Wednesday, December 31, 2008
See, it's all in what you said about Christmas deco bugging you. I knew it was irritating me to have my tree still up, but I was dragging my feet. I just didn't want to tackle it. But something snapped after you left and I lost miserably at hearts. I showered, fed the kids, and took that sucker down. I feel better already.
In fact, I think I've done more this afternoon than I have in the last 2 days. Thanks for that brief visit and let this be a lesson to all you visiting teachers out there... the last day of the month is never too late to drop by, you never know what you will find or how you will affect the one you visit.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
(From Wikipedia) While the song has come to symbolize worldwide turbulence and confrontational feelings arising from events during the 1960s (particularly the Vietnam War), Stills reportedly wrote the song in reaction to escalating unrest between law enforcement and young club-goers related to the closing of Pandora's Box, a club on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. The song's title appears nowhere in its lyrics; it is more easily remembered by the first line of chorus: "Stop, children, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down."
There's something happening here
(a phone call between myself and Bill)
Me: Hey, I don't have energy to prepare a lesson, can you do it?
Bill: Yeah, no problem.
He came home with cutouts and everything. I quickly matched up a song to his lesson, and Tasha put her chocolate covered cherries out for the treat. It was a good, quick, and effective night.
Thank goodness for men with slow jobs and Internet connections!
I guess that the big deal is that retailers are shying away from the Christ part of Christmas by removing "Merry Christmas" from their banners, ads, and employee greetings. But really, does "Merry Christmas" really assume an understanding that Christ was born in Bethlehem? Robert Knight writes: "The whole idea of gift giving at Christmas comes from acknowledging that God gave His Son as a gift to all people, and expects us to treat each other accordingly. Retailers who refuse to call it Christmas but still want Christmas dollars are betting that Americans will continue to give extravagantly, forever, without the deeper reason. They think that they can remove the heart without harming the patient."
I would argue that "God gave His Son as a gift to all people" is not the motivation for many people to be purchasing gifts during the holiday season. If we all really wanted to give that kind of gift to all people, the kind of gift that God would give, would we really be purchasing those gifts on Black Friday with mobs of people fighting over the best deals at a store that won't even say "Merry Christmas"? And hey, I'm the first to admit that I LOVE Black Friday shopping. I didn't go this year, but it certainly rings in the holiday season for me. And by that I don't mean, "I come closer to Christ by seeking the best deals at retail stores so that I can give gifts unto my children." I just like to shop and save money.
So what is the motivation for the gift giving? You know who I'm going to imply here, don't you? And I'm not saying that this is true for everyone, just some. In fact, most of my friends avoid this subject with their own children, as do I. But I love him, I believe in him, I think Santa has done wonders for good people all over the world. Not as much good as Christ, but good none the less. Knight even tries to imply that getting Macy's on board with a good old fashioned "Merry Christmas" is a triumph over the dark side. The dark side of what? Yes, most people associate Macy's with Miracle on 34th Street, a classic Christmas movie that now has several versions available for watching. But what is this Christmas movie about? SANTA CLAUS!!! I'm sorry folks, but if you think that the miracle in this movie has anything to do with Christ's birth, you are sadly mistaken. Yes, there are implications as to a higher being in the newer version ("in God we trust"), but this show is about getting people to believe... believe in Santa.
All I'm saying here is that "Happy Holidays" means the same thing to me as "Merry Christmas". Mostly because society has polluted the meaning of Christmas. I don't think that many people, especially store clerks and retailers, mean "enjoy a season of giving as you celebrate the birth of our Savior" when they say "Merry Christmas". The true meaning of Christmas is felt by our interactions with others, not the simple words said to each other in passing.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
It was a great time with sprinklings from both sides of our family represented: my mom and Rex; Rex's granddaughter Tiffany and her husband Jay; Bill's dad and Maggie; Maggie's daughters Katie and Lizzie, with Lizzie's boyfriend Andy. Sheesh, if you include the 4 of us that's 14 people in my teeny house. It didn't seem that crowded.
Typically the kids get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. If they have made it through December without having to have new pj's, then the gift is pj's. If I did have to cave and purchase sleepware before the big day, we'll pick something else for them. This year I let my mom give them the pj's and she upped it one by including slippers as well. (that's 2 things, instead of 1!) Next, Maggie had found some webkins that she wanted to give them and of course, delights in seeing their reaction. (that's 3 gifts now) Finally, Tiff and Jay showed up bearing gifts this year which is not typical. They brought a few things for Bill and I, which was totally unnecessary, but greatly appreciated, and one gift for each of the girls. Hello?! Those girls are spoiled... 4 gifts on Christmas Eve?! Nice.
The girls in their new PJ's
Kyra has froggies, Tasha's a monkey
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
No really Bill. Go away now.
I need help in purchasing some good smelling stuff for my husband. He waited until now to tell me that after shave or cologne would be a nice gift this year. Apparently it was last century that we made the last purchase. YIKES! I have no idea where to start and the idea of sniffing several bottles and/or even going into a store laced with all those aromas is giving me a headache.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I found some fudge in the fridge that my mom made for us. Yum, but it's chocolate too and I don't want to eat too much of that. I searched the fridge, freezer, 2 cupboards, and a drawer. FINALLY! Vanilla snackimals. Nothing like a good animal cracker to ease the sugar craving. After a half an hour of snacking I'm still not feeling any better so I check the packaging to see why this sugar is not helping out.
Who bought these freaking snackimals?! 100% natural. No hydrogenated oils. No trans fats. NO FREAKING SUGAR!!! I read through the ingredient list twice before I found the sweetener: unsulphured molasses. What?! If your going to use molasses, at least leave the sulphur in it for Pete's sake.
