Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall in the UC

Dan H. once noted that the fall riding in Utah County is what it's all about: "There has to be something to make it worth living with all the crazies down here the rest of the year." It's not just the fall riding, it's pretty much everything about fall. Saturday morning I got up early and met Aaron for some pedaling around Utah County. The weather was perfect and it was good to catch up with Aaron. I ended up putting in 45 with Aaron and then headed home.

I watched a little TV while I rode the spin bike and waited for Cindy to come home from a primary activity. Once she got home, we rolled out on our traditional Saturday morning ride. The weather continued to be awesome. The scenery was breath taking as the leaves are just now changing. I'm counting on Cindy to update this with some pics of Timp and the trail. It was awesome.

Thanks to Aaron and Cindy, my longest training ride of the year didn't feel like training at all. 143 left to go.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

School Carnival

We went to the school carnival last night. We took my arch nemesis, Kayla the neighbor girl. She's not really my arch nemesis, but it's fun to think of her as my "Newman." When she comes to the door, I answer the door in one of two ways:

1) "Helllllooooo ....... Kayla," or

2) "Hello, Hannah Montanna."

I'm thinking to blame everything on her in the future, as follows:

Kulani: "Who drank all of my breakfast drink?"
Cindy: "Kayla!" (In a Seinfeld voice.)
Last night, Lissy told me that she's going to start answering the door when Kayla comes over like I do: "Hello, Hannah Montanna." That cracked me up.
I didn't remember there being long lines at the Heyburn School Carnival (my elementary school), but we had to wait upwards of 20 minutes in some of the lines. Gees. Here are some pictures:

Nohea hatin' on the swing.

Girls on the ferris wheel.

The girls showing off the loot they earned at the carnival. Please note that I let my girls dress themselves, and I let KTNG (Kayla the neighbor girl) choose Nohea's outfit.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Economy, Schmeconomy: Let's go out to dinner!

Don't be turning on the news. Keep the newspaper away from your eyes. Radio should be sufficiently tuned to rock-n-roll on the FM dial. That's right, it's another season of Dine-O-Round! Let's not down ourselves in talk of a depression and complete financial meltdown of our world as we know it, bah. Let's drown ourselves in tasty food and libation (of the non-alcoholic kind, of course--oh Mrs. Maloprop, always bending words to match her own personal meaning).

This is the first season I've participated in the Dine-O-Round. Kulani has involved himself in the cause in previous seasons. As always, we take our faithful dinner compatriots, Lani and Patrick. For those not in the know, Dine-O-Round is Salt Lake City's answer to National Stay At Home Week. Nice, expensive restaurants around town offer more reasonably priced 3-course menus for the week.

Last night we tried the Metropolitan, a frech restaurant in downtown SLC. They started our meal by giving us an amuse busche, which for those who don't watch the Food Network, it's a bite of food meant to get your taste buds ready for the meal. Ours was a little tasty salad bite. The first course choices included a celery soup or a bib salad with strawberries, almonds, and a poppy-seed dressing. The choice of entrees for the Dine-O-Round were tri-tip bison or salmon. The choice for dessert was a mixed-berry cobbler or chocolate molten cake. As we like to do, I ordered one menu and Kulani ordered the exact opposite, and then we shared.

Here's my report card on the food:
  • Celery soup: A-
  • Bibb lettuce salad: B-
  • Salmon: A
  • Bison: C
  • Molton cake: B
  • Pre-dinner bread: D (They had this barley-type bread that almost ruined the rest of my meal.)

They didn't bring me my cobbler, and the cake looked too good to take back, so I just ate it. I didn't appreciate that the restaurant didn't have salt and pepper at the table. My guess is, and mind you I haven't eaten at too many fancy French restaurants, the chef should season it to perfection thereby you do not need salt or pepper at the table. But to my liking, the bison needed much more salt.

We arrived back home to finish our night by watching the pre-recorded episode of The Office season premiere. It's the little indulgences that keep this train on its track. As a good friend once said to me, date night is cheaper than marriage counseling. And tastier.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My little wanderer

I used to wonder at my good luck in having all girls when I watched my neighbor Martha chase her little boy B.J. around the neighborhood. She had a hard time keeping him inside the house. They eventually installed a special lock so he wouldn't escape. Ahh, thank goodness I had little girls.

But recently I have found the ability to stealthfully escape the confines of our home is not based on gender. After lunch, I phoned my brother B.J. to discuss a press release he wants written up for his upcoming race in Hawaii. I assumed the front door was shut tight, but I'd forgotten that Lilia left for school, and sometimes she doesn't close the door as tight as she should. I thought all was well as I talked for a minimum of five minutes on the phone with my brother. I hung up the phone and proceeded to start working. I noticed that Nohea was being quiet...wait, where's Nohea?

I looked in the hallway and there was the evidence of Nohea's flight: the front door was wide open. I ran down the street toward the park at the end of our block. Yep, there she was walking toward the park. I ran after her. To my amazement, it looked as though she had no intentions of actually stopping at the park and climbing on the equipment. She was walking past the park and on her way to the busy street. I caught her before she made it to the road, and I told her, "Bad choice, Nono. No, no, Nono." How do you tell a 19-month-old to not leave home without someone? I could have left the door open all day long with her two older sisters, and I was confident they wouldn't attempt leaving the house, let alone the yard.

If only I could lock her up in a little hive until she was old enough to run around on her own. But how can you lock up this little bee of sweetness:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pioneer spirit still alive in my sistas

I like discovering what women do with their "spare" time. It's nice knowing I have sistas in the same boat as me. I use sistas to mean women, not my literal sisters. Amazingly to me, many women I know also work from home part-time. In my neighborhood,
  • Rina down the street tries putting in four hours a day balancing books for a grocery store in Hawaii.
  • Her sister-in-law Jonelle runs a screen printing business out of her home.
  • Ellen sells insurance from her home.
  • Allyssa around the corner is an editor at a newspaper and does the majority of work from home.
  • Mandy sells cosmetics.
  • Kama runs the books and helps out where she can for her husband's painting and construction business.
  • Lacy makes crafts and sells them at Quilted Bear.
  • Maria helps manage the family's rental properties.

