Monday, December 29, 2008

Short and sweet

The sun is shining. It's a beautiful 45 degrees outside.

My family is coming to see me tomorrow.

Hooray.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And he also doesn't know he'll miss the Science Fair



This is a story about a boy.

A boy whose friends all turned eight before he did, so when his mother was Wolf den leader, he came to the Pinewood Derby and watched and dreamed and learned and made plans, but just barely missed being old enough to participate.

A boy who was disappointed when the cub scout committee couldn't get it together the following year and postponed the Pinewood Derby for a few months.

A boy whose family moved him to Utah at a very inopportune time as far as the Pinewood Derbies were concerned, leaving just before one, and arriving just after the other, thus missing both.

A sad boy.

This is also a story about a family who planned a trip to get out of River City in the dregs of January to go to a sunny, tropical place. And a Cub Scout troop who scheduled a much-dreamed-about Pinewood Derby for the very same week.

And the same boy who, upon learning of the Derby for next month and not yet knowing about the trip, came home and pored over the contents of his little derby kit and set straight to designing his amazing car on paper first. "Diamondback Rattler" is the theme, because snake cars are not only visually cool but also aerodynamic. With a penny on the bottom, because that's how you win and get to go on to the district.

And this is a story about two parents who looked at each other while the boy excitedly talked about his first Pinewood Derby and they shared worried expressions, because they weren't planning on tears on Christmas morning, but now there are bound to be some.

This is a story to be continued... .

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fighting extortion one rip-off company at a time

I know I'm the only person in America whose cell phone isn't always charged and on-hand, but if I am nothing else I am a champion of consumer rights, so I need to make this known:

Do not, under any circumstances, ever use a payphone operated by a company called Faircall which allows you to pay with a credit card. For a three minute call you will be charged $11.27. Such an egregious rip-off makes me want to fight them, even though it's a negligible amount of money. Who do they think they are? I'll probably spend too much time righting this wrong on Monday, but I know my rights.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Don't say I didn't give you a Christmas present

I give you Number 3 on the UK Singles Chart in October 2006.





It's catchy, and the special effects: killer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You know the nearer your destination the more you slip sliding away


{Video of Portland, OR via CNN, but this is not unlike what I am seeing and living this week. Feel sorry for me.}

I went skiing for the first time ever last year. I kind of stunk at it, but did make substantial improvements by the second time down the mountain. It was a little bit terrifying to go downhill which, duh, of course that's what you do when you ski, but conceptualizing it and doing it are two different things. I think I will continue to improve, and eventually get over the feeling that I am not in control and yet I'm gaining acceleration in a downward direction. Steve wants us to be a "ski family" so we'll see how that goes.

This week for the first time we've experienced some snowstorms while living in our new house which sits ever-so-nicely at the top of a hill. The whole road up to our house slopes a bit to the left, which is one thing, but the road is semi-steep when covered with treacherous ice, and the last little chug up to our house is the steepest, most treacherous part. On Tuesday and again today (big ol' snowstorms), I watched out the living room windows as cars came up the hill: they thought they could, they thought they could. They couldn't. Stalled at the top. Sliding backwards back down the street. Fishtailing around the corner. Abandoned by the side of the road. Of course it wasn't very nice of me to stand there and watch while these poor drivers sweated it out on the ice, but really, what was I going to do? There's no saving the day when Tires and Ice don't seem to want to work together with their old friend Traction. No, it's a lonely time for that driver who has lost all control.

I know. On Tuesday I tried to be tough and not so Arizona-wimpy so I got in the car to drive Isaac down the hill to preschool. It was crazy snowing. I knew I was in bad shape when I backed out of driveway, and then proceeded to roll forward while still in reverse. I slipped, I slid. I anticipated every scenario of what I would hit when I finally hit something. I maneuvered the van to the neighbor's curb just downhill from us. I hit his curb and his snowbank (very painless, whew) and parked that baby right there in front of his driveway until later that afternoon when my friend the sun came out and dried up the road. I walked Isaac to and from preschool that day. (In the snow. Uphill both ways. Barefoot, natch.)

