Friday, January 30, 2009

Destined to be a Criminal?

MSNBC ran an article this week highlighting the publication of a study regarding the correlation between your name and your criminal potential.

The article cited that those kids with popular names were less likely to commit crimes while unusual or unpopular names committed more crimes.

So in a 'random' attempt to distinguish who may be criminally prone, I've investigated a few names. Here's the findings based on name popularity from my generation.

Names are listed in order of criminal potential - starting from lowest to highest! (completely non-scientific!)

Michael (Most Popular Boy's Name)
Jennifer (Most Popular Girl's Name)
Amy (2nd)
Stephanie (9th)
Jeffrey (15th)
Tammy (23rd)
Joshua (24th)
Paul (27th)
Susan (27th)
Wendy (36th)
Erin (39th)
Melanie (56th)
Leslie (70th)
Sherry (94th)
Damon (138th)
Joy (145th)
Duane (190th)
Kellie (194th)
Peggy (250th)
Shauna (308th)
Jacquelyn (329th)
Ethan (345th) - it was 38th in 1998 though
Wendi (378th)

Just a note, but there was not even a Taffy, Syndi or Cheiko on the whole list!
What does that say?

Final words from the study:

"And while these names are not the direct cause of criminal behavior, boys with uncommon names are treated differently by other kids, making it difficult for them to form healthy relationships. Also, kids with unpopular names are more prone to acting out because they consciously or unconsciously dislike their names."
Something to think about . . . .

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Thursday, January 29, 2009


Okay, was yesterday's post too negative for everyone about Pleasant Grove?

I want to redeem myself and let you know of the cool thing that PG Rec Center does.

They employ handicapped adults to clean the gym. This is such a cute thing to watch in the morning as the group meets each other and begin their work.

They seem to enjoy what they are doing, particularly the interaction with their friends and co-workers. They are polite and kind to everyone there.

Kudos to the city for letting them be involved and productive in the city!

P.S. Still looking for more Strawberry Days Themes . . . .

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Strawberry Days

strawberry alyssa Pictures, Images and PhotosIn a most unfortunate series of events I found myself, a few weeks ago, at a Strawberry Days Committee Meeting.

Other than the high score on Bejeweled (bless my little palm pilot) I walked away with the instructions to ponder a theme for Strawberry Days this year.

I have thought, deeply, about what theme I could possibly suggest for this dear community that I live in.

And I thought maybe I should run a few by you, before submitting them to the committee.

A few things to keep in mind before deciding:

1 --Last year's theme was: "Everyone Comes Home For Strawberry Days"
2 -- It's got to sound good as part of Lisa's answering machine options
3 -- I have to be able to come up with the winning entry at the Children's Parade using the theme

Option #1

Celebrating the Generations, and Generations, and Generations and Generations, and Generations of citizens who continue to live in Pleasant Grove.

Option #2

To Strawberry Days we all went as we followed the sewage plant scent

Option #3

High density housing's a plus and rodeo attendance a must

I'm open for other options, so please submit them prior to my next meeting . . . .

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

For starters, I did not just go nearly a whole week without updating my blog for no good reason.

I mean, if I was going to neglect my little bloggie, surely it would be because my house has flooded (wait - that's Jacquie) or that I'm impatiently waiting my x-ray results (oops - that's dad) or that I've been busy whooping the butts of a girls basketball team 100-0 (dang! That was the Covenant school in Texas).

Anyway, the last few days I have not been spending organizing and re-organizing my Israel photos in preparation for a Family Home Evening presentation tonight. And it was not the MOST EXCITING thing I've ever done. And I certainly did not tell Jeff that he was not allowed to speak at all and that he should only click the slide show when I nodded. That would've been just rude!

And in preparation for my half-marathon I did not consider killing the man who walks the track backwards in the running lane. I didn't even consider upping my running speed and moving into his lane so that at some point his pointy little head would collide with mine and he would fall to the floor in a coma, thus relieving me of his bizarre presence in my running world. For crying out loud, who would even think of doing something like that?!

I also did not go to a marriage relations class on Sunday to learn about controlling anger and then go home and yell at my daughter.

