It was a long day, and the kids went to bed easily after a carpet picnic of pizza a chocolate. Tasha finally decided to give her grandmother some room to sleep.
Monday, June 30, 2008
It was a long day, and the kids went to bed easily after a carpet picnic of pizza a chocolate. Tasha finally decided to give her grandmother some room to sleep.
Earrings, sunglass chains, butterfly in the hair, and anklets… (sorry, I'll upload pictures later)
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Last night my mom got to catch up with all of her generation. Interestingly enough, most of them are her uncles but are her age or younger. Her mother Leacy, was from a first marriage. After Leacy’s mother died, her father remarried and had another slew of kids with his second wife. There were 13 kids in all: Iva (just turned 100 this summer), Lewis, Leacy (my grandmother),TD, Alice, LeRoy, Edward, Neil,Tommy, Melvin and Alvin. (The last 6 boys were from the second wife) I really only have one uncle, my mom’s brother Ray, but I will refer to all of them as uncle since “great-uncle” would get just plain annoying. I took pictures of all of them and will give them each their own post, because they deserve it, but here are the remaining 5 brothers in all their laughing glory!
Alvin and Melvin (they are twins), Tommy, Neil, and LeRoy (the oldest brother) Aunt Iva is still living in Texas, just turned 100, but was unable to make the trip to NM.
Kyra has been a trooper so far in the car. Two, 5-6 hour trips and she hasn’t strangled her sister yet. Maybe she is a little older than our last road trip, maybe it was the threat that I made her this morning, or maybe it’s a little bit of both. Thursday morning as we were getting ready to leave they were arguing over something ridiculous. I pulled them each aside individually for a kind, motherly lecture. Kyra’s went something like this: “When you were Tasha’s age I traveled everywhere with you because you were not in school. I could just as easily do the same thing with Tasha and leave you at home. She is fine when she doesn’t have to compete with you and I can easily leave you at home. I don’t want to leave you here, so please prove to me that you deserve to come.” I actually saw awareness hit her solemn, almost-10-year-old face as she agreed to do her best to keep the peace. (Was this wrong?! My mom seemed to think that was a pretty harsh thing to tell her.)
On our way into Tucumcari we stopped at the cemetery where my grandparents are buried to place some flowers by their headstone. Then we drove by their old home which is in a sad state with dead grass, missing bushes, and junk strewn all over the back yard. I don’t know if it is possible or not, but I think my grandparent’s neighbor still lives next door with the same dogs. OK, I’m sure it can’t be the same dogs 20 years later, but they still are the yappin’est things direct from my childhood memories. I told the kids of the giant 3wheeled bikes that I used to ride on up and down the empty neighborhood street. When we came to the end of the block I saw the house with the concrete turn-around spot that I used sometimes. Again, is it possible that the original owners were still there with the same little trike tipped over in front of the porch?!
At one point on the drive, about 40 miles outside of Tucumcari, my mom mentioned that it was now that she usually became sad. It was then that she realized she should be going to visit “mama and daddy” but that they weren’t going to be there to greet her. We recalled how they would always be sitting out on their front porch waiting for us to pull up, or else they would be opening the screen door before we had a chance to put the car in park. We used to make that trip in one long 11 hour drive, with no cell phones. They must have been looking out the windows for hours just anticipating our arrival. That is dedication, and they sure were something special. I am so grateful that their temple work has been done and that I can look forward to meeting them in heaven again. I never knew my grandfather to be without a cane or hearing aids, so it will be a grand time when I make him chase me down for a hug and whisper “I love you” in his ear. I can still smell his deodorant, taste my grandmother’s cookies, and feel their loving embrace. Maybe they have followed us to Logan and are here with me right now as I listen to the hum of the room air-conditioner and watch my children flop back and forth on their beds by the glare of the computer screen.
Seriously, where are my mom and I supposed to sleep?!
