Wednesday, December 19, 2007

State of the Fisher Union Address

Time flies on wings of lightning, a favorite saying of Grandpa Christenson's. Another year gone, and what do we have to account for it? We sometimes wish life was as easy as 11 years ago when Kulani and I were a-courtin'. During the semester break, Kulani and I spent most of our hours jumping from one "dollar movie" to another. Our only concern was each other. But now we have three other "concerns," that of our three children, and truthfully, life seems more full and fun.

It's good to take stock of this past year. Most of our days were likely spent like many of yours: get up to the alarm after pressing snooze seven times, brush teeth, get dressed, get kids up and dressed, have breakfast, lunch, dinner, read stories, brush teeth, go to bed. But there were a few stand-out days here and there this year that caused us to either cry or laugh, and just generally make us grateful for this adventure called life.

  • On February 3rd, Nohealani was born. She has been our biggest child. She's a lot of fun. She is furniture walking now, and prefers that to crawling. She's already running for Congress, as she loves to give back pats. She is the youngest in nursery, because Mom and Dad were just called as nursery leaders, so she gets to start nursery early. She still looks most like Kulani and may even keep her brown hair.

  • Melissa is her own little self. She doesn't like me combing her hair, and she likes to choose her own clothes. I'm really not sure how mothers with girls who have perfectly coifed tendrils do it. Melissa is loving preschool, and the teacher tells me she even has friends who fight for her attention. My Melissa? Our biggest success: Melissa being potty trained. The secret: giving her a cold shower every time she wet her pants. That sounds harsh, but it worked (and it was our last resort). It only took three cold showers for her not to wet her pants anymore.

  • Lilia is finishing up her last year of preschool with the wonderful teachers and friends at Deerfield Preschool. Her class has less than 10 this year, and she's been progressing very well. Her speech teacher says she's really catching up to others her age. She loves to talk. She's a fun-loving girl who loves to run, swim, and be with family. She ran in two races this year: the Provo 4th of July Fun Run and the Orem Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. She enjoyed her experiences with each.

  • Cindy is still working part (part)-time at home for DHI. She's lucky to get in 10 hours of work per week. It's more of a hobby than anything else at this point. She really enjoys writing help documents and user's guide, just like some people like doing scrapbooking and crafts. Cindy also competed in two triathlons: Hawaii Half-Ironman and Spudman. Starting after the new year, training commences again for the Vikingman.

  • Kulani is still at Workman Nydegger in downtown Salt Lake City. Kulani's job is similar to Cindy's, only on steroids. Think of watching paint peel all day, then times that by 20 and you get some idea of what Kulani does. It's not so much that it's boring as that it's boring and difficult. But he's sticking with it on behalf of the family, and one of the side benefits of his job is that it affords us a yearly trip to Hawaii. Besides his usual Hawaii Half-Ironman pilgrimage, Kulani will be competing in the Arizona Ironman in November. Ouchy, mama! Kulani also bought the family BYU season football tickets, and we all went to every game except the Utah game. Kulani took his friends who would really appreciate being there and not get cold and start complaining about wanting to go home. Another victorious year over the Utes! That was definitely a highlight.

A few downer days included:

  • Grandpa Christenson having quadruple bypass surgery on his heart. All seems well now. He eats less chocolate cake with Mom's awesome chocolate frosting.

  • The cement guys taking our money to finish the cement drive on the east side of our house, but never seeing the cement truck show up.

  • BYU's loss to UCLA (at the first part of the season). They barely squeaked out a win at the Las Vegas Bowl.

  • The late-summer ban on children swimming in public pools in Utah County. Swimming was our life until then. Kulani even got sick from the outbreak (lost six pounds in one week).

Now it is on to weightier matters and budgetary spending appropriations. The New Year is full of possibilities and potential adventures. Please allow this blog to be your guide to our life. If we could, we'd include you in our family, but you have your own lives to live; your own blogs to create. You're busy, we're busy. But you're always welcome here.

Thank you. We love you. And God bless you!


President and First Lady Fisher of the United Family of Fisher

Monday, December 17, 2007


It's time I start posting at other hours other than 5 a.m. in the morning. My last few posts have not been family related, nor have they been light-hearted. I must return to what brings me the most pleasure: my family. We had a busy weekend. We stayed over night at Hotel Daddy, also known as Kulani's office, on Thursday night. Then we took off for Idaho Falls at 2 p.m. on Friday to make it to a family party before my little brother Wayne's wedding early on Saturday morning.

