Showing posts with label Jenna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jenna. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Ham, Potato Salad and Other Memories

            When I was growing up, Ham and Potato Salad were on the menu during the Easter holiday.  I remember my mom saying she had made (or was making) a big batch shortly after Jenna was born (though she arrived eight days earlier than her due date - which was on Easter that year).  I was still in the hospital and mom had made arrangement for our oldest son (Ooki had lived with our family for his senior year but was living with another family when Jenna was born) to bring her the car seat and she fed him and everybody else in the family who had come for Jenna's birth.  What a rip-off!  I had to stay in the hospital with my newborn and would have rather had mom's potato salad than hospital food.
            Mom packed some potato salad in a container and brought it with her the next day. 

            This year Kayla made deviled egg sandwiches for lunch on Easter Sunday.

Ooki with his one day old American sister

1 day old Jenna with dad and brothers

Jenna's first birthday

 Jenna turned 14 yesterday.  Oh the memories!

Jenna's 14th

Friday, November 17, 2017

Not Your Average Teen

          Our swim instructor retired from teaching in public education but has agreed to substitute on occasion.  She happened to be subbing for one of Jenna's teachers and had mentioned to me how Jenna is well liked by so many of her peers.  She is admired because she is herself.  She hangs on to the things she likes and disregards things she doesn't like and refuses to play games of "following the leader" unless she's the leader.

          There are several times that I've called Jenna "crazy" or "weird" referring to her personality differences and not necessarily with Jenna herself.  There have been a few concerned about "labeling" - but my family understands what I am saying and in many cases will agree with me.

          Take today for instance: Jenna has an opportunity, along with several other honor students, to go to the cinema in the big city of Roseburg.  They will see "Wonder" which we have read and I think she would like to see, but not today.
          Yesterday a dental team came to the middle school to check the teeth of sixth and seventh graders whose parents had given permission to be checked.  Today is the eighth graders turn. It kills me that she would even consider staying with the school in order to be checked rather than to see a movie.  Man, when I was her age, skipping school alone would have been enough incentive to push me to the movies.  Adding the dentist would have been even greater incentive.  I don't know a child who loves the dentist more than Jenna.  I've mentioned that before.  But then again I would not have been in her predicament anyway as I never received the high grades that she does.

          When she was in second grade, I volunteered to escort the class to Mrs. Cavanaugh's chocolate plant.  That was also the day Harmon's would be doing their food samples at the school.  According to Jenna, Harmon's produced the best tasting oranges.  She was bummed about going to the chocolate plant rather than being present for the produce.  I assured her that we would still be sampling - but it would be candy instead of produce.  She still felt gypped.

          Seriously?  I mean, it's cool that my child actually prefers produce to candy but still . . .  given a choice between oranges and chocolate - I'm going for the chocolate.  When we returned to the school after having spent a glorious day at Mrs. Cavanaugh's, the representatives from Harmon's were still passing out samples and so Jenna did not miss out after all (besides  from what I understand, Harmon reps were there each month or every other month; Mrs. Cavanaugh's turned out to be a one-time thing)

          She says she did get to assist with foot traffic during the dental demonstration yesterday and was awarded a toothbrush or oral hygiene kit or something.  Still, she would like her mouth cleaned by professionals.  Silly girl.  I like Jenna's uniqueness.  I really do.  I'm happy that she lives outside the box and sticks to her guns.  When I use the words "weird" or "crazy" to describe her, it's actually a compliment.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Apparently Spelling Doesn't Count in that Incredibly Long Run-on Sentence

I have recently come across a pile of papers waiting to be sorted.  There were a lot of homework assignments or notes from both Jenna and me.   I copied a few of her stories to read through at a more convenient time and threw the hard copies away.  She doesn't have the best handwriting, and her spelling is atrocious. 

Turns out I copied three partial stories.  One was about Emily Rogers, a teacher who wished she had well behaved students and seemed to get her wish - but her "wish come true" turned out to be somewhat eerie.  I love Jenna's imaginative description:

it was silent like a cheetah eyeing its prey waiting for the right moment to pounce.  It was sort of creepy. 

She had also  written a story about a character named Latisha Cannon who didn't enjoy math and also made a wish not to have it anymore and how the world seemed to change when math was no longer a part of it.  Both Emily and Latisha woke up at the end of the story.

