Friday, May 30, 2008

Utah Bar Admittance pictures

My friend, Cheri, mentioned a way to send pics from my phone to my e-mail. Here are the three we took at Jake's Utah Bar Admittance ceremony. The pics are a little blurry, but at least we have something to remember the afternoon.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Class of '99 Reunion- 8.1.09

This post is for any who graduated with me. The reunion planning committee has scheduled our 10-year reunion for August 1, 2009. It will be held at the McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse. For more details make sure to check the reunion blog at

Hopefully with this already reserved 14 months in advance, classmates can clear their calendars and plan on coming. We hope to have a great turn-out. The committee has a lot of fun ideas planned for the reunion. It will be a wonderful night! We will start getting RSVPs next May and more details will be coming over this next year. Make sure to check the reunion blog often.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Life is fragile.

Last night I was up late making a card for a friend and decided to check an online board I frequently lurk and post on. I've been a member of this LDS bulletin board for over 5 years and have had a couple moments where I have read something that made me laugh, feel angry, and even sometimes cry. Last night was definitely a cry moment. I read that a board member, Aaron Reed, an LDS 25-year old mom of three was killed in a car accident over the weekend. Her family lived in Missouri and her husband got a job in Utah and left two months ago to start work and find a house. She was moving over the weekend to Lehi, Utah to meet up with her husband and get settled into their new house. I guess a friend and student of hers was helping her with the drive and it sounds like the 18-year old girl might have fell asleep at the wheel. It was very shocking to read about, especially since I remember Aaron posting just last week. I know I didn't know this woman in real life but it still rocked me to the core, hearing the news. I feel so badly for the girl who was driving, Aaron's husband, and her three little boys who will never have their mom to take care of them as they grow up. That is one of my worst fears, to die before I can see my children grown. I have looked over Aaron's blog this morning and I keep thinking "Wow, that could be me." Just the thought of not being able to raise my three kids and be together with Jake until we are old makes me sick to my stomach. Life is fragile so live every moment to the fullest and squeeze your babies a little tighter tonight.

Here is the online article explaining the accident:

Also, Aaron's sister posted her blog so everyone could remember her and her family. It makes me sick to my stomach to see these three beautiful boys and know they have lost their mom. Their family is in my thoughts and prayers. How horribly tragic.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day & Utah Bar Admittance

Today is Memorial Day and Jake's family has a tradition of going to Jake's grandparents' graves each Memorial Day. (Check out the first picture of Jake's step-grandma (Feikina), Jake's grandpa Jack Schipaanboord, his grandma Irene Carling, and his grandpa Grover Carling with us at our wedding.) This year Jake's parents were on vacation and his sister, brother and Grandpa went yesterday but we still wanted to go. So after the kids' naps we headed up to the Salt Lake City Cemetery, where Jake's grandparents and great-grandparents on his dad's side are buried. I love this cemetery. It is very beautiful and has a great view of Salt Lake. Many church leaders and their family members are buried there (Pres. Hinckley, Hunter, Grant, Kimball, Lee, McKay, Woodruff, Taylor, etc.) The picture below is of Jacob "Jack" Schipaanboord's and Jane Hart Schipaanboord's grave. I never met Jane, Jake's grandma. I've seen pictures and videos of her though and I know we would have been good friends. She was very kind and loving, always in a skirt and had a way of getting her kids' attention by just clearing her throat. I did meet Jack Schipaanboord, Jake's grandpa. I knew him for about 3 years before he died. I've been told I don't know the real Jack because he started going downhill around the time that I met him. He was very sociable and sweet. One of my favorite memories of him was playing the piano at Christmastime and having him come up right behind me and sing the songs. He had a very good voice and I could tell he loved music. I was honored to sing at his funeral in January 2004.

After visiting the SLC Cemetery, we headed over to the Memorial Estates Cemetery, where Jake's Grandma Carling (his mom's mom) is buried. As you can see, it was pretty bright when I took the picture. The kids had to squint or close their eyes when I took the pic. I knew Irene Carling for about 1 1/2 years before she died. I've been told she was the one always willing to help those in need, passing out fudge to neighbors, making a meal whenever it was needed. I remember the first time I met her was at the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert in December 2000. Jake and I were nearly engaged and we went with his family to the concert and I sat next to Irene. She was a talker and by the end of the night I felt I knew her very well. :) It was hard to see her get so sick over the next year and a half... and then it was even harder to see Jake's grandpa go on without her. Grandpa Carling lives at Jake's parents' house now and we see him every time we go over there. I'm glad my kids know who their Great-Grandpa Carling is and hopefully they will always remember him.

