Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from around the World

We just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas this 2008. May we all keep the Savior close in our hearts still throughout the entire coming year.

And just as a treat, here are Christmas wishes from many different countries. I won't give away what language they are in, but here is the hint, each but number 10 is spoken by someone who is a normal reader of our blog. Let's see in the comments if y'all can figure it all out. 20 cool points for anyone who can get all 10! 2 Rules, no using google or other internet search cheats, and, Eric, no using the paper from supply chain 'manament'. Also please excuse accent marks and such of the like. Good luck!

  1. Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
  2. God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt Ar
  3. Feliz Navidad
  4. Meri Kirihimete
  5. Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
  6. Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
  7. Feliz Natal
  8. Joyeux Noel
  9. Mele Kalikimaka
  10. Natale hilare et Annum Faustum
  11. Merry Christmas and happy new year!
And just as a bonus, anyone who can figure out his one gets 1000 cool points:
"Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo"
You need to know both the name of the language and where it's spoken

No Cheating!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Two years and counting!

Yesterday was our 2 year anniversary! We went on a hot date last night and ate yummy Chinese food at PF Changs. Afterwards, we headed over to the Hines Mansion (maybe 5 blocks down from our apartment) which is a bed and breakfast. We had a wonderful time. It was good just to be able to talk about anything and everything without the stresses of work or school looming over us.

I am so thanful for Jon. I dated some serious goobers and am so glad I chose to marry who I did. He can always make me laugh and smile. We hold eachother up and support one another when we had a rough day. To quote some guy that was eating breafast w/ us this morning, "Keep working at it. You've already beaten the odds of the world." Okay, so it was a little bit of an awkward conversation at the breakfast table this morning, but he's right. Marriage takes work and effort- but I like that being with Jon is almost effortless. I hope you all know what I'm trying to say here... I'm not very good with words when it comes to emotions- I'm much better at showing than telling. :-) I love you, Jon!


As a great ending to a fun celebration, we got home and Jon checked on his grades and he only has one posted so far- but he got an A in his programming class! Good job, Jon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Open Letter to Utah

Dear Utah

I know it's still snowing, but would it kill you to plow the roads before another 5-6 inches of snow falls? Some of us need to go to work and school over the next few days. Thank you

Love,
Jonathan

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thankful

As most of you know, Jon and I were sick for a few weeks (off and on) starting right before Thanksgiving. First, I got sick and then Jon got sick. Then I got better first. However, after Jon started to get better I got sick again. It has been quite a cycle.

Last Saturday, I woke up and didn't feel good at all- but I was determined to not be sick anymore. I needed to go grocery shopping and we had tickets for a BYU basketball game up that was in SLC for later in the evening. I set up an appointment to get my hair cut and we were off. As the day progressed I started to go down hill, fast.

Later on that evening, I was all set up in the living room our our pull out bed watching Gilmore Girls (I know, I know... really lame). I started to pray because I didn't want to feel sick anymore. I had too many things that I needed to be doing and I didn't want to miss any days at work. I had a high fever, I was dizzy... I just felt so out of it. I received a prompting to ask for a blessing. I'm usually pretty chicken to ask for one. I feel sheepish when I ask. Anyways, after about an hour, my fever was starting to get higher and I was still being prompted to ask for a blessing. I finally asked Jon. It was during a ward activity- so not many people were home at the time. We were able to get a hold of our good friend, Seabass (Jon's freshman roommate) and he was able to come over.

This was a good spiritual experience for me. It brought us (me and Jon) closer together. I'm am so thankful to have a husband who lives worthily so he can give blessings. I am thankful that we are sealed together for time and eternity. Our 2 year anniversary is coming up and this was just another great reminder of why it is so important to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ- so that we can be a forever family.

During the blessing, my fever broke and I was sweating like crazy (sorry if that last part was too much info...). I was so thankful that I had been prompted by the Spirit to ask for a blessing and that I was given the courage to ask and the faith to be healed. By Tuesday I was 100%.

This may be a little off topic, but, earlier I was reading Elder Wirthlin's talk from October's Conference, "Come What May, and Love it". I wanted to quote a part of his talk here. He was referring to his mother and what she taught him about life here and how we all have to face adversities but it's how we face them that makes all the difference- in my case, this time around it was being sick for about 3+ weeks straight!