Some of her errors made me laugh, but after a while I was appalled that she hasn't been learning how to spell or use punctuation correctly.  I know that cursive was removed from the schools.  Was spelling as well?  I get that grammar can sometimes be difficult, but surely she knows  that a sentence has to come to an end eventually. 

It is certainly convenient having spell check or even Grammarly which will catch the errors that a person may have spelled correctly, but the word needed has a different spelling.  For instance she had written "loan star state" instead of "Lone Star State" in her story about Wanda - no last name, but only story title.  It was called: Wanda and the Rain Stick

She didn't wake up at the end.  Not much of a plot.

I'm happy for the opportunities I've had to further my education and understanding.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Passing Phase Perhaps . . .

        From the time she was eight years old, Jenna had always asked me for her own personal facebook account.  She enjoyed watching the JibJabs that my brother-in-law will occasionally post and wanted the opportunity to make comments herself instead of having me type "Jenna says . . ."  Over the years, many of her friends started their facebook accounts and she would ask if she could start one.  Each year the request was included on birthday or Christmas lists.  At the end of 2014 I created this post. 
          It wasn't until we had moved to Oregon - so far away from our family - that I understood why so many of her friends may have had "illegal accounts" as they all had family members they didn't have many opportunities to spend time with.  We had lived in Oregon for almost a year when I set up an "illegal" facebook account for her.  The objective was to keep contact with her brothers and aunts and uncles.  At first she seemed leery about adding people whose names she didn't recognize (good for her), but after a while many school mates made it to the facebook friend list.  She  found former acquaintances she had known in different parts of Salt Lake.  She had fun creating posts and playing games - though I had reminded her several times that is not why the account had been created.  I discouraged her from playing games or sharing her profile.  I don't know how many times she was hacked.  I suggested that she change her password either weekly or bi-monthly.

            I think the novelty had worn off as it had for me in this post.  There are certainly some advantages and disadvantages of being on facebook. After a year, Jenna is bored with facebook and asked if we could delete her account.  We haven't figured out how to close it permanently and so currently it's just deactivated until she decides that she would like to use it again.  And it's okay if she decides not to return.  My brother, Patrick has never had an account nor do I suspect he ever will.  There are leaders in the primary who don't have accounts. 
          I think it is a great source of communicating among certain groups.  I know many who post for upcoming Church activities, or community functions or family gatherings.  In fact I have given examples here and here and I've known some who have been inconvenienced when they no longer have that connection (for instance it was the policy of  Granite School District that all employees must not have facebook contact with the students;  one of my facebook friends, who fixes computers at all the schools in the district, was expected to delete those students he kept in contact with to make them aware of scouting events that had nothing to do with the school - but it was for protection reasons that the "unfriending" thing happened)

            Jenna isn't great at controlling her emotions - especially during that time of the month.  But hey, I was a teenage girl who had issues with that time of the month.  I understand.  Facebook didn't exist when I was her age, but I'm certain I would have gotten bored with it also.  She loves to draw and color.  It's the only passion she's been consistent about.  Everything else has been a fad.  Perhaps one day she will find something that she is willing to hang onto. Perhaps she will do something with her art.  She says she would like to lean towards cartooning.  That would be cool.

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 21 Checklist

        Jenna had asked if her friend Kylee could spend the night.  They had planned for Monday night, but workday sleepovers did not work out well when she and Annette we better friends.  I told her it would be up to Roland.  He said yes and   Jenna created a list for the following day.

             Jenna's agenda for Monday, August 21:
 1) [Kylee]
 2) pool
3) eclipse
4) doughnuts
5) library
6) rays/goin’ postal
7) little shop 8 games . . .
9) something scary
10) bed. 