ANYWAY, the point of all this is that tonight I made an important realization. Skiing fast downhill (before I've adequately learned how to stop and steer) evokes the same out-of-control going downhill nervousness in me as does skidding on icy roads. It all just makes me nervous. It's all Utah's fault.


UPDATE: Friends, please correct me when I misuse/misspell a word. I'm counting on you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

I did not plead guity

If you speed in Orem in a school zone on your way to the aviary with your sister and your kids, and you

a) do not have proof of insurance in your vehicle
b) are not properly restraining your five year old because all the carseats and booster seats are otherwise occupied
c) do not have a license plate in the front AND
d) do not have a Utah driver's license even though you've lived there for more than a year,

it's not so bad to get a ticket and show up for court and five minutes later walk out, pay $95 for fees and traffic school, and be on your merry way. It's not so good, but not so bad, either.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The measure of our love is the measure of the greatness of our souls

This talk -- the delivery and the content -- encapsulates everything that is right in the world.

speaking truth
with humility
testifying of Christ
love in theory
love in practice



The video loaded very slowly for me, so here is the text if you're in a hurry. Although if you skip the video, you will miss a very touching part, my favorite: a visual representation of love and the reason I linked to this particular talk of Elder Wirthlin's. Help from Elder Nelson.

He died last night, and I'm really happy for him.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Oh come let us adorn thee


Behold! My sister-in-law Angela, who makes the best jewelry (love her earrings!), is hosting a series of twelve giveaways. Your chances to win are very good.

Get thee to her blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quasimoto


This one almost made the Christmas card cut, but I figured I couldn't do that to Isaac.

Dude, why are my pictures all doing this when I load them to Blogger? Frustration abounds.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Trespassing in the SWKT

We took Geography 120 and 350 in this room before they were born.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A new bike

A few hours after our very scary near miss, when our hearts had settled down and after we had offered a prayer of gratitude for our little miracle, Isaac decided to go back outside and jump back on his bike. Fearless, that child! Only, he was most chagrined to find that his bike had sustained a lot of damage and was rendered unrideable. Tears followed, lots of little Isaac tears.

"Honey," I said, "it's more than okay. Your bike doesn't matter -- we can get you a new one. We're just glad you're okay."

This morning Elliot and Steve opened the garage door to walk down to church (happy November warmish weather!!) and found this sitting outside:

A new bike for Isaac, from the mailman.

My turn to cry.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Time to pull out the shrubs

I am so humbled and grateful that a few minutes ago when Isaac went flying down the driveway on his bike without a helmet and slammed into the moving mail truck and fell off and rolled in the street, that it was his bicycle seat and not his head that was crushed under the tires; that both he and the mailman were terribly shaken and scared, but no one was hurt.

I'm unbelievably grateful for that.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why isn't there a bigger audience

for clean and quirky?

Pushing Daisies, I'll miss you. Go find Ed and keep him company.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Seeking guidance

What do you set the heat to at night? 

During the day?


Thank you.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What to do while waiting to celebrate or mourn the election results

My friend Bethany sent me a series of interesting quotes and links today. I usually dread and promptly delete forwarded emails, but these linked to original sources so I was wont to render them credible, and the timeliness could not be beat. It is, after all, election day.

Rex E. Lee was United States Solicitor General for several years, then president of BYU. I think he is widely respected and lauded as a constitutional genius. I very much enjoyed reading this speech he gave at BYU in 1991. Of interest to me: his assertion that God caused the Constitution to come about, but that it is not perfect and is not scripture; a personal grievance with our country's laws or politics is not a fulfillment of the constitution "hanging by a thread" prophecy; I am not "the sole heir of James Madison's wisdom" (and neither are you); and the ever-relevant reminder that our liberties are directly tied to our righteousness.

Read, read!

Friday, October 31, 2008

You're welcome

We have lived back in Utah for more than a year now, so I decided to share a few of my personal favorites, Bests of Utah, if you will. Most are restaurants, because that is my absolute favorite thing to do with a little extra money. My other favorite places -- Target and Costco -- obviously don't count as Utah treasures.

Mexican : Las Tarascas -- mmm, yum. I've only been once, but can't wait to go back. They had me at fresh, chunky guacamole and lardy refried beans. Also, very affordable. Located in Albertson's strip mall on University Parkway.