I did not have to nuture my son AGAIN this weekend after playing unkindly in Guild Wards.

And finally, I was not angry that it snowed again during this morning. And I certainly didn't think unkind thoughts towards the freaky neighbor who just LOVES the snow and the opportunity to shovel other people's walks. That's just weird to not like snow. . . . .

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You @ 50

Two posts in one day?

That's odd for me, but couldn't wait until tomorrow to post this video.

It is an entry to AARP's video contest entitled You @ 50.

I love it!

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Inaugral Thoughts

Been watching the Inauguration this morning and had a few thoughts I wanted to share:

1st -

I LOVE prayer language. Not the language used today . . . but the kind that uses words like" Thee" and "Thou". The prayers seemed not so much like a petition to God but a speech. I was embarrassed for the language.

However, I did enjoy the repetition of Amen for the benediction. There are prayers that I have heard that make me want to repeat aloud my agreement and appreciation to God.

2nd -

The musical number by the fabulous group of artists such as Yo Yo Ma. I loved the message of one of the songs more than anything. It's a song entitled "Simple Gifts" - a personal favorite of mine.

Here are the lyrics which I run through my mind frequently and hopefully will guide many in government:

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

3rd -

Trying to repeat oaths is tricky. Thanks to Pres. Obama for showing he's human in flubbing what he needed to say. And thanks to Biden for the awkward pausing after the word discharge . .

4th -

I'm grateful to live in the United States. Who you voted for is important, but on a day like today - it's all about simply being American! Which I am proud to be.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

PMS Post

I have just got to redirect all of you people to a blog I really get a kick out of reading. Happy Hour Sue's blog is called Happy Meals & Happy Hour and her blog today about PMS cracked me up.

I even went so far as to sign myself up for PMSBuddy. It's like my little gift to Jeff so that he can be clued in to what's happening here at home and which days to work late.

And for Kellie, the newest Facebook junkie - you can have PMSBuddy update your status on your Facebook page. (I'm gonna spare my poor high school friends from enjoying this personal information).


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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shark Trouble

Apparently Australia is having a rash of Great White Shark attacks. I watched the news coverage this morning as I snuggled deeper into my blankets - grateful that I don't have a passion for swimming in the ocean.

But then I had to stop and think for a minute when they suggested that to stay safe from the shark attacks you should swim in a group. They didn't say, "Hey - stay out of the water for a few weeks!" or "Chain mail swim suits only". They suggested that you take your "friends" swimming with you in the shark infested waters.

What's the purpose here? Confuse the sharks with so many warm, fleshy body parts that you reduce the odds of him going for YOUR body parts.

And how are you going to feel if you get invited to go swimming in shark infested waters with your friend? You know they just want you to go so that YOU get eaten instead of them.

And if you happen to have fleshier, tastier thighs than your skinny friend who invited you it's easy to deduce just where you stand on their food chain of friends.

Let's face it -- since I've got those meaty thighs and slow swimming skilz it's just plain LUCKY that I have no friends in Australia to "invite" me for some ocean swimming.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Not Me, Monday

I am "not" one to follow along with what everyone else is doing - so you'll find it shocking that I'm participating in the "Not Me, Monday" posts that are hosted by Mckmama at My Charming Kids. I hope you'll enjoy seeing what I absolutely have NOT done this past weekend!

1) I did not contemplate the many ways in which I could possibly trip people who run faster than me at the gym this weekend. I didn't even count the number of times that my sweet neighbor lapped me (3) while she ran the same distance I did in half the time. And I certainly didn't want to slap to the man walking next to me as I huffed and puffed running slightly behind him. I would never have such unsportsmanlike thoughts in my head, Not Me!

2) I did not go to the stake baptism preview last night just to find things that I could mock later. Because it would soooooo not be like me to tell anyone how most eight year olds in the stake are now thinking that the baptism talks will be be 20 minutes long and bore them to death first. I know some people may have gone just to be catty, but Not Me!

(Peggy, since I did not do this, I guess I don't have to apologize for having these evil thoughts while sitting next to you)

3) I did not spend my weekend driving around to 5 different Albertson's looking for Charmin Mega - 9 Roll toilet paper because it was on sale. I mean, toilet paper is toilet paper right? You would never catch me driving all around town just looking for a good deal!