I actually yelled at Bill, "why hasn't anyone brought us cookies today? I need cookies!" To this he replied, "our home teacher brought us a soup mix." Nice. Actually, it was VERY thoughtful and I totally appreciate the fact that his wife didn't sabotage my no-sugar binge. Apparently I can do that all by myself in less than 24 hours.
SOOOOOOOO, now I know why all my friends are freaking out and swearing... it's the sugar season and you all are on a sugar down or sugar high and are a little high strung. This also explains why Jaylee is in control, she's a salt gal.
Now here's my request: please don't bring me any cookies. I feel so miserable that I'm quitting again... as soon as I finish all 7 servings in this #*&^ snackimals bag.
I'm not sure how many years of high school we were invited over to tamale night but it became an annual event for many of us. Some of us were more dedicated than others for various reasons (friendship, love of tamales, boredom). Anita went away to Notre Dame for college, but we still tried to get together. I was roommates with Valerie so I think we both ended up there for a year or two after graduation. In fact, Valerie even started making Christmas ornaments to give us each year which I always looked forward to. I still have them hanging on my tree. I've missed one year... the year Bill, Billy and I went to Minnesota for Christmas.
But here's the thing: I don't even really like tamales. Seriously, the red meat mixed with the masa does absolutely nothing for me. Slap some of that meat on a homemade tortilla though, and ba-da-bing, I've got myself a winner! And boy does Mrs. V make a fine tortilla. Every year I tell her I'm going to come over after the holiday break to learn how to make them. I've been saying that for 5+ years... maybe this is the year. A couple of years ago they threw me a loop and added green corn tamales to the line up. HELLO! Green corn, baby, where have you been all my life?! YUM-UM-MEE!! Besides tasting delish they are super simple: just slap some mix in the oja and fold it up, easy. In fact, they are so easy I enlisted some help this year:
Friday, December 19, 2008
I'd also like to thank you for not posting anything about poop. Nothing about raspberries or blueberries oozing onto your new, beautiful, hardwood floors. No dirty underpants from any of your children or droppings left from the vermin that run rampant through your house. You haven't mentioned a thing about boys spraying pee all over your fabulous new bathroom either. Thank you for that.
I'd also, also, like to thank you for the polite language that you use. Not a single "freaking" has come from your fingertips. A simple "good gravy" does a complete job of relaying the frustration that you feel for our dear friend. What a fine example you are. What an inspiration.
PS Maybe we can go to Starbucks and grab a hot chocolate sometime.
Monday, December 15, 2008
As the adults strung popcorn and shared memories, the kids all entertained themselves quite happily...
Kyra and Jessie preparing to perform a Christmas song for us:
To say that we had a lot of laughs this evening would be an understatement. I should post the picture of us laughing, but I have like 3 chins or something and am too vain to put it up. Once we started talking about all the silly things we did, places we went, and mishaps that occurred on our many family adventures together, there was no stopping us. Each of us would jump in with a "oh, and remember..." that was followed by an embarrassing moment or thoughtful gesture. Man when you cram 10-18 years of memories into one night you realize how crazy and delightful things really were.
I told my mom Monday morning over breakfast that I might have a surprise for her that night. When I invited Millie over she asked, "can we bring instruments too?" Of course silly woman! When we were young, we would get together with the Harkins on Christmas Eve and "sing" Christmas carols. What it really amounted to was Lacy and I on the violin and cello, Edith singing boisterously, and my mom and LeRoy mouthing the words. I always hid behind the cello in those days, I was so shy (even around family)!
I thought we were going to pass the buck to our children this year (Jessie plays the viola and Kyra plays the violin), but Millie showed up with 3 violas and a cello! What?! The girls fiddled around (haha) while we were chatting but then their moms busted in on them and joined the fun. They had sheet music for all but the violin so I got to transpose the cello part of Silent Night for Kyra and she learned most of it in about 5 minutes. Edith came back to drag us out of the bedroom and told us to practice in the living room so they could hear us. It was hard enough to get through the song together, so there was no singing on this number. Alyssa knew Jingle Bells, so we all turned to that and had a group of performers that outnumbered the audience for the first time ever! Jessie, Millie, and I started off on the "dashing through the snow bit" and then Kyra, Alyssa, and Tasha joined in on the "jingle bell" chorus. Tasha was so excited to toot that recorder (on the same note) to the beat of a song she knew! She was beaming she was so happy.
After the Christmas songs we ad libbed "Happy Birthday", everyone joined in singing, and we ate cupcakes that Tasha and I made and Kyra frosted. My mom loves traditions and a good walk down memory lane, so hopefully this birthday celebration was an OK tribute to the most wonderful mom I could ever have. I love you mom!!!
As we look at the calendar and recognize that there are only 2 weeks left in this year, I find myself approaching it with a bitter-sweet attitude. It is mostly sweet because I love change and am totally looking forward to a new class, new faces, new challenges, sweet girls, and silly Justin S.! Once again, Bill (and Justin) will be outnumbered by a large group of ladies since the upcoming CTR 6 class is primarily girls. Oh what fun. Once again, I will be humbled as I look into the eyes of our children and realize that they probably know more than we do. We'll have the bishop's daughter, the Whitmer's daughter, the EQ President's daughter, the Sauer kid... all families doing so much more to teach their kids about the gospel in their home than we could ever do at church. This is why the Lord created the word humble, for times like these when you don't want to feel stupid! This is also the way the Lord intended children to learn... first at home, then reinforced by their primary teachers.
The bitter part of this new year comes as we have to say good-bye to the sweet children we've been teaching all year. This year's class is the same kind of intimidating group of youngsters: the (former) bishopric's son, EQ counselor's and super-mom's daughter, Jacob the brave, the Davis kid... all families that I could pop in on at any given time and probably find a lesson of the gospel being taught in the home through no formal scripture reading or FHE lesson, just incorporated into their daily life. Sure we had our rough moments, but as I taught the lesson this week I could see the spirit in their eyes. They watched in wonder as we discussed the Second Coming of Jesus. They answered every question with hope for their future. They asked excitedly if Jesus would come to Arizona. Oh, how we will miss these children and their families. I know, I know, nobody is going anywhere, BUT we will have new kids under our stewardship. New families to get to know. New challenges to face.