I once had an idea to start a woman's cooperative business, where instead of businesses paying people overseas low wages to do work, they pay some stay-at-home moms low wages to do work. Sometimes women just like a little spending money of their own. And it's not so these women can go buy themselves Manolo shoes. Most women use their money to help ease the family finances. Finally, the family car's oil can be changed when the sticker says it should, the girls can get much needed haircuts, or new clothes for the kids won't break the family bank.

I try squeezing my work in before the kids get up and sprinkle it throughout the day. The problem I've been running up against lately is that Nohea has been getting up with me, crying. So I snuggle her to bed, falling to sleep in the process. I awake at 7:40 AM. My plans are all but ruined. Trying to sneak in five hours of work while they're awake is painful.

"Mom, can you get me a glass of milk?" "Mom, can we go to the park?" "Mom, can you help me do this puzzle, read this book, help me spell?"

Then there's the constant laundry and dishes. It all seems a little much, but it's nothing new for women.

I think of our pioneer ancestors often. What did they do with the children when it was time to do laundry, help on the farm, or cook dinner? I'm sure the children, even very small children, just ran around the neighborhood, because the neighborhood consisted of cousins and little wild animals, and they didn't have the fear of a car running them over or someone kidnapping the kids (but there were rattlesnacks, which still scurry around our neighborhood from time to time).

Even so, if we just budgeted better and didn't eat out as much, I could probably get rid of my part-time job. When the baby wakes early in the morning, I ask myself, "Is this satan tempting me to quit my job and place my family on faulty financial footing, or is this God's way of telling me to quit my job and put my priorities in order?" And then we have the near financial meltdown that occurred last week in this country, and I think, "Maybe it's time I go to full-time and just pay off all our debts in fast order." If only the government would bail us out.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Report

This was one of those weekends that was just good, bordering on great. The weather was a little rainy, but still very nice. Kulani went for a 2 1/2 hour bike ride with friends, then came home and left for another 2 1/2 hour bike ride with me. We left the girls with a neighborhood babysitter and rode our way to Bridal Veil Falls and back. It was soul cleansing. Here's a picture of Kulani at the falls.

Later on Saturday, Kulani watched the BYU game on TV while spinning on the recumbant bike, while me and the girls went to a birthday party. Since Kulani is training for an Ironman, we decided not to get BYU season tickets this year, which may be the year BYU wins the National Championship. Maybe we've been bad luck in the past--we may have to stay away permanently--gripes!

We had some friends over for dinner on Saturday night. Kulani made his signature steaks. The friends brought tasty goulet (or is it gullet?). I made a sweet potato casserole. It was a really good dinner.

Then tonight for dinner we had my favorite: breakfast for dinner. Here are some pictures of the girls indulging in the waffles.

Quirky things about my family

Kulani has tried out many and various wallets with which to hold all of his credit cards, ID, and money. He's tried expensive Nautica wallets, a man purse (it's European), and a bill fold. He's resigned himself to this and says he won't go back:

Lilia has very hairy legs. She gets it from my side of the family, as the hair is white. My Grandpa McEuen had really hairy legs and arms.

Here's Lissy's mouth two weeks after her incident. Two teeth are gone, and two teeth are smashed in. We'll find out in a couple more weeks whether we have to pull the smashed-in teeth.

I never wanted to post the following picture, but if I'm posting quirky things about my family, I'd better include something about myself. As I've warned before, if you're sensitive to seeing pictures of the inside of a human's mouth, like I am, try to close your eyes and skip to the picture of Nohea. The following picture is of the bump under my tongue that developed after the doctors clipped my tongue as a baby.

And this is a picture of Nohea's weird arm rash. It's a type of eczema, but it's not eczema, is how her doctor explained it to me. Her nose also has a recent scrape from her dare-devilness that caused her to attempt jumping the great divide between the coffee table and the couch. Like Evil Kanievel before her, she didn't quite make it and scraped her nose on her way down into the gulch.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The last 20

I wanted to save the best for last, but I'm getting bored with myself, so I'm squeezing out these last 20 as if milking a cactus. Painful for me; painful for you.

19. I am one sentence away from being Jessica Simpson. No, not in looks but in brain activity. Anyone who knows me knows I let the malopropisms fly fancy free. And I'm not necessarily doing it for comic effect. I wish I could play it off as a blonde airhead, but instead I've been known to have a hissy breakdown trying to cover up my stupidity. I hate it when people think I'm stupid--so rather than just owning up to my mistake, which would be the smartest way to save face, I'll do something like this: "I'm pretty sure the way I used that word is right. I'm right and you're wrong, so there" followed by sticking out my tongue. Classy.

18. I love the way Kulani smells.

17. If there was an all-you-can-eat cold cereal diet (including sugary kinds such as Cap'n Crunch and Cocoa Puffs), I would be the first to join the chat room and report my successes.

16. I'm cheap about most things and generous about a few things. I buy cheap diapers and clothes for the kids. I can go without buying myself clothes for years or even decades. But when it comes to babysitters, I pay top dollar (within reason). I need their return business.

15. After having Lilia, I wanted 10 kids, like my mom. After Melissa, two seemed fine. After Nohea, no more. Now, I'm feeling like seven. Kulani said no.

