Time flies when you are having fun!

Daisypath Anniversary Years Ticker

January 27, 2006

January 27, 2006

About Me

My photo
I am Brooke. I love my husband. I love my daughter. I love my job because I can pick and choose my schedule and stay home with Harper the majority of the time. I love to do DIY projects. And I love my life!

Race Track

Race Track
Juan, Camie, Josh, Me

CPK Goodbye dinner

CPK Goodbye dinner
Josh, Erin, Brooke, Josh, Brandon, Camie, Juan. Right before we moved to Texas from Cali.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

19 weeks!

Now that I'm starting to show a little bit (I mostly just look like I've eaten a lot) I want to start putting up weekly pictures of myself. The pictures today aren't that great because Josh isn't home and I won't have time to do this later today. They are taken in my bathroom and are a little fuzzy, but you'll get the idea.
19 weeks
Let's see, in the last week I have started feeling the baby kick, which is really cool. It feels like popcorn. Besides that, not much is new. To be honest, nothing has really changed since before I was pregnant. I have had absolutely no morning sickness, nausea, or anything. It's been really nice. In the beginning, I did get frequent light headaches, but that's about it. And I am really thankful for that.

I have two pair of jeans that don't button up anymore, but I'm just using a hair tie to keep them together. Other than that, all my others still fit. Which is great, because I have no desire to buy maternity jeans.

I'll update you next week when I'm 20 weeks (halfway through!!!!) and I will have better pictures for you, too.

Friday, November 26, 2010

So, if you haven't heard...

we are expecting! Due May 2011. We are thrilled!

Friday, November 12, 2010

North Carolina

Here are some pictures from my trip to North Carolina this last weekend. My whole family went (excluding husbands) because it was my Grandma's 85th birthday. It was quite a fun, family-filled weekend. I wish I had more pictures to share, but I'm a really bad picture taker. I'm just waiting for my sister to send me copies of all the pictures she took.

Below: Mom and dad at Grandma's dinner party. There were about 40 - 50 people there. One of the tables...there were two really long tables at dinner.

Me and my Uncle Don.

Brandon at WalMart being a dork.

Me and Jennifer at the dinner.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Totally Blog Worthy

Well, I know I haven't blogged in a while, but this is worthy enough news that I have finally decided to post something. I PASSED MY TX CSR TEST!!! I am now officially a court reporter! Yay for me. Now, please excuse me while I do the happy dance for the rest of the day...or maybe year. And, also, I have a lot of phone calls to make to cousins of cousins, sisters of grandparents, etc. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Freezer Meals

So, with working 6 days a week right now (about 5 - 8 hours a day, depending on the day) and going to school Monday through Thursday, it's been really hard to keep up with making dinner, etc. Okay, who am I kidding, I pretty much haven't made dinner, and if I have, it's just been something that I plopped into the oven or microwave...poor Josh.

Well, this week I had an opportunity to take a day off of work. I decided I was going to catch up on some car maintenance (my oil change was WAY overdue) and catch up on some cooking.

A few months ago, I bought a cookbook called Fabulous Freezer Meals By Jenny Ahlstrom Stanger. I knew I was going to be working a lot and so I bought it so I could make some freezer meals for the days that I didn't have time. Unfortunately it took me a day off of work to actually have time to make the meals, but I finally got it done.

I sampled all of the meals as I went along and they tasted pretty good. Here is one of the ones I made:

Chicken Puffs

2 packages refrigerator crescent rolls
2 cups crushed buttery crackers
2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
dash garlic powder
dash salt and pepper

Press together 2 crescent-roll triangles to form a square. Repeat with remaining dough. Place crushed crackers in a shall dish. Stir together remaining ingredients in a large bown and coop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto dough squares.

Fold and pinch edges together. Roll each chicken puff in the cracker crumbs. Place puffs on a greased cookie sheet and put cookie sheet in freezer for 1 hour. Then place chicken puffs in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze.

