Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Quote

"But just so you know that we are, each one of us...held together by the invisible threads of our histories. ...But these strings are all the good and all the bad that our families ever experienced. And when the world tries to pull you loose - and it will - there may be some stretch. But someone like you, with so much love holding her together, will never fall apart." -The Friday Night Knitting Club, p. 229, by Kate Jacobs

I don't love the profanity in this book, but so far I am liking the story and the characters and the way it is told and of course the parts about knitting! Only slightly more than halfway through, so we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I wish I had gotten a few more pictures of Ravenna's costume. She was the victim of a 'cereal' killer.

Christian decided he wanted to be a goatherd and just hold the baby goat all night.

Spencer as the Grim Reaper

Geneva as a Goth Cheerleader

Dexter as a Vampire, complete with red eyes, (only in the photo of course, I didn't really make him wear red contacts)

Trevor as a Baby Goat Gruff

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not before, just After

Well, I thought I had a picture of our old gate on this computer, but I guess it's on a different one.

So, here is a picture of the new gate, from inside the backyard:

The gate has been stained and so here is a new 'after' picture taken from the front yard:
I blurred our last name on the sign, since this is a public blog, and I do want to keep some privacy for my childrens' sake.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Birthday

My Dexter son turned 4 years old! We had his party at my parents' house on General Conference weekend. When we were loading the car to come home, we put all the balloons on top of the luggage in the back of the Yukon. He turned around and looked at them and said, "Wow, how did you get such much balloons in the car?!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kids' say

Dexter's new favorite phrases are, "Not really," and "Stop talking."

I told Spencer (age 11) to say, "I'm a big kid now." (Those that are old enough will remember the Toys R' Us ditty.) I don't remember why I told him to say that, but he said, "No, only little kids say that."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Baby Update

Well, I can't help posting a baby update in a place where I know I won't lose it.
Trevor is growing so fast and working on his skills! He popped his first two teeth through last month. He's seven months old now and he is definitely crawling forward with purpose. He has made it from the living room into the kitchen and the bathroom.

He can say 'Ma' when he's sad and 'Da' when he's happy. He likes to make raspberry/spitting sounds, sometimes to the point of looking like he's foaming at the mouth. He also makes some pretty good snorting sounds, especially when he's laughing.

He's up to 23 pounds already. His eyes are so dark brown, you have to look closely to distinguish the pupil from the iris.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Home Improvements

This is to explain my lack of blogging during the month of August.


This bathroom wasn't the only part of the house that got destroyed and rebuilt. We replaced sheetrock, along the outside walls, in all three bedrooms, because of mold, and replaced the last 5 windows in the house that weren't already double pane and removed the carpet from the kids' bedrooms, and now the outside is being re-stuccoed. I'm not even sure that is a word, but that's o.k. So, it's been pretty much an all summer long project, first cleaning out the garage and my Dad & Mom built awesome new shelves in there. Then, we cleaned out the bedrooms and living room. Well, some of the bedroom stuff got put in the cleaned out living room and garage. We almost have the kids rooms put back together, with a fresh coat of paint, too, but, they both need curtains now, and shelves, and...
It is the construction project that never ends...

I'm a Picture!

Take a picture of me!

Why I Love Ikea

Yep, this is the reason I love Ikea. I don't have to put my baby on the floor while I use the bathroom. How can I resist nibbling on those cute little toes right in front of my face!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Adventures in shopping in a small town

You also know you are in a small town when...
directions include the words, "You know that street with the stop light..."

We were looking for a bookstore.
Well, you go down Main Street and turn left on Center Street (the one with the stop light) and down a little on the left, you find:

You know you are in a small Utah town when...
the only bookstore in town sells LDS books inside an auto shop and it was closed for four days while the owners were away for a family reunion; it said so on the gate.
There is a separate Scrapbooking store in town, but we didn't go there, because we didn't think they'd have the book we were looking for; had to go an hour away to Moab instead.
However, in Monticello, we found some good books at Cindy's Seconds, a nice little thrift store and the only place we found to buy clothes in town, although I heard rumors that the Hardware store had some clothes, like swimming suits.

I love to see the Temples!

We saw three temples on this Utah trip, well, if you don't count Salt Lake and Draper and Bountiful, which we could see in the distance, but didn't drive to them and stop.
Monticello was the first. We could see it from our Inn window, (after we switched Inns on Monday).

It is a very small temple, but very beautiful.

Oquirrh Mountain Temple is currently open for the public to tour, so we did!

The Angel Moroni already got struck by lightning. I was going to ask someone what would be done to prevent that from happening again, but I guess I was too worried about keeping our large group together and not losing any small people, that it slipped my mind.

It is a smaller temple, too, but the way it is built makes it very majestic.

Logan was the last temple we saw, though we didn't really stop there either, so this isn't the best picture since it was taken from a moving car.

