28 February 2011

An Impact at Springville Art Museum

Every once and awhile I receive email updates from the Springville Art Museum where I volunteered last winter. Even though we're in California now, I love to see what events the museum is having and what they are doing in the way of non profit marketing. It's even more fun to see that my volunteer work in marketing and grant writing had an impact. Actually, it's more like just marketing, since my grant research efforts were never able to get off the ground. But no loss there - I still get to see the picture I took in all their newsletters!

Here's a little glimpse of upcoming events at the museum. See my picture used for all the musical events at the museum? I'm so proud! The Springville Museum of Art was an awesome place to gain exposure to great art and non profit management.

And while you're thinking about great art, the Utah All-State High School Art Show will be at the museum from February 24th until March 25th, 2011. I am not an artist, so I have great admiration for the works that these high schooler put out each year!

25 February 2011

The Mysterious Death of Mr. Poopybottoms

"A fish is GONE!"

It was Wednesday night, and Curt, Christie, Scott and I were playing a rousing game of Rook in the living room. The fish tank, now situated on the card table, had been moved to the new location around Valentine's Day when Martie's large love bouquet moved in.

Since my card seat was situated next to the tank, I had a clear view of the crime scene. Between card rounds three and four I noticed that only two fish, George and Flo, could be seen happily swimming in the fish tank. It's not unusual for any of the fish to hide out in the hippie water castle, but upon careful inspection the castle was completely empty.

"Is this some kind of sick joke?" Scott exclaimed as he interrogated potential witnesses. After sharing similar shock, we concluded that the fish disappearance was indeed no-joke and decided to examine the facts to determine suspects and motive.

Scene - Fish Tank with two of three fish swimming, no sign of Mr. Poopybottoms
Suspects - Small children and George (the fish) is looking fatter than usual

-Scott, noticing that the water level was low and dirty, had recently cleaned/filled the tank 
-Bree is in town and loves to watch the fish
-The Kartchner boys also love to watch the fish and sometimes try to touch them
-Mr. Poopybottoms was looking a bit down in the dumps, if you know what I mean
-The fish are pretty rambunctious and would be difficult to catch
-Most likely no child would eat the fish (at least we were hoping)
-Martie purchased three large replacement fish THE DAY AFTER the missing fish was located (Suspicious? I think so!)

"We're probably going to find it on the floor somewhere, " I thought aloud. So between rounds of Rook we all looked around our area a little. Of course everyone needed to examine the crime scene themselves to really believe that he was missing. And then... Scott found him!

Fish not in pictured, arrow points to discovery location

Dried stiff, and definitely a goner, Mr. Poppybottoms had been hiding under the heart table runner next to the tank. So the question is, was it fish murder and someone tried to stash the evidence... or fish suicide? This is starting to feel very much like Unsolved Mysteries.

If you or someone you know has any information leading to the truth of the late Mr. Poopybottoms disappearance and subsequent death, please leave us a tip by commenting below.

23 February 2011

Spring Hiatus

If you have a blog reader, like me, you probably didn't even notice that I haven't posted in a week. I love that about having a blog newsletter. No need to update when there's nothing to say or I'm off having too much fun. Lately I've been enjoying that fact that Scott and I have a perfectly flexible life (until med school begins this summer). I'm working on school, taking fun trips, helping out in the Allstate office, and just enjoying Spring.

That's right! It's SPRING in California.

This picture was taken from my car window on the way to work last week. (Don't worry I'm a really safe driver-photographer) April showers... in February?! And do you see those lovely pink tree blossoms? Gotta love California! We've had the most comfortable weather. Some days ridiculously warm (like 70 degrees) and some days rainy and overcast, but that means more green and more color!

This last weekend we decided to go south to see if it Visalia was any warmer than Sacramento (and of course, Scott needed to offer his services as a guest basketball star in his brother's stake bball tourney). While in Visalia, we played with Addyson and Ella, receive our fair share of vitamin C in the form of freshly squeezed orange juice, and discovered a new favorite store. I am just in love with World Market right now! I could spend hours there!