On Friday Jake was admitted to the Utah Bar. The ceremony was short and sweet. I brought Ben and Emma and we cheered dad on (my sister-in-law, Katie, watched Josh for me... thanks, Kate!) Afterward we had lun
ch at the Olive Garden to celebrate. I asked Jake if this was as monumental as the first time he took the bar in Oregon and his response, "Sure." :) We are excited to have that behind us and now Jake can officially practice law in Oregon AND Utah! He has been talking about maybe taking the Nevada bar too because his firm has a branch there and does quite a bit of environmental work in Nevada. He's going to ask one of the partners if this is something they are wanting him to do. I know taking another bar is not exactly Jake's idea of fun (to say the least) but at least the material would be fresh in his mind from just taking it a few months ago. Also, I'm pretty disappointed in myself. I used my camera earlier in the day and forgot to put it back in my purse, so the only pics I got at the ceremony were taken with my cell phone. I haven't figured out yet how to get them downloaded onto my computer (I'm assuming I need bluetooth but I'm not sure.) Maybe someone computer savvy can help me. Anyway, the day was great and I'm again, very proud of Jake. I'm so lucky to have such a smart and HOT husband!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's BBQ time!

We had a monumental day today... we bought our first gas grill. Jake scoured the internet for reviews and checked Consumer Reports and finally was satisfied with this Char-Broil 4-burner. It's a Consumer Reports "Best Buy" and we felt good about it. So, thank you President Bush. Our stimulus check purchase will be well-used this summer, cooking up tons of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and steak! Now, what about some patio furniture??! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Back to real life

We got home from Malaysia 6 days ago and the kids and I are really wishing we were still there. Jake left for a mining conference in Denver on Sunday so I've been going solo the past few days. He will be back late Friday night. All three kids are sick, Josh has it worse than the others. He has a temp of 101.5, runny nose, bad cough and just doesn't feel good. He's not my usual happy little boy. I think the drastic weather change might be the cause of their colds. We are almost back to normal, as far as jet lag is concerned. Last night Josh was the only one who woke up which I was very happy about (and he only woke up once.) I played with him around midnight and then put him back down around 1am. The poor guy is miserable. It will be nice once we are finally back to normal. I feel so lazy. I'm sitting here still in my pj's and it's 1:20pm. Josh and Ben are in their pj's too. I don't want to take the kids anywhere until they start feeling better, especially Josh, so I guess I better accept the laziness for now. I should look on the bright side, all this down time is giving us a few more days to recover from our trip. It will be nice to have Jake back home for good (at least until his next business trip or his NYC trip in August.) The kids and I really haven't seen him much since before our vacation, 3 weeks ago. We have a few home projects put on hold until Jake gets back. We will be planting our garden soon and getting a BBQ. I'm excited for summer nights on our patio, BBQing and enjoying warm nights together.

I had to mention one more thing before I end my post. While we were gone in Malaysia, Jake worked really hard making the yard look good. It also rained a lot and so everything looks much greener and beautiful. The trees have leaves now and the bushes down in our scrub oak on the side of our house have leaves as well. I thought our yard looked good when we first bought the house with all the fall colors, but now I think it's more beautiful and I've fallen in love with our house all over again. We are so lucky to have such an amazing house. I can't wait until we can make the inside as beautiful as the outside. We plan to eventually redo the kitchen, the three bathrooms, the office, and put new carpet in downstairs. By the time we are done with this house it will be amazing.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Princess Tutu and a Schip Update

So I saw a post on my sister's blog and my friend, Heather's blog, about making a princess tutu. It looked so easy I decided to give it a try (I already had leftover tulle from Emma's birthday party in March and elastic from Jake's grandma.) It took me about 30 minutes and was definitely easy. Emma loves it (as long as she has pants on underneath because she says it's itchy without.) Here is the website with step-by-step instructions on how to make one:

We are all still messed up with our sleeping schedules, especially Josh. Here it is, 2:40am, and he is wide awake playing downstairs. Usually I would be exhausted and trying to get him back down again, but I'm not. Emma is awake too but I sent her back to bed. Hopefully she will get a few more hours sleep. It doesn't help that Josh has an ear infection (found that out at his 9-month appointment on Thursday) and I think he is teething too. Also, Ben has a cold and feels pretty miserable. I'm just glad none of this hit us while we were gone.