The wedding was nice, even though it was early in the morning. Wayne and Hannah (his new bride and my new sister-in-law) looked very happy and sweet together. There was a family dinner and reception after the wedding in Rexburg. It's been a while since I've been to that part of Idaho. During the winter, it seems very bleak. Kulani and I had a good discussion concerning family and extended family on the drive home from Rexburg. We sped home to make it to my friend Laura's annual Christmas party in Salt Lake City. We left the girls with Uncle Lani and Uncle Patrick. Laura's party had some really great Italian food, because Laura likes to play up her Italian side. Plus, she owns and operates an Italian restaurant in Salt Lake City. Then we drove back to Lani's to pick up the girls. To our surprise, Lani had taken the girls to Build-a-Bear Workshop and bought them brand-new bears. Lilia won't let her bear down for a nano-second. Melissa, on the other hand, has already given her bear an actual bath (not like the "air" bath they give the bears at Build-a-Bear). She'll have to wait for her bear to dry before she can play with her again. At church we started our calling as nursery workers. That's a pretty tiring calling. Then last night we had a dinner with some friends. I'm tired. My house is a mess. I'm banning myself from the Internet for one week because it's such a time wastage. I'm banning myself after this post, that is. I'll include pictures later when I make the time to upload them.

I could post more, but this will have to suffice.

I'm cleaning up the house now, I promise.

Blogging: The New Commandment

Our friend Ben turned me on to a "bloggernacle" site called It has since become a daily ritual to jump over to that site once a day. I also visit the site once a day. But today I learned the two worlds became closer to one. On the site it had a story about Elder Ballard advising students to use blogs and other media to help people understand the LDS church better (see it here). Then I jumped over to the site where they were discussing this speech, and I found the following blog site which Elder Ballard highlighted in his talk here. The blog is about one man's desire to flood the world with the Book of Mormon. The man has guts, desire, and focus like nothing I've seen before. If you have time, read some of it. After you read it, all you will think to yourself is: gees, and I have a hard time doing my visiting/home teaching.

With Mitt Romney running for president of the United States, I have been keenly interested in what the media outlets are publishing about the LDS church. I often read the reader comments of major mormon-themed articles in major news publications. I always love reading when an actual mormon gets involved in the discussion, because it seems to elevate people's understanding a bit. You can almost always tell when it's a mormon verses a non-mormon poster. Even better than a mormon posting is when a non-mormon posts on behalf of mormons. The person's post usually goes something like this: "Hey, I have a lot of mormon friends, and they're good people." I hope to be one of those people that someone would say that about. Others have said things better than I ever could, but even still, I think each of us has a unique voice that can say what our heart feels about a variety of subjects. And if it's truthful for you, others will feel the truth.

In our little world, we have a huge mix of friends, many who have a belief that the church is true but just don't have a desire or a need to go to church and associate with like-minded individuals. I get that. Church can be dull. Church members can be obnoxious or even frustratingly nosy or insincere. Plus, it's a bother to go to church. You have to shower, brush your teeth--too much hassle. Others have called church members hypocrites. That one gets my goat up a little bit, because everyone is a hypocrite. Just by calling someone a hypocrite makes you a hypocrite. But I've always operated with an inside-out philosophy. If church is boring, be the impetus to making it less boring. If those around you are insincere, make sure you ARE sincere. I'm talking more to myself here than to others, because sometimes I need little pep talks to keep me focused on being an active, loving Latter-day Saint. The natural man is an enemy to God, and trust me, I know too well how easy it is to be a natural man (er, or woman).

This little blog isn't necessarily intended to be a testimonial of our beliefs in the mormon faith, but we are mormons, and we do believe it's Jesus' church that has been re-established on this earth today. If you have further questions or comments, we welcome them. If this subject has made you uncomfortable, our apologies. But we can't hide from who we are. And you're still welcome at our place for dinner at anytime. If religion can't bring us together, Kulani's cooking definitely can.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Kulani and I like to watch a show on A&E called "Intervention." It's about actual addicts (ranging from gamblers to heroine addicts to anorexics) who face an intervention of their friends and family. Their purpose is to create a makeshift "bottom," where the addict will have no choice but to go into rehab. I've often wondered what it takes to get people to seriously change. Firstly, it doesn't seem like you can "get" anyone to change; change comes from within. Even going to rehab won't help someone unless that person wants to change.

I used to be a cynic and think most people don't change. I still think most people don't change, but now I do think people can, and I have the biggest respect for those who seek to change. It's hard to look objectively at yourself and see the changes that need to take place (I still bite my nails). I often wonder what the precepitating event in a person's life is that causes someone to think, "Something's not right in my life. I need to change." I listen to Glenn Beck from time to time, and he talks about his change, and his precipitating event was losing jobs due to his alcoholism. But what is the event that causes people to change for the worst? What causes someone to start drinking, smoking, eating, not-eating, gambling, etc.? It seems more common to see people change for the worst, or maybe that it seems easier to change for the worst and much harder to change for the better.

