Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Deja vu

Today was a fantastic day. I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany the Karratti clan to the MTC to drop off the newly ordained Elder Bryce Karratti. It was an afternoon full of emotions and crazy memories. I just loved it! I could never explain all that I felt, and learned, and gained from my experince at the MTC or in the mission. It was just fabulous! Here's some shots from the day.

Glad Elmo got in the picture!

Brandon and I were deemed the 'ex'-missionaries

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pics of Protest

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32 Protesters arrested outside of Disneyland

Alright. I'm going to have to be upfront and admit that the Disneyland posts might be a long comin. We have a ton of pics and I really have no idea where to even begin... Between Tena's blog and mine, I'm sure we will cover just about everything! Don't forget to check hers as well :) One of the first happenings, was a couple of hours after we arrived in Cali.

We arrived at our hotel hours before expected, and weren't allowed to get into our room. Well, what do we do for 3 hours?? With a 4 year old in tow, you gotta be on your feet with fun filled activities! The pool was open, so we changed and jumped in for some play time. Finally, our room was clean and ready. We head up for a shower and down time. Well, pretty soon LP was seeking some new entertainment. We decided a nice walk in the beautiful California weather would suit us well. Alan had not joined us yet, so we found ourselves stroller-less. We decided to brave it. We headed out with the intent of finding the quickest and shortest route to the "Land of a Million Dreams", for our first day- tomorrow. As we headed out towards the street, we were immediately met with the sound of some chanting. What was going on?? We held onto P, and busted it for a closer look.

Right out front of our hotel we found a group of protesters!!! We couldn't make out what their signs, or really understand what they were saying. We crossed the street for an even closer look, but at a safe distance... We snapped some pictures, of course! This was going to be some fantastic 'blog material'! Come to find out, it was the Disneyland hotel employees who were protesting the loss of their benefits, etc. None of the employees inside of the Park were able to give any information. One smarty pants, answered our curiousness with, "They are just doing some ground testing. Their making sure the ground is level." Right.....

Tena found this article on line and I'll share the pics I took, and others I found on line!

Associated Press Writer
Fri Aug 15, 6:53 AM ET

The arrest of the 32 protesters, many of whom wore costumes representing famous Disney characters, came at the end of an hour-long march to Disneyland's gates from one of three Disney-owned hotels at the center of a labor dispute.
Those who were arrested sat in a circle on a busy intersection outside the park holding hands until they were placed in plastic handcuffs and led to two police vans while hundreds of hotel workers cheered and chanted.
The protesters were arrested on a misdemeanor count of failure to obey a police officer and two traffic infractions, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim police. They were cited and released, Sgt. Chris Schneider said.
Bewildered tourists in Disney T-shirts and caps, some pushing strollers, filed past the commotion and gawked at the costumed picketers getting hauled away. The protest shut down a major thoroughfare outside Disneyland and California Adventure for nearly an hour.
"It's changing my opinion of Disneyland," said tourist Amanda Kosato, who was visiting from north of Melbourne, Australia. "Taking away entitlements stinks."
The dispute involves about 2,300 maids, bell hops, cooks and dishwashers at three Disney-owned hotels: the Paradise Pier, the Grand Californian and the Disneyland Hotel.
The workers' contract expired in February and their union says Disney's latest proposal makes health care unaffordable for hundreds of employees and creates an unfair two-tier wage system. The union also says Disney wants to create a new category of part-time employees who would receive greatly reduced benefits.
"The other hotels around the area all have health care that is provided by the boss and have been able to get wage increases," said Ada Briceno, president of Unite Here Local 681, which represents the workers.
"At the other hotels in the same classification, for the same work, the workers get paid $2 to $3 an hour more."
Disney spokeswoman Lisa Haines said Disney and the union are in negotiations and nothing has been finalized. She said workers have protested 14 times but sat down to negotiate only 11 times in the past six months.
"Clearly we're disappointed that Unite Here Local 681 has spent more time protesting," she said. "Publicity stunts are not productive and are extremely disruptive to the resort district."
Before the arrests, the picketers marched and chanted outside Paradise Pier, holding signs that read, "Disney is unfaithful," and "Mickey, shame on you." They were joined by community activists and religious leaders from local churches.
Luz Vasquez, who works in the bakery at Disneyland Hotel, said she can't afford to lose many of her benefits. She said it's already hard to care for her three grandchildren and aging mother while earning $14.32 an hour.
"Disneyland is being unfair with us because we're fighting for our health care and they're trying to take it away," said Vasquez, 45. "They're trying to cut our hours and take away our seniority."
Co-worker Diane Dominguez, 50, said she was worried about losing health care because of the heavy labor involved in lifting mattresses, moving furniture and making dozens of beds a day. She also said rising prices and the cost of gas were eating into her salary of $11.11 an hour.
"The most important is health care. We need that and they want to take it away," she said.
At the heart of the issue is a free health care plan that has been provided to Disney hotel workers through a trust fund that Disney and other unionized hotels in the area pay into.
Briceno said that in exchange for the free medical plan, union members agreed in previous contracts to a lower wage for hotel workers in the first three years of their employment.
But Disney now wants to eliminate the free health plan for new hires and wants to create a new class of workers who put in less than 30 hours a week, said Briceno. Those part-time workers would receive no sick or vacation pay and not be given holidays, she said.
The company also wants to increase the number of hours full-time employees must work before qualifying for the health plan, she said.
"At the end of the day what it means is that workers are going to be priced out of health care," she said.
Haines said the majority of other employees at Disneyland pay for a share of their health plan, even though the resort shoulders about 75 percent of the overall cost. She said it's important to negotiate a contract that's fair to those other unions, too.
"We do remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement that's both fair and equitable, providing that union leadership is reasonable and realistic in its approach," Haines said.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Six Quirks

