You need to call ________.  I _________ (I didn’t quite hear what he said as I didn’t know he was reporting on my car)_____. The whole front side of that Honda is all messed up. I perked up at the mention of Honda as my mini-van is a Honda. I turned around and faced the guys. Tech2 looked a little shook up and immediately apologized, “I’m so sorry, I just crashed your car.” I replied, “Are you serious?” as tech1 said, “You’re messing with me.” “I’m not dude, it’s over on the other side by Beto’s. Ma’am, I’ll walk you over there.”

We took the two block walk from one end of a large parking lot around the other stores to the other and this is what was at the end of it. The brakes had failed at the nearby stoplight. The ambulance was just pulling up as the people who my guy had rear-ended had called 911. They were a couple in their 70’s and so very sweet. Their grown daughter was in the back seat resting her head on the front seat and was all shook up. (I am tempted to say she was faking, but that wouldn’t be nice – I mean really though her parents  who are 25 years older were perfectly fine,  but maybe she really is just fragile?)

honda2 honda

The poor kid (tech2 from JiffyLube) who had just crashed my car was on the verge of tears. While staring down at my most vital transportation, I forced a smile,  grabbed his arm, gave him a half hug, and told him, “These things happen. It’s just life. Don’t be too upset with yourself. I’m not mad at you, at all. I kind of needed a new car anyway.” And then I got embarrassed and almost as an afterthought I inquired, “Are you o.k.? Are you injured?” He said he was fine and admitted he was shaken up and worried about being fired. He said, “I’m going to cry right now.” I told him he could cry in front of me any time, “I’m a mom” and then insisted, “I’ll go to bat for you; they better not fire you. Accidents happen.”

I was proud of myself for staying calm and gave myself an invisible pat on the back for being mature and keeping perspective that people matter way more than things. Period. No contest. I was also silently thanking my old therapist John, Glennon Doyle MeltonBrene Brown, and God for teaching me about shame (the damage it causes) and the value of souls.

The paramedics started loading the fifty-something-daughter onto the stretcher. She was a waif of a thing and seemed not all quite there. I would be tempted to say she has problems with drugs, but that would just be because I lived in TN for so long and dealt with so many of my husband’s drug clients. If I find out she has cancer or something I will feel really bad for passing judgement and for my honest admittance of my crime. I really need to practice NOT SHAMING and give her the benefit of the doubt. I hope she has cancer instead of a drug addiction. (Man, that is just wrong.) It could be that she really was in shock which would explain her shaking and incoherence. {I openly admit I am still working on making my first assumptions about people the good ones instead of the bad.} I got on the phone with LG to have him do the pre-school pick up for me and then called our insurance agency. I then got all my paperwork together for the officer who pulled up at least three minutes after the ambulance and firetrucks. Funny, the police department is located right across the street.

I’ve been extremely happy with the way that JiffyLube has taken care of the situation and can honestly say that this incident won’t keep me from using their services in the future. They immediately reimbursed us the $250 of services without us even asking for it, got us a rental car less then 24 hours later, and have insurance to cover our car damage. They’ve always been good to us in the past, and you know what? People screw up. Like my brother said, “The best you can hope for when people screw up is that they will make it right,” and JiffyLube has gone above and beyond at making it right. Trusting them with my vehicles in the future may make me stupid , but I think it makes me more forgiving then anything and that is way more vital to my emotional health then my IQ level.

So, today I picked my kids up from school in the rental van, and we headed over to retrieve our belongings from our crashed van. The whole way to the collision shop Bella and Sophia said all they cared about was saving C3p0. He’s had a spot on our dashboard for the better part of 8 years and is quite handy when it comes to identifying our vehicle among the hundreds of other minivans in the parking lots of the many family-friendly establishments we frequent. You know: church, wal-mart, the city pool, library, grocery store, sporting events, etc.

Bella was one happy camper when they retrieved C3p0 from under the front seat of the car.
Sophia was even happier, but refused to pose.