14. I spend too much time blogging.

13. I'm not a germaphobe.

12. I can turn off my nose to bad smells.

11. My oldest brother Doug helped me get on the varsity volleyball team when I was a junior in high school. We played volleyball at the church every Monday night during the summer with the net set at the men's height. When it came time for volleyball tryouts, the woman's height seemed short. Doug was probably my biggest influence from 5th grade to 11th grade. He lived with us for two years after he came home from his mission in East Germany, and he was just the funniest, coolest guy ever.

10. My favorite drink to request during a plane ride is spicy tomato.

I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel now.

9. I stopped snow skiing because that whole scene makes me uncomfortable. It's an expensive sport for the "richies." I hate Park City. (But I do kind-of like Sun Valley.)

8. The best way to experience Disneyland is with my mom, who grew up in Southern California. It wasn't so fun when I was younger and wanted to go on all the "fun" rides. But when I was older, and we were exploring the Tiki Hut and Frontier Land, it was great to see it through her eyes. Also, Disneyland is most fun with children under the age of 7 but older than 3.

7. I'm not crafty.

6. I've never played golf and don't care to.

5. My mom gives the best advice and is the best listener. That's not really about me directly, but it relates to my well being.

4. Okay, yes, I've been known to watch Dr. Phil and Oprah. I've also imbibed in a little celebrity gossip.

3. When I was younger, and my grandma didn't have Alzheimer's, she would send me clippings from her favorite magazine: The National Enquirer. I kept one clipping she sent me for years about what celebrities would look like if they were bald. You'd better believe I'll be doing the same for my grandkids.

2. My favorite song is the Beautiful South's Prettiest Eyes. It's about a love between a couple that has spanned nearly 60 years. I only listen to it once or twice a year so as not to wear it out in my head.

1. I am a caul baby. According to Wikipedia, in medieval times the appearance of a caul on a newborn baby was seen as a sign of good luck. It was considered an omen that the child was destined for greatness. Caulbearer babies are also said to be able to see the future or have dreams that come to pass.

With that being said, my future-reading talents tell me that you will create your own 100 things list, and you will share them with the world.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Upping the chances for a boy

I have a "friend" who is trying to have another baby. Any gender she gets would be great, but she already has three girls and she's wondering if there is some way she can up her chances of having a boy. She asked her doctor, and he said the only way to up the chances is by having more and more kids. She believes the doctor, but she's still curious if others believe or have heard of women having success with other methods. If you care to share, please spill your heart out in my comments section.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Carnivals and Public Schools

My daughter brought me home this today in her backpack:

It's a flyer for her school's annual carnival. From the looks of the flyer, it doesn't appear the carnivals of my youth at Heyburn Elementary could compare. I'm used to cake walks, fishing ponds, face painting, and schoolmade chili (I still crave it nightly). But noooooo. The public school around here has to outdo all the charter schools and fancy private schools and homeschooled schools. And boy howdy, you'd better believe I'll be a-goin' to this carnival. Take that, $10,000/year tuition private schools! You can have your fancy uniforms; we've got pizza, rides, sno cones, nachos, games, cotton candy, and prizes. But please, no clowns. Education at its finest and tastiest.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

KF 1-25

One of our purposes for the blog is to document things for posterity that we otherwise might not. The Fat Cyclist's wife is battling cancer and one of the things they did was to document memories of themselves so their kids would have them for later. Anyway, enough of the excuses. I'm firing off my 100 in ascending order.

1. I'm a binary person. Good thing I started with 1.

2. Because of (1.), I also tend to be something of a hater (and a lover). E.g, I love bikes. I hate musicals. And playing golf. And over-cooked steak. And when the Cougars lose.

3. I'm Hawaiian, not from Hawai'i. You'd be surprised how difficult it is for people to understand that.

4. I never thought about being an attorney "when I grew up." Good thing I'm only kind-of an attorney.

5. When I was little, I wanted to be a soldier.

6. In high school, I wanted to be an architect.

7. In college, I wanted to design bikes.

8. I actually enjoy my job. What can I say, I can be a masochist. Finishing up a tough project with a short timeline feels similar to finishing an endurance event - I feel satisfied.

9. When my wife asks me if I'm going to be home from the office on a given night, it's not a sarcastic question.

10. I don't mind wearing a shirt and tie or even a suit and tie.

11. I never really knew any of my grandparents. My maternal grandpa abandoned his family while my mom was in the womb, my maternal grandma died before I was born and my paternal grandparents died while I was too young to remember them well. I only have three memories of my Grandma Fisher - one involves her spanking me, one involves her scolding Kuhia, and one of them involves her throwing a brick at a dog.

12. I don't run from dogs. Since my teenage years, I've been attacked at least nine or ten times. I've been attacked by cougar hounds, chows, german shephards, collies, chihuahuas, and numerous large and furry muts. The only time I've been bitten in an attack was the one time I ran as a missionary to avoid kicking the dog in front of its owner.

13. We have a dog named Jesse that wouldn't attack anyone.

14. We have a cat named Blossom that Cindy picked up despite her being a committed dog person.

15. For as long as I can remember, I've been obsessed with numbers and mathematical operators. If I see a string of numbers, I'll immediately look at it first to see if the entire number is divisible by 9 and if it's not, whether it's divisible by 3. If neither of those are true, I'll work on figuring whether it's a prime number. I do this a lot while I'm doing triathlons - I work the fractions and percentages of the bike and the run as I go. That's part of the reason why I like the Garmin 305 so much - it keeps me occupied.

16. I like to watch TV and I'm not ashamed of it.

17. I don't like to read, and I'm not ashamed of that either. You're not going to hear me saying to myself, "I need to read more." Pass. I choose to be functionally literate.