4) I did not throw a fit last night when I was playing Guild Wars with Josh because he completed a task without me. And I did not repeatedly remind him of his error over, and over, and over again. As a parent that would be the epitome of Guilt Tripping, which is something I would never do . . . . Nope, Not Me!

What about you? What didn't YOU do this weekend?

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Road Rage

Basically the world is better off with me being a stay at home mom who is not daily sitting in traffic jams.

Today I drove Melanie to her school, since her car is in the shop, and the amount of naughty comments from my mouth at other people's driving was outrageous!

In addition, the trip to Bluffdale took me 3 hours round trip!! A semi accident at point of the mountain held me up on my way THERE.

And a 40 billion car pile up at Lehi and a car fire in AF held me up on my way HOME.

At some point, slow traffic just annoys you --

But accidents . . . that just becomes heart wrenching. I'm not a wimpy kinda girl, but after seeing the pile up in Lehi and nearly being a part of it. . . I was shaking!

Guess I should re-address my mouthy speaking of slow traffic and be grateful to be accident free. My thoughts to all those involved this morning and I wish you quick recovery!

Link to KSL on the Lehi accident

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Good Shepherd

I've been spending a lot of time lately organizing my Israel photos so that I can start scrapbooking them (digitally). And in the course of doing this I want to share another experience.

This one occurred at the Shepherd's Field in Bethlehem, which is not the location of Jesus' birth. But it is a cave similar to many in the area in which animals would've been stabled. In fact it is similar to many that shepherds would use to fold their sheep at night.

While sitting in this cave we were taught by our Palestinian guide about what a Good Shepherd Christ was. It was an amazing presentation to which the spirit testified to our whole group. I'd like to tell you about it. (Caution - long post)

The Good Shepherd

To begin, a shepherd has certain tools that he uses to do his job. He carries a sack to hold his food, a slingshot to kill small animals, a rod (much like a police stick) to defend his flock from robbers or animals and a staff (with a crook on the end) to use as a walking stick and for correcting wayward sheep.

A Good Shepherd knows the names of his sheep and they know the sound of his voice. At days end several shepherds will gather their flocks together. A cave, like the one we were at, is walled off with stones and brush to create a small opening that only the sheep can pass thru. All the sheep are driven into the cave as the shepherd counts off his flock at the door. The shepherds watch over their flock, through the night, outside under the stars. In the morning the shepherds will stand by the door and call for their sheep and only their sheep will heed the call and come.

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the
door of the sheep. (John 10:7)

A Good Shepherd will lead his flock to where there are green fields and still water. Sheep are unable to locate new green fields once one has been depleted of its grass. Sheep are unable to locate a source of water by instinct. They must be led. Also, sheep will not drink from a fast moving stream or a stagnant water source. A Good Shepherd will know where to continually move his flock to keep them nourished. Also, a sheep will not lie down unless they feel completely safe.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green
pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (Psalms 23:1-2)

A Good Shepherd will use his staff to teach his sheep. Sometimes a wayward lamb will think he knows the best way to go to find food. As the lamb goes astray, the shepherd will use the staff to smack the lamb on the head to show the lamb he is in trouble. The shepherd will then bring the lamb back into the fold. If the same lamb goes astray again, he will smack him another time with the staff to correct his behavior and bring him back. The third time that the little lamb goes astray the Good Shepherd will use his staff to break the lamb's leg. The shepherd will bind and care for the broken limb and then carry the lamb around his neck until it heals. The Good Shepherd shows the lamb its dependence on the shepherd and the need to heed his direction.

Finally, I thought it was interesting that shepherds were not well looked upon at the time of Christ. They were, after all, hirelings. The wealthy who owned the flocks hired the shepherds to care for the animals. If a bandit or wild animal went after the sheep, sometimes the shepherds would desert the flock having no long term interest in their survival. But a Good Shepherd would lay down his life for his flock.
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
(John 10:11)

I know this has been a little long, and over the past few weeks I have researched even more about sheep and what their tendencies are. The use of sheep and shepherding as symbols for us and Christ is quite appropriate. What a fond memory I have of this place and what a boost for my personal testimony!