I'm so thirsty!

At a random pit stop, somewhere midway between Cedar City and Monticello, UT, we found these huge silos of some sort. It was at a gas station. I don't know what they store in tall things at a gas station, but I thought this was a very clever way to disguise them. Most of my family is there under the Dr. Pepper.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Road Trip

You know you are getting close to L.A. when...
you start hearing ads on the radio for tummy tucks.

You know you are in Las Vegas when...
most of the commercials on t.v. are for bankruptcy lawyers and pawn shops.

You know you are in the bad part of town when...
you see Bail Bondsmen meeting with clients in the fast food restaurant where you stopped for breakfast.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Passing through St. George, UT, we saw a "D" on the mountain. I was wondering out loud what the "D" might stand for and Geneva said, "It stands for 'Dirt.'"

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thirteen-year-old and Five-month-old

I sure have lots of good helpers constantly asking to hold this baby. It's great, except for when it turns into an arguement about who gets him next. It's just funny when random strangers in the store tell me to be careful that my helpers don't drop the baby. I feel like saying, "Yeah thanks, but they hold him all the time and haven't dropped him, yet," except for that one time that he rolled off the changing table when the oldest was changing his diaper, but we don't mention that.

Fun with Clay

This is Ravenna's clay man, without his face/mask. She named him "Bob the slightly overweight engineer."
Below is with the face/mask.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kids are funny

Geneva said, "Ants can't dance because they don't have any hips."
I think she's right about that.

Speaking of Geneva, pictures like this keep popping up all around the house:

This is a plastic bin used as a toy box, in case you couldn't tell.
Dexter saw it in the kitchen and exclaimed to Geneva, "Oh, that's a picture of the two of us fall in love!"
How sweet! (At what point should I be concerned about this?)

Ravenna said to Spencer, "You're a good brother; I'll remember that when I'm a dictator." I didn't know she had aspirations to be a dictator.

Then she said to Christian and me, "You're a good brother, too, and you're a good Mom. I'll make you all members of my cabinet."
Of course she never said she would be an evil dictator. She is really very thoughtful and considerate.

Here's a happy chubby baby picture for good measure:

Four months old and about 20 pounds!

Monday, June 1, 2009

More of the silly three-year-old sayings

Dexter likes hot chocolate. He was looking at the box that holds the packets and looking at the letters, he said, "N-E-S-T-L-E, that spells 'hot chocolate.'" Actually, it took a couple of attempts for me to convince him that the 's' wasn't a 'c.'

He likes to play a game with our dog, which is fun for Dexter, but not for the dog. Basically, he likes to pour water on him. Recently, he started saying to the dog as he chases him with a cup of water, "There you are you are, old chap!" I don't know why he says, "you are," twice.
Spencer says he got it from a Thomas movie.

And leaving the car to cross a street or parking lot he says, "I want to hold your handle, or else I will get tricked by a car!"
I don't know where he got 'tricked' by a car, but I love that he calls my hand a 'handle.'

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More funny stuff

Dexter ate a small powdered donut and had very white hands and lips. He went and washed his hands, then came running to me and said he was all clean. I told him to go look in the mirror. He came running back a minute later and exclaimed, "I have a water face!"

I don't usually buy white bread, and one day at church, when offered the sacrament, he said, "That's too yellow for me."

I think it's kinda funny (and sad) to have pretty much total control over teaching my little ones to speak English. I taught Dexter to call a button-up dress shirt a "manly" shirt, because it's a shirt like Daddy wears to church. I just think it's hilarious to hear him call it a 'manly' shirt.

Today, Dexter was looking at a wall that had texture on part of it, (plastic panelling in the bathroom) and he said, "That wall is overstimulating." I don't know why it's so funny to hear a three-year-old say big words, but it is.

He started saying 'kindaly' instead of 'kind of.'
When Trevor had a thin line of slobber hanging down from his mouth, Dexter said, "Wait, don't move," and he tried to grab it, like it was a hair. Another time he said, "Wait, it's kindaly going to drip," and he grabbed the slobber and ran to the bathroom and dried his hands.

Christian, Ravenna, Trevor and I went to the grocery store and a friend called about plans for tomorrow and as I was talking to her Ravenna and Christian started loading the cart with donuts and gummy worms and ran off to find more fun stuff to fill the cart with while I was distracted.

When we got home, Ravenna asked me if Dexter could have a donut and I said, "I don't know," and she said, "That means 'yes' because it means you don't care." I said, "No, it means I want to care, but it takes too much energy."

The plastic around food or a toy is called the wrapper, but when the wrapper is taken off it's called garbage. Well, Geneva handed me her piece of candy and said, "Can you take the garbage off?"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Funny kids

Ravenna took Geneva to the bathroom during church and Ravenna told her to wash her hands afterwards. When Geneva was drying her hands she said, "I always listen to older sisters, because they are always right."

