Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Modern cynics and skeptics... see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing."
John F. Kennedy

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas PJ's

Mickey Mouse on Payton's feet.
He and his 2 new buddies will sleep well tonight.
Thanks Momo!
Merry Christmas to all and (hopefully soon...)
to all a Good Night!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Because April Said...

April overheard me having a conversation with Pat at church today. She said it was classic and totally bloggable. So, here it is, my life:

I got an MP3 player over a year ago.
I just got music loaded onto it last month.
I can now use said MP3 player.
Until last Thursday when I let Tasha use it.
She changed the settings.
It was all written in Spanish.
And it would only play one song.

Anywho, Pat fixed it and now it should be fine. I haven't really checked it out though. Maybe tomorrow morning... if I get to the gym.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Did it...

I ate 2 pounds of M&M's all by myself.

I don't know if I should be proud or ashamed.

Proud that I was able to hide them from my family for 2 weeks, or ashamed that all that chocolate is inside of me. I mixed a bag of plain with a bag of mint and they were oh-so-good!

Towards the end there (it did take 2 weeks), I couldn't hide them from PT anymore. It was easiest to sneak them when nobody was home (duh), but he figured out where I had them and would point and say "mo-0h". He only asked for "more" on that last day though. I recognized the problems that could arise if my one year old was pointing for something that his sisters and father did not know exist, so we finished them off and I showed him the empty bowl. "dall-dun" (arms waving). Yes, my son, they are "all done".

Now, the real question is this: do I try to pull it off again?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Seeing Christmas Through New Eyes

Deiter F. Uchtdorf gave a beautiful talk at a Christmas devotional this year. You can click here to hear his talk, but I'm going to include the notes I took below as my gift to you this Christmas. He suggests 3 things to do this season to celebrate:

1. Rejoice in the birth of our Savior
  • When Christ was born the angels sang in heaven, the veil was parted, and all could hear the good tidings of great joy.
  • Wise men fell down and worshipped Him and gave gifts
  • Take TIME and REJOICE

2. Ponder His influence in our lives today

  • slow down and reconsider what matters most
  • Time of: remembrance, friendship, forgiveness
  • Time to: renew, recommit, obey His commandments

3. Look steadfastly for His coming

  • There is HOPE in His return
  • It will be a time of: peace, joy, and learning

Look for the good!

Merry Christmas!

"Degifting"

From Urban Dictionary.com...

1. A mutual agreement to suspend holiday gifts for at least one season, usually within a single family or circle of friends.

2. The act of replacing useless and pointless merchandise with something more meaningful, such as a charitable donation, service project or holiday party.

3. Wal-Mart's biggest nightmare.

Ya gotta love definiton number 3, don't ya? That's what caught my eye. Personally, my take on it might be: A mutual agreement to suspend the exchange of gift cards.

What would your definition be?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NTS: Don't Lose Cell Phone

It causes a lot of dilemmas.

It does, however, cause for a quite afternoon. Or two. Or three.

The timeline has yet to be determined.

Thank You Google!

"55th Anniversary: Rosa Parks refuses to move."


Hopefully we all know the history of Rosa Parks and the difference that she made in a world that was refusing to take action to change the injustice she and many others like her were facing. If you don't, go google it (or click on a link below!). It's important. It's important to understand the history or our nation, the mistakes we've made, and the way we need to move forward. It's more important to learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes of others, and not let it happen again. People say, "history repeats itself" and I have to wonder why. Why we would we repeat our mistakes?

What is my take-away from this day? This anniversary? Change and Hope. I like the powerful words behind the actions that Rosa Parks took. The tag line to the Google image, and suggestion that one person can make a difference...

55th Anniversary: Rosa Parks refuses to move
(from wikipedia) US Congress calls her, "the mother of the freedom movement".
Rosa Parks Biography- Academy of Achievement
Rosa Parks: The Woman who Changed a Nation

So, thank you Google! Thank you for reminding me that there is hope. There is hope in change, even when it takes patience and fortitude to get there. And, thank you for reminding me that it sometimes takes a lot of courage to make a difference, enact change, and fight for freedom.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Seltzer Water and Fruit Gels

Every Saturday for, well, forever, Bill has gone to the grocery store for me because we inevitably need something for Sunday. I'm not sure why this happens. I can go all week without going to the store and we'll do without, but knowing that we shouldn't go to the store on Sunday means that we absolutely NEED something the day before. Anyway, he didn't go tonight, I did. That's always a mistake because I NEVER stick to the list.

It seems like every time I see Bill's sister I crave seltzer water. When she used to visit she would have a bottle of seltzer and mix it with gin or Jack or whatever. I don't know exactly. I envied the way she was able to sip on her drink for like an hour and not have to refill the 10 times I would. OK, I'm exaggerating, but you understand my point, don't you? I would sometimes fill a glass with ice and seltzer just so I could sit and chat with her without getting bloated on soda or water and so I didn't have to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes. Anyway, I bought some tonight.

Fruit seems like a healthy option for a snack and the produce section seems like a safe place to shop. This is where I started my shopping excursion. Bananas, grapes, apples. Check, check, check. I bought the cheap fruit. I just couldn't find it in myself to pay a buck for a mango or even worse, 59 cents for a kiwi. Do you know how small a kiwi is?! I was checking out the oranges when I saw a sale sign below for some fruit gels. Yum. They looked tasty. The tangerine looked scrumptiously orange and you can't go wrong with raspberry. Check, check.

After I got home and sent Bill to bed because I'm not going to be tired for hours do to a 2 hour nap I took with Payton from 2-4pm, I unloaded the many extra groceries that I had and started putting things away. I opened and tasted the fruit gels, yum. I got a glass of ice out and opened the seltzer water. YIKES! That sucker started spewing EVERYWHERE! It totally took me off guard and when the geyser started going I couldn't even keep the lid in place. It blew up all over the island, including all in the 2 open containers of fruit gels, all over the floor between the island and the sink, and by the time I got it to the sink, nothing. It was done exploding. Nice.

So here I sit, blogging my disaster of a shopping trip, sipping on seltzer and eating wet fruit gels. And let's face it, seltzer water doesn't really taste good and fruit gels are really gum drops.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, Little Man!

When I look at this picture, I don't freak out. When I was at the park with him, I didn't freak out. When I consider that he was on a platform that is 3 times as high as he is tall, I still don't freak out. However... when Payton decided to lean forward and try to reach the top rung of that ladder with his foot, missed because it is was too far, and then proceeded to hang from those bars that he has his hands on in the picture... well, I freaked out. A little. I freaked enough that I didn't take the picture of him hanging, but not enough that I put him back up there to get the above shot.

Happy Birthday little man. We love all 26 pounds of you!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ugh.

I reread that last post about pie and a few things came to mind:
  1. I should not post or read posts about food while hungry. It just makes me hungrier.
  2. There were so many grammatical errors and weird sentence structures and wrong verb tenses that I don't even know where to start to fix it so I'm going to leave it. (I' m pretty sure this last sentence was a good example of what I'm talking about.)
  3. I may have lost my ability to write.

Ugh. What happened to me? Will I get it back or am I ruined for.e.ver?

NTS: All Pie is NOT Created Equal

I am not a pie baker. That's my mom. She bakes pie like it's no body's business. I once made an apple pie that her husband raved about and I was completely embarrassed. I had used a frozen crust that I'm sure had expired over a year ago and I kind of miss-matched the ingredients from a Lion House recipe because I didn't have everything on hand. I never could have duplicated that thing. I like berry pie and made a decent cherry one once, but I had red stained fingers from pitting all those dang things. In my opinion, the only one I've really gotten right was a simple triple berry (yep, from the Costco bag), store-bought, fold out, Pillsbury crust. Yum. Serve it warm with a little real vanilla ice cream.

Best pie I've ever had? Mom's currant pie. 1990. She used the last jar of currants that her mother had canned. I believe my brother and I cried while eating the last slice. We've tried to find good currants since, but just can't.

Best pie I've ever eaten out? Pie Town, New Mexico. Anything they serve.

