Jennie

What’s On Bin Laden’s Hard Drive?


Sunday night, Nathan and I turned on the TV to watch Celebrity Apprentice. But we were surprised instead to see that there was breaking news and in a few minutes, President Obama would announce the death of Osama bin Laden.

Seems to me like Obama wanted to show Trump who’s boss and make the announcement at the same time as his show. Take that Trump.

Anyway, regardless of political affiliation, it was exciting news and sure took long enough.

Today, I read that they confiscated technology from the compound, too, and were going through all of the information. So what do you think was on bin Laden’s hard drive? Maybe he had some games installed to pass the time like Solitaire or Texas Hold ‘Em. Maybe he liked to spend his time on photoshop, editing images to show pictures of himself traveling the world instead of hiding out. I dunno. He didn’t have internet so he couldn’t waste time on Facebook.

That’s all I have to say on that point.

Most of our weekend was spent enjoying our busy schedules. On Friday night, we had some free food at a ward dinner. Nathan did a good job of getting an awkward table talking about how people met their spouses. The first counselor in our ward went over to his now wife’s apartment to ask her roommate out, but she wasn’t there. So he ended up asking out some other girl and eventually married her.

We were the only blind date at the table.

Saturday, we woke up to snow and all I could think was how excited I was to play soccer in that. Luckily, it warmed up enough to melt the inch that fell and we played in some patchy sun that afternoon. Dad came up with a plan for our corner kicks in that game that worked out, in a very roundabout way. Lindsey’s goal was to stand in front of the goalie so she couldn’t see the kick very well. Maren would take the kick and drop it in around the six yard line. My goal was to come running in and head it into the back of the net. So in the second half, Maren went over to the corner once we’d earned a corner kick and was all ready to execute the plan, but then, just a second after she’d kicked it, the ref blew his whistle and went running in by the goal where Lindsey was sprawled out on the ground.

Apparently, the goalie didn’t like Lindsey so she plowed into her from behind.

This led to a penalty kick in the box. Linds didn’t want to take it so I was picked, stepped up and scored.

So you see? In a roundabout way, it worked. Poor Lindsey, though.

After soccer, and after getting cleaned up of course, we went to Jennie and Jarv’s to help out with Claire’s friend birthday party. Let me tell you, helping little 8 year olds paint pillowcases at the kitchen table is a messy task. Somehow, I avoided getting any paint on my clothes, but no so for the little girls.

Sunday, all of the family got together for some dinner at Mick’s and then went to Claire’s baptism. It was great to hear her play the piano for a musical number while we were waiting in the chapel for our turn to go to the font (there were five children total so we went in groups). And then the best was seeing her so happy during the entire service. Yay Claire!

So we had a fabulous weekend spending time together, getting some exercise (also went together and lifted weights on Friday night), and seeing some of our family.

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Weekend – Return and Report


  • Baby Alice! Congrats to Laina and Thane on baby #2
  • Dinner with my neighbor Kellie – delicious of course, thanks hubby
  • Setting off the smoke alarm by turning the oven on self clean
  • Making cookies = eating plenty of cookie dough
  • Conference! What was your favorite? Mine was Elder Scott’s message
  • Sitting in the sun with Nathan on Friday afternoon
  • Dinner with Maren, Jennie and her kids
  • Reading bedtime stories to Owen and Bennett
  • French toast for Sunday morning conference, thanks hubby
  • Snow 😦
  • Lots and lots and lots of people for Sunday dinner
  • An extra prayer Sunday night, thanks hubby

Happy Birthday Hubby!


We celebrated Nathan’s birthday on Friday. He started his day by getting up at the butt-crack-of-dawn (can somebody tell me the origin of that phrase?) to get ready for another fabulous day of teaching and I am pretty sure that I made him a lunch (it’s hard to remember anything before 7:00 am).

I spent much of his birthday at home with my laptop sending emails and doing other work-y things in order to earn my paycheck. For my lunch break, I went to the store to buy dinner.

Tangent here (surprise): it’s a bit of a daunting task cooking Nathan a birthday dinner. I couldn’t let him cook his own, though, and for some reason, I just didn’t think it would be as intimate if we went out to eat somewhere. I consider myself an able cook, but I know that my husband easily surpasses me in that skill. From what I can currently tell, though, I am still competitive with him in the baking category. Phew.

Tangent done.

Back to birthday celebrations.

After work ended for the both of us, we were at home while I finished up the cooking and, after being pressed, let Nathan help out some.

Then Jennie brought her fabulous little crazies over to wish Uncle Nate happy birthday and they brought drawings for him. Beautiful little creations. The drawings and the children. And my husband.

Shortly after they left we ate the birthday dinner. The menu consisted of grilled NY steaks, mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower and green beans with pancetta. Mmm, pancetta. I cannot for the life of me recall what we had to drink. Pink Powerade? It’s possible.