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Now I know they are kids and don’t get all the ramifications of securing a new car loan and locating and purchasing a new car, but I have to say that I was proud of my kids and their concern for c3p0. In the past 24 hours they haven’t complained about me being on the phone constantly or having to ride everywhere squashed in dad’s sedan. They’ve just rolled with the punches and showed concern for the drivers involved in the accident; they’ve been helpful and have joined us in laughing about the whole thing. My most parental pride came, however, from their main concern being for a $5 sentimental trinket. They embraced it way more then the brand new rental with all the bells and whistles. It’s days like today when I pat myself on the back and say, “Way to go Alice, you aren’t totally failing as a parent.” Maybe someday they will grow up to care more about the crasher of their car then their car too. I hope so.

The best news today was from JiffyLube’s District Manager. At the rental car place he told me that they would most definitely not fire Mark the driver. The insurance company low-balled our offer and we really really don’t want to go back into a car payment after 10 years without one, but as we figure out the details, I am going to set C3p0 next to my laptop to help me remember what is really important. Once again the kids are the teachers and the mom is the student.

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And here is a great argument for why when your kids start driving you should want them in a vehicle with a trailer hitch.

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other car

Here is the other car. Barely a scratch.

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Easter Photos 2013

I’ve decided I really shouldn’t torture the family with a photo shoot more than twice a year. 
It’s pretty painful for them (and me) to have the required patience with my budding interest in photography. 
I find solace in one thing:
I am being a great example
of diligent pursuit of hobbying.
I hope that all my girls
will have hobbies
that they love and enjoy
and don’t give up
for any reason.
(especially when they are moms)
The pictures may look good
but trust me
they took a good hour or two
and there were many many outtakes.
Thank 
goodness 
for
digital.

My favorite moment of the day:
making out with LG
while the kids watched
and/or
hammed it up for camera.

 
My second favorite moment:
watching the girls enjoy the shore.

Note to self:
no guardrails

Crazy Family.
I’m really bummed
we didn’t get a good one
of this set-up.
really bummed.

Hide Yo Girls

The other day Abigail was hanging out in her cami.
She kept trying to push it.
A few weeks ago, 
I told the girls they could wear their camis to bed
for comfort if they wanted.
LeGrand had enough and laid down the law.
“No more camis!
Before I know it,
you’re going to be
wearing them outside too.”
He told Abigail to go to her room and put on a shirt, “Now.” She wasn’t moving. He said, “You better get to it, or I am going to start stripping down right now, one piece of clothing at a time.” I was cracking up. I told her to call dad on his bluff. There was no way he was going buck naked.
He got both his shirt off and his undershirt,
and took his belt off.
When he started unzipping his pants,
she ran off screaming
in horror.
I laughed and laughed and laughed.
LG put his shirts back on.
He was feeling all exposed,
especially since Abigail made fun of his bare body.
Or should I say bear body?

We don’t believe in letting our daughters as hoochie mamas.
We want to keep them sweet and innocent for as long as possible: their whole lives preferably.

I was raised the same way. I am not going to lie. I hated it. As a teenager, I fought my parents on it daily. One time my mom tore a dress that I was wearing in two (right in front of my boyfriend) because she was sick of tired of me wearing things that were too short. (I hope my sister has forgiven me by now, it was her dress) I bought my own bikinis and wore them when my mom wasn’t looking. I washed them myself and hid them away in the back of my drawers. I wanted to be like all the other girls. My brothers seemed pretty keen on making sure my sister and I dress modestly too, which we didn’t understand because they were perfectly fine dating the girls who didn’t really cover up. I now understand they were being protective.

And you know what? WE ABSOLUTELY SHOULD BE PROTECTIVE.

Some people may think that our modesty policy is a little absurd, but do you know what? I don’t care.

While most of my girlfriends were having sex in high school and some ended up pregnant, I proudly stayed a virgin until I was married. I am glad that I did. I never regret that decision. Not a day in my life have I felt like I made the wrong choice. I want for my girls to be chaste and make the same choice to remain abstinent until they are married. And yes, dressing modestly has a direct correlation.

I love my sweet sweet girls.
I love that they are pretty good about dressing modestly.
They seem to get the principle that modesty provides protection.

I want them to love themselves for who they are
amazing daughters of God.
They truly can 
change the world
just by being 
a source of light.