Allow me to explain:  First thing, we went to Kylee’s house to pick her up at 8:30 a.m..  Check off 1.  Next we went to the pool.  When we arrived, there was a note on the door:

A birthday bash is held at the pool each year on the Friday closest to the 21st.  We have missed all three years however. We were in Roseburg this year as I suspect other two as well.   I thought it was cool that the pool was getting an eclipse for its birthday (LOL) It was just Jenna, Kylee and me in the pool.  There were three lifeguards there.  What troopers, allowing us to be there.  They had even allowed the girls to go down the slide that had been turned on. Check off number 2. 

the large slide hadn't been turned on.  They went down this small one

I thought there would be more from the class as we had made reference to watching the solar eclipse from the pool.  Our instructor had a much better view as she was watching from a city closer to Madras.  We had accumulated several pairs of glasses since summer began and Miss J managed to give away all pairs except for one.  I had already given those to Roland figuring there were other pairs in the car.


this was taken earlier this summer

Kylee had a pair - which she had torn in half so that both she and Jenna could watch at the same time.

  Kylee had wanted me to take her home for a half hour or so, but I thought we’d be watching the eclipse first.  I ended up driving to the park by myself as I didn’t know if I’d make it back in time to watch with Roland.  As I had mentioned before, neither Jenna nor I were all that impressed as we had been expecting to see the Corona.  I think a lot of people were as we made our way to Kylee's house and found many with paper glasses on their faces looking towards the sky.  They lost interest before the passing was complete.

courtesy of my brother-in-law (view from Utah)
 The skies seemed overcast.  Not as dark as we had anticipated.  The skies were really smoky that day and the next.  Worse than Medford was.  I had a killer headache – my breathing was almost as bad as it was in Utah.  Even Roland has been affected. Check off number 3.
Now Jenna was hoping I could take them to Happy Doughnuts – which is on the other end of town.  I was willing to drive them there, but did not want to make the drive just myself (I think driving up and down Old Pacific all day is what contributed to my leg becoming sore in the first place) and by the time I got to Ray’s (the local grocery store we call Rip-Off-Rays) there weren’t any maple bars (or many doughnuts of any variety for that matter)  Jaime specifically wanted maple bars because Monday was maple bar day at the Happy Doughnut; oh well . . .) so no check-off for number 4.

I had come home to change my pants and returned for Jenna and Kylee just before 11:00.  I hadn’t planned on adding laundry to the agenda, but realized that it needed to be done.  Kylee loaded my car full of cans and bottles to take to the recycling because each return of bar-coded bottle or can (has to be readable and not bent) add up at 10 cents a can, but I had to go to the library for summer reading before they could turn in the cans. 

It was our last day at the for the children’s reading program at the library and Jenna and I have been volunteering each Monday.  I don’t know how I became the story lady, but I have told stories at each event.  After story time we have had an activity except for the day of the solar eclipse.  Story time felt like an afterthought.  The children were more involved in the activities they had already started - which is okay.  Here are some samples of most of the activities that we did for the last two months:
we offered Lego activities two weeks in a row:
July 24 and 31

Sponge Bobs birthday was August 10

Solar Eclipse activity Aug 8

display case as of August 8

pin the eclipse over the sun

we created fairy gardens on Aug 14

house to go in the fairy garden

learning the planets on Aug 21

this was our last day of summer reading

tiles created on the last day

making slime Aug 21

cover photo for facebook page; rocks painted at the festival

Check off library.  So I took the girls to Rays, dropped them off with the five or six bags of cans, and went to the laundry mat.  I told them I’d meet them at Goin’ Postal – which is just next door to the strip mall (I guess you could call it that) where Ray’s is located.  It’s still a good walk. 

So we were home and up to number 7.  Both enjoy scary movies, though I don’t know why.  Little Shop of Horrors is not all that scary, but because  the plant arrives on the day of the full solar eclipse, Jenna decided they needed to watch it in honor of that day’s eclipse. But they had wanted to wait until it got darker.
 They started working on number 8.  Asking questions from board games mostly.  Kylee did have an opportunity of playing Balderdash with the rest of us as we introduced her to Family Home Evening.  Kylee fell asleep as they watched Little Shop and started from the beginning the next morning (after she had gone to the pool with us again of course - the smokiest day - not a good workout because we did not breathe the air) The girls were well behaved and at a lower volume than Jenna had been with Annette.
We returned Kylee to her house just after three.  I'd forgotten that I had agreed to work a shift at the library, and so had Jenna go with me as I did not have time to take her home.
The smoke had lifted by Wednesday morning.  Back to a better pool workout.