"How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t—at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.

If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness."

I love this Gospel and all the joy and happiness that it has brought to my life. I am thankful that I made the decision to come to BYU when I had many Universities in New England open to me. It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He lives. I have a testimony of tithing and the blessings from that. Even if it was just having a car that didn't break down when it should have been completely dead (the KIA) or finding more money in our bank accounts after finishing our budget than we should have had. Life isn't always easy, but I love knowing that I'm never alone and that I never have to question that.

We are excited for this Christmas season and for the opportunity we have to reflect on the birth of Christ.


PS: we had our first snowfall this weekend!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Because we have been so busy...

Won't lie.. we've been extremely busy for the past month and a half. We apologize for the lack of "cool" blogs. However, tonight we sat down and did this- we used words that have summed up our fall so far. Love you all.


Image courtesy of http://www.wordle.net/

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our kids are real... ATTRACTIVE.......

What can I say... It was Saturday morning. I was bored... I saw this on a friend's blog.. and I wanted to try it out. Realistic? Maybe... I guess we'll find out in a few years, right?

Create Your OwnMake a Routan Baby

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jon's Marketing Class

Dear family and friends,

For a marketing class we're making a new website for the finance society and working on some marketing for it. There isn't much yet, but if you would like to see it (and give a few visit hits), my group would very much appreciate it.

If y'all are actually interested in following it, we will be moving posting rights over to the finance society members where they will maintain posting on the current financial situations (because they know more about this stuff than we do). The website is:

http://byufinance.com/

More (real) updates to come about the family.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We voted!

Today was an exciting day for us. Neither of us have ever voted before so it was a new experience for the both of us. That being said- we both have both been involved in previous elections and following candidates- we just were not able to vote- or an absentee ballot had some problems (mine did last election).

I'll let Jon write his thoughts on this one- he wanted to write the blog about the election. That will be in another blog- but I just wanted to write something quick about it.

I was really impressed with McCain's remarks at the end of the election. I side with McCain and agree with what he stands for. However, the most we can do is pray for our country and pray for President Obama that he will be guided by our Heavenly Father. I'm not happy with the outcome- but I voted and did my part and that's all I can do.


PS: I'm so excited... my friend, Jess and I signed up for a pottery class and it starts this Thursday. Wish me luck! The closest I've come to pottery class was molding clay into mugs and painting them in 5th grade.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Locked out

Yesterday was just like any other. The only thing different was that I left before Jon, which is a rarity. I walked to work. 1pm came around and it was time to go to lunch. I walked home and got to the door and opened up my bag and.. no keys. I looked again. Still not there. I didn't leave last and thus, never checked for my keys to lock the door. Awesome. The office here is never open and if you get locked out- good luck. So, I tried getting a hold of Jon because he is usually free during my lunch hour- his phone was on silent.

I walked back to work and found my boss there- he looked a little disgruntled and I'm not sure if he believed me when I told him that I was locked out of my apartment. A few minutes after I got back he said (while pointing to our back room that I try to stay away from) "You can have a junk food lunch if you want." Nice. Later, I got a hold of Jon and told him that I would meet him on campus after work. So, I walked to campus, had a really nice chat with my dad and met Jon in the "TA Lounge" and met some of his students. We were there until about 8pm.

Later, we found my keys in Jon's jacket. I'm not really sure how they got there- but I'm just glad that I didn't lose them. Well, at least I got a lot of walking in!! :-) I hope I never leave my keys at home again.

PS: Jon is in Houston today for an office visit and will be back tomorrow night (yay!). Heh, this morning- Jon got to see what my old daily commute to Sandy was like. OH man, can you imagine what that drive would be like with gas being so expensive? No thank you! We at least were able to take the HOV lane and pass by all the traffic while going to the airport.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Round One

Jon has been interviewing with companies as stated in an earlier post and he has just started hearing from them today. Here are the results so far (sounds like a game show...):

  • PWC: passed round one- flying to Houston for round 2 (more info later.. but c'mon he so has it if they're flying him out!!)
  • Deloitte: passed round one- will hear about round 2 this week
  • E&Y: round 2- will be flying to Dallas
  • USAA: Flying out in Nov.
  • ExxonMobil: will be wishing that they had jon's mad skills- but alas, not meant to be.

