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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sharon Turns 25

Last week Sharon celebrated her 25th birthday!!
Happy Birthday Sharon!

After I finished work I went and picked up a birthday cake and headed over to Jason and Sharon's house to change and clean up.

I took them out the lunch/dinner to celebrate her birthday. They live in the downtown area and we decided we wanted Chinese food and our favorite is P F Chang's China Bistro. We drove over there after I was cleaned up but when we arrived they were closed. They are closed from 2 - 4:30 daily. Bummer, well they lost our business because they were closed.

We drove around trying to decide where to go. We ended up going to the Twin Dragon and it was really good. The restaurant isn't as nice as PF Changs, but the food was delicious. We were really happy we ended up with such good food and of course just being together is the best.

After we ate we headed back to Jason and Sharon's house and hung out until it was time for the movie. Sharon ended up on the phone for 45 minutes with her parents in Florida while Jason and I just visited.

Before we left for the show we decided she needed to blow out the candles on the cake.
Have I told you how much I love this girl? I absolutely adore having Sharon as my daughter-in-law/daughter. She is an amazing woman and Jason is lucky to have her!
Ready .... Set ... 
Blow all those candles out! She can do it - but first always make a wish for the year. 
She did it! The cake was yummy!

Jason and Sharon had planned on going to the new Wolverine - Inmortal movie. When I was talking to Jason about Sharon's birthday, he told me they were going to this movie for her birthday and asked me if I wanted to come. Of course I wanted to go, we are huge X-Men fans and we really enjoyed this one too. 
It was a nice birthday celebration! I'm glad I was able to tag along with my favorite people in the world (missing Brady in Sharon's celebration since he lives in Salt Lake now).

Happy Birthday Sharon! Thanks for letting me come and thanks for sending me the pictures, I forgot my camera.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Brady Was Hired!

The day after Brady moved to Salt Lake City he had a job interview with Teleperformance and was offered a job. 
The training for a job within Teleperformance is intense. Training is full time for 6 weeks. 4 weeks are the initial training and the following 2 weeks are "nesting" next to a current employee to finish up the training. All the hours are required to become employed.  

Brady had to go see if he could change his college class schedule to fit in with the training period before he could accept the job. He was able to change his schedule, but it still does conflict with the "nesting" training, so he will have to work that out with either the professors of the classes he will miss for 2 weeks or with Teleperformance. Hopefully it won't jeopardize his employment due to schooling. Hopefully they will be understanding that college is also important and will work with him. His school schedule has been approved by Teleperformance and he has 1 week of training behind him (before school started on Monday). 
After the training period he will become part time. But the next 5 weeks will be hard on Brady as he attends school full time and works full time. 

Teleperformance is a customer service support center. They contract with multiple companies to provide customer service - which is call service customer support. 
The company Brady will be working for is CenturyLink.
Both Jason and Sharon work for Teleperformance for customer service support for Apple products.
 Jason is a customer service support technician for Apple computers. 
 Sharon is customer service support for Apple TV. 

Both Jason and Sharon have given support for iPods and iPhones. It's great to have all that technical knowledge in the family.

Because Jason and Sharon both work for Teleperformance, they encouraged Brady to apply for a job in Salt Lake City. Hopefully Jason will be eligible for a new employee sign on bonus. 

I know they are still hiring, so if you need a job apply! It's a great place to work.

We fill very blessed that Brady was able to find a job so quickly. Hopefully the next 5 weeks won't be too difficult managing college, full time job training and homework. Of course he'll have to give up everything else in his life to focus on just those 3 things. It will be tough but I keep telling him it's only 5 more weeks and he can do it - because he is one AWESOME kid!

I have total faith in him that he will be a brilliant employee for them - because after all he is my son and we are over achieving awesome employees that ALWAYS succeed at whatever we put our minds to (and humble too - ha ha ha ha)

Brady's New Home

Brady moved to Salt Lake on Thursday August 8, 2013.

 I left for Salt Lake City on Friday to bring the rest of Brady's stuff and help him move in and organize his new house.

When I first entered his apartment I thought it was just tiny. But after spending the night there I felt like it was just right. 

It's a really nice complex with lots of amenities. He is on the top floor / 2nd floor. When living in an apartment, I prefer to live on the top floor because it is quieter. 

Here are some pictures of his apartment after he was all moved in:

This is the view when you walk in the front door.
 I love Brady's new couch. It was very comfortable. It was a great choice! 
 The ottoman is perfect too for his piano music and a blanket for lounging. I also purchased the small table on the side of the couch and put it together when I arrived. The lamps are donated from my house. There is no overhead lighting so it's dark without lamps. The lamps turn on with the light switch on the wall, plus it's right by the front door. 

