Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Am a Billiken!

Here's a copy of my official student ID card. Meredith gave me the DSM-IV desktop version for my birthday. She said that it will fit into my scriptures and I can do secret psych evals on people at Church. LOL! Savannah got me St. Louis University Billikens T-Shirts and license plate holders. I think that a Billiken (whatever it really is)is a strange mascot. Apparently it was one of those fads in the early 1900s, kind of like a pet rock, or mood rings. They were supposed to be sort of a lucky mascot elf thing. Who knows. I think he looks kind of creepy, like the Grinch. Oh well, who cares.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I ♥ Gilad/Happy Halloween


When we lived in SLC in the late 80s-early 90s, I used to do these workouts that were shown on ESPN. It was called "Bodies In Motion" and the host was a man by the name of Gilad Janklowicz. He was a trainer for the Israeli National Army. His sister, Ada, had a program called "Basic Training." I loved doing these workouts. I was able to do them in a half hour prior to work.

Years passed, having several surgeries along the way. Imagine my joy when I found my old friend, Gilad, on the Fitness channel. So, I have taped a few episodes and did my first one today. I was amazed that I was still able to do it with a few modifications for my paralysis. I got a good workout. I have been using the eliptical along with doing some yoga. I have been eating a low fat veggie diet. I have been feeling much better and have dropped about 6 pounds. Now if I can just get my sleeping schedule straighted out....

Tonight we are going to the Ward Trunk or Treat. We were to bring chili beans. Forget that noise, I am bringing Cajun Beans. LOL! Happy Halloween everyone

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Catching Up - Daisy RIP-School Acceptance

I had to take an external fetal monitoring class earlier this month. I have such good and fun friends at work. Above is a picture of my "classmates." We have a good time at work together.

On a sad note, Daisy had to be put down. As many of you know, she has been running away and going around in a pack. No matter how many times we captured her, she would break out again within the hour. These dogs were getting into a lot of trouble, and many complaints were made to the police department. Animal control caught up with them and Daisy was caught. I called to find out about it, since we saw the animal control guy driving behind our house that morning. He had told me that Daisy and her gang were going after kids. They chased a boy on his bicycle. The kid kept going faster, and the dogs just went faster. He eventually fell off his bike and got scraped up. I called an animal rescue place to discuss this. Even they felt that she should be put down. I felt better after talking with them. I am so sad, and I really miss her. I have had her for about 8 years. I can't believe that this happened. I hope that when we get to the Spirit World, that I will get her back. So this was a major bummer this week.

On a brighter note, I found out that I was accepted by one of the two colleges I have applied at. (Still waiting to hear from the 2nd one.) However, at least I know I got in somewhere. I was accepted for the Psych Nurse Practitioner Masters Program at St. Louis University. It should be easy to continue with my Doctorate after I finish this.

Well, as Alex would say: "Ranger Rob Out"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pennsylvania Visit

Last Friday, I left for Pennsylvania to visit with Jess, Savannah and their family. It was a really laid back, relaxing week. I got to see their new house. I can't wait to see what Savannah does with it, she is so talented. I had a really good time playing with Pantera. She has quite the imagination and is so funny. Zeke had his first birthday while I was there. He wasn't feeling too well, I think he is teething.

We took both kids to the pediatrician. They both had to get shots. It took both Savannah and I to hold Tera down. When I left, she was still wearing her bandaid. Funny how those things help with pain. LOL!

I had a really good time. Thank you Jess & Savannah, Tera and Zeke!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Yes, Daisy Joined a Gang

You all know how Daisy has been digging her way out of the yard. Well, she's been AWOL for quite a while now. Well over a week. We see her running around with 2 German Shepherds. They come up on the hill behind our house and taunt the other dogs. Daisy will come home when it rains. She is afraid of thunder, but I am sure that she is telling her homedogs that she has to go and protect the humans because they get so scared.

When we see her, we call her. She looks at us with disdain and runs off with her posse. Déja vu! A friend of mine that lives nearby sees them running around together too. We are hoping that this is just a midlife crisis. She obviously thinks that she is too cool to hang with Dirtball and Mena.