I got an individual size bag of Cheetos from a Costco-size box and was planning on sharing them with Dexter, but he said, "I want my own bag of mosquitos!"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A day or two

So, today was rather an adventurous day.

It all started in the morning, of course. Christian was demonstrating how slippery a spot was on the hardwood floor, near the dining room table, but in the living room. Then, at breakfast time, Dexter came zooming through that spot and slipped and fell and got really mad and went away yelling, "I hate falling down!" A minute or two later, Christian who was mixing his instant oatmeal and hot water, slipped in the same spot and spilled half his oatmeal. It was the dry half, mostly, that went flying. He kinda hit my shoulder as he fell, so that kinda hurt. He left to get something to clean it up with, and Dexter came zooming through the same spot again and again went away yelling about how he hates to fall down.
I told Dexter to stop walking there. It's only slippery if you are wearing socks, and all the kids were. I asked Christian to spray and wipe there, to hopefully stop the slipperyness, but I don't think it really worked.

After breakfast, we helped Spencer with long division, using manipulatives. Yay, we did something for homeschooling!
Then, we raced off to tennis lessons for the boys and ballet lessons for Geneva; yay, something else for homeschooling, though it's not at home! The lessons overlap and are at the same place, thankfully.
While waiting for Geneva during dance, I realized that I was going to remember to bring the recorder and music to school that day, but I did not remember.
This is the day we usually get fast food for lunch, because we have to drive over 40 miles from tennis/ballet to school and we get there late, because tennis ends at Noon we are supposed to be at school for the play rehearsals at 12:30PM.

The middle three kids were invited to have parts in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the private school that the oldest one attends. They asked me to play Greensleeves for the little fairy dance. So, I'm thinking, "how can I get fast food and stop by home to get those things without really having time to do either????

So, after tennis and ballet ended, we raced toward home, and it came to me. I called the husband, who is nearly always telecommunting from home. So, I offered him a burger in exchange for him finding and gathering the things that I need and bringing them out to me, so I only have to stop for a moment at home. I also remembered to ask for the sesame sticks because Dexter won't eat fast food, except for whatever beverage we get. I was glad I did.

We got to school about 1:15pm, not too bad.
They had a good rehearsal, and I had fun chatting with the people there.

Then, I fed Trevor in the car for a few minutes, while Ravenna filled the water bottles and little ones went to the bathroom. So, our friends had left. Then, we tried to leave and the car died shortly after leaving the parking lot. It started again, but it was sputtering and wouldn't go when I pushed on the gas. BOTHER!

We were on a quiet residential street and I wondered if I dare try to drive where there was more traffic. Well, it started again and seemed to be going, got down the street. It stayed running at that stop light. Turned left, more sputtering and sounding like I was revving a sports car, which we all thought was kinda funny, but I was just pushing steadily. There was a Chevron on the corner, I should have just driven straight there, but it would've been a left turn and I wanted to turn right and go home! So, I turned right and it died on the very busy street, so I turned into the shopping center parking lot and it died and I was blocking traffic and it started again and I got a little farther and it died right in front of the store and wouldn't start again, so I was blocking traffic again, so I asked the kids to hop out and help me push it into a parking spot. So, we were all hopping out and a car was passing me on the left and telling me how rude I was to do that there, where I was blocking traffic. I was about ready to start crying at that point, but I didn't and kinda yelled back, "My car broke down!" So, they looked properly chastised and drove away. The kids were suprised that it was fairly easy to push, once we got it going and we didn't have to push it far.

I called Chris first and told him we were broken down and come and rescue us. Then, I called AAA and asked for a tow. Well, to make a long/painful story short, we decided to have it towed all the way back to our hometown, much farther than the 5 free miles. I wonder how much the premium plan is, that would have covered this expense? Mostly, we needed the help getting two more of us home, otherwise, we would've had to rent a car, or call a taxi, or tax our friends, ha ha.
As it was, we had to squish 4 people in the backseat of the husband's small commuter car. I put the baby in his car seat. Double-buckled the next two smallest together and then the biggest squished in next to them. They would've fit a lot better without any carseats, but I figured if anything happened, that would've been the safest or easiest to explain.
I went straight home and emptied out everyone, except the baby, and then went to the repair place down the street to meet the tow truck and Chris and Spencer.
The repair place was just closing, so at least we got to say, "Hi," to them before they left. And tell them that we think the fuel pump went out. And the warranty that I bought when I bought the car just expired three thousand miles ago. I guess I drive too much, because that was supposed to be a two year warranty and it's only been a year and a half.

Anyway, they think they'll be able to fix it tomorrow. I hope so, because the boys have soccer in the late afternoon and then one has Cub Scouts that night. I suppose it wouldn't be a tragedy to miss them, if we have to, because Chris takes his car to jazz bands on Wednesdays and hates missing them.