To serve:

Place frozen chicken puffs on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

I don't have time right now to post any of the other ones I tried, but I will at a later date. I would also suggest buying the cookbook, as I'm only going to post a few of the recipes because I think it's unfair to the author to post any more.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Josh at work.

The other day Josh wanted me to bring him lunch , so I showed up to his job site and watched him work a little. Needless to say, I was nervous watching him climb like a monkey all over the house when he could drop two stories, but I guess that's why I don't go to work with him. Here's some pictures of him at work.

He is hidden in there somewhere...

This is what made me the most nervous...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 2 of NY

Here are pictures of our second day, although I accidentally uploaded them backwards and it's not letting me change the order. So here it is backwards.We had to get a picture of the NYPD car :)
New York Police Department right in the middle of Times Square.
It was crazy, we came out of the Broadway show The Addams Family and it was pitch dark outside and then you turn the corner and it looks like daylight because of all of the lights.

Central Park
Josh was not happy that I wanted to take pictures of him in front of every little thing in NY.
Inside the Trump Tower taking a picture of our reflection.
On top of the Trump Tower. Josh wanted me to take a picture of all of the ADT vans there since he works for them.
Me and Jordan and Tiffany's. Jordan bought a bracelet and I bought a necklace.
Cody and Josh in front of the Trump Tower.
This church was amazing inside and out!

Monday, May 24, 2010

NY: Day 1

So we left for the airport at about 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 19th. We had one layover (I can't remember where because we just stayed on the same plane) and from there we flew to the JFK airport in NY. We got there at about 3:30 and by the time all was said and done, we got to the hotel at about 6:30. We decided since we only got two hours of sleep the night before that we would just hang out and take a nap until Jordan and Cody (Josh's sister and her husband) got there. They ended up getting there around 9:30 or so. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the hotel, including me being a nerd.

We waited for Jordan and Cody to get there before we ate dinner, so we walked a few blocks from the hotel to Johnny Rockets and ate there. It was good food. After that, we stayed up talking to Jordan and Cody for a few hours and then went to bed.

It may not seem like a very exciting first day, but I had a lot of fun.

I will post Day 2 soon.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

NY Teaser...

Here's a few pictures of our trip so far. We still have today here in NY and then we fly home early tomorrow morning, but I just thought I'd share a few.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It took me long enough...

but yesterday, I GRADUATED! It's such an amazing feeling. After 5 years of school, I can now say that I have graduated Court Reporting school.

Now, if only I could say that I am a Court Reporter. But, unfortunately, I can't do that quite yet. I have to wait for the state test in September. So, I still have about 5 months for that.

In the meantime, I will still be going to school. I know myself well enough that I won't practice on my machine at home on my own, so I'm still going to attend school to get the practice I need to help continue preparing me for the test.

And I will still be working as a nanny, although I got a job with a new family for the summer. They are a really great family and I'm excited to work with them.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Husband and Cat

This is a totally random post with two pictures that have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

So sometimes my husband thinks it's fun to eat his rice through a straw...

We put a bird bath up on our post on the patio and haven't seen any birds use it...now we know why. Our cat drinks water out of it. Those poor birds aren't safe. I wouldn't bathe there either if it were me.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Emergency Room Visit

Both me and Josh have been very blessed to have little sickness in our life. And even when Josh is sick, he won't go to the doctor because he doesn't want to spend the money (hello, why do we pay for health insurance, then?) Well, times like these are exactly why.

On 3/18/2010, Josh came home and was complaining about having water in his ear, but he couldn't get it out. It progressively started getting worse until he was trying to keep himself from swearing because it hurt so bad. I asked him if he wanted me to call the doctor, but he didn't. Instead, he wanted me to go to the wonderful world of the Internet to see how to get water out of the ear. We tried everything that it said, including pouring 1/2 part vinegar and 1/2 part rubbing alcohol down the ear and using a blow dryer. Nothing worked. In fact, it got worse and started bleeding a little bit.