We'll keep you updated- but we're super excited!! I'm really proud of Jon and all that he has accomplished!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mystery peaches

I just wanted to thank whoever left a bag of peaches on our doorstep today. It made my morning!! I love love love peaches!! So, thank you! :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Running Blog

Hey everyone- I have a blog that I'm doing on the side. It's sort've like a journal- only it's about me and running. I have to warn you- the first post on there is really long. That'll be the longest post i'll ever write! I did include pictures, though! This will be a good motivator for me and if you check it out- I'll feel like someone is watching me.. meaning I have to be extra good :-) Check it out if you'd like! Here is the link: Watch C Run

Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ready. Set. Go!

I know this is what you've all been waiting for! We've been extremely busy during these last few weeks. So, the only way that we can really give you a summary of the end of our summer (without writing a novel) is to share some pictures with you :-) This summer was so much fun. It was really an adventure for the both of us. It was an opportunity for us to grow together. It was a new city, new job, new state, new everything! We had to rely on one another a whole lot more because we were out of our comfort zones. It gave us an eye-opener as to what to expect when we leave Provo for good. Crazy to think that that day will come when I've been here for a little over 5 years! Yikes! Oh well... On to pictures!

We said goodbye to this place



Drove thru



Went here:


Our new niece, Storey was born (who we can't wait to meet!!!)


Spent time with Jon's family and headed to meet the "Mouse" with the
Sansoucies'


Wore cool hats


Missed a hurricane by a day- but managed to get eaten by a shark...


Went back to Houston, packed up, met up with Cody and drove home

Moved into our new apartmentLeanna and Anne/Mom came down and moved Leanna into the dorms. I went back to work at Union Square Apartments (a tenant was evicted my first day back...).

Jon started his first year in the Masters program (MISM) I'm really proud of him!
As a "congrats" gift (left over money from Walmart relocation..) I bought Jon some new glasses! Don't they look so good???



Whew- at least this post was mostly pictures and not words!!

PS: Jon is starting to interview this week with some of the "Big Four" accounting firms for an internship for next summer. This week he interviews with: Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche! Next week he's going for PriceWatershouseCooper (yes, it's one word!) and hopefully ExxonMobil. Wish him luck!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Everyone has a friend who looks like me

I had a realization today, after I think 5 more occurrences of the same scenario just this afternoon.

The realization is that one of these two things is true: Either my memory is already going at a young age, or I just have 'one of those faces'.

Now I admit upfront that I cannot remember a name to save my life. At youth dances growing up it was routine for me to forget the girl's name before the song ended. "Thanks Jonathan" "Thanks...uh...you?". With that admitted, I do pride myself on the ability to remember a face. Never a name but usually the face.

I have noticed, pretty much ever since the mission and especially since Crystal and I have been back in Provo, that I have been bombarded with comments of "Do I know you? You look so familiar, like really really familiar!" with amazing frequency. I have no memory of ever seeing these people before (which usually means I haven't - usually remember a face), but the sheer number have left me no other option than, either my mind is going, or I just look like everyone's best friend.



I definitely don't mind looking like everyone's friend, it is definitely a very good thing, I just never thought that by looking at myself in the mirror.

Then again, maybe both are true, because my mind hasn't exactly had a perfect record recently

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm a sucker for aprons...

Hey all- sorry to those who are sick of hearing about winning free stuff ;-) The give away on Beth's (my sister-in-law) blog today is for Sassy Aprons. I love aprons and if we weren't as poor- I'd buy every cute apron in the store! I bet a lot of you never knew that and now think i'm a dork. Maybe I'm a "closet-apron-owner-wannabe"? Who knows! At least my mom would be proud (hehe).