Best pie this time of year? Pumpkin. From Costco. Don't even waste your time trying to bake one, and accept no substitutions. Well, I imagine someplace like Marie Calendars or something makes a good one with incredibly overpriced tag, but you get more bang for your buck at Costco and you'll need to share it with some friends.

Why am I writing this post? Because I tried to accept a substitution. Fry's had their pumpkin pie on sale for 6 hours only today, while I was there. I bought 2 'cuz they looked just like the pie I love. They are not. It is not even close. I repeat, accept no substitutions because all pie is NOT created equally.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Men Are Such Pigs"

Bill uttered these words to me after recounting the lecture they received at work on how you are not supposed to put your gum in the Sharps container in the bathrooms. Really? Duh. What moron would do that? Here is Bill's answer:

"It's probably the same idiot that takes a dump and wipes his boogers all over the stall door, then washes his hands so he can get a paper towel to drop on the floor before he sticks his gum in the small hole of the Sharps container to clog it up."

This is also probably the same guy that got binoculars banned from the University of Phoenix building. Yep, you're not allowed to take any magnifying device of any kind onto the premises. Parking lot included. Why? Some idiot was oogling someone in the parking lot with some binoculars.

"Men are such pigs." (a woman never would have been caught!)
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results."

(Rita Mae Brown "Sudden Death," 1983)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Time of Your Life"

"Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)"
by Green Day

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thud!

That was me falling off the bed at 3am this morning.

Who does that? Who actually falls off the bed?

Stupid boys taking up the whole bed! It's a good thing they are cute.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What is is About Engineers?

Is there something in the mind of an engineer that makes it physically impossible for them to leave the world in the state of unbalance? Something is a bit tippy, they have to fix it. They do it without question and without even knowing they are doing it, I believe. Is it a compelling need to balance things? For example:

  • I was sewing on a table and an engineer noticed it bobbing up and down with the rythm of the machine. I had gotten used to it and kind of found comfort with the bounce, bounce and hum, hum of the 2 items working in unity as I completed my project. He quickly lifted the leg of the table and adjusted it to level the playing field. Sucked all the joy out of my sewing.
  • A card game was completely put on hold as an engineer got up to go get his tools to fix the chair he was sitting on. When questioned he didn't even realize that it could possibly be in conflict to those around him. It was something that needed to be done. Then he fixed all the other chairs that had screws loose.
  • Payton was happily rocking a table outside of Einsteins when an engineer joined us. Before sitting down, he folded up a napkin, squatted down to the cast iron leg and carefully placed the napkin under the foot. Poor PT, his fun was over. Onto eating the rocks on the ground.
  • It's impossible to play cards with any of them either. Watch them. Their eyes are searching the numbers in the memory banks of their heads to determine who played what and what is left out there. Really? Just play a *&#@ card, you're going to lose anyway!
  • And then there's the one that I haven't actually seen physically balance anything. But we've had group conversations and he'll tip his head to one side and get a squinty look, sometimes asking a question or clarification on something. I know what he's doing. He's trying to balance things out in his head, make sense of the chaos that is human nature. Poor guy.
  • Oh, and let's not foget the one that really hopes/wishes/believes that people in the world should be able to get along. They should be able to respect one another's needs and desires, while at the same time having their own needs and desires. There is a solution. Balance. He'll search for it all day and night via the internet, blogs, articles, podcasts, etc. More power to him. God speed the way!

Don't they teach these guys in engineer school that the world is not balanced and it's OK? This is clearly why I dropped the thought of becoming an engineer myself and went into teaching. Well, that and the fact that a good 75% of the ASU engineering department gave me the creeps. I'm sure it wasn't any of these fine, outstanding engineers that I personally know now, however.

"Don't Give A Crap"

This was the wise advice that my chiropractor had to offer me last week: "Don't give a crap."

Our family actually missed a night of camping because I was fighting off a migraine on Friday. I was supposed to go into the chiropractor at 1, but that required Tasha to watch Payton while we were there, and her moaning at the idea was the last straw for me. I lost it, whined like a baby, pouted and said, "Fine. I'm not going camping. You can ask your dad to take you." And that was it. I got Payton to sleep, picked up Kyra, whined some more, and told Bill I couldn't get it together to leave that night. Mom was a big flop and life sucked.

Then Bill got home and I could get out for my massage and back/neck cracking. Oh, sweet painful bliss! There is a spot on my left shoulder, at the bottom of what feels like a steel rod of a tendon, that has a knot. The knot should not be there, but it comes and goes with stress. When that therapist pressed down on that spot (with her elbow, mind you), oh sweet mother of all things painful (!) the pressure in my head disappeared. Nothing ever hurt so good and managed the pain so well. She worked relentlessly on both sides of my shoulders finding 4 separate knots and then moved onto my neck. Ugh. That hurt. But alas, the pain, the migraine, and the strained eye-sight was gone.

Then Dr. Lee popped my back. He snapped my neck. He pulled on my head. We discussed the migraines. After eliminating other possibilities (for this one at least) I told him, "I know this is stress induced. There's no doubt about it. This week has sucked. What do I do about that? How do I prevent stress?" Then comes the brilliant answer. The worst, best advice I've ever gotten. Or is it the best, worst advice? I don't know. Either way, I know I can't really follow it, but I can laugh about it and that helps a little.

So if you see me stressed out, popping a vein in my forehead, or worse yet- rubbing the base of my head and squinting my eyes, just repeat the wise advice of my chiropractor: "H, just don't give a crap."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Notes from General Conference:

  • Priesthood keys
  • Be grateful
  • Kids, take my hand
  • Priesthood keys
  • Repentance
  • 14 Fundamentals of following the prophet
  • Teach with the spirit
  • Priesthood keys
  • Pornography, bad
  • Something about a stupid cow
  • Family Proclamation
  • Priesthood keys
  • Freedom of choice
  • 14 Fundamentals of following the prophet, revisited
  • Trees are like airplanes and have turbulence :)
  • More keys
  • More priesthood
It was a good thing I had these: (Thanks, Diane, for the cute idea!)

Naw, in all sincerity, I had a very enjoyable conference weekend. I chuckled each time a speaker said something about the priesthood keys, and was actually quite inspired as Elder Oaks devoted his whole talk to receiving personal revelation, and revelation through your priesthood line. He's quite the man. So was President Eyring as he taught to trust in the Lord.

All good stuff I tell ya. Can't wait 'til I can have it in print. Seriously.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

"happy little man"

This is why I don't get anything done during the day...



Who can scoop up this little bundle of smiles when he's having so much fun playing in the dirt, chewing on the hose, and learning to climb stairs? Not me, that's for sure. The laundry sitting in the washer can wait 'cuz my boy is happy. Thank goodness I have an understanding husband. I don't know, I think my kids need the change of pace just as much as I do. I'd get bored of the same old toys and same old house all the time, so I mix it up for him. Maybe someday he'll let me know if the rocks taste better at our house, the school, or some random Starbucks.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pen, Pencil, or Crayon. The Game.

This game can be played with a variety of ages. Young players will tend to follow the older crowd, so no worries if the concept of the game is not understood, even a non-talker will have fun.

Step 1: Borrow a backpack full of pens, pencils (colored or regular), and crayons. There can be markers in there as well, and there adds a bit of surprise if the lids come off easily or are not pushed on all the way.

Step 2: Get at least 2 unsuspecting children and don't explain the rules because there are none.

Step 3: Grab a hand full of pens, pencils and crayons and hold it low in the bag so that the children can't really see what you have in your hand.

Step 4: Ask, "What do you think I will pull out? A pen, a pencil, or a crayon?"

Step 5: The children will guess. Often times the younger child will just copy the older child. That's OK. If it continues to happen you may ask the younger child to go first.

Step 6: Pull out one writing utensil and see if anyone got it right. Cheer, laugh, cry... whatever seems appropriate based on the item that was pulled out.

Step 7: Put the item back in the bag and ask the children an abbreviated version of the question: "Pen, pencil, or crayon?" They understand by now because they are bright children and it's not a hard game.