The girls maintained themselves pretty well until around 1pm or so. I called for quiet time and eventually, after much whining, pushing, and moaning, this is what I found:
We arrived in the much anticipated Pie Town for a late lunch and pie. Much to our chagrin, our favorite eatery (Pie-oneer) is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday so we ended up at the only other establishment in town. We ordered 3 pieces of pie: chocolate crème (my mom confirmed that they were not trying to pass off chocolate pudding as crème before she ordered it), peanut butter (the pregnant waitress’s favorite), and blackberry (heated, but not with ice cream). Hands down, the best was a swipe of the chocolate with a full scoop of peanut butter. Yum. It wasn’t until we left that I informed my mom of the cost of the pie: $4.75 and $3.99 per slice. Yep, the supreme pie was just as costly as my full pork chop dinner. I guess that’s what you get for ordering pie in Pie Town.
Ahhh, yes! Thank you ABQ and this Country Inn. Wi-Fi is a beautiful thing and I have only seen one cowboy hat since we have arrived (and it was on a lady!?!). I love my relatives but the funky hick towns we have to go through and stay in really make me wonder. I have some journaling I've done over the past few days that I will post date on the day that they happened. This is mostly for Bill, who is apparently home with a stomach flew or virus. Or, maybe he just misses us that much! Poor guy.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Anyway, it was Bill that told me to take the laptop and send out a play-by-play of the trip. I laughed and told him I was headed to New Mexico, Hicksville, home state to more podunk towns than I care to think of. I told him they aren’t going to have internet service, much less Wi-Fi! I was right. I’m typing all my antidotes in a Word Document and will hopefully get a chance to post them before I come home. Our first hotel had cell phone service but no internet. (I think the leather skinned smokers sitting outside the office would have thought a laptop was in reference to some type of domestic animal) Now, at our second hotel, we have no cell phone service, but the computer does detect the Yucca Network, it’s just not wireless. Maybe by Sunday we will find some sort of civilized city (Albuquerque) that can accommodate all of our needs, including a swimming pool for the kids. Until then I’ll try to keep a running record of hysterics, insanity, and hill-billy antics of all my relatives. I’ll try to keep the entries more like me and less like a running record, but no promises.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I'm also about to leave for New Mexico with my mom so I'm feeling pre-mature withdrawals from the internet. I'm afraid I won't have access until July 7th! YIKES. The last time I went that long I totally didn't miss it and debated not coming back. Just a warning ya'll... you better write now or I might not ever read it.
8 of his TShirts
2 of his Polo shirts
2 of my shirts
2 pairs of his dress pants
1 pair of his jeans
1 pair of my capris
2 skirts (one of mine, one of Kyra's)
2 of Tasha's skorts
1 pair of Kyra's shorts
1 pair of Tasha's leggings
3 of Kyra's shirts
3 of Tasha's shirts
1 of Tasha's nightgowns
2 of Tasha's dresses
1 of Kyra's church dresses
(Now start singing to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas, final verse-the 5 is nice and lo-0-0ng)
5 pairs of shorts
3 black socks
2 off-white bras
and a red and whi-ite checkered dish towel
Monday, June 23, 2008
T: What are you doing?
Me: Making dessert.
Me: Making dessert.
T: Can I have some?
Me: No, you can have some later.
(2 minutes later, as I am still assembling it)
T: Mom, can I have some wizzert?
T: Can I have some wizzert?
Me: No. You're bizzerk.
Miranda got married and I think they are looking for a new place to live.
Charlotte can't have kids. Harry is great and they might adopt.
Samantha has breast cancer and is in love with a young hottie.
But most importantly...Carrie is dating Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Ooh baby, ooh. Mikhail is one of those classic men that just gets better looking with age. And the fact that I can spell his name without Google gives away my age. Yep, I watched White Nights repeatedly as a teenager. He and Gregory Hines could dance. But what is it about accents?!