I was supposed to go to the Randolph center this Sunday with the youth. I forgot. Plain and simple, it completely slipped my mind. But I know that I was supposed to be in our ward Sunday so I'm not going to feel guilty about it. I know because I was able to welcome a hesitant child to class. I know because I was able to visit with some friends. I know because I was able to comfort a baby. I know because of the following few lines from the lesson that I taught:
"...when Jesus Christ lived on the earth he had friends who loved him very much. These friends followed him and listened to his teachings. Because they did what he taught them to do, they were called his disciples... Jesus loved his disciples. He helped them learn what they needed to do to live with him and Heavenly Father again. He helped them understand the difference between right and wrong so they could choose the right."
Yep, I'm a CTR 6 and I learn more and more each day. It will probably take me 3-5 years as a teacher in this class to learn all the lessons, but I will keep plugging away. I thought this post was going to be all about the kids (which it mostly is). Yesterday, during class, I read it word for word to the class and I was touched by the realization that these sweet 6 year-olds are my friends, I love them, and I learn from them each and every Sunday. Today, as I type in that quote I realize how we are all disciples of Christ helping each other understand the difference between right and wrong. Thank you, dear friends, for helping me Choose the Right!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I started off my search and found Led Zeppelin. Clearly, not what I was thinking of (I even just misspelled the name and had to correct it). As is typical to my teenage years, I had no idea what the song lyrics meant. Who am I kidding? I still don't. When I looked up the lyrics after one of the choruses it said, "various mumblings and screechings with cool effects". (Is this only funny because I've been up since 4am?)
An Irish group named Six has a version out that I stumbled upon. I'm not sure what to think about 3 guys and 3 girls singing about a whole lot of loving...(hmm) This song is apparently the 3rd best selling single in Irish chart history. Go Irish!
This Abba video that I just couldn't watch all of. I'm choking back tears of embarrassment right now as I decide that I have to post this. What is the deal with Abba?!
So now, if anyone has any idea what song I am thinking of please help me out. If not, go find something good to post. And I want to make it clear that my timestamp does not always work right, sometimes it appears to be an hour earlier than it really is. Bill doesn't believe me.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Because of all this (and I'm not including the fits of anger or cries for attention), I consulted Bill on the possibility of both the girls staying home on Tuesday and him being able to come home to watch them while I went to tutor in the morning. Nice guy that he is, he decided that he could take the day off too. (Twist his arm!) This made my life much easier.
Neither of the girls was really sick with any symptoms but a day of relaxation and no pressures of keeping other people happy definitely brightened their day. By the time I got home at 12ish they were almost on each others nerves though, so I took Kyra to AZ Mills mall to shop for some much needed pants. I know, I know, bad mom... you're home sick, act like it! Whatever! We found several pants and some jammies (me too!) to wrap up for Christmas Eve. I found the "rice guy" at a kiosk on the last stretch of the mall, and I got part of a gift I have been trying to figure out for a while now. We ate some blackened chicken and veggies then headed home.
I sometimes worry that when I leave home with just one kid the other kid is sad. I imagine them lying in their room wailing away, "where is mommy? Maaaaaah-meeeee! Where aaare you?!" Alright, I don't really think that, but I don't like coming home and being trampled and told that I should have taken them to the store too. So as I'm driving home I try to prepare myself for the dreaded entrance. I'm driving down Broadway, past Hardy and am waiting to turn onto McKemy. This is the street that goes by the park, right in between Pizza Hut and Wendy's. It is taking for-e-ver to turn left because of all the late lunch traffic (?). I'm cursing myself for not just waiting out the light at Hardy because I'd be home already and I hate sitting in traffic more that I dread my whiny children. (Did I really just say that?!) When I FINALLY turned onto McKemy this is what I see...
Tasha and Bill walking home from Wendy's
(Tasha is sporting a purse on her right arm while holding Bill's hand)
Monday, December 8, 2008
"poh-sah-bil-luh-tees"... "how many syllables is that?" (channel 8 has a commercial that talks about possibilities)
"five" I answer with a chuckle (after counting it out on my fingers).
Who is teaching this kid to count syllables?! I teach my students about multi-syllable reading in the 3rd grade! (maybe 2nd if they are ready) I know they don't even discuss it until late 1st or 2nd grade in public school. Sheesh! My preschooler is learning it already. No, I don't think they are pushing her or anything because it is being done at a 4 year old level and it is stinking cute. Do I think it's necessary? Yes, and no. You learn rhythms and rhyming through stories, finger plays, and chants. With this comes the ability to hear sounds and syllables in words. That is the natural way to learn. Do I think every child can learn in a natural atmosphere? Absolutely not. Some children with and without disabilities need (or want?) a little more direction and explanation. My child happens to be in the want category. She is absorbing everything they give her and using it to really throw off my groove.
Tasha continues to come up with more and more words to count and does a decent job. As is typical, she has a hard time with 1 syllable words.
This is impossible to try to teach without using a sentence. I ask her, "do you say, 'put on your ha-at', or 'put on your hat'?" She repeats it the way without an extended version of hat and we talk about how it really is only 1 syllable. But this has now opened up a whole 'nother version of this syllable counting game. It continues...
"you are gross... that's 3"
"foot and eye-ball" (Kyra answers with, "that's 4" I think Tasha was thrown off by the eyeball)
This goes on and on and on and on...
Today's note is this: STOP checking the time that I leave comments or posts.
If you continue to call me on my 2am postings I will stop writing entirely. The only exception to this rule is if whatever I have said is incoherent and/or mean. Then you can delete me, laugh at my misspellings, and harass me all you want.
