Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Mr. Darcy

Ever since Brock got his hair cut, I keep seeing glimpses of Colin Firth in him. Which makes me think of the A & E Pride and Prejudice. Which makes me swoon at the romance of it all. *swoooooning as I type* So I thought I'd share. If I thought I could get him to do it, I'd have Brock dress in his period clothing, I'd get into my wedding dress, and I'd post a picture. Since that's not likely to happen, you should look at the pictures below instead, then check Brock out here and here to see him in the (sorta) right clothes. Merge the two together and . . . voila!

Here we have Brock and Shannon

And here are Mr. Darcy and Ms. Bennett
(in case you got confused)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Well, actually Norm, it's a little-known fact . . .

I am bored. I'm at school for parent/teacher conferences, but I'm not getting any visitors. Nobody loves me. Nobody hates me. They're all indifferent. *sigh* So I'm bored. I don't really have anything to do except hang out on the internet. Well, the sites that aren't blocked by the school district's filter, that is.

In an attempt to be part of the "in" crowd I'm stealing a blogging idea from Tiffany, one of the coolest gals I know. I used to go to a writing group at Tiffany's house. I keep meaning to steal her writing group ideas and start one here. Check back with me in a couple of years on that one. Anyhow, the idea is to share one hundred tidbits of information about myself. Here is goes.

  1. I'm breaking my zero-calorie soda rule today by drinking a Mountain Dew.
  2. I usually drink Diet Coke.
  3. I should drink water.
  4. I have a small bladder.
  5. I like to read books intended for adolescents. Especially Newbery Award winners.
  6. Writing poetry is my greatest talent.
  7. My hair is my best physical feature.
  8. Or maybe my smile.
  9. Or perhaps my eyes.
  10. Definitely not my butt or breasts.
  11. I love my second-hand store clothes. They help make my style unique.
  12. I wonder if I'll ever grow up.
  13. I worry that I'll never find complete peace.
  14. I'm smarter than I give myself credit for being.
  15. I'm not as smart as my students think I am.
  16. I'm afraid of sleeping in my house all alone.
  17. I hope my children will make it through their adolescence unscathed.
  18. I'm sure they won't.
  19. I'm worried that part of their scathing will come from me doing and saying the wrong things.
  20. My marriage is really important to me.
  21. I love my job.
  22. I love my house.
  23. I don't want to live there forever.
  24. Unless we get a second bathroom.
  25. And a better heating system.
  26. I really like to eat.
  27. I want to be a real runner again.
  28. I miss having a best girlfriend living in the same town.
  29. I have an incredible family (Mom, Dad and sibs).
  30. I couldn't have hoped for better in-laws.
  31. I think my piano is ruined, and it makes me sick to my stomach to think about it.
  32. I don't mind driving if I have mood-appropriate cds to listen to.
  33. My cd player in my car is broken.
  34. I love to be in the mountains.
  35. The mountains across the street from my house are just as beautiful as any I saw in Switzerland.
  36. I hitch-hiked on the autobahn through East Germany (in December, 1989) because I wanted to go to Berlin and hack out a graffiti-covered piece of the Berlin Wall.
  37. It was a lot harder to break than I thought it would be.
  38. I got pretty fat during the three months I spent in London.
  39. I love all the snow we're getting this winter.
  40. One time I said a swear word in the temple. I didn't mean to. I felt really bad about it.
  41. One time I said a swear word in class. I said it very quietly. I didn't feel bad about it at all.
  42. My husband's looks make me swoon.
  43. He might even be better looking with short hair than he was with long.
  44. I still want him to grow his hair out again.
  45. I liked riding on the coattails of his long-haired non-conformity.
  46. I think the little girl who gets a wig made from his hair is very lucky.
  47. I hope it sparks her spunk when she wears it.
  48. This is kind of hard.
  49. I adore my children.
  50. I want to help them to become strong women.
  51. I am saddened by the lack of positive strong female role models in our Utah society.
  52. I'm a little intimidated by the English department chair in my school.
  53. I don't read every word of every paper my students turn in.
  54. I have occasionally thrown out entire assignments because I just don't have time to grade them.
  55. Still, I am still a pretty darn good teacher.
  56. One of my favorite students was in a lock-down school before he was enrolled here.
  57. I was a little scared of him when I first heard about him.
  58. I feel silly about it all now.
  59. I get chapped lips in the winter.
  60. My face turns red easily.
  61. I am the third of four kids in my family.
  62. I met my husband on the internet.
  63. I dated far more as an adult than I dated as a teenager.
  64. I was an awkward teenager.
  65. I still feel awkward at times.
  66. I'm a democrat.
  67. I love the color red.
  68. My mom is a very classy lady.
  69. I have been a homebody since I married my husband.
  70. I used to hate to be home.
  71. I wish I had more friends.
  72. I wish I had fewer enemies.
  73. I rarely watch TV. I'm really proud of that.
  74. I am transitioning from silly morning radio shows to NPR morning news.
  75. It's about time!
  76. I also like Prairie Home Companion, Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me, and Cartalk. That NPR is good stuff.
  77. I dream of publishing my poetry one day.
  78. I'm not doing much to make that happen.
  79. I love Billy Collins.
  80. I love Crest White Strips.
  81. I really need to get some . . .
  82. I love dark chocolate.
  83. I waste too much time on the internet.
  84. But not as much as I used to.
  85. I need more closet space.
  86. I hope that some day I will be satisfied with my body the way it is.
  87. I admire my husband's unique way of thinking.
  88. I would like to express my gratitude to those I love more frequently.
  89. I would like to compliment others more freely.
  90. I would like to be less critical.
  91. The New Era paid me $10 for one of my poems when I was 16.
  92. I don't think they ever published it.
  93. It was pretty stupid.
  94. Sometimes I can act like a real know-it-all.
  95. As a rule, know-it-all people really bug me.
  96. I really like buttered movie popcorn.
  97. I rarely shave my legs in the winter.
  98. I wax my sideburns.
  99. Once I plucked my sideburns to see if it hurt less than waxing.
  100. It hurt more.