Last night, Bill broke his vow to never again let me read one of his papers and he handed me his sexual harassment paper. I'm sure it's mostly because they have had many good debates in his class and he wanted to share this information with me. It could also be because harassment is largely a woman's issue and he thinks I care about that stuff. I stopped periodically and would ask him a question because the whole thing didn't make sense. His paper made sense, but sexual harassment doesn't make sense. The whole thing is a big crock. One of the odd changes to the law has been changing the wording of how we judge whether sexual harassment has occurred. Apparently the standard for evaluating a situation used to be done through a reasonable person's point of view. Now the law states that using the word person is not enough, it now says reasonable woman. Bill was completely irritated at me because I think that distinction is exactly why we have so many problems with our legal system. He gave up on me last night but emailed me this today:
"The reasonable woman standard is a legal fiction alternative to the reasonable person.It is used in sexual harassment litigation in some courts in the United States.It recognizes a difference between men and women regarding the effect of unwanted sexual interaction.Because women historically have been more vulnerable to rape and sex-related violence than have men, these courts believe that the proper perspective for evaluating a claim of sexual harassment is that of the reasonable woman."
Obviously Bill has done quite a bit more research on this subject and even completed a presentation this evening on the subject, mocking me in front of his class. I understand the need for laws on the matter but is it too much to ask that people in general act in a reasonable way?
But then again, I was just this weekend accused of having too much faith in humanity. I imagine that is true, but I'd be a sad case if I changed who I am to fit into the way the law works. So for now I'll just make sure Bill doesn't switch back to the Hooter Girl Swim Suit competition and try to keep this woman as reasonable as I can. (And as you know, this is sometimes easier said than done!)
Saturday, June 21, 2008
These girls in Massachusetts want to have babies. WHY?! According to an 18 year old mother and recent graduate of the school, some of her now pregnant schoolmates used to approach her in the hall and tell her how lucky she was to have a baby. "They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally." Are you kidding me?! How selfish can you be? Am I being completely insensitive to kids who possibly have no home life, no parents that care, and nothing to do? I don't know, but I do know that I would (and did) think long and hard before I had a kid.
So why might it seem like a good option to have a child while you are still in school? Hmm, maybe it's because the high school they attend provides FREE DAYCARE so the mothers can finish school. Actually, that does sound like a solid plan: have a baby freshman year, get 4 years of free daycare, struggle for one year then boom, the kid is in school and you are set. Why didn't I think of that?! (sorry, I just read an article on sarcasm...I hope all of your right frontal lobes are in tack so you can pick upon it) You could be under 40 by the time your kid leaves the house and free to do whatever you want.
I am just amazed at the thoughts people have on the topic of teenage pregnancy, and the comments that were posted on this article. Some people were chastizing the Catholic community that won't let the school pass out condoms on site. (Again, did you read the story?! These girls WANT to get pregnant, duh!) Others are blaming the school, parents, society, and lack of moral standards. One person did suggest that we give credit where credit was due and let the girls take responsibility for their actions. I'm not sure how they become responsible when they get 6 hours a day off from motherhood, but hey, at least they have to tend to them at night when they are supposed to be doing their homework. (I'm sure the school has some sort of late assignment clause that enables the mothers of night-time waking infants the chance to make up work. Let's call it "the baby spit up on my homework" clause.) Sadly, I just read here that there are only 7 spots in the daycare, 8 girls have applied, and several are on the wait list. I don't imagine the 17 girls thought about that one did they? (I didn't while making my mock plan to go back in time and change my life plan.)
Here's some insight on teenage pregnancy that I haven't heard ever before in the main stream media: (from Phineus) "Until a hundred years ago and still in many parts of the world girls were and are getting married and having children precisely at this age. Our modern ways don't necessarily jive with our needs that are dictated by our inborn time clocks.
Instead of questioning these and other girls, we should be questioning the need of 13 years of school in order to wait on tables and style hair. These are legitimate jobs, and many people are happy doing simple jobs with simple wages. For such work 13 years of schooling doesn't fill any mandate, and they could other-wise be getting on with their lives as our ancestors of recent times."
I'll just leave you with that thought because I have no idea what the point of this post is. I have no opinion on teenage pregnancy and/or how to prevent it. It's another one of those subjects where schools and politicians are being forced to babysit, literally.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Anyway, enough comic CTR 6 relief, back to my original point. On page 131 it reads:
"Virtue is one of the most prominent principles that enables us to have confidence in approaching our Father who is in heaven in order to ask wisdom at his hand. Therefore, if thou wilt cherish this principle in thine heart, thou mayest ask with all confidence before him and it shall be poured out upon thine head."