Mustache you about those beards

While having cream of wheat in the kitchen Thursday morning, 
here was the conversation.
Caroline (in her alarmed voice): “Mom, we have beards again.”
Me: (referring to the photos on the wall) “Who did that?”
Caroline: “Abigail.”
Me (laughing): “Why would she do that?”
Caroline (in all seriousness): “Because she’s a brat!”

I have loved these photos in our dining room.
They have given us a whole lot of entertainment.
One of my favorite times was when I noticed
that the kids had switched the order of the photos
so that they read
Ice-cream is better than your love.
I guess that would be an honest statement
depending on whether or not
you have an available bowl of ice-cream.
Funniest part is that by the time
this busy mom noticed
the kids swear they had been rearranged for
at least a month.
Maybe ice-cream is better than my love.
Sometimes I am too busy serving my family
that I forgot to stop and make sure they know
that I love them dearly.

Race #2

The whole family participated in a 5k together.
I would say it was our first, but LG did one last year with all the girls.
Caroline didn’t join us this time.
We got a sitter.
It was a great time
and we appreciated the chance to have some family fun
while exercising AND helping raise money for the kids school.
Have I ever told you how much I love my man?
Thanks LG for supporting me in my crazy adventures.
It was a small race,
but Abigail was 14th overall.
If she would have passed one female
she would have won a top 3 prize.
Funny she doesn’t really “run” persay,
but soccer really is a great sport for overall athleticism.
Next year Abigail’s goal will be to beat Ms. Shepherd
who was 2 minutes faster than her.
I was happy with my time.
32:35.
That is almost a two minute improvement
from my first race in January.
I’ll take it!
Little Miss Sophia came in 6 places behind me.
At the beginning of the race she was sticking right with me,
I thought she would beat me,
but all my training brought me in 5 minutes ahead of her.

LG was the best dad and stayed with Bella the whole way.
At the end I ran back to them
and offered to carry Bella up the hill
but LG said “NO WAY ALICE –
She has to finish by herself.”
What a smart dad.
This is what we all looked like at the finish.
Go Gold family.
Go here for official race results.

Wondrous

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We are in the land of snow.
This photo was taken a few weeks back.
It would be a whole lot better
with my old broken camera,
but I take what I can get.

I was having a bad day
and when I opened up this file
it made me smile from ear to ear.

I am so blessed to be a mother
even if sometimes I want to quit the job.

My husband and my girls
are my greatest treasures.
Period.
Nothing else is relative
if I don’t have them first.

They make everything enjoyable.
Even the stuff I don’t like.
Snow
for instance.
Not a huge fan.
I did grow up in San Diego
after all.
But, my family makes snow
wondrous.
Wondrous to behold.

Thank you God
for giving me an eternal family
and this mortal life
with earthly experiences
to savor
with the ones I love most.

Halloween

I guess I better get these Halloween photos up
before Thanksgiving gets here.

Our girls got some killer deals
at K-mart on their costumes.
Sometimes it pays to be late.
50% off plus another 20% off coupon.
Then I got another discount on Abigail’s
because we had to sew a strap on.
I told the girls that we would only spend $5 on each of them.
They gladly subsidized with their own money
so they didn’t have to make their own costumes.
I think we spent a total combined of $30.

I can’t say that I was disappointed
since making our own costumes
would require my help.

I was going to dress Caroline up
as Shirley Temple
but she barely cooperated
for wings,
so what would have been the point?

Have I told you how much of a handful this kid is?
I wonder where she gets it from?
We dumped Caroline back at home with dad
after knocking on the condos
close to home.
Here are the girls out about in the neighborhood
with our two friends Natassja and India.
It seems we should live somewhere more exotic
than Utah
when we have friends with names like that.

I just loved this shot with the pumpkin.
Notice that we use pillowcases
for carrying Halloween candy.
It’s what my mom used to make us do
when we were kids
and the tradition has stuck.
Best costume of the evening.
Obama and his Secret Service agents.
These boys are awesome.
My girls enjoyed following them around the neighborhood
on our perfect weathered evening.

I enjoyed taunting Obama at every door
that us Utahns only give our candy to Republicans
who work for their own stuff.
I’m silly like that.
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Family Dance Night

Do you remember this ancient post about the family staying up all night to dance.
We couldn’t afford to go to Chuck E Cheese and so we pulled out the old records.