Josh decided to raid the cabinet and take some pain pills. Apparently that didn't work either because we went to sleep at 10:00 that night and neither of us fell asleep. It wasn't until about 1:00 in the morning that Josh decided I should call the 24-hour nurse and see what she said. She asked me barely short of a million questions before she told us we needed to go to the Emergency Room.

So, up we got, got dressed, and headed out the door. We got there and then waited, waited, and did some more waiting, until we were called at 3:00. They took us to our room and then we proceeded to wait another 20 minutes until the doctor came in, looked in Josh's ear and then told him he had an ear infection and would give him some medicine. (This took about 2 minutes). Then we proceeded to wait some more (for about another 20 minutes) until somebody came in asking for our copay. Nice. Wait, wait, wait again, until they finally gave us our prescription another 20 minutes later. At least while we were in the room, though, doing all of this waiting, we were about to watch Legally Blonde since they had a TV in there. That was nice.

Off to the house we went to drop Josh off, and then I proceeded to drive to the next town over, San Marcos, to fill the prescription. What a long night that was! But I am thankful that we do have health insurance for times like these so that, if we ever do need to go to the doctor, the bill is greatly reduced.

Needless to say, Josh is psychotic and went to work the next morning on like two hours of sleep. He's a work-a-holic. (Not complaining, though. I like having a husband that works hard. But if it were me, I would definitely have used it as an excuse not to go to work or school)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pet Store

So every so often Josh begs me to go to the pet store with him and I cave. He loves the birds. (He keeps begging me for one, but I am not stupid enough to agree. I do not want to have any more animals to clean up after.) So, about a week ago, after we went to dinner with my family, we stopped at Petland and stayed there for a good hour and a half. Josh just played with the birds the whole time. I usually try to hold the birds, but they scare me because some of the bite.

Well, I found a really nice one (Josh tested this bird out first for me) and so I ended up holding that one for quite a while. It just stood there, it wasn't one of the ones that feels the need to climb all over your body and head. But, occasionally, I would get really nervous and put it down. Well, after I would put it down (it shared a cage with one other bird) I would cast my fears aside and decide that I could pick it up again. Well, the other bird was a biter, and I would stick my finger down to pick up my bird, and the other one would bite the tip of my finger...it never failed. I finally learned me lesson and didn't put the bird down until I was actually done picking it up. My finger was really sore the next day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred - Day 1

So as much as I hate to admit this, I have gained about 20 pounds since high school. That is a very depressing fact. In high school a lot of people though I was too skinny, but I loved being the size that I was. And, a lot of people would look at me now and say I don't need to lose any weight, but I can assure you that I do. If only you could see what the clothes cover up. So I decided I'm going to do it.

I bought this DVD - Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred quite a while ago and have never used it. Well, we are going to NYC in just over a month, and I want to lose ten pounds by then. I'm hoping this, eating better/less, and swimming laps with Josh at least four times a week will help in that goal.

I will let you know my progress. I just have to keep doing it one day at a time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

closer and closer!

I passed my second mock today! Only one more at 97% and then I will graduate! Just thought I would share.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Court Reporting Lesson

So since I am in school for court reporting, we have what's called a Stenograph machine that we use to take down everything that's being said in court, depositions, etc. It's a pretty neat little machine. When you go to school, you first start in Theory, which is where you learn how to write on the machine. It's basically a new language. Everything you take down is by sound/syllable. A lot of people wonder how you can write SO much faster on a stenograph machine than on a normal keyboard. Well, here's my attempt to explain it.

If you're writing my name on the keyboard it would be:

B R O O K E which equals six letters and six strokes on the keyboard.

On the stenograph machine my name would look like this:

PWRAOBG yes, that says Brooke. As you may have already noticed, it has 7 letters, which is more than the six letters in Brooke on the regular keyboard. Well, you are very observant. Here's the trick. When you are writing on your stenograph machine, all of those letters are being pushed down at once. So you end up writing one stroke instead of 6 for Brooke, which saves you 5 strokes. That's how it becomes faster.