The girls were a crack up! Addyson acts and talks like she's a teenager. I was watching her take self portraits on the family Mac using Photobooth. She would pose with Peace sign fingers, and say "Peace out." Then Scott asked if I could rub out some stress in his lower back. Addyson was a little perturbed that I wasn't paying as much attention to her poses.

Addyson: Aunt Katie, look at this (pointing to the computer screen).
Me: I'll be right there I just need to rub Uncle Scott's back a little.
Addyson: He can rub his OWN back!

After we were done laughing, she tried demonstrating how Scott could rub his own back in the future, by twisting his arm behind himself and pounding out the stress.

And of course, Ella is a doll. She is standing on her own now, not quite walking, and she makes this funny laugh when she thinks she's being funny or mischievous.

So now you know where I've been. We're planning a very fun trip to Utah in March to visit friends and most especially celebrate my bestie's baby turning ONE! Can't believe how fast time flies! Crew is having a Hungry Caterpillar party, and Maura let me help with some of the party design.

Blog posts may be irregular, but know that we are having a blast and will post results soon after!

15 February 2011

Valentine's Flowers

Woke up to this beautiful view yesterday! 
(ignore the mess!)
My sweetie husband surprised me with roses and my favorite kind of chocolate...
hot chocolate mix!

I hope you had a WONDERFUL Valentine's Day!

11 February 2011

Med School Update: Choice Revealed

We are lucky to share Family Home Evening time with the Kartchners. I love that they are consistent with the family activity and that there is a schedule for it. We always start off Family Home Evening with a song and prayer (inevitably by Jackson or someone of Jackson's choice) and then we get to do Sharing!

Sharing works like normal school sharing time, except that everyone has a chance to share a thing/talent/news and then the family can ask questions about it. Question time has probably changed a little bit since Scott and I came to Sacramento... mostly Scott. He turns every question into "Who would win in a match...?" This isn't too difficult to do because the boys usually share a new toy or super hero move.

Two weeks ago after Jackson shared his carpentry skills, Sterling shared his Build-A-Bear teddy, and Kaden demonstrated moves from his Alladin Jr. production, Scott and I decided to share.

I went first. I shared how I got $28 in merchandise for $2.70 + tax. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I can leave the house with a few coupons and come home with something for free. Cheap thrills!

Then Scott shared that he made a medical school decision. It was a tough choice because both of the schools that Scott was accepted to would provide him with a great education. However, Scott was accepted to a special summer program at one school. In the program Scott would take his first year anatomy course in the summer and if he passed would be a TA in the Fall and finish the class with honors. Envisioning the opportunities this program could give Scott, we were swayed!

Scott was wearing a Snuggie, my Christmas Snuggie actually, when he revealed which school he WOULD NOT be attending...

Not sure if you caught that, but Scott decided he would decline Rocky Vista University (Colorado) and join Western University of Health Sciences in Lebanon, Oregon.

I can see how the presentation of Scott's decision may be confusing since he's wearing a Rocky Vista t-shirt. As it turns out, Rocky Vista sent Scott this shirt before he had officially made his decision. Scott now proudly wears the $2000 (two non-refundable down payments worth) t-shirt. He claims it's his new basketball shirt.

And you may wonder why it took so long to announce our choice... I had to wait for Scott to tell RVU about his decision. It was a difficult call, but he finally made it... yesterday! So it's official now! We will be Oregonians in a few short months.

09 February 2011

Uconn Sports Trick Video

Scott was very excited to send this video to me today.

While we were in Utah, we realized that our friends the Jones love sports as much as Scott does. They could go on and on with trivia questions and statistics. Since then Jandee Jones and I have been trying to get Scott and Jordan to start a sports blog. Well more like a sports vlog, since the only way we'll probably be successful in getting our husbands to blog would be through video. We're still working on that first post. I'm hoping that maybe by writing about it there will be more incentive to start vlogging. It's their niche! In fact, Scott tells me all the time that he loves sports more than anyone he knows. I think someday Scott could be the ESPN doctor who reports on injuries. He has the passion - he just needs more air time.