Anyways, here is the link to her site for the aprons. I'm going to enter- so you should too! *Also as a side note- because I'm family doesn't mean that I'll win. But now you all know of a good idea for a Christmas gift ;-)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

To my expecting friends :-)

No, I'm not expecting! I just figured I'd get the word out to check out my sister-in-law's blog this week. She is having a week of "give-a-ways" and there are a few baby things that are on there. Check out the link: Lovely Duds or Warm & Fuzzy Baby or click on our listed links on the right side of the page listed as "Beth, Zak & Jak" Have fun! :-)

Quote of the day

J: What's MO? Missouri? Or is that Montana? What's MN, Maine?

C: ME is Maine. MN is Minnesota. I think MT is Montana.

J: So many Ms!! It's too hard! See, New Hampshire is easy. N. H. Texas! T.E.

Silence...

C: Um, don't you mean TX?

Silence...

J: Oh. Yeah.... oops. Guess it's not as easy as I thought.


I love my husband :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where are the Criddles???

Okay, okay! We have heard from our "avid" readers that they are pretty disappointed with the lack of posts. We just wanted to let you know that we are alive and well! We have been pretty busy since our last post.

Here is a run-down of what has been happening in the last month:
-Jon's Internship in Arkansas ended August 8th

-We drove to Houston, TX August 9th and spent time with family

-August 12th-18th we were at a family reunion in Disney World

-August 18th-20th we were back in Houston.

-August 21st we drove to San Antonio to meet up with our friend, Cody that we would caravan to Utah with.

-August 22nd we headed home. We drove all through the west side of TX and up in to New Mexico and we stopped in the south west corner of Colorado (Cortez) A total of 1,000 miles!!!

(side note- we were appalled that Utah's gas prices were still over $4.00!! We filled up in a town a ways away from the freeway and it was at $4.20 a gallon.. call me crazy- but that's insane! Provo is at about $3.90.. to think- Arkansas was at $3.30 when we left and we've heard it has gone down quite a bit since we've been gone.. lucky..)

-August 23rd we arrived in Provo, UT in the early afternoon. Our friend had a Uhaul that he was using and we were able to borrow it to get our stuff out of storage (thank you thank you!!!)

-August 23rd-24th we unpacked like crazy so when Mom/Anne and Leanna arrived it would be livable.

-August 25th they arrived and I had my first day back at work.

Do you believe us now that we just didn't have any time whatsoever to blog? Don't you worry- we will have posts up with some pictures to fill in the blanks of this month's adventures :-)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So it begins...

As many of you know- running is a passion of mine. However, in the last 2 years or so- it has fallen into the category of a previous past time. After my foot surgery in May '06 I was a little devastated and didn't think I could get back into it after all my failed attempts. I tried running, got discouraged and failed and the cycle continued. Such is life, right?

This summer I had a goal to improve on health habits and to create a habit of exercising again. It can be hard when you have a husband who is really thin and can eat a whole cow and still want more.. and then drink some water, go to bed and lose 5 lbs. :-) Okay, so I'm exaggerating of course- but being 4'11" and not being too active over the last 2 years- that's not so good. The good news is- I have created a habit and I'm active 5-6 days a week for about 45-60 minutes. I may not be the "size" I was hoping for- but it's a start!

Anyways- I don't want to babble on- but I'm excited to announce that I have registered for a 5k race on September 13th in Provo Canyon. I cannot tell you how excited I am. I don't care much about what my time is- but I'm so excited that my foot won't be in pain and that I'll be able to do it confidently! It also ties into my degree and that is fun for me. It's for the "Wasatch Mental Health: Race for recovery". The purpose of the race is to, "...help eliminate the stigma of mental illness, while we help those who live their lives with this illness." Woo hoo!

I am hoping to work up really slowly to run longer runs/races. I haven't been consistent for so long- so this will take a lot longer than anticipated. Heh, I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I've let myself go. No doubt that I'll blame a little of it on Comcast- everyone else blames Comcast for everything- this is my turn! :-) Kidding of course! With that said- if any of you want to run the race with me- I'd enjoy the company! Jon will be at the end of it thinking every runner is crazy (no pun intended ...) and will be glad that he isn't running :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Safarkansas

A friend of ours called us and told us about a drive through safari located in Northwest Arkansas of all places. It was supposed to have 2 petting zoos and a drive through part. Well, we honestly weren't expecting much more than house-cats (let's face it, what kind of safari would be here?!?!) but were amazingly surprised! Apparently it used to be an exotic animal shelter and has since turned into an attraction. Check it out:

It started out pretty much exactly like we expected. There were the classic animals: goats, chickens, roosters, pigs.