Adding to the drama was Spencer had planned to spend the night at his cousins' house and they were going to pick him up at around 4:30pm and we weren't getting home in time. So, Spencer asked his Dad to drive him the half an hour to his cousin's house. And by then, it was time for mutual, so he dropped the oldest two off at the church on the way and got back in time to pick himself up some turnovers at the store and then pick them up. Then, they picked up pizza.
I didn't have to go to mutual, because tomorrow is camp level meetings for the YW, so I got to stay home with the little three. It's kinda funny that three kids seems like so few now. I felt like we should have a party or something, just the four of us. Instead I fed the baby and read a great blog story (here: and Geneva put on a movie for Dexter and then I started washing dishes and G & D asked me to cook bacon, so I did that while doing dishes, until Trevor woke up, then I was feeding him while cooking bacon, then everyone else came home, exept Spencer who is spending the night at my sister's house.

Oh, in the car on the way home, Ravenna was talking to her friend on my cell phone. I kept trying to tell her that she didn't need to tell her all the details, because I knew her friend would tell her Mom, and it would just be embarassing for me, but it was enevitable that they would find out anyway, Ravenna tells them everything! (hmmm... I wonder where she gets it??? hmmm...) Anyway, she was telling her friend how to spell something, but it's hard to hear over cell phones sometimes and she said, "no, 'y' as in eucalyptus, except that starts with an 'e'..."
We thought that was really funny.

Ravenna decided she was happy our car broke down, because while we were sitting in the parking lot, a former schoolmate's family came to the store. So, she hung out with us while her Mom shopped. It was fun to see them again.

Oh, golly. I guess we've come about to the end of a loonnng day...
I think I liked yesterday better. All we did was meet my sister and a friend at the Marina, where we walk and talk and play, then we came home and I spent a huge amount of time on iTunes, remembering old songs and looking for fun ones for Ravenna, who suddenly wants tons of music, because she got an mp3 player for her birthday last month.
'Course I should've payed bills yesterday. Oh well, that will be what I do tomorrow, while my car is in the shop.
Hope your today was more boring than mine.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Yesterday, my five-year-old made her own sandwich. It was a cottage cheese and pickle sandwich on raisin bread.
It was her own creation of course, I have never eaten such a thing. I asked her if she liked it, and she said, "It kind of tasted like a...salad."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Things I was going to say, but didn't

I spoke in church on Mother's Day and I'm still rewriting the talk in my head, "Oh, I was going to say.." I hate that.

I was going to tell about a lady I see at the Community Center while both our little girls are in ballet class. She has older kids, one in his 20's and one in high school and she has little kids, I think they are five and three. She said the little ones' favorite word was 'underwear' and they would say it all the time and she was creating a scene constantly trying to get them to stop. Her husband said, "Why don't you just ignore them?" And so she ignored them for like 2 days and she hasn't heard the word since. My favorite part of this story is that she said, "You'd think I'd have this parenting thing down after 20+ years, but no."

In my research, I also came across a blog that pointed me to another blog, which belongs to the preacher in blue jeans. I think you can search for him on youtube, though I haven't. Anyway, I read a couple of his articles, a good one with marriage advice and another about homeschooling (I used one of his core principles in my talk - about when anger takes over, learning stops).
But, my favorite part was where he wrote something like, "What are my credentials? I have failed many many times and I have learned from my mistakes and now I'm successful beyond my wildest dreams!" I thought that was very clever and I was going to use that idea in my talk, but I forgot because I didn't write it down. I was wondering why the Bishop wanted me to speak on Mother's Day when there are so many other worthy mothers and grandmothers in the ward. I thought maybe it was because I currently have the most kids in the ward, though I know that there are grandmothers with more kids and grandkids than me. Or why not ask a man, so that the Mothers can take it easy and not stress about speaking on Mother's Day!!!
I asked Chris why he thought they asked me. He's the ward clerk, so occasionally I'll ask him if he knows stuff from sitting in Bishopric meeting. But, he said, "I have no idea."
I said, "This is when you're supposed to tell me what a good Mom I am."
I decided to open my talk with that little story.

Then, I was going to say, "I guess my credentials for speaking to you are that I've failed many, many times and I hope I've learned from my mistakes."
Next, I was going to say that the father is the Patriarch of the home, but I think it's really the Matriarch that keeps the family together and give the example of Chris' Grandma that just died and now all her kids (that are middle aged) have all gone their separate ways without plans to get together regularly, anymore.
I was also going to tell the story of how her mother made her kids call her "Aunt Mary" instead of Mom, so that out in public, she could say, "Oh I'm not old enough to have these kids, they are my sister's kids."
All but the youngest called her "Aunt Mary" because the older kids would all tell the littlest one that that wasn't her aunt, it was her Mom. Grandma kind of hated her mother for that.
I think it's o.k. to tell some imperfect Mom stories on Mother's Day, so that we can think, "Well, at least I'm not THAT bad." But, then, I was also trying to pass on the message of how we shouldn't compare ourselves to others, because we don't really know all that is going on in any situation except our own.