Thanks for abiding by these rules. (OK, spell check just picked up 3 words I just misspelled... which ones were they?!)
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I had not visited Kyle and his wife Savannah since they had the baby because I knew that Tasha would want to hold her. We were all sniffly 8 weeks ago when she was born and I didn't want to burden a new mother with snot, even if it was probably just allergies. So what was the first thing Tasha said to me when we got to my brother's house after the blessing? You got it, "mom, I want to hold the baby." If you've not heard this it is because she says it very quietly into my ear. It's a bit cute the first 2 times, but quite annoying the next 20. Try to listen when we first walk into a room and you might catch the cuteness. Somehow my mom got a hold of Leesie and Tasha finagled her way into holding her. She's a doll and I'm sure that her outfit (lace headband, bracelet, studded white shoes, and satin blessing dress) cost more than my wedding dress.
On another note, this was the oddest testimony meeting I've been to in a while. In our home ward we always have the same 2-3 people start off, followed by a heartfelt yet lengthy story from someone, maybe a crier or 2, and we definitely go over time most months. After the bishop bore his testimony there were only 20 minutes left for testimonies. Then we waited, and waited and waited for someone to go up. Finally someone got up and I thought, OK, here we go now the influx of people will line up. Nope, after he was done we waited and waited and waited. Bill had asked me if I was going to get up to which I replied, "no, this isn't even my ward." But of course my heart was now thumping the thump of the spirit. Tasha wasn't even in my face distracting me so the thumping grew louder. Darn my nephew that was entertaining her. Another lady got up, was a little weepy, sat down and we waited. I could see my niece trying to shake it off and apparently it is a big deal for her to get up. We waited, someone else went, more thumping, waiting, and finally Savannah got up. She's so sweet and loving and appreciative and she belongs with Kyle. They are fabulous for each other. The problem was, when she sat down there was still 10 minutes left and nobody was budging. What's going on here?! How can a ward with enough Aaronic priesthood holders to pass the sacrament without help from the Elders not have enough people to fill 20 minutes of testimony time?! Thump, thump, thump.
The thing is, this particular meeting was meaningful to me. The very first time I ever attended a meeting at a LDS church was when my nephew Kyle was blessed. Now here he was blessing his daughter. It was significant and brought a rush of emotion and spirit that I couldn't contain. This is how I began my testimony this morning. (after apologizing and saying that my brother would probably chastise me later) The next 2 times I went to church was for 2 more blessings. I babysat these boys quite often in my teenage years and often times I would spend the night at their house because it would be pretty late by the time my brother and his wife got home. If I stayed after on a Saturday night, the boys would always ask me to come to church with them. I never had a dress... until I decided I wanted to go. I called my brother and asked them if they wanted to go out, spent the night, and hid a dress in the car. I waited for the question and sure enough, Kyle and TJ came through for me. I think it floored their parents that I was prepared... you know, like a missionaries dream. It was testimony Sunday, by brother got up, and I saw him cry for either the first or second time in my life. It was all uphill from there. I don't even remember the lessons or the missionaries because it just felt right. I lived on his testimony and that of his wife and her family for several years. Now I have my own.
Now as you share your testimony in a meeting it is sometimes hard to decide where to look. If you look at the people you know you might cry. If you look at strangers they might be asleep. There was one beautiful lady on the 3rd row that kept me on track with a nod or 2 in the right places. I couldn't see my mom, which was good. Bill looked amused. Kyle and Savannah were snuggling, mostly because she was still emotional from getting up herself. My brother wasn't looking at me. He was looking at the ceiling, blinking. Sweet, sentimental guy is really getting sappy in his old age. We never did talk about it, that's just how things work in our family.
Anyway, I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I bore it today. Hopefully Bill counts this as an answer to his challenge to us 2 months ago in FHE. I love him, the righteous way he exercises his priesthood, and the leadership that he gives our family. Thanks babe, and next time just wrap your arms around me and hold me down.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
So yesterday "anonymous" posts a comment and says:
"Just looking around and thought I would put my two sence in, seeing how you don't seem to have a problem with it yourself! I would never want you as a friend! How mean to share someone else secret like that! May God but a lease on your mouth because you don't seem to think it though in your head. So the filter needs to be in your mouth! Have a great day!"
I happened to read it at Crystal's house because she was trying to help me out with something on my blog and I was busting a gut at the nerve this woman has. Crystal said she would have been mad. I couldn't believe that someone would randomly make a comment like that and I thought it was hilarious. All I could think is, "are you kidding me?" Who are you woman? I have a lot of judgmental things I could say about this person but you know, I apparently need a filter on my mouth because I don't think things through in my head. (At least I think that was what she was trying to say)
Anyway, I think it may be time to go private. You will have to pass a spelling test and common sense test to be invited. This is just dumb.
My only regret is if this anonymous person really is someone I know and/or if Mo really didn't want me to tell. I thought I knew her well enough, but maybe not. Sorry Mo. I love you.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tasha likes to name all the "friends" in her class at preschool. Then she likes to quiz us and make us repeat as many names as we can. This is annoying. This is really annoying to Kyra if it is asked of her right after school when she wants to stop thinking for a while. So Kyra plays along for a while but Tasha grows impatient (really?!) and harasses her for more names. I never heard Kyra say this (and she was sitting right next to me) but Tasha says, "don't say that Kyra!" "What?" "Don't say and the rest of your frickin' friends." Kyra didn't say it. I didn't say it. But Tasha said it, used the term correctly, and I'm frickin' ticked off at myself for teaching it to her. Maybe it wasn't me though, I'm pretty sure I say freakin'. So I wish all my potty mouth friends (PAM!) would stop using these terms around me.