More Pix From Weekend w/Jake

The one with three guys in it are Jake (middle) with 2 of his buddies. These other guys were in charge of security on that day. We had to sign in and sign out there.

Jake put on the top part of his uniform so Meredith could have a picture. You can't see that he is wearing jeans on the bottom half. LOL!

I don't know if you can see this. The screen is in the way. This sign is in Jake's window specifying whose room it is.

I had a really good time. I miss Jake. Both Jake and Alex are coming home for Christmas.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trip to Camp Pendleton

We went to see Jake at Camp Pendleton. We had a good time. It was SO good to see him again. It was fun to see where he lives and meet some of his friends. I loved playing in the ocean. I had such a good time that I didn't want to leave.

I really miss my kids who don't live at home. I hope that Meredith, Savannah, Alex, Jake, and Samarah know how much I love them. I miss them when they are gone.

I haven't heard from St. Louis University yet. However, I am in the process of applying for the program at University of Cincinnati. It appears to have more support for the students. They seem to be on top of things and very caring. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Samarah Turns 16!

Can you believe it? Baby girl is 16 years old! I just had her yesterday. Plus, she is now a junior in high school. So, we had a party. Samarah wanted a mud fight. Dad went along with it, which stunned everyone. Coco, Kyle, and Talmadge came to help chaparone. It took us a week to get rid of the mud.

I haven't posted in about a month. Dad and Samarah went back to Pennsylvania to visit Jess, Savannah, and the kids. I couldn't go because I have been held hostage on the mountain by the hospital. We have been 3 nurses short, moving to another floor, and all sorts of craziness at work. I told my boss that I am tired of having my schedule messed up and of this hostage situation! Things are STARTING to improve. I have a few new nurses to help train, one of them being my friend, Cheryl, who just got her LPN license. She is still in nursing school for another year, and I will also be her preceptor for her capstone.

Haven't heard anything definitive from SLU yet. When I called to check up on it, I was told that they were behind and finishing up processing the fall enrollments. I should hear something in a couple of weeks.

Mark, Samarah, Meredith, and I are meeting up in California to visit Jake for a couple of days. I can't wait to see him.

I have not been feeling well the past month or so due to a change in medication. I am starting to get over it, but have a doctor appointment this coming week to check this out.

Mark and I have been talking about places where we would like to live after Samarah graduates. We are thinking either Pennsylvania or Colorado. There would be more for us to do in PA with genealogy, Steelers, etc.

I have been continuing to write my letters to my congresspeople, emailing them and calling them as well. I keep up on the politics and am busy trying to save our country from those who would want to take our freedom away.

That's all for now!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Scary Step

I don't know if this logo is going through. Anyway, it is for St. Louis University. I have chosen this school to apply to. I started the application process last night, and have to gather stuff for approval. I am working on getting the information together.

If this all works out, I will do this on line, with a few visits to St. Louis, MO. I am applying for the Psych Nurse Practitioner tract. This is a master's program. I can stay there and complete a doctorate if I so wish. I would like to do this. That way I can say that I am Dr. Houser, Doogie's mom. LOL!

Anyway, I have some different options to look at. I would like to work with the Veterans Administration to help military personnel with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), perhaps some forensics, and especially managing meds for Meredith's patients.

The beauty of this university is that I can live anywhere I want, it doesn't matter. We will see how this goes. I am really excited. I don't know how long my body will hold out for bedside nursing, as much as I love it.

Colorado Trip

Last week, we were able to take a few days and go to Colorado to see JT, Meredith, and their boys. It was a nice escape from the stupid move. We really needed to get away. We listened to a book on tape during the trip, and that really helped the time go by nicely. Samarah & I were able to do some shopping, as in the White Mountains, we are store deprived.

The kids were so cute. They made me laugh. We played quite a few games together. Ryan and Jordan beat me at "Sorry." Mark helped them tile their bathroom floor. All in all, it was very difficult to leave.

Thank you Meredith, JT, and boys for your hospitality.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Savannah's Painting

Savannah did this painting of Jesus and Mary using her sister, Meredith, and little Ezekiel as the models. I love this.