Bob and Carol inside the cave at the Shepherd's Field where we heard the great testimony from our guide.

This is the outside of the cave having been walled up over the years to become a place to visit. But back in the day, it would've been walled up with natural materials anyway to serve as a animal shelter.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Half a What?

I've gone and gotten myself into a heap o'trouble!

It's official, I have signed up to run a Half Marathon on March 21st. I have contemplated backing out of this several times - but a last minute chance to fill the last spot on a team entry has led me to this!

I was NOT going to share this with anyone, but I understand that making our personal goals public can motivate us to accomplish them.

I am now scared spitless that I will fail and all you good people will frown upon me forever more. (I wish that were true - you are all so nice I know you'd be supportive if I just did somersaults thru the whole thing).

Anyway, I'm off to a good start - I put my running shoes on today!

Tomorrow I'll try to squeeze my butt into some running shorts (by shorts I mean excercise capris that hopefully will hide my jiggling butt when I finally try to run)

Wish me Luck!

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Monday, January 5, 2009

2008 Summarized

Apparently I'm making all my December posts in January.

Don't let these belated posts turn you off, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to let you know what 2008 was all about!

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Sunday, January 4, 2009


Can I talk about Christmas gifts in January or is that taboo?

When have I really cared about what is taboo?

The answer is "All the time."

But today I'm going to talk about Christmas gifts anyway. I'm going to tell you about one of the coolest gifts that I got!

This is not to belittle the FABULOUS socks and slippers that I received from Ethant (which are my 2nd favorite gift) but the best gift was from Melanie which was a $25 gift certificate to KIVA.

KIVA is a program that lets you lend money to entrepreneurs in developing countries - empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty. This is basically the Small Fortunes program (see left hand sidebar) accessible for everyone to contribute.


I took my $25 and combined it with 16 other people to lend money to Kum Yem, who lives in Cambodia and wanted to purchase a cow to help her with plowing and some piglets to help subsidize her income.

She will repay the loan over the next year and when it is repaid I will reinvest it in another person who needs the help.

This is the COOLEST thing - and if you click on the Small Fortunes link and watch the video there (I think it's there) you can see the difference that LOANING small amounts of money to the people in these countries makes.

Interesting to note, but in loaning to females the loans are paid off sooner. Also, they make a more dramatic impact on the children of the woman. She will supplement her income to enable the education of her children and raise the level of the society. Men on the other hand will earn more money from the loan, but do not use it to help their children or wives.

Anyway, Thanks Mel for the gift!!

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Friday, January 2, 2009


I have a New Year's Obsession.

Not to be confused with a New Year's Resolution.

While laid up with back pain the last few weeks I found solace and comfort from my television set. Primarily from a show I've never watched before:


Somewhere between his limping and popping vicodon and my stooping and popping oxycotin I bonded with him.

I was drawn in by his harsh comments and brutally honest personality. His bedside manner had me in tears, laughing, as he said things that I would normally only think.

My thanks to USA for running House marathons last week! I can't wait to see Dr. House again.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009


I've been a little MIA lately. But recent events have returned me 'normal'.

Two days ago our neighbor had a little run-in with the SWAT team. We were told to stay in our house while the SWAT team removed him from his.

I was Frightened! We were told that he was being removed because he had threatened the life of his family and himself.

I was Frightened because it could've been ME!! I have spent the last two weeks threatening the life of MY family and MYself.

A few days after coming home from Israel I threw out my back and pinched my sciatic. This means that I have spent the last two weeks crying in pain, crumpled over like an old hag and realizing that putting on underwear without help is a luxury.

On more than one occasion I have threatened physical harm to myself. Something similar to, "Just SHOOT Me NOW!"

And then Sunday when Jeff was having me do 3 sets of 20 sit-ups (in an effort to 'help' me) while shocking pain jolted my butt and legs and then encouraged me to do the same number of leg lifts -- I threatened his life . . . . .

Yes, the neighbor probably needed to have the SWAT team at his house, but they probably should've been removing me from mine too.

Luckily, I'm standing up straight today and ready to start a New Year! I'm safe and the family is still alive (bruised, but alive!)

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