As for Josh's 9-month stats, he weighs 18 lbs. 6 oz. and is 29.4 inches tall (75% for height and 12% for weight... definitely a Schipaanboord with those tall and skinny genes.) I can't believe he is 9 months already. He has been standing on his own for a couple seconds at a time now. I know it won't be long until he is walking, getting into more trouble. He's my sweet and mellow baby and I'm so lucky he's mine. I told my mom I would have never tried to take the other two kids to Malaysia when they were Josh's age because it would have been miserable. Thank goodness he is such an easy-going kid.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We're Home

Well, we made it back to Salt Lake safe and sound yesterday. The flights seemed a little longer and harder than the first time around, but overall it wasn't too bad. The flight from Malaysia to Taiwan was about 4 1/2 hours and the kids did really well. You can see from the first and second picture they are very chipper and excited to be back on the plane. The third pic is of the kids in the Taipei airport. When I had to wake them up to get on the plane they were not very happy with me. Josh slept for about 3 1/2 hours and then woke up still very tired and cranky. I tried getting him back to sleep by walking around the plane, changing his diaper, feeding him, etc. but nothing worked. I finally just put him back in his car seat and let him cry for a few minutes until he fell asleep. I felt bad for the passengers around me, but there really wasn't much else I could do. When all three kids were still asleep I had to go to the bathroom. I figured I would only be gone a few minutes so I got up and went. When I got back (about 2 minutes later) Emma was awake and a complete stranger was holding Josh, telling me he was trying to climb out of his car seat and got stuck... nice. I get the Mom-of-the-Year award for that one! We were all very excited for that 14-hour leg of the trip to be over. We pulled into LAX around 8pm Tuesday and had to get our luggage and go through customs. I thought Josh's stroller would be at the gate but found out later it was checked with the luggage and was waiting for me at the baggage claim. So I walked from the gate through immigration to the baggage claim carrying Josh in his car seat, my carry-on bag, the baby carrier backpack, and Emma's backpack. I thought my arms would break off by the time we got to our luggage! Luckily, customs went very smoothly and we were in and out in just a few minutes. We took our bags to Delta to see if they would check my three because when we were in Malaysia they already requested it to be sent straight through to Salt Lake. Well, I was told it was too early so we had to take all of our luggage to the hotel with us. Thank goodness Whitney was there. I don't think I could have done all that without her! We got settled into our hotel around 10:30pm, Josh woke up at 12:30am, and the other kids woke up at 2:30am. We left at 3:30am to catch our shuttle and checked in at Delta's ticket counter. Whitney decided to go check her luggage at Alaskan Air and then meet up with us later. It turned out her terminal was clear on the other side of the airport so we never got to see each other off. I took all three kids by myself and checked the luggage, got through the security check, walked to our terminal, and then endured the last leg of the trip to Salt Lake. I felt pretty good about it, considering I didn't lose a kid and we all made it safely. :) The flight back was wonderful. The kids were happy, it was less than 2 hours (woo hoo!), and the plane was half full so we got an entire row to ourselves. Ben wanted a window seat so sat at the other end of our row and watched out the window most of the flight. We were sad to leave my parents, but it was definitely a great feeling seeing the Wasatch Mountains as we pulled in. Jake met us at baggage claim and the kids jumped in his arms, showering him with hugs and kisses. As we were getting the luggage Jake mentioned to me how he just found out he needed to go to Moab in a few hours for work and wouldn't be back until Saturday (then he leaves again on Sunday for a mining conference and won't be back until Friday.) I about cried. Then when we got home I opened my luggage and pulled out my favorite statue I bought to show Jake and found it broken into three pieces. Also, my cell phone died because I left it in a ziplock bag with Purell in it and the Purell leaked all over (yes, smart... I know.) Anyway, Jake left a few minutes later for work and I broke down and cried. I'm sure most of it was due to exhaustion, lack of sleep. Jake left for Moab around 2pm and the kids and I slept for a few hours. Then we headed to the AT&T store so I could buy a new phone and then we went to Jake's parents' house so we could see Jan and talk to her about the trip. She was so nice letting us stay there and talking to me for a couple hours. We stayed until 9:30pm and I know she goes to bed early but she didn't seem to mind. I put the kids down around 10:30pm and Josh woke up probably 4 times during the night and Emma woke up once. Josh woke up around 4:45am ready to play and so I stayed up with him and just barely put him back down. So, here it is... 6:55am and I'm ready to take another nap. I think it's actually a good thing Jake wasn't here to experience last night's craziness. He wouldn't have been fully functional at work today if he had been woken up that many times. Hopefully we will all get over our jet lag very soon!