Friday, July 28, 2017

It IS a Big Deal

            Our class size varies at the pool.  We have had as many class members as 15 (our instructor had brought four members of her family to participate in our class on Tuesday) and as few as one or two (I did not attend on Wednesday but had heard that there were only two students to show) Yesterday there were seven students plus our instructor.

            After our class ended, Jenna and I stopped by Millsite Park to look for the FMCL booth for the Myrtle Creek Festival as we had been assigned to man it during a shift yesterday.  It hadn't been set up yet.  We decided to return home for some breakfast and I texted Serena to see if she needed help with the booth.

            Roland fixed French toast for Jenna and me before we returned to the park to help set up.  We were there for just over an hour before we left again.  Jenna had wanted to go to Riddle for their Pre-Solar Eclipse Party. 

It was the end of their summer reading program for the small kids - teens will go until mid August, I guess.  There is no teen program for Myrtle Creek.  

            I had posted pictures of the Riddle Library grounds before -just over two years ago not long after we had moved to Oregon.  The teen activities usually take place in the pavilion in the park right next to the library.  I thought we would go to the pavilion for the party, but we didn't end up at the pavilion at all.

            First thing on the agenda was to walk from the back door of the library to the door to city hall. Aside from the pictures, I think the Riddle City Hall looks very much like the Myrtle Creek City Hall. 

The librarian had set up a display of the planets moving around the sun.  She explained a bit about sky activity and the solar eclipse.  We then went out into the courtyard to first, use our special glasses to look at the sun, and then several of the children made slime.

            When the slime was done, children packed their treasures in plastic containers and returned to the library for prizes.  It was announced that the total summer reading had included 16,230 hours but then was upped to 18,465.  Prices were awarded to all the children who participated.

            The finale ended just outside the library doors for all participants to enjoy vanilla ice cream floating in the beverage of their choice (Lemon-Lime, Orange, Strawberry or Root Beer).  Jenna left with a book called "Prankster Magic" which she is quite proud of.

            One of the perks I enjoy about small town living is how the community pulls together.  The last weekend in July is reserved for Myrtle Creek Festival.  Some people will check out of their businesses early or may not even open at all.  Time is spent into setting up booths before noon on Thursday.  The booths open at 4:00 p.m. and close at 11:00 pm.

            Jenna had saved her money for this event, and it is still in a storage unit somewhere in Winston.  The thought of it had made her cry, but Roland said we would lend her the money and she can pay us back if/when she should ever get her room (belongings) back.  I don't think she realized how much of her time would be utilized for the sake of the library.

            Our booth offered paint n play . . . 3.00 to paint a rock and play a game.  Most of our consumers were either/or.  We may not have had any customers at all if it wasn't for Jaime - plugging every patron who walked by.  The first day is Not the busiest day.  I think the majority of people come on Saturday.  But there were a few wanderers yesterday.  I believe that Jenna was able to get half to invest in painting a rock or playing the game.

            We were able to leave before the end of our shift, but as Jenna forgot her bag, we returned for it.  Serena and Sheila recruited Jenna to finish out the night and have said that if she will work all of them, they will feed her.  (Evidently they don't know that she eats like a teenage boy) and so she was left to "sell" the booth's activities until Sheila brought her home. 

            We have an earlier shift today, but I may be dropping Jenna off earlier and she may stay all day; her rewards will be even greater than what she had saved up for. Roland and I both believe this is good for her.  I'm actually excited to see how much she's involved.

Monday, April 10, 2017

How Cool Is That?

          Jenna LOVES it when we sign up to feed the missionaries.  Just a few days after we fed the missionaries, Eva called to ask when we could sign up again.  If it were up to Jenna, we’d be feeding them on a daily basis, I think.  But I really wasn’t ready to make a commitment for the optional dates which Eva had given. 
          She had really been pushing for this past Friday, but Beth had already contacted me to see if Roland and I could meet her and Graham for lunch as they were passing through from Ashland on their way back to McMinnville.  At that time I didn’t really know how late we’d be eating and so said I would just talk to her on Sunday.  Only we didn’t have church on Sunday as it was General Conference.  I think she called five times in less than 24 hours.  One was to fill in for a cancellation the Elders had made for yesterday. 
         I told her that we would be at the Pizza Palace between two and four as we’d be having a birthday party for Jenna and had actually planned on mentioning it to the Elders anyway.  Jenna was ecstatic when I told her that the missionaries would be coming to her party.  I think she had invited over 20 peers – some friends, some just acquaintances.  We ended up with 14 people total - six were adults. 