Friday evening we went to Walmart to pick up a few things and some groceries. I've never understood the jokes about Walmart before because they are really nice here in Boise and Meridian. However the Walmart in downtown Salt Lake was kinda scary - so now I "get" the Walmart jokes. We ended up spending 45 minutes in the check out line. All the frozen food we had purchased had started melting by the time we got home. I don't think we will ever go to that Walmart EVER AGAIN! 

Anyway from Walmart I bought the curtains behind the couch. I brought the tension rod from home. They are black out curtains and were perfect and gave the room a homey look. 
In front of the couch is Brady's keyboard and TV (TV was free with the purchase of the bed). You can also see his lap top in front of the TV. He is using the TV as a computer screen/TV. The plan is for Brady to go to Ikea and find a desk to put there to use for studying and to lift the TV a little higher for viewing.  
 For his dining room table we used a card table brought from home. It worked out great and thought it didn't look too bad either. The other 2 chairs are stored in his closet and he'll bring them out when he has people over for dinner. 

All the pictures in the apartment are from one of my customers (Mabs) who gives me things she doesn't want anymore and if I don't want it I take it to a thrift store for her. It is a wonderful deal for me to go through all her donations first and take what I want. The pictures for Brady were perfect and generic for a bachelor's apartment. Mabs also gave me the candlestick holders on the table, I bought candles for them. Pretty fun!
 I put a menu and shopping list on his fridge so that he has a plan for dinner and eating.
It's a cute little kitchen! He'll be cooking a lot as he stays on a budget and lives frugally.
 Brady was really excited that his apartment had a dishwasher!!!!!! Last year his apartment didn't have one and he had to do the dishes by hand. I brought the new microwave with me when I came. The apartment also has a garbage disposal, which is nice too. We bought the rug at Walmart the night before. 

Of course I cleaned everything really well before I left to go home. It was pretty clean but not "Sondra Clean". 
 I slept on Brady's new bed Friday night. It was really comfortable - it was a great choice! The bedspread came from home. I told Brady he had to use what we had - we couldn't purchase everything new. The side tables and lamps also came from home. 

One of the bedside lamps Brady used at college last year and broke it. I bought a lamp kit and installed it and fixed it on my own (I was pretty proud of myself for doing it). We've had these lamps for a few years - also a donation from Mabs. 

We picked up baskets (under the side tables) at Walmart and they worked perfect to store stuff in since they are not night stands with drawers. This gives him needed storage by his bed.  
 The curtains are from Brady's college room last year. I was happy that they worked and weren't too long for the air conditioner/heater unit. 

The picture above the bed is glass-less. Perfect for over his bed because I don't like to put pictures containing glass over a bed in case of earthquakes. That's just me - always prepared!!
 Brady's bathroom. The shower curtain is from Brady's apartment last year. The shower has tile which is nice. The shower head is low for short people like me. It seems weird that they designed it that short in an apartment complex - but it is functional. 
Brady's walk in closet. When I arrived all his clothing were on the bottom rod where the colored shirts are. When I was organizing his clothing, I thought that there had to be more places to put clothes - they wouldn't just have this one rod. I felt under the shelf and there was a lip to put the hangers backwards on it. 

He was happy that I figured that out or else he would still have all his clothes on that one rod - *grin. Mom's are good for something. I color coded everything in his closet - because I'm weird like that. I'm sure it won't stay that way. The closet has great storage and we were able to fit everything in his tiny 424 square foot home. 

Brady took me for a tour of the apartment complex. You can see a lot of the amenities here in this post. It is really deluxe living. They also have several gathering/picnic areas around the complex and each one has 2 public gas grills and a seating area. Brady and I made some hamburgers on Saturday before I left - so I could show him how to do it on a BBQ Grill. 

The apartment community has these features - just like a resort:
Fully equipped fitness center
Indoor racquetball court
 (1) Indoor and (1) outdoor hot tub
Dry Sauna
Swimming pool
Volleyball court
Resident Business Center
On-site laundry facilities 
(free WIFI in the club house, TV seating area to use while waiting for your laundry)
Covered parking
Children's Playground
Free gas grills / seating areas
There is also an outdoor vacuum to vacuum out your car in the complex!!

Deluxe Living!!! What a spoiled kid!

The light rail is across the street from his apartment complex. I told him to use it when it snows - it goes right up to the college. 

Brady should be in heaven for the next 3 years he plans on living there. I sure hope he doesn't move again for a while - it's too much work - *grin. 

I'm really happy and excited for him to have this nice little home. It does require that he works to pay for rent while he attends college. It's not going to be easy, but he can do it - so many people do it all the time and he can too. I'm glad that it all worked out that he was able to get such a nice place to live. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Brady's Last Summer Hoorah!

The week before Brady left for Salt Lake City he went on a camping trip at City of Rocks with his high school friends. (Photos are courtesy of Danielle, she usually takes all the photos of when they get together - Thanks Danielle!!!)
They left for "The City of Rocks" on Monday August 5th and returned Wednesday afternoon. It's farther then I thought it would be, it's down by Declo/Burley Idaho.