So that's one way it becomes faster. Another way is that we can write a whole phrase in one stroke. We have commonly used phrases, especially in a jury charge, so we come up with what are called briefs. Here's an example:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury = hraeupblgz

If I were to write Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury out on the keyboard, it would be 27 strokes. So you just saved 26 strokes right there.

If I were to write Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury out on my machine (not using the brief) it would be 9 strokes, so you still would be saving 18 strokes.

I have now been in school for 5 years (minus the summer that I couldn't go to school because they closed down the court reporting program at BC, hence the reason we moved to TX, and minus the 8 months I was dating Josh...pretty much didn't go to school at all during that time.) So I guess about 4 years of school so far.
We start in Theory, like I said, and that takes about three months to learn the basic language. Once you get out of school, you start speedbuilding at 60 wpm (words per minute) Once you pass that test (I'm going to brag and say I did that the first day, haha) you move on to 80 wpm, 100 wpm, all the way up to 225 wpm.

That's where I'm at now...225 wpm and I can FINALLY see the light at the end of the tunnel. It has definitely been a frustrating but rewarding experience. I have learned a lot of patience for sure. And I've also been able to really appreciate the sacrifice that Josh has given for me to go to school. He has patiently been waiting for me to finish school and start working so he can go to school, which he's so excited about.

Anyway, back to court reporting.

Each speed you have to pass 2 tests in each category at 97% accuracy.

Jury Charge
Literary (which would be presidential addresses, etc.)
QA aka two-voice (question and answer back and forth)

All of these tests are given for 5 minutes.

So right now, I'm having to take down 225 wpm @ 5 minutes with a 97% accuracy to pass my test/graduate. So basically the test has 1,125 words and out of those words I can only have 34 mistakes, including punctuation, to get a 97% accuracy.

This speed has definitely been the hardest. I've been in 225 for about a year, but I finally just passed one of my 225 QAs a little over a week ago. Hoping to pass my next one this next week. After I pass that, and two more mocks (I will explain what that is in a minute) I will be graduated!!!! YAY.

Once you get into 225, you have what are called mocks. These are a mock of the state and national exams.

It consists of
1 Jury Charge
1 Literary
1 QA
but you only have to pass these at 95% accuracy and you have to pass them all in one sitting. So even if you pass the jury charge and the literary and don't pass the qa, then you don't pass the whole thing. In order to qualify for the state exam, you have to pass three of these. I have passed one. I don't see myself having any problem passing these real soon though, since I'm finally writing at 97% the majority of the time.

That's my little lesson on court reporting.

On a side note: my machine that I first got when I started was used, but has been a great machine. But towards the end of last year, it was starting to have some problems here and there. I always intended to use it when I first started working because I didn't really care to spend $5,000 on a new one. But once I found out that they were offering the new machines on a 0% loan, me and Josh decided to go ahead and do that. So, now I have a new machine. I love it and can't wait to actually work with it.

Here are a few pics of Josh trying to fix my old machine (which he actually did fix it. I didn't really have any problems with it after he took it apart and put it back together, but we still thought it was time for a new machine just because we would have no interest)

And here's a picture of what my new machine looks like:

Monday, February 1, 2010

I love Costco!

It was on sale for $100 cheaper than the one I was saving up for on Amazon, so I bought it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Saving up my money for these

Click HERE to see what I'm saving up to buy! I'm so excited.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

4 years!!

Four years ago today I married my best friend. I'm so thankful to have such a wonderful husband. It's been a fun ride! Happy Anniversary Josh! I love you!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Finished Food Storage Room

Here's the link to my food storage blog. Here you can see the finished product of our food storage room.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ward Christmas Party!

Josh was asked to be "Santa's Helper" a.k.a. Santa for the ward Christmas party. Here he is getting ready for the main event.

It was a fun night. I cracked up the entire time. But the kids had a pretty good time seeing Santa.