Wednesday, November 9, 2011

feeling appy?

So I might have a small obsession with phone apps. Yes. And because not only am I obsessed, but I believe I can be so dang helpful to everybody else, I'll disclose my favorites. Which, I should mention, are free. Everybody knows I'm a cheapskate, so you probably already guessed that, but still. Consider yourself informed.

1. Voice Recorder (by Google) I know most phones come with this app already, but the one on my Samsung Galaxy was abysmal. So I downloaded this one, which for a dollar upgrade, can convert the files to mp3s. I read books to Avie or have conversations with Betsy on said recorder. I can send them easily to a million different places (gmail, texts, evernote, bluetooth, etc.) and turn them into ring tones. These recordings are ridiculously sweet, sickeningly sentimental, and when Avie doesn't want to take a nap, I play these for her and she listens calmly until I thinks she's ready for the crib.

2. Citation Index This app makes my phone worth however much Scott paid for it, all by itself. I could never do it justice, so just check it out and spare yourself the superlatives. Until you start using it yourself, then heaven help us, you'll be using them too.

3. LDS Tools Because it makes my calling ten times easier. It's like having the ward stake list on speed dial without actually having to sift through all the numbers in your phonebook. You can organize said lists by calling, and there's even an option to have all the numbers in the stake available to your caller ID.

4. DLR Lines/MouseWait It's the rides at Disneyland, not the wait that I want to remember. I guess I lied when I said all my apps were free; DLR lines is $1/week or $7/year, but the data on park busy-ness levels and the amount of statistical data that has gone into this makes it more than worth it. It tells you how long the lines are, how long they'll be in 15, 30, and 45 minutes, and when they'll peak during the day.

5. Evernote I like to make myself think I'm organized, and this is a big key to a successful fake-out. Seriously. It's got lots of bells and whistles and deserves a post all by itself, although it will never get one. So just check it out on your own, then sing my praises for a week.

6. Savings Cents with Cents I haven't had this app long, but it already saved me $50 on Avie's carseat, so take that, spending-hours-researching-everything-on-Amazon-and-getting-totally-sidetracked-so-that-it-takes-me-three-days-to-complete-said-research.

7. Kids Learn to Read/All IntelliJoy Apps They're delightful for the kids, and they really are teaching skills. And Betsy thinks she's died and gone to heaven when she gets to play with one of these after finishing her homeschooling. Which, okay, is really just a reading lesson, but I like to make it sound like I'm more amazing than that.

8. Photoshop Mobile I like pretty pictures, not scary ones that look like they were processed by a blind man.

9. I'd say Google Maps, but I still get lost. I have faith one day we'll work together in some united way instead of the constantly argumentative relationship we currently have. I'm reminded of my Grandma and Grandpa and how they were when we'd drive to yard sales. Sitting in the back seat with the two of them arguing over which way to turn -- we still laugh about it, and they died a decade ago! Funny the stuff you miss. Although I doubt I'll miss Google Maps when I find something better. Or have a car with GPS.

10. You can't end a list at 9. No wait, you can. If that's all you've got. I guess I could add Kindle (not even going to link, that's absurd) and Gospel Library, but that's kind of a given. I like the Scripture Mastery app, but also kind of a given.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Not Quite the Trip I Had in Mind...

A couple of months ago, Scott told me I needed to get the girls out of his hair so he could tackle remodeling the bathroom.

Ahem. Finishing the remodeling that started a year ago. Possibly two. With things like this, it's best for the marriage if I don't really keep track. (For the record, he is even more kind. He never keeps track of how much laundry or cleaning he does. That's how I know I married up.)

So, I pack up the girls and our clothes and a bunch of car snacks and prepare to go see Memaw and Poppa. It's only a 1o or 12 hour drive. And I so have never done anything remotely like this. But whatev.

Just before leaving, Scott asks me to drive him to his work truck, which was parked in Springville. So he hops in the car too, and I figure we'll just say our goodbyes in a couple of miles when I drop him off.

And that's when the coolest thing ever happened. A surprise vacation. That sweet man got a week off work, had made crazy intense arrangements, extra packing, purchased necessary foodstuffs (Larabar, how I love thee) and managed to have absolutely everyone in on the secret. And we were heading down together. To go to Disneyland. Well, and other places. But what else matters? Disneyland is everything.

P.S. Surprise vacations rock.

Waiting for a show at Sea World. Which was totally created by tired parents who just wanted to sit down for 30 minutes and recover.

When we went last February, we found this awesome Indiana Jones hat and decided to pimp it out with ears. I'm crazy about it. So is he. (Scott. Indiana Jones is busy.)

Check out that castle!

Waiting for Small World

All decked out for Halloween!

The girls' hats are simple and matching. No frills. I think it's actually their vintage style circa maybe 1960s? I love seeing them!

Holding his girls. Or at least the little ones.

I think we all know how cute this is.

Betsy feeding the goat.

Avie shows warranted caution about the sheep.