Yes, this is a goat eating Crystal

After what happened in the above picture, can you tell why I was a little nervous while posing for this one?

Heh, his fat has successfully removed his face. We saw this guy earlier walking around. I kid you not, his belly was dragging on the ground while he was walking. That can't be healthy, even for a pig.

'I like to move it move it'

'What's a little biting of the buttocks among friends? C'mon, have a nibble.' The lemur was licking and grooming Crystal's hair. Also this is just after it pooped on our friend.
It was fun because the lemur would wander around and scope out whoever was nearest a tree, then when you didn't expect it, it would just suddenly start climbing you.

They also had a baby man-eating tiger cub. It was only 6 weeks old. Isn't it cute? - of course that is before it turns into a giant man-eating tiger

Score one for Arkansas elementary education. I believe it's actually spelled 'Llama'
And another one! No wonder people out here can be so confused. Just to add, there actually was a zebra there, only it wasn't in a pen or anything, it was out on the safari part - far from its sign.

They had peacocks EVERYWHERE just wandering around. Because they can fly (sort of), they just flew in and out of every cage, petting area, safari section, etc. Here I caught one showing off for his lady friend.
He cornered her and started shaking his booty really fast making a rattling noise. I think she isn't interested, pal.

How many people do you know who can say that they have played with a Kangaroo? Now we have too!
Then there was the safari part. I just took this picture of basking llamas because they're actually in this really mucky swamp pond, and it was so thick with vegetation that there were no viewable ripples whenever they moved, so it seemed more like they had no legs.
The driving part was very interesting. It was amazing to me to see Texas longhorns, Desert camels, and African wildebeest all living in the same area of Northwest Arkansas. Can there be a stranger combination?

The camels seemed particularly interested in the cars. They would routinely come up to the car and stick the head up to our windows. Here was one in the road. He saw us coming and immediately lowered his head and started walking towards us. We veered to the side to let him pass, and he immediately followed us, coming right up to the windows, slobbering all over them (lucky it wasn't our car!)



Lastly we came to the big cat section. There were two layers of fences and then everyone in this section was also in a car, I'm assuming for safety. The funny part, which I wish I got a picture of, was just to the left of where the tigers are (between fences one and two) were two donkeys just standing there. There was a large sign saying "horses and donkeys are lawn mowers, not food!", but the tigers did not get the memo. They just leered and paced back and forth, mere feet away from their pray, longingly watching
We'll make a web album of all the pictures we took soon and have a link to that for y'all soon.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sweet Sweet 4th

Crystal has been doing some research recently on fancy cake decorating and how they do it for wedding cakes and such of the like. For the fourth, she decided to try her hand at it to see what it's really like. Here is the butter cream frosting that she made from scratch (a more appropriate name for it would just be 'sugar butter' - guess the ingredients!)


Next came the fondant. Fondant is the thicker frosting that surrounds professional cakes. It's usually the colored parts and because it's so thick, it is what people use for doing things like tying bows out of frosting. Actually it's pretty much all they use for decorating the cake. After you make it you gotta wrap it up and keep it cold.


The amazing thing about fondant is that it's exactly like play dough. When it's not hot, it's not sticky at all and you just fold and manipulate it to do what you want. We folded in some food coloring to get different colors.


Here I am rolling out the fondant. You take it out of the fridge, nuke it for 10-20 seconds, then roll it out like dough. You then take it like a giant sheet, lay it over the cake, and wrap it around tucking it in at the bottom. This is how/why professional cakes look so smooth and uniform over the frosting - the secret is using a sheet of fondant.


We then used our colored fondant to decorate the cake. Now ours is a three tier, which was apparently to much grandeur for a first time cake. We either needed less cake...or more fondant (guess which I would prefer!). Because we had not enough fondant, we had to roll it out thinner than it was supposed to be so that when we went to put it over the cake (having to hold it up in the air) it ripped in a few places, and we had to try to patch them over - which didn't go so well. All the decorations were done with our homemade fondant. Anyways, it was our first attempt at it so be kind, but here is our final product: (And I bet Leanna really wants us to do her future wedding cake now, doesn't she!)