Italian: Gloria's Little Italy -- Great ambience (although they're about to move locations), beautiful desserts (although who needs the temptation?) and fantastic food (although, be warned: the spicy pasta is very very spicy). Quite a hotspot. (Go anyway.) For now, located on 300 South in Provo. Moving to downtown.

Thai: Thai Ruby -- I'm a sucker for Thai food. We've tried just about all of them in the area and this is our favorite. Many a times we've tried to eat at the restaurant only to find a sign on the door saying "Closed for the holiday" or "Will return in one month". Which is just as it should be. (The anti-chain!) Located south of BYU campus, I don't know what street.

Casual pizza: Nicolitalia's -- Greasy and thick and awesome. Also, indirectly responsible for helping me know who not to vote for for Utah State Senate. Also located near Albertson's on University Parkway in Provo.

Pizza without the kids: Pizzeria 712 -- All-around delish. In the great and spacious building on State Street, Orem.



{I'm so, so hungry.}


And now, 
Hands-down best Utah radio stations: KRCL 90.9 FM -- funky, eclectic, indie AND KOHS 91.7 FM -- cooler high school kids might not exist

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Anyone else?

I just read this scripture quoted in a blog comment thread, alluding to. . .me.

2 Nephi 9:28

28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.



The context: I had suggested that Ezra Taft Benson's political views as expressed in 1968 before he was the prophet were not the official political views of the church, and shouldn't be construed as such.

It is actually not the first time this month that I've been told through scriptural references that I am a wicked person {my extrapolated take-away from the conversations}.


I give up.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A way to get back home



Mindy sang this song last night with Stephanie's two beautiful little girls. I cried. I looked over and Sarah was crying. I'm pretty sure my mom two rows back was wiping those tears away, too. My dad sat next to me and sang every word. It was all very tender. Today, I can't get enough of this song. It's a new favorite, for sure.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Come!

{Click on picture to enlarge}
This is where I'll be this weekend.

: in Mesa, at Mountain View High School, watching the awesome Mindy Gledhill sing at a benefit concert for the awesome Stephanie and Christian Nielson. Won't you join me? Even if you've never heard of Mindy or Stephanie, it will be a fun show and a great time. Plus, I'll introduce you to Mindy and the ever delightful CJane and Chup (not their real names). Plus plus, my mom will be there and everybody loves my mom. Ditto my sister Sarah. Ditto my dad, Big D. Plus plus plus, I want to see you!

Buy tickets here or at the door.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Worth watching



I agree with almost everything Powell said, although I personally would not be troubled by more conservative appointees to the Supreme Court. This interview cemented my opinion of Colin Powell as a thoughtful, deliberate, intelligent man who is willing to speak out against his own party when necessary -- and I wish he would make himself available again to serve on the national level. We could use more leaders with his abilities and integrity.

Friday, October 17, 2008

All about nothing

For breakfast today, I ate french toast and turkey bacon. Also, I drank water.

I drink water every morning. It is the first thing I put in my mouth every morning without fail, or my system of order is disrupted.

My brother thinks by nature of being a Godfrey, I am automatically 16% obsessive compulsive, but I think my percentage might be a tad higher. Maybe in the 20s?

My awesome 16% OCD parents are in town for a few days and we are having a great time. Today we drove the Alpine Loop and walked the gardens at Thanksgiving Point. Soon I will post a picture of my (other) brother's name painted all official-like in the middle of the road on the Alpine Loop. It was kind of bizarre.

My husband has taught himself to fall asleep by meditating and frankly, it has been an incredible thing to watch. The man used to take hours to fall asleep because his brain was too full. Now, a minute, or two. Five at the most.

Perhaps if you have read thus far, it has been for you an exercise in wastefulness, as in your time. I am sorry. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. (Sometimes that old commercial just needs to be quoted.) (You, all right! I learned it from watching you!)

Good night and I hope you have a very nice weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2008

M. Scott

"When I discovered Youtube, I didn't work for five days. I did nothing. I viewed Cookie Monster sings Chocolate Rain about a thousand times."