18. No. 17 doesn't apply to War History Books or Bon Appetit.

19. I've seen Depeche Mode in concert five times.

20. The Cake concert I saw during the 2002 Olympics with Jeremy is the best concert I've ever attended.

21. I can't snowboard for crap. Or ice skate. Or roller skate. Or water ski.

22. I waited tables for one summer at the 'Cedar Pony.' Worst. Job. Ever. Scrubbing toilets for $2.35/hour was a nightmare.

23. I have a phobia of heights. When I was young, standing in a second story building with glass walls was enough to give me vertigo and send me in to panic. I'm a little better now, but not much.

24. I survived falling into Tillamook Bay in the middle of winter, in the middle of the night with waders on. On an annual fishing trip with Jeremy, Jeff, Casey, and Dave, we were crabbing one night after a day of steelhead fishing. We were using ring-traps from a pier that sticks out into the bay. I was pulling up a full crab trap when my feet slipped and I tumbled over the railing. I managed to catch myself briefly with one arm, but I couldn't grip the slick wood and fell in. As I began to slip, I thought about how falling into the ocean was exactly the type of fear I had always told myself was so irrational while trying to calm my fear of heights. And there I was, falling over a rail into the ocean. At times I can have a bit of a potty mouth, but all I said as I began the plunge was a resigned, "Oh Crap." I fell in and immediately my waders filled with water. I righted myself, found the surface, and tried to kick my way to the surface but couldn't because the water in the waders was so heavy. Taking off the waders wasn't an option as I would have had to take off two coats as well. Instead, I fought my way to the surface with my arms and grabbed the dangling rope of the crab trap that was still tied to the pier. The next day, every muscle in my entire upper body ached.

25. I'm excitable about trivial matters, but am actually calmer when faced with potential death. I can work myself into a lather over silly things - like if Cindy picks up 31-40 count shrimp instead of 26-30 or if PAC-10 refs are doing their normal job when a PAC-10 team is playing a non PAC-10 team. I was remarkably calm standing on the bottom of Tillamook Bay (24.) The same thing has happened when facing potentially disastrous driving situations. Surprisingly, Lissy is the same way. She was remarkably calm during and after the affair and much calmer than she is when the cat scratches her or Nono steps on her foot.


These will be my most random of things.

39. My sister Mary and I probably hold the record for watching Vanilla Ice's Cool as Ice more than anyone other than the Ice family. Our older sister Kathy was really into the whole white rapper movement, and she rented the movie. We watched it with her more to mock it than anything. Crazy thing was, we LOVED it! Not so much for the movie, but it's mockability. We watched it again and again until she returned it. Best line from the movie: "Drop that zero and get with a hero."

38. I used to like to dry out my tongue. Try it sometime. You get a towel, usually wash cloth size, you hang out your tongue, and dry it out. It takes about a half hour. Serious fun when you're from Heyburn, Odahi.

37. I love swimming in canals. They don't allow people to swim in canals here in Utah County, but almost every canal in southern Idaho has kids playing in it.

36. I honestly thought I was in love with Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables books and movies. I even wrote about him in my journal.

35. I still bite my nails.

34. I'm lactose intollerant, but every now and again, I'll test it to make sure. Nope, still am.

33. From kindergarten to 6th grade I had the mushroom haircut that was popular for both boys and girls (see picture below).

Posted by Picasa

That last picture is of me and my older brother Joey. Gimme a break! Until I dug up these photos today, I had no idea I wore the same shirt for school pictures in both 3rd and 4th grades. It worked...both times! You don't even want to know how long that collage took me to create. Try the new Picasa photo album advertised on blogger. It'

32. I prefer Miracle Whip on my sandwiches to mayonnaise.

31. The most amount of times I've seen a movie in the movie theater is four. I saw both Rocky IV and Karate Kid II four times each in the theater. Full pop. No matinee. No dollar movie. Oh. No. You'd better believe it was worth every penny.

30. I only have two more months left paying on my student loans.

29. Kulani makes me laugh more than anyone I know. He is the king of zingers.

28. I took beginning ballet in college. Nailed it.

27. I have a secret desire to be in a band made up of friends and siblings. Even just a cover band, where we play old favorites of ours. I view myself as the lead singer, but I'll move to tamborine if it causes waves.

26. Country or the city? In the end, I'd really rather live in a big city, in a nice condo that had a pool. And I would wander around the city a lot, take lots of pictures, and go to the library. I love country life too, but in the end, I think I really would prefer the city.

25. I'm a white/yellow. When I was a kid, I was more of a yellow. As I've matured, I've become more of a white.

24. I love being in a family. Even when I've been alone, I'll find someone else's family and be a part of them.

23. I am the worst rhymer in the world, but that doesn't stop me from tryin'. Ain't no denyin'.

22. If I show you this, don't lose your lunch. Here it is... No, I couldn't do it. Even I was grossed out by it. It was a picture of the bump I have under my tongue from when I was a baby. I had some weird tongue-tied thing where the doctors cut the frenulum (membrane under the tongue). A weird, small growth still exists. Mark of the beast and all that.

21. I have a nightgown that has followed me since high school, and I still love to wear it. I can even wear it when I'm 9 months pregnant. It has two fuzzy dogs on the front. Kulani says that is the one piece of clothing that reminds him most of me.

20. I took a photojournalism class in college. We took pictures for the college newspaper. We even got to work in a darkroom. I don't think darkrooms exist anymore except for maybe the photography department. Even then, I doubt the pictures are as good as digital.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Family Home Evening--Date Night Edition

Kulani has been concerned for Lilia as of late due to Melissa getting a lot of attention over her accident. Therefore, he suggested we do date night for Family Home Evening instead of regular FHE. He wanted to treat Lilia to a night of shopping and dinner.