Mom and Dad, thanks for the wonderful trip. We have memories that will last a life-time! We love you.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 11

We had an awesome day today at the Laketown Resort in Bukit Merah. We visited the only conservational orangutan island in peninsular Malaysia, an Eco Park with wildlife you can feed and touch, and then we went to the Resort's main attraction, the Waterpark.

Orangutan Island was incredible. We took a boat over to the island and a tour guide introduced us to Mike, a 26-year old orangutan (the leader of the group.) Ben later asked me how old I was and when I told him, he said Mike and I could be friends because we are the same age. Then we met a few others and the best part was seeing the baby orangutans. They were adorable. The youngest one, a female, was just barely born 3 weeks ago. We saw the nurse swaddle her and put her to sleep. We also saw her change a 6-month old male's diaper. I just wish they would have let us hold them!

Then we left the island and went to the Eco Park. We bought a bag of food for RM5, filled with sunflower seeds, leaves, carrots, and bread to give to the animals. There were monkeys all over and they would take the seeds and bread right out of our hands. One monkey even climbed on my mom and reached into her purse and pulled out her red mechanical pencil. We tried getting it back but the monkey would not let us near him. It was hilarious and I just wish I would have caught it on video. Another monkey climbed onto Whitney and tried to unzip my backpack and pull out the ziplock bag with wipes and diapers in it. My dad and mom had to hold the zipper down before the monkey could get the bag. The kids loved feeding the monkeys and the highlight of the day for Ben was feeding the turtles, his favorite animal.

After the Eco Park we headed to the Waterpark. It was very kid-friendly which made it nice for us, not having to watch their every move, worrying they might get hurt. We were the only caucasian family there and most of the others were Muslim, swimming with all of their clothes on. It was interesting to see. Also, we loved that we felt like we had the park to ourselves. Since it was a Monday afternoon, most kids were still in school so the park had maybe 50 or 60 people there. We went down a waterslide with our tube and it was really bumpy and half the time we turned over in the tube. Ben LOVED that ride and went down it multiple times. Poor Emma wanted to go too but she wasn't tall enough.

Our flight home leaves tomorrow around 3:30pm and we will get back into Salt Lake on Wednesday around 9am. The kids and I were talking about leaving and they said they will miss it here. It has definitely been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I just hope the kids remember all they have seen and done. As sad as we are to leave, we are very excited to see Jake and give him hugs and kisses. We have all missed dad a lot. I don't think I will be posting again until we get home so... until next time.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Days 8, 9 & 10

