Saturday, May 28, 2011

Praying Mantis

Rick and two of my boys are hiking somewhere up north between Prescott and Flagstaff.  I'm not privy to the exact location.  So, while taking the garbage out to the curb for the Saturday pick-up, I spied a darling Praying Mantis on my beloved Gerbera Daisy outside my front door.
Lucky me!
This one was tiny and didn't appreciate my close proximity to him.  Once I was done snapping photos, it climbed beneath the flower and tried to hide from me.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Penguins and dragons.

Meet Philip, the one legged penguin.  He is, of course, one of Truman's creations.  Even though his right leg broke off, he's still a studly type of bird.

Quinn was picked to be in the Gilbert School District's art show at Norwood Furniture in downtown Gilbert.  His pick make him four out of four Tipton kids picked to display their art for the show.  All I know is I've never had any type of art displayed anywhere, and never will.  This is one talent I know for sure they get from their father! 

Close up of the dragon.

Winston (& Emily) came to the showing too.  He's just kickin' back on a lovely bed display.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My missionary.

R. Cole Tipton, my missionary, sent me his memory card from his nearly 13 week stay at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo, Utah, after his last day there, on his way to Japan (Got it?).  It took me a while to figure out how to get his pictures off of that darn memory card.  As it turns out, there are adapters for that type of thing.  You can't take a card from one camera and plug it into another expecting the pictures to just pop up.  That would be efficient.  Instead, you get to go to somewhere like, oh, let's say Target and purchase an adapter.  Technology is sneaky like that.  The better technology gets, the more money you spend for efficiency!
True to form, there is not one picture of Cole where he is just smiling.  Why that would be too normal.

After a rough e-mail last week, we got a better one last night.  Enjoy.

Who needs a bike and rain suit when they've got legs and skins, baby?
My bike will be ready on the 29th. That is after transfers, so hopefully I stay in this area. A missionary has also offered to give me his bike, just because he's not sure he wants to send it home, and he wants his legacy to live on through it or something. It's way nice, but it's not green. It would save us a buck or two, though. We'll see what happens. I most likely will just buy the green giant.

So the Hiramatsu family is my favorite family in the world other than my own and the Weasly family (think Harry Potter). I told them they were my Japanese grandparents. Apparently that can be insulting to some oldies, so sister Hiramatsu corrected me and they are now my Japanese parents. She's also 29. Brother Hiramatsu is a classy old man with a lot of art and records and cool glasses. I asked him about the Japanese story of the man who gets his ears ripped off  (I sort of forgot how it went) and he whipped out a book that was on the table and bam, right there was the story. How neat. Dad remembers, I'm sure.

We've been dendoing (doing missionary work) harder. We've been really trying to talk to everyone we see, because before we really didn't talk to anyone. As prayers would have it we have three lessons this week: one with a man who says he has no interest in joining our church but is very interested in religion, and two with less actives that I had the pleasure of calling on the denwa (phone). There's also an eikaiwa ( English class) party this week. I'm not sure what exactly is included in that (I think it's just a gimmick to get people to come). At any rate, it'll be a party of engrish conversation and dericious goodies. And maybe dancing.

In Japan there is a lot of old people. The average age might be 150. From time to time I get to thinking out thoughts. In church we teach an old man (who's not mentally sound enough maybe to be in class w/ the rest of Sunday school) out of the gospel principles book. As I was flipping through it, the last page said something about the moment we will return to our God again. It made me think of the hymn How Great Thou Art, which we sung in the MTC choir. I just about wept hard-core at these lines: When Christ shall come, with shouts of acclamation--and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.  And in my weeps all I could think was holy cow, we're going home! It gives a new perspective to life down here when I'm reminded of that.

So here I am, in it for the long haul. Thank you for your prayers and support and I love you. Quinn is a stud. Truman... Emily and Steven, you get that house. Mom and Dad, stay in the same house please. Also, packages are way expensive to send, so if you want to hold it out that's way a-okay. As for Quinn's package, it's ready as ever. I just have to figure out how it'll get to the states now. Sweet. We got new futons and they're fluffy and happy. I still weigh around 70 kilos. Life is rough when you're a walking flub. If you could also send a flash drive, that'd be all right. Also, I have a lot of dollar store post cards and I need to send one to Mitch. If I could get his address that'd be da bomb.

Never give up!

Love, Elder Cole Tipton

Also, I forgot to mention that I ate raw horsemeat sushi. I felt like a murderer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

True Confessions of an Insomniac

It's true, for the last 16 years or so, I have struggled with insomnia. I can go to sleep without any problem. It's staying asleep that I have an issue with. Years ago when this first started happening, I was pregnant with Truman. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and toss and turn. Finally, I'd get out of bed (which is a no, no, according to sleep experts, believe me, I've read up on this stuff) and turn on the TV. All that was playing at the time were infomercials. I didn't care. At least if took my mind off of not sleeping. So I'd pick the best one and it would always be the Richard Simmons Cruise to Loose infomercial. As heavy women would tearfully tell their stories to Richard and he'd cry while holding their hands, I'd cry right along with them. They were so inspiring. Here I was with this ever increasing belly and body that I could do nothing about, watching a weight loss show.