I made a total mess in the kitchen, between all of the cake making, garlic chopping, pancetta dicing, cooking, frying and waltzing.

I had all sorts of good intentions to clean it all up before the cake and ice cream party, but I didn’t quite get around to it. Instead, we just ignored the full sink as family showed up: Dad, Mick, Tracy, Emma, Abe, Jane, Kate, Ryan, Locke, Maren and Dustin. It was a good sized gathering for our little condo.

Pogi hid most of the time.

Scaredy cat.

The cake turned out nice and moist (everyone’s favorite word) although according to Abe, it was “really rich.” Some of the kids washed down their cake and ice cream with popsicles.

Eventually, Kate went and found Pogi who surprisingly was happy to play with her and the feathered stick she waved about for him.

Little Locke made the most noise. He must have realized that it would take a lot of effort to be heard over the older children. You have to really fight for attention when there are Campbells around.

Eventually we said goodbye to family only to meet up with many of them again on Sunday night for dinner at Mom and Dad’s and more birthday cake. The family sang a rousing happy birthday (as always), we enjoyed red velvet cake, and then everybody took turns telling Nathan all of his amazing qualities.

At first, I thought it was a strange family tradition which we started only in the last few years. We go around the room and each person says something nice about the birthday person. Seemed like forced compliments, right? Turned out, though, everyone was actually sincere (with only a few random jokes tossed in for the sake of balancing out the cheesiness), and we’ve kept up the tradition since then.

I wonder if it surprises my parents ever that their kids actually like each other. Thinking back on all of the fights, punching, kicking sand in faces, broken bones, stitches, and banisters yanked out of the wall, it might seem a bit surprising.

Anyway, I loved hearing what everybody had to say about the birthday boy. Sometimes, my family really is quite nice.

Happy Birthday, Nathan! Lucky me to be married to such a young hottie.

Looked Out The Window And… It’s Still Winter


The Elkins Fam* was taking a nap Sunday afternoon while DVR’d episodes of Mom playing for Music and the Spoken Word repeated on the TV. Seemed tranquil right? Curled up together on the couch with a soft blanket and Pogi would occasionally check on us, or on the blanket**.

Do you know what you dream about when things are all happy and tranquil like that?

Wearing shorts.

It wasn’t a deep sleep for me and when I woke up from that dream, realizing that winter wasn’t planning on going anywhere for a few more months, I was bummed. But it was warm inside, and extra warm on the couch, so I closed my eyes and drifted off again.

Does it ever feel like, to you, that each year winter takes a little bit longer to finally end? Last year, I had plans to actually go snowboarding for the first time ever in an attempt to enjoy winter more. Never happened. Turns out, you can’t do that for free. I’d rather spend money on soccer.

Also last year, Maren, Laura and I made up a song or rap, or something of the sort, about how cruel January can be. And it was on January 1st that we did this. Already complaining, it seems. But, these are the things we do to cope so that we continue on, mostly upbeat. Can’t let the cold and lack of sunshine get you down for long, no? So on a positive note, here are some of the blissful things I did this weekend:

  • Watched hours of Lonesome Dove at Maren’s in-laws’. We all ate dinner together while we watched and Nathan fell asleep on the couch next to me so he kept me warm. Eventually, we also ate ice cream, somebody burped, and there were jokes about poking. A very cultural evening.
  • Slept in on Saturday. Ah.
  • Took 4 boxes of kitchen dishes and 3 bags of clothes and old towels to the DI in our ongoing quest to organize our lives in our small condo.
  • Got in the line at Smith’s with one of the fastest checkers in the west. Nice.
  • Watched some 9th grade basketball where I briefly thought I was in some sort of a movie plot because one of the boys playing in the last couple of minutes of the game was autistic and all of the boys on the court handed him the ball to let him take a shot. He airballed. So the refs gave the ball back to him and had him shoot again. He made it and then went bounding down the court, fists pumping, everybody cheering regardless of their team.
  • Went to the Jazz game to watch the Thunder teach them how to play basketball. Nathan and I spent much of the game laughing at the old man behind us who was cheering, nasally, the entire game by repeating the same phrases over and over: “come on Jazz,” “please make it,” “just win already,” and “just shoot it.” He wore a fluorescent orange jacket. Dad took a brief nap next to us.
  • Sunday morning church and I didn’t fall asleep once. I think I might finally be adjusting to the morning church time.
  • Sunday afternoon nap. Ah.
  • I made cookies and Nathan made delicious appetizers which we took to Jarv and Jennie’s for Sunday dinner.
  • Dinner consisted of the Super Bowl, commercials, sitting outside on the cold sidewalk waiting for little Kate to look up and finally smile at me, eating too much good food, Tess sitting on my lap to open some of her presents, Bennett hugging Great Grumma, and eventually going home to a warm bed.

Not bad for a cold winter weekend, right?


*A.K.A. me and my hot hubby.