Day 8

On Friday we went to eat at the Fisherman's Whorf, a place with a Chinese buffet near my dad's work. We met his co-workers there and ate with them. For the most part I didn't care for the food. It was edible but I still would not go there again. Ben was excited for the dessert, vanilla popsicles. When my dad brought them out he realized they were actually red bean popsicles and Ben wasn't thrilled about it. They were okay, once you bit the top off with the mashed up red beans and spit it out. After we ate, my dad's co-workers took us to a stand with fresh durian, the King Fruit of Malaysia. They cost about RM50 (nearly $17) for one and they are only in season 3 months out of the year. It was an experience we all wanted to have though and the co-workers picked two out for us to try. Whit took a bite first and nearly threw up. I took a bite and gagged, barely choking it down. The fruit feels and looks like raw chicken and tastes like onions and who knows what else. One of my dad's co-workers, KC, took a huge bite and said "Mmmm... finger lickin' good" (as he licked his fingers.) That made me about throw up just watching him. We all tried both kinds of durian and then were burping it up for hours afterward. My dad let out a big one in the car and we had to roll down the windows because it stunk so bad. I definitely won't be trying durian again! We left the fruit stand and went to a local orphanage. My parents had actually done some service there at Christmas time with the branch and the woman in-charge remembered my dad when we got there. The Indian children were so cute, they just melted our hearts. They sang and danced for us and asked me to take their pictures. Josh was passed around to a couple people and they ate him up. We had brought some rice, chocolate and a few other things for them and the woman who runs the orphange said they were running out of rice and how the rice we gave them was a gift from God. Ben, Emma, and my dad passed out chocolate to all the kids before we left. I think Ben and Emma really enjoyed doing that and spending time with the children. The whole experience was very sweet and humbling. That night we went to the World Music Festival at the Botanical Gardens. It started at 7:30pm but we got there around 6:30pm so we could find parking. It went until midnight but we only stayed until about 9:30pm. We heard Indian music, a group from Ireland, a Malay group, and 4 musicians from Mexico. Our favorite, by far, was the Irish group. Emma and Ben danced during almost every song they played. I loved it! There were even professional photographers taking pictures and taping the kids dancing. We assume it is probably for next year's brochure so be sure to watch out for it. Towards the end of the Malay group Josh was getting cranky though. He kept trying to fall asleep but couldn't because the music was so loud. It was nice to finally get the kids into bed, and we all crashed as well. It was my parents 28th anniversary on May 2nd and we thought it was so neat that Whit, the kids, and I were spending it with them in Malaysia. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! We love you.

Day 9

On Saturday we went swimming for about 2 hours with Heather and Abigail Nelson, a family in my parents' branch. They actually live in Oregon and work for Intel too and are here for 6 months. Abigail is a month younger than Emma and they had a blast together. Ben had fun swimming with Grandpa, trying to copy grandpa as he did new "tricks." My dad would jump in backwards, and then Ben would do it. Then my dad would dive in, and then Ben would do it. I caught a few cute pictures of him doing his "cool moves." After we finished swimming we went upstairs and dried off, packed up, and headed to the beach at Batu Ferrangi (about 40 minutes away.) It was very pretty, but after swimming all morning and being in the sun, the time at the beach added to our sunburns. We all got fried and are still feeling it. Emma and Ben seemed to enjoy running up to the waves and then running away from them. Emma hated having sand all over her and had my dad wipe her feet off a few times. There was a man giving people horseback rides on the beach and he let the kids sit on the horse for a minute. While we were there a Muslim family walked by and wanted to take pictures with the kids and us. They loved holding Josh and their 5-year old boy played in the sand with Ben for a few minutes. We all showered when we got home and then went out with the Nelson's to TGI Friday for dinner. It was a nice change from rice and chicken, but I felt a little sick afterward from the greasy hamburger and fries. We got home and put the kids to bed and then my dad, Whitney and I drove out to Batu Ferrangi again and went to the night market. I bought some more souveniers and Whitney brought a jacket to a tailor shop right near the market to get it altered. The woman there measured Whitney real fast, asked her what she wanted her to do and then said, "Okay, 30 ringgits and it will be done Monday." We weren't even in there 2 minutes and she was done. Amazing. I wish I could sew like that! (By the way, 30 ringgits is about $10.)

Day 10

We woke up around 5:30am Sunday to get ready for the bus ride to Ipoh for the District Conference. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get there. Josh was really tired and cried for a lot of the way there (thank goodness he slept the entire way back!) Ben and Emma loved it though and stared out the window most of the way. The inside of the bus reminded me of a bad day at Skate World. It had bright red carpet on the ceiling and seats. The meeting was held in a conference room at a hotel in Ipoh. Both branches don't have a big enough building to fit the whole district so they had to rent out this room. It was fun meeting members in a different branch and meeting the Missionary President and his wife (they were the main speakers.) After we got home from the conference we played Uno, ate spaghetti, and watched a couple movies. It was nice to relax and enjoy our Sabbath together. Tomorrow we will be going to a water park in Bukit Merah. The kids are really looking forward to it. We will just have to make sure we load on the sunscreen!