From the side

From the top

C and me, and yes I am holding a hot dog in my hand. On Crystal's hand you can see her ring because two years ago yesterday I proposed to her.

And Crystal holding the delicious cake.

She also wanted me to add that "We're not eating this by ourselves!" Guess I gotta go make some friends now...that's always easier with cake, right?

She also wanted me to add the link she used for the recipe for the icings


Crystal's Edit:
Here is a video if you want to see someone who knows what they're doing and how cool fondant is! :-)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Book give away!!

I found this and thought it was really great! This is a drawing for 2 books: The Host by Stephanie Meyer and as a bonus a brand new copy of Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter. I'm currently reading "The Host" and I LOVE IT!! You should check it out. It's called the Pay it Forward Contest

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Around the world in 4 minutes

We just wanted to share this because we thought it was fascinating.. well, not in the educational way- but what a great job to have! This guy travels the world and is a "web icon" (think the numa numa guy.. or the light saber kid) dancing in front of famous landmarks around the world and is even sponsored by Stride Gum. He invites anyone who is familiar in what he does and invites them to dance with him in his video. From what we get out of it- out of all the places he goes in the world- it shows other people being happy and together and that the world isn't as large as it seems or rather that people that far away are not too different from those of us here in America.

We also thought of Dad Criddle as we watched it. Seeing as he is traveling in other countries- it was fun to wonder how many of these places has he been to? We miss & love you and hope you are safe!

Here is the video. We hope you enjoy it. Please don't mind the title- we have no control over that.

Also- here is a link to the wikipedia page on him.



Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tornados??

As all of you know, I'm sure, the weather out here hasn't been the best this summer. We have been so blessed that we've been safe. Jon had an interview for an internship this past year with a company in Cedar Rapids, IA. They were really interested and he had two interviews and everything. It was for an IT Audit position. He never heard from them after the interviewing and was a little disappointed. However, seeing as Cedar Rapids is under water right now- you will hear no complaints from us! We'd be out of a job and a home.

Last weekend our area was under a tornado watch. I've never lived in a place where tornado watches ever really happened. I won't lie, I was nervous (considering what has been happening these last few months in places surrounding Arkansas). They had measured winds of about 100mph (no, I'm not exaggerating either). Talk about a little scary!! Thankfully nothing happened- but it was a good storm. We had some flash flooding and the security guards at work were handing out umbrellas left and right. When Jon picked me up for the day I ran out to the car (maybe 15 feet) and I was drenched!

This is a really short video of last weekend during a Celtics game. There were no commercials. Just weather updates. All the circles are where spinning cloud formations had been spotted- but hadn't touched down. If you see where Fayettville is- we are directly above that (not as far up as Jon is pointing).
video
(GO BOSTON!! Being from the Boston area is great- there is always a team to cheer for and at least one is doing well during the season.)

Other than that- all is well and we're safe :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shareholder's Delight

Now I'm a business person, so let's admit it, when you hear the term "Shareholders Meeting", a very boring 2 hour meeting in a dark auditorium with non-stop numbers being thrown around comes to mind. The Wal-mart shareholder's meeting was this last week and it was anything but the classic meeting.

It began with three big concerts that were free (that's right - free! And it wasn't even local band free, it was good band free!). The first night featured Lifehouse and Taylor Swift. The second night was One Republic, All-American Rejects (sorry, kiddo), and then Journey. The third night's lineup was Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. The concert doors opened at 6 to Wal-mart invited international people, then at 6:20 Wal-mart employees are allowed, and then at 6:40, if there is available room, the concerts are opened to the general public, all for free. Heh, let's face it too...how many people live here where atleast one family members doesn't work for Wal-mart?

We went to work early and took a 30 min lunch (as opposed to one hour) so we could leave early and drive the 20 or so miles south to the concerts at the University of Arkansas (home of the razorbacks). We went to the first two concerts and really enjoyed them. We arn't more than casual listeners of any of these bands, but they were free and were fantastic concerts. By the time of the third concert, we were just so tired (only home about one hour and not sleeping the last couple days) that we just skipped out. We did hear that one was really good too.