The above quote is from the Prophet in 1840 and has a scripture reference to D&C121:45-46. The word that caught my attention was the word virtue. I hear the word used often: "Patience is a virture"; by virtue of...; or people declare things virtuous. Even one of our Articles of Faith tells that we seek after things that are virtuous and lovely. But I was intrigued by the reference above that virtue is a principle required to talk with our Father in heaven. Not that I doubt it, I just wanted a little more insight into what it might mean.
The best fitting definition that I could find in Kyra's student dictionary was "the right way of thinking and acting; good living; morality." Without getting into a long debate over what the "right way" would be, for the sake of my post I would like to suggest that there may be many right ways. Even when it comes to the gospel, there are many ways of approaching projects, callings, and topics, and they may all be ways that can be seen as good and right in the way the Lord would have us do them. I think this is why callings shift from person to person as the needs of the ward and stake changes; the virtues of one person may be necessary during a certain point in time, while another person's virtues are needed at another time.
So how does all of this work in the realm of personal revelation and prayer? Well, I think the virtues of each person are what makes personal revelation possible and necessary. The fact that we all have different strengths and weaknesses is why the Lord can answer all of our prayers in a manner that is right for us. Isn't it possible that 2 people could go to the Lord with the same question and get 2 very different answers? I believe they could. I believe that 2 people could be living equally virtuous lives and following the Lord's commandments, and that the Lord could require very different things from each of those people.
Apparently I am having Relief Society withdrawals. I need to have real life adult conversations with people on gospel topics. Thanks for "listening" to my churchy post and let me know what did or did not come up during the lesson that I missed. Maybe I'm way off and would have sat in the back of RS all disturbed and wishing I was in Primary. Now I'll go prepare my lesson for Sunday titled, "Blessed are the Peacemakers." Hmm, I'll save all my witty comments on that topic...
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
We sat down at one of those wooden tables with the giant spool seats. We spread out our lunch: some sort of fruit, probably grapes; an avocado sandwich for me; and a PB&J for Tasha, cut into 4 pieces. I put 2 of the pieces of sandwich out in front of Tasha, then put the lid on the container that held the 2 remaining pieces. If you know Tasha, then you know that food doesn't mean much to her. She will take it or leave it, unless she's really, really hungry. We chatted and ate, then the most bizarre thing happened. Within about 10 seconds a squirrel jumped up on the table, eyed Tasha's sandwich, ran over, took it, jumped off the table and started eating it on the ground. We watched this happen in what I thought was shocked amusement, but found out that it was shocked horror from my 3 year old's perspective. It took me a few seconds to realize what had happened, then I started to chuckle. I looked at Tasha and she was not happy. Not amused. Not even the slightest bit aware that something extraordinary had just happened. To say that Tasha was upset would be an understatement, she was crying and still gripping the other piece of her sandwich. It took quite a bit to get her to calm down.
Is this the funniest thing that you've ever heard? A hungry squirrel swiping a little girl's sandwich right before her eyes? It's not like we left it sitting out and it came while we were gone. It was crazy, and hilarious. I had to try so hard not to laugh because Tasha was truly distraught. By the time we had gotten home, taken a nap, and picked up Kyra from school she was a little bit calmer and was capable of retelling the story to her sister. She also told Bill when he got home from work. I had to laugh with Kyra and Bill away from Tasha because to her this was no joking matter. She had been wronged by a squirrel and I'm pretty sure she was plotting revenge.