No More India

We got rid of our internet provider for the past 3 weeks, Hughes Net. Everytime you call in, they route you to India. Then these people with heavy accents that you can't understand give you an American name. Like that is going to fool us into thinking that we are talking to an American. Nice try, Bhanu, we weren't fooled. Anyway, we went back to our old provider, and it is so much better. A friend of mine sent me the above pictures from India to explain why we were having so much trouble.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Renée At War With India


We moved into a rental house in Snowflake. Trying to squeeze 2500 sq ft of stuff into a 1400 sq ft house has been daunting, but we are not done yet. You all know that I was not blessed with spatial relation skills.

On top of the aforementioned, we switched internet providers. They were supposed to be faster than our old one through the phone company. Plus, we didn't have to get a land line. Well, it was slower than dial up in the 90s! After 3 days of this, and not being able to get on the net, I call the company. I get transferred to their "customer service" department in INDIA! I explain the problem to them. I go round and round with them. It turns out that they gave us a bad modem. They will only ship a new one via slow boat from China. I go after them about 10 times. They keep getting off the phone to talk to their supervisor. I ask to talk to the supervisor, who doesn't want to talk to me. I tell the guy to inform the supervisor that he is a "pantywaisted wuss." The reply was, "Pantywaisted wuss? We do not know what the meaning of that is." LOL!

So, we got the modem yesterday. I have removed the nuclear warheads that I had aimed at them. They were so frustrating. I hate outsourcing.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Alex's Fishing Derby

Over Memorial Day Weekend, they put on a fishing derby for the military. Alex caught 3 halibut, the largest being 29 pounds. He was really excited about meeting Sarah Palin. She was there and he got to shake her hand. He said that "she was hotter than Miss Alaska." He also said that she was very nice.

One Sick Puppy

I was visiting with Jake last night. He was telling me about this Marine that he knows who had some powder out. This guy stuck his finger in it and put it in his mouth. He invited Jake to do the same, which he did. Jake asked what it was, and the guy said that it was the ashes of his deceased mother. Ewwwww! I asked Jake if he got sick. He said no, but that he should have figured things out when he saw bone shards. Apparently, this guy has some of his mom's hair in a baggie as well. I asked Jake what was up with this guy. He replied that he is just one weird dude. He has that right. Meredith, what about a psych consult here? Brings back memories of the stories of "Finger-toe Joe." I want you to all know that I did warn my sons against taking things from strangers.

The Move


No, this isn't the vehicle we used to move. We rented a big truck. Sami had several friends there to help us out. We got alot of the stuff out, but we have a long way to go. Old house was about 2500 sq ft. New one is about 1400 sq ft. I can't wait to put my pictures on the wall. We did get the dish tv, and I am reunited with all my old friends, Vern Yip, Emeril LaGasse, etc.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!



This past Saturday, we went to a Memorial Day program for the Veterans in Taylor. They have a memorial wall that they etch the names on to commemorate Vets from the area. Alex and Jake were added to this wall and were inducted this past Saturday. I am so proud of them and the service that they provide.

I am thankful to be a mother, daughter, granddaughter, gggrandaughter of Veterans. I am thankful to these people who put their lives on hold to protect us and our way of life. I pray for these brave men and women and invite those who read this to do the same. God Bless the USA and our Troops!


speedometer 1 Pictures, Images and Photos

Last week, I was on my way to work. I was keeping up with the traffic, or so I thought. I looked at my speedometer and it read 110 mph. People were passing me by as I slowed down to the speedlimit. It didn't feel that I was going that fast. Yes, I know that I have a lead foot, but this was ridiculous. Then I noticed that it was being measured in miles per kilometer! I had just had my oil changed, and the Jiffy Lube people must have accidently monkeyed with it. I had to call Dad (Mark) to fix this. Then I was back to normal. That was funny.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Samarah's Dented Head

Dented Head Pictures, Images and Photos

We were moving stuff yesterday. Samarah kept having weird things happen to her head. First she had the boys' spear from Scout Camp fall on her head. Then she hit her head on the moving dolly. I think that there was a dent in her head. She says that it was there all along. Now there is a small bump on her head. This is probably what her head would look like if she were bald.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr. T!