**Pogi “loves” that blanket. And by love, I mean that he prefers to show the blanket who’s boss while kneading it and purring.

A Potrait of the Artist as a Young Man


Here’s a little twist on this week’s book review… let’s review a book that I never finished: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

I gave up on reading this because I couldn’t follow Joyce’s stream of consciousness. I kept on losing focus; apparently, MY own stream of consciousness was more interesting than Stephen Dedalus’s (the main character). I’ve tried to read this book TWICE, too, because apparently, I didn’t want to fail only once.

Maybe I should try to “read” it as an audio book. Only I don’t know how that would keep my attention any better. See, that’s my problem with reading sometimes: I have to be more interested in the book than I am in my own thoughts. I have really interesting thoughts, I’ll have you know.

What I remember from the parts that I did pay attention were that he started with childhood memories that included his parents and various Irish Catholic priests. This book is constantly praised for Joyce’s prose and description and for its use of stream of consciousness. I feel like an English major failure because I haven’t been able to read this.

I did read the Cliff Notes before I took a test on it. Way to go me.


P.S. Jennie and Jarv had a new baby girl today! Picture to come…

Dusting Off My Square Dancing Skills


Once upon a time*, I was going to start telling you a story about my weekend. However, I got off on the tangent from my asterisk and forgot what I was going to say. That happens OFTEN.

Let’s try again. Story may change from its original intentions.

Once upon a time, I used to sleep in, do chores, and run errands on Saturdays. This Saturday, however, none of the above happened. Instead, the day was rather jam-packed and I was happy for it (despite the fact that I have no milk or eggs in my fridge, but I do have whip cream).

The day began with soccer and the weather was practically perfect, as was the field. Sadly, my game was far from, but regardless, it was good exercise and I played a better second half. (We lost and I totally shanked a shot on goal… sad. Well, really, the saddest part is that I couldn’t play better for the Campbell cheering section which came to watch mine and Maren’s team get 2nd place in the Utah Cup. Sorry Dad, Jarv, Jennie and the kids, but thanks for coming.)

After running around in the sun for 90 minutes, I of course thought it necessary to meet up with Shawman to pump some iron. So it was off to the gym to try and convince my biceps and triceps they had the energy to lift a 20-lbs bar.

After the lifting, I rushed home to clean up and meet up with Mick, Tracy, their kids and Maren to watch a movie. And what movie do you think we went to? High School Musical 3, of course! Those kids were excited for the dancing and singing and such; I was entertained by seeing my high school on the big screen. Disney made my East High look much more school-spirit-filled than I remembered it. After the movie, and after Abe danced around in the front of the theatre, it was off to the next activity: the Fall Ball.

Here’s where the new singles ward comes into play. It was a ward activity and when I showed up, there was nowhere to park so I had to back out of the parking lot and park on the street. When I walked into the park pavilion, they were sweeping it up after having pushed all the tables out of the way and an older gentleman was standing with a mic in hand, prepared to begin calling some square dancing.

When was the last time you square danced**?

Let the young single adult square dancing begin. I felt like a hand-holding slut. (This is where I was going to tell you the number of guys that I held hands with as I skipped around promenading home and such, but I have no idea… maybe 30.) For the most part, there was minimal stepping on feet, nobody fell down and everybody learned how to “go into the center with a whoop and a holler.”

Did I mention that it was a good way to meet many more of the guys in my ward? Now if only I could remember all of their names. I’ll get there… eventually.

It was an hour of dosados, allemande lefts, courtesy turns, promenading and grand squares. Turns out, it was a fairly decent workout as well. I almost broke a sweat.

Sadly, when they were preparing the dutch ovens to make cobblers, I had to leave to make it to an indoor soccer game (where I only scored once so it was not one of my better soccer days all around).

Thankfully, due to circumstances beyond both mine and the guy’s control, the date I had for that night had to be rescheduled. I went home and stretched my muscles.

So aren’t you proud of me for trying something new? Well, something fairly new as I hadn’t squared danced for many moons… (and thanks to Mademoiselle Drew for letting me borrow the use of asterisks for side notes from her blog style).


Political Link of the Day: McCain gives Obama a new nickname, Barack the Redistributor


*Once I asked an ex-relationship a question. It was my attempt to get some conversation out of somebody who seemed to have decided not to talk to me for a very long weekend playing tourist in a big city. I simply asked him, “Tell me a story from your mission and start with, ‘once upon a time.’” Don’t YOU think that’s a good question to hopefully hear an interesting story? Well, I did. But, ex-relationship did NOT. Instead, he chose not to answer me and later said something along the lines of, “Well, you have to ask more specific questions.” I didn’t realize that regular old conversation between adults was governed by such a particular rule. How have I ever managed to carry on conversations with people and not necessarily followed this? You’re probably appalled now.

**Third grade with Doug Bodell. I should iSearch him and see if I can online stalk him; he was my third grade crush.