          Annette had spent the night so that she would be sure she made it to the party.  I really don't enjoy when Jenna has sleepovers as she doesn’t sleep and therefore I don’t sleep either.  And then I am grouchy.  Jenna, on the other hand, is always happy.  She says that’s what she is known for by many people – and they admire it.

          Savannah's mom went wild with the birthday gift – or giftS rather.  In case Jenna didn’t already have a stuffed animal collection going, the gift bag came with a collection starter – five animals I think – not counting the other three or four that Savannah had won for her after they had finished eating.

          The first at the top of the bag was an angry faced emoji pillow with a note explaining that “The happiest girl needs to know what ‘mad’ looks like."
          Jenna enjoyed the company of her friends and shared her wealth.  When she presented the Elders with coins, they declined and said not only was it against the rules to play the electronic games, but  they couldn’t in good conscience accept the money either.  That went for the huge stack of coins that Savannah’s mom had placed in front of them – possibly passing out more coins for the entire teenage crew than Richard had.
          Roland played chauffer to several of Jenna’s friends.  Kylee spent a few hours with Jenna before we took her home.  She would like to do a sleepover.  I don’t want to deprive her.  Perhaps if I have enough notice, I can take a nap before she comes.
          Jenna did not get her rainbow on her birthday, but did get one on the day of her birthday party.  For after we returned from taking Kylee home, we found a rainbow at the end of our street.  Battery in my camera decided to quit at her party and Roland’s phone needed to be charged.  So Jenna took my cell phone to take pictures.  When we were viewing them on the monitor, I realized that it had been a double rainbow as there was a faint mirrored image in several of the pictures.

Monday, April 3, 2017

I Hope You Find Your Rainbow

          Today is Jenna's birthday. It is also "Find a Rainbow Day". She now starts life off as a teenager although she has absolutely no desire of growing up.  She tried watching conference yesterday.  I admire her for trying.  And I know she really was trying to make comments each time she made an off-the-wall comment that brought a smile to my face.

          The first was during the morning session yesterday when the camera had swung around the men performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  The view was from behind and two the side.

          "Is that Donald Trump?!?  That guy [in the choir]'s hair looks like Donald Trump's!  Why would anyone want his hair to be like Donald Trump's?!?"

           I think it was during Ronald A. Rasband's talk in which a picture was shown of two missionaries.  Jenna's comment: 

          "I like their suits.  It looks like they're going to prom."

         Don't know that's really the image that the Church would want to be portrayed.  I guess that's why the dress code has more restrictions now.

          In the afternoon session, she didn't think Joaquin E. Costa's  voice matched his face. When he showed his wedding photo, we both agreed that he looked like John Francis Daley who played Sweets in the TV series "Bones"

          We did watch conference and did get more out of some talks than others.  She said her favorite talk had been given by Joy D. Jones.  I think she related more to the youth centered talk and finding examples among her friends.  Plus she has always liked the story of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego.  

          I don't know if Jeffery R. Holland's (from Saturday morning session) was my favorite or not.  I did enjoy his illustration of being a part of a choir to our very existence all while interweaving "sunshine in my soul" - I enjoyed his analogy.

          I hope Jenna may find a rainbow like the one that shown on March 30.  Perhaps it will have to be a metaphorical rainbow. Her party won't be until the 8th.  Happy Birthday, honey!

Monday, December 5, 2016


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints introduced us to an Advent Calendar this year

Meanwhile, Jenna has decided that we need to do an additional activity each week.  Thus far most of our activities have been craft related

Day 1 Thursday - she decided we would make wreaths

Initially, Roland made two large bows, but they were nearly as big as the wreath itself

Day 2 Jenna put me in charge of Firday's activity.  We made the tree

On Saturday, we cut out snowflakes while watching "Pete's Dragon"

Day 4 - yesterday.  She put me in charge again, and so I decided we would put a puzzle together.  Roland helped us with it - well, actually ended up doing most of it.  And Jenna disappeared.  She told me to take a picture of the finished product