All of Brady's friends shared the cost for the camp out including: gas, campsite fees, vehicle costs. Each person was also in charge of one meal or group snack to share. 
Brady and Danielle
Brady and Erika
Monday night their dinner was provided by Danielle. She chose to bring spaghetti. Her mother told her to mix the sauce with the noodles and then freeze it and it would thaw by the time they arrived. The problem is noodles never freeze well and turn to mush. So they had a mush noodle dinner. Oh well - they learned something new. (As soon as Brady was explaining to me what happened - I said the noodles turned to mush and he shook his head - too bad).
Back: Danielle and Amber
Front: Erica and Sarah

The gang of friends Brady had through out high school.
Amber, Brady, Erika and Sarah
Sarah, Danielle, Brady and Amber.

Amber had the breakfast meal for Tuesday morning. She was going to make pancakes. She had everything set out to take, but when they arrived she had left behind the pancake batter. There was a store a little ways from them. The drove there hoping to find pancake batter but the store was out, they had everything else - but no pancake batter. I can't remember what they ended up eating, but Amber's fabulous breakfast plan didn't work out.
Amber, Sarah, Erika and Brady.
The complete gang that ended up going. The 2 additional men were boyfriends to the girls. I don't know who they are (Rhees and Brandon). Brady just met them while camping. They all got along really well.
They did a lot of climbing on the rocks.
Group shot on timer? They are all there.
Rhees was in charge of lunch and had sandwiches and chips for them.
Love the pictures! Great poses.

More climbing. I think that Sarah isn't liking the rocks too well with shorts.
I asked Brady what he was looking at and he doesn't remember.

This was a fun shot, because they could see their shadows on the rock wall in front of them with the sun setting low behind them. Below is their shadows.
Lots of fun!
Here they are playing scribbler. It's a game that they start a story. Each one writes the next line then rolls it up so only their line shows. Then the next person writes the next line. I've never heard of this game before, but he said he played it last year at BYU.

Tuesday night Brady was in charge of dinner. He wanted something fancy like tinfoil dinners. Here is what he ended up cooking everyone. It turned out to be a yummy meal. I precooked the rice, shredded the cheese. We sent a bag of frozen chicken tenderloins and a mallet to pound them down. Brady assembled them at camp. I also sent him charcoal to cook them on - instead of the fire. It took a little longer then he planned for it to heat up, but it all worked out.

Chicken Casserole

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of prepared rice
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • ranch dressing
  • cheddar cheese
  • spices
Pound the chicken thinly as chicken can take awhile to cook.
Mix together the broccoli, soup, and cheese. Add spices and condiments. Place the chicken breast on the center of the foil. Top with the soup mix and then rice. Seal in a tent pack.
Cook on hot coals for about 25 minutes (The thicker your chicken breast, the longer it will take)
For Brady's dessert he brought the stuff to make Banana Boats. Brady didn't particularly care for them, but the others liked them.
  • Cut banana peel lengthwise about 1/2 in. deep, leaving 1/2 in. at both ends. Open peel wider to form a pocket. Fill each with 1 teaspoon chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon marshmallows. Crimp and shape four pieces of heavy-duty foil (about 12 in. square) around bananas, forming boats.
  • Grill, covered, over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until marshmallows melt and are golden brown. Yield: 4 servings.
     Brady had a great time hanging out with his friends for a few days before he moved to Salt Lake City for good. 

    I hope they will continue to get together in the future. They really have a great friendship. 

    I always tell Brady how lucky he was to have these friends through high school. It was a great blessing to be surrounded by good, smart, nice kids through out his high school years.  Most people never experience this type of "true friendship" and have great self building / self esteem / teenage years. It has always been a positive uplifting light in his life. What a blessing!

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Book Review: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

    Over this past year I have had my nose in a book constantly. I never turn on the TV anymore, just have my nose in a book or listening to audio books. One of my favorite books I've read this past year is Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. 
    This is my all time favorite book. I've re-read it many times and have also purchased this as an audible book on my kindle. The audio book is Narrated by Emily Elizabeth Hamilton, I just loved her narration. 

    My all time favorite author and now my all time favorite narrator all in one wonderful book. Everyone I've told about this book has loved it, if you haven't read it yet - you must!

    Here is a little bit about this book:

    Set in nineteenth-century England, Edenbrooke is the story of Marianne Daventry, who is sent to Bath by her father after the untimely death of her mother. Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitations arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Endenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

    From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seeminly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her fee? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marriane to Edenbrooke.

    A couple of my favorite quotes found on Pinterest about Edenbrooke - LOVE!

    I'm also excited that Julianne Donaldson has a 2nd book coming out in September called: "Blackmoore". I can hardly wait and will be purchasing it the day it is available! Squeal!


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