{I almost want to watch this 1000 times.}

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Corruption

The news is that Paulson is now going to invest money that we don't have in the failing banks, because all the other drastic and expensive measures he has attempted haven't done a darn thing. Question one is why in tar hill does one person have so much unchecked power in this land? Question two is why oh why doesn't he just leave well enough alone? A recession is inevitable. Just let the free market system do its thing.

The article I read today about AIG blowing through $85 billion dollars in a few days, and then coming back and begging for -- and getting-- $37 billion more makes me very, very angry. Especially this part: days after receiving part one of the handout, the top execs followed through with a $440,000 vacation retreat, including $23,000 spent at the spa. They don't even have a semblance of integrity, nor are they making any efforts whatsoever to hide their corruption. How are they getting away with this?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thanks, Nicole!





The fantastic Nicole from A Little Sussy invited one and all to come to her food-on-the-head photo shoot. We convinced Abby and Jamie to come with us, and we had so much fun! I think the food choices and the expressions on the faces capture my kids' personalities well. Norah has always been a rather stoic child. I can't wait to see more of the photos.

Here are my sweet sister's family's shots. Milo was definitely not feeling the Fruit Loop love. He jumped off that stool so fast. I'm truly amazed that Nicole got such a good shot. What a great photographer she is, and so so nice!






PS -- Abby, you should be a model. Also, it looks like you're not wearing any clothes.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

1844

Joseph Smith ran for POTUS before he died. From his platform, I gather that he was for reforming the penal system, abolishing slavery, annexing Texas and Oregon and maybe even Mexico, and forming a national bank. Looks interesting. I am going to read it through tomorrow, just for fun.

For tonight, I am going to go to bed and dream about sitting at the kitchen table with Biden in Scranton, with strong twangy Palin colloquialisms as the soundtrack to my slumber.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Another taboo topic: money

I don't have a lot of real visible or artistic talents, but one talent that has served me well is an ability to manage and organize money well. A few of my sisters-in-law have asked me how I do the family budget, so this is a straight up accounting of how I do the accounting.

When we get a paycheck:

10% tithing right off the top

Then, with the remainder (net minus tithing), I divy it up into percentages and put money into different "funds" -- that I keep track of in the back of my paycheck because I'm old school like that.

Mortgage: I figure out the percentage it will take to cover my mortgage. Usually 29-30%. I think this percentage needs to stay under 35% of take-home after tithing.

Baby steps: 20% goes to meeting financial goals a la Dave Ramsey's baby steps. This means that you focus on one thing at a time, leaving the rest so that your money is not so thinly spread and you can make visible progress. This presupposes that one has abandoned using credit, and is working to get out of debt aggressively. The baby steps are: (1) $1000 in the bank as an emergency fund (so you won't put emergencies on the card) (2) pay off all debts, smallest to largest (3) three to six months' expenses in a liquid, interest-bearing account (4) 15% of income in retirement account such as 401k or Roth IRA (5) kids' college funds (6) pay off the house (7) invest, build wealth, and be generous with it. I choose to put some of our tax refund every year into the kids' college 529 plans, so that takes care of that baby step for us. Currently, we are working on getting our retirement account fully funded at 15%. Whatever percentage we have coming out of our paycheck into 401k, I subtract that amount from the 20% that I put into this fund. For example, right now, we have 10% deducted from paycheck into 401k, so when I am divying up the net paycheck, I take an additional 5% and put it in an IRA for retirement, making for 15% total (and not worrying about whether that money is pre-tax or post-tax), and then I put another 5% extra on the mortgage payment because that is the next baby step we are working on. When we change our 401k allocation to take out 15%, the percentage that I use toward the baby step fund will be 5%, and that money will go toward extra on the house. Does that make one ounce of sense?

Charity: I take 5% of our net after tithing and put it in the "Charity Fund", out of which I can pay fast offerings, donate to the school, buy girl scout cookies, buy groceries for the neighbor in need, etc. This allows me to be generous to such causes, and then when the money is gone, it's gone and I can say no and not have guilt.

House: 5% goes into a fund for home maintenance, repairs, appliances, etc. Mostly for things that will stay with the house when we sell it.

Travel: 5% to fund my need to see the world. All expenses while on vacation come out of this fund.