There is an excerpt from the book, "It takes a Mother to Raise a Village," by Colleen Down here: and in it she talks about the game Red Rover that she hated to play as a kid and how as adults we are playing it still, but with our thinking. We want people to come over to our way of thinking and we judge them if they don't. I'd like to read the rest of her book.

Like in the movie "Stranger Than Fiction," when he starts keeping a tally on whether he is in a comedy or a tragedy, I think I might keep score one day, on whether I am a fantastic Mom or a failure. Sometimes it's hard to recognize or give credit to ourselves as Moms when we handle something well or do something simple that will be meaningful to our litle ones. It's easy to beat myself up for the pile of Mount Washmore that is almost as tall as my head. And feel guilty that my #1 daughter's friends held an 'intervention' in the car on the way home from school on Monday. The driver (who also happens to be her seminary teacher and the school owner) said they were going to line up the boys and have them all kiss her if she didn't clean her room by Wednesday.
There is a little background to this story: they had a youth activity a couple of weeks ago where swing dancing was taught and there was one part in a dance where the girl is supposed to push the guy back and her main partner would just back up automatically. Well, his older brother would just wait for her to push him and once he said, "If you don't push me, I'll kiss you." So, she pushed him pretty quickly. Her teacher figured if that threat worked for dancing, it would work for cleaning her room.
I said, "Maybe you shouldn't clean it, and see if she really carries out her threat." After all, seminary teachers shouldn't be encouraging kissing among those too young to date! Haa, haa. (Love you, D.) But she said, "NO."
Anyway, another part of this story is that a while ago, the kids went on a field trip to Petco, and Ravenna called me to ask if she could have a Siberian hamster, because they are sooo cute. She called me while she was in the store! I said, "If you can keep your room clean for a month, then you can have one." So, then I was not motivated at all for her to clean her room. I should've just said, "No way, Jose," but I'm much too nice sometimes. I hope it's been long enough that she's forgotten about that, but I doubt it, her memory is really good. So, now I'm hoping againg that she will not keep her room clean for a month. This is not what Mother's are supposed to hope for. I'm supposed to teach her how to clean and organize and how to maintain cleanliness, so that it won't be such a huge production to clean her room.
At least I had spent a while cleaning my room recently, so that I didn't feel like a hypocrite.
We had also spent a day cleaning the boys' room that had gotten out of control, also.

But, back to my original topic...
I was going to quote my boys' tennis coach when he said, "Do you ever make mistakes, like in your schoolwork? I hope so, if not you would be perfect and that would be scary!"
I think that's a good thing to keep in mind as a Mom. If you were perfect, you would be scary!
I did say that my Mom wasn't perfect, but she was perfect enough for me.
I love you, Mom!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I love the way Five-year-olds draw

Geneva drew this picture of Dexter and their cousin who is six months older. I love the top hats.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good Question

Genava asked me, "How old was Dexter when he was born?"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What dreams may come

I was reading my cousin's blog (which makes me laugh every time!):
about dreams, and it made me want to remember my dreams and write them down.

Anyway, last night I dreamt that I was sleeping. Does that mean I am sleep deprived?

To be more specific, I dreamt that my Mom was sleeping on one bench at a picnic table and I was sleeping (or trying to sleep) on the other bench of the picnic table and my aunt Carma was curled up on an upholstered rocking chair next to me trying to sleep. There was a full grown iguana on the table, that I was afraid was going to try to run across me to get off the table. Not that I am afraid of iguanas, I just don't want one running across me in my sleep.

I think I dreamed this (sort of) because I fell asleep last night looking out the window. It's the first time in a long time that we have had the windows and curtains open, it was hot last night and the cool air coming in felt good. But it reminded me of camping, without the rainfly on the tent, looking up into the trees, it was kind of nice, so that was the last thought I remember before falling asleep.

It's just funny to me that I dreamed about not sleeping very well. After all, it is hard to balance on a narrow picnic bench. I was wishing I could sleep on the table instead, but the iguana was there. So, oh well.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm becoming a fan of Alfie Kohn!

Here is a page with links to a bunch of articles that he has written:
I read "The Folly of Merit Pay" (for teachers),
"Progressive Education" and
"Five Reasons to Stop Saying 'Good Job!'"

I can't wait to read some more!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Small and Simple

This is what I want my blog to be about, but she said it so much more eloquently than me:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Then vs. Than

It's a pet peeve of mine when people use "then" when they should be using "than."