This is Dad with his date. Dad said Lilia was kind of quiet on their date. Since we currently only have one camera, he was unable to document his date with pictures. Lilia wanted to go to sushi, but Dad saw the price at the sushi restaurant and asked whether she'd like to go to Outback or Golden Corral instead. She chose Golden Corral. She also got a book at TJ Maxx.
On my date with the sour sisters, we wanted to try that new LibertyLand in Lehi. It's kind of like Boondocks, only not as big. It's the little amusement park you see from the freeway with a Mount Rushmore-type of roller coaster. To get there, you go by Flirts, a private club. Oh, now you know where it is...
The date kind-of reminded me of one of my first dates once I turned 16. My date, the idiosyncratic Joel Oleson, took me miniature golfing in Heyburn (echo), Idaho (echo). Heyburn--population 3,000 (cricket sounds). Yeah, we were the only ones at the putt-putt course. I think the place didn't stay open for more than a season. Which reminds me of a Fisher Family Rule we have: never allow Cindy to open a business. When we were first married, I tried convincing Kulani that once we retired, we should move to Blanding and invest our savings into a bowling alley and roller skating rink. Blanding (echo), Utah (echo)--population, 3,000 (cricket sounds). Well, that was LibertyLand this Monday night. Another family was there, but we didn't really run into them. We went on the train ride, the bumper boats, and the flying planes. The lady threw in a free ride for us and told me to tell others about the place. I told her I'd blog about it. They were setting up what looked like a really cool haunted house, and soon they'll have cool arcade games and lazer tag. Tell your friends.

Here's me and my dates. It's how I like it: one on each arm. Ah yeah.
Lissy on the complimentary plane ride.

Us on the bumper boats. No-no didn't like it so much.

Kids 2 and under are free. For 12 tickets it costs $12.50. Each ride is about 3 tickets. For an all-day pass it's $16.50. Seriously, tell your friends.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Luau Report: 2008

From my perspective, this year's luau was our best. The stress factor went down significantly by having the luau at the Timpanogos Cove Park instead of at our house. The weather was beautiful. The park is at the zenith of Cedar Hills, overlooking the valley below. I arrived as the sun was beginning to set, which lit the whole park in a golden hue. It looked like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. Kids were sliding down the hill on ice blocks. People were meandering and talking. It was lovely.

Not one picture. Doh! I grabbed my camera after being with Lissy at the hospital, took one picture of Melissa, and then the camera's battery died. I wanted to take pictures of the food, the people, the sunset. But I've got nothing. Next year, the reporting will be better. I've talked to my editor, and he fired the cameraman.

In numbers:
  • 150 pounds of chicken
  • 50 pounds of sirloin
  • 75 pounds of bread
  • 10 Costco packages of sausages
  • 20 pounds of potatoes and five pounds of carrots
  • 140 pounds of pork
  • 5 pounds of rice

From reports, we think about 200 people showed up. It was like a reunion for all of Kulani's little groups. There were biking friends, law school friends, family, and current law colleagues. I had a few family members show up, and one of my work colleagues. I may have had some old friends show up, but I was at the hospital so I couldn't report on that, and Kulani was manning the grill and probably wouldn't be able to spot my old friends (if you were there, give us a shout out in the comments). We had a great turn out from the neighbors and family friends. Some friends showed up with additional family members, which we welcomed. We still had tons of food left over, probably enough to feed another 100 people. A few friends didn't show who are usual regulars.

For next year, I'm planning on the following amounts of food:

  • 140 pounds of chicken
  • 40 pounds of sirloin
  • 10 Costco packages of sausage
  • 20 pounds of potatoes and five pounds of carrots
  • 100 pounds of pork
  • 10 pounds of rice
  • Pop

Downsides: We ran out of rice, and we didn't have enough to drink. Also, we had lots of awesome haupia, but I wanted more brownies. That was my fault, because I was in charge of the brownie making, and I didn't get to it until Saturday, but then the whole Lissy accident happened, and I didn't get to finish.

Many, many people helped, and I am thankful for all your help! A big thanks to Kuhia, Lani, and Ben for pre-prep, post clean-up, and manning the grill. Susan and Angela stepped in when I couldn't be there. Lindsay Horne helped with some last-minute rice. Amy helped hold Lissy and helped me clean up. So many thanks to so many people, so here is my automatic-thankful machine gun blasting out to you and hitting you in the heart: THANK YOU SO MUCH BECAUSE WITHOUT Y'ALL, THE LUAU WOULD SEND ME INTO CARDIAC ARREST!

And I've determined this year that it is not the Kulani Fisher luau as much as it is the entire Fisher Family Luau. Kuhia made all the haupia. Kamika and Angela made all the lomi-lomi salmon. Lani made all the chicken long rice. All the Fishers contribute to this event, and we love 'em, so even though most of the turn out is from our family and friends, it is the Blanding-based Fishers who all help in making this possible. See you next year!

Why so sad?

