Sunday, April 26, 2009

Youth Conference, yay.

So Doug and I were called today to be the Youth Conference coordinators. Generally the whole stake does it and they rent our door rooms at the U or something, but this year it's just our ward. 

It's exciting/scary- just like most things. Unlike most things, it's a little remnicent of my EFY days- so that's exciting. Unfortunately I was never an EFY coordinator- so this is a huge challenge. Doug doesn't seem that worried about it. I think he sees it as logistics mostly, and although logistic compentency is definitely necessary for a succesful conference- I feel like it's going to take a lot of creativity, revelation and preparation to make this event fun for the kids.

If you have any ideas I would love to hear about them- although I'm sure you'll find many of you to be my sounding board at things progress....

As if a huge three day youth event wasn't stress enough for the summer...we are having a big VT conference in June as well. I also need some fun ideas for that- especially because I want it to be super fun... you know like in college. So many opportunites to grow :/

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Women's Rights Cont.

So I posted a blog this morning about the crazy business in the Congo... and then I went to school. Some considerate individual seems to leave a copy of the NY Times on my seat every day, as I was reading through today's paper I learned of an Afghan protest that happened yesterday. Shi'ite women in Afghanistan protested a insane set of laws passed by the Afghan parliament. Despite a counter protest of about 3 times as many men, the women stood their ground and marched on (hat's off, my ladies) even after being assaulted with stones and even being spat on!

Anyway, read about it here.

Conflict Minerals

Years ago we heard about the blood diamond amputees in Sierra Leon, fortunately consumers made enough racket to cause some change. As a result, in 2007 Sierra Leon elected the most non-corrupt Parliament in it's history placing the strongest legislation on the harvesting and sale of diamonds the country has ever seen.

Similar action is necessary for the citizens (women in particular) of Congo. Congo is the world's largest and cheapest supplier of tin, titanium, tungsten and gold (affectionately termed the 3T's and Gold) explaining why the country battles over an estimated $344M/yr in these mineral resources.

The 3T's are mostly used for production of electronics like cell phones and laptops, and it is completely within our power to demand that our suppliers use conflict free minerals to manufacture our products.

Congolese women (including children and elderly) are raped in front of their families making Eastern Congo the most dangerous place to be a woman. Here, rape is used as a weapon of war and sexual violence is seen on a larger scale than anywhere else in the war. Militia use this tool to coherence families and villages into performing the slave labor necessary to harvest the countries rich mineral supply.

Overall, 45K people die in the Congo every month due to violence and overall unsafe conditions due to the state of conflict in the country. Since 1996 almost 6 million people have been killed in the Congo, making this countries civil conflict more deadly than WWII.

The UN backed election in Congo in 2006, they were regarded as highly successful elections but have failed to impact the ongoing conflict in Eastern Congo.

Awareness is key, click on the graphic above to find out how you can help this cause.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

MS Walk

So, Doug's a pretty good sport so we went to the MS Walk today with the Boren's. It was a pretty good time- we almost got a parking ticket, but we beat the parking police by like 10 seconds- but we had a great time and Wicket was a sure 'nuff hit.

We think we might start dressing him up in a Shumway Van Law t-shirt and use him for advertising. He get's so much attention.

Anyway, my department put together a team for the walk and they had an extra tshirt so Doug got one too. It was good for me to show up for school, but we had a great time aside from all that and Wicket was sure a sweet boy after he walked three miles.

We also ate at Moochies afterwards, Doug loves that place. It was in Diners Drive Inn's and Dives. I thought it was pretty good, but not as good as Doug thinks it is.

Ok, so the pictures.

This is an old school church building- it was beautiful.

The Crepe Myrtles are in bloom- all down the streets.

This is little Rachel Boren- and I love this picture of her.

Look at little Wicket getting his walk on.

Walking him was like playing a video game! It's a big deal- he likes run under feet.
Aw, a family photo... it might look familiar when you get our Christmas card.

So this is Therm... I didn't notice him- but Jenae did. He's from The Singles Ward. He gave us Power Bars.

Well, I don't know- he's just dang cute.

I kinda just thin this is a good picture of the whole deal.

BTW, we went with a gym membership to Snap Fitness down by Harmon's. We got a dang good deal and we have free tanning all this month there- you know what that means? I won't be nearly as pasty next time you see me!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter.... The Un-Familied Holiday

There are a couple rules I set in place before I grabbed my big rock from husband and said "Finally!" First and foremost, is that all holidays are spent with family! I have managed to come our on top of this argument up to this point, but husband is putting his foot down (using weather as and excuse) and standing his ground.

It will be a lonely Easter in the Douglas Shumway home.

Fortunately, this gives me the ammo I need to guilt him into a weekend full of fun and social encounters. A few ideas?

Tonight there is a Faces of Hunger exhibit at the Utah Food Bank. It may be one of the best options unless I'm up for going to the movies and calling it good... I'm usually not.