As Tasha is pulling down her shorts to change into pants because she has finally decided that her legs are cold, she tells me that she has to hold onto her underwear so they don't come down. "You need underwear for places like school and stuff." Well, yeah sweetie, you do. When exactly do you not need underwear?! She continues, "that would be gross if you didn't have underwear." Right again, but where do these thoughts come from?!
Did I ever post Kyra's "worm house" story? She was about Tasha's age and that was a riot!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I have no idea how long these members from Central Phoenix had been driving around and/or how many streets they had tried to go down. By what means to you suppose that they just happened to drive down a side-street in a clearly residential neighborhood, found a member walking to another member's house carrying scriptures at 9:30 in the morning? Do you think they saw the scriptures? As I gave them directions it occurred to me that they probably just exited the wrong freeway (I10, when it should have been Loop 101) and sort of tried to follow the directions of "turn left after 2 lights onto El Dorado". Hardy would have been the 4th light after the freeway so I wonder how long they had been meandering around how many streets in Tempe.
What a very odd experience.
Of course he had to thrown in a bit of wit that made me chuckle. Here's the best line he used in reference to housing:
"I'm also thinking of all of the labor that went into building cookie cutter McMansions in the most remote locations of our dear desert just so people could have the illusion of money. They could feel rich in their pillored-stucco houses miles away the city center where they pile into their SUV's to commute each day across miles of dessert."
I love it when Scott is funny, even if he's not trying to be. "McMansions"! I'm going to sit quietly in my little brick home and wait for the wolf to come knocking at my door to let him come in. No way Mr. Wolf, not by the (coarse) hairs on my chinny-chin-chin!
(Seriously, go read his post... it's good and not too long!)
So here is a cool story or two..>
> First one. Well my chinese really has improved but i do still make mistakes. So we were at this guys house up on a hill this past saturday, we were there for a funeral, we got to teach a group of catholics about the our plan of salvation. That was cool. but anyways, this house was up on the hill, they were the aboriginee people and they dont like living in the city. It was starting to get dark and i wanted to see our little city below us at night. So we walked to the side of the house but it wasnt a good view so we decided to go to the upstairs part of the house. So we started to walk to the house and i popped the question out "where are the stairs?" the second i said that i knew i messed up becasue it just felt weird coming out, and then the guy we were with and my companion just started to crack up. Then i realized what i had said. Instead of asking them where the stairs were i had asked them where the "naked body" was. Yeah, that was pretty funny, but its okay i wasnt really embarrassed i just laughed it off and corrected myself.> (My question is: who are these missionaries that know how to say "naked body"?!)
> Second story is while we were at that funeral they had a bid like dinner. They wanted us to eat with them, so we did. We had just the traditional Chinese dinner rice, meats, vegetables. But they had something special to eat. This is something that like i have never though of eating before. But my companion and I decided that we wanted to try it. We ate rat. Straight up rats that they caught in their corn fields. It was pretty nasty. It tasted like the smell of a wet dog. I would not suggest eating it. The people loved us, they laughed when we ate the rat. Some guy came up and grabbed one of the rat heads and sucked the brain out of it. That was pretty nasty. I am pretty sure that he will get some sort of disease because of that. ha ha. But it was fun to go up there. All the people really loved us we got a group picture before we left. So you guys will be able to see that sooner or later. Oh i also ate chicken gizzard. That was really nasty. That was probably grosser than the rat. Oh well, look at all the fun things that we get to do as missionaries! (Um, that's is just disgusting!)
On another note, Cory and his companion went to town on Thanksgiving to have Mexican food for dinner. I wonder what Mexican food tastes like in Taiwan. There will be no official holidays in Taiwan until the new year in which they will party for 7 days straight. Interesting. It is probably a lot easier to celebrate Christ's birth in a place like that. Hmm again.
Monday, December 1, 2008
The best part of this night was simply sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the music. We had some funky seats in the balcony but they proved to be just right. I was able to lean my head back on the wall behind me, and put my feet up on the railing (which I'm sure embarrassed my mom). I closed my eyes and just soaked in the music. All my nervous energy vanished as I listened to the first piece move from dawn ,to morning, to afternoon, to evening. Just thinking about it now makes my body melt into the chair. I think I better close up and try to get some rest.
Next year, the first Monday in December, let me know if you want to Orbit over with me. It stinks that it has to be on FHE night, but all their concerts are on Monday nights.
So what do I do with all this nervous energy? I need to direct it for the good because I'm worried that it is manifesting itself in odd ways. You know, like obnoxious ways that seem to be out of my control. I can't sit still and do nothing so if I have nothing in my hands to do or hold, I will chat it up with my neighbor and be completely inappropriate. Like today at choir. I'm going to oust myself because I feel bad for being so disruptive. Nobody was making any decisions and I could hardly follow the music or figure out the tempo, and all the people that were totally lost wouldn't admit it and were not speaking up, and it was like 30+ minutes into our practice. I wasn't really frustrated at all (which is unlike me), I just wanted to sing something I could sing. So, me and my big mouth requested singing Angels We Have Heard on High to warm up. (Yes, warm up halfway through practice.) Aah, that was so nice. I can sing. It really boosted my ego and I said so. It was followed by a familiar line that I picked up from Crystal, "It's all about me you know?!" I've never said that before, never even thought that to my recollection, but it was so absolutely true today. I think this admission was followed by a bunch of slams at my expense but I don't really remember. This nervous energy is affecting my attention and memory as well.
What is wrong with me?! This is completely irreverent behavior for a ward choir member, especially while sitting in the chapel, especially when it's the first time that this poor brother has ever met this bunch of misfit choir members. I don't know, maybe it wasn't as bad as it seems now, but maybe it was. Monique, any thoughts?