This is the long-winded tale of how Lissy became the Joker, or as we put it in our house, how Lissy will never be our prom queen. (Ouch! Not, really. Of course, she'll be our prom queen--just like in that movie Carrie. No, no, I'm kidding--more like in a Tim Burton cartoon.)
Around 3 p.m. on Saturday, two hours before our annual luau, Lissy was playing downstairs with Lilia and Ben's kids. "Good," I thought. The kids will be out of my hair and playing nicely by themselves in the basement. We were working like mad when Lilia emerges from downstairs, her face white, and saying, "Mom, mom, I don't know. It's scary. Come quick. It's scary." Having never heard that dialog out of Lilia's mouth--and judging by the look on her face--told me this was going to be bad.
I ran to the stairs to see Lissy walking up, blood gushing from her mouth. As per my usual posture when panic sets in, I freaked.
"Oh no! Kuhia! Kuhia!" I screamed. I was too afraid to pick her up, as I might do more damage. Kuhia, my brother-in-law who is an anethesiologist and happened to be at our house, came running to see how he could help. He picked her up and took her to the kitchen sink. I cowered in the corner on the couch. He cleaned up her lip a bit and told us to go directly to the hospital. Kulani was concerned, and in usual Fisher style, thinking up the worst-case-scenerio. I managed to calm down and carried Lissy to the car to run her to the hospital. Kulani stayed back to finish up the luau prep. Lilia stopped me before driving out of the garage and asked if she could go with me. She was really afraid for her sister. I told her to stay with her dad. Now I wish I would have taken her. Lilia was so scared for her sister the entire time we were gone.
The ER was busy this Saturday afternoon. It took about an hour and a half before the doctor could stitch her up. Lissy was a trooper. She didn't cry much and even managed to fall asleep. I found that People magazine's crossword puzzles are extremely calming during times of stress.
The doctor came in and examined her. She lost one tooth that he could see, and possibly another. He asked if I knew of a dentist who could see her today. Luckily, our neighbor Brandon is our dentist, so I gave him a call, and he said he could see her after the doctor stitched her up at the hospital.
They wrapped her in a papouse and held her head. The doctor tried to prepare Lissy by saying, "This is going to sting a little bit, well, it's going to sting quite a bit." By the sounds of Lissy's screams, it hurt like hell. I had to sit down and concentrate on my crossword puzzle. The shots lasted entirely way too long. The shots went directly into her lip where a wide rip was beginning to swell.
The screaming stopped, and the doctor stitched her up. It took 7 stitches. My neighbor friend Ellen James (if she had an Indian name, it would surely be "Walking Saint") stopped in to check on me and Lissy. She offered to go fill the prescription the doctor gave us.
We met Dr. Brandon at his dental office conviently located next to the hospital. He x-rayed her mouth and found she'd lost two teeth, but the other teeth would probably be okay. He gave us some gauze to help soak up the blood. He was just great and so helpful. He's a really good dentist. and has always showed the kids a lot of TLC. His dad, who is also a dentist, was also there to help. She had great care.
We left for the luau. We stopped at home for a quick change of her bloody clothes. My other angel neighbor Lindsay Horne stopped in to ask if Lissy would like to stay with her at her house. Lissy's dad wanted to see her, so we had to turn down her offer. At the luau, once things were calmed down, I asked Lilia and Simon, Ben's boy, to tell me what had happened. From their story I deduced that they were placing the stuffed animals on the treadmill and watching them fly off. Lissy apparently wanted to take a ride with one of the animals and went flying into the elliptical machine face first.
So many people were concerned and showed us love. Thanks to all of you! Lissy felt pretty special with all the attention she received. And thanks to many of you who helped Kulani during the luau! Next post, the luau.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hawaiian sledding and the luau

This is the last announcement for the luau, Saturday, Sept. 6, starting at 5 p.m. This park has some awesome grassy hills, so if you want to bring a big cube of ice and a towel to go "Hawaiian sledding" (or ice blocking), please do so.


Too verbose. Next 20: one liners. Go.

59. Number of guys I've kissed: 7.
58. Farthest place I've been: Hawaii.
59. Vacationed with the family on Macinac Island off the tip of Michigan.
58. Took a "flight trip" to Brown University with Kulani and Lilia.
57. Favorite food: king crab legs and breakfast food.
56. Favorite restaurants: McGrath's, Ruth's Chris, and Outback Steakhouse.
55. First car I bought for myself: Subaru Loyale. Cost: $4,000.
54. Number of hours/week I work from home doing technical writing for DHI: 10-15.
53. Number of times I've hiked the Y: around 5.
52. Number of times I say, "Ain't no thang but a chicken wing" in a given day: 3.
51. Number of times it annoys Kulani to no end: 3.
50. Favorite poet: Walt Whitman.
49. Favorite time of day: dusk.
48. My dad made us breakfast every weekday morning growing up.
47. Kulani and ice skating do not mix, but he tried it for me exactly once.
46. I love creme brulee and learned how to make it from our friend Ben.
45. I have been known to eat a whole pack of gum within a half hour--a Fruitstripes pack of gum.
44. Never want to get a master's degree, but if I did, I would probably study religion.
43. Lived with my Grandma McEuen in Orem a total of 3 times: during freshman year, while Kulani was in Oregon, and after Lilia was born.
42. One of the funnest games I've ever played is innertube water polo.
41. I drive a Toyota Sienna mini-van, and I love it.
40. All the nursery kids, and every little child I've looked after, call me Cindy Fisher, not Sister Fisher and not Cindy.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bedhead baby

The hair. The wife-beater shirt. Tell-tell signs of a girl speeding down the trailer trash highway.