Additional tips:

  • you probably don't have to have a backpack for this game, just a container that you can somewhat hide the items in.
  • when you pull out a marker, "accidentally" pull the lid off. This is funny.
  • when you pull out a short colored pencil, think that it is extra long and then it will fly out of your hand and fling down the hall
  • if a totally cute Asian boy sits down next to you and watches, let him play. It doesn't really matter if he speaks English or not, he's 2 and is just copying the other kids. He'll get excited and clap when they get it right.
  • if a player starts to get discouraged that they are not guessing right, make sure you pull out their guess next. This is rewarding for both you and the child.
  • sometimes an older child may ask, "what letter/sound does it start with?" Assuming you know what you're pulling out, you can tell them. If this occurs, you may add "marker" to your list of items since it adds an additional sound to the line up.
  • if the children try to peek to see what you are going to pull out, let them. Who cares. This isn't really a game anyway.

Thanks for tuning into this episode of "what to do at the end of a 3 hour block of church when you've exhausted all other games, snacks, and ideas..."

NTS: You Can't Hold a Baby and Make Gravy at the Same Time

It turns out lumpy.

You need one hand to pour the liquid, and the other hand to stir.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Some Appropriate Chinese Fortunes

Bill: Devotion will make you feel more complete.

H: You will lighten another's heart.

Kyra: You like to form new friendships and make new acquaintances.

Tasha: You life will be happy and peaceful.

Payton: You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.

Is It Really That Odd?

Am I the only person that meets my husband for lunch? Does anyone else do this? Is this abnormal? I'm not sure what to think of the fact that people comment on how nice it is that I meet Bill for lunch sometimes. "Awe, how sweet" is all I hear. What's so sweet about it? Huh? Huh?

I'm wondering when it started or if maybe it just never stopped. Maybe the reason it seems natural is because Bill and I used to work together and would often times plan our lunch break at the same time. But even then, when we saw each other every day, we didn't do it all the time. We would go out in groups or with other people or even just bring something back if one of us was busy working too hard. It was back in the cantgetenoughofeachother, havetocalleverynight, kisskisssmoochsmooch, blahblahblah days of dating and falling in love. And by "falling in love", I actually mean the bliss of the honeymoon of not really knowing what true love is all about. Not where we are now. OK wait, that sounds really lame. Clearly, I'm not a writer. Let's try C.S. Lewis:

"...whatever people say, the state called 'being in love' usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending 'They lived happily ever after' is taken to mean 'They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married', then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be 'in love' need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense-love as distinct from 'being in love'-is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other..."

Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about, baby. So clearly I'm not falling in love anymore. There have been plenty of times when I haven't liked Bill. (GASP!) In fact, sometimes lunch is used to break the ice of the silence that weighs heavily after a nice little disagreement (aka: fight). Other times it's because one of us is having a really bad day. And sometimes, well most of the time, lunch is just lunch. Everybody has to eat, right?

So, I ask again: is it really so odd, or so sweet, that I meet Bill for lunch?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Sorry, dear. 'Eenie, Meenie' is a binding contract."
-Fairy Godmother on Sesame Street

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bill: I'm going to stop at the hardware store on the way home to get some oil for the cooler.

H: OK. Can you get a handle for the toilet too?

Bill: Are you sure it's broken?

H: No, but it's about to break.

Bill: Are you sure it's not just loose?

H: Um...I don't know. Can you tighten handles?

Bill: Well, I can if I know it's loose.

H: Well, how did you know it wasn't broken?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Truth About DMS

I've been ragging pretty hard on our delightfully quirky little Waldorf school, nestled in the slums of the 28th Street and Southern farming land. See there, I just did it again with words like slums and quirky. But the truth is that I love Desert Marigold. I don't love everything about it, but I love enough of it to send my child there. Obviously I wouldn't have Tasha there if there wasn't something of merit.


At first thought, with the moving of the parking lot and office to the edge of the school, I was dragging my heels and whining about the trek that would now need to be made to get to the first grade classroom. If we're late and I have to park and go to the office and then walk them to class it's going to take For.E.Ver. And the amount of time that it took them to put in this special parking lot made from recycled, earth friendly rubbery pipey tubing stuff, was just a little longer than they anticipated. But, truth be told, it is all delightful. A few weeks ago, as I parked on the far end of the lot under the shade of a tree, I noticed the non-dusty, yet non-blacktop surface that we parked and walked on to get to the footpath that leads to class. We meandered over rain-soaked bark, in a curved sort of path that went right past the garden and under a couple of arches that lead to the main campus. The kids said "Hi Farmer Tony!" as he crossed our path with his apprentice, both sporting big straw shade hats and muddy shoes. I believe my blood pressure dropped, the pain in my neck disappeared and I decompressed just a little bit. The peace continued as the children played on the early childhood playground which is just off the pond where ducks swim and next to the home of the goats and pigs which the children are welcome to feed if they get to school early enough. Then comes the bang and clang of the giant bell as school starts, which is followed shortly by the first grade teacher's gentle, rhythmic shaking of a ring of jingle bells. Again, more decompression as I started to walk off in another direction to the shake, shake, shake of the quiet beat of the bells. I stopped on the brickwork path to chat with a friend as PT pulled leaves off wild growing flower bushes and ate dirt covered rocks he found just off the path. It was all very earthy, welcoming, and calming. I left the school in less of a rush with less anxiety and more hope for whatever reason.


For these first few very influential years in my daughter's short little life, I want her to feel this peace and love of school. I want her to delight in her surroundings and not be overwhelmed with structures and rules and big buildings with lines and funny smells. I want her to feel free to be one with her environment and learn that she can connect to people and places on a very intimate level. I don't want her to be a number that is pushed through a system that may or may not be in her best interest. I don't need her to be reading and doing flash cards nightly to keep up with some academic standard that some bureaucrat somewhere deemed necessary for first graders. I like the old school philosophy of letting kids be kids. They are developing their fine and gross motor skills as they continue to learn rhymes and chants that help them discover math facts and pre-reading skills. They learn to follow directions with meaning and with respect to their fellow classmates. They care for one another and their campus.

A place where kids are kids. A place where, on the first day of school, after a really good rainstorm, the playground was soaked. And by soaked, I mean there was an actual island with a tree swing on it, surrounded by a small moat. It wasn't taped off with yellow caution tape for fear that children would fall in and get hurt, or even worse-wet! Nope. There were children of all ages swinging back and forth, standing on that rope swing, getting from the mainland to the island. And off to the side was a boy, laughing, drenched from mid-chest to 2 soaking wet feet. On the first day of school. And it was no.big.deal. Kids are kids and they will remember that first day of school for the rest of their life.

The real truth is, I wish I lived in a world where DMS philosophy of life was real. A world where we treasured every moment of our child's little life. A place that allowed us to stop and smell the roses or the duck pond or the smell of homemade bread baking, without worrying about making it to that next appointment, meeting, or class. I'm re-reading the book Beyond the Rainbow Bridge by Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley. I decompress a little each time I pick it up. I breath easier and wish for a calming attitude to enter my heart and mind and stay there. Although I love the quickness with which we can get things done in this world of ours, there is something to be said for the finer, yet slower things in life. I think that is why, over generations of time, kids love to visit their grandparents. Grandparents move slower and take the time to look, listen and answer. They have the time. Why don't I?

I need to develop some healthy rhythms and stop resisting the dreaded routines that I fear will tie me down. And you may be shaking your head, but when I say "fear", I really mean it. I fear being stuck in a rut and not being able to serve or help a friend in need out of some obsessed need to make sure the bathroom gets cleaned or the floor gets mopped. I resist at all costs. And this, again, is where DMS steps it up a notch. It is the beauty of the rhythm of the day. The color-coded day with anticipation of special classes and early release. The jingle-jangle of the bells starting the trek to the first grade classroom. Lunch with my friends with a handmade place mat. Moments each day to decompress, laugh, and play with the people I love the most. This can happen. This can happen in my home if I let it. There is a way, I know it! When I find the secret, I'll let you know. If you know the secret, please pass it on...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peeping Gecko?