Through the years I've learned how to deal with insomnia by using a couple of mother's little helpers. The first one is: Use an eye cover like the one you see below.  Actually this eye cover is new as of  Mother's Day.  It is super serious when it comes to blocking out the encroaching sunlight.  This is a good thing especially when you live where I do and the sun comes up at 4:45 a.m. during the summer.  That's usually when I'm finally getting back to sleep after a rough night.  I've learned that when I wake up in the middle of the night to visit my friend, John, (my toilet.....duh) when I come back to bed I place this little number on my head and I sleep much better!  I'm able to get back to sleep which is the real chore and stay asleep until at least 5:30 or 6:00 a.m.  Yeah!

Another treasure I've found is this little invention called, wait for it..... an alarm clock.  Truly.  I haven't used an alarm clock for at least a decade because the sound of it stressed me out and I would naturally wake up anyway.  What I realized is that I'd wake up early and a lot, constantly watching the clock, waiting for 6:00 a.m. to come so I could get up and ready for work.  I thought it was okay.  It wasn't.  There was more lost sleep without an alarm clock with my worrying.  So a few weeks ago, I set my alarm before work and I slept worry free.  Miraculous!  These two items have changed my life for the better.  No matter how long you've had a problem and what you've tried, there's probably something out there that's simple that can help improve your life too!  Wait until you hear about my shower cap I've newly discovered......

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happiness = a slow closing toilet lid. Happy Mother's Day!

This is what I woke up to on Mother's Day.  A hand-made poster from my husband/family.  There were lovely whole wheat muffins baked from scratch by Rick and strawberries for breakfast.  We went to church at 9:00 and then went home to rest, a lot.  A movie may have been watched, I don't know, I was asleep.  Then at 5:00, Steven, Emily, Winston and & Bama came over for
We called Elder R. Cole Tipton in Shimonoseki, Japan.  We got to talk to him for about an hour.  While Cole's on his mission, we'll be able to call him on Mother's Day and Christmas.  In between, it's e-mails once a week and letters via USPS.   One conversation between Cole & Bama was about the half-time performers at the Super Bowl back in January.  My mom, Bama, had to make sure he knew that the Black Eyed Peas and Slash, among others, put on a show.  She even had it written out on a little note pad so she wouldn't forget to tell him. 
Emily & Steven went in with Rick and bought me this little number from Anthropology.  I love it!  It's my first real apron in my whole life!  Really.  Rick purchased one for me last year for Mother's Day from Wal Mart (it even hurts to type that).  It's um, very industrial, yet useful.  However, it was way lacking in style.  Not like this sweet thing.

See how much happier work in the kitchen is with a slick apron?!

As per Tipton tradition, the men cooked a delicious steak dinner for the moms and served us as we ate in the dining room.  No men or children allowed.  It was lovely.  Yes, I did wear my apron the entire night!

Cheers to you the mothers of the world.
The best gift I got (besides my lovely family) is on order from Home Depot....a slow closing toilet lid.  I told Rick that it would be nice to have one for each toilet some day.  It's just toileting on another level.  Is that weird?  All I know is Rick took that as a hint for a Mother's Day gift for me and I love it!!  Next is my birthday and then Christmas, maybe I'll get the other two toilet seats on those occasions.  Who knows?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Emily Zoe Tipton Hale

Emily Zoe is 22!
(On May 2nd, that is.  I'm a little late in the game.)
What makes my daughter's birthday special? Could it be that she's my only girl child? Or that smiling is her favorite? Could it be that she is innately happy and tries to make everyone around her happy?   Perhaps it's because, and this is really an important one, she has a great sense of style.

This may have been 20 years ago, but it could have been yesterday if you ask me.  Look at how her style is timeless.

The stroller, hat, dress and Mickey Mouse shoes were for her 2nd birthday.  She just chose to put them all together at the same time.

Happy birthday Emily!  I've loved you from the moment I met you!  You bring joy to my life daily by your deeds and the wonderful person and mother you've become.  I love you! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011


A couple of nights ago, after watching the royal wedding, I went to bed with no particular thoughts.  However, apparently I was overwhelmed with all of the television coverage of the royal event because every time I woke up throughout the night, which was often, a strange word came to mind.  Like a song that just plays over and over in your head.  The word was:

Gobsmacked !


I hadn't heard it at all during any of the commentaries on TV but somehow, my mind went to it, constantly while I tried to sleep. 

The definition is:  Gobsmacked combines the northern English and Scottish slang term gob, mouth, with the verb smack. It suggests the speaker is utterly astonished or astounded. It’s much stronger than just being surprised; it’s used for something that leaves you speechless, or otherwise stops you dead in your tracks. It suggests that something is as surprising as being suddenly hit in the face.

Where did I come up with English slang?  No one knows.  But I do know that I will definitely try to apply this new word in my English language 'cause it came to me in my dreams.... a l l  n i g h t  l o n g.