Car: 10%, or more if I can swing it. Everything car-related comes out of this including insurance, gas, repairs, registration. Any more left over in this fund gets saved up toward paying cash for a new car eventually. Also, Steve's bike repairs come out of this, which is sort of cheating. It's nice to have a car fund because when gas goes up, I know just how much I have to spend and I don't have to stress that it's eating into the grocery budget.

Then, I give a fixed amount to the Steve fund for him to spend on whatever he wants (yes, he gets an "allowance", so to speak). He buys lunches, clothes, books, whatever-- wants, mostly -- with this money and he doesn't have to save receipts for me to balance the checkbook. Steve is always generous with "his" money and when I've spent the monthly budget on various things, he will pull through and take the family out to dinner, "on him". He's awesome. Also, I get a much smaller amount each month to spend on myself for clothes, shoes, makeup, etc.

Usually, about 30-35% of our net income-after-tithing is left over and I just keep that available to pay bills, buy groceries, entertainment, gifts, haircuts, shoes for the kids. Everything else. For some people, it would be helpful to budget specifically for utility bills, groceries, and other expenses, but I just take it all out of the leftover money, after our other "funds" are funded.



I think that covers what I do with each paycheck that comes in. Please ask me to clarify anything that doesn't make sense, or share what works for you!


EDIT: I certainly did not intend for this post to be offensive to anyone, but alas! it has come to my attention that it has done just that. I am not trying to brag that we have money to put aside for things that we want. I am sorry if it comes across that way. There are multitudes of things that we do without because we cannot afford them. I am trying to convey the principle of living within one's means. It is a principle I believe in and one that has brought peace in our lives. Like I said, money is taboo, but I wish it wasn't so much so. I think we ought to be able to help one another, as money is such a pervasive part of our existence, for good or ill.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

I figured out a title: This post is more about race than it is about politics

For me, one of the favorable things about Barack Obama is that he's black. Half black, but black nonetheless. I've heard a lot of hullabaloo -- especially in the media -- that we really ought not let race play a factor in this election. Geraldine Ferraro was lambasted for suggesting that Obama's race was to his advantage in beating Clinton. But I agreed with her, as far as I understood her comments correctly. His ethnicity makes me more inclined to vote for him.

If we don't elect a black president this year, it will be a very, very long time before we ever elect a black president. Or a Chinese-American president, or a Jewish president, or a Mormon president and I could go on. The black cultural things about Obama make some people very nervous: his African-American church, for example, or the racially-charged thesis that his wife supposedly wrote at Princeton, or was it Yale?
1 There are way too many people, of all political parties, in this country who harbor biases that would prevent them from voting for an out-and-out black man. Still, in 2008.2 However, Obama is not an out-and-out black man and for that reason, he is the perfect vehicle to transition our country to accepting candidates of various backgrounds. He's half-white; he is tall and good-looking3; he grew up in Hawaii; he schooled in Ivy League; he eats arugula. Basically, he fits the profile described in Stuff White People Like. He is relate-able to lots of us around the country4. He could ease us into a new social era, presidentially speaking, and I think that's a favorable quality to his credit.


Am I racist against white people if I think being black is an asset? Um, no. Silly question.
Do I value the idea of electing a man of color so much that I disregard the issues and the positions of the candidates? Absolutely not.
Do I think it would help the image of the US abroad to have a minority in office? Yep!
Do I even care what people around the world think of the US? Sure do, a whole lot.
If I consider race as an asset for Obama, don't I have to allow other people the right to consider his being black a detriment? That's already happening, unfortunately, and there's nothing I can do to change that.
Am I absolutely positive that I will be voting for Obama? McCain was my man in 2000, and he's still my senator. I like the guy, not as much as I used to, but I could maybe possibly still be persuaded to vote for him if drastic things were to happen in the next few weeks. I won't be moving to New Zealand out of protest if he wins.5

I probably have more I want to say on this subject. I just can't remember it right now. Feel free to tell me what you think. Only, be nice, okay? Thanks.