So why post this over a year later? Well, the subject came up at dinner this evening. Bill and I started chuckling and Kyra said, "oh yeah, when the squirrel swiped Tasha's sandwich". We were all smiling as we turned to Tasha to see if she remembered. Oh yeah, she remembered. Her face had gone sour, eyes narrowed, eyebrows furrowed, and her mouth was all tight. She is not happy with squirrels and now she has even more ammunition on them. We have the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and she has watched those fiendish little rats scoop up Veruca 'cuz she's a bad nut. Squirrels are bad news, and if you don't believe me, just ask Tasha.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
1 15 oz can of shoe peg corn, drained
1 15 oz can of black eyed peas, drained
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
Pour this dressing over and stir:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
Just before serving add and stir:
2-3 avocados, chopped
Substitutions I've made...
Regular corn for shoe peg (the smaller, the better)
Navy or white beans for black eyed peas
This makes a huge amount of dip so you really need a crowd to eat it up. The avocados start to turn black after you cut them so it isn't very good after a day or two. The vinegar dressing makes this a very unique variation to traditional guacamole and the addition of so many greens makes the dip go much further with fewer avocados.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Couples know that laughter is a superglue-like bonding experience, able to achieve intimacy and smooth over ruffled feathers with a single snort. Laughter in the context of love puts you at ease with one another. You can feel perfectly comfortable being ridiculously silly with one another, in ways you would never dream of with anyone else. Couples who frequently make each other laugh are blessed with long, happy marriages, and are envied more than any svelte Hollywood pair.
The best compliment Bill gave me was late one night after I had a horrible mom day at home with a young Kyra. I was grouchy and annoyed and a little ticked off that Bill was making me read an email that was forwarded to him. Blah, blah. I have no idea what was in the email, but I do know that I was laughing so hard that I was crying. Tears streaked down my checks as I tried to snort out what was so funny. Bill sat by laughing hysterically at ME, not the joke. I'm sure I even had to get up to go to the bathroom before I finished reading. After we both calmed down Bill said he knew it was funny and laughed when he first read it but, "everything is funnier with you, that's why I love you!" Aah, isn't that sweet?! Now you can envy Bill and I more than you do Brad and whomever.
Does this mean that I should just let the kids hash it out because eventually they will laugh about it?! I'm just kidding here, but it does amaze me when they are arguing one minute and rolling in laughter the next. Tasha is such a nut sometimes and Kyra is just a fun kid.
Families benefit from shared laughter as well. Siblings can become best friends. After all, it is hard to dislike a person that makes you laugh, even if that person is an irritating sibling you have often wanted to strangle in the past. It can only happen if you spend time talking and playing together. Reminiscing and laughing about the past has a way of soothing hurts and grudges, and cements those relationships into some of the strongest bonds we can experience in life.
I like to hear the funny stories that my friends tell. I smile when I think of my friend doing funky dances to make her kid laugh instead of yell. I laugh out loud when my friend calls to get something off her chest that is so ridiculous that only I will understand. I vent and complain, and then apologize and laugh. Bill noted once that I went "from 0-to-pissed off in .6 seconds" and that statement alone got us laughing so hard that he had to pull over so we wouldn't crash.
The article talks about the psychological benefits of laughter and points out that often it is real life interactions that are the most important. You don't need to spend hours at the comedy club, just some quality time laughing with people you love. As much as I like to have deep conversations with people, there are also times when I just need a good laugh...
Friday, June 6, 2008
This is what it looks like when your preschooler gets her own yogurt for lunch and there is nothing but strawberry in the front...
Thursday, June 5, 2008
"As a society, we celebrate competence. We give awards for excellence. We prize innovation. We worship individual accomplishment.
God is different. He chooses the inadequate. He honors the humble. He works through the meek. He makes the last first. He prefers broken hearts to sturdy competence."
Boy, that sure does explain how I got so many of my callings...
Monday, June 2, 2008
Deep in conversation, April and I were interrupted by Tasha who was horrified and yelled, "Mo-om, Justin's going to kiss me!"
I looked in the rear view mirror to see Tasha's arms stretched out to push Justin away, and Justin sitting back in his car seat looking quite innocent. Kyra was quick to clarify and tell us that Justin hurt Tasha some how and was going to kiss her owie to make it all better.
Then came the retort that every parent wants to hear her daughter say, "Justin, I just don't want you kissing me!" It was clear, concise, and to the point. There is just no messing with Tasha.