So there you have it. I don't think many of you, my meager following, are bloggers, so how about if you just leave me a comment with your top ten or twenty tidbits of information. Come on, crawl out of your shells. I know you want to. I might even have a little cookie for y'all once you come out. What do ya say?


I used to keep a little notebook handy so I could write down cute things my kids said or did when they were small. A couple of weeks ago I found said notebook, and the girls and I had a chuckle. Of course I had tons of entries for Em, a few for Kate, and a "When Jane was 9 months " followed by sharpie marker scribbles for Jane. Apparently I got interrupted mid-sentence and never got around to finishing. Which is, of course, the story of the youngest child's life.

Here are a few of the cuter pronouncements from my kids:
  • Emma (2 years old) was leaning on my back, so I asked her to quit. She came around to my front, took my face in her little pudgy hands and said, "Mommy, sometimes little children don't know how to quit."
  • Emma loved to play games when she was 2 years old. She made up a game she called "Doe-di-doe-di-doe". The idea is that the adult would give Emma the clues, and she guessed the answer. Once when we were in the car, Emma asked if we could play "Doe-di-doe-di-doe." At the same moment, Emma's dad let out a huge belch. Emma immediately guessed "Pepsi!"
  • Another 2-year-old Emma moment--One day after I straightened my dark, shoulder-length hair, Emma said, "Mommy, you look beautiful! Just like Rosie O'Donnell."
  • When Kate was about 2 years old, she fell down the stairs--from the top all the way down. She hit the cement floor at the bottom of the stairs. Immediately, she jumped up, shook her head and said, "I'm okay!" and off she went. It was a Looney Toon moment.
  • When Kate was about 4 years old, we went to her best friend's house to pick her up for a play date. When her friend, Claire, got into the van, she said, "Guess who came over to our house yesterday?" Kate responded, "Was it a midget?" Claire said, "No, it was a real person."

Awww, my kids make me laugh. I'm sure Jane made me laugh too, but I don't remember why anymore. Poor Jane. Oh well, at least she's cute.


Warning! If you do not want to know how The Sixth Sense ends, DO NOT READ THIS POST!!!

I'm currently teaching Romeo and Juliet to my 9th grade language arts class. It's lots of fun. Some of my students are even smart enough to catch the innuendo smattered throughout the play. (What?? SHAKESPEARE wrote about SEX???) The others are thrilled that the smart ones are asking questions that cause me to choose my words very carefully to make sure I don't cross the line that triggers angry phone calls from parents. Shakespeare was kinda dirty. It's true. And while it was okay, even encouraged, to talk about all the horny little details in my college courses (at BYU, no less), I'm afraid that teenagers in Box Elder County, Utah are not ready for that kind of education.

But I digress.

The real reason for this post is the discovery I made yesterday when I was looking on the internet for good sites to recommend to my students. I was checking out the IMDb to read reviews of the R & J movies. I've never seen the Zeffirelli film, but I know a lot of teachers like to show it to their students. (I'm inclined to show the Luhrman version). So I was looking at the parental guide to the Zeffirelli film, and there was one of those sections that says spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers! If you've never seen this, the idea is that someone has given away something important in the film. If you read it before you see the film, it may ruin your experience. If you want to read the bean-spilling text, you just direct your cursor to the line and the text will appear. This is what it said: "Romeo poisons himself to death and Juliet stabs herself, but no blood is seen."