79. The Elephant Man is the scariest movie I've ever seen. It beats out Freddie, Jason, or any vampire movie ever created. I've seen them all, and Elephant Man still trumps them. I couldn't sleep for weeks after watching that.
78. My friends and I once stayed in the same hotel as Depeche Mode when we were seniors in high school. We went to the concert, then walked across the street to our hotel. In our pajamas, we went down to the lobby to see if we could get a peak. Sure enough, there was David Gahan sitting in the lobby, sipping a Guiness or whatever it is that English, alternative band members drink. I thought of going over to him and asking if I could interview him for my school newspaper, but I couldn't think of anything to ask him. Suddenly I was Chris Farley: "Remember that song Enjoy the Silence? Remember that? Is it true? Awesome."
77. My friends and I took first place in district drama our senior year in high school for comedy ensemble. At state during our piece, my friend Keri tripped and grabbed Jaime's dress and tore it open. Jaime was wearing red, white, and blue underwear. They did a pretty good job of keeping it together, but we didn't make it onto the finals. Our piece was from Mame.
76. I was the editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper for two years. We had a side column we called "What's Up!" that provided a quick glance of all the activities going on for the month. Occasionally, we'd change the title of this column to "Wie Geht's!" or "Que Pasa." One time, thinking I was so funny, we changed it to "Cowboys Suck" but then changed the lettering to symbols. Within a half hour of the paper being distributed, we had the vice principal in the classroom lecturing us. He'd broken our code. We got a lecture on why rodeo was such a great club. I feel bad about it now. Not all cowboys suck. Just the ones who would pick on my younger brother B.J.
75. My high school put on Grease my sophomore year. I landed the part of the principal--her name escapes me. The play almost didn't go on, because parents complained to the school board concerning the content. We were allowed to edit the play somewhat. We took out some bad words, but I think Rizzo still had a "false alarm."
74. I quit track my sophomore year in high school, but I rejoined it my senior year for three reasons: 1) So I could say I finished a full season of track , (2) so I could get to know my younger brother B.J. better, and (3) so I would look good in my prom dress. I ran the mile. My fastest time was 6:28. B.J. and his friends invented a game called "Tricky Trap." One of them would kneel behind you while the other one gave you a little nudge. You would step back and the guy kneeling behind you would cause you to fall over. They tried it on me once, and I was not a good sport about it. I think I chased the neighbor boy Lynn down and began wailing on him. Sorry 'bout that.
73. I went to prom twice. My junior year, I wore my sister Amy's old pink prom dress and went with Grant Hansen. My senior year, my mom, Grandma, and I drove all around Salt Lake City looking for a vintage dress. I really wanted to go in a vintage dress (it was the heyday of the 90s, afterall, grunge and all that). We found my dress in a really cool vintage dress shop that no longer exists. It cost me $30. I went with Aaron Schab. We both decided we'd wear black, high-top Chuck Taylors. I saw girls wearing Chucks in Seventeen magazine that month. It caused a minor stir in my Idaho high school. But because Aaron and I were the newspaper nerds, people generally didn't say anything to our faces, but I'm guessing they were thinking, "They think they're sooo cool, but they are sooo not."
72. I broke out in a weird, red rash seconds after I was married.
71. BYU accepted me, but only on grounds that I attend summer school first. If you've never experienced BYU in the summertime, you are missing out.
70. My first summer home from college, I worked as a potato sorter. Finally, as an Idahoan, I'd arrived. I think it's an unwritten law that every Idahoan should work with potatoes for at least a season. My friend Keri and I found jobs at Mart Produce in Rupert. Her boyfriend's dad was a vice president there. We learned many key Spanish phrases, and seriously, had a great time.
69. I've finished the Hawaii Half-Ironman. It's an amazing race. The support is just awesome, and the views are better.
68. I was a pizza deliverer the same time I was a reporter for the Orem Daily Journal. The funny thing of it was sometimes the very people I interviewed that day, I would bring them a pizza that night. Pizza delivering paid better than my journalist's salary.
67. My mom was my 8th grade science teacher. For my birthday, she told the class about how I had a bowel movement the same time the doctor delivered me. The doctor proclaimed me a "dirty baby." So what was my nickname the rest of the school year? Dirty baby. Thankfully my birthday is in April, and kids forgot about the nickname over the summer.
66. I met Steve Young at a women's conference I was covering for the paper. I asked him if I could take his picture, and then I shook his hand. I can't believe I had the courage. He was very polite and kind about it. I did it for my dad, who when growing up, would play us a Steve Young tape at least once a month as a lesson when he was my Sunday School teacher.
65. My friends and I started a movie-watching club in high school we named the Vincent Van Gogh Visual Memorial Arts Foundation. We usually watched two movies on a weekend night based around a theme.
64. In third grade I was in our stake play of The King and I. For the play, they spray painted our hair black. They were running out of spray paint, so they asked us all to wear our hair like that to school the next day, then come back for the second night of the play. So I did. But when I got to school, the other kids who were also in the play with me had washed out their hair. I felt stupid, so I took the bun out of my hair and tried getting the black spray paint out with my fingers. The result was that I looked like Albert Einstein. I felt so foolish, but I never thought to rinse my hair out in the sink. When I went back to the play that night, I got strange looks. I guess I'd heard wrong. They had plenty of spray paint.
63. My Grandma Christenson is still one of the best people who has ever walked this earth. She put her family first. She had a sweetness and gentleness to her that I still miss so terribly. She died in 2003 at the age of 97.
62. I never was a part of a winning team in school, but our ward team dominated in every sport, thanks in part to my sisters, the Wilson sisters, the Brown sisters, the Crowther sisters, the Jeppesen sisters, and my friend Keri.
61. I loved girls' camp growing up. Loved it. I loved the songs, the games, the hikes. I loved being with my sistas in the mountains.
60. I read the Book of Mormon my 9th grade year, due in part to the encouragement of a good seminary teacher, Brother Hanzel. When I was near the end of the book and reading Moroni's challenge, I got on my knees and prayed for a witness that the book was from God, and that Joseph Smith didn't just make this stuff up. I prayed every night for a few weeks. I felt that sweet, peaceful feeling and knew in my heart the truthfulness of the book. I've read it about six times since then. Everytime it rings true for me.



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

100 Things

On occassion, I like to jump on bandwagons. Having seen this on other people's blogs, I really wanted to jump aboard. Being a writer by trade, and being the middle of 10 children, I seek attention. Writing 100 things about myself seems like a drop in the bucket. I likely will keep this on the positive side and not delve into many negative aspects of my life. I'm guessing this will take me less than a half hour to do. I'm timing myself now.