Another way this energy has taken it's toll has been in early Christmas fun. On Thanksgiving morning/afternoon I cleaned and rearranged the living room (several times) to get ready to put up the Christmas tree. What the heck?! Thanksgiving is a time of rest, porking out on yummy goodness, watching a parade, and then napping while stupid football is on. Friday was spent at my mom's playing in the snow and raking pine needles. Again I ask, what the heck? I'm always exhausted when I make it to my mom's house and almost always take a nap once I get there. I even had a baby I could have used as an excuse to cuddle and lay down with, but I couldn't sit still. Saturday I was practically bouncing out of the seat at the temple, went shopping, and then came home to put the lights on our Christmas tree. If you haven't read Bill's version of my lighting of the tree maybe that will shed some light (no pun intended) on what's really going on at our house.
I guess the toughest thing is the sitting still part. Something has to be moving. I seem fine if I'm typing away like I am now. (I don't know if I'm making sense or not, but the nerves seem a little better) I'm good if I'm talking, but that's not always a good thing (see above example). If my mind is churning I seem to be able to concentrate. (I can read my scriptures and understand them, and have gotten through another few chapters in the vampire series) But what about rest?! Shouldn't I need to sleep? When is it all going to come crashing down?! Seriously, I sleep 3-5 hours a night and then I have to get up before I wake Bill, the dog, or the kids up. I think I've taken 2 naps in the 2 weeks that I've been keeping this pace, and both of them were more for Tasha's sake than mine. (I stayed next to her on the bed and read after I woke up and wanted her to stay asleep)
I've been awake since 2:30ish and am running out of quiet things to do. Maybe I'll go finish my advent calendar since today is the first of December. YIKES!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
- Sis. Levi smiling when she sings this song. It made me giggle because I don't see her smiling when she conducts very often. Maybe I'm just not usually looking.
- A little CTR 6 girl that always waves wildly as she passes by us and sits a few seats in front of us.
- My husband being a worthy priesthood holder and his friend inviting him to the circle to bless their new baby.
- The sacrament and my opportunity to renew my covenants with my Heavenly Father each and every week.
- Youth speakers who give short talks and look up briefly, probably because their mom told them to or they learned it at school.
- A talk on obedience. "I will go, I will do, the things the Lord commands." I'm back in that place, after a short sabbatical.
- Colored pencils. They don't mark on beautiful dresses like markers do.
- Sweet babies reaching over the pew to pull on my shoe.
- Funny toddlers laying on the floor and eating a gummy that I believe had been there at least a week. (I didn't tell his momma)
- Standing to sing a patriotic song. I giggled again. What's wrong with me?!
- Bishop Randall and his awesomeness. (If that is not a word, it should be and it would list him as an example.) Ask and ye shall receive: I asked him for a copy of his talk and he emailed it to me. I'll get to that tomorrow morning.
- Email and working computers. (we only have one that works, but I like it)
- Talks that bring it all together and make a lot of sense, at least to me. I must have a youth mind, because Duclos is in charge of the young men now and this is the first time that what he's said has really hit home with me.
- 16 cable channels.
- My husband realizing that the grin on my face has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that "da Bears" just got a first down because although I was looking at the TV, I wasn't actually watching it.
- Fresh pinto beans that actually get soft once they are cooked.
- A daughter that can follow a recipe for cornbread and has almost mastered the cleaning up part as well. Yum.
- Sad 4 year olds that actually let them hold you when they are upset.
- Christmas trees with twinkle lights.
- Dishwashers and the "dish fairy" that comes and empties the dishwasher.
- Harry Connick Jr. He is just plain talented. How can I possibly know it's his song just by the introductory instrumentals? Nice voice, and not too bad to look at either.
- Cheerful people that dot their i's with little hearts.
- The temple. (so sad that it will be closed for 2 weeks, what will I do?!)
- Temple lights. Who wants to go?!
- Blackberry pie... even though I haven't had a slice. I'd like it heated with real vanilla ice cream, on the side.
- Choir practice, directors, songs I can sing, sectional practice, and fun. I got the giggles again! It must be something about the music.
- Cell phones.
- Good friends.
- Christ's birth.
- New York.
- Family, my mom especially.
- Old people.
- Young people.
- "In between people."
- Sleeping babies that sleep on me even though I'm not their mom.
- Relief Society.
- Fun service projects and making plans to get together with friends to sew, sew, sew.
- A husband that realizes that you are at your wits end, sends you off to choir practice an hour early, lets you come home an hour late, AND makes you a pizza-dilla for dinner.
- Sleeping children.
I'm gonna stop here though because this is just getting out of hand. Count your own blessings, it will put a smile on your face, and might give you the giggles!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
2. You're a flat, lying, curd dog. Pure Country (George Strait really can't act, but he sings well and isn't too bad on the eyes)
3. You're killing me Petey! Remember the Titans (we use this quote a lot when we can't believe what someone said or did.)
4. You mocked me once, never do it again. Princess Bride, of course. (I say this to Bill a lot)
5. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Finding Nemo (this is good if you are doing something over and over and want to forget that it is a really boring task)
6. You broke THAT jaw? Tango and Cash
7. My boyfriend likes them because they make his junk smell like pie. (Juno, this movie is worth the watch just for the unbelievable banter between the characters)
8. No, what you heard was the President's girlfriend telling her boyfriend that she had a bad day. An American President
9. Who else would order lettuce and tomato without something like tuna? Sleepless in Seattle
10. It-lee? What are you doing in It-lee?! Only You (Fisher Steven's character Larry says it)
The bonus quote was said by William Petersens character, Cecil "Stud" Cantrell in Long Gone. I'm ashamed to admit that I watched this movie about 10 too many times while I was in high school. My friend and I thought it was a riot. When Bill went to rent this movie about 5 years ago he could only find it in one teeny video store in Scottsdale. He stopped by on his way home from work and couldn't believe it was only available on VHS and was cheaper to buy the dang thing than it was to rent it. So now we own it if you want to borrow it. But like I said, don't judge me. It's a baseball movie, what can I say? I love baseball.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Fast forward a week and we make it to this Friday...