Those concerts were only a build-up for the shareholders meeting. Friday I went to the actual meeting itself. It was held in the UA basketball stadium. I have to admit it was quite the experience. The host for the event was Queen Latifah (previous year's hosts include Sinbad and Will Smith). They had a great balance of performers and numbers. The singing performances included Jennifer Hudson, American Idol most recent winner David Cook, Joss Stone, and Tim McGraw. After a few hours of music and pep rally they let some people present some motions to the shareholders. Several different groups came to a microphone and had 3 minutes to present their proposal from things ranging from lowering executive pay to changing the wording of their no discrimination for policy to include the phrase "sexual identity" as opposed to just saying its included in the phrase "and any other personal choice" or something like that. Then they had an opportunity for each shareholder to vote on the re-election of officers and all the proposals that people brought. And with that we all were supposed to go home. I did still get paid for the meeting and travel times which is fantastic.

Sorry this is a long post - it's been a busy week.

Back when Sam Walton was still alive, he felt sorry for the store workers who had to work each weekend. So he started doing Saturday morning meetings where corporate folk will meet around the home office and broadcast to all the stores. The interns were invited and got to watch the meeting. It was basically just another pep-rally and was okay, but I was excited for what came after the meeting. They set it up where we had a movie theater open early just for us. Then we were treated (and our families) to an early screening of the new Incredible Hulk movie. If you've seen Iron Man (and you need to see it before the Hulk to get the Tony Stark cameo at the end) then I think you'll like the Hulk. It was a really fun movie. A couple parts that insulted my intelligence, but in my opinion a good comic book action movie (looks like we'll have 3 great comic movies this year! Iron Man, Hulk, Dark Night).

So to sum up everything from this past week: we were wined and dined and treated like kings. Heh, now that this is over, we have returned to grunt status and working without recognition again. Ah the life of an intern and temp! More to come

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Success!!

The last week or so I've been deciding on where I should apply for a temp job. As I was making up my mind between one fast food joint the the next (not really what I had in mind. C'mon, can you see me working at "Taco Bueno"???) Wal-Mart came through for us!! The temp recruiter called me last night to tell me she found a position for me. It's a 2 month assignment doing data entry and let's face it- that's exponentially better than working fast food and I'll get paid a lot more. Success! I'm really excited. I did my drug test today after I filled out some paper work and I should hopefully start tomorrow if all the information gets back by tonight. If not, well, Monday it is! The nice thing is that I have the same hours as Jon and I'll be in the same building as him! You have no idea how much of a relief that is!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Frustrating interview

I had an interview on Monday where I had to take an office skills test. The test went really well. However, in my information packet it asked me to call my interviewer after I was done with the skills test. Also the lady to took me to their testing room told me to call the interviewer when I was done as well... so I wasn't going crazy. The test was at 1pm and it took me a half hour... but my actual interview was scheduled for 3pm. Did they think it would take that long for the test? I don't think that was the case- they did tell me that most people on average take 30-40 minutes to complete it. Weird.

It didn't make much sense that they wanted me to call them about an hour and a half before the interview. I did as I was told and I ended up leaving a message. I told the lady at the front desk my situation and in the end I just felt like an idiot. At this point I had an hour before the interview and I couldn't go home because it would be a waste of time and not to mention, gas. Anyways... after some wandering I came back to the office and my interviewer was about 20 minutes late. I was frustrated and I don't think that boded well for me in the interview.