FOOTNOTES
1 Google can't decide.
2 ditto for Chinese-Americans, Jews, Mormons. . . .
3 not that this is exclusive to white people, just that good-looking people are more readily embraced
4 as opposed to, say, Mitt Romney, who is only relate-able to rich people and Mormons
5 Although, man! How cool would it be to live in New Zealand!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Watch this

Not to offend any of my Repub friends (ahem, Abby), but Sarah Palin is a train wreck. She's just. not. ready.

(Steve's offended.)


Okay, funny. I didn't think it was working when I tried to embed. But it was, and I'm leaving it. Lots of Sarah Palins for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Love is a higher law

Is there anyone cooler in the world?



I love him. I love his music. And I love that he's using his fame to change the world. Bono for Secretary-General?



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Maybe not the most responsible decision we've ever made

The world economy is in crisis. Our disposable money in the stock market (which really should not be there because we have pending plans for that money) is quickly being disposed of due to said crisis and falling markets. 

So what do Steve and I do? Book a tropical vacation for the family for the middle of January, that's what. Because who wants to be in Utah in January?

Our justification is thus:  a) Steve has to go anyway, so his ticket and hotel and rental car and food will be paid for.  b) It will be a giant Christmas present to give to the kids, therefore we will not buy them much of anything else.  c) Better spend the money before Wall Street blows it even more.  d) Who wants to be in Utah in January anyway?

Please do not tell our children. It is really going to be a Christmas surprise. 

I get so nervous after spending a lot of money. Yikes.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This did not happen in Phoenix

I really love our neighborhood. The people are highly educated, well-traveled, down-to-earth, accomplished, talented, faithful, knowledgeable about Hugo Chavez, neighborly, and really good gardeners. Some are famous. Some are Democrats.

These are all lovely things to be. But, neighborly and good gardeners are the attributes about which I wish to rejoice at this time. The last few months have been a boon to our big, yellow produce bowl that sits on the counter, and consequently, to our bellies, and also consequently, to our grocery budget. Our neighbors have most generously offered to us: blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, grapes, and corn. In abundance. It's really quite delicious and wonderful. 

Just tonight, as I was engrossed in a fierce match-up of Scramble because that's what I do and that's what I do best, the doorbell rang and the kids opened it to see a bag of squash and a lady getting into her car, yelling, "It's just the Vegetable Lady!" And off the Vegetable Lady went, surely out looking for other garden novices like us upon which to shower her zucchini. I have no idea who it was. 

If you come to our house for dinner, we will surely send our kids next door to get a small bowlful of blackberries for garnish on the cake, or to accent the fruit platter. While out there, the kids will surely put in their mouths three times as many as they bring back home and arrive back with sticky purple substances on their shirts and bare feet.

The neighborhood bounty has been an utter delight. The best thing.


Note: We have not yet ventured into gardening ourselves, but if you are ever in need of fresh mint and/or curly leaf parsley, please do not go spend real money on them at the store. Come to us. These are abundant in our backyard thanks to our home's previous owners, and we will gladly share. With you. If I get to call myself the Herb Lady.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On why the internet is great

This weekend I have been sick, all around pretty miserable. In surfing around to find some answers, I came upon this very helpful medical advice. I hope it provides you with clarity and enlightenment, as it has for me.

{Neil, I'm counting on you to appreciate this.}

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

Documentaries about nerds rock



I just watched Wordplay. If I had crushes on men other than my husband, I would have a little one on Will Shortz and his geeky crossword puzzle-ness.

It's funny that I don't enjoy crossword puzzles. I usually am very well suited for all things tedious, challenging, left-brained, and time-wasting. Plus, my mom and my dad like them*, which is not only an unusual occurrence, but should mean that I ought to be predisposed. I have no explanation.

*Other things that my mom and dad both like: board and card games (I like), eating out (I always like), movies (not necessarily my favorite), and Abby (everybody likes!)

Update: Steve just offered to memorize all the two-letter words in the dictionary. Who needs geeky crossword puzzle guys when I have Steve? I'll stay true, after all.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pornography is vile



Go here to get a free filter.

Iser the (anything but a) Miser










It just occurred to me that since Steve bought a nice camera, why am I guilting myself into taking the kids on their birthdays to Target Photo Studios with the fake crappy backgrounds and forced smiles? I loathe taking my kids in to get their "professional" photos done and always put it off until well after their birthdays that I want to document. So no more.