Twice now, while showering, I've looked up on the window and there is a gecko on the outside of the window. All I see is this white outline of a gecko body. It's odd. Is it possible that there is a peeping gecko in our neighborhood? Who's he been spying on lately? Has he been to your house? Should I report him? Has he made the news? (See how I assume it's a he? A female gecko wouldn't do such a thing.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Q: What's an empty styrofoam egg carton good for?

A: Entertaining a baby long enough for his father to mow the back yard, his oldest sister to make dessert, his other big sister to pick up her room, and his mother to make dinner.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tomorrow I'll be teaching a lesson in Young Women titled, "The Sacred Power of Procreation".

What does THAT mean?

S.E.X.

Should be interesting. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some Clarification

Well, after my last post, I've talked with several people and had a few comments on the quote I put in there. I was kind of seeing if that quote could stand on it's own and make sense, but it doesn't. For several reasons I was trying to just include part of the author's statement. But here you go, I'll give it all to you. It is from Confronting the Myth of Self-Esteem- Twelve Keys to Finding Peace, by Ester Rasband. The chapter is titled "Stand ready to sacrifice your self-esteem".

"As I studied the baffling and plentiful writings on self-esteem, the more I read of secular things, the more I found myself concentrating on the scriptures. I began to see how placing importance on self-esteem itself instead of on the "just and right" and its "management" has evolved into mass selfishness in every age. When we believe we must feel worthy in and of ourselves to think well of ourselves, we look skeptically at the need for growth: it threatens our self-satisfaction. We must not look up to others, because we can't consider ourselves any less. We must not give ourselves constructively critical evaluation, because we must believe we deserve life's rewards just as we are. Preoccupied with the self's status quo, we eschew growth and therefore forfeit progress toward eternal life. Peace doesn't come. Insecurity remains." (page 16)

Yeah, yeah, it makes perfect sense now. What was I thinking?! I kind of feel like I've wasted a day in preparation, but I've also had some great conversations on the subject. So, it is what it is. The question was brought up as to what the author meant by "look up to others". What do you think? I was thinking it was referring to admiring others. If you admire someone else that means they can be better than you and, by the world's definition, that would lower your self-esteem. Admiring someone should be a good thing (provided it is a righteous quality), and we should always be trying to improve ourselves to become more like God. The quote above is a little confusing since she has used the negative before what we really should be doing. Make sense?

Here's a couple more quotes from C.S. Lewis that I liked on the subject. (I'm really going to have to read his book Mere Christianity someday.)

"If you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble- delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible." (pg 114)

and what's the opposite of humility? Pride...

"As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you." (pg 111)

I suppose, if you don't like the idea of giving up your self-esteem, you can use the word pride instead. It is my understanding that Sister Rasband is using the word self-esteem like many people use the word pride.

Thanks for all your input thus far! Keep it coming.

Your Thoughts, PLEASE...

I'm trying to prepare a lesson and came upon the following thoughts on self-esteem...

• In the 20th Century having self-esteem has become a right and given preeminence. We are told that we must feel or believe that we are valuable, not that what we do must be of value. You can feel your inadequacies deep inside, but in today’s world don’t acknowledge them.

• “When we believe we must feel worthy in and of ourselves to think well of ourselves, we look skeptically at the need for growth: it threatens our self-satisfaction. We must not look up to others, because we can’t consider ourselves any less. We must not give ourselves constructively critical evaluation, because we must believe we deserve life’s rewards just as we are” (pg 16)

• If we look at the Christian paradox, we must lose ourselves to find ourselves, there really is no room for self-esteem. Is there?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Curriculum Night at McKemy

First hour: I was nervous. I didn't know anybody.

2nd hour: A parent asked a question and I recognized her voice. I turned around and sure enough, I knew her. Kyra and her son played together when they were about 3 years old. Small world.

3rd hour: Recognized a different parent (Lisa) from 2nd hour and discovered that it was both of our kid's first year at McKemy.

4th hour: Can't stand the teacher. She made good cookies but the 10 minutes I spent in there was about 9 minutes too long.

5th hour: Lunch. Joined the PTSA.

6th hour: Science. Saw Lisa again. That's 3 classes our children share, and they have the next 2 together as well. We walk to 7th and 8th period together and discover:
  • we both went to THS
  • both are learly of sending our kids there
  • both feel like traitors if we send them to McClintock
  • we live about 3 blocks from each other

7th hour: While exchanging phone numbers with Lisa, we got shushed by the parent that I knew from 2nd hour. Odd. The teacher explains that the 2nd quarter they will be reading The Outsiders. Hello?! That was only my favorite book of all time as a youth! The teacher explained that she didn't like reading as a child until she read this book. She read it over and over and then all the S.E. Hinton novels. Hello again! That is my life story, right there sista! I told her so.

8th hour: Volunteered to edit papers at home for the teacher. She loves me. She's also the one that gave the kids extra homework this evening because they complained about the 4 sentence homework they had. Awesome. I love her too!

Kyra's been happy the past few days and things have been going smoother. I've had my doubts, like any parent does when helping their child adjust to a new place, but it all came together tonight. I sat on Kyra's bed all giddy and silly telling her about the friend that I made. She laughed at me but was smiling the whole time. It's going to be OK. We're gonna make it.

Q: If a baby takes a step while his mother isn't looking, did it happen?

A: Not a chance.

Payton has been standing for a very long time now. He cruises like it's no body's business. He's started reaching and testing his limits to get from one item of furniture to the next, or to a leg or hand or whatever. But he just won't take a step. Don't listen to Bill. Or Tasha. Or Kyra. It didn't happen because I didn't see it. He just likes to stand and then he dives at me. I believe he has lead feet and can't pick them up.

Well, if it did happen it must have been because of his haircut. Bill buzzed his head Monday and I imagine it was his hair that was weighing him down. Now, free from the fluff in his eyes, he could see where he was going clearly...
But on Tuesday he didn't take another step. So, the verdict is still out. The verdict on his walking, that is. The verdict on the haircut is that he's a charmer with or without hair! (plus also, it's just fun to rub!)

PT "Eating" an Apple

I sent Bill this picture on his phone and told him to look at the mess is son was making.The following text conversation ensued:

Bill: messy Payton...did you yell at him? no
H: I can't use that word with him!
Bill: u cant say no?
H: only to you :p
Bill: ouch
H: I think PT just ate dog food...
Bill: is he barking? or just scooting across the floor wiping his butt?
H: the later.


Well, whatever. Payton just left little apple deposits all across the living room floor.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Relishing The Moment

Sometimes you just have to take a moment or two and relish the moment of calm peace and love that you feel without any grand events that made it happen. The nice weekend that wasn't super eventful with grand plans, just a few nice escapes. The kind of weekend that, although nothing huge got accomplished, just worked out for the good. You need to remember that you love your kids no matter what and that they can be good when not pushed too hard or stressed too much.

Yesterday was kind of a scattered day with people going a few different directions, Bill cooking dinner, and Tasha being left behind to watch Payton as Kyra and I went off to a boutique. At the end of the day, when all went well, I offered up the last of the ice cream. All the kids were showered and there sat Payton, on top of the table, going back and forth between sisters, licking their ice cream cones. He happily flapped his arms as he leaned from one cone to the next as Kyra and Tasha giggled and debated whose ice cream he liked better. Bill came into the kitchen and we just stood there admiring them. They're good kids. They are cute and lovable and love each other. You can't tell it all the time, but at that moment it was obvious.

Payton was also particularly cute today. I don't know if it was his jumbo sized button down shirt he had to wear or his scraggly hair that needs to be cut somehow, but I was just in love with this boy and kissing on him all day. He's been pretty mellow all weekend and maybe someone pointing that out to me helped as well. Is it possible that I have a low-maintenance child after all these years of drama? Who knows, only time will tell. He seems to be getting another tooth or two since he's been a little cranky, nursing all the time, and a boogie nose, but somehow, at this moment, that's OK with me. His little spirit is calling out for love and comfort and I'm able to give it freely.