Seriously? Is there honestly a person over 10 years old who doesn't know that "surprise" ending? In fact, Shakespeare reveals the ending in line 6 of the prologue ("A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life"). And even then, Shakespeare based his play on an already familiar story, so even the most common of theatre goers already knew what was coming before they even squirmed their way in between their muck-covered fellows on the floor of The Globe.

So that got me thinking about the time we went to see Titanic with my brother. We overheard a girl and her boyfriend(?) talking behind us before the movie started. She was obviously apprehensive about seeing the movie. The conversation went something like this:
  • Girl: I hope this movie doesn't have a lot of dying in it.
  • Boy: *snort* Um, I think it might.
  • Girl: Well, I heard that one person dies, but then I told my friend not to tell me who because I didn't want the movie to be ruined.
  • Boy: *sarcastic laugh* Ummmm, I think that maybe more than one person is going to die.
  • Girl: Oh, well don't tell me the ending. I want to be surprised.
  • Boy: *not laughing anymore* You already know the ending, right?
  • Girl: What are you talking about? I've never seen this movie!
  • Boy: *eyes squinted, eyebrows scrunched, head tilted* Yeah, but in real life. You know what happened to the Titanic. Right?
  • Girl: In real life? I don't get it.
  • Boy: *pause* *pause some more* *shaking head*
  • Girl: What?!?
Oh dear, we've laughed about that for years!

Then there was the time that I inadvertently did the spoiling. Everyone in the world had seen The Sixth Sense except my husband (at the time), his sister and me. Amazingly, we had heard that there was a shocking twist near the end, but none of us knew what the twist was going to be. So we rented the video. The movie was moving along (as movies tend to do), and we got to the first scene after the Bruce Willis character got shot. He was walking around and I guess we were supposed to believe he has miraculously recovered. But I saw tons of foreshadowing, and, combined with the hyped-up surprise ending, I knew that he was really dead. And I said so. Out loud. Without a spoilers!spoilers!spoilers! to cover my words. My then-husband and his sister said, "Nuh-uh" and "that's stupid" and "shut-up". They really didn't believe me. But there continued to be clues to support my assertion throughout the movie (which I pointed out with all sorts of "Ha!"s and "I told you so!"s). When the thrilling twist finally arrived, they both glared at me, and my satisfaction deflated like Pamela Anderson's breasts might after being poked with a tack. (I can just picture her flipping through the air around the room with the scratchy squeak of escaping air coming from her bosoms. Ha!)

I think I might have ruined the movie for them.

Speaking of movies, Brock and I saw a great one on Monday afternoon. If you haven't seen Atonement, you simply must! I couldn't believe Cecilia, the Kiera Knightley character, spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers! And then, when Robbie typed spoilers!spoilers! and Briony said that spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers! I thought for sure that spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers! but the real shocker was when spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!spoilers!

See it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yep, this is where I live

I took this picture from our driveway. The mountains look even closer when you're standing there in person. The picture in the header above is also of our mountains. I love our view.

Christmas presents show-and-tell

Little Ducklings on Christmas morning.

Brock got me a beautiful set of antique silver.
We used Christmas money from the folks to get a new water heater! Hooray for hot showers!

Brock, looking dapper in his new pea coat.

This is the front picture of an engagement calendar from Brock's brother. I laughed so hard. Look here to see more hilarious Anne Taintor stuff.

We went sledding on the most gorgeous Christmas morning we have had in years. Here's Kate flashing her gorgeous smile.
Kate and Sarah flying down the hill.
What a grand Christmas we had!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Who is this stranger who insists on sleeping next to me in my bed????

Now that I'm done crying over the loss, I can see that he's pretty dang handsome--even without the hair.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Snowmobiling--Cheney style

The Cheney family snowmobile. This antique sleigh was a wedding gift from Brock's brother, Clark. We had a grand sleigh ride on Christmas Eve day.

The horse is a 30 year old Amish horse. He was just beautiful. We also had some antique bells (wedding gift from brother Curtis) that jingled all the way.

Brock and I went cross country skiing in Star Valley, Wyoming a few days after Christmas.

I married a sushi chef. I bet y'all are jealous. You should be.

Kate barfs when we force her to eat mushrooms, but sushi--that's a whole nother story. yum, yum, she says.

Even our PB&J lovin' chickie, Jane, went for the sushi. She also dipped her sukiyaki yummies into a raw egg before chomping them down. Hooray for Japanese food!