"Than" is used in a comparison, such as:
"I ran faster THAN Anne,"
"Man, I would rather have my hand in a can, THAN a tan fan in a van."

"Then" is sequential, such as:
"First, I went to the dentist, THEN I went to lend a hen to Jen."

Hopefully, the above alliteration will help solve the world's minor grammer problems.
You're welcome.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another day...

We had an interesting day here in mundane land! I finished chopping down the bush that was taller than the house in the front yard and it kinda fell on the fence. My dear husband was trying to sleep at that time, since he worked off and on through much of the night, which is why he wasn't there to help it fall away from the fence. He said he would rather do it later, but the trouble with later is that it never comes.
(A couple days ago, Ravenna, trying to quote a scripture, said, "Do not put off the day of your procrastination.")

So, I did what I could and then told him I thought it would be a good idea to get it off the fence before the dear neighbor with the perfect yard saw it. So, he hastened off to Sears to buy a chainsaw.

I fed my dear baby (7 weeks old today!) while he was gone. Then, we chopped up the tree together. Actually, there was no chopping involved, it just sounds wrong to say, "We sawed up the tree together," maybe 'sawed down' would sound better. Nah.

Then, Ravenna came home and did her homework. Then, we watched "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" together, with Christian, while Geneva & Dexter watched a couple "Thomas the Tank Engine" movies instantly on Netflix on the computer in the bedroom. It's so cool that they have Thomas movies on Netflix, available for instant play!

Oh my goodness, I just looked up Buffy on and found that it is Paul Reubens that plays Lothos' servant, Amilyn! I love his dying scene! I had no idea it was him, I was just looking to see what his character's name was, because I didn't remember hearing it in the movie. He looks so different with ugly hair and fangs.

Well. You learn something new everyday. I hope.

Oh, the other exciting thing that happened today, I guess, I mean you can't portray tone of voice in print, but picture Ben Stein saying, "whoopee," and you'll know about how I feel about it, but I digress...
Uh, the phone guys came, about 2 hours ago, and fixed our home phone line, so Ravenna celebrated by making the first phone call and stayed on for two hours. Actually, she did hang up a couple times, but her friend called her right back each time and it was startling to hear it ring after all this time!
I said, "Let's unplug it."
She said, "It's music to my ears."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trevor at one month!

That last picture wasn't very flattering of my cute little baby, so here is a better one.

Baby hat

So, here is Trevor in the hat that I made for him before he was born.

Unfortunately, like most baby hats, it doesn't stay on his head.
Oh well, it was fun making it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

phone home

I'm enjoying the quiet that comes from the telephone not ringing. Our land line has a short in the wire. I know because this happened the first time about 3 weeks ago. Chris called the phone company (on his cell phone, of course) and they sent someone out and he found a short in the outside wires and one on the inside. He fixed it and it was fine for a week, but then it stopped working again. This time we have put off calling them back, mostly out of laziness. I wanted the house cleaner than it's present state if he was going to have to come in the house again. Last time, I cleaned up the common areas, but my room was messier than I would have liked it to be. So, I cleaned it after he left and pretended that's how it looked when he was there.

I was joking to Chris that our phone problems are probably from bad Karma, because we have annoying answering machine messages. Our current one is a recording of the operator saying, "If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try your call again. If you need help, please hang up and dial the operator." Then it does that annoying beeping. It really is a recording of what plays when you leave the phone off the hook. Ravenna left the phone off the hook and timed how long it took the recording to come on, and then started our answering machine recording at that time.

I was thinking maybe someone reported our line as being disconnected and so the phone company really did disconnect it. But, no, it's a short in the wire. Our wiring is so old in the house that we had to have an adapter in the bedroom to plug in a regular phone. It has a really old outlet, that is more like an electrical outlet, but with 4 skinny holes. I don't think I've ever even seen a phone with that kind of wire/plug whatever you call it. I would google it and post a picture here, if I was more ambitous.

When one person called and got the answering machine, they just figured they had dialed wrong, so they called back, which was fine, because it took us that long to find the phone anyway.

Anyone we really want to contact us has our cell phone numbers or e-mail address anyway, I think.
I'm not really anxious to pay my phone bill this month though. Maybe we could live without it and save $35/month.
Naw, then Ravenna would hog my cell phone, or worse, want one of her own!!! That time will come, but not yet. Not quite, yet.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

I need, I need

INSTRUCTIONS: Type in your name and the word needs in quotes (in my case, "Trina needs”) into a search engine and see what comes up. List the first 10!

1. my life my words my mind: What I need
"Trina needs a human companion that is interested in training and also expanding her signing vocabulary." - there are just no words. ...

2. My sister Trina needs prayer!...


4. Celebrity Photos: 3 Reasons Why Trina Needs A Stylist.

5. Trina needs a good home ...(Chicago Sun-Times articles). Tank Johnson's pit bull terrier, Trina, is now at Save-A-Pet near Grayslake, awaiting adoption.