We all gathered in the living room this evening and watched That Thing You Do. Bill and I love that show and figured it was family friendly and full of music. The girls sat through it all and I even got to play Tasha's leg like a guitar. My brother used to do that to me all the time and I thought it was hilarious. I'm sure she'll say something to Thomas the next time we see him. It was a good night. A mellow night. We even had a 5 minute scripture study before the movie. And Tasha got Payton laughing so hard that he fell over. Three times. It was hilarious.

I guess it's just been a family time weekend and it was unplanned. If we had planned it I'm sure things would have gone haywire and been a mess. You can't plan times like these, you just have to appreciate them. Seize the moment and cherish it in your heart. It might never be duplicated, but the feeling of love will always be there as a memory. Thank you, sweet family, for a wonderful few days.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Who Wouldn't Love Lunchtime With These Babies?!

All wrapped up and ready to go eat. The place mat has 2 pockets inside to hold utensils and napkins. The ties are attached and keep things together when not in use.

Tasha's choice of fabrics. She really has good taste.

This is the set for the mom who asked quite innocently at the parent meeting/open house, "what if sewing that just isn't going to happen at my house?" I smiled at her and said I'd help her out, she wrote down my email address from the class list, and within 24 hours the project was completed.


And finally, for the mom I knew had been out of town the Saturday we made these babies. I asked if her daughter was set and she said she was just going to use one from the previous kids. I mentioned that I was making one for someone else and she piped up with, "I'd gladly trade you dinner for sewing!" To which I promptly replied, "I'd gladly take dinner for sewing!" Win, win for everyone involved.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Ugh. What If I'm Really Just Not a Morning Person?

"Early to rise and early to bed..."


BLAH! Makes me want to puke. Or at least stay up late eating ding dongs and chips and salsa and watching scary movies so I'm sure to have nightmares, thus rendering me useless come dawn. I thought some of this attitude would change when I became a mother and had responsibilities. So far, four responsibilities later, no change. It's nearly 11pm at night and I'm just now getting around to opening a school letter that apparently came last week some time. Why would I open it in the daylight hours? All the chattering, hungry, filthy responsibilities are running around at my feet and in my face. I can't get anything done or concentrate with all that jibber-jabber going on.


In my welcome letter the teacher writes, and I quote:


"Your child's educational experience begins upon waking...Try to make your child's waking, readying, and travel to school as pleasant, consistent, and rhythmical as possible, for a child who is awakened gently, has a consistent and timely morning ritual of washing, dressing, etc, and who receives a warm, nourishing protein-filled breakfast, is a child who is ready to begin a day of learning."


See now, if I had read that last sentence in the morning it would have made no sense to me at all. It makes perfect sense to me right now but that doesn't mean I can do it. Well, I could do it if I could start the morning off at 11pm at night. OK, I realize I'm coming off as joking about all this, but I really am sincere. I've tried to be a morning person but it's just not in me. I've met morning people, and it just doesn't rub off. I've even had a stint of a couple of months where I woke up at 5am every day and I tell ya, still not a morning person. I'm perfectly capable of doing stuff and thinking and whatnot, but please don't ask me to interact with people in a "pleasant, consistent and rhythmical" manner. When I was teenager I actually told (maybe screamed) my mom, "can I PLEASE just have a shower before you bombard me with questions?!"


The letter goes on, assuming that you have had a peaceful morning ritual in your home and not the draggingherbuttoutofbedandeatingoatmealinthecarwhileputtingonhershoes experience that is more typical of last year, and says:


"Sometimes travel makes it difficult to sustain the peacefulness of a morning ritual. Please make every effort to let your child's travel to school be as hassle free as possible. Young children especially, need not be exposed to audio book tapes, electronic hand-held games, news, music or inappropriate conversation while traveling to school. parents are encouraged to discuss their expectations with any carpool drivers in order to reach a common understanding."


Double ugh. Tell me now: how am I supposed to drive to school with out some head thumpin' music to drown out the children's inappropriate conversations? Huh? Huh? Answer me this question please! I'm trying very hard to figure out if I'm turning onto Priest or 48th street, I can't redirect conversation amongst elementary school children. If they want to talk poop and pee or Pokemon then that is their business. I can't maintain a coherent thought in my own head, much less come up with appropriate 6 and 7 year old conversation over the whines of 9 month old. Music I tell ya, music is my saving grace. Sorry carpool buddy, this is the way we roll.

So, I'll try with all my might to entertain these values. But, at the end of the morning, I'm going to be happy if Tasha made it to school dressed, 2 unmatched socks, unkempt hair, and a few spoonfuls of oatmeal that she ate while singing, "I am a rock star, I got my rock boots, and I don't need you tonight." It's alright. School will go on and learning will commence.

A Day's Worth of Thoughts

Junie B. Jones cracks me up. Well, I guess the author Barbara Park is the one to actually give credit to, but it's the voice of Junie B. (in my head and as I speak it to Tasha) that is actually making me laugh. Tasha was cracking up at the end of one of her stories tonight and I typically will have to stop reading at some point during each chapter. She named her Raggedy Ann doll "Raggedy Ruth", and her companion is "Raggedy Larry." Can you imagine the discussion that would have gone down with the parents and child trying to explain that the dolls already had names? And then her stuffed animal elephant is named "Philip Johnny Bob." Three first names, and she uses them all each time. Guess you have to read it to understand. There have been several occasions that I have thought of posting a page of one of her more crazy conversations.

The officer that works at McKemy is quite the traffic cop. He has cars and buses moving in and out of that place like it's no body's business. At first I thought he was out there to actually police the streets and send people on their way which would just be a nightmare. Much to my delight however, I realized that he was making things easier and having people break traffic rules to get things moving. Amen to that cop! And yes Bill, I rolled down my window and thanked him. He said, "Well, what can you do? This school was built in the 50's it wasn't prepared for this." Super cool.

I thought an Open House was just that, "open". I thought it meant that you could come and go like the wind, in and out at your pleasure, no formal gathering or lectures. I was wrong. Next time I'll read the parent letter and discover that when the school has an open house, the first grade has a parent meeting. Maybe then I'll be on time.

Only at a Waldorf school will a parent raise their hand and ask, "can you speak to the rhythm of the day?" I think I did an audible gasp as I choked on my Waldorf salad, realizing that I absolutely will never quite fit in at DMS. In her defense, she apparently works at the school and is accustomed to using such terminology. But I tell ya, the first time I hear someone say "pedagogy" it is going to take all my energy to not shove my pedi-somethin' in their mouth. Just sayin'. I guess I'm just not that learn-ed, edjumicated, or at least not that eloquent.

Tasha just needs to feel useful. All week long she's been a gem. (And by week I'm talking about the last 5-6 days, not just since Sunday!) She's had chores to do and sewing to complete and has kept her room picked up. Maybe she's just growing into her 6 year old body and is ready to start first grade, who knows? Today she single-handedly took care of Payton (willingly!) while I helped Kyra through a rough patch of Monday morning, second week of school, blues. Love it!

The end of "summer" (like the official meaning of summer, not the heat that is Arizona) is upon us. I'm going to have to give up my Sonic vice. I've gotten very accustomed to happy hour at Sonic and a ginormous cranberry limeade. Yum.

I might just fit in at DMS. Bill pointed out that another mother said, "what if sewing that thing just isn't going to happen at my house?" That makes me chuckle. Sewing is something I can do. Sing-song voice and rythmic morning (I've got a post in the works for that one) are just not in me. Neither are granola/earthy/organic meals/clothes/school supplies. Just not happenin'. Sorry.

And back to Junie B. Here's a quote of hers from school. Her teacher, "Mrs." ('cuz that's the only part of her name that Junie B. likes) is coming toward her desk because she's in trouble. "Guess what? I am going to do my work now, " I said. "Plus also, I am not even going to talk. 'Cause I don't actually like anyone in this area." I don't know if we should all be a little more or a little less Junie B. like.

If, after a friend was your house, they break something and then call and apologize for it and you forget to call them back and tell them it wasn't a problem, do you then become the lame friend? I mean, I got the message a week ago and can't even remember what was busted. I hope they weren't thinking I was ticked or something.