Saturday will definitely include an MS Walk, my department is involved in:

Our first date-weekend Doug and I went to the Children's Theater... it's always a good choice.

I was talking to my Hot Mommy friend, Meg, the other day and she was speaking of fun things for her little baby girl to do. She said that motherhood brings upon a new phrase, "It's fun for the kids"
And that may seem what and Easter Eggstreme might be intended for, but I doubt there will be a kid in attendance that will have more fun than Wicket and myself... and Doug will have about as much fun as all the parents.

I am not above planning to go to the Children's Theater for Alice in Wonderland, The Easter Celebreation at Thanksgiving Point
Or if I really want to show him I mean business I can subject him to his worst enemy... spectator sports. The Jazz, Real and Bees all have games on Saturday.

Ah, who am I kidding...I'm typically appeased by taking Wicket to Petsmart and calling it a night. I'm mothering a young'n now, I wake up when it's still dark outside (during the winter anyway), I can't stay our all night cheering for hot soccer or giant basketball players.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Peeping Toms....

There are a couple reasons for this post, one important reason is that our builder placed these homes sooo close together that people can easily see right in our living room, dining room and also our office. Makes midnight kitchen runs a little bit dangerous- but even more annoying is that three different homes look right out onto our deck and quite frankly, I'd like a little privacy even if it is I'm planting some privacy trees.

I had a date with the local nursery owner today, and here are the options:

The Emerald Green Thuja, this tree grows from 8-12 ft. high and are three feet wide, so I could plant four on our fence. From what I can tell, it's a pretty healthy tree. This is a great option, except I don't know if 8 or even 12 feet is high enough, this might be a better option for our front flower bed.

This next one is called the Nellie Stevens Holly they grow to be 15-25 feet and are pretty risiliant. I could plant one, maybe two of these. These are also pretty affordable

This is the Lombardy Poplar. These grow really fast, like 6 feet in one year. They are the cheapest option. Apparently these are horticulture people's worse nightmare.

They have a tendency to mess up underground water sources (like if there is a leaky pipe, it will totally leech onto it and mess it up) and they definitely rot in less than 20 years... but I'm not sure I care about that, seeing as we aren't going to be here that long and I'd like a tree that grows pretty fast...? These can easily grow to be 50 feet, or even higher. I could plant one, maybe two?

Here we have the American Holly... these have won multiple awards for being resistant (great, because I tend to kill things) but they do not grow fast and they do require hedging... it is pretty though. They grow to 20-30 feet.

This last one is my favorite, the Italian Cypress. It grows to be 40 ft (or less if you trim them) they are about 5 ft wide, so I could plant three. They are a very classy tree, and I think they are the most expensive of the bunch. They grow at a moderate pace- and they're nice and healthy. Apparently all the "new, high-end homes" have these... to that I say, "Oh, all the ones in foreclosure?"

So tell me, what do you think?

To diet or not to diet...

This week, well month, has been all about breaking the rules of healthy living. Doug was just lecturing me about needed to find my own self motivation. The thing is, I need to be in a contest to eat healthy because my competitive side is much more interested in being successful than my healthy living side.

First it was cinnamon rolls two weeks ago, then banana pudding last week, then dream bar jellO and now....FUDGE. (there was some overlap with the last two)

All desire and capacity to eat healthy was squashed this week when we got a shipment of fudge from Doug's sister Julie. Julie is the all-time most fabulous maker of fudge. It's so creamy and wonderful that you have in your mind to eat just one piece and you end up with five. I had ever intention of taking some of the massive quantities we received to Doug's office to share, but I just couldn't. I don't know that I'm confident they would appreciate it like we do- and let me tell you, we appreciate it every night after super...and multiple times throughout the day!

Thanks Julie, for the flawless fudge. And thank you husband, for being sweet enough to your sister to get us some!

On the upside, a new gym opened by our house. I called about pricing and found out that our membership could actually be as low as $36/mo for both Doug and I. That's insane! On top of that we get the first three months free if we sign a contract.

We were paying $39/each at Lifetime before we canceled it a month or so ago. We are going to go look at it today and see if we think it's worth the deal- but I can't see how it wouldn't be. I have enjoyed doing yoga, but sometimes...especially after fudge, banana pudding and jell-O I feel like I just need an hour on the elliptical!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's a baby...

Not for me, silly. It's Jolyn, my sister-in-law. She's going to have a little Baby Hughes in September.

Tyan is also pregnant, which makes me very very happy.

Congratulation you two!

And this picture is just hilarious.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fourteen weeks... and 4.7 lbs- porker.

I took Wicket to Petsmart today to get some treats. He was almost out, and we can't survive without them. So I weighed him, and he is almost 5lbs! He is supposed to be 7 lbs as an adult and he's only 14 weeks... not so good. So we're putting the baby on a diet. He's been self-feeding for a while and, which was good because he was really thin, but he's definitely not anymore- so we're going back to the recommended portions.