07 February 2011

History for 2000

The love of history is the telltale sign of aging. I decided this the other day, when I sat down to watch television. As I browsed the various channel offerings - movies, cartoons, sitcoms - I felt that the most enjoyable thing for me to watch that afternoon was Rick Steve's Europe. It was an episode about Slovenia. Beautiful country! I was completely enthralled. I even laughed WITH Rick!

Yes, I have become my parents.

I'm not saying that in a bad way. It would be a great thing if I ended up anything like my parents. What I mean is, I am no longer a child. Long past are the days when I would rather play on the playground than listen to a museum guide discuss paintings or a historical mansion. Now I do those things in my spare time and drag my husband along. I used to shrivel at the idea of watching Jeopardy or any program on PBS for longer than it took to change to a friendlier channel. Not any more. No, I am becoming an adult.

It was as I watched, and enjoyed, a documentary on a largely forgotten country in Europe that I realized there is a cycle to life. There must have been a time when we were all bored children on a family vacation where Mom and Dad were excited to learn and educate their children. I remember a particular visit to the Shakers in Vermont. My parents tried to calm our laughter during an after dinner walking tour, as my brothers and I discussed how we had been served edible flowers in our Shaker salad so our farts would smell more rosey. But as we grow up, we all turn back to our history and try to connect the dots or are fascinated at how someone hundreds of years ago had such foresight and wisdom.

I saw this idea of a life cycle the other day as I was reading a medical blog, since that's what I do know... research what it will be like to be the wife (read: "widow") of a medical school student. The author, a physician, was talking about how he has seen the influence of death in the lives of patients. He mentioned three things that patients inevitably think about, confirmed in a study and with this address from Steve Jobs (I highly recommend watching it), as they approach death:
-Was I loving/loved?
-Was my life unique/ Did I do things my way?
-Is the world a better place because I was here?

Isn't it interesting that as we prepare to die that we all have the same concerns? And maybe even more interesting is that none of these concerns have to do with finances, possessions, careers, or the other things I seem to worry about daily. People think about their life's actions and how it will effect others and history.

So why do I blog this theory? Well, first off I think my life cycle theory is pretty great and completely validated so it was necessary to share. Secondly, according to the television series Who Do You Think You Are?, we should probably be thinking about those three questions now because after we're gone our great-great-grandchildren may one day be famous one day and come looking for us to have been honorable and made a worthy contribution in the world. And lastly I want to prove there is a purpose to all the TV hours I consumed while ill last week. It was obviously an educational investment!

04 February 2011

All The World's a Stage

As you may know I have been helping my father-in-law in a social marketing capacity and am on Facebook constantly. Well a month or so ago while perusing Facebook on behalf of the agency, I saw that a local online magazine, Elk Grove Monthly, was looking for a theater critic to write reviews on high school drama productions. I enjoy writing and am no stranger to the arts or adjudication, so I emailed to volunteer for the unpaid position. They wrote back! and requested a write up of a fictitious play in 300 words or less.

I was stumped at first, but I knew where to find inspiration. When my brother, Matt, and I were little we would play a game in church - I would draw a series of simple shapes on a piece of paper and hand it over to Matt, at which point he would draw this elaborate scene of monsters and pirate ships from my ovals and squiggly lines. Then we'd switch and I would make houses and ostriches out of his squares and circles. He was the superior creative genius! So when asked for a fictitious play, I wrote to Matt and said, "Quick! Off the top of your head, give me the plot of a fictitious play." He wrote back several sentences about a boy turned con artist who wanted to be reincarnated as a mountain. It was good - like Catch Me If You Can meets Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

His plot, like the shapes of yore, inspired me to write my critique on "C@ught in Act Five" my fictitious play (taking place in the high school I will be reviewing):

Zip up your backpacks, slam those lockers, and give the dial an extra spin. There’s a thief at Franklin High!

C@ught In Act Five, is an original Franklin High production of stealth, thievery, and unspoken adoration. Since Monday last, items have sporadically disappeared from desks, supply closets, and glass cases alike. Even Principal Phinizy’s office isn’t safe! Seven stolen items have been documented, one for each day of school since Winter Break.