6. (I'm skipping one that was someone's myspace profile)

7. Trina Needs HELP - sweet little kitty with infection in her eyes needs vet care !!...[catsindanger] DANVILLE/BERWICK, PA --

8. Trina's place to blog

9. Trina needs to work with Pharell again!!!

10. Trina needs to read some of these comments and take them as constructive ...

I kinda cheated and skipped over the ones with vulgarity.
Yeah, doesn't help that there is a Rapper named Trina.
Incidently, I got a random phone call once, asking if I was "the singer Trina," but the person's ~accent~ was so strong I thought she said, "Is this finger China?"

Friday, January 16, 2009

Facts vs. Knowledge

So, this is the part that I was really going to post, when I posted that other long one about having fun.

This is from the Gateway to the Great Books, "A Letter to the Reader," written by Robert M. Hutchins, in 1963 (my own emphasis added to the quote below).

(page 7)
"Reading can be boring... The only thing that keeps reading from being boring is learning, the discovery of possible worlds.

It is of course possible to make learning boring. What has given learning a bad name is textbooks. This is not ordinarily the fault of the writers or publishers. There is a widespread impression that knowledge is facts. If education is the acquisition of knowledge, it must consist of the memorization of facts. Therefore textbooks must consist largely of lists of facts to be memorized. Add to this that examinations, which are often tests of the facts memorized, hang over the heads of teachers, pupils, and textbook writers alike, and you will understand that it is almost inevitable that textbooks must be boring.

Whatever claims can be made for textbooks, nobody ever ventured to suggest that they were inspiring. They are said to be accurate, or complete, or up-to-date. But the most flamboyant publisher will seldom go so far as to assert that they are interesting."

(I'm going to skip over part here and come back to it in the next entry to keep this one about facts vs. knowledge.)

(page 9)
"The curse of facts, combined with the curse of adjustment (the part I skipped over), makes learning boring...
...we may some day understand the role of facts in education. Clearly facts are not knowledge. We do not have knowledge until we have organization. A possible world is an organization of ideas and facts. The facts are made intelligible only through the organization. A telephone book is knowledge only in the most limited sense. Such sense as it has it acquired through its alphabetical organization.

A good many years ago the President of Columbia University and the President of the American Statistical Association announced simultaneously, but independently, that so many new facts were being discovered that it would be necessary to prolong adolescence at least until age 45 in order to pour them all into the students. These scholars would have been nearer the mark if they had said that so many new facts were being discovered that it was useless for the layman to try to learn them. What the citizen, not the specialist, has to do is to formulate some general ideas into which any new facts that me be discovered can fit. The question for the citizen is not, what are the latest discoveries in science? In order to answer that question he would have to devote all his time to the scientific journals, of which there are now (in 1963) 36,000. The question for the citizen is, how do I understand the latest scientific discoveries? He can answer this question if he understands what science is about and what the leading ideas in it are.

When I was going to school, I do not remember hearing any teacher say what any subject was about. In general, I was taught to get some facts into my head so that I could pass an examination and go on to the next course. I never quite understood why I was supposed to take the courses I took rather than some other courses. All I knew was that they were required for graduation, or for my major, or as a prerequisite to something else.
Some subjects are at first sight less attractive than others, because they employ languages that are special and sometimes repulsive...
When I was a boy, my father happened to remark to me that he hadn't liked arithmetic when he was my age. I had to make it a matter of filial devotion not to like it either. The result is that I have been permitted to glory in the possession of an 'unmathematical mind.' I know now, when it is too late, that, if I had been given some faint glimpse of what mathematics was about, my father's example, powerful as it was, could not have prevented me from understanding the fascination of mathematics.

In other words, I needed a proper introduction... The world of mathematics and science becomes intelligible, and then exciting, when presented by the great men who in these papers transmit their own excitement to the uninitiated."

3 Year-Old Wisdom

"Mom, laugh and then you'll be happy."

Just for the record, I wasn't sad or anything. I was just sitting at the table reading. He was watching "Little Einsteins" and having a good laugh. He wanted me to come and laugh with him.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Are we having fun yet?

I was reading the Introduction of the 'Gateway to the Great Books' series, published in 1963 by Encyclopaedia Brtannica, Inc.
A wonderful friend from church gave me the Great Books of the Western World, when she moved out of state and she also gave me the Gateway to the Great Books and some other fun stuff. Anyway, I've been a little lost as to what to have my boys do for homeschooling. I don't want to use a pre-packaged curriculum, because that's too "conveyor-belt," but without a plan there is no order. Anyway, I thought, why not use this great series that's just sitting here?!

So, I picked up Volume 1 last night, oh it's "A Letter to the Reader,' not yet the Introduction. Anyway, it has some great things written here, that I'd like to share with the world (even if only 3 people read it, Thanks followers!)

