Saturday, September 22, 2007

Spelling - A Costly Mistake

My mom has always told me that I need to improve my spelling and it has always been my worst subject in school. I have improved significantly by trying to correct the misspelled words myself instead of using the spell checker. Jenny also helps me a lot too. This week it may have cost me significantly though.
I made some last minute changes to my resume before going to a job fair (click here to view an edited version of my resume). Since I was going to print it out on resume paper, Jenny didn't have an opportunity to look it over - BIG mistake. I really just changed two lines to about my mission one of which said, "Planed and conducted training meetings." Since "planed" is a real word the spell checker didn't catch my error - hopefully most of the 28 companies I gave my resume to didn't catch it either, but I'm sure some of them did.
When I got home that night it only took Jenny a few seconds to find my error. She showed it to me and made the change. The next morning I had 3 interviews set up so I printed off 3 resumes to replace the ones the interviewers had. As I sat down and placed my resume on the table at my first interview my eyes went right to that line and I saw an uncoverable error saying that I "Pslanned and conducted..." Frustration and anger started to build towards that one line as if that line had been changing on its own and was determined to defy me. Those are not good feeling to have at the first of a job interview. I knew I could try to ignore the mistake and hope it never came up or I could highlight it myself. I chose the second options and then asked if I could bring him a replacement after the interview.
I know this will all turn out ok in the long run. For now I was able to replace all of the resumes of companies I interviewed with. Also, I'm pretty sure I now know the difference between "planed" and "planned." See Mom - I'm still improving!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Endless Search

One of the debates that Brian and I have had throughout our marriage is how best to stay healthy and fit. We have tried many things over the last 4 years: running, racquetball, running, hiking, running, lifting weights, running and running. I can't count the number of times we've decided to try running as our fitness routine. I have to admit that I'm the problem for a few reasons.
#1 I have a hard time getting out of bed at 6:00 am on my days off to run.
#2 I don't think just running is very exciting. I prefer running up and down a court dribbling a basketball, or running up and down the field playing football.

SO in our never ending search to stay fit we have decided to try riding bicycles. Brian has a bike that he uses occasionally to get to school and we borrowed my little sister Emilee's bike for me to ride. It's a good thing Brian is an engineer because I think it's been a few years since Emilee has ridden her bike. It was in pretty good condition, but needed some minor repairs.
Brian putting his bike-fixer-upper skills to good use.

Although I was pretty excited, I was also quite worried about that first ride. The reason for my concern? It had been more than 5 years since I had ridden a bike! Of course when I voiced my concern Brian said, "It's just like riding a bike." I wasn't sure if that old adage applied to certified klutzes. But I am proof that it does. I made it back from that bike ride and several others without a scratch.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Babysitting

video
Here is a video Jenny made when she was babysitting for my sister. I guess it shows that sometimes kids are pretty easy to entertain. I just have to shake my head at some of the ideas that Jenny comes up with.

Jenny's Family Reunion

The end of August we headed to Idaho to party with my family. Everyone was able to make it except Amy and Matt and their little Zachary (I guess he's not all that little anymore since he's over 20 pounds and only 4 months old.) I'm looking forward to Christmas when we will all be able to get together and meet Zachary.

Can anyone guess our first activity? Perhaps a hint will help (see below pictures).

Brandon, Katie and Emilee processing and then cooking the apple sauce in the garage.

A gold star to anyone who guessed that we bottled apple sauce. Possibly not the most enjoyable activity; but like they say "many hands make light work." It has been quite awhile since we've worked together on a project which actually made it a lot of fun.

The next day we went up the canyon (some on motorbikes and some in the suburban) where we played games, hung out and enjoyed the beauty of nature.
Chloe giving Uncle B some exercise. She kept saying, "higher Uncle B, higher".
So Ethan decided that he would help Uncle B.
Bennet trying to play chubby bunny with Tootsie Rolls.
We went on a hike to see "hidden" waterfall. Thus named because it was so covered by brush and trees it was impossible to see. Can you see it in the above picture? Neither could we.
Family picture overlooking the valley.
Troy and Mom (Brandon in the background)
Tyson left Katie behind in a cloud of dust. You can see the evidence if you look carefully at her face.
And of course we had to ride horses.

Ethan and I riding Roy.

Troy and BennetBrian riding RoyEmilee and Chloe
It was a lot of fun and I look forward to a continuation in December.

Monday, September 10, 2007

School Begins One Last Time For Brian

I can't believe how fast this summer has gone. I'm not sure if I'm ready for the rigors of school, homework, papers, tests, etc. I have really enjoyed spending the evenings together with Brian after work, without the worry of homework. Ready or not, though, it has begun.

Exciting news: Brian started his last semester last week. He will graduate with his Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering in December. I think he is excited (I definitely am), though a little nervous about finding a full time job that will support our family. He does have one tentative job offer from the company he did an internship with over the summer. That adds stability and reassurance to that unknown part of our future. He is also planning on looking into other companies and job opportunities as well. I am excited to see what the future holds for us and hoping that I will soon have a reason (full time mommy) to drop down to working only part time.

Not as exciting news: I start school again this week as well. I wish that I could say that I will be done in December with Brian, but alas, that wouldn't be true. I am only one semester behind him, though, and plan on graduating in April. Yippee! (Maybe that is celebrating a little too soon, but I am getting closer to graduation celebration.)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Do we have green thumbs?

Yeah, I have a green thumb! (I think.) This summer we planted our first garden. One of Brian's friends is renting an apartment with a garden spot behind it and offered to let us plant some vegetables there. He and his wife water the garden and we keep it weed free (pretty easy to do because it is so small). We planted zucchini, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, kalarabi (we really don't know what this is or what to do with it) and corn. The garden is surrounded by tall trees on 3 sides and so we were worried that nothing would grow because of lack of direct sunlight. (As I look at these pictures, I realize that the garden looks rather sparse but at least there are green plants growing! As some of you are aware, I have a hard time keeping house plants alive. I think I just need to find a plant that tolerates times of drought (when I forget to water it) and flood (when I remember to water it). Does anyone know of such a plant?)

We were pretty sure the zucchini would grow because everyone knows it is so hardy, but were surprised when everything else did pretty well except the zucchini. We planted 8 plants in the upper right corner and sadly none of them survived. We also planted potatoes in the lower right corner, but our friends forgot where we planted them and planted more zucchini and squash over the potatoes. So we did end up having a few zucchini plants survive. When we dug up a potato plant to see how they were fairing, though, there were only 2 tiny little potatoes.

Our tomato plants did very well and we have enjoyed eating some very yummy cherry tomatoes. The bigger tomatoes are still green, but hopefully will ripen soon. The pepper plant has also produced some pretty big green peppers. The corn is really short and thin, but amazingly enough has a few ears of corn. The ears are only about 4 inches off the ground so we’ll see in a few weeks if they are edible.

Here is the kalabari plant that we don’t know what to do with. It grew really well, but does anyone know how you prepare and eat it?