Well now we can afford to go to Chuck E. Cheese but I believe I would rather
travel back in time and do this all over again.
I finally figured out how to post the video and these are so cute.
The girls have grown so fast but I am pleased to report that they still giggle just the same.
And they still think they can dance.

It started out slow. Very Lawrence Welk feeling slow.

Then we moved on to Bob Dylan’s song on banjo.
Dad does some tapping and at the end the baby has to join in.

More with dad and baby. Puff the magic dragon.

Then dad goes a little crazy.

A little Beverly Hillbilly’s. We were in TN after all.
We have some underwear malfunctioning.
This is when I hope that no sickos have found the blog.
But, if you sickos have found us, make sure you watch this one through
to see the man you will contend with if you come within 50 feet of our daughters.
And then know that I am about 800% more ferocious.

Now dad kindly introduces the two-step to our flapper girls.
Has anybody seen our girls?

And if you’ve been the loyal watcher,
you will be happy for this finale.
One final laugh for us all.

Good times. Good times.

Giveaway – Halftees

I have a special post for you
in honor of my 38th birthday.

Happy birthday to me.

I’m giving away a halftee.
It’s the layering piece for everyone.
Cute little tees for all purposes.
They have new styles up on their site today
so go and pick your favorite
and leave me a comment
with your name, e-mail, and desired style/color
(we’ll save your size for private)
and I will give a halftee
to one lucky reader
at the end of my favorite month:
November.

Why halftee you ask?
Well let me tell you.
As you know
at our house
modest is always hottest.
That’s why we loved trying out Halftees.

The other day I walked outside
to find this message written on the sidewalk.

Be still my heart.



It looks like we are getting through to our girls.
Modesty is a principle of protection.
And our girls do it well.

One time my mother-in-law took them shopping.
She came home praising my name.
Our girls, on their own accord,
did all the tests before
deciding whether or not they should buy something.

Bend over.
Reach your arms up.
Slouch down.

No shoulder shots.
No butt shots.
No boob shots.
No belly shots.
No thigh shots.

O.k. grammy. Can we get this?
No hoochy mamas around here.

Halftees, a Utah based company,
are a great way to compensate

for the lack of covering in clothes on today’s store racks.

And guess what my wonderful readers? 

You can get 20% off of all of your orders
until November 9th by using the code IMSOFUNNY.
(I would use the discount now, you know,
before you forget and
just in case you don’t win the giveaway)
Halftees come in a bunch of colors and styles.
As you can see we prefer the white ones.
Go and check them out.
I’ll be picking up some more for Christmas.
Even winter dresses are all sleeveless nowadays.
I am thinking about buying some
for some of the girls at church
When they wear sleeveless,
my kids don’t understand.
I thought it was a church-wide standard
to cover our shoulders?

I will leave you with Sophia’s part
for the upcoming Primary program.
She wrote it by herself.
LG and I love the part about “the fronts”.
Notice the plural fronts.
Hilarious.
Dressing modestly shows respect 
for Heavenly Father and myself.
We should never wear anything that is
tight or short shorts or miniskirts that reveal
our shoulders or your back and fronts.
When you dress modestly 
you show Heavenly Father that you love Him.
 Dressing modestly is important to you
and everyone around you.

Oh and one more:

More Than a Hero: Muhammad Ali’s Life Lessons Presented Through His Daughter’s Eyes by Hana Ali

When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.”

He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”

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The Uinta’s

There is no better day than Sunday
to post a bunch of photos
of my family
and God’s great earth.
I love them both.
Thank you God
for my amazing life.
Feel free to join us on our drive
from last weekend.
It’s pictures like the one above
that make me want to
oblige the girls
when they tell us we need to have another baby.
How bout it honey?
Rock on rock.
Or as Caroline says it
big rock, little rock.
I love girls with pockets.
I love pockets with souvenirs.
I love free souvenirs.
I can hear your sigh.
I wish you could have come with us too.
Just imagine what I could do
with a camera that costs more than $100.
My birthday is coming up LG.
(hint hint)
Yeah right.
We all know he ain’t spending more
than $100 on me for my birthday.
A girl can dream though.
We love you Uinta Mountains.
Especially in the Fall.
Thanks again to a God
who is the ultimate artist.
You take our breathe away.
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