Peanut butter and chocolate really do go well together.

When you own a truck, everyone calls you when they are moving. When you own a van, everyone calls you for a ride. I enjoy the latter, and am grateful we don't own a truck.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Perspective

I took the picture below to show Bill where we were when he was texting us, asking about batteries. The intent was to get just the kids and the little circles on the Target cup while PT was sucking away at the straw. Of course, when you have 2 subjects of childhood/baby age, not everything goes as intended. I happened to be flipping through pictures on my phone yesterday and thought this picture offered some interesting perspectives.
  • Poor Tasha. Look at how tall that cart is for her. That has to hurt her elbows to lean up and over like that. And the poor kid so badly wants to help and push. She gave up pushing months ago and that must have felt like defeat. Is this what life feels like for her so often? Ugh, to be six.
  • While sitting in the cart, PT is taller than Tasha. He's looking down at her. He doesn't look down at many people very often. What must that feel like? His head is over hers when she carries him sometimes too. Interesting. I bet he thinks he can push her around. Again, poor Tasha.
  • The lights on the ceiling look like runway lights to me. I turned my phone upside down to look at it that way and then I thought of a bowling alley. Strange. I don't recommend turning your computer upside down to get the same affect, but maybe you could stand on your head. Just a thought. Poor you.

The other thing I was thinking about perspective has absolutely nothing to do with this picture, but more to do with how we look at things in a thoughtful kind of way, not an actually looking with our eyes kind of way. I had a really bad, creepy crawly (if you know what I mean), kind of day yesterday. I was freaking out and not well and had to do all sorts of things to escape the horror which I saw as the end of life as I know it in my home, all because of the satanic bug that was lurking behind every corner of my home. Now, he's still there, and I'm still freaked out, and I still can't wait until 1ish when the pest people come and blow his brains out, BUT... There are worse things in the world. My situation could be a lot worse and my nightmare could actually be a nightmare that leaves actual physical or emotional scars. I'm grateful that things are as they are.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Are you Freaking Kidding Me?

There I was, minding my own business, typing a blog post, when I look up to see an invader. At the very toppest of the wall, right below the popcorn ceiling, was a bug, crawling. And it wasn't just any bug. It was a stupid freaking cockroach. And it wasn't just crawling. It was crawling it's stupid freaking cockroach legs across my wall, over my computer desk where I was sitting, minding my own business. Where the freak did he come from?!

Of course, I do what any unreasonable woman would do at 11pm at night when there is a freaking cockroach crawling around over her head. I jump up and go wake up Bill and run back in the room to make sure that monster doesn't get out of site. He's halfway across the room by now and Bill is not coming fast enough. I am glad, however, that when he finally does make it he has come armed with a weapon of mass squash-struction. I was sure that bad boy would do the trick.

I moved the diaper bag from under the stricking point so if he fell he didn't fall in there. I armed myself with a broom, just because that felt safer than nothing. Then I watched Bill line up for the kill. He stood back, held up the squasher, struck and missed. Damn it! Move quickly, move quickly, strike again before he runs too quickly. As Bill went back for another strike, I did the little dance of "Holy crap you missed, damn it, damn it, damn it, get him, get him, get hiiiiimmmmm..."

Well. I can't really talk about this next part. I am seriously close to tears just thinking about it. I keep getting shivers and cringing and popping my feet up on the chair even though I know that damn thing isn't crawling around by my feet.

OK. He flew. As Bill aimed for the second time that freaking cockroach flew off the wall, whizzed by my head, and flew to the other side of the room not to be seen from again. I kid you not. I've heard of flying roaches before, but You.Have.Got.To.Be.Kidding.Me!!! Oh man, what do I do?!

SH--! That damn thing just reemerged. I ran back, shoved Bill awake, grabbed the weapon, heard Payton yell out and ran back to the scene of the crime. He was gone. Damn it. I opened doors, banged on cabinets, threw out a few swear words, but nothing budged that little monster. I went back the bedroom, defeated, once again. While I nursed Payton back to sleep, Bill went out and did who knows what. I half expected him to come back claiming that he got the thing, but he didn't. It's a good thing too because I know he would have been lying just to help ease my mind.

Tomorrow I'm calling the exterminator. Better yet, I'll go online and see if I can set up an appointment via the Internet. Until they come, I'll be the one not sleeping...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2 Sweets and No Sour

We play "Sweet and Sour" at our house on occassion. It's an easy and fun way to assess how your day has been. Hopefully the sweet point is easy to come by and the sour point is difficult or not so sour. At the dinner table, the sour point is usually the same for at least 2 people (meaning they had a fight, and by "they" you know who I'm talking about).

Anyway, today was Kyra's first day of middle school. It could have been traumatic. I realized at some point that she really didn't know anybody for sure and was going to eat in a cafeteria for the first time in her life. Do we say something or just let it sneak up on her? We talked a little about it (Bill mostly). We discussed that everyone in her 4th hour class would have the same lunch hour and if she knew someone there she could just follow them in and sit by them. I also assured her that lunchroom antics in a real Jr. High were not at all like those on TV. She giggled at that, probably thinking of the scene in High School Musical where they all start singing and dancing on the tables.

As most of you know, Kyra is not much of a talker. Apparently, on occasion, she can stick her nose in a book and ignore you the whole drive home and you have to shout, "Bye Kyra!" as she's getting out of the car. (Not that that ever happened before!) After a long day at school you never really know what you will get from her. If it's been a trying time she can come unglued and let it all out: either by shouting, crying, or fighting. Other times she's a giggly schoolgirl. First day of school? I didn't know what to expect so I braced myself.

After she settled into the van and I finagled my way out of the parking lot, I hesitantly asked, "sweet and sour"?

She shot back immediately with, "my sweet was when Aiden came up to me and said 'hi' to me right before lunch". Phew, lunch fear is over. They also sat by April, another girl from camp, and their other friends from school. Then she added, my other sweet was when she saw another girl she knew and went up to her.

When we were leaving DMS, a parent there told me that this age was all about friends. For the kids, this is obviously true. They need to have friends to feel secure and have fun and enjoy their time at school. For the parents however, school demands a little more than that. Now I can just hope that McKemy fulfills the academic and athletic portion of schooling that we've been missing over the years. Socially, I think she'll be fine.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Twelve.


When did my daughter turn twelve?


Today.


Yeesh.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Is A Drag

I imagine it's because we live in the stinkin' desert and it's stinkin' hot, but summer here is just a drag. I don't want to go anyplace or do anything which means I don't really get to see anyone. Drag, drag, drag. I sit at home staring at my walls, listening to my kids, and glaring out the window wishing the sun away. Blah. Doesn't that word just sum up an Arizona summer? "Blah." Not even an exclamation point is needed because that would mean some sort of exalted feeling. Blah, blah, blah. (period)

The end of summer is coming though. And how do I know this? School supplies!!! School supplies are on sale and Target has it's special holiday section devoted to nothing but papers and pencils and fun coloring items. Sticky tape, bottled glue, glue sticks... you name it, we can adhere it. Binders, backpacks, stretchy book covers that I've never really understood, erasers for all the mistakes we're bound to make, and sharpeners to make a point. Ahh, sweet school supplies!

And what's even better than school supplies? Yep, back to school night, meet the teacher night, and finally... you got it... SCHOOL STARTS!!! How fun was it to meet all of Kyra's teachers at a new school, for a new adventure? TOTALLY fun, and I couldn't stand Jr. High as a kid. All I know is that Kyra found all the rooms by herself, wrote down the supplies she would need, introduced herself (when she was asked), and played it all pretty cool. She's ready, no worry there. Transitioning to a big public school had made me nervous in the past, but I felt pretty good about things last year. I never looked back or considered looking elsewhere. McKemy was the place for her and she proved me right today. What a great day!

Now, we can coast this school's roller coaster for 2 years and them I'm right back to square one for research and finding high school. Yeesh. Maybe summer isn't so bad after all...