She was really rushing and I didn't feel like she was paying any attention to it. It is a temp job after all, but I didn't feel so great about it. At the end- she asked if I had any questions and I asked a few- and as I was asking she was packing up her things and getting ready to go. I can understand if she was rushing because she was late- but I don't think it was totally fair. How much will she remember me after that? We'll see. She did manage to fit in that they had a lot of summer employees come back and filled a bunch of openings. Nice. I just hope that I can get a job with them. If anything else- I know I did my best and I looked good too :-) Wish me luck!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Our new home

So- we decided to put our web albums together and put our pictures up of our new apartment. The master bedroom has a pretty big walk-in closet that I couldn't get a good picture of.. and the bathrooms are really nice. They have deep, round tubs... I guess you call it a garden tub? Anyways... this is it!

http://picasaweb.google.com/csansoucie/BentonvilleArkansas

We are super spoiled- we know that. Know that we haven't used a dishwasher in a year and a half (had them in our single apartments) and we did laundry in our apts (coin-op). For me, that has been 5 years now! I have only used a real washer/dryer when I've gone back home, visited other people's families and at Jon's parent's house. So, this is a real treat!!

We've been able to learn the town pretty well and we know where to go for things. We drove one day and were in pure country- the opposite direction took us to civilization and we found lots of things to do!

Real fast- Jon checked in yesterday and we got more information on the area. We also ran into some other young LDS folk and they invited us to see Iron Man last night. It was really nice of them and we really appreciated it. Plus, it was a great movie!! Some weird things in it- but I really liked it!! Anyways- I'll stop babbling! Enjoy the apartment pictures!

Friday, May 16, 2008

We made it!!!

So, for our trip we left Wednesday morning around 6:10am and we drove through Utah, Wyoming and pretty much all of Nebraska... impressive, eh? We did about 12 hours or so. We stopped in Lincoln, NE for the night at a hotel and walked over to get something to eat at a McDonalds that was right next door. I have to say- that McDonalds was the NICEST one I've ever seen. They had flat screen tv's and nice cushy seats. They had stuffed arm chairs and a couch for heaven sakes!! We got a good laugh and we were just looking around the place because it was just very abnormal.
Wyoming... I've said enough.

The drive was good that day. It was cloudy so we didn't have to worry about the sun hitting our faces as we drove east. But, as for anything exciting that we saw... just some tumbleweeds, cow pastures, and fields where corn should have been (not late enough in the summer yet). However, we did see a ton of trains and they were carrying tanks (army tanks)- that at least answered our questions as to what a train that long could be carrying. Nebraska- they couldn't think of what to put on
the sign!

All of our stops were really quick and we made turkey sandwiches in the car. We have a pop up cooler that we got from my sister, Shannon (when I drove across the country to get to Utah) and I can't even tell you how nice it has been to have!!
They weren't kidding when they said
"fields of opportunities"

Anyways... We left Nebraska around 6:30am and we drove through the rest of Nebraska, about an inch (on the map) of Iowa, and down through Missouri. Eastern Nebraska was beautiful!! Rolling hills and really green.


It was like that through Missouri- but parts of it weren't so pretty. At the very end of Missouri- we did see some places where it looked like a tornado had hit. We saw a nicer house blown over- along w/ most of the trees around it. It looks like the only place around it that was hit. Just hope everyone is okay!

Then as we got into Arkansas- It was so cool. It felt like we were driving through the canyons in Utah, but much greener.

After about 6 hours of driving we got into Arkansas and our town is about 20 miles.. or less from the Missouri Line. That was so exciting. However, we got our first real experience of a different state's driving first hand. We were on a road that was 40mph and to keep up with the flow- we were going 70mph and we were still the SLOW ones!!! So, we stopped at a welcome center to make sure we were still going the right way. The main highway didn't have exit numbers... It just appeared w/ a street name.. or a letter. The one that made us laugh (and we didn't get a picture of it) was "MO-Oo" That's all the exit said. It stands for Missouri route Oo.. there were others that were just "H" or "J"... but weird.. anyways... the gentleman at the info center was really nice. He gave us all sorts of good information about Arkansas and even an "adventure" guide as to what they have to do outdoors nearby.

After deciphering a map w/ street lines and every other street labeled- we found our apartment complex. Holy crud- it's NICE! So, it wasn't a hole in the wall like I was fearing. They have two pools, an indoor basketball court, and a fitness center. We and a few other interns for Wal-Mart had a small orientation for signing our lease for the summer. They warned us of the possibility of tornados and where to go in case there is a threat- scary, huh? Other than that- it's a great place. We will be posting pictures of the apartment soon! I just figured you'd get really bored after reading this.