The best advice I ever received from someone was to not try and change someone, but let God do that job. I'm not sure why I brought up this subject. I think it has to do with a loved one of mine whose life is so contrary to how he used to be living, and it makes me wonder what it will take to bring him back. One thing is for sure, however. In order to change permanently, I really do think it requires a network of support from others. I know if I were fighting inner demons, I would need a hand here or there to pull me above the fray. In other words, I may need to change my circle of influences to be around those people who would not aide and abide my addiction. I know the main purpose in going to church is to worship God, but I have a second reason for going to church, and that is to be around people who, in my mind, are at least trying to make an effort to live a better life.

This discussion has brought me back to my weight-loss goals. It's time I remove all obstacles from my pantry and refrigerator. Kulani has taken on a huge goal, and I can do more to be his impetus. For more details, read his perseveratingpineapple blog.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Rock Star Mommy

I have a dream job of sorts. I get to work from home for as many hours I want editing documents and writing help information for a truly amazing company in Provo. To say I love my job is putting it mildly. I worked for them for six years before having my first girl, Lilia. I was promoted to manager of the technical writing division, and then when I started working part time, I was shifted back to regular technical writer, which I'm fine with. Somedays I'm afraid my great little world will be yanked from under me, but for now, it's working out great.

And every year this company has a Christmas party that includes great food and somewhat good entertainment. This year they had a cover band, who allowed audience members to sing lead on songs they chose. I was feeling good last night, so I put my name on the list. And then I just sat back and waited, thinking the whole time, "What did you just do?"

The time arrived for me to sing. The main band leader was great. He gave me some tips, then I was up. I chose to sing a song from my high school days, 4-Non Blondes's "What's Up." I heard the intro, and then I belted it out. "25 years and my life is still, tryin' to get up that great big hill of hope, for a destination." They had the lyrics there for people to read. I couldn't believe it was coming out of my voice. I was trying to hone Janis Joplin's spirit to really belt out the chorus ("And I said hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, hey, yeah, yeah..") And boy did I belt it. I don't know how loud I was singing, but somewhere during the song it became less about singing and more about letting out an inner demon. I tore the song up. The song was mine. I was really feeling it. I felt like a rockstar. Kulani was pretty impressed. I think he was afraid for me, and then he was stunned. Neither he nor I knew I had it in me. Others of my workmates liked it too, but it was the song--I love that song.

It was the funnest three or four minutes I've had in a long time, and it went straight to my head. I woke up early this morning with the song still in my head, the memory keeping me up, awake, and alive. Now I'm thinking of ways I can scheme in some guitar lessons and become a closeted rock band wannabe. I, like most people, have always wanted to be in a band. I got my chance last night, and now it may become an addiction. I don't think my messy house and harried kids need another activity their mother does, so for now, I'll have to hide the pick and guitar in the back of my mind. But if you've ever wanted to be a rock start, the band plays every Thursday night at Port O' Call, and for a few minutes, you too can be a lead singer of your own rock band.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I woke up early this morning full of an emotion I don't always recognize: hope. The early morning hours have always been a weird time for me. In my youth, my father would get us up early on occasion to help out in the family custodial business when we were too busy to get it done in the evening. In college, I was an early morning custodian for three years. The early morning hours are not all they're cracked up to be. Most mornings I feel a complete sense of dread. Some mornings I can feel down-right hostile. I have to remember to keep it in check, because these bizarro negative feelings will creep up in those early morning hours to the point where I'm looking for a one-way ticket to anywhere but home.

Maybe it was do to a great day at church (those sometimes rare church meetings where you feel complete love for everyone around you), the beginning of the holiday season, or the comets have alligned to put my biophysics in harmony--but I feel joy, joy, joy down in my heart just now. I feel renewed. I'm ready to make this holiday season the best possible for my girls and my husband. I'm ready to see the good in people, even those who I feel lack moral character. I'm ready to forgive flaws. I'm ready to get out of my comfort box and hug another sister or brother who I may not know. Similar to feeling motivated to do exercise, I'm motivated to be a better Christian.

Perhaps another reason for my hope may be that Melissa, my precious middle child, is making an effort to be potty trained. She made it to the toilet all by herself, without me having to drag her. I'm feeling like a very successful parent right now, because unlike Lilia, who did it mostly on her own, I have been the teacher, the instigator, the guide in helping Melissa be potty trained. I don't take her crying and "no's" for an answer. I haven't let her whining break me down and give up. I have stayed firm and committed. And yesterday--a breakthrough. She went poop on the toilet all by herself (after she went poop in her pants a few hours earlier, but I calmly changed her underwear and made her stand in a cold shower and said, "You poop your pants, you have to take a cold shower"). And if Melissa at 3 1/2 can be potty trained, there is hope for all of us.