Bless the Lee's for taking Tasha in their van for the drive up to Forest Lakes! What a delightfully argument-free road trip that was. I can even deal with sitting in the back seat while Cyrena was carsick because I did not have to listen to the smallest little bit of whining from either of my children. Aah, sweet peace, even sweeter with the addition of a wonderful Christmas CD that Crystal gave me right before we left. Gotta love me a little Harry Conick Jr. Yes, yes.
But the biggest surprise of all was SNOW!!! There was snow on the ground at my mom's house. Not just any snow either. Snow that could be rolled into a giant snowball to form a snowman. Snow that could be packed together to build the wall of a fort. Snow that made the best snowballs that I have ever thrown. It was perfect 35ish degree weather, the sun was shining, and we had great friends with us to deflect some of the arguing that would have undoubtedly ensued had they not been there. The kids built a snowman first thing, but then sacrificed it to build their wall larger. We launched snowballs at each other throughout the day and the kids didn't do too much whining about being hit. The adults had to be careful with our aim, so it was probably good that it didn't get too competive. They then sacrificed their wall for the sheer fun of destroying it. Silly kids that never see snow! We had lots of wet clothes, used the dryer a few times, and they enjoyed some hot cocoa to warm their little bodies. I was sweating just watching Cyrena drink her hot drink, inside, with her coat still on. My mom got to play with Brandon a little bit and witnessed Tasha's absolute obsession with that little boy. She also learned that Ethan just really wasn't going to respond when you call him Nathan.
We had some lunch, played some cards, raked some pine needles, put up my mom's Christmas tree, played some bananagrams, ate some dinner, and did a lot of laughing. If you know me, and like me, you like my mom. I learned to laugh from my mom. Not only do we appreciate a good joke or a funny situation, we both know how to laugh at ourselves and things that others might be offended by. Things like "oxygen day". Wednesday at Fry's is what Crystal has named "oxygen day" because they give a discount to senior citizens and all the old farts are wheeling around with their oxygen tanks in tow. Now I know my mom, and I know that she would appreciate this new term, but the Lee's don't know her as well. I don't know how the subject came up, or who said the term first, but it was out there and they went immediately into defensive mode trying to make it sound a little less anti-old people. Again I say it, my mom is the best. She thought it was a riot and there was no tension whatsoever.
I forgot how much time my mom spent coming to our ward last spring after she had foot surgery. She knew Crystal as my "short, dark-haired friend" from Relief Society and said she always appreciated her comments during the lessons. (The "short" is in reference to her hair and comes with a hand motion above the ear because my mom can't talk without her hands.) She also knew Jared and was used to seeing him on the stand with the bishopric. My mom said she enjoyed talking with Jared and was surprised that they knew some of the same people from the same small little town. The funniest part though was when she said he was such a "typical man". This has to do with the putting up of the Christmas tree. I was busy with Tasha so I didn't see or hear the whole thing. All I know is my mom told Bill and Jared how the 3 piece tree was supposed to go together, they didn't listen and did it their own way, then they took it apart and reassembled it the same way my mom said it needed to be done. Typical men.
All the kids did really well most of the day. Tasha had a moment when Derek and Ethan were playing together and she felt left out, but I think hunger was taking over then. Cyrena was a bit sad when all the kids went inside and she wasn't done in the snow. Ethan and Tasha annoyed their mothers as we tried to help them play a game that was way over their heads. The real meltdown came when it was time to leave. We were making seating arrangements in the vans and Tasha just lost it! I don't know how Ethan and Derek faired through the final decision (each family rides in their own van) because I was inside with Tasha screaming and running at the door as I deflected her little 30 pound body back into the living area. All I know for sure is that had I not just spent the whole day with Crystal I would not have handled the situation nearly as well. She has this calming influence on me that allows me to let things roll off and act more like an adult. There would have been a lot of yelling (on my part) and crying (from both kids) and my mom would have been devastated as we left with 2 screaming children. As it turns out, I never lost it, both my kids calmed down, we found an amicable solution for everyone, and were all able to hug and kiss my mom before we left. When I called her later she didn't even mention the incident, so I know she isn't dwelling on it.
So, for all her worrying and fretting over icey, snowy roads, my mom is just going to have to live with the fact that we had a safe trip and no harm came to any of us. I'm sure to use it against her in the future. We'll laugh about it, and she'll keep on worrying. Worrying is one thing that I did not inherit from my mom, and it drives her crazy! You're the best, mom, and Bill agrees. He said it a few times today.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like to wrap the packages and not label them to keep the kids (and Bill) guessing. I have a way to tell, but they don't know until Christmas day.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, I'm allergic to pine
3. When do you put up the tree? Whenever we get around to it, but before Christmas Eve
4. When do you take the tree down? Whenever we get around to it, hopefully before Valentines Day
5. Do you like eggnog? About a 1/4 cup per year. Eggnog shakes on the other hand... yummy!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? A pom-pom making kit that I did while my grandpa drank coffee and the rest of my family slept.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My nephews as they grew up and had everything they could possibly need or want
8. Easiest person to buy for? Kyra
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Starbucks coffee, from a student. (It's the thought that counts!)
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Miracle on 34th Street (I believe!), Charlie Brown is also good, and I like to watch When Harry Met Sally even though it's not really a Christmas show.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Black Friday, if I'm lucky
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Last year I found a car sponge that we had put in Bill's stocking the year before and he hadn't used it. We put it back in his stocking and he said, "didn't I get one of these last year?"