Surprisingly, there appears to be no correlation of motive between the recorded stolen objects: the undelivered love note (read: epic novel) written by mathlete Janie Forsight (played by Marianne Xu) to football captain Torin Jockens (played by Kyle Sternworth), a microscope from the science wing, 50 gallons of molding clay from the art room, the swim team’s first place trophy, and all the PE locker dials. However, today when it was discovered that Ms. Phinizy’s (played by herself) personal cell phone was stolen, the well of accusations and lost item claims exploded. Patrick Miner (played by Tom Smith), Janie’s best friend, is determined to use his keen observational skills and the X-Files Crime Lab Kit he received as a Christmas present to solve this mystery and return said epic novel to it’s rightful owner.

While this original script, written by the Mrs. Peavey’s sophomore drama class, may have a predictable ending, you will find the acting by main characters Smith and Xu to be exceptional. Their emotion and humor added to simple lines bring the puzzling plot to a climax, ending in a “high noon” style quick draw - of cell phone texts! With plenty of drama and high school staff appearances, this Franklin High whodunit is not to be missed!

I got the gig and I am now listed as a staff writer on Elk Grove Monthly Magazine's website! I will be reviewing the performances of the Franklin Theater Association, starting with Les Mis in March! Performances are March 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 7:00 P.M. and matinees on March
19 & 26 at 2:00 P.M. You should come! If you're out of town, I'll post pictures because it's supposed to be fantastic with a gigantic cast and crew!

02 February 2011

Fish Get a New Home

Have I told you about these fish yet? I couldn't find mention of them in my previous posts. So I suppose they deserve an introduction before telling you that they're environment has changed.

As you may know, when we moved to Sacramento, Scott assumed the calling as an early morning seminary teacher. For those of you who aren't familiar with our church, this involves teaching the scriptures to high school students at ungodly hours in the morning.  Namely, seminary starts at 6 am, which is way before I'm able to open my eyes, much less put a sentence together. However I did attend seminary when I was in high school and didn't have seem to have a problem with that hour back then.

Anyways, Scott has tried to make his seminary lessons interactive with games and visuals so as to make the morning hours more meaningful to these teenagers. It seems like each lesson Scott prepares has to out-do the previous one.

One evening as Scott was preparing a scriptural lesson based on the principle of stewardship, he had an idea. He wanted to give each of the students something that was his to have stewardship over for awhile and see how they could take care of his belongings. Scott asked his mother (Queen of All Visuals) if she had any suggestions. Immediately, without giving any indication of what she was preparing, Martie left for the store. A few hours later Martie returned with 25 gold fish, fish food, canning jars, and other such fish supplies. She wanted to give them fish!

I wasn't for the idea. I said, if you give these student 15 cent goldfish in a lesson on stewardship then you are setting them up for failure. Those fish will die in less than a week! I've had personal experience! Once I won goldfish at a BYU-I Halloween carnival on a Friday night. I named them... Piggy and Kermit. I bought them a home. They were dead by Sunday. I haven't attempted to own pets since then!

I wasn't wrong either. By the next morning when Scott delivered the fish to seminary, one of them had already gone to fish heaven. But Scott decided to give the students the fish anyway... mostly because the students REALLY wanted them. When Scott returned home that morning, he hadn't dispersed all of the fish. We kept probably seven or eight, and over time, as I predicted, most of them died. Surprisingly though, three of them have swam against the stream and survived their siblings.

Until the other day they lived in a vase and remained nameless. Martie though had had enough! After asking Scott to find them a better home and greener seaweed accessories without response, she finally went to the pet store for their new home (pictured above). They are really thriving in it too! I think it's because they have the opportunity to swim not only vertically but now horizontally too!

At this point (if you're still reading) you're probably thinking that we spend way too much time talking about these fish. It's probably true. If you have pets, you may have witnessed Scott's Dr. Doolittle-type attraction for animals. With the fish, though, most of the time we are actually talking about how we hope they don't survive until the summer because I'm NOT carting them off in a medical school move. Any volunteers to take them off our hands if they live longer?