But, for now, "I'd send you a bouquet of sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

NTS: Feed Your Son

Hmm. Solid food. When did we start that? I tried some solids several months so ago but Payton didn't want anything to do with it. He didn't want to be spoon fed at all and his pincher skills were, well, anything but stellar. Slowly he learned to crawl and find everything on the floor to put in his mouth so we started finger food bits again. It entertained him while we ate dinner and created quite the mess on the floor. Hey, at least we've had a clean floor for a few months while we've swept and mopped to keep up with the messes he creates.

So when, exactly, did he start eating regularly? When did he decide to take a few bites from a spoon while shoveling crackers and what not in with his other 2 hands? I only remember making the food, trying to feed him, and him shaking his head or sticking his tongue out. Residue of mashed up food graces the table in front of his clip on chair.

Cranky, cranky boy. He fussed and fussed this morning. He woke up early, made his dad take him out of bed and played with the girls for a while before nursing a bit more and taking a mini slumber. Then he fussed and fussed some more. We saw a little Baby Einstein, nursed some more. Fussed some more. I tried to make me some food to eat while he played at his favorite toy station: the dishwasher. He fussed, he cried, he pulled at my legs. Then, as I was placing some breakfast on my plate, it occurred to me: could he be hungry? Like, for real food?

Yep, that did the trick. Feed the boy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

NTS: Movies are Rated R For a Reason

It's been a while since I've watched a rated R movie. I gave them up like 10 years ago when Billy was at that "I'm old enough to do anything I want" stage of boyhood and was acting like a big jerk. I felt like a hypocrite telling him a movie was not appropriate for him to see, but yet Bill and I would go see it. I don't know why it was different for him than it is Kyra. Maybe because Kyra doesn't push the issue and I know she won't see it if I tell her not to. With Billy, his mom would let him see whatever he wanted. At least he knew he wouldn't be discussing it with us, because we wouldn't watch it.

Really the only R movies I've seen lately have been war movies so it was all about the violence and some bad language. The language was usually yelling, war language, so it wasn't typical conversation language taking place in a house. You get the difference, right? People talking to their spouse and children, throwing the F bomb every other sentence is just different to my ears than, say, guys swearing at each other as their limbs are getting blown to pieces by machine gun fire.

I broke my anti-R rule tonight and saw a movie with my friend. I really wanted to see The Kids Are Alright, but whooshta! It got great reviews, I love Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo, the girl from Alice in Wonderland was in it, and well, it just seemed like a different story that was supposedly well done. Holy Schmoke! As we left the theatre my friend said, "Yeah, I'm really glad I didn't bring my daughter to that one." (She's 15) I asked, "was that abnormally R, or am I just not savvy anymore?" She confirmed that it was a bit over the top in the sex scenes and the language, again saying that she was really glad she didn't bring her daughter. Yep, I can see that.

I think that the next time I consider breaking the anti-R rule I will be a little more conservative. "strong sexual content" plus "nudity" was a little much. What was I thinking?

It was kind of funny that when the father figure (alright, he was just the sperm donor) was in front of the kids he would say, "shut the front door" instead of swearing. It made me giggle every time he said it. Guess you had to be there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ladies, Get Educated and GO VOTE!!!

This is Alice Paul

Alice was one of the women who fought for women to vote in the early 1900's. Many horrible things happened to her and her fellow women as they were imprisoned, beaten, starved, etc. There is a book written documenting this time, and an HBO movie, "Iron Jawed Angels" that I have yet to see. Apparently there is a scene where "Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men:"

'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Alright, I Won't Stop Believin'

Since I can't seem to concentrate on anything, a friend of mine did. I was sent this analysis of the Journey Song, "Don't Stop Believin'", and must say that it is good. It makes sense, the song means something, and it has lifted my spirits once again. Here ya go...

(And if you need the tune in your head, click on this baby here)

Just a small town girl
Livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train
Goin' anywhere
Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train
Goin' anywhere

The anygirl and anyboy represented here show that any person from wherever they live, whoever they may be, all walks of life all desire to go somewhere in their lives. To branch and discover. To go beyond their roots. The midnight train is a journey. Life is a journey. The midnight train is life. We're all on this ride. And depending which station we get on and off at, we go where the train takes us--anywhere. Why the midnight train? Why not the day express? Because the hours are longer, it's dark, and we're all waiting waiting waiting to see our mysterious destination.

A singer in a smokey room
A smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on and on and on

This stanza is odd because it doesn't really fit the rest of the song. It's like a 6th finger. But Journey put it there for a reason. Why a 6th finger? I surmise it is an introspection. A personal identity or marker to the song. Its lines and cadence doesn't fit any other part of the song, maybe neither does its intent. Perhaps this is the one literal part to the whole allegorical story. I'm so bold to say that the singer in the smokey room is Journey themselves, witnessing and reflecting on the interplay of life before them.

Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching
In the night
Streetlights, people
Livin' just to find emotion
Hidin', somewhere in the night

This is another way to describe what the first stanza says. It goes from specific to general (anygirl and anyboy are now strangers/people). The train is now a boulevard. But it's still dark; night. They're still searching; waiting. Streetlights: hope, understanding, illumination. But mostly, we're hiding somewhere in the night. Why? Are we afraid of discovery (streetlights)? Is it easier to find emotion in darkness? Or do we seek emotion because we're in darkness? Journey doesn't say. They're just merely offering a perspective. They do, however, call to us; they say the key, the answer is light. Streetlights, people. Streetlights, people!

Workin' hard to get my fill
Everybody wants a thrill
Payin' anything to roll the dice
Just one more time
Some will win
Some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

Now Journey shows us the different ways we search for emotion, streetlights, the end of the train ride. Some work hard. Some take their chance on luck. But everyone wants a thrill, a fill. Everybody wants. There are those who fall prey, become addicted, stuck. They lose. They sing the blues. Then there are those who win. Life is a roulette. Or a movie. But it goes on and on.

Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching
In the night
Streetlights, people
Livin' just to find emotion
Hidin', somewhere in the night

[Instrumental Interlude]

Don't stop believin'
Hold on to the feelin'
Streetlights, people
Don't stop believin'
Hold on
Streetlights, people

Sounds pretty grim, doesn't it? You wait, you search, you work, you take a chance, all in the dark. And still, you might lose. But Journey reminds us: streetlights, people! There's hope, they say. Don't despair. Keep believing; in yourself, in your destination. Hold on to that feeling of hope. Hold on.


(My 2 cents) I won't stop believin' and I do always have hope. I love that the streetlights represent hope and the people are key. Isn't that what life is about: hope and people? The light of Christ being played out in our lives here on earth? Isn't that how we end up living with Him again? I'm sure Journey didn't really mean to take it that far, especially when they say that you can roll the dice to find your fate, but I guess some people really do do that. I would also answer the question about darkness and emotion and say, "yes, people find it easier to express/find emotion in the dark" and also, "yes, people search for emotion in the dark because you can get scared in the dark and might search for another emotion." Either way, we need a streetlight, some hope that there is something beyond the dark. We need Christ and his atonement so we have some hope that there is more to this life than just this life. It all really does matter in the end, it takes a little more than rolling the dice, and we just need to keep holding on to that feelin' of a better place, the beacon of hope, the streetlight in the dark.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Helena Time? What's THAT?

The girls went to the AZ Science Center with their cousin and grandfather today. As friends were leaving my house at 1:00, they asked, "now will Payton go down for a nap and you can have some Helena time?" I didn't know what to say to that. Yes, I thought PT would nap, but what is Helena time? I'd already eaten lunch and that's what I usually try to do before he gets up: eat. So here I am, 1 hour into his nap and I don't know what to do with myself. I made an ice cream sandwich out of some delish chewy chocolate chip cookies, froze it, hung the diapers on the line, washed the dishes, cleaned the counters, ate the frozen sandwich (yum!) and caught up on my emails. Now what? He's still asleep and there are no other children in the house.

What would YOU do?! Hmm...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NTS: Don't Wash Cell Phone

I imagine that this one should go without saying, but the complications that come with washing your cell phone are not good.