There have been a lot of changes at work, some that upset us, making us cranky. So, yesterday being Mr. T's birthday, I decided to have a "Mr. T night." I got a birthday cake from Walmart that said, "Happy Birthday, Mr. T - I pity the foo' who doesn't want cake." We all laughed and told Mr T stories, which lightened the atmosphere considerably. The house supervisor used to work in Chicago, and had his own tales to tell, having met our birthday boy. Yes, this was totally random, but we had fun. Thanks to Savannah for alerting us to the date.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mafia Wars

I have been playing "Mafia Wars" on Facebook with some of my friends. It kind of brings back memories from when I was a girl in Wisconsin. We lived between Chicago and Milwaukee. We had a good customer that "adopted" my brother and myself. He didn't have any kids and did not think that my parents were fit parents. (Like teaching kids the best way to off someone qualifies for parent of the year.) I always heard that he was from the mob, but I just laughed it off. Apparently, he was a "Self-Made Man." He served time for one of the big guys in Chicago, and they had a limo waiting for him when he got out of prison. No one could touch him, and he could say anything he wanted. He offered to "talk" to my first husband when things went south. I blew him off, but when I told him (ex), he got really scared and paranoid. He kept looking for bombs under his car. Anyway, I got divorced and decided to move to Milwaukee. "Big Al" had "friends" there, and set me up with a job there. I had a job and an apartment waiting for me. I was scheduled to work for the "family." I blew this guy off thinking that he was drunk and ignored him. I found my own job, place to live, etc. I found out many years later that "Big Al" wasn't kidding, that all of this was for real. Wow! The last time I saw "Big Al" was after I joined the Church, and right before I moved to Arizona. He said to me, "So now you're a Mormon, huh Kid?" When I acknowledged this he said, "Good for you!" Whenever I go to Wisconsin, people ask me, "Do you remember Big Al?" Like I am an expert on him or something.

A few years ago, we were joking with one of the members of our Bishopric. We were teasing him about tell the Teachers Quorum not to spoil their dates. He asked if Mark harrassed me. I told him no, that I was a protected species. Then the above story came out. He started calling me the "Mafia Princess" after that. He is a podiatrist, and I am a patient of his. He was doing an exam and asked if my legs were bigger when I was a Mafia Princess. LOL! (They shrunk due to paralysis.)

When my Dad died, we got a floral arrangement from the local "family." I was certain to send the first "thank you" card to them. My family has a long history of these "affiliations." They were on the sidelines. However, my family did help out with hiding John Dillinger. My grandma even danced with him and was friends with his girlfriend, Evelyn "Billie" Freshette. My greataunts and grandma said that he was very well dressed, had wonderful manners, and was a smoooooth dancer.
My Grandpa Brunner was buried next to Bonnie Parker of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame. Funny how those things work out.

This is John Dillinger:

This is Billie Freshette:

Thank you for letting me share some memories with all of you.

This is Frank Balistrieri:

This is from Wikipedia:
Frank P. Balistrieri also known as "Mr. Big", "Frankie Bal", "Mr. Slick", and "Mad Bomber" (May 27, 1918-February 7, 1993) was a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mafia boss who was a central figure in casino skimming during the 1980s.Balistrieri was college educated and attended law school for six months. Short in stature, Balistrieri took great pride in his appearance. As a young man, he started working for the Milwaukee crime family, which owed allegiance to the powerful Chicago Outfit criminal organization in Chicago. Balistrieri soon built a reputation for arrogance, cruelty and ruthlessness. Balistrieri allegedly received the "Mad Bomber" nickname because he frequently used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) attached to cars as weapons against his enemies. His father-in-law and Milwaukee boss, John Alioto, was soon grooming Balistrieri as his successor.

In 1961, Alioto retired and Balistrieri took control of the Milwaukee family. Balistrieri eventually referred to himself as, “....the most powerful man in Milwaukee.” After the "hit" on acutance, August "Augie" Palmisano, Balistrieri was quoted as saying, "He called me a name - to my face - and now they can't find his skin!" Balistrieri conducted his business at a table at Snug's restaurant in Milwaukee's Shorecrest Hotel, giving orders over a red telephone. In March 1967, Balistrieri was convicted of income tax evasion and was sent to prison for two years. In June 1971, he was released.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Samarah's State Track Meet

Samarah went to the State Track Meet in Mesa at Mesa High. She did very well. I am especially impressed with the good sportsmanship between the schools.