Isaac is 5 today, so we went outside for a photo shoot. Someday I'll learn how to take pictures, but here are some decently cute ones with classic Isaac facial expressions.






I spy: freckles, beautiful brown eyes, thick and curly hair, nicely-spaced itty bitty teeth, the obligatory Spiderweb pose, and his two favorite presents (a feather hat and a cardboard boomerang that he'll "always use" which were made by his sometimes-nemesis-sometimes-kind-older-brother Aaron*)

*We are actively promoting the kind older brother version of Aaron, and so it's okay that Isaac was more excited about the homemade gifts than about the ones we spent real money on. Yay for brothers who like each other at least some of the time!

Please note: The last picture is his "thinking about Jesus" pose. Convincing?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hot or not



What do you think of the cropped sweater vest I wore to church today?


It's from Target, a size 5.



That is, a size 5T. I borrowed it from Isaac's closet.

The boys thought that was hilarious!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm ready for good news

Is is just that I'm paying attention, or have there been an awful--and I really mean awful-- lot of plane crashes in the last few weeks?

Our friends Stephanie and Christian were in one last week.*

Sarah's friends were killed in one this weekend in Cedar City.

Then there's Kyrgyzstan, Barenaked Ladies, Guatemala, Madrid en route to the Canary Islands, North Las Vegas, Monticello, Colorado, Northwest Territories, experimental plane in Michigan. And on and on. There seem to be two new CNN headlines on plane crashes every time I check the news. What is going on?



*I really adore and admire Stephanie and Christian and pray that God's will be done in their collective recovery. There is going to be an online fundraising effort on their behalf this Thursday and I would love to see gobs of money raised to offset a little of their mounting medical expenses. My fabulous sister Sarah is going to auction a baby quilt, and baby quilts don't come cuter or classier than Sarah's. Visit her auction starting Thursday. Also, visit this blog Thursday to be directed to a wealth of other links to people who love Stephanie and Christian and want to benefit their very worthwhile cause.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Peace, and that is meant to be an inside joke for Diana's sake


I ought to be upstairs making dinner, but instead I feel compelled to share the events thus far in my day.

I spent the morning in my pajamas talking on the telephone, mostly about this beautiful young lady.

Two children in two separate and distinct episodes thought it would be fun to go in the garage and get a three-foot-long fluorescent light tube with which to sword fight and/or bang on the stairs. Thousands of pieces, lots of vacuuming. Twice.

I unearthed from a box the red binder in which I tried to record as a young woman, aged 16-21, each and every date I went on. It is truly fascinating. Who with, what we did, how long, if we kissed. I went on a lot of dates. I didn't count, but I easily went out with more than 100 different guys in those five years. I may not have a journal or scrapbooks or a record of my life, but by golly, I know who I went out with and whether the guy was a cheapskate and that my mom was pretty lax about curfews. My posterity can have it published after I die. Aren't you curious to know more? It's fun to remember all those dates, but boy, am I glad I ended up with the above-pictured fellow.

I called to set up an interview for an Ecclesiastical Endorsement to take classes at BYU. I sure thought I'd never do that again.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I am a little bit my mom (interested in people) and a little bit my dad (a cynic)


{photo via CNN}

I haven't been watching the Olympics, or any tv, for that matter since we don't have a tv connection yet (pity me), but I do know what's going on in the world, and baby, Michael Phelps is going on in the world! I know he provided plenty of drama and lots to cheer about. Eight gold medals, seven world records! I saw the frame-by-frame photos of win #7, where he was half a body length behind the Serb at the very end, and came from out of nowhere to touch the wall first. Absofreaking amazing.

I am very happy for Michael, the winningest Olympian of all time. Wow, wow, wow! I'm so happy for him that I'm going to make the next thing I have to say very very small, so as not to diminish how incredible this accomplishment is.


Dear Michael, please don't blow this chance to really be a hero by going and getting another DUI. Just don't do that, okay? Lots of people think you're pretty cool right now, and we don't want to be disillusioned and disappointed in our true American hero. And -- this is critical -- you really better not be doping. Okay? Thanks.