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Peppermint bark, but I'm off chocolate this year
16. Lights on the tree? of course: some twinkly, some solid, a bubble strand, and some gingerbread men (I try to pick up a funky strand at the after-Christmas sales)
17. Favorite Christmas song? Angels We Have Heard On High (I can almost sing the alto line without help!)
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Whatever it takes. Next year we'll be at Disneyworld!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Probably, if there are 8. (plus Rudolph, and Olive)
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? An angel until Christmas Day, then the new star appears
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning Santa leaves a gift unwrapped for everyone and the stockings are fair game, then we open the rest together.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Bell ringers, they make me feel guilty
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? it varies from year to year
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Christmas Eve we have chili and tamales that I helped assemble
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Peace on earth, financial security, good health, a happy family, and good friends.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I was walking past the livingroom, listening to the girls argue with each other about nothing in particular. I said, "Hey, mean girl?" and Tasha answered, "what?". Are you laughing? I was.
Then I open an email that was in response to an email that I had sent earlier that day. We'd been debating back and forth for a while and I wasn't making much sense for who knows what reason. I think I ususally make sense, but today was an off day. I finally found a quote that totally summed up my thoughts and sent it away. The response I got? Here goes: "That is a coherent, well-thought out statement.Where'd you quote it from, cause I know you didn't think it up." OOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUCH! I actually said that out loud. The kids asked me if I was alright. I think I'll be fine. What a riot.
Now I'm going to go enjoy a scrumptious turkey pot pie that I actually cooked all by myself, from scratch. Well, the crust was sort-of by scratch, and looks atrocious, but it all smells delish!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
1. Man, this dude's got dogs. I don't do dogs.
2. You're a flat, lying, curd dog.
3. You're killing me Petey!
4. You mocked me once, never do it again.
5. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.
6. You broke THAT jaw?
7. My boyfriend likes them because they make his junk smell like pie.
8. No, what you heard was the President's girlfriend telling her boyfriend that she had a bad day.
9. Who else would order lettuce and tomato without something like tuna?
10. It-lee? What are you doing in It-lee?!
The bonus quote that only Bill will get. Don't judge me, it was a memorable line:
"When God made man, he made 'em outa string. He had a little left so he made that little thing. When God made woman, he made her outa lace. He didn't have enough so he left that little space. Thank you God!"
Hint: The actor played a lead role in one of the CSI's and he was very young in the movie. In CSI his character really loves bugs.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I went to visit Elizabeth in the hospital this morning. She's doing great and taking the whole diabetes (type1) thing in stride. She chatted about all the different places that they had poked her and was very at ease with the whole thing. She had to eat up all her breakfast within a half an hour and then they counted up carbs to determine how much insulin to give her. Sheesh!
Scott and Sara seem to be doing pretty well with all this new information. I guess Scott has blogged about, but I haven't read that yet. I'm sure I only got a glimpse of how drastic life will change while I was visiting them. But anyway, back to Joshua...
Josh had said a couple of times while I was there that he was hungry and both his parents wanted to take him down to get something to eat. They did, however, need to stick around to talk to one of the 3 different people I saw come in to give directions in their new quest. It's not like Josh was starving or anything. In fact, he was pretty matter-of-fact about the whole thing and distracted by Handy Manny on the TV. (A bonus about staying in the hospital-unlimited TV time!) So I offered to take Josh down to the cafeteria for them and Sara was happy to let me. He was hesitant at first, but I had him take the money from his mom so he could pay.
Sweet Boy!! He held my hand all the way to the cafeteria as we looked for signs pointing us in the right direction. We passed a couple of bunnies and he said, "What are they doing here? Bunnies don't live in Arizona." We talked about how the Smith's had bunnies but he told me they died. See that? A man that is secure enough with his emotions that he can talk about a sensitive topic. Then we came to the train tracks that they are putting up. We looked and looked, but could not find a train for those tracks. We determined that the tracks must not be done yet so they couldn't let the train on. We followed the arrows and the word cafeteria and made our way down the hallways. Then we could smell the food. That was cute.
After we checked out the limited selection of breakfast items, we ended up over by the grill in line for some sausage. He still held my hand, and the money. A doctor smiled at us and said to Josh, "Oh, how nice. Are you taking your mom out to breakfast?" I clarified that I was not his mom, but indeed he was my date for the morning. The doctor talked with us off and on while conversing with the nurse next to him, and taking at least one phone call and answering a page. During this time Joshua and I were trying to determine what exactly he would like to eat. One sausage, two? Eggs? A Pancake? He definitely wanted some pudding and I'm not his mom so I can let him have a little, right? It's got milk in it. It's almost our turn to order so I asked him again what he wanted, "One egg? One or two sausages?" This is where the sweet manners of a kind date kick in. He clarified, "Two sausages, one for me and one for you. One egg. One pancake. Two drinks, one for me and one for you." Aaah, is your heart melting yet. I wasn't really planning on eating anything other than a little fruit, but who can resist that sweet boy?!
We got out grill stuff, I put some chocolate pudding in a 2 oz cup and Josh topped it with a grape. Lime Gatorade for breakfast, really? If I told you that was one of the better choices would you be surprised? I seriously couldn't find where the good-for-you drinks were. No milk or juice that I could see. Gatorade seemed the lesser of 2 evils, right after soda. I couldn't even see the water button on the soda machine. Of all the cafeterias I've been to (it's not many), hospital cafeterias seem to be lacking in basic nutritional choices. Should I be surprised at this, or is this exactly what is wrong with our society. I didn't bring any of this up with Josh though. I didn't want to get too political with him since it was our first date.
The doctor made another comment to us and the cashier was very helpful with his obvious lack of experience in money management. We "ate" a delightful breakfast with some more good conversation. The talk was mostly about his family and I could tell his thoughts were still with them. He didn't eat much, mostly pudding and some Gatorade, so we put a lid on the leftovers to take back to the room with us. This was not until he made sure I ate my sausage and offered me the other half of his pancake. He also expressed his concern when I had not had any of my drink yet.
Then he held my hand all the way back to the room.