The Rules:
• Link the person who tagged you.
  • Paola
• Mention the rules on your blog.
  • Check
• Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
  1. When knocking on a door I have to knock at least 6 "knocks" in a row.
  2. At the Pantry I have to line up the utencils in the same exact order on the cutting board.
  3. When buying dishes, I purchases 8 at a time for my "future family".
  4. I look and sound like a seal when I laugh (per the ward boys... now I laugh like a special ed).
  5. After completing a book, I can't remember details of the plot within 24 hours.
  6. The first thing I do when retiring for the night, is changed into my jammies. Second thing, log on and blog stalk :)
• Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them.
  1. Tena Heward (or, Hewawrd...)
  2. KelliAnn Christensen
  3. Becca Halls
  4. Kris Child
  5. Camilla Deans
  6. Camille Heinz

Costco with LP

A few weeks ago I made a surprise visit to St. George. I brought Tena and Preston with me to surprise my mom. In turn, mom surprised Preston with his very own Costco card!! He was so very proud :) He also loved the massage chair!

They did it!!!!

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Fun in Park City :)

Oh what memories we made here in the New Park Hotel! Exploding water jugs, cracker box hotel room, over flowing luggage cart, full moon at Wendy's, flashing chest at the local Wal-Mart, with a mixture of LOUD laughter!! You can only imagine . . .
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Familia Support

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Breakerz kick butt!

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Team Spirit

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

*Free Tickets to "Errand of Angles!!"

I am further delaying my posts of the weekend with the fam, to promote this wonderful opportunity! THIS Thursday, August 7th at 7:30 pm, there is a possibility of a free showing of "Errand of Angels!" Crazy I know! They are happening all over the valley and also in St. George. I say, possibility because Deseret Book has the free flyer for the free tickets, and its first come first serve at the theatre. So, basically, they are giving out hundreds of these, and we need to be first in line to get in!! Each flyer is good for two people. I have one and can get more. I need you to tell me by Wednesday night, which is TOMORROW!! I plan to arrive at like..... 5:30 or so. I can't tell you just how excited I am to see this! I would go at midnight and sit, but, I have to work. I would love the company!! It's showing in Provo at the Windsong Theatre. Please let me know!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008