100. I've loved BYU football since I was very young. I have memories of falling asleep during the 1984 championship game, but I woke up in time to see them win. In junior high and high school, everyone knew I was good for a debate on why BYU football was the best.
99. I broke my foot at the age of 7. My family was moving to a new home and the movers accidently dropped the piano on my foot.
98. From age 5 to age 7 we lived in a laundromat--well, we lived in a house connected to a laundromat. At night we'd skate around the washing machines.
97. My dad taught me to roller skate, and I've always loved it. In college, I frequented the Disco skating scene every Saturday night at the Classic in Orem. A night combining two of my loves: skating and disco music.
96. Growing up with 10 kids in a family made our house the ground zero house for neighborhood kids. On Sundays, all the neighborhood kids would meet at our house for games. The favorites were capture-the-flag and kick-the-can.
95. At the age of 18, only a week after graduating from high school, my family moved into my dad's carlot. This time it wasn't a house attached to the carlot, it was the carlot. The recession of the 90s was financially difficult on my parents, so to save money, they sold the house and moved into my dad's carlot in Burley. They never declared bankruptcy and scraped their way out of a massive debt. They now live in a home in Burley.
94. Basketball used to be my favorite sport, but after my sophomore year in high school, I didn't like it much anymore. Two sisters on our basketball team died in a car wreck during the season, and somehow, I lost the love.
93. Volleyball is probably my favorite team sport now. When my girls get older, I'd like to join a team. Currently, I'll occasionally play for the ward team when time allows. I played volleyball for my high school team. My favorite position is middle blocker. We didn't have very many tall girls in my school. I was the tallest at 5'9", but to appear taller, the program had me at 5'10".
92. I train for triathlons. I find I'm not very good at motivating myself to exercise, but if I put a goal out there, I'll try harder. I've never not completed a triathlon I signed up for.
91. I've finished one marathon, the Tops of Utah. I think my time was 4 hours 33 minutes.
90. I hoed beets for my friend Jana's dad for two summers when in junior high. For a whole summer worth of work, we made about $40. We would work for about 30 minutes, then take a 1-hour break. We weren't the hardest of workers, but we had fun. We'd always stop by the canal afterwords to clean ourselves up and swim.
89. One time after hoeing beets, my cousin Monica wanted to drive Jana's dad's flatbed truck back to the swimming hole (canal). She was driving pretty fast and almost missed a corner, but quickly turned the wheel to make it just in time. I was sitting in the very middle of the flatbed. I went flying off the back and rolled in the dirt to my landing spot. Nothing was broken, and nobody mentioned nothing to no stinkin' adults. Got my drift? Keep it zipped.
88. When I was 6, my mom left the car running at my Aunt Norma's house while she went in to drop something off, leaving me and two of my younger brothers and sisters inside. I decided to investigate the stearing wheel and mechanisms. Next thing I know, the car was traveling backwards. The car hit a fence, and a man living at the house ran outside and was able to jump in the car and stop it.
87. That would be a fine enough story if the exact same thing didn't happen when I was 11! This time we were in Albertson's parking lot on a Sunday morning after cleaning the bank. Dad was treating us to some doughnuts. He went in to get the doughnuts and left me in the car with the car running. I hadn't been behind the wheel of a car since the first incident, but I was going to figure out how to work it this time. Nope. I managed to put the car in reverse, but I couldn't get the shifter back into park--or stop. I tried two times, then jumped out of the car as if I was the Fall Guy. The car kept rolling backwards. It went across four lanes of highway and into the Ford dealership. It crashed into a Cadillac, then continued to roll into a new truck when it finally stopped. But don't worry, I was safe.
86. I'm probably the world's worst panicker. I do not want to see me in a situation where I might actually need to use my brain to survive. Brain shuts off in times of trouble. The most recent incident that convinced me of this is I left the bathtub water running with my 18 month old and 3-year-old in it while I ran to get the phone. When I came back, my 3-year-old had jumped out of the tub behind me and managed to shut and lock the bathroom door. I freaked. I tried using the little unlocker doohicky, but I was panicking too much to make it work. I called 911, and the operator kept putting me on hold. So then I ran to the garage, grabbed a shovel, and beat the door in. There was my girl sitting in the tub looking innocent. I turned off the water and got her out of the tub. I later tried the unlocky thing again, and of course, it worked.
86. I've probably worked since I was 5. My dad had a custodial business on the side, and he'd employ neighborhood teenagers and his kids. When I was 5, my job was to push the vaccuum. I worked for my job cleaning banks and other buildings until I was 16 and got a "real" job working as a cashier at Kmart. I got paid $4.25 per hour, but that was more than what Dad was paying.
85. I worked early morning custodial at BYU for three years. The first year I worked at the meat slaughtering and equestrian building (saw them slaughter pigs and a cow), then the LDS Motion Picture Studio (we'd watch ESPN's SportsCenter in the theater room). The next year I worked at the Lee Library (played hide-n-seek in the bottom with all the lights off on Halloween). My third year I worked at the Smith Fieldhouse.
84. I worked for the Daily Universe for a year. Best job on campus. I think I made something like $9.00/hour. I was on the copy desk and then the copy chief.
83. Kulani and I lived in WyView for 6 years. They were brand new when we moved in. We still got asked almost every Sunday from newish people in the ward: "Are you new here?" No, we've outlived everyone here, and we'll likely outlive you.
82. When I was 11 my best friend and I started a club called the Snerds. We thought it was clever because the "s" was for "smart nerds." We had a few of the neighborhood kids join our club. My little sister Mary was the only one who took the initiation challenge. She wore a funky tie to school, and I think we may have made her eat dog food.
81. Those Jorgensen books of my youth--you know, like the one about the ugly girl who is given dogfood by the popular girls--get me every time.
80. I had two cousins that went to the same school as me and were in the same grade: Chet and Monica. It was awesome. Almost all of the my dad's side of the family lived by us, so we'd get together often at Grandma's house in Heyburn for food and games. I loved getting together with my cousins.

This is harder than I thought. It's been an hour. Oh, I have much more to write, but I'll take a break for now.