If you text me, I'll get it eventually.

If you call me, leave a message or I won't know you've called.

The funny thing is, I know 2 people that have experienced the phone symptoms that I am having and they both say that the phone dried out and worked fine after several days. Here's hopin' 'cuz it's been a week.
Click here to go take an MSNBC poll question on Arizona's Immigration law.

Sadly, it looks like America's silent majority is being completely silent on this one. Either that, or I only know people in the minority. I think if people really stopped to think about this law they would realize how terribly bad it is. Is it just a few steps away from Nazi Germany? I don't know that I'd go that far, but it certainly is heading in that direction. If you want a debate on the subject, I'm up to the task. If not, click above and go vote.

"Hey-ay, Ho-oh, SB1070's got to go!"

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Rest of the Story:

Ryan had taken his boys and Tasha to the park. They had been kicking 2 soccer balls around between the 4 of them and they both happened to come to her at about the same time. She spread her legs to stop them both between her feet.

Good stuff, better when it is only half the story though.

Microwave Minute

In an effort to have a clue, I've signed up to received daily emails from the Urban Dictionary. One might think that having a dictionary site sending you daily antidotes would make you smarter. I don't think this is necessarily going to be the case. I'm mostly going to get a bunch of slang words and how to use them in everyday talk. You know, the kind of lingo that would make a 37 year old housewife look and sound like a fool. So, instead of being enlightened, I'm going to fill my much too small of a noggin with ridiculous information that I will probably never use. Well, that's not entirely true because I've already used some of the slang in my own home. I told Bill to "shut up and keep talking" the other night and it worked like a charm. There do seem to be catch phrases that really just mean something that we already have names for, like "microwave minute":

When time slows down while waiting for your food to heat in the microwave. Known side effects are increased hunger, slowing of all the clocks in your house and walking around aimlessly trying to kill time. The microwave minute has the ability to slow time turning one minute into what feels like an hour.

Kus(9:00 pm): dude when are you gunna get here??
Ryan(9:00 pm): I'll be there in a microwave minute.
Kus(9:00 pm): aight g. Ill see you at 10:00!


Isn't this pretty much like Mormon Standard Time? Or Greek time, as my aunt likes to call it. I mean really, if you say something starts at church at 6:30 you can show up at 7 and not have missed anything except the opening prayer and the line for the food. Oh alright, you really shouldn't miss the prayer, but unless you want to make a race for the line just to beat that one person to the green jello salad, who really cares? And what if it's a potluck? Well, all the good food isn't even going to make it until 7 anyway.

I imagine that these terms aren't exactly the same thing, but it would be fun to see how late I could be to something if I combine all of them. I mean, Greek time alone has slowed me down since I was born. So let's see...

Following Greek time, I started getting ready for the 6 o'clock event at 6 o'clock. As 6:30 passed by I realized that the party had just begun on Mormon Standard Time. So then, as I reheated the funeral potatoes for 5 minutes, we all sat around starving for a microwave minute and left the house at something like 7:30.

As I reread this I realized a couple of things. 1. I'm not a 37 year old housewife. I don't like to be referred to as "housewife", and I'm not really 37. Oops. 2. Housewives have no concept of "microwave minute" and it's not because we don't get the lingo. It's because we never catch ourselves actually waiting on the food heating up in the microwave. Let's face it, while the food is heating up we are loading or unloading the dishwasher, taking care of laundry, sweeping or mopping up something that was spilled by another shorter family member, or blogging something totally ridiculous that happened to us 4 days ago. By the time we're done with our task, the microwave has beeped at least 5 times and the food has probably gotten cold again. What do you call that? What do you call the food that has been reheated and left in the microwave to get cold again? That's a term I'd use daily.

Aight g. See ya in a week.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tune in Tomorrow for the Rest of the Story

Tasha stood there with 3 boys standing around, she spreads her legs slightly looks down and yells: “Hey, I have 2 balls!”

Ryan responds, “Yes Tasha, you sure do.”
Ugh. Just got home. 87 degrees and it's not even 2pm. We're headed out to see a movie.

One more day 'til vacation. We're holding out to turn on the A/C until we get back.

Swamp cooler, you've served us well. Until this week. Thank you for your service, but when it's over 105 outside... well, you suck rotten eggs.

Now then, let's learn to train a dragon. Arr!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I read this quote on a blog:

"One of my sons therapists was telling me about how much trouble they're having with incoming kindergartners who don't know how to do anything but be entertained. According to her, it's kind of an epidemic. Which gives us all the more reason to push against it."

Yikes. Where to begin?
If I lay real still...
Under the ceiling fan...
With the floor fan directed at me...
And close my eyes...
I can pretend to be asleep and it's almost bearable.

3 more degrees and it will be 90 inside my house.

Ugh.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

NTS: The Eighties are NOT Back

We took the girls to Skateland for mutual last night. There were several girls there with ponytails to the side of their head, the necks cut out of their shirts and tied up over a colorful tank top. They were wearing short shorts that looked more like gymnastic shorts than anything you would wear in public. Anyway, I turned to the other leader that was there and said, "oh, look at that, ponytails on the side are making a comeback." That made me giggle.

Later in the night we realized that there were several more girls dressed in such a manner. Then there was a kid in a Hawaiian shirt with a fake mustache. And a lady with a jazzy belt around the outside of her shirt. A guy with 2 collared shirts on, both collars sticking up. Oh, and the dude with the giant black wig. The big realization was when it was clear that all these people were together. Apparently it was a youth group of some sort and the theme was 80's dress.

Big sigh. Eighties style is not back. But here I sit, with a pony on the side of my head which will never see the light of day.

Girls and Guns

It is quite obvious that we are a household full of non-gun owners. Neither mother, nor father grew up around guns and therefore the children of this house are completely gun ignorant. For girls this is probably not a big deal. For little PT however, it may prove to be embarrassing as he grows older. Not the fact that he doesn't know anything about guns, but more importantly that he has been subject to the girly version of guns.

Stage #1:

Tasha declared that she was shooting Kyra as she ran through the room pointing her fingers and squeaking "pew, pew...pew, pew". Kyra shot back with an equally wimpy gun noise. PT laughed, and laughed, and laughed some more. He laughed so hard at them that the girls continued the shoot out just to amuse him. The only way I can describe the noise that the girls were making is to say it sounds somewhat like the laser guns that they shoot on Star Wars only much softer, less gusto, and quite a bit higher in pitch.

Stage #2:
After PT stopped laughing, Tasha ran to her room and made a gun. Out of paper. Any boy would have been embarrassed by this thing cut randomly from lined paper that wouldn't even keep it's shape as it was held. More "pew, pew"-ing. More laughing. PT later ate this paper gun and pooped it out this morning. I could see the lines in the paper.

Stage #3:

Tasha made another gun for Kyra so they could be on equal fighting ground. She explained the gun to Kyra so she would know how to shoot it. "Here is the pull thing", Tasha pointed out. Ugh. The 'pull thing'? Do you mean 'trigger' sweetheart? Oh my poor, uninformed children.

Stage #4:

Big sister comes to the rescue to help with construction of a real fighting machine. It makes the same sound, of course, but this time it really has the right shape and can hold it's form. It is made from a pen and a lip gloss and is held together with red duct tape. You're laughing already, but it gets better. The highlight of this fighting machine is that it is a multi-purpose weapon. Because all girls are very practical, the duct tape only covers the main parts of said gun. This strategic placement of the tape allows for the lids to be pulled off of both the pen and the lip gloss. So, if the evil fighting sounds of this gun are not working on the target, one can simply removedthe cap to the pen and quickly write them a nasty letter. Or, replace that cap and remove the lid to the lip gloss, gloss your lips, and go kiss your target into submission.

Now, I've heard friends of mine claim that their boys will turn anything into a gun. They were talking about a shoe, a piece of celery, maybe a bitten pretzel with just the right shape. Give me just one boy that has crafted such a fine tool as my girls have though. I mean, it's not everyone that can fight with shiny lips and write home to tell the family about it, huh?