It talks about people's objections to reading Great Books: "Too hard," "No time," "Too dull," "What good is it?"

It says they (the Editors) have no interest in manufacturing furniture to decorate my living room. These are a pretty set, (or rather they were before a couple of the bindings got bit by a dog.) Anyway, it goes on to say that we now have a
"...Fun Society, molded and supported by Technology, Affluence, and Advertising. The question now is not, 'Are you doing anything worthwhile, anything interesting or important?' The question is, 'Are you having any fun?' With all the gadgets, the aim of which is to provide comfort or amusement, and all the affluence that has made it possible to buy them, and all the advertising that urges us to do so, fun has become something bought with money, supplied by gadgets, and endorsed by advertising. If we aren't doing something that involves these elements and meets these requirements, we can't be having any fun.
Reading, which does not involve these elements or meet these rquirements, therefore cannot be any fun..."

It just makes me laugh how far technology has come since this was written 60's. We are probably way more inundated with advertising and our gadgets have gotten a lot cooler, and cheaper with our affluence (even with the recession).

The next paragraph says, "Today two objects consume our time: work and distraction. The same forces that have reduced the work of most men have increased their distractions. These distractions have now got to such a point that in addition to reorienting the culture and our attitude toward life they have made it almost impossible for us to keep our minds on something for more than half an hour. The uninterrupted half hour is a rare occurrrence. But the important thing is that keeping the mind on something for more than half an hour is an effort, and, if we are making an effort, we are not having any fun. Fun is identified with distraction - and the absence of any strain on the mind, or even on the body. The popularity of spectator sports, where thousands of people sit more or less inert and watch a few combat, shows we are not much more more disposed to get fun from physical than from mental exertion."

That makes me think of people participating in fun (like watching t.v. or watching sports, or even being at an amusement park) like the people in the field of poppies in The Wizard of Oz, just laying down, going to sleep. And that reminds me of the quote from Joe Versus the Volcano where Patricia says, "My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement."

The next paragraph talks about how reading takes effort and literacy rates.
He goes on to say,
"Perhaps I ought to tell you that I am not against fun. My quarrel is not with fun but with the current conception of it and of its role among the aims of life. My quarrel with the currrent conception of fun involves me in a quarrel about what it means to be human, what a human society is, and what is good for - or even interesting to - a human being and a human society. I am afraid I shall also have to make a few remarks about current conceptions of education and of leisure....
The trouble with fun is that it is boring. It is simply not possible to spend more than a certain number of hours, days, weeks, or years having fun. And when the fatigued funster looks back over what he has done, he can only sigh and recognize, too late, his stupidity.
Why is this so? Why must it be so? It is because of the kind of animals people are. It is against nature for a man to devote himself to occupations little different from those which might be enjoyed by a pig, a pigeon, or even a whale... Man is distinguished from the other animals by his mind, and the infinite capacity and variety thereof. As nobody can deny fun is important to man, so nobody can expect a uniform diet of fun (or bananas, or lettuce) to satisfy him.
Recreation, play, or fun is important. The reduction of drudgery and the opportunity for rest and relaxation it affords are among the greatest of the blessings technology has conferred on modern man. In my lifetime, the working week has been cut by a third and the working life has been shortened at both ends by the prohibition of child labor, the prolongation of education, and the provisions for retirement. But the time thus set free has been transferred, with almost mathematical exactitude, to the television set."

The next page and a half talk about how humans want to "know" or "understand" and how "...the most enduring human pleasure comes from discovery, [or learning], of possible worlds. It is delightful; and it is not too hard. Effort is required, but not much."

I believe it is an article by Adler that says, "Welcome to the pain of learning."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Now that we've counted down to a new year, I'm really counting down to our new arrival due in Feb. Just a little over a month to go now! It's amazing to think I was pregnant for more than half of last year and even more mind boggling to think that I've been pregnant almost every other year for the past 15 years! There was the occasional odd year where I wasn't, but that's a long time.

I think I'd rather think about something else now, like names. The possibilities are endless. And what a huge responsibility to give someone a name that they will use for their whole life! 'Course they can always choose a nickname for themselves if they don't like it, or legally change it if they REALLY don't like it, but hopefully most people like their names that were thought out with love.

Every time I blog, or think about blogging, I think of this quote from Joe Vs. the Volcano, where Joe says, "I have no interest in myself. I start thinking about myself, I get bored."

Maybe I should think of other things to write about than myself.

But, I did want to say that my family accomplished our goal to read the entire Book of Mormon in one year! Yay! We read the last chapter last night, after having a movie marathon all day, and before going to a party at church at night.
I think this year we need to work on consistency, reading every day. There were way too many days (or weeks) when we didn't read scriptures together.

Hope everyone has a great day to start this new year!