I was laughing so hard. My brother-in-law, David Smith, likes to have his picture taken with people he doesn't know. He sneaks into the picture when strangers are having their photo shoot. It got to the point that when my niece got married, my sister gave him strict instructions not to get into any pictures he is not supposed be in. So, my daughter follows her beloved Uncle David's example and gets her picture in with all the other team pictures. What a funny experience. She sure love her Aunt Debbie & Uncle Dave.

Alex's Bike Gang

Alex got a bike this week. He wants his buddies to all get bicycles. I guess he is trying to start a "bicycle gang." They want something to do to keep in shape. The only requirement, other than a bike, is to wear a fake mustache. This should be good. Maybe I should start a subblog and call it "The Adventures of Alex." This son of mine never ceases to entertain me. A couple of the doctors at the hospital know Alex, and always ask about how he is doing. They love the "Alex Stories" as well. Dr. Plowman wants Alex to stay away from the bears to which he replies, "Not listening, not listening." Alex has also discovered that he loves sushi. Like mother, like son.

Nurses Week 2009

This is me and our CEO, Kevin Hawk. I tied with another nurse for the hospital wide nurse leadership person for 2009. I was very shocked to say the least. The other nurse is a very good leader and leads people correctly. I lead people into open rebellion, mischief, and mayhem. As Savannah said, "I didn't know they gave awards for that kind of leadership." All in all, it was nice to be recognized. I even ditched the award ceremony, and they had to call me to come down ASAP. At least I didn't get fired this week for my big mouth. LOL!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Army and the Bears

Knut Turns One Year Old

I guess that there are a lot of bears out and about in Anchorage, AK. Alex and his buddies (battles)see them. They saw a baby bear and thought it would be fun to pick it up. Mama was there, and they decided against it. Good choice. I told him that I get really angry when people mess with my kids. That mama bear feels it even more so. There are no PC laws to protect them, nor are there bear police that they can call. LOL! I hope that they don't keep messing with the bears.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Samarah


I love this picture. She looks so beautiful! She looks like she belongs on the cover of a magazine. However, looks are deceiving... She'll scare them ALL at State. She has qualified for 4 out of 4 of her events. She is a force to be reckoned with. Dad and I are very proud of her, our Warrior Princess.
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Pitching Fits

Pantera has been pitching quite a few fits lately. I tell Savannah that it is hereditary. One time, Tera was throwing one at my house. It was not up to Ste-Michel standards. I told her to stop, then got on the floor and demonstrated what a fit should look like. Savannah was not pleased.

I have looked for pictures of Savannah having temper tantrums, but to no avail as of this writing. However, I do have some good pics of what appears to be Savannah picking on Meredith.

Meredith hated sailor dresses. It looks like she is ready to throw a fit at the school presentation.

Meredith in scratchy baptismal dress. Savannah looks like she is laughing at her. I believe a fit ensued.

Savannah with juicy cup on carpet. Dad would have thrown the fit if he had seen this.

Savannah did her own hair this day. She would have had a fit had I redone it.

Me getting ready to pitch a fit because I didn't want to get out of the car. Drove poor Mom crazy up to the very end.

I didn't want my picture taken with Mom. Building up to throw a major fit.

When Savannah would have a tantrum, Meredith would dutifully report to us, "Mom, Dad, Savannah is taking one of her fits." So now you all see that Tera comes by it honestly.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Meredith and Zeke

Savannah is doing some photo ops for a new painting she is going to do. This particular one is of her older sister, Meredith, holding Savannah and Jess' baby, Zeke. It looks like Mary and Jesus to me. When Meredith was expecting one of her boys, she happened to be in the Celestial Room in the Temple. Someone told her that she looked like what they envisioned Mary to look like. I really thought that this picture was sweet, and I thought I'd share this.